Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rule of Thumb

Now I'm not saying it's a virtual law or anything, and while I am sure there are exceptions... but as a rule, if you give yourself a nickname, you are in fact, a jackass.

I ventured down to Foxwoods last Friday to get into a live tournament (as opposed to on-line). Deep into the tourney, I was seated at a table with a guy I had not yet seen, but had heard frequently throughout the day. He was chattering non-stop, and when I asked him his name, he replied, "Ninja".

Editors note: Not "THE" Ninja, just ninja

Ninja was a player of a variety I never care to be. Decent enough, but relying heavily on annoyance as a tool against the other players. He also liked to say Sir at least twice in a sentence, generally starting and ending said sentence with "sir".

The tourney got down to 18 players from the original 115. Two tables left, and I am across from Ninja. I am one from the buttom with A4 hearts, not a great hand, but I am in good position and the guy in the big blind is short stacked. The guy on the button is short as well. The only guy I am worried about is in the small blind, he has a few more chips than I have at this point, which is about 10,000 or so.

I throw all in.

To my chagrin, the guy in the small blind calls and has AK. I got very lucky and hit A4 on the flop, winding up with a full house to my opponents three aces, doubling my chip stack in the process.

There were about 26,000 chips on the table that I had to stack, they are all over the place, but the dealer has already dealt the next hand and the action is to me. I look down and see QJ suited. Not a great hand again, but I am late position, so I call. I hadn't heard it, but apparently
Ninja had raised. I mention that I didn't hear the raise called, but Ninja holds me to my call, which is now 3,100.

"Sir...sir, you have to call sir, sir..."

Okay, so I throw in the chips.

Long story short, the lesson I learned is to pay attention to the cards and leave the chips all over the table if you have to.

Ninja, look, I can't call him Ninja anymore. This guy was a shlub of epic proportions. He was much more of a Stanley or a Hermie than a Ninja. I could picture him being robbed of enough lunch money in middle school to erase the national deficit.

Anyway, Stanley/Ninja explodes when I raise him on the river. He gets out of his chair and starts yelling, "you trying to steal the pot? NO ONE steals a pot on me, here's your 6 grand!" and he knocks his stack of chips over, shoving them into the pot.

Okay, I know what you're thinking, the man is unstable, I mean the man is obviously putting on a show to bait me into calling. The funny thing is, I knew this, it was obvious. The way he bet before the flop indicated he had AK, meaning he now had a full house.

Then it happened, as my friend Beau says, I was "seduced by the chips". I saw all those chips, added them in my head and realized I would be the trounament chip leader if I won the pot, ignoring the fact I already knew in my pot, primarily that I was not going to win the pot because I did not have the best hand.

Like a bonehead, I called and lost all my chips, to no one's amazement, not even my own.

Ninja/Stanley: "Sir...sir, I have the nuts (best possible hand) sir, sir... Stevie WONDER could have seen THAT comin'."

Okay, so the guy was an imbicile, but he was right. That's the thing with No Limit Hold "Em tournaments; there's no down time, no time is a good time to slip out of focus. One hand played wrong, and you're done.

To my credit, I took it like a gentleman, even though my opponent jumped around like a rotund monkey on crack. I played in the afternoon tournament and came up short of the money, but I have to say, I executed perfectly... meaning I made no mistakes. I was bounced from the tournament late in the action when I ran into pocket aces, and that's a hazard of the game. There's just nothing you can do about it but tip your cap and move on.

Ot I guess you could yell "Sir... sir... I'm a jackass, sir sir?"


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