Hollywood That Ain't Hollywood
Went out to see Wil's comedy show at Acme and hook up with Grubby, Hank, Glyphic and - presumably - Chris. Chris was a no-show and Wil had a desire to go home and be with his family, proof that while he may be a fine actor, writer and geek, he is certainly no poker player. Kidding. I kid. I kid because I love. Everyone was starving so we wandered around a surprisingly deserted section of La Brea in search of something to eat, settling on the Sonora Cafe. At the risk of going all Brodie on your asses, I gotta say it was a fine meal: seared ahi with charred chilis, some kind of mango slaw in spicy vinaigrette, and jalapeno-wasabi mashed potatoes. I washed it down with a Coke of recent vintage. We were roughly equidistant from Commerce and Hollywood Park; I'd never been to the latter and Hank loves it there, so that's where we went. The smell alone was worth the trip. The board was pretty light - it was midnightish when we arrived - and so everybody put their names down for the 100NL game. Including me. Why, yes, I am a bright boy! Naturally, Glyphic, Hank and Grubby all ended up at the same table, while I got seated with a group of dour inveterate gamboolers. I limped and blinded away a third of a buy-in getting trashy cards, never flopping anything better than a backdoor flush draw or one overcard in a multiway pot. I folded and folded and watched big hands (and not-so-big hands) clash over monster piles of chips. Eventually a kid (literally, who might not have been, technically speaking, eighteen much less twenty-one) sat down in the four seat (I was in the two). He promptly established a super-megalo image, garnering a good-sized pile of chips by raising every hand for his first couple of orbits and outplaying everyone who saw a flop with him. Or outbetting, at any rate. He had the table on tilt in pretty short order. Finally, one off the button, I got my first solid hand of the night, a wired pair o' tens. Three any-two-cards limpers came in behind me and I raised it to $15. I chose the amount very carefully. It usually took a $25-30 raise minimum to clear out the limpers, but that would practically have committed me to the pot, only having $60-some. In truth, though, it wasn't my desire not to commit that made me choose the small raise; it was knowing that the megalo-kid would come over the top from the small blind. Which he promptly did, shoving all his chips in. Everyone folded fast and I called. He flipped over 77 and winced when I showed the tens. Flop is Q7K and doesn't get any better, and I rebuy. I'm still playing uber-tight, even folding AKs to a semi-loose player's all-in reraise of an earlier player's raise. I can get my money in better than a coin flip at this table. Later I fold deuces to the super-megalo's traditional overbet because it would have cost me a quarter of my stack just to see the flop, which - of course - came A72 and probably would have tripled me up. Patience, patience. My second buy-in has dwindled down to $80 when the guy in the nine seat, who just sat down and has been raising a lot, pushes in $20. I already don't like the guy in the nine seat; his mook friend sat down with him in the one seat and promptly dumped him an entire buy-in worth of chips, mucking his hand at the showdown. I almost asked the dealer if I could see it but I figured there was no point in confirming my worst fears. The mook calls the $20, making the pot $44. I have less than twice that; I look down and see QQ and push all-in without thinking too hard, figuring that at the absolute worst it's a coin-flip with some dead money in the pot. The new guys can't have much of a read on me yet and I don't mind getting a caller; everybody else at the table knows I've been tight as a drum and they start mucking their cards out of turn. The guy in the nine seat doesn't think too hard before he calls, though. When the mook folds the nine seat turns over A9o. No ace comes and I've almost clawed my way back to even. The Megalo Kid even offers me a vaguely respectful "nice hand" after the dealer slides the pot to me. This is where it ends, of course. I blind away more chips until 4 in the morning comes around and it's time to go to bed; I'm down $58, which is, bizarrely enough, the second-best result of the night. I still wish I'd played limit, because then I could be happy with my play and maybe have made some money. But I'll settle for being happy with my play in a no-limit game.