Thursday, December 20, 2007

Then There Was Two

It is 10:40 am and I have tried to bring myself to complete my second to last trip report. It hasn’t been easy for there are so many elements to this heads-up/showdown with the legend named, Otis.

Elements that are so different yet somewhere they connect. Let us take a look at the particulars.

A-Lister v. Super A-Lister
City v. Country
Cocky v. Humble
North v. South
Popular Country v. Bluegrass Country
Hack Writer v. Real Writer
Bachelor v. Married
Old Blogger (2004) v. Super Old Blogger (2001)
NYC Wrecking Crew v. G-Vegas Crew
Brown v. White (I know Otis rolled his eyes at this one and said, Dear God…haha!)
Loud-Aggressive Drunk v. Quiet-Fall Down Drunk

Otis and I have some history behind us in terms of friendship and playing against one another. There is the legendary “BASH” story. Where such things you hear today were born. Example, The Rooster is Cagey. Of course over time people like Pauly Drama have added, The Rooster is one cagey MOFO...but you get the picture.

There is also my legendary crush on Mrs. Otis that we always laugh about and is all in good fun.

There are us opening up on our blogs that we were going through tough times emotionally.

There is us opening up about family which is kind of a private matter to both of us and I could see Otis struggling with some of those pieces he wrote (I suggest you all go read them...maybe he can link in comments the post about his father’s sickness and cards...AlCan’tHangs favorite post of all time from Otis).

Let it be stated that I love and respect Otis on so many levels that in some ways it seemed only right that he and I were heads up at the final table. And I, like so many other bloggers was kind of rooting for him to take it down. Of course there are a lot of other bloggers who I would have loved to play heads up against, yet, I think in many ways this was the most compelling story line (read above). For me it was a chance to play against one of the most solid players in the community and also one of my all time favorite writers.

From what I hear Speaker gave the Boom Shout: “It’s The Rooster and Otis heads up.” That caused the scurry to the table. But I will get to the surreal moment in a second.

Throughout the day Otis and I had been playing at the same table here and there and of course I was a wary of him on every hand…why you ask?

Three main reasons:

1. His reading ability and feel for the game.
2. His composure at the table hand after hand even after a bad beat.
3. He’s hard to read…he peeks at his cards the same way every time, he never rushed his calls and his look of calm, collected and calculated killer was a bit unnerving.

It was only three hands together at the same table that Otis took note of what I was trying to accomplish by my playing style (Johnny Hughes got it right away also). It wasn’t so much a verbal communication but a smirk that Otis gave me. Basically his look made me say, “Crap…he’s got my game plan down already.” So what could I do but smirk back and lift my eyebrows which basically said, “You got it.”

Throughout the day there is this friendly back and forth going on between us. If I would bluff I would show Otis from time to time. Sometimes he would nod his head that he wanted a peak and I would show him no problem. An understanding? I’m not sure what to call it to be honest because I’ve never done this with someone. And he did show me cards back. For as much as I did feel a threat whenever I sat with Otis...there was this whole notion that I would not get bit by the scorpion.

So there we are back and forth all night on raises, all-ins, and tough folds. All the while I really wanted to get rid of Otis because he was a thorn in my side. Then the hand of all hands happened. I was able to catch Otis on a semi-bluff with his all in and I was chip leader at the time and Otis was a bit short...I found a nice hand. I can’t recall the hand totally but I had him all in and I was ahead.

Flop...I’m ahead.
Turn...I’m ahead
Wait...Otis is calling for a King on the river.
River: KING!

Dear God. I let out a scream! As most of you know, I don’t read boards well so I didn’t see the straight that Otis hit. I just knew I lost by everyone’s reaction.

To show you how much of a class act Otis is I shall tell this story. After the hand I didn’t even see him shout with excitement. I was in my own little zone at the time. He came over after the excitement and said, “Joaquin, sorry I reacted like isn’t my nature.” I knew that. Shit, I didn’t even see him react. But that is Otis and that is why he is loved by all bloggers.

On another hand someone pushed and I called with 8/9 and Bacon Mary came over the top. I showed my cards to Otis and said, I want to call but I’m not getting the right odds to call. I mucked and he said, hard to call there. Then the flop came 4-8-9. We look at one another and giggled.


Out of nowhere tons and tons of bloggers show up for the showdown (read boom shout). I have a good chip lead at this time and the final table is being organized. I need to use the bathroom but everything is happening so quickly I don’t want to ask for a bathroom break right there. I’m caught up in the moment myself.

There are bloggers taking photos, bloggers laughing, Iggylooks like he may have had some of Pauly Drama special herbal tea, Otis looks tired, AlCan’tHang has a drink in hand, I see California April who thank God sweated me the final table, and of course I see Pauly and Change100...Donde esta Derek?

The dealer starts whipping out the cards and I’m a bit frazzled but it all. I’m feeling good because I’m in the lead chips wise and I feel I can push a bit. I got a bit card dead and Otis is really pushing hard now. I can’t counter the all-ins with the cards I’m getting and I feel that maybe Otis feels weakness.

All this time I’m not looking at Otis for a fear he can pick up tells on me. Also, I say this with all honesty...Otis was looking through me. The three faces of Otis for the day were:

1. I’m having fun here and hugging everyone
2. I’m tired when is this going to end
3. I’m here to win this and I am going to turn my game up.

Of course the third look was the look I was getting when we were heads up. So what else is The Rooster to do but act the fool and listen to Willie Nelson and Jay-Z. I know, I know, odd mix but it is what it is.

Crap...Otis has the chip lead. So I start to push back and come over the top. I’m trying to pop it on my button every single time to see where I am in the hand, but Otis pushes back and we are about even in chips. I take a bit of the chip lead then it happens.

Otis gets a read.

I can’t tell you what this read is but I had been employing a betting pattern that Otis picked up on. How did I know he picked it up? Easy. He cocked his head and smirked and came over the top. It was like the light had flashed and he pushed and I folded.

At this point I start to freak out a bit because that was my bread and butter move all I start to bop around and blasting Jay-Z. I think that four RedBulls, two cups of hot coco and three cokes starts to kick in. Wait, I’m not thinking straight so I turn it back to Willie.

The next hand I folded A-10 (I showed the A). Now to most people that would be golden in that situation. But I thought about it and thought...and remember when Mav didn’t engage because something didn’t feel right. Same with me...I was telling to me Willie, talk to me, but Willie Nelson didn’t say a word. At that time he was singing his gay cowboy song and I saw Speaker with his scarf on...nuff said.

I took a little chip lead and Otis pushed and I called and I won the race.

After Otis being Otis came over to shake my hand and we both babbled something to one another. I think the tired hit us both at the same time for we were spent. We went over to the IP and Pauly Drama pretty much covered what happened to me there. Dear God. Want to feel my Hamma?

In closing, thank you all bloggers for sticking around. It was great having so many bloggers at the heads-up match. It made it all that much more memorable and I’m sure Otis will agree. Until next time when you all come and try to take the title from me...later!

p.s. next top memories. Also, is Pauly Drama>Mr. Miagi? There is a reason they call it the Tao and his valuable lessons in tournament play such as: “Rooster, you can’t play like a pussy heads up.”


At 6:26 AM, Blogger Derek McG said...

Still can't believe I missed that heads up match. My fat ass was eating a steak during the final table. Tuve hambre!


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