Um-m-n-n-h-h-h…a few beers and a single table NLH $50+5 buy-in on Party after work cranked me right into high gear.
I got some stupid ass chat from one freak, asking: Is you’re a s s as loose as your play, Sweetie?
I gave him one of my favorite replies: I’m only nine and I’m playing on my dad’s account. What does that mean?
He replied: F U
To which I promptly replied: What does that mean?
He left me alone after that…and I got to bust him out of the tournament…I took second in that one but busting Mr. Freak was the highlight of the game.
So let me get on to what I was going to post about to begin with. When I hit the room, I immediately started searching for Derek ‘Tex’ Barch. We had arranged to meet for a visit before I began my shift. No game in Bobby’s Room – definitely didn’t have to look for him there. I hit the top section to find Johnny Chan, Amir, and Layne Flack playing Chinese Poker. I sat down by Layne and asked, “Where’s the Barchmeister?”
Layne replied that Derek had played all night and finally went to sleep sometime in the late a.m. I asked Layne if I could take his picture, “…anything for you, Sweetheart.”
I took it…he was being goofy and it’s hard not to laugh when he’s just being himself. I took two pictures; this is the closest to a serious face I could get out of him.
In an hour I was dealing that game. They were playing half Chinese and half PLO $100-200 Blind. Johnny was walking when I sat down. I announced, “Time Pot,” as I prepared to deal PLO. I asked Layne if I should take time from Johnny. The reason I asked rather than just taking it? He could be finished for the night and left his chips for a few minutes.
Layne reached over and snagged a $25 chip from Johnny’s stack and said something like, “Why not. Just because he’s Johnny Chan doesn’t mean he doesn’t pay Time.”
I took Johnny’s Time out of the chip and pushed back what was left over. Amir took off on a conversation about playing in California some years ago. He’d jumped in a game and after he’d been playing for a while and one of the players left, someone asked, “Do you know who that was?” Amir, “No.” And the other person said, “Johnny Chan.” Amir did a, “Who’s that?”
The whole thing was funny. It took a little more telling than that but that’s the gist of the whole thing. Amir would play the devil himself and never back down. Amir is the kind of player that is completely dangerous…sometimes I’ve wondered if he knows what he has. He plays with reckless abandon at times and just fires chips like he was launching rockets at the enemy during a beach landing. I’ve been dealing to him for quite a few years and he can get crazy at times hence the picture running through my brain when he played Johnny when Amir didn’t know who Johnny was. Not that it bothers Amir now that he knows who Johnny is.
Johnny returned. They played eight hands of Chinese with the person on the Dealer Button receiving two hands. Chips were zinging back and forth. A woman was behind Amir, possibly his wife – I don’t know, and when Johnny had the Button, he let her set one of his hands while he set the other…of course he looked at it first.
Once Layne acted like he was going to hand me his cards so I could set his hand. I started laughing, “I don’t have the faintest idea how to play this game and what or how anyone pays anyone.”
Sometimes it’s so difficult to set the flavor and scene of what’s going on in a game when I get there. Yet that is a key factor to the whole scene. There is always an undercurrent carrying nervous energy, tension/excitement over winning or losing or the consequence/fear of losing. Add egos, different nationalities, cultural customs, language barriers, and a few million other things and the curtains go up on a stage that is surpassed by none.
David Williams sat down by Layne and they talked about a variety of things. Amir got a phone call and had a patient that was being admitted to the hospital. Mike Wattell walked up and asked what the game was…stating that he didn’t want to play Chinese but would play the PLO. The $10-20 NLH game was running full bore a few feet from this game and most of the players were watching the action in this game. The game on the other side of me had Yen, Sonny, Jimmy W., Ali, and someone else in it. The game plaque in my game was incorrect as to limit and what they were playing and I called for a Floor Person to correct it
Layne had his hand set and put his arm and hand out into the middle of the table – he was in the 4s – and he was making a goofy face and I started laughing. I grabbed his hand and said, “You are so damn funny.”
He chuckled, “I’m stuck. I don’t know how to be unhappy. I laugh when I win, I laugh when I lose.”
Layne told David that him and me used to go together when we both lived in Montana. How in the hell can you not just crack up? I did.
About that time Amir was starting to crab about playing Chinese and trying to get Mike to play with them. As soon as they completed eight hands of Chinese and went to PLO they all agreed they would get rid of Chinese.
Johnny had the Button and threw out $400 and said he was putting the straddle on it.
Ironically, there was a note on the wall, in the office, by the time clock that stated “NO RACKS ON THE TABLES” AND “NO STRADDLES ON THE BUTTON IN A THREE HANDED GAME”. This was the first time the note had been posted. It’s pretty common in a three-handed game to NOT allow a straddle on the button. But something must have happened recently that the need for the sign was posted.
I almost spit. I said, “There’s a note on the wall in the office that specifically states no Straddles on the Button in three-handed.”
Johnny didn’t argue. He pulled his chips back.
I said, “Really there is…”
Layne said, “Oh…we believe you.”
Johnny said, “”I’ll just put a blind raise on it then,” as he pushed his four $100 chips back out onto the table
Layne said something like, “There’s a note that says Johnny Chan can’t straddle on the Button.”
They started laughing. So did I.
It was close to the end of my down and a few hands later, Amir and Layne went to war. Before the River, the pot had over $30,000 in it. Layne bet around $25,000 on the River and Amir put some thought into it before he folded.
I moved to the $10-20 NLH game. Most of the players kept watching the game I just left and within 10 to 15 minutes, Layne lost his chips and left. OUCH!
The conversation at the tables went back and forth about who was left in the TOC and eventually the word came in that Mike Matusow took first place. And I don’t care what the rest of the world says or feels about Mike, I like him. I can remember him first playing at the Mirage, when he was still a dealer at Sam’s Town, and wondering if he talked in his sleep because he sure as hell never shut up when he was in a game. I found him to be obnoxiously noisy and full of himself in those days. Perhaps he still is but the point is, I’ve acquired a fondness for him. I’m happy for him.
I was a busy kid in coming up with a few wrinkles of my own for the Blogger Tourney 12/10/05. I contacted Michael Craig…yes he’s a friend of mine…The Banker, The Lawyer, and The Suicide King, and asked him if he would please speak to us at our gathering pre-tourney. He’s accepted. I sent that info to Bill Rini. I’m excited about it.
Then I sent Daniel Negreanu an email through his site, and immediately received a cyber reply that Daniel receives a lot of email (no shit?), and that he might not get back to everyone that emails him, blah, blah, blah. Ok. I figured it was a lousy way of contacting him anyway. So I hoped to stalk him out at Bellagio when he came in and ask him to attend our Blogger Tourney.
I happened to be sailing by Bobby’s Room on a break when I looked over and saw him standing, visiting with the players, as he was ready to leave the room. He hadn’t been in the game; he just obviously came in to talk to them. I waltzed right in, “Before you leave, can I talk to you for a minute?”
He just jumped right into my arms and gave me a big hug and I gave him one back. He said, “Sure,” and followed me out of the room.
I started with something kind of lame, “You know the world of poker bloggers is getting bigger and we are having our 2nd Annual Fall World Poker Blogger Tournament on the 10th of December. Everyone would just love you…well they do anyway…if you came by – for even a few minutes and said ‘hi’.”
He was totally focused on what I was saying.
“If I’m not in Toronto, I will. How about if we did something like the winner of the tournament gets to play me heads-up for a $2,000 free roll?”
I was flabbergasted. And excited. And hope he is in town and he doesn’t space it out. I would never really hold him to that statement because he’s a very busy kid and it wasn’t a commitment kind of statement, it was a ‘what if we did’ kind of statement. I told him I’d sent him an email through his site but I didn’t like his chances of getting it. He whispered his private email – behind his hand – and told me to send him one there. I thanked him profusely. Hell yes! I sent the email almost as soon as I got home for work. It would be so kewl if he made it.
Funny part of it was about an hour later I was dealing an $8-16 game and the players were talking about the ‘big names’ playing in Bobby’s Room and one of them piped up with, “I saw you talking to Daniel Negreanu,” his voice appeared to be tinged with awe.
I couldn’t help but chuckle. I replied that I knew just about everyone and had been dealing to them for a long time. I left it at that. And here’s where I have to leave this…my butt’s dragging…Sand Woman Land is calling.