A new personal best!

Although December is almost over, I think I played my last live poker in DC this past Friday night.  After the company holiday party at Local16, one of the company’s directors had us over to his house and we played a $.25/$.50 game of no limit hold’em.  The maximum stack you could buy was $50, so everyone was guaranteed not to lose much.

I decided to play the Drunken Master style for a lot of reasons, only one of which is that I really was already quite on my way being drunken.  At the party I had been drinking a few sips of white wine, losing my glass to the attentive busboys, and then ordering another.  Though I had an appetizer-dinner, I don’t think I had quite enough food in my stomach.  Once I ordered the shots of cold sipping tequila, which I sipped, I realized it was appropriate that I was not driving anywhere.

When we rolled into Matt’s place the wine opened and I never looked back.  I immediately announced I would raise every hand to $2, which everyone laughed about.  And then I did.

I managed to get trapped really good by a couple of players but made a couple of great reads.  In one I was bluffing at a pot without the nuts when my opponent (Chad) pushed all in.  I knew that he had trapped me, and I knew I was beat.  Though I was 75% of my stack into the pot, the odds were good that I had been caught and his body language and tone of voice reaffirmed it.  I laid my weak hand down and he showed me the nuts.  Good read, Safdar.

Now I was sitting down with my second $50 buyin when I snagged Matt, the host.  I got Aces in middle position and raised to somewhere north of $2.  Matt called and the flop came Jack-Seven-Seven.  Matt had a Jack and when I raised his initial bet all-in he called.  I said, "I hope you have a Seven".  I doubled up and then entered the Long Dark Phase of the night.

Bring more wine, garcon!

Somewhere between midnight and 2am I started to fall asleep at the table.  The immense quantity of wine and lack of sleep hit me and people were poking me to wake up to play.  Matt’s Roku Soundbridge started acting up and there was a great deal of getting up, searching for music, messing with the Roku, etc.  With the four of us that remained it became almost seriously aggravating to try and get through a hand.

Finally I got a glass of water and woke up with Six-Seven.  The flop came Four-Five-Two and then the turn came a Three.  Matt and Tim and I were in the hand and on the turn I pushed all in.  Tim immediately folded (good fold) and Matt thought a long time.  I was sure the fact that I was awake for the first time in two hours would give me a away, but he actually called, unable to fold the second nuts with his Ace-Six.  I raked the chips and looked down at a total stack of about $230.  I concluded that I was done, and went through the motions of playing hands the rest of the night, but just folded most of them until the game broke.

What’s funny about this is that I never drink when I play cards.  I think of it as an anathema to my analytical skills.  Occasionally I have come over to a table with a prop beer and acted all goofy to try and make people think I’m drunk, but I don’t actually like to drink while I’m playing.  I had planned on playing and blowing through that $50 for fun, but it turned out great, and so that’s a new personal best: Most Money Won While Tanked.  I don’t think I’ll need to repeat that record, though.


I did some preliminary numbers for my poker results for the year and it appears that I will have a net loss of $100-$200.  The summary of my year is this: I make lots of money live, and I lose money online.  Final numbers won’t be in until I pull some more saved hands from my tablet and put in a few hours at the $6/$12 at Lucky Chances in San Francisco, but that’s how it looks.

Seeing as I lost over $2,000 last year, I really think this is a huge improvement, and I’m very proud of myself for two things:

  1. That I don’t have gambler denial and that I continue to analytically play poker and develop my game; and
  2. The tremendous no limit skills I have developed this year, which is also where I’ve made most of my money.

Final numbers in early January.