If I was on full tilt, I'm now on extra full tilt.
-poker pro John Juanda, slumming it at Full Tilt's $3/6 table
You know what's cool about this royal flush? It's clubs, on St. Patrick's Day.
-me, to Mark via IM.
Fast forward to Friday. I just get to work and the goddess of the office says what did you do for St. Patrick's Day? I mean, what the fuck do you think I did? Poker Girl is in Vietnam visiting her family. Meg the flight attendant was out somewhere. Kelley was tired and didn't want to go out. And u, goddess, we don't really hang out anymore.
So that left me at home Thursday evening on St. Patrick's Day. Sour grapes: I didn't really want to go out anyway. I'm not phobic but I don't like crowds. And it was really cold out, at least for Atlanta. 39 degrees and dropping. So that left me, a frozen pizza and no limit to the amount of limit (well, three tables only) I could play at Absolute.
I'm in a $3/6 table when I end up with my second royal flush ever! And a royal flush of clubs, the mother of all Shamrocks on St. Paddy's Day!. (The imagery is a little better if you use 4-color decks like I do - clubs appear green). I was in late position with K10s and the Poker Gods were kind enough to let me limp in. I immediately flop a flush, 8QJ of clubs. I check. The button bets. I call.
Turn pairs the board. Another 8. I'm like fuck. My plan to check raise him is screwed, but I do it anyway. The button bets. I raise it up. He three bets it and I call.
The river is a marvelous ace of clubs, the hero of the Shamrock clan. But I'm in between bites of pizza, I don't even realize the daddy-o hand I have, and I check. The button checks behind me and I win the pot.
Whew, I think. He didn't have a boat.
Someone says "nh" and I automatically say "tx" and only then do I realize what I have.
Last year I hit a royal flush with KJs in Ultimate Bet's .10/.25 micro NL table. It was one of those dogs of a hand that if anyone bet I would have had to scuttle it. But I made it. It made UB's jackpot and I was credited with $50 bonus dollars.
Absolute isn't enough for me, so I try to burn the March 50 percent bonus later that evening on Full Tilt. Meg is back and I'm still trying to convince her to go out, via IM.
That's when something weird happened. The $3/6 table I was at went small all of a sudden and I clicked to leave. I found a full $2/4 table and I kept clicking on it but it was saying that I didn't have any more money to play with.
So I went back through the screens and found that I was still in the $3/6 table - I never clicked yes to "Do you really want to leave?" And now I find the table is full, with kurokitty, my icon, still sitting there.
And a John Juanda, no-limit master and runner-up Player of the Year, is playing there.
So I stick around, just another fish willing to say that he was beaten around by a poker great.
It's actually a great thing about online poker and pros who are sponsored by some of the sites _ when else are you going to get to interact with them? You see them at places like the Bellagio all the time, but I still haven't yet mustered up the courage to step up to the $1,500/$3,000 mixed game and say, "Is this seat taken?" If I did, I'd have to settle for one chip (at best) like that scene in Swingers
where the guy wants to play blackjack and gives them all his money and he gets three black chips back.
It was interesting seeing the effect Juanda had. Many people were talking to him, complimenting him on his plays.
His presence really loosened up the table -- I mean, he capped it pre-flop with a 98o, a dying quail of a hand that didn't amount to anything. His $100 buy-in went up and down, but mainly up. Normally these tables are soooo tight.
Mark is the founding member of the John Juanda Club. He jumped in a $1/2 NL table when Juanda was playing and was dealt the A-K. Only this time, AK was good and Mark flopped top pair. Juanda raised him all-in with an open-ended straight draw and Mark lived to tell the tale. He told everybody, as he should have! We were a long way from the Sadr City-like $5 buy-in games we know at home.
So anyway, I was dealt AsJc in the big blind. Juanda raises it up to $6. Me and two others call. Flop is 2, 9, Q, all spades. I check. Juanda bets out, it gets called, I check-raise for two bets. One guy folds and it is three-way.
Juanda: If I was on full tilt, I'm now on extra full tilt.
I'm not sure what he was referring to.
Turn is the 6 of spades. I make the nut flush. Small blind checks it. I check it. Juanda bets out. Small blind gets out of the way like those shopkeepers in those old Westerns, caught in a Main Street gunfight.
I raise. I've just check-raised John Juanda twice!!
Juanda makes it three-bets. So it's going to be one of those nights.
Observer: Show us ur angry face JJ.
Poor kuro has 15 seconds to act (I'm not sure what I was doing).
At the last moment, I make it 4 bets.
Dealer: John Juanda folds.
I get to muck my cards and the $75 pot is mine.
It's easy to bet out with the nut but what I loved about being at that table was that at least online, I wasn't intimidated by the presence of a much better player. He was just another guy with some money I wanted to take, maybe another dude without better plans on St. Paddy's Day?