Friday I actually worked an almost full day as I was assisting in phone lab. Phone lab is the proving ground for the "new" Customer Service Reps that will get released this Friday. They actually start taking live calls but with support to answer their questions. Normally phone lab runs about 4 weeks but because most of the class has been on the phones as contingency staff in their old jobs the learning curve time is shorter. Most of the people in this training class are my former teammates including my old supervisor Ellen who will be leading the first team of former claims examiners now doing phones full time. Those who have yet to be trained will either go in the spring or will be out the door without packages if they dont want to go to customer service.
Its an honor to be picked for phone lab as it means you are off the phones for the week unless a call turns into a supervisor issue in which case you get to be a supervisor. Its also one of my last chances to see a lot of old faces as Im heading home to work after the new year begins
I dont currently own a cellphone. Since Im on the phone 9 hours a day I tend to rely on email or IM more then anything else. I will talk to my parents, sis, BFF-Kim and her family and Snake ad-nauseum but other then that I adhere to a call screening and let the answering machine pick up policy.
I dashed up the Northway, cranking the Other Ones show from the Pepsi Arena a few years back. A good Scarlet/Fire, Playin in the Band into Lost Sailor/Saint of Circumstance into Space was just the ticket. Fire On the Mountain with Mickey on vocals and an almost seductive reggae beat had me swaying in the seat of my Santa Fe. I then listened to a little bit of the Joshua Tree with my favorite song being One Tree Hill. No Dave tonite. He has twice got me pulled over for speeding.
I dont get much of a chance to talk to Ray about his WSOP seat win pre-game as he is seated at one of the other two tables with his brother Rich and Zoe. When he called me late late Thursday nite, I was half asleep, sinuses and nose stuffy and a raspy voice. Since he had slept like not at all yet after his win (which came about 1:30 to 2:00 AM Thursday) he was exhausted too. I tell him to get some sleep and Ill talk to him tomorrow. The other table has almost all the 60+ older men. I look at Jimmy and point and state: "geezer table". Other then a few I was looking at Rock City. Damn I wish I were there.
I'm seated at the diamond table sandwiched between Eric the current league champ hot with 4 wins and my other favorite APLer-Lgkeeper aka Trent. Trent had been MIA with subs the previous week or so as his new job requires him to be at work at 3 AM some saturdays. Always entertaining and quick with advice its a treat to sit with him. I consider he and Snake to be my two coaches. Trent is brilliant with pot odds and will shake his head and point when I fold my sb against the bb. Of course he is my bb this evening and twice when I try to limp against him he pushes all-in. A favorite TS move I might add. He chides me for folding 43os in the SB and then asks to rabbit the cards. Two fours hit. You wont see that again he smirks and I just giggle.
Action gets underway and I look at Eric and bluntly state if you go after my BB when you are SB.... GOOD LUCK Storming the Castle. He just laughs and says as long as I have chips I'm gonna raise and bet. Unfortunately for Edawg, Kamikaze Kenny has decided to join us for his second appearance of the season. He stacks Eric leaving him with crumbs.
Trent was bopping away listening to his IPOD when he gets involved in a big hand with Kamikaze Kenny. His mouth is lip syncing the tunes but when Kenny fires at the pot. Trent takes one earbud out, sits up straight and he gets this look on his face like he's about ready to move in for the kill, eyebrows arched up just like a cheetah ready to take down an unwitting gazelle for a quick snack. When Kenny pushes all in Trent calls and leaves Kenny with scraps of about $1800.
A few hands later Juddy raises to $900, Eric moves all in and I look down to AA.... Now do I massage this bet and keep Juddy in the hand or push in to isolate eric? I decide to go for the all-in with position because I dont want Juddy who will call if she hits her hand drawing out on me. Juddy folds AK face up.. Eric flips AK.. I have no outs but Edog fails to improve and I send him to the rail.
As the tourney progresses, Juddy and Karen have won some hands and now have stacks. Karen knocked out Wade when her QQ held against Wades TT. She is dangerous with a stack. We break down to two tables.. Lex's dad is subbing for Darren. Lex went out early but his dad is moved into Eric's position. I have no information on this man. NADA. I dont know if he is loose stupid, a calling station, a rock or a skilled player.
My undoing-------Keith raises to $900 on my immediate right. I look down at AA again. Instead of moving all in I decide to reraise to $1800 something I do in the regular blogger tourneys because anybody can shove their chips into the middle. Trent looks down to what I found out later was 99 aka the IG. He states anyone other but Lori and Im in the hand. He folds. Mike the commish, folds too with J9 or something. Flop comes down xJJ... Keith instachecks. That proves to be my undoing. I fire and he comes over the top. I know he has hit trips. Im frustrated and push my scraps in rather then play shortstack poker with nothing. He had called my reraise with J8os. Im speechless. Trent would have had a set of 9's had he stayed in and would have been damaged. From what Trent told me after Mikey had the other J and a 9 so Keith caught the two case jacks in the deck. Such is poker.
I grab my coat literally stunned and reeling from what had just transpired. The tourney is supposed to break soon so I go over to Rays table to say goodbye and tell him I'll talk to him later as I dont want to join the live cash game getting underway. I still dont have all the details of his WSOP sat win. I have to work in the AM and figure I can jump in a sng when I get home. Eric has mathematically figured out that I should still stay in 5th. Doug in 7th place overall had gone out before me, and Zoe went out a few spots after me. With Lex out early too, I figured Ray would move up to #3 and I might just close up on Lex. Thats exactly as it played out when results were posted. Steve overtook Eric with a #2 finish.
I get home and feed Bailey and play with him for a bit and get changed. I shoot Ray a quick email and the link for Poker.com for my Blogger tour finale and "A whats a gal to do when she gets knocked out...?? She gets back up and plays again." I jump onto pokerstars into a $5.50 sng. I got home just after 9 PM and its a 40 minute drive from Ft Edward to Half Moon so Im too late to play the PA buy-in league game on Absolute. I get on-line about 10 or so. It is down to about 6 in the sng and I see Snake pop up in chat. Two players are all in so I cant answer right away.. Ray had a big stack when I left, riding his WSOP mojo high. I expected either Trent or He to take down the tourney. So now I know hes out. I ask who was riding high and he typed TS for Trent.
There are times when you just know you are destined for the bubble. An early faux paux with AK against AQ which hit a queen on the turn had left me damaged but not dead. I was buoyed by the fact that I had won a tourney the nite before and I never count myself out. Friday nite was not one of those nites for a comeback. My cowboys get cracked by the big stack with A3 I believe rivering an ace and out I go in 4th.. Bubblicious as always.
I flop down on my bed to ponder my sorry poker fate.. AA and KK cracked two times in one nite but I feel confident Ill be good in the blogger finale when it counts. The phone rings and its Snake. I give him the full run-down on my hand with Keith.
"Oh it gets worse" he states matter of factly.
"I had XXsuited" he states. One of my favorite hands too.
I believe Ray raised with the hand and Keith called the raise similar to my scenario. The flop came 33 X giving Ray top pair. Keith Instachecked Ray fires... Call from Keith. Turn same thing. With only about $4400 chips left and a board favorable to his top pair and a pretty good read that Keith had not hit a piece of anything Ray fired all in and of course Keith calls. Ray flips his hand and Keith flips AJ there is not an A or a J on the board. An ace rivers and Ray is sent home in 7th (of course its a lot better when you hear it directly from Snake)
I can tell by his voice that he is still upset and I state the obvious
"You sound upset" - Duh. But it is a statement of fact.
"Of course Im still upset. I' m kind of on Tilt" (now fortunately he cant see me roll my eyes up at the ceiling, because Ray is rather unflappable. But then again even Achilles had a heel or a Tendon!!)
"I hate being beat by bad play" I cant believe he called off all those chips with nothing not even a draw".
I decide to change the subject and quickly change course onto the $500000 question of whether he will play the .5 million guarantee on FTP which he had qualified for and is virtually on a freeroll for.. "Still undecided" he states.."Well, you know how I feel on this" I reply matter of factly back.
To be continued with IG's Blogger Poker Tour final regular season event