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Just Call Me Tommy

(WARNING: very little beer content, a large amount of poker content)

Sneaky-Cup-179x300The road trip only made it as far as Ledyard, CT. With two thousand dollars in my pocket, I told myself if I lost half of it I would keep driving south. Maybe down to Florida.

Well, Poker Gods smiled on me as I worked away at the low and mid limit no limit hold ‘em tables, located in the basement of Foxwoods. The poker room manager got me a poker room rate ($90 a night, first at the MGM and then at the Great Cedar Hotel) so I spent five days attempting to be observant, patient, and brutally aggressive in spurts.

Overall, I was pleased with my play. I made two unusual calls over the 40 hours at the tables, having a pretty good read on the players and the situations.

In one spot I thought the guy was chasing a draw a huge percentage of the time, so I called him on the flop and turn for small bets, and then for $150 on the river. I had a pair of 5s and called into a board with four higher cards on it (2 6 7 9 K).

The second spot was wild, in a mid limit game. I raised with QJ of diamonds in late position. An aggressive player who had been playing very loose and in my mind bluffing a fair amount called. The board came with a queen and two small diamonds. I bet, he called. The turn was a black ace, which I didn’t love, but I also didn’t feel like he had one. He bet $100 and I called into a pot that had about $350 in it. The final card came and it was a black deuce, which eliminated the possibility of a flush or a straight. He checked, I bet $150, and he went into thinking mode, actually mouthing math quietly to himself before declaring his stack all in. He had roughly $550 left, which made it $400 to call into a pot that had $1150 in it. This guy would have missed a draw or would be bluffing way more than a third of the time, so I called pretty quickly and was happy to see he had only a pair of sevens. After playing tight and conservative for days, it was difficult putting so much of the money I had won on the line to make that call, especially as light as my hand was. But this guy and the way he played the hand reeked like a tomato shit.

Stacking $1500 of red chips is fun. You can build a fortress with them.

As glorious as this all sounds, about four days in I started getting very tired. While there are a great number of decent and interesting people, there are also a great number of lonely people and degenerates that play poker at Foxwoods. Sitting with these folks, vying to take cash from one another, eventually beats me down. Even if I am winning.

I decided I’d move upstairs to the tournaments, play one or two and head home.


That evening I flamed out of an $80 buy in No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament. I brought a Foxwoods cup filled with Vampire Slayer and sat there sneakily sipping on it. I think my opponents could smell the beer on the other side of the table, so I am not sure how sneaky that really was.

The next morning I played a $140 buy in No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament. Seated next to me was a salty, wrinkled old man with thick white hair and two gold teeth, who took to calling me Tommy. He would say stuff to me like, “Hey, Tommy, what shit you got over there?” Everyone at the table started calling me Tommy. Which was cool, because I kept building one of the biggest stacks in the tournament, eventually making a deal with the final five players to split the prize pool. Each of us received $943, but I got a nickname too.

Just call me Tommy.

Now I am back at work.

Miracle is getting bottled late next week.

Ben Fullelove is coming in from Texas to taste the first test batches of Brash Brewing Company beers.

Clown Shoes is working on the recipes for Let My People Go (pale ale with cucumber) and Rosebud (wit with rose).

It should be a good Spring!

Gregg B.

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