Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Testing, testing.

Is this thing on?

Hey, guys! It's been a while, eh? Seems like it to me. I haven't played poker in 3 weeks. First, I had final exams week at work, followed by the annual graduation ceremony. Then came my niece's baptism. Then, I went to lovely Champaign-Urbana, IL to U of I for a conference on instructional technology. Next up, I headed down to the Indianapolis area to see Dave Matthews Band do a two-night stand at Deer Creek. (The second night included front row tickets, which - if I start blogging about - will take up the entire content of this post, as it was so effing amazing).

Now, I'm back! Yay! 3 weeks without poker. Has anything changed?

Monday afternoon I headed up to Empress. It felt strange. I was definitely out of my routine and almost felt conspicuous walking into the casino. I was put quickly at ease when I walked up to the poker room, and Mary, the floor person, said, "Hey, Shelly - go get some chips!" I admit it. I'm a sucker for the whole Cheers thing. I just want to play where everybody knows my name. :)
Many of the regulars I'd become used to seeing weren't around, which I found odd for a Monday. Where was everybody? The poker room practically had crickets chirping, and for most of the time I was there, they only had one 5/10 limit holdem game going. I don't think I've ever seen it so slow. I did see, though, that starting Tuesday night, there were 2 weekly "special" games going. Tuesdays would be a $500 max NL holdem game with 5/10 blinds, and Wednesdays would have a 20/40 limit holdem game. Interesting.

The action on Monday night was passive and uneventful. It took about 4 hours to double my buy-in, and upon doing so, I decided to cash out and head home (mostly because I was bored out of my skull).

Tuesday, I read that Baz was heading out to Empress for a final send-off to Vegas, so of course I had to join him! I got there around5:30pm, and Baz had not yet arrived. However, who should I find sitting at the 5/10 feeder table but Derek, a regular at the Diamond game (the local home game I play in). No kidding! Derek got moved to the main game just as I sat down to the feeder table, but it was still cool to run into him. Then, one of the regulars started talking to me at the feeder game, and much like running into a brick wall, I put 2+2 together and realized the guy was Derek's dad. I've probably played with him a hundred times at Empress, and a bunch of times at the Diamond game, but I never made the connection between the two events. Yup, I'd been playing with Derek's dad Dick for months and didn't realize it. He made the same connection after he saw me talking to Derek, and we had a good laugh over it.

Tuesday went really well. It's hard to have a bad day when you start your first orbit with pocket 4's and end up making quads on the turn. I got paid off by 2 or 3 different people, to boot. Crazy. I was outkicking people with my top pair hands, and taking those down as well. Within an hour and a half, I doubled my buy-in (I sit down with $200 for the 5/10 game).

Not long after, Baz showed up. He was called to the table just as I was moving to the main game. I told him the seat was good, and wished him luck as I moved to the next table over. I got seated next to Dick again. His chip stack was up and down like a yo-yo, but like he said - he "plays a lot more hands" than I do. Very observant :)

I was able to add another $100 to my stack over the next hour or two, thanks to 2 consecutive hands. My big blind special was an 8-3 offsuit. I flopped a full house with a board of 8-3-3, and a loose-aggressive guy at the other end of the table raised me all the way. (He flopped his trip 3's). At showdown, he goes, "Wow, you outflopped me!" (as if betting into someone who outflopped you is as brilliant as betting into someone you've got beat the whole way only to get rivered). I said, "Yup. Big blind special." He said, "Well, that King on the river almost gave ME a full house!" I stared quizzically in his direction. If you've got Q3 in your hand, how does a King almost give you a full house? Ladies and gents, send a Scooby Snack down to the guy in seat 4!

The small blind then brought me 7-5 suited. With 6 limpers ahead of me, I completed the bet to see a flop. Sure enough, I flopped 2 pair. I bet it all the way, and it held up. Wheee! Paid off again. I went on a mini-rush of sorts, scooping small pots and causing Scooby at the other end of the table to mumble to his friend, "Uh oh, what does she have this time?" every time I entered a pot. I don't think he realized that those two big hands were in the blinds. It's not like I make a habit of playing 8-3o. He wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Next thing you know, Scooby requested a seat change to come sit next to me! UGH. Ya know, I'm friendly at the poker table if there are friendly people around me, but I am not the kind of person who really enjoys talking a lot while playing. I like to sit quietly, observe the table and the hands, and maybe have the occasional conversation with my tablemates. Scooby, on the other hand, constantly jabbered on and on, criticizing everybody's play and trying to give me info on everyone else's "tells." Whatever. "Check this out, sometimes that guy sniffles when he bets! I think he's got it!" Yeah... I sniffle too. It's called SEASONAL ALLERGIES. To make things worse, this guy was all touchy feely - for example, smacking me on the shoulder when he accurately called out the next card on the board. Dude... I don't know you. DON'T TOUCH ME! I'm a freak about maintaining my personal space with strangers. It's hard to do at an 11-handed table, but I manage.

Scooby started driving me nuts, and as the 4 hour marked rolled around, the table had become quite weak-tight. Nobody was leaving, and we hadn't seen any new blood in ages. There was no way Baz was going to move to the main game anytime soon, as he was way down the list and there was just no turnover on my table. We all started trading back and forth the same 20-dollar pots, so I decided to head on out. I was up $307 and was plenty happy with that. I bid farewell to Baz and wished him luck, and headed to the cage.

Good times! Two profitable sessions in a row was a nice welcome back to the felt. Today, unfortunately, I have to go in to work to deal with the aftermath of a catastrophic data loss to our course management system server. It's going to put me in a highly irritable mood, which will either make for great poker tonight, or will require that I avoid the poker table like the plague. (Yesterday's horrible mood made for some nice aggressive play on my part!) I hope to deal with this mess this week and then put it out of my mind so that I can enjoy my summer vacation!

I promise it won't be another 3 weeks before I write again :) Thanks for sticking with me!

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  1. CC said...
    Note to self: touch Shelly often when sitting next to her.
    Shelly said...
    LOL cc :) Your mileage will vary, being only a PARTIAL stranger! hehe

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