Friday was a night of firsts for me. It was my first appearance at the legendary HDouble home game. It was the first time I met fellow bloggers in person. And it was the first (and hopefully not the last) time I've won money from bloggers. I think they were as shocked as I was.
I parked on a hilly side street near HDouble's Westwood pad and lugged my chosen libations (Magic Coronas and Soco) upstairs. As I walked through the door, I immediately recognized Bill Rini and Poker Geek swilling beer and watching Barbara Enright try to bust Dutch Boyd on the latest episode of Poker Royale. The nattily dressed, well groomed, (but not nearly as metrosexual as I was expecting) Joe Speaker sat between them on the couch, while HDouble and Wampler played a little pre-tourney Chinese Poker. The rest of the gang, including Ephro, Franklin, Ryan, and the lovely MrsDouble filed in a little later after smoking and chatting on the balcony. Murderer's Row indeed.
We would be 15 strong across two tables for the tournament portion of the evening. I drew the 6s with Rini on my left and Lance "my starting hands are a random number generator" Pants two to his left. Greaaat. I bought in and gritted my teeth, deciding that until I had some reads on people, I would play a tight, solid game. Nothin' crazy, at least until I got drunker.
I won a small pot to start with AQ and then got into an early confrontation with Lance where I ended up folding the best hand. (Internal monologue= "Pussy pussy pussy. C'mon Change. Drink more. Pretend you're online. ") It was ages before the first bustout. NO ONE in this group wants to be the first out, that's for sure.
Then, somehow, I started knocking people out. Ephro and Rick in one hand. Then Franklin. Some beats were good. Others were simply hideous. like when my Q2 sucked out on AQ with a river 2. Finally we were down to five, as a HORSE cash game raged on at the other table. Ryan, HDouble, Rini, JoeSpeaker, and yours truly. Blinds were 500-1000 and we made a $50 save so we'd all at least break even. Speaker was first out in the money, when his Hilton Sisters ran into my Cowboys. Next out was Rini, followed by our gracious host, HDouble, but not before he raised my BB with the suited hammer. I tanked for about 30 seconds before mucking my Q8 off. Dammit.
At this point, alcohol had certainly taken its effect on me. Geek and I had dipped into the Soco and I was on my third glass. HDouble busted in third, but I can't remember for the life of me which one of us took him out. But it was Ryan and I at the end, heads-up. It didn't take long. I got 47o in the BB and saw a flop. The turn came a 7, and I moved in. It took Ryan about half a second to call and he turned up 58 for a straight. No gettin' around gettin' broke on that hand and I collected $210 for second place. Congrats to Ryan, reigning champion of Murderer's Row!
I lost $50 of it back in the Pot Limit Hold'em cash game that broke out afterwards. AA cracked by Lance's J9, which flopped a boat. Aiiii ya!
I felt great about cashing, but even better about meeting the fine folks who played. I've read so many posts about meeting poker bloggers for the first time, but one can't quite understand the mind-meld that happens until actually experiencing it. I felt like I knew everyone already, and in a way, I did. Blogs are deeply personal creations, and the writers who pen them hope to crack open a little window into their lives for their readers. It's a testament to all of you who played Friday night that I felt that way. I'm looking forward to Vegas more than ever.