Commerce redux

Gentle Reader, (and I use the singular, believing there is but one of you, which ought make you feel held in high regard) ...sorry. I've been watching too much Deadwood. Milch has turned into fucking Shakespeare. So I wanted to introduce my wife to live poker (wife, meet live poker; live poker, meet wife; be kind) and mentioned to Chris that we were probably due to head out to Commerce. Shortly thereafter Glyphic sent out a timely email arranging a gathering of a healthy gaggle of LA poker bloggers (Hank being a notable exception, the bahstad). I wanted to give wife a tour of the facilities before we met everybody, so we ended up at Commerce about 45 minutes early. Forty-five minutes is a bit longer than it takes to offer a soup-to-nuts tour of Commerce; yeah, it's a big cardroom, but it's pretty homogenous. I think from the pathway near the northmost section of no-bust blackjack tables you could just turn in a circle, point at things and be done with it. So we circled the place twice and then went out for some air and leg-stretching, since we weren't going to have either for the next several hours. We'd all planned to meet in the bar and have a quick bite before hitting the tables. Problem: the good folks at Commerce had decided to spring for a pay-per-view boxing match and pass the savings on to the customer. Unfortunately for those of us who don't give a rat's ass about boxing (or at least not enough to pay for it when we've already got HBO), that meant a $10 cover - enforced by what had to be a superfluous number of burly security guards - to buy a $6 sandwich. The wife made entreaties to management but to no avail, the first time in memory that she failed to talk her (and our) way past a door-guard of any stripe. So when Bill, Obituarium and Chris showed up, we instead found ourselves directed to Commerce's in-house restaurant, which offers the same food at the same prices but is slightly better-lit and offers a better class of napkin. Bill's friend Mike joined us after a while; we'd heard rumors of Grubby's arrival but word was he hadn't slept for about thirty hours. (As if that could stop him.) After dinner we headed for the card room. Phil, Bill and Mike promptly broke off to play in the $100 NL game; I suck at no-limit and didn't want wife to feel intimidated by the bet sizes. My original plan was to settle down with her at a 1/2 table, but our early arrival had allowed us to railbird a couple of tables. From where I stood the rake at 1/2 averaged 15-20%, not including dealer tokes, so I settled on 2/4. Chris, Obituarium, wife and I all put ourselves on the 2/4 waiting list, only to watch it triple shortly thereafter - good timing on our part. Almost perfect timing, in fact, but for the fact that wife signed up first. She was called for an empty seat ... and then they called a new table, seating myself, Joe, Chris and several of our unwitting victims. I couldn't even keep an eye out for her, since the new table was a Pan table, which was in the Pan room, which was in some dingy corner of Commerce I'd never before seen. Thankfully wife and I both have Sidekicks so we could exchange IMs; by the time I got her attention she was settled in and doing fine. Pan tables are vaguely shield-shaped and ill-designed to seat nine, though eight can sit at one in relative comfort. They're also not the most firmly footed tables out there; ours was in bad need of a shim or something. On the other hand, there's a great deal to be said for not having to crane your neck so far to check out your opponents. I had Chris and Obituarium in my blind and I know what they look like, and it was easy to see the rest of the table. The next couple of hours were fun for me, if not for anyone else. I got hit in the face with the deck early on, limping early with 46s and cracking the button's KK when I flopped two pair. I caught more boats in a couple of orbits than I do in hours of multitabling, and usually the top boat. (I once held 98 on a 99887 board; what the hell was the guy calling with?) I was up a rack of blues and change before fortune started to frown a little bit, and began dealing me the Hammer with absurd frequency. The first couple of times I played along, gamely pushing as hard as one can at a 2/4 table, but after a while it got a little silly. As the night wore on some things happened that seem suspiciously like gambooling. Obituarium posted a straddle and sucked out a weak flush for the win; I decided to follow suit, only to eventually look down and see a pair of tens, fortune's way of paying me back for HammerFest '05. (Tens were good, even with two overcards on the board.) All in all I can't complain; an endless string of -EV bluffs, missed draws and lost blinds dragged my win down to about 75 bucks. Obituarium walked away substantially more to the good. The less said about Chris's night, the better. And the wife? She dragged a monster pot with the nut flush in her first hour, but was down about 16BB by the time we called it a night, which had her feeling a little glum. I wondered if she was cut out for this until I saw how she lost it; aces cracked twice, once by runner-runner straight and once by the mighty Q6o (another six on the turn for trips), and a flopped set of kings against a turned set of aces. She'd felt bad about losing the money; I felt it my duty to point out to her that if I'd have been dealt those kings, I would undoubtedly have lost more, and without looking half as good.


Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

You forgot to mention that you ordered the French Dip yet again. Third time or something, right?

Too bad (or is it a good thing) the restaurant didn't have those chips and that spicy mayo dip.

4/20/2005 07:37:00 PM  

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