Thursday night I had what Phil Gorden would characterize as a defining moment in my poker career. I participated in my second Ladies night tourney on Poker Host a relatively new online poker room that I have been playing on of late.
I should probably back track a bit and fill you in on how I became a poker player. Its all Ben Afflecks fault!! Somewhere in the midsts of the tabloid trials and tribulations of Bennifer the commotion about Ben and his poker playing caught my interest. You see I work a part time job at a major bookstore and during my breaks I would catch up on all the latest gossip by reading and skimming thru People, US Weekly, Star and Intouch. So when I heard he was going to be on Celebrity Poker Showdown I decided to try to see just how good Ben really was and what the hubbub was about. I didnt catch Ben's edition, I caught the one that Willie Garson won but as I was watching all I could think of was boy these celebrities suck. Mind you I had really never played poker except for a few games of drunken strip poker with an old beau in college. And I only had the rudiments of the hand rankings down but just by the little tutorial given my Phil G. I said to myself I can play this game. I was intrigued by the game and I thought Phil G was pretty damn hot!! Then I happened to catch the reruns of 2003 WSOP on ESPN and that sealed the deal.. I pulled out an old deck of T-ROCK (Turning Stone Casino) castoff cards I received in a race packet from the Utica Boilermaker, bought a few books and set out to teach myself No Limit Texas Holdem. This was probably at the end of 2003 beginning of 2004.
Fast Forward to August 2004. I hadnt played a hand of poker yet. I had just closed on a condo and moved in June, my grandmother had passed away at age 93 in May, a dear running friend decided he didnt want to be with us any longer in July. And my 18 year old Maine Coon Cat Chrissy was succombing to acute kidney failure. While I was nursing Chrissy trying to tell myself I could get her thru this I logged onto Full Tilt Poker which was pretty much still in Beta mode and played my first play money tournies. I didnt keep track but Believe i finished 7th of 9 in my first play money STT (thats Single table tourney for you non- poker players). Reloaded my chips tried it again and placed 4th. Did it again and Placed third earning play money chips!!! By the second day I had won my first Play Money Tourney and was hooked.
September 2004: I make my first deposit on Party Poker because I hear about Party all the time and the Party Poker Million. I love cruises having been on two so delusions of cruising the Caribbean and playing poker dance thru my head like sugarplums. Party has a new player $1 tourney. Big spender that I am I finish 13th of 413 for a couple bucks and am tap dancing. I am not playing often at this point a $5.50 3 table MTT or a STT here or there, largely on weekends and I am still nervous about losing money so I am cautious and conservative. I join two of my favorite forums in October 2004.... Poker Analysis and the Women's Poker Club. WPC has weekly Thursday night freeroll games and I play in as many as I can cashing in and finishing third in my first Omaha Hi/Lo tourney on Jet Set Poker and winning $10 after crash coursing a few books the night before. I am kind of busy at this time of the year with the bookstore and am not yet eligible for the Poker Analysis Free Roll league.
I fall into the trap that many a poker player does. I want to be involved in the action so I get away from the playing style that won me so many play money games and become a loose passive calling station. Poker is a game of POSITION POWER PATIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY. Its back to the books to seal the leaks. I am a quick learner and have a near photographic memory and easily recognize what is wrong with my game. Back to what worked for me in the beginning.
December 2004 busy busy busy. I play one forum challenge for PA and finish a respectable 38th of about 100+. Lots of good solid players there, some old pros, a few that have cashed at WSOP. I respect them all and figure I will learn from some very adept players. I am now eligible for Freeroll League. Top 25 earn points in each league game as well as the chance to have some nominal cashes. You need three scores in the top 25 to get invited to the monthly league final. I bubble (26th) in my first and make the final table in the other two. Pekabo invites me anyway because the league was a little shy of the 50 desired for the league final who had posted scores in three games. Have to miss the tourney as I am scheduled for the bookstore... GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE THAT WAIT.
Sick over New Years weekend normally I do registration for the HMRRC Hangover Half Marathon and Sober Up 3+ miler. Since I can barely talk and dont feel great I decide to stay in and get some rest. Its active rest: Marathon Poker weekend playing oodles of freerolls. But I Play like crap & lose all the rest of the money I had on Party Poker (about $22) by getting antsy in a Ring game of limit holdem. Another Lesson learned. Dont expect to perform well when Sick... Having finished off 2004 on what I considered a high note, 2005 wasnt looking too good.
On January 6th PA has a tourney on Royal Vegas Poker for a $5.50 buyin. I want to support EL and SYNERGY and buy in. Lou Krieger is a special guest with a bounty on his head and El has one on hers as do a couple others. There are about 31-32 in this tourney. I accumulate a nice stack early on when I knock out one of the gals. Lou Krieger gets moved to my table. Fortunately he is on my right. The guys at the table are exhibiting Fancy Play Syndrome and lets impress the pro. I stay out of trouble get moved and find myself in second chip position but am a distant second to the tourney leader. I make the final table and play fairly conservatively till we are down to 5 and then completely change gears and go on to win with my biggest cash to date of $58.75!! WOO HOO CHA CHING. Big confidence booster... I can play this game.
Fast Forward ahead to 2/17/05. I have now won two more tournies including one on 2/13/05. I had final tabled and finished 5th in a POKER CARTEL league game for a small cash the night prior. And I had final tabled for 7th in the WPC Champions league on Monday night. I am goaded by one PAer on our forum that I am the luckiest gal he has ever seen. Just so happened that my pocket ladies (QQ) held up against his JJ and I decimated his much bigger stack. I will admit that the two hands that won me 2/13/05 were luck. I caught an Ace on the river to take the lead from the chip leader and then my Kx outkicked a pair of dueces to win the game when the board played with a 10 8 x 10 8.. I never said Poker was fair..
Anyway Thursday night 10 PM way past my bed time and I was up till midnight the night before. I am grumpy because a cadre of loose women are seeing flops with Q2 sooted (ill explain that sometime) and hitting their two pairs. Flushes that arent the nuts are winning. 5 way action when the blinds are low. Not my style of poker. I am a raise and isolate gal. I stay out of trouble and am almost disinterested in this tourney. By level 5-6 I only have $1100 in chips or so and the leader has 25k but I move all in with one hand double up and make a run up the leaderboard which as one of my poker forum mates who was watching said was one of the most impressive things he had seen. I had aquired a ton of info in those early levels and used that information to my advantage when the cards started coming for me. When you are on you are on. I have really been focussing on putting my opponents on hands and I was dead on...To make a long story short I finish first of 244 women for a nice cash of $80. Thank you Poker Host for holding these Ladies night tournies.. There you have it my Defining Moment.
Where am I hoping this will lead me? First things First: a solid performance at my WPC Atlantic City Showdown. I am going to play to win because thats what I now do. I have gotten rid of the baggage of just wanting to make the points or make the final table. On any given day IG (Irongirl) when at her best is a force to be reckoned with. Since I have largely been a freeroll player or small $$$ buyin gal, I need to start entering a few $10 and $20 MTT's to see how I fair. Larry S tells me the same fishys inhabit the upper ranks too so I expect to be able to reel them in so to speak as I move up.
All for now.. gotta get ready for 72os league game #6 at 8:OO PM (missed the first two, final tabled the next two, was doing well in event 5 until the event got cancelled and rescheduled and I had an okay finish) Then its PA freeroll league on Noble at 8:30 PM at my second favorite game Omaha Hi/LO