Today is my day off, and I'm spending time taking care of those nagging little things that seem to keep piling up. My fantasy football co-manager is on a plane from NYC to Hong Kong as a permanent move, so I've assumed full responsibilities for this week. Last week we started John Carney, which to say the least was foolish. We're 7-4 and need to make a playoff push.
Believe it or not I also bought some ETFs today, since I figured if I was buying stuff 3 weeks ago I should be buying more now that the prices are even lower, right? I'm buying stuff that is like 50% off it's 52 week high....that has to be a good move right? Time will tell.
I also finally booked a trip to San Diego that I've been thinking about for a week or so now. My college roommate/best friend is going to be in town for like 10 days on business, and I figured I don't have much of an excuse not to go visit him. If you live in the area and play at Ocean's 11, I'll be in town December 7-11 and should be easy to spot.
Now, on to the pokers....
My fantastic run of late continued the last two days. On Tuesday I started the day at Bay 101, won 2+ racks in the 20/40 game, and decided to go home so that I could attend obedience class with Tyson. Afterwards I drove to Artichoke Joes and tried to get unstuck lifetime in the 15/30 game (200 dollars would have done it), but instead dropped 200 waiting in the 6/12 game and 900 more once I actually got into the 15/30 game, leaving me with a profit of 80 dollars for the day. The 15/30 game was putridly bad, with only one player who was even close to a fish, but I felt like I'd put in so much effort to get into it (driving home early, then driving up there, then playing 90 minutes of 6/12 waiting for a seat) that I couldn't give up so fast. I then played a couple of hands badly, tilted a little, ran bad, and that was the end of it. I'm putting myself on probation from that game for the short term future.
So yesterday, as I drove to Garden City, I was a little bit nervous. I had played pretty poorly the day before and my confidence was not, shall we say, high as a kite. Garden City has cured what ailed me in the past, though, and yesterday again proved to me why I still go there despite the fact that my car was broken into in the parking lot. Through just under 7 hours of play I booked a massive win, almost 2300 dollars, which could have been even higher had I not missed 4 flush draws in a row at one point. The three 20/40 games were filled with fish of all colors and varieties, my favorite of which I will detail now.
Stockton Thunder (his real name is Matt, but the first day he showed up at Bay 101 he was wearing a Stockton Thunder T-Shirt and claimed to be a part owner of the team. Jared (or Jerry, I'm not sure), a regular in the game used the nickname and it has stuck like glue) was at Garden City yesterday. I think I've written about his exploits before, but I can assure the legend only grows. I was sitting in what was already a fantastic table (with Orange Shirt Guy and Max on my right) when in comes Thunder to the 4 seat. After an orbit or so of folding, I enter my first pot with him.
Thunder power-limps from the high jack (calls the big blind, as the first one to enter the pot, from 2 spots before the button). The cutoff and button fold, and I complete the SB with the monstrosity of a hand that is Ten-Six offsuit. The big blind checks, and off we go:
AJQ all diamonds
I hold the Ten of diamonds, and normally I might consider a bet as a semibluff here, but not against the Thunder. He will show down any piece on this flop. So I check. The big blind checks, and Thunder bets cause he has two cards. I call, and the BB folds.
6 of diamonds
I now hold the second nuts, and again make an expert check. Thunder bets, again because he has two cards. I call only...the Thunder is bad, but nobody is stupid enough to call a raise here without holding a diamond...a normal human being would probably play almost perfectly against my hand, folding practically everything I'm beating and re-raising me with the nut king of diamonds. Stockton would call with more, but I have a problem....against one of those normal human beings I could probably fold safely to a 3-bet. Against the Thunder, I'd have to pay it off, and that is not what I want to have happen.
The river is a brick. I still hold the second nuts. I check once more, and the Thunder bets. For the same reason I call only, and he tables T8 with no diamonds for...Ten high. Had I raised at any point in the hand he'd have dropped it, but I got him to bluff off 100 dollars. He is visibly upset by this, and seems to understand that I just owned him. Sure I got lucky and am being a bit results oriented, but ownage is ownage.
A few hands later I end up in a large pot with 65 off from one of the blinds (I think it was 5 handed and I called a Stockton Thunder raise from the big blind). The flop comes off
678 with two of a suit
Giving me a curious holding. I go ahead and donk bet it, and Thunder raises. Max calls and is almost all in, which is the only thing that stops me from 3-betting (the other two players dropped out).
The turn is a black 3 giving me no help. I check and Thunder bets. Max calls all in for less than a full bet, and I seriously consider raising. Against a normal human being I could barely call. There is a player all in who cannot be bluffed out, so logic would dictate that Thunder must have some sort of hand. This pot is "protected". He can't be bluffing, he can only be value betting. But logic and Thunder do not co-exist, and I know this, and I think after yesterday he might know I know this. I call only.
I believe the river was an 8, for a board of 876-3-8. That's a great card for me, since I wasn't beating anyone who had an 8 anyway. I check and Thunder does his thing again. I call, and he tables KJ for....king-high. No draw. I table my pair of 6s and he is dumbfounded. Max actually laughs out loud before tabling The Hammer for a pair of sevens, deuce kicker, with which he called a raise (cold) preflop. As he's dragging the main pot and I'm collecting the modest side pot, we exchange a look. Max is a bad but aggressive player, and he's a smart guy. In the regular GC lineup he might even be a small winner, since he exploits players well. Against 8 of me he'd get demolished, but whatever. He realizes that something odd just went down, and looks at me knowingly.
10 minutes later during a setup change Stockton Thunder table changes. Max actually says "A moment of silence for the departed, please" and I actually bow my head. Then I order some fried rice and start the clock. I vow not to change to Stockton's table for 60 minutes.
I post into Thunder's game in front of the button 65 minutes later and find a gem of a hand, 43 suited. I get a free flop and because we're at Garden City there are 7 of us still holding cards.
478 rainbow with one diamond (my suit).
That ain't too shabby, I say. I check first to act, one of the blinds bets, and I call closing the action getting like 11:1 or something ridiculous like that. Stockton is of course in the hand, two seats to my right in late position. And the turn is of course:
I just donk it. Why not, Thunder's in the hand and might raise for me. 4 people call, including Thunder. Pot is getting large, and I have an incredibly vulnerable fours up, 5 handed. There is a flush draw on board, I'm literally dodging probably like 30 cards or something on this river, but whatever. My heart actually quickens a little, which rarely happens to me anymore.
Gin! I do declare I have just made Gin! I bet, two people call, and Thunder declares, as is his custom, "Raise!" and begins the long arduous (for him) process of placing 16 chips into the pot. This often takes him 3 or more trips to his stack, and he usually uses two hands. I 3-bang him without declaring shit, and do so crisply and flawlessly by picking up one stack of chips and deftly cutting 4 stacks of 4 right next to my original bet (doing this just makes you feel hard core). Both other players fold before Thunder even realizes what has happened. The dealer tells him "3 bets now sir" and he calls. I table my bottom full and he reluctantly shows 94o in an attempt to gain some sympathy I suppose. Monster dragged, and I go about the stackin'. Stockton is looking a little bit upset and takes out his pack of Skoal and does the thing where you whack it against your thumb for a few minutes.
Like 3 hands later....
Stockton open-limps and the next guy follows him in. I raise AJ of spades and get a couple of callers....I don't remember how many, but a fair number. Stockton back-raises me, which again for a normal human being means "I has monster. MONSTER!!!" but for Stockton probably means "I am going all in. Watch and learn baby, watch and learn!" I of course cap it up and let's say we see the flop 5 ways (I think the limper between me and Thunder managed to fold).
KT7 with two clubs on board.
Gut shot. Not bad, not bad at all. Stockton bets, and he only has 9 chips left. I just call, and so does everyone else. Let's say there are now 26-30 small bets in the pot, and we're still 5 handed.
KT7-4 and now we have two flush draws, clubs and diamonds
Yikes. The small blind (an Asian female prop) checks, and Thunder bets 8 of his remaining 9 chips. I call with my 4 outs (two of which are mighty dirty), and another guy calls, maybe two. The small blind now raises, and Thunder throws his last chip into the pot. I count it down and supposing there are no more raises I'm getting about 20:1 on this call. I have two outs at the nuts, and 2 more that might be good. I consider folding, but declare to the table "I can't fold" and call. More people call, I don't know, maybe Thunder was playing two hands, and we see the river in this 800+ dollar pot.
Small blind donks and is called by the big blind. I expertly cut off my raise again, as I have the absolute stone cold nuts. She is furious and beside herself but calls anyway. Big blind folds, I table the cajones and go about the stacking. Stockton Thunder shows K8o and actually folds the cards in half before returning them to the dealer, who is now forced to call for a new setup. When the floor man brings over a package of new decks and asks who did it, I quickly take the blame. I don't think he fell for it, since I was still stacking 1000 dollars worth of chips, but perhaps he did, and perhaps this earned me a small amount of credit with Stockton, who just rebought for not his customary 200 dollars, but instead 2 full racks. He looks angry now, and I think he is plotting his revenge. 30 minutes later, after I have basically folded 20 hands in a row, he table changes a final time. I vow not to follow him this time. An hour after that I see him at the ATM looking frustrated...he walks away with no cash, undoubtedly because he's over his limit for the day. Then he disappears, not to be seen again until, I hope, Friday.
I swap tables one more time to sit with Vernon, a loose passive fish of the outstanding caliber, and find myself with Max again, who had left but came back. I cooler Max out of two pots in which I river and turn the nut flush (I had AK and AQ suited respectively) and he turns the nut straight and a smaller flush. In general I run like God, and eventually go home, slightly concerned that Stockton Thunder might own a hand gun.