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I Won! I Won! I Won!

Posted on June 3, 2005 by under Poker.    

It’s about damn time, too! It’s been almost six months since I’ve reached the final table at the APL HQ. The first and only time I reached the final table was on my very first night there. I took second during the late session. I think I actually could’ve taken it all the way, but I have this tendency to get bored and start playing shitty.

So anyway, I was beginning to question my poker skills because I hadn’t been playing really well lately. I’ve hardly reached top 16, the last few times that I’ve played. The rut culminated in actually being the first person knocked out at the April regionals last week. It was soo embarrassing! But, you know, it happens to everyone.

I got pocket aces on my small blind and raised but ran into a big blind with cowboys. Flop was king, three, three. It killed me. I had $20 in chips left after that, but I was as good as done.

Anyway, I kicked ass tonight. What a redemption! Brian has been eyeballing the chip set for a while now. His goal has been to win it. And I finally did it!

On the drive home he goes, “I’m so proud of you!”

Channeling Han Solo I go, “I know. I’m so proud of me, too!” Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

Tonight just felt like a good night. Nevermind that I got stuck at work because of an escalated call and didn’t get to leave until almost six o’clock. I was cranky as shit when I got home. Then I put on my shirt (the package arrived today) and it’s too big. I got a medium because the size chart made it seem like the shirts were running on the small side. I figured the small would be too tight. I guess I should be relieved that I’m not quite to a medium yet, but I was kind of disappointed that the shirt was too big for me to wear as is. I just washed it in hot water so hopefully it shrank some.

Since it was late and Brian wanted to get to APL early I didn’t really have time to change so I just put on my Superman shirt. It’s been almost a couple of years since I wore it. Who would’ve thunk it? I have a new lucky shirt!

So we get there early and Brian reports to the APL guys and turns in the proofs from the regionals last Saturday. I just sign us up and proceed to the leather couch in the back to chill.

A few minutes before the first session is about to begin Brian finds me and we play some Hotshots Golf on his PSP. Then we decided it was time to head to our respective tables.

This guy in black, who I later find out is Shawn Riley of APL (he’s the President/CFO/CEO), stops me and goes, “Don’t you have a blog site?”

Surprised, I go “Yes. How’d you know?”

He goes, “I was searching for Park City Poker Roundup on the web the other day and your blog was one of the first search results. Then I started looking and found pictures of APL players. I came across Tom and immediately printed the picture. He’s one of my poker buddies.”

I played with Tom at the feature table during the Park City Poker Roundup finals. He put Brent’s sunglasses on and it looked really funny so I decided to snap a picture with my camera phone and send it to my blog.

“I don’t think he knows or remembers me,” I told him. “I just like to take pictures of people.”

“I can tell.”

And this is where my blonde-ness strikes again. “What did you say your name was?” Open foot, insert mouth.

This is when I find out this guy is Shawn Riley, THE APL guy. I’m such a dodohead! That’s like coming to a Wendy’s, running into Dave Thomas, and then asking him if he works there. Of course, that’s not likely to happen because we all know that Dave passed away three years ago (may he rest in peace). But still, I’m an idiot! In my defense, however, it’s not like I see these APL guys on tv. I only know Brian (Day) because he runs the Heroes and Loft poker events. I would have no way of knowing any other APL officials otherwise. Here’s a suggestion, why not put your pictures on your website so that people like me will recognize you and not feel like a total douchebag for asking your name? I guess, unlike yours truly, some people don’t like their photos plastered all over the internet. But all I’m asking for is a small, photo ID type mugshot. Let’s compromise here. So anyway back to the story, I thought it was kind of cool that a real life person found my blog and recognized me. Not just any person, though. This is the President of APL! That alone was enough to make my day.

You know me, stupid little things like that are enough to make me happy.

So I get to my table, where Michelle (we know each other from playing poker at Fingers back in the day) was also assigned, and it’s awesome! It consisted of the friendliest group of poker players I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with. Sometimes you sit at a table with a couple of chatty people, but this table was something else. Everyone was awesome! We had such a good time playing. The whole time we were chatting and talking and even poking fun at Annette (mostly John’s doing, he was making up dialogue at Annette’s table as we watched from a distance), Michelle’s sister.

Now I realize that the reason why I’d been playing sucky before was because I wasn’t having any fun. I realize now that I play much better poker when I’m having a good time. When you’re playing with a bunch of people you like, you don’t mind losing your chips, and when you don’t mind losing your chips, you actually get even more chips! It’s very, very strange! It works for me, though.

I got lucky and was dealt some really good hands, but I have to pat myself on the back because I played some killer poker tonight, too. At $2K-$4K blinds, Brian watched me play a suited queen duece of diamonds on the small blind. I paired my queen on the flop and bet $4K to feel around. The guy in the big blind position was actually all-in with his last $4K. After my bet the only other person in the hand called. The turn was a ten. I was unsure about my duece kicker at that point because the other guy called my $4K bet so I check it. He bets $8K and I could just feel that it was a buy. I was thinking if he had me, he would have slow played and just bet the $4K minimum. I could tell that he bet $8K because he did not want me to call. So I did the only logical thing to do, I went all-in over the top of him. I knew I had him when he goes, “Man, I totally read her wrong!” He folded, big blind missed, and I took the pot with my queen duece. Go me!

Brian watched my power play and he whispers his approval in my ear, “Just for that you are going to get laid tonight.”

A little bit later on he eggs me on by telling me that it’s up to me to win the poker chip set and if I do he’d eat my pussy until I gush. That was all the motivation I needed right there! LOL!

So Dave (not Dave Thomas, our poker friend Dave; we’ve played with him a few times at the Loft and at Rose Bowl West) and I end up going to the final table together. Which is really exciting for him because he said this is his first trip to the final table during a Friday night session. I folded a lot, played really smart (a couple of strategic all-ins) and I was able to hang in there. In the end it was me against Dave. After the third place guy got knocked out, I got dealt an ace seven off-suit on the big blind. Dave who was small blind called, but I figured that his cards were weak because he didn’t raise so I decided to go all-in. He didn’t really care, so he calls my all-in. It was three five vs. ace seven and my ace held. Just like that, it was all over. I’m actually glad that it was quick, because it didn’t give me a chance to get bored and lose. It was a win-win situation for both of us. Dave accomplished his goal of reaching the final table and he already had a chip set so he didn’t really care for another one. I just hope that there were at least 100 players during the first session tonight because I’d love to earn some points to go with my new poker chip set.

Anyway, I was so giddy after winning that I hugged everyone and their uncle. Actually, everyone within arms reach. Good, sensible poker prevailed. I didn’t play any crazy monkey poker at all and it worked. I think it helped that I got to sit with really good players. I think good players are a lot easier to read than mediocre players or beginners because the their actions are more sensible. I’d just have to put myself in their shoes and think, what would I do in this situation? Newbies tend to be unpredictable.

Prior to tonight, Dill and I were the only two members of the Ponderosa Poker Posse to take second place on a Friday night session at the APL. We used to hold it over everyone else that we were members of a very exclusive Second Place Club, consisting of only two members: him and myself. I told Brian, I started a new club tonight. It’s called the First Place Club! And I’m the only member!

Now that I’ve blogged my thousand word quota, I leave you all with a challenge… Who among you wants to take on the APL and join my First Place Club? See you next Friday! 🙂

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Life After Marriage » Blog Archive » The First Ever Life After Marriage Newsletter  on December 23, 2007

[…] the finals. So that was pretty exciting. I was on TV for a second because of this. In June 2005, I played poker at the APL HQ for the first time and took second place. I got even more hooked on playing poker after that. Brian started getting into poker, too. He […]

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