Tuesday, February 01, 2011

American Idol, The Rum Diaries, and How I Lit $335 On Fire

I try to live my life with few regrets, but if I have one it's that Showcase and I never got our shit together and auditioned for American Idol while we were still eligible. It's not like I was a lock to make Hollywood Week or anything-- on my best day Simon Cowell would have labeled my musical theater-trained belt "too cabaret"-- but it still would have been a cool footnote in our personal histories. At the end of last season, when Crystal Bowersox lost to Lee DeWyze, I felt like I was done with the show after nine seasons as a faithful viewer, but the ensuing shake-up at the judges' table led me to come back for more. The jury is still out for me when it comes to Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez's contributions to the show since we're still in the cringingly awful audition stages of Season 10, but I will say this. Goddamn I miss Simon Cowell. These folks are just too damn soft.

I'm taping an episode of the Wicked Chops Poker podcast this afternoon where I will no doubt go into more detail about specific contestants with the Entities. So stay tuned for that.

While Pauly took last week to do nothing but drink and bet on basketball (as detailed in his epic post Your Hands and Feet are Mangos), I didn't do much else besides organize my finances (thanks to my PCA score I am now debt-free for the first time since I was 18), hack through red tape at the passport office so I can go on an assignment Brazil in two weeks, and play online poker. I stunk up the joint when it came to MTTs, but thankfully made most of those buy-ins back in cash games and SNGs. Full Tilt's Double Guarantees Week and their new Multi-Entry Tournament shtick was like handing a back of rock to a crackhead, and I hit the pipe hard over the weekend when it came to those suckers.

Yesterday, instead of firing up the laptop, I hit the road and drove out to the Commerce Casino to play in an L.A. Poker Classic prelim. I sang along to the Glee soundtrack all the way down the 10 and as Maridu messaged me yesterday, "I'm pretty sure that's a tell." The structure for the $335 Double Stack NLHE was downright amazing for a low buy-in SoCal tourney, with 10,000 in chips and blinds starting at 25/50. Unfortunately, I got caught up in a very weird hand in the second orbit that cost me a significant chunk.

The UTG player, who seemed like an online guy both in terms of his look and his bet sizing raised to 125. A guy in an Angels hat flat-called and two calling stations in middle position flatted before the action came around to me on the button. I looked down at two kings and three-bet to 700. All four players called. The flop was 9-J-Q rainbow. Ewww. UTG guy checked, Angels hat bet 2,000, and the two calling stations folded. I hated raising, I hated folding, I didn't have any sort of read on Angels hat yet, and I still had UTG guy behind me. I decided to call, and UTG guy called behind me. 9,500 in the pot now. The turn was the 9s, pairing the board and giving it a second spade. UTG guy looked like he might bet, but then decided to check, and Angels hat quickly bet 4,000. I got the hell out, UTG guy shoved and Angels hat snap-called, turning over pocket queens for the nut boat. UTG guy had K-T for the straight and busted out.

After that, I couldn't win a pot to save my life. The one time I did flop top pair with A-T, I got raised on the turn on by the tightest player at the table and let it go. Angels hat was running over the table with his massive stack and was getting smacked in the face with the deck-- he showed pocket aces, pocket kings, quads for fuck's sake. My stack steadily eroded and I ended up check-shoving a 5-3-3 flop with pocket eights only to run into Angels hat's Q-Q. With that, my $335 burst into flames and instead of heading downstairs to ignite a few more hundred dollar bills in the cash games, I decided to drive home before rush hour traffic rendered that task impossible.

Queens against eights again, how about that?

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