Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Save Darfur, Save the World

Being an ex-pat in the US means you encounter various Pros and Cons. Many of the Pros include things that are available here that you can't get at home (Exhibit A: Five Guys Burgers), while many of the Cons include things you can't easily get here (Exhibit B: Meat pies). There are certain areas that are Pro/Pro, however, and I regard Public Holidays as one of them. I get stiffed on a few that I would normally get at home (Good Friday, Easter Monday, Boxing Day, the weird bullshit ones like Foundation Day), but that's offset by the American ones I get to take off while not being hindered by having to spend them, say, with my family.

(Note to Mum and Dad: I do not mean you guys, OK? OK.)

In that vein, I can state categorically that Thanksgiving is my favourite US holiday. A four day weekend, without the obligation to spend most of those four days listening to Uncle Dave tell his fishing stories? Gold!

Memorial Day is another great holiday; not only is it regarded here as the onset of summer, but I also have a notoriously bad time in remembering when it actually occurs, making it a pleasant surprise. When I realised a couple of weeks ago it was imminent, I started getting excited. Then when it appeared that I had no sports commitments, and most of the people I knew were leaving the city... it looked like a good old-fashioned Reclusive Garth weekend. Saddle up!

In my extremely hungover state on Sunday afternoon I entered the Darfur tournament on Stars. I was feeling the worse for wear, but was prepared to let my inner donkey loose for the sake of charity. Historically I have a good record in charity tournaments (see here and here), though I hadn't gone the rebuy route before. As is my normal modus operandi in rebuys I immediately double bought, and was rewarded by getting KK UTG+1 to start proceedings. I gleefully shoved all my chips in, assuming at least one person would come along for the ride, especially as it was the first hand in a charity rebuy tournament. I was not disappointed, as someone who was in for a single buy-in called with JJ, my Kings held up, and I was away. Within 10 minutes I was over the 9k mark, and never looked back.

I was sitting pretty at 22nd at the end of the first hour, not bad for 600+ remaining out of 744 runners. During the next few hours I was up and down, but felt I was playing pretty solid poker. I kept in touch with AlCantHang, Pauly, Change100, Derek, and yestbay plus the "in the tournament, but absent" Drizz and Bayne.

I was winning enough pots to keep my head above water and solidly above par, but with less than 100 remaining I was starting to get a little anxious... which is when lightning struck. A stack of equal size got all his chips in, I looked down to see KK, got all my chips in and had my hand hold up again, busting my opponent. That win put me in the top half of proceedings. The bustout resulted in a table change, and I was moved with one of the players from my old table. This guy had come over the top of one of my pre-flop raises previously, and since on that occasion I had JTs I folded quickly. First hand at the new table I am UTG+1, and see AA. I make my standard raise, and my old friend from my old table once again pushes all-in over the top. I call with glee, and his KQo can't outrun my rockets.

Let's recap: with 74 or so of 744 people remaining I bust an equal sized stack with KK, get moved to a new table, and the very next hand bust another player with AA because of previous history.

Perfect storm.

That vaulted me into 2nd of those remaining, and all of a sudden I was a real threat to not only get myself an autographed DVD, but there was a chance I could be deciding how to choose who would come to LA with me.

But it wasn't to be. I continued to play solidly, remaining in contention though slowly slipping down from my heights of 2nd. As the bubble approached I had a stack that while not tiny, was not providing a lot of legroom. With 25 to go a big stack limped, another bigstack made a standard raise, and I looked down at AKs. I decided to push - I was unsure if the second bigstack was going to come along for a ride, but I decided I'd take fold equity + coinflip for a chance to take down either a nice pot or a double up to put me in place for a good finish. It turns out I was up against QQ. The flop brought a K, but the river gave me one of the two cards I didn't want to see. That's poker.

I raised my beer, and saluted all those who had helped contribute over 20k to the prizepool, meaning that over 40k in total would go to the worthy cause. I also raised my beer in derision to those raibirds who were asking the table questions like "the entire prize pool goes to first, right?" Which part of "charity tournament" don't you understand?

All in all it was an enjoyable way to chase off a hangover. I would have loved to "cash", but I was extremely happy with my play. A big thanks to all those who came out for the tournament, and to those who rail-birded me, and I certainly hope your hangovers were less severe than mine.

And how did my Memorial Day Weekend finish up overall? By Monday afternoon I had not left my apartment since arriving home from work Friday evening except to obtain food or alcohol, and had spent the vast majority of time up until then either drunk, drinking, asleep, hungover, playing poker... or some combination thereof. Mission Accomplished.

Now I definitely can't wait for July 4th. God Bless America!


  • You left out the part where you watched Raging Bull!

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    By Blogger peacecorn, at 1:26 PM  

  • I could have been a contender!


    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 1:32 PM  

  • You clearly were not paying attention to the movie.

    By Blogger peacecorn, at 1:34 PM  

  • I'm quoting Jake La Motta quoting from On The Waterfront... but I only just remembered that the quote of the quote is in the movie.

    No, I wasn't paying attention.

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 1:43 PM  

  • I was probably tipsy as well at the time but the wife would have frowned upon playing poker that weekend.

    By Blogger Drizztdj, at 4:21 PM  

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