Friday, May 25, 2012

[x] Atrocities

Leave it to me to be able to put a $10K day into a break even month, but that's basically what I'm about to do.  I just can't figure it out;  I'm consistently making large FTOP mistakes, and I think it stems mostly from not pushing the fold button enough.  This is weird, since one (large and successful) class of my friends (the online math guys) will tell me that I definitely don't play enough hands and definitely don't show down enough for how strong my ranges usually are.  But another class of friends, successful live pros, really make their money by exploiting the fish.  They play very tight pre flop and tend to just...have flop.  And since the main mistake most bad live players make is passively calling too many bets on too many streets...well, you get the idea.  Anyway, I posted a couple of hands in mid-stakes on 2p2 in which I think I  made some bad calls, and in general I just seem to be mucking my hand at showdown a lot lately.  I dunno, I guess that happens when you lose, so it's hard to be sure.

I did, however, see some amazing things today.  Here are some hands.

Hand 1

Wild and Crazy Asian opens the CO, fishy SB calls, I 3bet KJss in the big blind, WACA caps it and we see a flop 4 ways.


That's pretty good and I give 'em the old what for check/raise (dangerous, since WACA may have been using the old free turn pre flop cap).  WACA tanks for a minute and then 3-bets, and the tank is just kind of strange.  Like, for a minute it actually works and it crosses my mind that he could actually have something instead of attempting to get a free card with with JTs.  The astute reader will note that he hasn't actually gotten a free card yet, and therefore does not qualify to win the hand.  So I just call (the sb finally clears out, 5 small bets in lol) and


....he takes his freebie.  Boy do I suck at cards.  To the river we go.


I now beat almost nothing, even though I just made "five in a row".  I mean, OK I beat some stuff, but I opt to play the hand badly and check again.  He bets, I call and he says "I have the nuts" and shows me...KJcc for the straight flush.

Hand 2

I open somewhere latish and the SB 3 bets.  The biggest fish in the game (heck, in the room) calls 2 cold in the big blind and we see a flop three ways.


And it checks...right...thru.  I don't even remember what I had in this hand, it's not important.  The turn brings


The SB bets and the BB calls.  I fold whatever it is that I had and we see a river.


Here is where it gets amazing.  The SB bets, the BB calls, and the SB sheepishly turns over...AJ.  That's right, the old "I think I have the best hand but forget to bet the flop, I'll now keep betting until we turn 'em over oh you called I guess you win".  In short, he was bluffing, but he was trying to bluff the biggest fish in the room who will never, ever fold a pair.  It's the worst river bet I've seen in a while.

Hand 3

This one is just...well, just dumb.  A whale limps in and someone else limps and I raise AK in the SB.  We flop


I bet, and only the whale calls.


I bet, and as he's calling he says "you have a 4?" and I am just in awe of the man as I realize he honestly believes that I could have the trip fours here.  I mean, he thinks that's possible.  This is why balance is so over-rated in these games.  I have ZERO fours in my preflop raising range here.  Zero.  But that's not important, he sees two fours and thinks I might have one.  Or does he?


I check because this fishy is a spazzy fish, and my best bet for a bet going in best is a check/call.  He fires immediately and I beat him into the pot with my 8 chips.  He shakes his head, pats the table in that "you got me" way and says "just a small pair" and turns over K6s.  No pair, no draw, king high double peel on the JT4-4 board, catch the 3 outter then bet your hand as a bluff (that's honestly what he thought he was doing, that I was going to check/fold something like 99).

Hand 4

Same villain as hand 2 opens on the button and I defend my big blind with...TENS.  Freaking tens.


As he's three betting I say to myself "this is just great he has nothing" and put the 4th bet in.  He just calls because eventually all free card plays must be abandoned and the turn comes


He has 76o of course, as I find out after calling his raise, then getting a board pair on the river to ensure I never even consider dropping the hand.

Hand 5

This is my favorite one really, even though it really isn't that hard.  I open A2o from the CO (I had a fold telegraph but didn't need it honestly) and the SB and BB both call.  We flop


They check, I bet, and the SB raises.  The big blind fold and I look first into my brain for memories of him raising flops in the past...all draws.....Like every single time....then into his soul and see it very clear.  The jack ten.  Somebody usually has jack ten, and since we are heads up and I don't have it, it's probably that guy.  So I resolve to call him down with ace high so long as I can defeat the jack ten.  Turn.


You see where this is going don't you?  Why would I note that the Queen was a club?


He pauses for a second, and I should immediately figure out what this means but don't really even pause to consider it.  He bets and I call and he shows me exactly the hand I'm expecting.  The jack ten...of clubs.  Flushie.....

I guess this sort of read as a bunch of bad beats, but really I wanted to illustrated just what I'm dealing with here on a daily basis.  Like I mean...really.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Family Guy Strikes Again

I had to stop myself out today because I could tell I was playing terribly (not uncommon) and wasn't in completely control of my decision making machinery.  So I came home and watched this family guy episode, which was just fantastic.  I couldn't really explain why it was so fantastic, since it wasn't actually very funny, other than the point it made about America and Christmas.  The basic premise was that Santa Claus was dying because we greedy assholes asked for too many Christmas presents.

Ok that's it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hurray For Me

When you play poker you have days where just absolutely nothing can go right.  You open a hand at the bottom of your range preflop, and like clockwork you get three bet.  You miss every flush draw, and can't even seem to hit boards enough to even c-bet some of the time when you open A9o in the HJ and invariably end up in a 5 way pot.  AK?  T97 montone.  Jacks?  AK4r  Aces?  Blinds fold.  But the mere existence of days like that proves that the opposite can (and does) eventually happen.  I have seen the biggest, loosest, most passive fish in the room tear up a table for 100 bets.  I have seen guys go on rushes that are simply not to be believed.  They can do nothing wrong;  they get 3 bet when they have kings, they take down the blinds when they have JTo, they make their draws, simply nothing can go wrong.

Today, I was that guy.

I played some 40, and I won about a rack.  Then I stumbled into the 60 because I misidentified a player as a whale.  It was a different guy, and he was pretty bad, but not who I thought he was.  But there was a whale in the game, a woman who went off for something close to $10K in something like 6 hours, I don't even know honestly but man was she swell.  So I won like 2.5 racks in that game before she seat changed (she really was the only reason to be in the game), then accepted that I was trapped behind traffic and played 2.5 more hours of 40/80 (with my game breaking twice, god bless you commerce) and bonked out another 4 rack win.  These three hands illustrate my awesome

Hand is dealt 7 or 8 ways, I don't remember.  Everyone limps in, the button raises, the sb calls, and I call with 64o in the big and we see a flop:


The sb checks and I just donk right into the world.  I mean, why not, amirite?  A few people fold but not that many, all the way back to the sb who..raises.  He's not fucking around here, and I just call, and we see the turn something like 5 ways.


I turn the stone nutter butters.  The small blind bets, I raise, someone calls, and somebody...three bets!  The small blind calls, I cap it, blah blah blah, four ways for a cap to the river.


I bet and....only the sb calls and I win the whole damn thing.

Someone limps, I raise with 87s, the sb 3 bets, the big blind calls, the limper calls, and I cap it because sometimes I do that with 87s.  We flop:


They all check and I bet because I have a flush draw.  They  The turn is a card and I let it check through.  The river completes my flush, I bet...and they all fold.  I mean really....they all...fold.

This shit went on and on and on.  A8s?  A75-9, at which point I am raised.  No problem river 6 ship it. KTss?  943 with one spade?  Never fear, I will make the nut flush.  The absurdity of it all was just overwhelming.  Eventually I decided to call it a night, and when I tallied the damage I had done I came up with a win of $9867, my largest ever by a preposterous margin.  So hurray for me, hurray for mental health days, and hurray for running hotter than the sun, if only for 9 hours.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Another Update

I just can't seem to keep the train on the tracks these days.  Just when things were looking up (sitting on a $6000 win around 5pm on May 16th), they..well..change.  I sprayed off two racks before quitting that day, came in the next day and lost 5, then the next and lost 3 (all playing only 40 blessedly).  Two days ago I almost posted a huge number but ended up just winning a little, and yesterday I lost again, and throughout the entire time I've been able to feel myself "pressing" for, well, something.  I don't know if it's results or satisfaction or whatever, but I most definitely have not been letting the game come to me or  whatever and instead have felt sort of pressured and rushed.  So I took today completely off to try to get my life in order and just sort of reboot myself, and so far it's working splendidly.  I slept in, and have been just knocking things off my to do list all morning and am just feeling a whole lot better.  I think I need to try and do this maybe as often as once a week, just spend a day making sure everything in my life is up to date and not thinking about cards, because it really had been getting into my head.  I wasn't sleeping well, I wasn't enjoying (or even giving myself any) downtime, and in general just wasn't taking care of myself.  But I think I've got it under control now and am going to play the rest of the week without much issue.

In the "hilarious shit" category, I just looked at some numbers and the recent 100 bet loss has my lifetime commerce win rate setting at...wait for it....almost exactly -$100/hour.  That's right.  In the most important, critical game for all professional LHE players in the LA area I spray off 1.25 bets per hour.  Lifetime.  Is it a lot of hours?  No, not really.  Is it more than a few hundred?  Yes.  Is the game in my head?  For sure.  Do I just expect to lose with 99 when the flop comes A93r?  Yes.  So that's just not great, honestly.  I don't have much choice but to just keep playing (or become one of those guys who just always sits in the 60, which cannot possibly be correct, even though in that game lifetime I am just a crusher, winning 1.7 bets per hour), so that's what I'm going to do, but yeesh, I wish I could just kinda get thrown a bone here eventually.  Things like that make it so easy to see why results really should just be ignored and I shouldn't talk about the stuff I talked about up top.  Like, if you can lose THAT MUCH for THAT LONG in a game, your results really are meaningless for the first, I dunno, like 4000 hours.  And after that you're still not really sure, because your play and the conditions of your game have changed so much that the number you have, while in theory somewhere near your PAST actual win rate, has very little to do with your future one.  So anyway, onward and upward I will fight, hopefully becoming a lifetime winner in the commerce 40 by, oh, let's set a goal of September 1st.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Theory of 20/40 LHE

Somehow I'm at commerce playing 20. I've been here for over 90 minutes and still don't have a 40 seat. I was in the 60 but gave up my seat to start a 40 that was DOA. I got back in but was sorta tilted and decided to play 20 until I got my 40 seat. Still waiting lol

Anyway here is my theory. Everyone says the $5+1+tip rake structure just makes the game all but unbeatable. They're kind of wrong, I still think you can win $25-$35 per hour, but not completely. That's not really enough for pros, so none of them really play.

And that's the theory; these games will always be amazing because the casinos have made the drop so oppressive that nobody in his right mind would play them as his mainstay. In a sense Commerce is protecting the 20/40 game by raking every dollar off the table.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quick Update

Things have been going fine so far at LA's Friendliest.  I still am simply not allowed to run well, but the games are, objectively, typically fantastic.  So what if my 99 cannot defeat 43s on A94r (he made a flush) or 85dd on TT5 (he did not make a flush AND checked the turn when the 5 hit)?  These people are just not very good at poker and in the long run I'm going to win, I just hope it takes less than 20 racks to get going in the right direction.  And the goodness the 60.  The bullshit you have to go through to get into that game is simply stunning, but sometimes it's absolutely worth it.  Sometimes you maroon yourself in the worst game in the room and have to log out and play 20 for a while waiting your 2 hours out of the 40, but sometimes it's just...amazing.  There have been 2 games every day of late, and they've been simply outta sight.

So yeah, I guess things are going fine "post bike" or whatever.  I'm actually not hating being at Commerce every day;  I have some friends I see daily, and that's always good, and a lot of the people really aren't complete scumbags.  I mean, sure, some of them are, but playing 40 and 60 actually seems to be a good bit better than grinding my face off in the 20.  So that's...good.  And honestly there aren't as many pro grinders wondering around as I feared there would be.  Sure there are always a few doing their thing, but really the games just aren't very "crowded", which I guess is what all the people who have refused to play at the bike have been saying all this time.

In far, so good.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It Had To Be You

This is a story that was just told to me last night that I feel like I have to share.  So in March the Bike had a promotion (I actually think the promotion slogan should be "A new promotion every month!") where the player who logged the most 20/40 scans won an iPad.  In addition two iPads were awarded to the players who played the most in the 40/80, but that's not the point here.  The point is that the Bike 20/40 was (and still is) a dusty ass game full of lobbying nits.  It has probably run over night 1 or 2 times THIS YEAR, and routinely breaks in the middle of the afternoon.  Despite this, one brave soldier, a man who has played poker for a living for years, managed to clock over 250 scans (hours) that month.  I honestly do not think that the game ran for more than 400 hours, and would set the line at something like 375.  In short, he was playing in the game for something like 2/3rds of the total time it was running and single handedly paid close to TEN PERCENT of the drop (given the dusty ass nature of the game, what with people lobbying relentlessly just to collect the $10/scan) that went down the hole.

Think about this.  The Bike ran a promotion, and this man stepped up to the plate.  He held the game together, averaging over 8 scans per day for the entire 31 days of the month.  I was there, trust me, I watched.  When the game was shit, he played anyway.  He wanted that fucking iPad, and he won it going away, playing more hours in that game than anybody else logged in either it or the 40.  And after it was all said and done, on April 1st when my old boss handed him the shiny new toy (which by the way is worth something like $600, less than a fourth of what he made off his scans), do you know what he said to him?  "Thanks for your business?"  Nope.  "We appreciate you playing here?"  Not even close.  He said, and I quote:

"Of all the people who could have won this, it had to be you"

Comments Comments Comments

I don't have an easy way to check, but I think 8 comments (and only 1 of them from me) is a record for my blog.  And I will address

Blogger bellatrix78 said...
I actually am totally on your side and MikeL is dead wrong. Pride comes before the fall, he says? Yeah, at least you have something to fall down from. If you don't have pride in your actions, you are already at the bottom. And what a cheap excuse that "money" argument is, as if that makes it ok for people's asshole factor to correlate with it.
May 11, 2012 3:11 AM
The problem here, I think, is that the degree to which the word "pride" can be "loaded" varies drastically from one human being to another.  Mike and I weren't really using the word to mean the same thing (at least I don't think we were) and that's probably the primary problem here.  See Leo's comment next....
Blogger leo doc said...
"What we have here is a failure to communicate."

You and Mike were talking past each other and both of you got hurt/offended in the process. Mike's (biblical) use of "pride" refers to vanity; your use speaks to one being pleased or satisfied with the results of an endeavor (i.e., taking pride in one's work).

Unfortunately, you ran off the fish and are understandably not very proud of that. But Mike's wrong about your motivation for having done so. You weren't being vain; you simply forgot that honesty isn't always the best policy.
May 11, 2012 4:31 AM
As usual, Leo nuts it.
Blogger that_pope said...
Glad I read this before it gets pulled shortly in the future when the groups kiss and make up.
May 11, 2012 11:48 AM
Mike and I basically already kissed and made up.  I mean, I was way over the line, admitted it, and he apologized for getting too angry (to the point of silliness to use his word).  So this will probably stay up for a while.  If you're referring to me and the Bike kissing and making up, that may or may not happen but since it's been made clear already to me that I'll NEVER be re-hired so long as my old boss is around (which honestly I can't imagine will be more than a few more months) I don't see why that kissing process would require me to take this down.
Blogger AdamStover01 said...
Yeah man I'm on your side too. I think that if you can't respect yourself, regardless of how you make your living, you're somehow doing it wrong.

There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself, even if it is a little -EV in the short run, I think that feeling good every day is much more +EV in the long run.
May 11, 2012 6:01 PM
It wasn't my decision to make.  Sure, if I was playing heads up with this asshole and decided to just run him out of the room, that's absolutely 100% fine.  That's my business.  But there were 7 other players at the table who got "hurt" to varying degrees (at least two of them were happy he left, but that's not the point), and therefore I needed to show a little more discretion.
Blogger Captain R said...
So if I understand this right, you got barred from the Bike because you got in a spat with a bad player?

I'm pretty sure if you were some random guy who walked in and got in an argument with another player, you wouldn't have gotten barred.

Casinos are not supposed to play favoritism towards customers and should remain neutral.

But it sounds like unless the other guy got barred too, that you basically got barred because...

you're bad at poker and he's not.

Else you both should have been barred.
May 11, 2012 10:24 PM
There is simply no way my actions, alone, warranted a barring.  It's outside the realm of even potentially arguable reality.  The reason I got barred is that I was skating on thin ice because of my outward and open hostility toward my old boss.  I simply had not realized, or perhaps forgotten, just how thin it was.  To be completely honest I'm still stunned that he'd do it, cutting off his nose to spite his own face like that, banning the player who logged the most hours in the month of April, but that doesn't change the fact that it happened.
Blogger avoidthe9to5 said...
fwiw bike management definitely has it out for jesse. this incident was just a reason to pull that trigger.
May 12, 2012 11:15 AM
Ding.  Ding.  Ding.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The **** You Breakup Song

First of all, I'd like to wish a warm and happy belated birthday to El Boto.  I am sorry that I missed out on your own personal race for the cure last night, but I just wasn't in the mood to drive go karts or stand around not drinking.  I hope you whipped everyone, or at the very least numbnuts, who was so full of fried rice I cannot imagine his kart even inching off the line.  Now onto the business of turning a post I've tried to write several times into something funny and sort of relevant.

I've tried to write this post like three times already and it just never works, so here we go again.  I drive more than probably 95% of reasonable functional adult Americans, and therefore I listen to quite a bit of music on the radio.  I do manage to talk on the phone a lot, and I should probably listen to pod casts about something intelligent also, but for some reason (and this is very surprising to me) I have quite an affinity for feel good top 40 music.  I don't really get it, but as they say, it is what it is.  (What else could it be, really?)

Something I've noticed recently is that close to half of all new hits these day fall into the "Fuck You Breakup Song" genre.  It's absurd, really.  There's the Kelly Clarkson one ("Stronger").  Katy Perry has one ("Part of Me").  The Gotye one ("Somebody That I Used to Know") is one, as is, basically "We Are Young" by Fun.  And the list of current billboard hits doesn't stop there;  Maroon Five got in on the act "Payphone"), and I'm sure there are even more.  Why are these songs so popular?  I'd assume because when people hear them they feel strong and empowered.  It works on me, and I haven't been through a breakup in many years.  There are a few other top 40 genres that I've noticed, but this one is definitely the most dominant.  You have the "Look At All This Money" genre (or as Danielle described it, "my raining pockets").  You have the Unrequited Love genre (obviously that's not just top 40).  You have self empowerment anthems (like half of Lady Gaga and Pink songs).  And you have "We Are Going to Have Sex and it is Going to be Awesome" songs, also.  Those are pretty common.  Then there are the rappers, who usually stick to one of those themes.

So the problem with this post, up until today, was that...that's really all I've got.  I couldn't come up with a way to make it funny or interesting or anything (other than the raining pockets joke, which isn't even that good).  But today something very, very curious happened to me and I instantly thought of this half written blog post sitting on the Interwebs just yearning to be set free into the world.

Today I got barred from the Bike.

Go ahead and read that again.  Now once more, with feeling.  Jesse got barred from the bike.  Yup, true story, one that I wouldn't have even believed myself if I wasn't "there" for it.  And by "there" I guess I mean sitting in the Commerce 40 over an hour later.  The basic jist of it is the following.  I haven't been going to the bike lately for a couple of reasons, one of them being the game isn't starting on time at 10am like it should, another being that it just hasn't been that good, another being the commerce 60s have been great, there are just lots of reasons.  Anyway, I went in today at 10am and we got the thing fired up like 4 handed and were doing what it seems like we always have to do;  sit around playing hoping some fish walk in the door.  I mean, the game wasn't that bad today, but we only managed to catch one "big one" as it were.  He's a pretty big one, but he also has the unfortunate characteristic of being quite an asshole.  I was involved in a text conversation with Mike about how the game just wasn't good enough, even with the $15/hour, to justify skipping commerce, and he replied out loud "But this isn't typical" and he was kind of correct. At that same moment the big one was berating another player for "not respecting him" or some such idiocy and in the rhythm of the conversation I said "And then there's this," gesturing toward the guy indicating obviously but now saying "that I also have to put up with".   He's just lost a pot and is already fuming at the guy who apparently smiled at him improperly and goes off on me, unsurprisingly for not respecting him because he respects everyone.  I explain pretty calmly that he's made it clear that he doesn't respect me, that he thinks I'm a cry baby, and therefore I don't see why I should have to respect him.  He asks if I have a personal problem with him to which I respond "yes" and that's about that.

Now, I should have just shut my mouth.  I shouldn't have pushed it, I should have just swallowed another heaping spoonful of shit from yet another worthless asshole out there, upon whose ignorance and idiocy I rely to make my living.  But I didn't.  My tilt resistance was dangerously low;  Danielle has been out of town for 4 days (which just as me all out of sorts), between my results and those of my horses I've lost something like $15K in 5 days (honestly I don't even know the number), and I just wasn't happy about the situation.  So I snapped before I knew what was happening and told this guy the things I already mentioned, and then shut my mouth, acutely aware that I'd pushed it too far.  You could probably see me shrinking in my chair, hoping against hope that it wouldn't happen....

He racked up and left on his blind, and I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.  Even if I'd been thinking clearly I probably would not have seen this coming (this guy throws tantrums all the time), but that's no excuse.  I ran the fish off the game, and that's completely unacceptable.  I apologized to the table (well, to everyone but Sherri lol, whom I told "I know I made a mistake, but the last thing that's going to get me to change my behavior") and eventually realized that wasn't enough.  I quit the game and went to Commerce.  Not a word was said to me by the floor, or my old boss, or anyone.  As I walked to the cage MikeL practically yelled, twice, "Give him a few more years and he'll realize that money is more important than pride"

This is where things got kind of ugly.  You see, the problem here is that I disagree with Mike on this point.  He views pride as a deadly sin, I guess.  Curiously greed is on that list also, but to be honest I wasn't thinking about that when I texted him to request he spare me the "dramatic religious nonsense".  That...did not go over well.  And I can't blame him for taking offense.  I basically spit on his entire belief system, so of course he's going to be hurt.  I was rushed and should not have said it.  All I meant to convey was that I personally think having pride in what you do is actually very, very important.  If you wake up and feel not ounce of pride about your life, well, then you're doing it wrong.  Having no pride (or not enough) in my day to day activities is something that I actually struggle with mightily.  I don't really provide ANYTHING useful to the world.  I am a sponge, living off the weakness of others, attaching myself to a parasitic industry and eating the scraps it leaves behind in its wake of destruction.  Let's be honest, the world would be a better place if nobody could gamble.  But this is a America, damn it, and you can't tell people they can't gamble any more than you can tell them they can't watch porn.  Anyway, apparently after I left for Commerce a discussion was had and it was in this moment that Mike probably could have defended me but instead said something like "I bend over backwards to have him in the game, to be nice to him, to make sure he comes here, and Jesse does that.  It makes no sense."  And that was it.  My old boss makes the final decisions, and he hates me with a flaming passion, so barred I was.  Mike texted me to tell me, and at first I didn't believe him.  Then I realized he'd never lie about something like that, so I fired off another message asking my old boss if there was anything I needed to know, that if I were barred I'd appreciate him at least telling me so I didn't drive over there tomorrow morning.  The response came back so quintessentially him that I I just laughed hysterically at my Commerce table for a full 20 seconds before packing up my chips and calling it a day.

Yes, you barred

So that's that.  Curiously Mike and I have already patched things up.  I don't think our relationship will ever be the same, but we aren't going to go around hating each other either.  Doing so would simply be too...costly.  Both in terms of energy and actual money and just everything.  So we're pretty much going to view each other as inert objects for the time being, which should be easy since if things go as planned I won't be seeing him again for weeks or even months.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Even For Me

This was pretty silly. Here is the timeline of events so far for my 75 minute in the commerce top section

10:35 - Arrive. List for 20 40 and 60. I'm 5th up for 20, 1 game, 2nd up for 40, one game, and 8th up for 60, no game.

10:40 - Ask Kim "don't you have a home" to which she responds "can't afford one." Buy coffee. Attempt google hangout with Danielle. Fail. Talk to Walter about the dusty ass Bike.

11:10 - Start new 20 game with Walter 6 handed. As we start they lock a seat in the main game deftly to protect out fragile rake machine.

11:12 - Called for 40. I am on the button and tell Walter "something bad is going to happen to this game"

11:13 - Floor claims it's a false alarm, guy is coming back. Obvious ploy to keep me in the fragile 20, but I'm on the button so it's OK. I won't take my blind again.

11:16 - Floor calls down the 60 asking if I want a seat. I look over for info but there is none. I'm unfamiliar with these parts, and recognize no one except 2-3 laggy pros. I declare "lock it" with non conviction, trying to buy time.

11:17 - Raul informs me I can have either game as 40 seats will be opening. I am still ambivalent.

11:20 - My blind is upon me and I rack up. Tony tells me "you're next up for the main game" and I just laugh. "Really? Can I move now?" He nods and says only "I saw the whole thing." I walk to the empty seat in the main and ask to be dealt in immediately UTG+2. Tony just angled a dozen people (the 8 in the main game and the 4 in front of me on the list) to keep me in his game for 5 more precious minutes, trying desperately to save his game. I oblige, pick up A9, flop 2 pair vs vs AT and AK and win a humongous pot. Two more uneventful hands later I leave the game. The must move 20 does not break; Tony wins. On my last hand the dealer somehow pitches my card to the guy on my left...he looks at it then give it to me. I protest, the dealer doesn't care, it's a 4, big shocker there.

11:30 - The 60 is 5 handed with no fish of note. I take a 40 seat. 10 minutes later Kim mumbles to me across the table "go play 60" and I laugh it off. "I'm dead serious" comes the reply. I glance behind me and two whales just walked in. I almost trip trying to cover the 9 feet between me and Raul but it's too late; I'm locked out, 2nd up.

And that's about that. 45 minutes later I'm first up for the best game in LA, but I'll be lucky to have a seat by 3.