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10/18/2005: "shock and awe"

last night there were some shocking (but much less awsome) parallels between two of my favorite addictions.

i present to you: Baseball & Poker.

~~~~

last night my beloved Astros had a chance to do something that they had never done in my 35 yrs of life: secure a World Series birth. i myself had the opportunity to win my way into the Full Tilt Foxwood's satellite. each would play out very similarly....

early on, both myself and the Astros were cautious, but in the hunt. Biggio garnered an RBI and put the Astros out front; i had an early double-up when some poor chap pushed all-in in response to my raise of his initial 4xBB bet - my wired kings dominating and holding-up versus his offsuit A-K. the mood was set, and like the Astros, i was optimistic that better things were yet to come.

for the next few innings Pettite battled it out, keeping the Cards heady offensive lineup mostly at bay; Grudzielanek - possibly the longest last name ever stiched on a jersey - put the cards up 2 to 1 in the 3rd. several innings of scorelessness followed. i also battled, keeping myself in the top quarter of the tourney, mostly making easy steals using position, but never seeming to draw a good starting hand or flop a monster...it seems the cards were at bay for me too!

in the 7th inning Berkman did his Mr. Wonderful routine: Carpenter made a small error in pitch selection allowing the Killer B to deposit a homer into the Crawford boxes and put the Astros up 4 to 2. at my table i landed the semi-mediocre hand of A-Qs and brought in the raise; after some contemplation, one of the table bigstacks called. we saw a flop of K-Q-J, giving me middle pair and a draw to Broadway. the big stack bet out and i pushed; his call revealed top two, but the 10 on the river was my blast into the box seats and i doubled up into the top 10 places.

calm and guarded was the mood, both for me and the Astros in the 8th and 9th. no mistakes means the Astros first World Series visit. no mistakes means i can probably glide into one of the top 6 places, earning a satellite berth. in the top of the ninth, the Cards last at bat, Houston's young flame thrower Brad Lidge comes in. he easily fans both Rodriguez and Mabry and smartly stays out of trouble with the pesky Eckstein. for me, i land A-Ko in EP and raise 4xBB. it folds around to the table big stack, who is the big blind. he takes almost his whole time limit, but finally calls. we see a flop.

Poo-holes comes up in the 9th. with two men on he represents the winning run; he also represents a tough hand at bat. Lidge smokes the first pitch in for a big swinging strike.

the flop comes out K-X-X, rainbow. no straight draws on the board, so unless the big stack flopped his set, i am home free. i pot it. big stack raises. i am all-in. he turns up K-Qo, for top pair, shit-kicker. he's drawing to three queens. i can smell victory (and it does in fact smell like Napalm. how odd.)

Lidge gets the sign for his next pitch and fires in a slider. instead of the bottom falling out, it hangs over the plate and Poo-holes crushes it beyond the Crawford boxes, trying instead to deposit it directly on Crawford Street! only the closed glass stadium roof even keeps it in the park. the Cards go up 5 to 4.

Full Tilt's dealer prepares to lay out the turn. as it comes, it seems to hang and i catch an early glimpse - it is one of the three outs that can save my opponent - a queen! he flops two pair and i am out in 10th place.

i look to the television: the camera pans the Astros' dugout, the faces blank and full of shock. camera number two shows the elation in the Cardinal dugout and the utter awe that the team feels for Albert "Dreamcrusher" Pujols. i sit and stare at my monitors, one shows the tournament lobby and my tenth place, the other shows the newly seated final table, where i am not. i feel shock and awe too.

Replies: 1 Comment

I am tempted to say that is a bad call for him to call your all in re-raise. If the player has half a brain, he should be able to read you for TPTK at the very least if not a flopped straight.

Hard to believe Lidge could drop one. He was money all year.

StB said @ 10/19/2005 10:21 AM CST


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