Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm still alive

Ten days since my last post. How shameful.

I wish I could say I was on vacation or in Vegas or another exotic locale, but really I'm just ticking away the rest of the summer playing poker and bumming around Los Angeles. Now you know you've spent way too much of the summer indoors when your co-workers start asking if you've dyed your hair. I get blonder in the summer and redder in the winter and my hair is probably the most strawberry it's been in recent memory, aside from that tragic auburn period in college when I couldn't stop trying out each and every shade of the L'oreal "Feria" line. So perhaps this Labor Day weekend, I'll have to finally tear myself away from the cards and deposit myself on one of our world-famous Southern California beaches.

I finally got myself entry into a bona fide Hollywood poker game at my friend Charlie's birthday dinner last week. Charlie's a producer, and his wife, Mrs. Charlie is a writer so the crowd was a little Hollywood, but not in a gross way. Some actors, photographers, other writers, and even more folks totally unrelated to film or TV. They're that rare couple that succeeds so much in the "business" yet have a fantastic, full life away from it. Which explains why Showcase and I are so nuts about them. The whole affair was a surprise orchestrated for Charlie and I must say, based on the look on his face when he came home to a backyard full of 25 of his nearest and dearest pals, we got him pretty good.

As we were digging into the salad course and polishing off our third round of mojitos, Showcase and I were chatting amongst ourselves, when I thought I heard someone say the word "flop." I kind of brushed it off until I swore I heard the same lilting British voice say "Vince Van Patten." Now, my head spun around at a blinding speed and I zeroed in on the speaker.

Me: "Ohmygod do you guys play poker?!"
The Brit: "Yes, do you?"
Me: "You have no idea."
The Brit: "That's fantastic!"
Showcase: "Seriously, you guys REALLY have no idea..."

What ensued was just an awesome meeting of the minds, and what I hope will be a great friendship. I'm sure my fellow bloggers understand what it's like to meet someone just as poker-obsessed as oneself. There's a clarity there. And kind of a sense of relief. Sort of like vacationing in a foreign country and finding that one cab driver that speaks English. So by my random choice of seating at this dinner, I had stumbled onto an entire band of poker-playing Hollywood power lesbians. And now I had a permanent invite to their "girls game."

The whole lot of us will be invading the Bike's $100+25 NLHE Ladies' tournament on Wednesday. I'm taking the whole day off to sleep in so I'll be sharp for the 7:15 PM start. This is the one where the winner qualifies for a seat in WPT Ladies Night III, so I imagine it'll be a pretty large field. I'm feeling good about my game right now, so it's great timing for me to try another large live tournament.

In preparation, I've been playing nothing but Party Poker SNGs with the (small) remainder of cash I had in my account. I think I knocked off maybe 30 just this weekend and increased my nut five-fold. I hadn't really explored the Party SNGs until now, prefering the structure and starting chips of Full Tilt's, but let me tell you (and Iggy has repeatedly attempted to beat this same notion into everyones' heads): if you are not playing on Party, you are deeply and profoundly retarded. The $20s are VERY soft and the $10s are just shooting fish in a barrel. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Showcase and I also continued our heads-up matches this weekend. I trounced him 2-0 in No-Limit, until this hand came up in the third match. I have QQ in the SB and just call. Showcase checks. Flop comes J-2-9, no suits. I check, planning to check-raise, and Showcase saves me the trouble by going all-in. I insta-call with my overpair, and he turns over... 36 of clubs? I instantly start gloating, and begin "announcing" the hand, Mike Sexton-style.

"OK, Change has an overpair, and Showcase has a, uh... backdoor flush draw and a backdoor straight draw. He'll need running clubs or a running 4 5 for a straight. Here comes the turn. OOOOOHHH, the turn is a five of spades, giving Showcase a small ray of hope here. He must catch a four or this match is history, and Change will walk off with the title. Here comes the river... IT'S A FOUR!!!"

I dropped the deck and my head sunk to the table as Showcase jumped up from the couch, stretching his arms upward in triumph. After a brief, geeky victory dance, he got to use my favorite line from Rounders on me, for a change.

"I steeeeeck it innnn youuuuu!!!!"

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