Thursday, September 29, 2005

Don't Call It a Comeback.

As some of you may know from an earlier entry, I haven't played online poker since I quit in March. The only exception to that being when they credited me 50 bucks as an incentive to start playing again. Woo-hoo. What they didn't tell me about that 50 bucks, though, was that they were taking it back in 4 days. Boo-hoo. Nice to see that loan sharking is still a part of legitimate gambling today. All I have left in there from when I cashed out all that time ago is about 3 bucks. But its Thursday night and the Yankees are up 8-0, so I decided to see if danny was at a table, since he caught the poker bug when we took a few trips down to AC last month. The protege has now made over 800 dollars through playing online poker in his spare time this month, and he is mentoring his own student down in Virginia.

Well no one was on but I found a $2 tournament and decided to play anyway. I didn't figure to grind out a cash or anything, since it paid only a few bucks unless you made the final table. Instead I decided to treat it like an infinite sit-n-go. In an article in Cardplayer, Scott Fischman said this is a strategy he uses to cope with the extremely large fields in tournament poker right now. Seeing as how he finished 2nd out of over 2000 players in the WSOP's first event, I think it served him well. This field too was large, about 2500, because the entry fee was so small. Well, friends, I didn't exactly get to test out this strategy, and something tells me I wasn't supposed to be playing in this tournament.

I started out folding everything in the first level, maybe a limp here or there but no further. Then I get dealt 2s2d and call in EP (early position) with about 900 in chips in front of me and the BB at 15. A guy in MP (middle position), lets call him Sideburns, minimum-raises. He gets called by MP2, LP (late position), BB (the big blind), and of course, me. Flop comes 2c 4d 6d. Typically this could be a dangerous flop for several reasons:

1) I've made a big hand that will be hard to get off of if a scare card comes off.
2) I'm in early position.
3) There are about a million and one draws on the board.
4) It's a 5-way pot.
5) I'm facing a min-raise, which could represent a variety of hands, especially at this blind level.

Typically I'd want to lead out here. I hate giving free cards and I'm in bad position. I'm pretty confident I have the best hand but a lot of cards can come on the turn that will make it very difficult to play if I face pressure from a player in position. For instance, any 3, any 5 (because of the BB in play), perhaps a King or Ace (possibly facing AA or KK from the min-raiser, you'd be surprised how often people play that hand this way even at such low blind levels), and of course, any diamond.

But in the last hand Sideburns (the min-raiser) check-called the flop and turn when MP2 bet the pot. On the river he checked and MP2 bet the pot again, which was most of Sideburns chips. Sideburns thought for a while and then folded. I thought he was steaming a bit from this, and if you're going to check-raise (for value, which I was) you want the person immediately to your left to do the betting. On my left was Sideburns (original raiser and possibly on tilt) and MP2 (who fired big 3 times at the last pot, so he has exhibited aggression and might use his new big stack to take a stab at this pot.)

So the BB checked and I checked as well with 3 more players to act. Sideburns thinks for about 10 seconds and checks, MP2 and LP check through as well. Great. Free card... Turn is the 9d putting a possible flush out there. After the BB checked I decided to put in a probe bet to see where I was at, so I bet I think 70 into a 160 pot. Sideburns thinks on it for about 5 seconds and pushes all-in for about 470 more.

The rest of the table folds around and it's back on me. First I figure out the pot odds and I'm not even getting 2:1 on my money, though this doesn't much matter because if I'm beat it's likely 4:1 or worse anyway. I don't love the all-in bet at first because if you're gonna make a probe bet and someone pushes all-in, then usually you've found out just where you stand.

But I tried to figure out what hands he would have that he would min-raise before the flop, check on the flop, and then push on the turn. If he had a suited connector like QdJd would he open with only for a min-raise in middle position? I think you either limp or push the action with a hand like that, not make a value raise. If he had AdKd would he only min-raise and risk getting outflopped by any weak hand that will call a min-raise? Even if these things were true, would he not bet out at the flop when he's favored against any single pair (with overcards and a flushdraw.) Especially considering the way people play flush draws on PartyPoker, I would doubt that he wouldnt have put some chips in on that flop, or even gone all-in as many donkeys on PartyPoker do. Finally, if he did check the flop and turn the flush, would he go all-in clearly representing the flush or make a smaller bet in an attempt to get paid off?

The only conceivable hands he could have is a big pair like KK or AA (possibly with the Ad or Kd) or a hand like 66 or 44 to make a higher set. Despite the fact that set-over-set on the flop is very rare, even if he did hit a hand like that I still have the 2d for 10 re-draw outs (nine diamonds + one 2) on the river. And if I lose the pot, I still have 300 and can wait for a big hand to try to double-up. Despite how long this thought process has taken for you to read, it was all done in my head in about 5 seconds just from having played so many hands in my life. It's not bragging, you just get to a point where all this information is processed and analyzed before you even realize that you're doing it.

So what hand did Mr. Sideburns have? KhKc. Outside of an absolute bluff with no diamond, this is the best possible scenario. With me holding 2s2d and the board reading 2h 4d 6d 9d. He could only win with one card in the deck, the King of spades (since the Kd would give him a higher set but I would have him beat with a flush.) For those who don't bother with poker odds, that means he has roughly a 2% chance to win the hand. The fast-paced nature of the PartyPoker program does not include time for suspense like on TV, so as soon as I call the river card is dealt like a bullet. Thats right. King of Spades. As the program ships over 1000 chips to him, I am instantly moved to a new table. Great, now I can't even complain to the people who saw that horrendous beat nor can I berate the player for being such a lucky douchebag!

Now I'm lookin down at 300+ chips and the BB is comin around, but before I can even gather myself, the power goes out. No that's not a poker euphamism, though maybe it will be one day. The power in my house went out. Good times. Now I'm getting blinded off until I can get back on. I just sit in the darkness waiting as my family rummages around lighting candles or something. Luckily its back on in about 10 minutes and I figure to still have some chips.

I re-join my table with about 295 chips, in the small blind with Kd2s. The big blind is 20 and there are 3 limpers in the pot. Now I haaate playing weak Kings and I haaate playing out of position, but I guess I'm kinda defeated mentally at this point. I rationalize that I'm getting 9:1 on completing my call and that it might be an opportunity to double up, if I hit something, seeing as how you get a lot of weak calls on PartyPoker. The BB checks his option and the flop comes 10h 10d 2d. Something tells me I have the best hand since the board is paired and I caught a piece. Surprisingly, not many hands have me beat with only 3 limpers considering the blind level. I am first to act, though, and decide to check it. If there's a big bet or a bet and a raise then I'll muck. I don't really wanna go broke with K2o out of position, and if I fold I'll still have another round and 285 chips to try to pick up a big hand and double up. It checks around. Free card. Awesome. Did I tell you how much I like giving free cards?

Turn: 8d. Now theres 3 to the flush on the board. At this point I figure I have the best hand. The hand I have to worry about is trip 10s, if someone decided to check the flop and slowplay, which they always do at low limits. Its possible someone got lucky and paired an 8 in their hand, but there is no way for me to put them on whatever hand they might hold with an 8, so I'm not that concerned with that. Or if someone is holding the Ad, they are probably gonna call anything I bet, or anyone bets for that matter, as the nut flush draw can never be folded on PartyPoker, even with only one card to come. Truth to be told this would be a horrible call in this pot because you are getting terrible odds, you're not even sure if you're drawing live (e.g., if you make your flush, that it will be good, meaning someone doesnt have a full house.) Moreover, it's very unlikely that I'm gonna bluff off all my chips through 4 players onto a board that is paired with 3 to the flush for a small pot. But I do expect the call if someone is holding the Ace of diamonds anyway, because thats just how it is on PartyPoker. And even against trip 10s, I have the Kd for 9 flush outs. Plus there's a pretty good chance that I won't even get called, so I push all-in for 285 into the pot of 100.

It folds around to the last player and I think I might take the pot, have 385 in chips, and be a little off life support. But the last player makes a relatively quick call. Ugh. I expect an 8, a 10, or a flush draw? Not really. Jd4s. WOW. Not sure what to say about this call really. Many things perplex me about this. Why even play this hand in the first place, especially just limping in. Its absolute junk, in fact, the nickname for this hand is a "flat tire." And then he calls 285 on the turn with nothing but Jack-high and the 4th nut flush draw with one card to come. If I wanted to give him a justification, I could say that at least he had a big stack (around 2000) that it wouldn't hurt him too much to call. But this call is just throwing money away. Naturally the real reason for this call is that he's a horrible player. So now that the diamonds are locked up by my King of diamonds, he must draw to a pair, 3 Jacks and 2 fours (not the 4 of diamonds) in the deck. With one card to come he has 5 outs making him about 11% to win. I'm sure you can guess what hit. An ugly little 4 of clubs. 670 shipped to him and I'm felted.

Not the best showing of my "career," but I think I still played well. If I had to do it again, I might have bet the flop with the set of 2s. Of course this is since I now know that the guy slowplayed KK on the flop and then jammed it on the turn. In hindsight I'm pretty sure Sideburns checked because he wanted MP2 to bet in order to take back some chips from the previous pot, not because he was scared of the flop. If that were the case then he wouldn't push all-in on the turn when the board only got scarier. I believe my thinking behind my plays was correct, though, which is more important than results. Those unfamiliar with or new to poker might argue something along the lines of "whatever wins the pot is the best play," but that kind of results-oriented thinking doesn't hold water.

For those bored by this entire post, that's just too damn bad. I'm getting a bankroll together again, and I'm gonna be back at the online poker. I have too many bills to pay off by only working a 9-5 job. I need my supplemental income back so I can do nice things like eat, go out to bars, and visit the love of my life in San Diego. Also, the amount of poker players is only growing, and most of them are getting a bit too big for their britches. My competitive side has been kick-started and I miss that feeling of complete satisfaction from consistently breaking the game. Plus it would be really embarrassing for the protege to surpass the mentor.

Back to Business

I sure hope this isn't just me...
I seem to frequently lose my cell phone. I don't mean "lose" in the Bill Noesges sense, i.e. spiking it into a pool, leaving it at complete strangers' houses, and punting it across a parking lot. I mean I lose it like normal people, you know, everyone besides those creeps who use the holster. But being straight means not using the clip and not using the clip means a lot of misplaced phones. Hours will go by until it occurs to me that I haven't heard my phone ring for a while. I do the usual pat down and empty my pockets to no avail. Then I have to backtrack or call it until I find it. Ten minutes later I remember I used it in the car and suddenly everything makes sense. That's why I haven't heard anything about tonight. That's why I didn't get a call back from her. I jog out to my car with my mind racing about all the calls I probably missed, hoping it's not too late to get in on all those cool offers probably received. Then I get to the car, grab my phone, open it up....nothing. Heart drops below sea level. I feel like an idiot; two minutes ago I was thinking that everyone was clamoring to get in contact with me. Turns out, not so much. This happens to other people...right? Please?

To me, this counts as going out.
Saturday night was an adventure. I begrudgingly agreed to go out with a few old friends to a local bar. Now don't jump to conclusions, it wasn't begrudgingly because I'm too cool or because I barely like these people. You just know when you get your mind set on not doing anything and then people want you to go out it seems like an impossible request. But I snapped myself out of it somehow and agreed to go out for a few drinks, though I was not even planning to drink. Ha ha, I know, Brown not planning to drink. I really wasn't, though. I brought a water bottle! Of course after an hour and a half of sobriety that went right out the window. And it led to a pretty fun night.

"...and I'm waiting for you to write something funny."
I got a few references to the blog, but not a critique one way or the other. I would hear something along the lines of, "So I read your blog, Brown." I'm waiting for a critique so I just give an inquisitive, "Ohhh." Then nothing. That's the end of it. It was like that Mitch Hedberg joke. She did not say whether she thought it was good or bad, she merely confirmed that she had read it. So I just kinda smiled and nodded. Another person told me they read it and thought about starting their own but then decided not to. At first I was thinking, ohh well if it inspired someone to start one, I guess that's kind of complimentary, I'll take it. But then they decided against it, so what's that supposed to tell me. Not exactly rave reviews.

Dear fat people, stop ruining everything.
I guess that first sip of beer really got me fired up, because I think I started poppin off about everything. It was almost like a blog, in person! People were talking about TV shows and they were way off the mark. Troung and Erica are talking about One Tree Hill or god knows what so I hijacked the conversation and brought up my favorite fatties, The Biggest Loser. Well lets just say that had mixed results. My guy friends loved it and my girl friends cringed. One girl just had a pained look on her face the whole time, as if she was fat and I was berating her. But she's a cute girl with no weight problem so I didn't see what the issue was. I thought maybe she had an obese relative and for a split second I thought about slowing down until I hear, "Well it's not their fault..." Oh boy, look out. I cut her right off.

"Yeah yeah I've heard it all: metabolism, thyroid, glandular, hormones, big bones. It's bullshit. People have different body types, but no one's body type is 5'4" 260. These people are obese and it's disgusting."
"So you really hate fat people."
"Yes!" [stunned silence besides my one friend dying laughing] "Don't you look at me like that! They hated us first! Skinny people are the minority! Don't take pity on those fat bastards!"

It starts to sound like a rally against fat people, and a few girls are wincing but I can't help myself. And it's not that I hate all fat people either but don't expect sympathy from me when we're the ones who are persecuted. I dipped into a little bit of my evidence on this topic but I'll save that for its own entry. The best part came when I started to curtail myself only to have my friend Pete go, "Cmon I wanna hear more of this monologue!" Of course I launch back in for a few more digs. But it doesn't end there folks.

Maybe it was Bazooka Joe.
So I guess I got a second chance from the horrified girl because later in the night we end up sitting next to each other and she's being pleasant. Now she's practically married so its not like that, but I figured after the assault on fat people that she would have abruptly left, as so many girls have. But no I've known her for a while so we're back to talking later on, and she tells me she knows a funny joke. Now just so you all know, I abhor jokes. I'm talking about jokey jokes. Anything that starts with a "Knock-Knock" or a "What do you call a" is infinitely lame. But I didn't want to cut her off, I already did enough damage tonight. So she tells me something along the lines of one of those jokes, like 'What's black and white and blah blah blah.' Then she delivers the punchline and I just smirk politely. She insists, "Isn't that funny?" Taken aback, I'm like, "Ha, what?" I look over and she's downright gleeful. "Isn't that funny??" she repeats. I say, "Yea yea that's great, did you get that joke off a popsicle or what." She is not amused. I go, "Sorry, maybe it was a Now&Later." Nail in the coffin. Whatever happened to the "I already did enough damage" theory? I just can't help myself.

Worse than Booth and company in 1865
The night ended with the shadiest of all deals to ever go down in a bar. All I can say is that it includes myself and two other people, and I can't tell you their names. But they're Peter Schrager and Tom Farabaugh.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I'm gonna get quicker with these things, I swear.

These are the only people still writing letters.
Apparently Derek Jeter received some kind of threatening letter because of his "dating outside his race." At first you would think it's from some racist white guy, but he slams Jeter for being a "traitor to his race." It has to be a black guy, what white guy would care about Jeter's relationship with his own race. And what race is that by the way, considering his dad is black and his mom is white. Is the author suggesting he only date other women who are half black and half white? What if the woman's mom is black and her dad is white, is this within "Jeter's race" or is it different? I suppose this guy is opposed to all interracial relationships, and any relationship Jeter has is going to be interracial, if you think like that. And if he gets upset everytime Derek Jeter hooks up, then this guy is going to be furious. Just another retard from Ohio.

Oh and by the way, Ohio, I never thanked you for the last election! You really did the country a great service. Thank god we have W at a time like this. Quick, what's your favorite part about W: his lightning quick reaction time or his genuine care for all citizens? I know, I know, too tough to decide! Personally I like how he never puts his unqualified friends in high-ranking positions. I can't think of another person I'd rather have as our president right now, or ever! Thank god for W and thank god for Ohio. God bless America.

Speaking of hhhwhite bread
What the fuck is with all the nuts in bread now. What happened to white bread? It's like I'm in the Middle Ages. When I'm eating bread its almost 99% certain that I will be doing so in conjunction with other foods. I don't often just pick up a loaf of bread, pull out a slice, and take a bite. Therefore bread doesn't have to have all this personality of its own. Its basically just a holder for what I really want to eat. So theres no need to jazz bread up with all kinds of nuts, seeds, and swirls. And if you're one of these people with this in your house, then I hate you. If you offer me something to eat and I say yes and then you say, "Oh we only keep multi-grain hippie bread, it that alright?" Well theres no real way to answer that question is there? "Well you don't have a choice, but is this what you pick?" Uh yep guess so. I can't go, "Umm no thats not ok. Why don't you just go ahead and put that away. I've lost my appetite because of your creepy bread." White bread. Stop there. The end.

"If you were a man I would punch you. I'd punch you right in the face."
I'm so fucking sick of this voice mail woman. The one who drones on when your friend ignores your call. She talks for-ev-er. So many options: "...If you'd like to leave a numerical page, press 4. If you'd like to send an e-greeting, press 5. If you'd like this message is Spanish, press 6..." I want to leave a message and I will if you would ever shut the fuuuck up. I can't get a word in with this woman. The worst part is that I drift off while she talks for five minutes and then snap back to life when I hear the beep. At this point I'm completely unnerved and I've lost all poise, so every message sounds like,
"Umm Hey Brown this is Jackie...fuck...uh, obviously this is not're Jackie...and I'm guessing you know umm anyway just uh call me back when you can, or when you want, and uh I'll see, I mean talk to you later."
Real sharp. If this keeps up I'm gonna become one of these anti-voicemail people. They don't leave messages and they don't check their own. I don't know how they do it, but I'll make that commitment to keep this woman out of my life. Thats the kind of commitment I'm good at.

And the scariest part is that it's a true story!
Apparently "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is a very scary movie. This may very well be, I'm not debating that. In fact most of you who know me know that I'm easily scared by movies. Not chuckie movies or the Ring, but Halloween and movies that seem possible at least. And this is why I doubt that I would be scared of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. After stating this to the group of girls who just came from seeing the movie, they jumped all over me.

"What!?!? It's based on a true story Brown!!"
"Really? The true story of an exorcism? Well that's good, I sure hope they got that demon out of her."
"Oh what Brown, you're not Catholic?"
"No Vanessa I'm not Catholic. I don't believe in ghosts, goblins, and priests with superpowers."
"Ugh, why not? I'm Catholic!"

As if I hadn't realized that, and as if that was a reason that I should be. I won't rail against Catholicism at this time. Lets just say that these girls who claimed to be Catholic do not practice the tenets of Catholicism, as is the case with most Catholics. In fact, I've watched them violate some of these very specific tenets right before my very eyes. I'll write an entry about that one day, but it will be for mature audiences only.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Don't get mad, get skinny

Finally a show with an important message: It's not okay to be fat.
My reality shows are back. Listen to me, I'm like an old lady with soap operas. I can't help it, I get great enjoyment from a few reality shows. With Real World and Road Rules sucking ass for the past 3 years, I've moved on to a couple others. Wife Swap is one of my favorites, for obvious reasons, but The Biggest Loser is even better. Last year was unbelievable. Extremely obese individuals on two teams competing against each other to lose weight amidst grueling challenges and dietary temptations. The 3 finalists lost like 100 pounds each. I always say I hate fat people but thats a generalization. Fat people who try hard to get skinny are great.

Okay, the show is called "The Biggest Loser." Yes we've heard it so much now that it might not sink in just what that means. It was obviously chosen for its double meaning. The people at NBC will hide behind the fact that it means the person who loses the most weight. But if that were simply the case then they could have named it anything that didn't have two meanings. Alas, it does have two meanings, and NBC knows full well what that other meaning is: the BIGGEST.....LOSER....biggest alluding to fattest....loser alluding to loseriest. The fact that they chose this title for both meanings is evident throughout the show. Caroline Rhea, the host, insists that before the voting off process team members confer to decide "who is weighing you down." Cmon! They're fat! I know it, you know it. Are all the double entendres necessary? Is it necessary that when someone gets voted off a refrigerator filled with pastries with their name on it is shut-off? They're fat but at least they're trying!

Speaking of fat...
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Caroline Rhea, get your fat ass on that scale. Within the last few years she's really packed on some winter weight yet shes the one delivering all the thinly veiled fat jokes. Does she host this show to make herself feel better about her own weight gain? Next to them shes hot, I guess....well not really, she still looks like Miss Piggy to me.

Camera work
Spliced throughout the show are brief shots of parts of the contestants' bodies. It's just funny to me to imagine the cameraman's job. There he is filming a dialogue or exercise, and then something catches his eye and zooms in on some excessive backfat or an unusually large sweat stain. Even better must be when the editor is going over hundreds of hours of footage and says, "In between the dinner and the weigh-in, let's use the close-up ass shot of the Chinese girl."

A fat Chinese girl?
Yep, one of the contestants is an obese Chinese girl...or Asian, or something. And she was not shy during the last meal pig-out before the show started, eating everything in sight. I didn't think Asian women got fat, though, its really a strange image. The best part is her audition tape: "I'm a 23 year old med student and I really want to be on the show because between my work and my kids I really don't have any time for myself." Haha, really? Sure looks like you've indulged in yourself plenty. I'd say it takes plenty of time to oneself to get over 250 pounds. I'm pretty sure those Big Macs didn't eat themselves.

And you think you procrastinate
It's a way of life for anyone under 25, and I don't want to know anyone who gets right down to work. Those of us who went to college are used to the usual distractions: solitare, snood, compulsively checking fantasy stats, etc. But you know you're in trouble when you're not even enjoying your distraction. Like the 6th game of solitare and the 2nd episode of the Golden Girls. Well a good friend of mine has blown that out of the water. She claimed she wasn't getting her work done because she was watching Mannequin...on DVD! Not half-watching on comedy central, no, this girl actually went out of her way to put this movie on. And how did she even own it? It's not like its a tape and she can claim she had it after it came out. I can't even keep thinking about it, its giving me a headache. But I guess it gives you a good way to quantify your level of aversion to the work: "would you say you're playing-solitare procrastinating or you're watching-Mannequin-on-DVD procrastinating?"

Kids, kids, kids.
Everyone has a different relationship with their parents. Some of you tell your parents every detail of your life like they're your best friends, and some of you are straight. If you want your mom and dad knowing all your intimate secrets, I think its a little creepy, but its your life. But you have to realize that you're not the only one who is affected when you choose to make your parents your personal diary. Everytime you go to them with a sob story about a cheating girlfriend or your latest pregnancy scare, you're selling someone else out. Just because it works for you to tell your parents how wasted you get does not mean that it works for me for you to tell your parents how wasted I get. I know we're 23 but just because we can drink with our parents doesn't mean they really think we can handle it. So do us all a favor and don't gossip with your parents, just get friends.

AC revisited
One last thing about Atlantic City. I heard a very quick and histerical story about my friend Kristen's last trip to AC. I think she has a phobia about posting so she IMed it to me and it went something like this: "Last time I was in AC there was a 'Playboy' slot machine and an 80 year old man was kissing and humping the pictures of the girls on it." I should let this genius speak for itself, but I can't! I have so many questions! How do you hump a slot machine? Was it like thrusting or more like grinding? How did this get broken up? I can't even imagine the kissing... I wish I ran into this old guy when I was down there, he sounds like fun.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I was never quite sure what that expression meant. I think I always assumed that it meant something like, when things get hard, you buckle down and get through it. But that's not really what it sounds like when you read it. So I've taken a more literal interpretation of it and it's become my life motto. When the going gets tough, the tough get the fuck outta dodge. Can't stand going out in freehold anymore? Find new friends in a new town. Lehigh doesn't do it for you? Rutgers is an hour away. Can't be around your family another second without risking explosion or implosion? Run away to Atlantic City for a week. Don't sweat it if you don't have a job, it's for everyone's good. And for the most part it was fun, but of course some people just can't help themselves...

It never ends
Maybe some of you guys thought I was exaggerating with the last entry. I don't blame you, I can already hear the objections in your head. First of all, he doesn't leave the house enough to have so many stories of mistaken identity. Secondly, people don't just up and say things like that to me, why would so many people be so blunt with a stranger? Thirdly, where did they get such random names? And finally, he doesn't even look like any of them! 1) True. 2) Good point. 3) I don't know. 4) Absolutely correct. I have no real way of explaining any of this other than to say that people just decide say whatever the hell they want from me. Maybe I just walk around looking like a punching bag that people want to unload on. If you needed further proof, I came across plenty this week down in Atlantic City.

America's Playground
Before I get into the details, though, I want to set the scene for people who are unfamiliar with Atlantic City, casinos, and poker rooms in general. These are intensely ugly places. If you've only been to Vegas then don't even bother imagining a similar place. The only comparison I can think of is that in Vegas you may need to know someone to get into a club, in Atlantic City you need to have a deformity. This is especially true in most poker rooms. If you look around the table you can list the afflictions in your head as you look at each player, "Toothless....Hairless....Jobless....Homeless....Faceless...." So bear in mind that as you look around a poker table at 1:15 AM on a Tuesday night that I'm the best looking person there, hands down..if you have em. So that makes it even more remarkable when it turns into open mic night for the Bryan Brown roast.

And for the record, there was definite fopa.
The first incident occurs while putting my name on the list in the front. The 50-something former addict takes my name and then asks for ID. Typical so I take out my license with the picture of me with short spikey hair, as opposed to my 60's mop of today. She grills it for a second then hands it back and tersely says, "Your hair looks better in the picture." This wasn't friendly banter, there was no smile. She just felt the need to bring one of my flaws to light, which I appreciated. As she's handing it back I go, "Yeah? People seem to be split about it," and I walk away. What the hell did I just say? Why did I dignify her remark and then give her some insight into my life? Stupid AC whore giving me shit and I just joke back about it. I always end up taking the high road but soon enough it's gonna be more like, "Thanks. Your teeth looked better before your meth addiction."

Round 2.
It's a day later and around 7 AM in the cardroom, a particularly eerie hour. Stragglers from the late night games and old people up early combine to form a game that's usually silent. But we caught a break and had a dealer that thought he was a stand-up comedian. He actually turned out to be quite funny mostly because he would have been swiftly fired for any number of things he was saying. At one point my friend Danny chimed in with something about us being strippers, clearly facetious to anyone with a pair of eyes. But this old black lady must have missed her glaucoma medicine, cause she looks at me and goes, "You? No no, you're too small to be a stripper." I'm stunned that someone doesn't know that that was a joke but roll with it and say, "Oh really? Fine you're not getting a lap dance then. It's all about the eye contact, lady, but now you'll never know." Got a good laugh out of the table but once again I laid off instead of giving her what she deserved. If a big fat woman told you she was a stripper, would you guffaw and then go, "Yeah right! You're too fuckin fat!" No, no you wouldn't.

Finish him.
We're into the late morning hours and there's actually a girl our age at our end of the table. Being the only people of sound mind and since I was carddead anyway, we became friends. It basically consisted of striking up friendships with the Asian dealers Ngoc and Hong for kicks, since they spoke no English outside of "Check-or-bet" and would smile politely to anything you said. But of course this wasn't just me being funny, I had to look like someone. So here it comes:

"You remind me of someone..."
"My favorite part of the day..."
"You remind me of Pauly Shore."
"What, have you heard that before?"

PAULY SHORE! In what way am I like Pauly Shore at all. Actually fuck it, it doesn't matter even if we're twins. Just another name on the list. Within 30 minutes I capped preflop and then got the rest of my stack in with KK vs. KT and lost, naturally. Simply remarkable. I walked around the casino for an hour wondering who it will be next week: Hideki Matsui, Simon Birch, Hillary Swank?

Aaaaand enough. Good stuff comes next time, that's just harder to dig up.