Rafe Furst and Andy Bloch witnessed floormen and dealers completely botch a color-up during a break at an event wherin one floorman removed a player’s entire stack from the table.
Listen to the full details in Expert Insight’s WSOP Podcast.
A worthy plug here: Phil Gordon is broadcasting his yearly podcast from the World Series again this year, and this time he’s been able to rope Rafe Furst and Andy Bloch into recording with him. Expert Insight has a page up here to download all the episodes and subscribe to the RSS feed. Please head over and check it out, and if you like it, pass it on!
A note before moving on with my tale: A few of you that read Part 1 observed rather quickly that I was a dumb bastard for not switching seats with the father in the other row. While I did make the observation that such an arrangement could be made while on the plane, the best response I can give was that the father was sitting in the middle seat. Between dealing with a crying kid that has some chance of calming down at some point on the flight, and sitting in the center seat, I’ll take my chances with the kid any day of the week. The window seat offers something to lean against, the aisle seat gives me just a twinge more legroom and my legs can migrate into the aisle a tad. The middle seat is claustrophobic hell. Not to mention I go from sitting beside the tyke to sitting directly in front of her. Marginal improvement at best, and not worth it.
I will also say that near the end of the flight, I actually chatted with the mom a bit, who is from Hawaii and was on the first leg of a flight back to Maui. Orlando to the islands? Crap, thank God I’m getting off the plane in Los Angeles. In any case, they were just nice people that had a normal toddler. Maybe I’m too nice in situations like this, I don’t know. But I was polite, cursed not being able to sleep, and disembarked.
Saturday Afternoon – Los Angeles
My host Andy doesn’t use a car, he lives downtown and takes the Metro everywhere he goes. Doing my best to fend for myself, Andy had given me instructions on how to take the Flyaway from LAX to Union Station and hop on the Metro to get to his place. There’s three things I’d managed not to do during my time in Los Angeles: Ride the bus, ride the Metro, and walk around downtown on my own. Skinny white kids tend to shy away from such situations, even if it is a pussy move that’s more paranoid than neccessary, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Despite all this, I didn’t want to pay for a cab to Downtown, and wasn’t about to ask anyone else to come pick me up on such short notice. I called Andy and confirmed instructions. He told me to call him when I got to Pershing Square, and I trudged over to the bus stop in front of the terminal, sitting down with a giant, gravity affirming thud.
I looked down at my shoes and closed my eyes as I attempted to do the math on just how long I’d been awake. I had a short nap around 2AM, but it was well over 24 hours since I’d had any real sleep. I moaned audibly in a woe-is-me fashion as a fellow with a badge nudged me in the shoulder. I turned to look up at him, my eyes blinking uncertainly.
“What are you waiting for, buddy?”
“The Flyaway to Union Station.” The man began to laugh.
“Thought so. You just missed it, I think you were asleep.”
“Aw, FUCK.” He laughed harder.
I didn’t wait around to find out when the next one would show up. All I knew is I would have to be alert enough to catch a couple different stops, and the odds weren’t good. I grabbed my bag and headed for the taxi station. 20 minutes and 45 dollars later, I was outside Andy’s apartment building and dialing his phone.
“Hey Chris, where are you?”
“I’m here, dude.”
“Oh, you’re at Pershing Square already?”
“Uh, no, I’m at your place.”
“Shit! I’m not gonna be home for twenty minutes, how’d you get there so quick?”
I told him what happened and was promptly laughed at again. Thankfully Andy’s roommate Thomas was around to let me in and I started to make myself at home. Andy’s apartment is actually a spacious loft, a large white space on the top floor with lots of skylights and not much else. Blue tape marks up the floor where divisions will be going up in the future, a part of an extremely ambitious remodeling that Andy’s starting soon. In the main area sat the most important items of the evening: Two poker tables, full size with traditional red felt and room for 10.
I dumped my stuff and made a beeline for the nearest sleeping surface, laying down and attempting to shut my eyes for a bit. I figured my body would immediately shut down, but instead, I groggily thought about the weekend and how nervous I really was. Every so often, my train of thought would interrupt itself with, “You know, you’re supposed to be asleep right now,” but no love. Adrenaline had made its entrance. I wasn’t going anywhere.
Andy arrived with tons of refreshments that he’d purchased for the evening and I went to work helping count out chipstacks for the tournament while people began to slowly show up for the evening. In attendance for the game this evening were Ryan and his brother who I’d never met, Wil, and a few of Andy’s friends. We were expecting about 15-20 but only ended up with about 8 due to various no-shows (*cough*Pauly*cough*).
Andy went to go turn on some music, putting on the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack but turning it up way too loud, which was impressive considering the sound system was on the other end of the loft. After a couple hands it was agreed that it needed to be turned down and Andy left on the long trek to decrease the volume. As he walked someone requested something quieter overall.
“C’mon, put in something else.”
“Aw, I like this.”
“But it’s loud!”
“He’s turning it down!”
“I know, but-”
The music stopped and a few seconds later was replaced with the Star Wars theme, which earned some laughter. Andy walked back slightly triumphant.
“Is this music okay with everyone?” Wil gave his best shit eating grin.
“I dunno, you got any Cowboy Bebop?”
The tournament was pretty blah for me. I played fine but managed to run Kings into Aces in a multi-way pot that made me the bubbleboy. Two of Andy’s friends chopped heads up and the cash game became all about getting my money back while steering as clear of Ryan and Wil as possible, which is about how it went down. The discussion during the game, however, was much more fun than the game itself. If anything, it’s the number one reason I miss living in Los Angeles.
First of all, as mentioned in a previous post, I have a tell. Ryan wouldn’t confirm that everyone in Murderer’s Row had the exact same info, but he did say I had one.
“You’ve already given it off once tonight,” he said, the tiniest of smiles on the corner of his mouth.
“And you won’t tell me?”
“You couldn’t pay me enough.”
I paused long enough to reraise Joe, the LAG player on my right.
“Is it a tell that I could give off playing online?” Ryan stopped to look at me for a beat.
“You’re too smart to answer that question.” I pouted at his response.
“Hey, that’s a compliment.”
Joe dropped his hand and I dropped the hammer. Cheers all around.
“HAMMER!” I bellowed. Laughter came from all the right people, and even Joe cheered.
“Now that’s what i’m talking about, we got a game!” Joe said as he offered a fist. I gave a fist back and the game went on. I was playing goofy and even managed to try playing SMTL (that’s 38o for you non-poker bloggers) though with not much success, though I showed just the same.
“Just getting them all out of the way,” I smirked.
It came with a reason though. Joe was out to pay people off. If you made it to the river with a hand of any kind of strength against him, you could feel pretty good. His habit was betting huge on the river in an effort to buy pots. I folded to them a couple times after he had the goods the first time he did it, but he was starting to do it too much and I knew I had to catch him.
The first time, I called his raise from the BB with A2. I flopped a deuce and called his auto-bet on the flop. I turned trips and he bet again, though not nearly enough to get me off of a draw if I was on one. I called again.
The river put an overcard on the board, but it also made a flush. Joe bet 20 dollars into the 12 dollar pot. I called pretty quickly and he showed his one pair which he’d rivered. I dragged a nice pot.
A few hands later I raised with KT and 3 people called. The flop was AQ3 and I led out. Joe called from the BB along with one other player. The river was a beeeeyoutiful Jack and Joe bet 6 dollars.
“Raise,” I said, eyeing my chipstack. I had about 60 dollars behind, Joe a bit less. Joe seemed to like his hand.
“I’m all in.” I made an effort not to Hollywood. I’ve noticed that when I act unsure or pause too long, people read me for acting and drop it quick. This time, I just wanted to look like I had Ace-rag and was scared to death of a call.
Joe exhaled loudly and asked me to count it out. I had him covered. He thought for about 30 seconds before his inner monologue started to show itself.
“Man, I like my hand a lot, here, check it out.” He flipped up QJ for the table and continued to think. I stared at it for a solid minute and then raised my hands to my face, my palms pressed against each other.
“You praying for me to fold or you praying for me to call?” Discussion went around the table started to percolate, which I made no effort to quiet. People tried putting me on AQ, a set, or Ace-rag. I was hoping someone would bring up that I was probably playing the hammer again, but no luck.
“You bet any less at all, and I move in,” Joe said as he folded his hand. I collected the chips in the middle and wondered what the Wondercam would have showed. Thankfully, I never had to sweat it.
A little while later I’d finally get the chips in his stack when I was playing a rush. I’d raised for the fifth hand in a row and Joe reraised. I put him in with AK and he called with TT. Ace on the flop, King on the turn, no help on the river. Huge pot on a coin flip… not exactly the way I play my cash games, but at the time I felt like a genius. It’s always much easier to do when you’re the one dragging the chips. I left up 100 dollars for the night, not bad for a .25/.50 game. Pat was the surprising star of the game, though. At the start of the night, it seemed like he’d never played before, not grasping the concept of checking, content to simply fold his hand instead. By the end of the night, however, he’d used this table image to push me off of hands with small raises that had me completely scared of the nuts, only to be shown a semi-bluff. Whatever Ryan was doing that night to tutor Pat into poker superstardom, it was working. Kudos to Pat, he should make a regular practice out of it.
It was around 3:30 AM when we finally wrapped up for the night. After walking everyone out to their cars, I helped to clean up for a bit, shocked that I was still awake enough to do so.
“God, that was fun,” I told Andy in passing.
“Yeah, good people,” he responded. “I think I’m gonna make this a regular thing.”
“Good, it’s about time someone brought it back.”
“Well, yes, but you can’t call it that.”
“What was the name you were joking about calling tonight’s game?”
“Pickpocket Alley.” Andy scrunched his nose.
“Eh…I’ll think of something.”
I called it a night and crawled into my sleeping space for the night. Something clicked internally that a long period of rest was about to commence, and all I had time to think was–
(To be continued!)
(Cross-posted at Geekza.com)
Warning: Star Wars *and* poker jargon in this series of posts. A very special niche few of you will understand both. You’ve been warned.
Saturday Morning – Orlando, FL
After the long week of very little sleep and a few all-nighters, I’d sent off everything to Trey for inclusion into the edit of Return of Pink Five: Volume 3. The cut wasn’t going to be complete by any stretch of the imagination, but our goal was realized: No green on the screen and a complete story, and not much missing save one sequence that had been shortened. I’d been at school from the early afternoon on Friday all the way to 11AM the next day before Kori picked me up at school to take me directly to the airport. She had also lovingly packed my suitcase since I couldn’t get back home before heading out.
My plans for the weekend were simple enough: First and foremost was sleeping on the plane. My friend Andy, who was putting me up for the weekend, was throwing a poker game to give me a chance to invite local friends over and see everyone, since I was in town for such a short time. Considering I hadn’t slept much the entire week, it was pivotal that I get shut-eye before the evening festivities. Just to give you an idea how bad I was, I tried going through the metal detector with my watch still on and a large pocketful of change. The agent in security even asked if I was feeling alright after taking a look at my face. It was an even money bet over whether I’d be able to tell whether my hole cards were suited or not by the end of the day. Sleep. Must sleep. Sleep leads to a better chance at goal number two: Leave tonight’s poker game in the black. As for Sunday’s goals, that was simple enough: Wake up as late as possible. Walk around the convention floor. Attend the ROP5: Volume 3 screening. Attend the Fan Film Challenge. Hopefully win something. Party with friends either way. Go home, sleep, and fly back early the next morning. Simple, straightforward, and far too short a trip.
I sat in the terminal a few gates over from my departure area, in a deserted area with my laptop on, playing 1/2 Limit and goofing about to waste time. In the very first orbit I flopped a set, only to get rivered by a gutshot with heavy betting on all streets and quickly closed up shop, not needing to spend this time pre-tilting myself before boarding. I stared at the clock while chatting on instant messenger, fearing that I’d doze off and miss my flight. Mercifully, boarding was called and I was the very first one on the plane. My destination: 4 hours of sleep, plus change.
I sat down in seat 35C and awaited the passenger roulette. I tend to have a habit of being in the back of the plane when I travel, so I’m usually one of the first on and get to watch everyone coming down the aisle, wondering whether they’ll be parking in the seat next to me. From the fat slob that I mentally wave off, to the supermodels that I reserve trying The Secret on for just such an occasion, everyone is judged. Will they be talkative? Will they stink? Will they be crawling over me half a dozen times to use the lavatory? These minute judgments make up the though process of the next half hour of boarding.
But as time went on, my row went unfilled. A family with three girls, all college age (and every stinkin’ one of them playing a Nintendo DS) took up the entire row on both sides behind me. A gentleman wearing the movie spoiler shirt that’s been much talked about on various websites made his way back, only to stop five rows ahead of me. But other than that, it was all quiet on the Western front. After awhile, our area had been pretty much boarded with passengers in higher number groups making their way on in the front of the plane. I let myself think: Could I get the row to myself? There is no greater gift in air travel than the ability to stretch, especially for a tall person. So, in an attempt to not jinx myself, I didn’t move. I stopped looking down the aisle. I didn’t shift to the window seat, as I certainly planned to if things remained how they were. I would wait it out. People stopped boarding, and the flight attendants made a few announcements.
I felt a tap on my shoulder from the father of the family behind me. “Boy, did you luck out,” he said with a chuckle, pointing to the seats next to me.
“Yeah, I know,” I said, finally deciding that it was time to relax. I turned back around to unbuckle, only to watch a younger couple with a 2-year-old girl come down the way. There were only three seats left in the section: The two next to me and one in front of us.
You can guess where the toddler ended up. The mother took the window seat while the dad sat up front. The girl squirmed, not wanting to be on the plane. She began taking my arm rest and slamming it up and down, the mother not making a move to stop her. And we hadn’t even taken off yet. I turned to look back at the guy behind me, a silent sarcastic thank you written on my face. He just gave an innocent look and laughed, as one must when observing a bad beat of such proportions.
The kid reached up and opened her tray table, letting it free-fall onto my knee. I yelped in pain and the mother finally tried to step in. The dad looked right back at me, not sure what I would do next. All I knew was that being a dick now might shut the kid up, but it certainly wouldn’t be diplomatic right before a really long flight. I just gave an understanding smile and attempted to make the best of it.
I didn’t sleep a wink the entire flight.
To be continued…
It’s that time again. That time that I always dread, yet tell the most stories about afterwards. The time that tries mens’ souls; the time that tests our mettle. I refer, of course, to crunch week, the final days before our movie must be shaped into something presentable for the masses.
To be truthful, I love this time. I never feel more accomplished or skilled as the week that I have 30 shots to do and I must do them NOW and there is no room for error. To rise to that occasion is to feel empowered. To succeed is to be employable.
There will be sacrifices. Oh, as usual, I will be a mess by the end of the week. I’ll be pulling an all-nighter Friday night getting final renders banged out, and then drive to the airport the next morning with the hope amongst hopes that I’ll be able to sleep on the plane. I made sure I got a nonstop flight to make it easier.
And then, after the festivities, there will be the slight depression. The strange feeling that one doesn’t know what to do with themselves when the project that’s consumed their free time for two years is suddenly not in their lives anymore. There will be shots that need to be redone, and a lot of touching up, but it’s not the same. Like Baby blues of a creative nature.
But there’s projects. There’s things to do. And there’s plans, as well. I have a month of school left, and then, I do believe it’s time for a Vegas trip. And I’ll probably be working there, but it’s really hard to call it work with a straight face when I love doing it so much. I’m quite ready to whittle down things to a single project, be successful at it, and discover all this wonderful free time that appears as I focus on one thing. You should be there when it happens. The look on my face will be classic. Like someone just put a large amount of cash in front of me, and I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to pick it up, but I’m sure it’s a trick. You mean, this is my free time? I can go do anything, and nobody will think ill of me?
No, shut up. You’re lying. No? Oh.
In any case, I must stop looking forward for a minute and look to the present. More shots to do. More work to finish.
And this one other thing. It’ll be cool. I’m rather psyched.
Atomfilms and Lucasfilm announced the entries for this year’s Fan Movie Challenge, and while we weren’t expecting to enter the contest itself (we thought we were being shown as a seperate out of competition entry), there we are. Now seeing the competition this year, I don’t feel guilty about telling you to head over and watch our film, and if you like it, Vote for it!
I’ll be in Los Angeles attending the Fan Movie Challenge and also an exclusive showing of Return of Pink Five: Volume 3, which i’m working on as we speak, quite furiously.
In any case, hope you enjoy the movie.
And now, because I got tagged by my own co-blogger (yeah, yeah, i’ll blog, geeze…), here’s 7 Things You Might Not Know about the PokerGeek:
1. I have seriously debated moving out of the country three times. Twice, I had said yes before changing my mind. I’ve had opportunities to move in with friends and work on film projects and experience life outside the USA (once in the UK, once in Australia), and then I said yes and later decided instead to say no to moving to Ireland with the rest of the bulk of Murderer’s Row. The first two times, there were no guarantees on finding a job and having it legally (“Just tend bar for cash” is not a very secure plan), and the third time, there were many reasons, but the biggest was not getting too far away from my own goals.
2. Despite never playing any kind of serious stakes, I’ve had the opportunity to sit down at the same live table with a lot of well known pros, including: John Hennigan, Paul Phillips, Phil Gordon, Howard Lederer, Rafe Furst, and Andy Bloch. In only one occasion have I emerged the victor, and that was playing Rafe heads up at the end of a tournament and winning. He disavowes any knowledge of said beatdown, but I have witnesses, no matter how much he protests. I played Andy heads up at my bachelor party, he won on a suckout. I have won exactly *zero* hands against the rest. I came over the top of Howard in a hand with KK while he was holding Jacks, but he laid it down after the player UTG called my re-raise quickly. Yeah, he had Aces. I’ve played online with a lot of other pros like Harman, Cunningham, Juanda, Ferguson, et al, but with Full Tilt prodding them to play lower limits, this is nothing impressive or worth going into depth about (especially considering I blogged it extensively and this list is not “7 Things You Already Know and Wish I’d Stop Talking About”.
3. Like my roommate Fig, I have a tendency to collect skills which are completely useless. These include: Beating Guitar Hero 1 and 2 on Expert, reciting skits from the Dr. Demento show from memory, knowing how to say “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” in Russian, stacking creamer cups 11-high at Perkins, and making cards explode out of a deck one at a time, though I can’t do any other serious card tricks that would warrant the knowledge of such a move.
4. I’ve dropped out of school three times. Once to pursue filmmaking, once to transfer to a trade school, and once when the trade school decided I didn’t pass the final class and I was already packed and ready for LA, and I wasn’t about to stick around and retake the class. I still believe 100% all three of these decisions were the right move.
5. While I am positive that my negative results at Murderer’s Row were a result of being one of the poorer players in the game, I am also positive that everyone collectively had a tell on me that has not been divulged as yet to this day. Henry has mentioned it without telling me what it was, and now that we don’t play regularly I’m kindly asking that someone cough it up.
6. I have never broken a bone in my body. I once almost cracked my sternum in an accident on a scooter when my friend decided to play a prank and move the brick propping up the ramp to the center, turning it into a seesaw on which my rear wheel caught and flung me against the handlebars at high speed.
7. While I had limited success at Murderer’s Row, and do not think myself a donkey, I have never cashed in a single Blogger tournament, live or online.
I’m supposed to tag people. Here goes:
Every year I make off the cuff predictions about the NBC brackets and every year I’m way off, so let’s see what happens here. Due to my current employment I was biased on this one, but I think it’s funny.
Clubs bracket (Winners) seperated by rounds:
Elizabeth, Madsen, Lindgren, Greenstein, Seidel, Tranielloo, Seed, Reese
Madsen, Greenstein, Seidel, Reese
Esfandiari, Cloutier, Hachem, Wasicka, Sheikhan, Forrest, Shulman, Le
Esfandiari, Wasicka, Forrest, Shulman
Hearts (The Death Row Bracket)
Cunningham, Bloch, Negreanu, Mizrachi, Smith, Tran, Tilly, Gordon
Bloch, Negreanu, Smith, Gordon
(This is the part where I go to hell for having to pick between Andy and Phil. I’ve heard that both of them are wearing the cowboy hat from Andy’s WSOP Horse final table, and since Phil is easily going to be the sillier of the two by doing so, I give it to Phil. The poker gods smile on his look and compensate for the lack of dignity by having him spike his flush draw every time Chip Reese style. Of course, I’ve just admitted I predict Phil’s going to get in behind every single time, so I’m just going to shut up now.)
Gazes, Mercier, Ivey, Ferguson, Lederer, D’Agostino, Kaplan, Brown
Mercier, Ferguson, Lederer, Brown
Semi Finals: Greenstein def. Shulman, Gordon def. Brown
Phil Gordon wins, and uses his prize to throw a huge bash.
Anyone else have their picks ready?
Pokerbandits.ca got a piledriver from the Government with a big nasty showdown. A WHOIS will put to rest any suspicions that the shutdown is a hoax. The google cache is still available (I will not mention details or directions on how to find it here), but the website basically offered ways of working with Canadians to get money transferred online.
Of course, if you’re interested in earning entries for live tournaments, it wouldn’t exactly help, would it? Please, God, let someone come forth and help us stop this madness, so we don’t all have to act like idiots anymore.
Full Tilt Poker has announced a brand spankin’ new payment processor that they promise is nothing like WildCard. MyWebATM is supposed to do everything that you need for deposits *and* withrdawls, and they even send you an actual card so that the authorities can point to physical evidence of your dirty gambling whore practices when they haul you off to Sing-Sing.
Whoops, sorry, I was channeling Jack Thompson there for a second. Well, Jack Thompson if he thought gambling was more evil than boys kissing in video games.
Anyways, check out the details here on FTP’s website, and I will now start my own F-Train death pool on how long this processor accepts US Transactions to gaming companies.
No, I’m not in the gloom and doom camp at all.
Now if you’ll excuse me, i’m off to deposit money.