Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Poker Diaries: Drunk Bobby Clarke Sucks

No longer welcome in my home
So it's Friday night at Delaware Park, the casino where I've had the most success, and it's time to take a shot at doubling my number of tournament wins. The 7pm goes reasonably well, and I make it to the second half of the field despite rarely catching cards or a flop, but the luck and blinds eventually get me down to 6X big blinds. I get it in good with my first pair in hours and lead pre and post-flop with two callers, but the triple up fails after I can't dodge the turn, and that's that: no complaints. I played better in this event then when I did when I won in this house two months ago. Twenty minutes in the cash room costs me $25 to see low pairs miss on the flop, and it's back down for the 10pm, a turbo game (15 minute rounds, no antes, big blind jumps) that I like a lot. The cards and flops change for me, and I get through the first two hours with a lot of action and wins, some of the best play and reads I've ever made in a casino tournament, to the point of pulling off value-bet bluffs against guys who I had absolutely cold on my reads. I'm as on my game as I've ever been, and after A-K off holds up against two short stack dominated aces, I'm looking at 70K in chips from a starting stack of 20K. There's still a few tables to clear, but I'm dreaming the dream of a final table run.

And then the world changes in a way that shouldn't happen, in a way that isn't cool and isn't poker, and as soon as it happened, I knew, on some level, that I was sunk.

When I sat down for the 10 o'clock, one of the guys from the 7pm got busted out. (He was wearing a Bobby Clarke Flyers jersey, and I'm sorry, Flyers Fans... I now hate Bobby Clarke.) He also wasn't real happy about it; this was obvious to people in neighboring states. Nor was he sober, or possessing an odor that should be allowed in public, and he's someone who I was expecting would get a visit from security at any moment. And everyone involved in busting him out seemed to be taking the event as the opportunity to stick the needle in big. After dozens of slurred repeats of "I ain't scared of these guys", he decides to join the 10pm, for the only reason poker drunks every need... Vengeance!

Now, normally drunk guys like this in a casino don't really bother me, because, well, they are almost always donkeying off their chips to anyone with patience, since the booze makes them loose calling stations. But this guy had a bad, bad vibe to him, like he had a lifetime of bad choices and was just looking to swing on someone, despite being in a casino. Just a lot of mind trash that you don't need, and honestly, something that you just don't have to worry about very often, since it's not exactly something a good room puts up with. But anyhoo, he got seated at another table, and I breathed a sigh of relief, since I certainly wasn't expecting to see him at a deeper table...

But then, well, I did. Right on my freaking hip, with $25K, at seat 10, next to the dealer, on my left. And he then decides, since I'm small and have a big stack, that I'm going to be his pet. And someone he stares down, even when we've both folded. I go card dead, and Drunkie Clarke decides to fold like mad just so he can spend more time staring at me.

If this were a cash game, I would have left; poker just isn't lucrative enough, honestly, for me to put up with this kind of nonsense for money. But it's a tournament, and I need to be better at getting past trash like this, so I do everything I can to not engage, encourage or provoke... and 45 minutes of game time and one break later, he's done. It only cost me 10K when he called my raise with the his last 10K, and the other caller and I check it down, with the river giving the third man the win. (And, not surprisingly, hitting a three-outer on Drunkie on the river. Poker Gods, thank you.) But the 45 minutes of nothing has taken me down to average stack, and a couple of missed draws gets me to 6X big blinds with 25 players left. The table limps to two callers to my big blind of 8-6 offsuit. I catch middle pair with my 6 on a 2-spade board of middle. I think I'm a little ahead on a flush draw, so I shove with my last $30K into the 15K pot, and get the single call. He has exactly what I thought, but catches the flush on the turn, and that's that. I left feeling good about my game, bad about my luck, and ready to compete again at some point... but with questions.

Namely, why a room would keep serving a game like that. And if my run would have kept going if I didn't have that to deal with that, especially at the move or lose stage...

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule