Sunday, October 10, 2004

Badger Poker...The winner and new champion?

After 10 weeks of betting, checking, mucking, raising, watching bad beats and stupid plays, the big one was upon us. This is a long report so go get some coffee, a beer, or whatever your beverage of choice is. There is satellite coverage, a description of the dumpy bar, the guy with the Don King haircut, and the cheaters among other things. Go ahead, get the drink I can wait.

The scene is Bar Milwaukee, one of the biggest dumps I have been in in a long time. Think of the worst college bar you ever were in. Now place that in downtown Milwaukee and subtract all good liquor. That is Bar. This place shouldn't even be called a bar. They have no barstools. The liquor supply behind the bar looked like someone shopped the discount cart at the liquor store. When someone orders Baileys and they don't have it, that is a sign. No Kaluha either. I believe they had beer and whatever they could mix with Coke or Red Bull. Why anyone would come into this dive is a shock to me. Well, at the end there were some hot chicks out on the dance floor (they may have been stuck to it). They also ran a special for 15 bucks you got all the beer and subs you could eat for 3 hours. Problem was that they didn't tell anyone about the time restriction and they gave you the sandwich one sliver at a time. C'mon, this a group of guys. Guys don't eat slivers of food. Give us hunks. I passed as I figured the beer lines probably haven't been cleaned since...maybe when Frederick Miller opened his brewery?

But back to poker. I got talked into playing the satellite by my friend Cor. I was under the impression that you could possibly get some extra chips for the big event but that wasn't to be. I got my chips and walked into the back room. Best part of Bar may be the back room. No the rooms sucks like the rest of the bar but they have doors that go out to the Riverwalk. Doors were open and a nice breeze was coming in. But so were the flies. I think some fly had a deal where for 15 bucks they could annoy poker players for 3 hours. I get called to the back of the room by J as they wanted me to start at their table. I thought something suspicious may be up and asked it there was a bounty on my head. At the table were J and his wife. Twins fan and his lady. The Marlboro brothers. E the Drunk Guy (first debuted at Lava), Chimney and Raiders fan. Drunk starts out hot and begins to pileup chips. I am slowly kicking them out. Twins fan takes down a huge pot (tripled up) when he flopped top two pair and they held up two lesser pairs. J's wife had the Hilton Sisters knocked down twice. Funny thing was how people dropped out quickly. Both of the Marlboro brothers went out early. It was funny how Drunk was able to tilt on Marlboro one. He kept taking pots off of him and showing just one card. When he showed a 3 on one, Marlboro one went semi-ballistic. He had 6 6. For at least the next 10 hands, all he talked about was that 3. Too funny. Twins fan's lady went out when her K K was taken out by J's deuces when he rivered the 2. Twins fan went out on a nasty beat when his pocker rockets were taken out by K J. I dealt it. Flop came with A Q. As I dealt the turn, I commented on how only a 10 would beat him (can't recall who him was, maybe J?). Of course, the 10 came out and Twins fan was not too happy.
I finally got on track in winning a few pots. I bluffed Drunk out of one. He had given his chips back out and I made a bet that would have set him in. I was confident he didn't have anything but I only had a draw. I fired the second bullet and he folded giving me a nice stack. I was able to use that stack against J. Had A Q hearts and flopped the flush. Check it to him and he bet 5000. I gave the reluctant call. Turn was another heart and I pushed all in for my last 3000 or so. He mucked. Others were coming to our table. Chimney was still there. Had a good hand against him. I was small, he big. I called blindly. He looked at me and said he would do the same. Flop came and I bet blindly. My goal here was simply to make him look at his cards first. It worked as he folded. I think he showed like 6 4. I turned my cards and had 7 3. Had the better hand and took down the tiny pot.
Before I knew it, I was the only original there. The Badgers were playing (Bar did not have a TV with a good view. The one they had, had a shitty reception) and I hadn't eaten. So I stepped it up a notch and got a little more aggressive. Found out that there was no incentive for me to win the sat. No extra chips so I had some fun. Found a beautiful 7 2 off in early position and pushed all in. I think everyone realized I had the Hammer and they folded. I showed it and it got a nice response. I lost a good size pot to the nerdy stoner. He was pretty aggressive and playing weird shit. He raised and called a reraise with K 5 suited. He ended up winning that pot too. We battled back and forth a bit. Apparently we were down to 11 and I saw K Q spades. With just 6 at out table, I pushed so I could go eat. "Pat" called (I tag him Pat because of the SNL character. I couldn't tell if this was a guy or chick) with "what the fuck" comment. He had K J. A J hit and I was done in 11. Finally, I can eat.

Went to Goolsbys and had a good burger with lots of bacon and saw most of the second half of the Badgers game. The appetizer basket had some kind of deep fried mac and cheese thingy. Strange. Mac and cheese deserves better.

At quarter to six, Cor and I went back to Dump Milwaukee. As we walked in, they were announcing the players, asking them to come and get their chips and seat assignments. I really liked the assignment part. Better chance for fair tables. Plus, I was hoping to avoid any of the two time winners as they would have 20000 to start compared to everyone's 10000. Fate would place two 20s at my table. Crap! I just hoped they didn't know how to use them (one did, one didn't). Old guy with 20 was on my left and smoked like a brush fire. There was the BoSox fan who had a huge melon. I am glad he kept the hat on because earlier I saw the large cranium of his and it scared me. Next was the Cheater. I will clarify this in a bit, but the guy cheated and he basically admitted it without admitting it. Others at the table included J (again?!?), the Cheater's son, the Black Widow was on my right, another girl who is a decent player was on the end and the aggressive 20 stack.
Over the first session I didn't get much to play. I played A 8 in one pot and flopped the A. I mucked when old big stack on my left raised my bet. I didn't trust my kicker and didn't feel the need to put a lot of chips out there. Folded another hand after the flop though I had top pair. Flop came K J 10. 4 players were in and Cheater was betting. I thought the a-hole had flopped the straight or at least someone was drawing to it. Cheater won with a pair of jacks as no one filled their straight.
Let me set up the Cheater story here. As I said before, his son was at the same table as he. His boy was bleeding off some chips. He lost a big chunk (over 5000 I believe) on one hand where he was forced to fold J J after the all in bet on the flop. He sulked for a couple of hands after that but he should have been happy. Aggressive 20 had pushed and the girl called with A A and easily won. A couple hands later, Agg 20 bet preflop, Cheater called and Son of Cheater called blind with his last 1200 or so. Flop came and was checked by both. Turn was checked by both. Cheater then bet the river. Agg 20 folded. Son of Cheater turned his cards over and had just K high. I even said "King high". Cheater looked at his kid, paused and mucked the cards without turning them over. He mumbled he had nothing. I was a bit stunned. Something didn't seem right. The cards were collected and play went on. But I knew something was wrong and I kept an eye on Cheater. I knew he folded just so he wouldn't knock his kid out of the tourney. I was a bit pissed because nothing was said at the time (I know I should have said something right away but was stunned by the fold that I was thinking right). I noticed Cheater had also gotten quiet and was looking at this boy with a "I gave you some chips and kept you in" look. He knew he cheated. I was pissed at the break and mentioned something to the director but didn't give details. I kept my eye on Cheater after the break. He was feeling guilty too. He admitted he cheated a number of hands later. He announced to the table that he "misread" his son's hand. He thought he had a pair of kings and he mucked. He then brought it up again and was talking to me. He knew I was on to him. I told him he was told king high and that he paused. I told him he cheated. I didn't want to look at the guy. Son of Cheater had spoken with his cheating dad during the break and was trying to tell J it was an honest mistake. Yeah right. Hopefully, I would get a chance to knock the bastard out. I was happy when Son of Cheater was knocked out.

I got some cards in the second session and went on a bit of a tear. I had 6700 going in and played K 9 from mid position. I made my set of 9s on the flop and bet it out. Everyone folded and I took down a small pot. I was just happy to finally win one. I caught A J after that and went at it with Old guy with 20. Flop came with a J but also a K. I bet it out again and he called. Turn was no help. I checked. He checked. River didn't help and I tried to get away from it and checked. I thought he had the K but he didn't and I took down a good pot. I followed up with another nice pot after that when my pre flop raise was called by one guy. I think I had Q Q and won after the flop. I took another small pot and before I knew it, I was at about 24k. Not bad as it would get me along. After J got knocked out, an aggressive guy took his spot. I had played against him before so I knew a bit of what to expect. A one time player was moved to my right and some young dude across from me. Once in the big blind, Agg 20 moved all in for 14k. I looked down and saw Big Slick. I counted my chips out and would have had about 6k left. I did not have a good read on him yet and didn't feel like taking a chance here. I figured he had a pair minimum, but how high was it? I mucked it. Lost a few chips on a couple hands when the flop didn't hit me. I was down to around 14k when I saw J J. The aggressive guy had raised to 6000 (blinds were at 1000/2000). I reraised all in hoping my fish hooks could hold up. He called with 6 6 and I doubled up.

A couple hands later they broke us up and I was moved to the main table. It was set up on a stage under some crude lighting. Up there was Bucksman, hockey guy, a whiny guy that isn't that good, Agg 20 was moved up to my left and the Cheater was sent up there too. I went up there with roughly 30k in chips. I caught an amazing string of hands. In 3 consecutive hands, I got A Q, A Q and then A J. Oh, I lost all 3. In the first one, I raised it up (blinds were 2000/4000 now) to 12k and got the limper to push all in. He showed K K. Flop gave him the set. As if that wasn't bad enough, the river gave him quads. I lost only 9400 on it (yeah, only a third of my stack). Next hand I see the A Q and groan. This time I only raise to 8000. The Agg 20 guy goes all in. Guy next to him calls and Bucksman calls as well. Agg 20 had J J. Other guy had like Q J. Bucksman had A K and flopped AK and filled up his boat on the turn. He suddenly was the huge stack. Me? I just kissed more chips away. Now I get A J and limp in just to fold on the flop when hockey guy makes the big bet. I have lost 20k in chips quickly. More people are added to the table including Twins fan and his lady who are both really short stacked. I look down and see Q 10 of clubs. I believe antes have been added at this point so I want to take a chance to capture the blinds as well as the ante. I pushed my 9400 in from mid position. Everyone folds to Cheater in the big blind. He thinks for a while and calls. Damn, I don't want to get knocked out by him. He shows Q 10 diamonds. Flop comes with 2 clubs and the third on the turn and I have doubled up. Blinds are moving up again and I realize I am not going to be able to handle them at the 5000/10000 level. Under the gun, I see Q 10 diamonds and think what the hell? I push my 18500. Twins fan calls quickly. Shit! The next guy calls as well. And a big stack goes in too. I think I am screwed. Everyone turns their cards over. Twins fan has 7 7. The other guy 9 9, and the big stack A J. Flop doesn't hit anyone. Nor does the turn. A 10 hits the river for me to take it all down. I am now around the 45k mark. Just as I get down stacking my chips, a small stack goes all in. Darkman goes over the top and all in for like 37500. I am in the big blind so I haven't looked at my cards yet. As he puts all those chips out, I think what am I going to do if I get A A? I have to call. Sure as shit, I see I have A A. I ask how much he has and realize I have him covered. I call and the oohs and aahhs go out. He shows A K. He slumps when he sees my AA. Flop destroys me. K K x. I feel the air rush out of my body. That hand kills me. I am not sure how much I have left, but I need to shrug the beat off. More people get moved to our table, including the Ultimate Fish and the notorious slow player. Fish is doing what he does, playing all pots over and over. I pushed from UTG with A J and tripled up when slow player moved all in wth J 9 and fish had a ragged A. J hit the flop and I took it down. I can't recall how I got more chips. We are down to 12 and only 5 at our table. There are 7 at the other table and 2 very low stacks. Looked like someone is going out but they don't. The place is getting crowded with the night life so they decide to move us to the back room. As I go into the other room, Cor calls me. I tell them they are setting up the final table in the back and we are on break. I notice I have about 100k. Not a bad spot. He is coming back down to watch the end.

We set up the final table with 12 people. We are crowded around. Thankfully, two guys go out right away. One of them was one of the Marlboro brothers, the other I don't recall. Blinds were still at 5000/10000 with the 1000 ante for a while. That was good, as the flow of play was good at this level. The real final table has Bucksman with a healthy stack, possibly chip leader, another aggessive guy who I have played with before with a big stack as well. Two other guys I am not familiar with are there. The whiny guy from my previous table ( he was really into this game. Every hand he won was greeted with hollering and fist pumps. He would throw his cards across the table, etc. He whined that he hadn't been on a vacation in 2 years and he needed one. I thought he was going to cry if he lost a hand). A real short stack with another guy I had played with and Darkman on my right. I got a pair of 3s and raised it up to no callers to take down the blinds. But then I run cold. I get enough good hands to play to collect the blinds and antes but only once per orbit. I call a raise with K 10 to see a flop with whiny guy. Flop gets me nothing and I fold to his all in bet. I am pretty sure he had nothing but didn't want to risk it. I watched a short stack get ante'd out. Never saw that before. I even mentioned it to him that his hands must have really sucked to get ante'd out. He thought I was picking on him. Table has gotten really tight and they push blinds to 10000/20000 and 5000 antes. I am still hovering around the 100k mark. I get A 7 and push to no callers. I swear I get Q 8 for like 3 hands in a row. I also am tempted to push with the Hammer again but don't. Blinds are coming to me and I see A K under the gun and push my 50k in. It folds around to the big blind, Darkman, who calls. I can't help but think again how his A K beat me and that fate won't reward me in kind. He shows 10 10. Nothing on the board helps me and I am done in 6th place.

I was a bit disappointed to not win it. I lost some big pots but kept fighting back so I was happy with my play. Twice I chipped up when I needed to. Got some good breaks (Q 10 was good to me twice with miracle boards). I played well in general. Maybe I shouldn't have played the K 10 but felt it was right. There were some good players in the end. I left after I got knocked out so I don't know who won. I hope Bucksman pulled it off. Maybe I should have stayed until the end because I would have bet that whiny guy cried when he got knocked out.

Oh yeah, before I forget, I think I saw the funniest hair of all time. A kid that worked for Dump Milwaukee had a Don King hairdo. I busted out laughing when I saw him the first time. All the hair in front of his head was going straight up ala Don King. The back looked like a scruffy growing out mohawk. Too fucking funny! Saw him a couple other times and couldn't help but laugh. Also laughed at the end about Drunk. He thought I didn't like him because he cheered on his friend Germ at Lava. Not true. I would cheer on a friend too. Drunk is funny and a good dude. I can't believe he yelled out across a room "That girl likes it up the butt!" about someone's girlfriend. I did get a collapsible lawn chair for 6th place. I think it must be a Lite chair but am not sure. Overall, it was a good day of poker albeit a long one. Maybe I will take it down next time. Hey, I think I am due.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sad to say but there are more cheaters than you realize at the Badger Poker Tables. I met them at a table recently, and they think they did nothing wrong. It's a free tourney for god's sake. I can tell you one thing I won't be sitting at a table with these three,unless it's the final table and I'm forced to. I'd like to say one more thing two were at your sat table at the finals, did you see anything funny going on? Because it was.