Monday, May 15, 2006

Poker Tournament: Part I

Poker will be a reoccurring topic in this blog. If you don’t care about poker, you should skip this entry and move on to the next one of my posts about the stupid religious meathead kid or the next one about the huge-hearted junkie. You will like them both. I promise.

Moving on.

I started a new freelance job a couple weeks ago and one of the higher ups in the company invited me to a poker game. It was a No-Limit Hold’Em tournament at a social club, $40 buy-in and optional $25 add-on at the break after the first hour. $2000 starting chips, $1600 add-on. Yeah, a little weird but whatever, maybe they didn’t have enough chips in house. They expected 30-40 players. Does this sound like a soft game to anyone else but me?

I showed up to the game on time after a long commute to find that the tourney would be starting an hour late. No problem. This place had a pool table, ping-pong table, Budweisers for $2.50 and smoking was allowed. Plus, looking at the players waiting for the tourney to start, it was obvious that this was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel. I couldn’t wait.

I killed some time over a couple beers and a couple games of pool with the guy that invited me. Great guy by the way. We split the pool games 1/1. I wanted a rubber match but the poker tourney was starting and we had to sign up and pay entry.

The players were assigned their tables and I was the first at my table to sit down. The chip values were strange and I made a mental note to make sure not to throw out a black chip for an intended $100 bet when in this tourney the blacks were worth $500. All the chip values were ass backwards. Whatever, this only supported the notion I had prior that these guys have no idea what they’re doing on a card table. They are in serious fucking trouble. I’m going to be like the hurricane they never saw coming, no shit. They will all be standing on the rail trying to figure out how they got there, with only one thought in common—Ryan did it.

At this point I think I should qualify myself to the readers by saying that I have played thousands of hours of poker against some of the best young minds in the game. I have won or cashed in several tournaments of all shapes and sizes, live or online. I have taken several thousands of dollars out of circulation from the NYC underground poker scene—before the law stuck a corkscrew in its neck.

I believe that the following will ring a bell with a few readers. There was a poker club that sat on the corner of 72nd and Broadway that was a literal goldmine. On any given night of the week, there would be fifteen tables packed full of Columbia University students playing cards on daddy’s credit card just waiting to give their money away. It was a dream come true. All that a good poker had to do was stay awake at the table to make money. I have no idea how much money I took out of that place before it got shut down. How ever much money it was it obviously wasn’t enough, because somehow I’m writing about a $40 tournament right now. Don't ask.

Back to the tourney at hand, all players are seated.

The cards go in the air.

I feel good about this!

…to be continued.

Part II will discuss the overall outcome and key hands in detail.


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