Friday, January 29, 2010


So, Thursday in NYC has always been a poker night for me. Whether it was back in the day of the beer-riddled Thursday night .25/.50 donkfest of my youth or the slightly more serious present-day, Thursday is the day I've ordained myself to enter the sometimes surly world that is underground poker in the Big Apple.

I tend to classify the type of poker found in this environment into three categories. At the top, the poker houses of Old, like the Mayfair Club, where there are three tables or more, food and drink available, and decent dealers. Unfortunately, these are now few and far between after the cop busts of 2003-4 and of the couple I know of, I have a few misgivings about.

At the bottom, there are places that make you wonder whether you are playing poker or in the middle of gang warfare. When I mean gang, I mean the losse fitting, low jean-riding gang tpe clothes the kids are wearing these days. Small, smoky, uncomfortable places where you're constantly almost certain someone is packing heat, waiting for the right moment to pistol-whip the cashier. Sometimes you don't know until it's too late if you've stumbled into one of these I walk out? Will they think I am a cop or something? Unless I have a specific purpose in mind, I steer clear.

For me, I prefer the middle. The middle for me is a one, sometimes two-table house with people I already know and trust, whether they range from good friends to occasional acquaintances...the perfect mixture of social time and action-filled gameplay with folks of varying skill levels. My sojourn into this kind of action started in the waning days of the Wall Street Club, headed by Jamie. I found them through the internet, and immediately started going there on Thursday, their designated night. Changes came to Jamie's life and MattyEbs took over the Thursday night game, and then Wall Street became the Wall Street game in Murray Hill...then Stuy Town, and now, Midtown.

So, now that the history is out of the way...thursday at the house of ScottyCards, one of Matt's good friends and the house where this Thursday night game is currently played. I bought it for $170 at this 1/2 NLHE game(I have a superstition about buying in with odd numbers...never $200) and we got to playing six-handed as others arrived. I built up my stack very early against a guy who is there every week, but I never remember his name. I really should find a way to ask him in an inconspicuous way that isn't jerk-like. Anyway, through a good run of cards and a mined set I worked up to about $285 fairly quickly. MattyEbs arrived and before long we hit the key hand of my night.

Now, I wouldn't say that Matty and I play soft against each other, but we are friends and we'll do our best to not intentionally bust the other one out, if the aituation warrants it. Matt's acting before me, I'm limping with 10c7c.the flop comes x-7-7, two cards to a flush of some kind. Matt bets out 15, I call. the turn turns out to be insignificant for both of us, but there's now a flush draw on the board. Now Matty, he sometimes likes to play that card game where he will show you a card to help you make your decision easier(or sometimes harder) and I decided to play that game with him this time. He bets out 30 or something...I say, "Did you hit your flush?" He said"Are you afraid of the flush? I wouldn't be." I turn over my 7. "You want me to raise?" Here's where I should have taken the hint. Matty says,"I'll show you my ace..." He flips over Ad. I do my typical not thinking it through all the way thing and shove, Matty shrugs and flips over the case 7. Why oh why did I do that? He saw my 7, and his ace was his way of telling me that I'm outkicked..otherwise he wouldn't have shown it, I believe. But alas, I didn't process this. I had him covered, but now I'm down to 75, and though I made some hero calls and was overall happy with my play the rest of the night, I wavered from 175 back down to 80 before I got stacked off by AK hitting a straight over my two pair JQ. Truthfully, it was 5am and I was dead tired by this point, and I looked at losing the $80 as a good excuse to go home, so I made a money losing decision for the sake of some shuteye. I did learn a lot in that 9 hrs of play though, and it only makes me hungry for the next session. To the next!

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