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West Friendship, MD

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  • West Friendship, MD

    My trip to Johnny_Bravo’s

    This being my 2nd trip to Ed’s Home Game I had high expectations. I would get to see some old friends and meet some new ones as well. Besides that I would have the opportunity to play with a Poker Legend (again). Now I’m not gonna say who this player is but just know that there was only one player (to my knowledge) in PSO that finished higher than he in the Card Player, Player of the Year race and the Poker Legend would say that this was a fluke.

    There was so much trash talking up leading up to the big day that it was silly, and all modesty was left at the front door. The event started a little late as there were a few players running a bit behind. When we finally got started there were 25 or so runners 18 were PSOers and at least 1 former PSOer. The format was great we all started with 5K in chips for our original buy-in plus one additional rebuy/add-on for an additional 5K in chips. Rounds would last 25 minutes. Before we got started our host announced there would be some bounties. These were chosen at random as was the seating. Come to find out I was lucky enough to get a seat to the right of the Poker Legend. I mean to be in the same room as this player is one thing, to be at the same table is another, and to have position on the Legend is nothing short of a dream for me.

    Well we finally got started 6 handed with the Poker Legend in the big blind. Since we started out 6 handed and I wanted to let the Legend know that I wasn’t going to let him push me around I decided to raise his big blind with Ax on the 1st hand. Well of course the Poker Legend doesn’t want to be pushed around and give up his blind early on. He decides to play a flop and calls my raise. Well the flop comes Axx and I hit top pair the Legend checks and and I throw out a bet to see if my Aces are good. Wouldn’t you know it, the Poker Legend decides to check raise me on the 1st hand. Well not to say I had a read on a Legend in the 1st hand I decide to make the call. It gets checked down on the subsequent streets and I show my pair of Aces and its good. Wow this hand was huge confidence builder for me. I mean I can actually play a hand with a legend and not lose. I would take this confidence all the way to the final table.

    Well the next few levels were fairly uneventful for me as I just stuck with my tight aggressive style. Then it was soon time to break my table and move. Well I draw the “Feature” table along with the Poker Legend, it wouldn’t be so bad but the legend pulls position on me this time. Well after the move it doesn’t take long for the legend to start attacking my blinds. I decide that I’m just not going to let him steal them in broad daylight so I make the call with 76 off suit. The flop comes absolutely perfect 8 4 5. An absolute dream flop for me. I check the nuts and start to ponder how I can get the most value out of this hand. Well the legend makes a hefty bet that looked like he wanted to take it down. At 1st I wanted to slow play it, but then I decided that he would be too smart for that. I then decided that if I make a raise he would be onto that too. I finally decided that the right play was to make it look like a bluff and I moved all in. Now if the player had an over pair there would be no way he could fold. Poker Legend went into the tank. I just sat there quietly staring at the table repeating in my head “Call, Call, Call, Call” well the Poker Legend being the great player he is folded AA face up 8O . Well I didn’t capitalize on my chance to cripple the legend but there were a few things that were accomplished on this hand none the less. 1. I won another pot off the Legend, this time out of position. 2. I now had enough chips to bust the Poker Legend which was important because he is a legend and he had bounty on his head. The bounty on the him was an exact replica of the watch he didn’t win at the 2005 Trump Classic.

    Now for the defining moment of my poker career to date. I have logged many hours of poker and won my share of money and tournaments, but this is by far the most memorable.

    Blinds have worked their way up to the 400-800 level with at $100 ante. Its folded to me on the button and my friend the Poker Legend is in the big blind. Now like I said earlier I have been playing my usual tight aggressive game up till this point, so I decided it was time to make a stab at the pot and pick up the blinds and antes. I hold K3o and make my standard raise to 2400. The small blind folds and Poker Legend decides he is gonna make a stand here and defend his blind, and moves all in. It was about 5K on top of my original raise (about ½ of my remaining chips). Now I usually don’t make a habit of calling all-ins with this type of hand, but this time it was different. I have a chance to bust a Poker Legend. I was getting better than 2:1 pot odds (6 x 100 antes + 400 small blind + my original raise of 2400 + Poker Legends call of 2400 + his subsequent reraise of 5K= 10,800). If my read is right and he doesn’t have a pair I’m less than a 2:1 dog here. So I have to call 5K to win 10,800 and a bounty and a chance to bust a Poker Legend. I call and the legend has Ajo.

    1,712,304 games 0.060 secs 28,538,400 games/sec


    equity (%) win (%) tie (%)
    Hand 1: 34.4905 % 34.24% 00.26% { Ks3d }
    Hand 2: 65.5095 % 65.25% 00.26% { AsJh }

    The flop comes 475 and at this point I scream for a 6 on the turn and what comes? A beautiful 6 of Diamonds and I have a Poker Legend drawing dead as no card can win the hand for him and the best he can hope for is a tie. The tie didn’t come and I stand over my battered victim and collect my well deserved bounty and wish a Legend good luck as he heads to the rail.

    The rest of the tournament was a blur as I was far too excited to remember anything besides the fact that I won the last longer pool between myself, The Poker Legend, and our gracious host. It was decided that the Poker Legends money would be chopped (literaly) with Mr. Bravo because this prize was far too valuable to be had by just one person. But I won Mr. Bravo’s money as well. :twisted:

    I'd like to say congrats to gregr and partaker for their fine play. Also many thanks to Ed for running such a great game. Nowhere else in the world can one find such a group of fine players in all in one spot. Bar none!

  • #2
    DAMN - I was seated at the feature table to witness the action (hear the trash talking) and I failed to get the LEGEND's autograph.

    At least I got some of his stromboli. Which was the best, bar none as well.



    • #3
      What a great story!! Almost as if we were there!

      And stromboli?!! I love stromboli!!! I haven't had that since I was a youngin!! Mmmmmm!!!!


      • #4
        Yes, the stromboli was great,....just opposite of the weather. I'da been around a bit longer, but my two pair got busted by a two outter inside gut shot that made me 1st out of this contest. My 1st time at Ed's get together and it was as good as folks said the priors one were. Hope to see you all soon.-Steve


        • #5
          Thanks Joe (and Ed),

          I'm sorry I missed it. Thanks again for the invitation. In the end, I was obligated to go to Tunica.

          BTW, I'm hosting my own NLHE home tournament in Greenwich, NY in March (less than 3 hr drive from Turning Stone). Let me know if you know anyone who may like to attend.

          So anyway, on the 14th I played in a cash NLHE game and imagined I was with you folks in Maryland. Here is what I wrote elsewhere:

          Learning the Hard Way

          To commemorate my last night in Tunica I played nearly seven hours at a $1/$2 NLHE cash game. I did all right, I thought, until...

          I got AQ on the button, made it $7 to go after all folded in front of me, and was called by the two blinds. $21 in the pot. Flop came AJ4 rainbow and, with position, I was pleased. Check, check and I bet $10. sb folded. bb called. $41 now in the pot. Turn was another A in the 4th suit. Check to me. I bet $20. He raised to $40. I raised to $60. He called the raise. $161 in the pot. River was an 8. He moved all in. He had about $2,000 in front of him and had been bullying the table. I called my last $200. He showed A8o. I walked away broke. I played well for 6 hrs and 59 minutes (I tried to convince myself) but gave it all up in an instant. Big Sigh.

          About an hour earlier I saw him put somebody all-in when a scare card hit on the river causing the player to fold his top pair with top kicker. Then he showed his hand: he had 7-high!

          I didn’t give him credit for another ace, let alone a full house (very bad read on my part). But, to give him credit, he set it up nicely with some loose aggressive play earlier. He was a special player...sat down with $400...when I left he had $ a $1/$2 game!!! He was the shark. Apparently, I was just one of the gold fish.

          My poker mentor, Aaron Hendrix (thehazyone), may be right when he refers to AQ as ‘the devil’. I played a tourney a few months ago and died on the bubble when I moved all-in with big slick and was called by AQ. Then two queens hit the board and I busted out. I received the same (zero) prize that the maniac who busted on the first hand received. These things are supposed to even out, right? I should live so long. Damn, I love this game. Now I'm broke but happy...story of my life!

          OK, so I took advantage of the opportunity to chat with some of the touring poker pros about my hand. They said three things that I need to process...

          First, raising 2.5 or 3 times the big blind first-to-act in a no limit hold’em cash game tells the good players at the table that I am primarily a no limit TOURNAMENT player, and not a cash gamer. The proper standard raise, they tell me, is 5xBB FTA, 6xBB with one limper, and as much as 10xBB with multiple limpers. Good players, I'm told, salivate when someone makes it 3.5xBB ($7) to go because (a) they are comfortable that they can outplay a tournament oriented player after the flop and (b) their implied odds are terrific ($5 vs. your whole stack from the BB). This information is consistent with the betting action I observed for the seven hours I was there.

          Secondly, a half pot bet on the flop is too small in this particular situation. I need to find out if someone really has the case ace and drive out any draws (KQ, KT, backdoor flushes). They recommend $60-$100 up to half my remaining stack. Then if he plays back I can be pretty certain that he has the other ace and that his kicker may play. Of course, he probably would've moved me all-in right there with the same outcome.

          Thirdly, when someone moved me all-in with a paired board it was very bad to call off the rest of my chips without a full house, UNLESS I was sure the opponent was trying to move me off the pot without the goods. That's the problem. In my mind I was convinced I had the best hand. He could've just as easily had JJ, 44, 88, AJ or A4. I was too stubborn to accept the fact and, as a result, paid the price.

          The trip to Tunica was not a total loss. I have my final table jacket from the media event. [go here to see it: ] I learned some new tricks courtesy of Poker Pages. (Special thanks to Amy Calistri, Tim Lavalli, Kaelaine Minton, and Mark Napolitano.) I met many new friends and saw some old friends including Arlene Simms and Ronnie Yarborough and, of course, my favorite blackjack dealer Lori. The high point of the trip was watching Ronnie win $90,000+ in the $1,000 buy-in NLHE event at the Grand. Here's the story:

          Kaelaine was kind enough to drive me to the train station in Memphis. On the way she gave me what was probably the best advice of all. She said, "If I find myself at a no limit cash game and look around at a bunch of chip stacks much bigger than mine, I find another table. You should do the same." Thanks Kae. Better late than never.

          I posted the hand in my study group. Kevin (kailyn31) added the following sage wisdom:

          "Kae's advice is spot on, and I will go a little further. NL cash games in Tunica are very profitable, and I love playing down there, but you must have a sufficient bankroll on hand to play these games. Normal games, I buyin for the max, which is usually 100x the BB, if it is less than that, I won't even play. In Tunica, I always like to sit down with 250-300x the BB, because there is no max buyin there. I usually won't sit at a $1/$2 game with less than $500, and $2/$5, 1k-1.5k, and $5/$10, $2300-$3000. As I said before, these games are all about implied odds. When a guy sits down with 100x the BB or less, the big stacks salivate, and more often than not, you will be leaving with nothing. My best piece of advice, if you are playing NL games in Tunica, buyin for at least these amounts, or don't play."

          I hope to give my money to you guys next time...instead of those sharks swimming around in Tunica.

          Best wishes,


          • #6
            I am posting this to add another person's perspective to the event's chronicled in FIshmongers post. Any discrepancys if the repots is to be blamed on alcohol and poker poising...

            I can't even begin to describe the joy associated with having a poker legend attend an event at my humble abode. The press lined up outside on the driveway...the cameras was almost overwhelming.

            Once inside the house however, things setteled down a bit. Well not really. The trash talking from the legend left everyone a bit in awe of his skills, both verbal and with the cards.

            It was an impressive display hearing the legend cut through the field with his wit at the table next to mine...untill I finally heard a phrase I never thought I would hear come out of his mouth...."REBUY" which point the trash talk turned to whining. "I can't believe he played could I put him on a flush" are just a few of the whines flying. But still the good sport the legend pushed on. His table broke and he was moved further away from where I was sitting, but still the voice was booming through the house...untill it happened...the legened was no more...he busted out - to no less then the biggest fish(monger) in the room. Silence...Silence....Silence...the entire neighborhood seemed to stop and morn the loss of the legend from the tournament.


            At this point I need to clarify something in Fishmongers post.

            There was indeed a last longer bet between the fish, the legend and myself. When the legend busted out, Fish and I looked at each other and knew what we had to do. What is the true value of a $20 bill? Well $20 of course, but this $20 bill was not just any $20 bill, it was the bill of a legend. Though we were both very much alive in the tournament we knew what we had to do. We both agreed and then split the $20 down the middle - a piece of the legend for each of us. Watch for a change in a few avatars in the near will see the true value of a legens $20 bill.

            Back to the game....

            A few rounds after the legends departure, I donked of the last of my chips when attempting a bluff with KQo against Partakers AJo... then I completed my demise when I pushed with J,9 spades from the button against greg(i have a horseshoe up my butt)r's small blind. Greg woke up with KK (he also had it in his bb the hand before) and ended my tourney.

            Watching the final table was a was hearing the legend explain his loss...and lament of how he did not win a watch for the 2nd time in a month. It was sad to see the legend in such a state...he was actually speachless several times throughout the remainder of the night. I almost felt sorry for him...NOT!

            After the tourney the cash game was more of the same. Greg had the horseshoe firmly implanted in his tail...the legend took great pleasure harassing the legend. Partaker just played his game and earned more cash (he finished 2nd in the tourney to gregr's first), and I just sat back and was the n;l cash game fish that I am.

            The tourney was a blast and I hope everyone that attended had a great time and will be able to make the next one!


            • #7
              I just don't understand where all of this sarcasm is coming from. I mean i was in attendance too, and have a totally different opinion of the events that took place. What I saw out of this poker legend was nothing short of briliance. If it wasn't for some of the worst luck Ive seen in a long time, this legend, and I just want to state that i rarely throw words like that around so when i use it here, i really mean it, he would have easily walked away with the first place money, the money from the last longer bet, the watch that another player put on his head, and one of the finest trophies I have ever laid my eyes on.

              I mean some of the things that happened to this Card Player Player of the Year contender were just sick. He made the eventual winner put all of his chips in drawing dead to three outs and naturally he hit one. And twice watched helplessly as the biggest fish in the event sucked out on him in what can only be described as disheartening. In the first one with the blinds at 200/400 and 50 ante, Our hero makes it 1200 UTG +1, and everyone folds in awe as our hero once again show his prowess. When it gets to the BB, fishyboy, who obviously was blinded by the greatness this legend showed meekly calls. The flop comes 458 and the BB checks. Our hero shows his bravery and test the waters by firing another 1200, which prompts the BB to go all in. Ths puts the legend to the test. And as I watch him pondering what to do, I realize something. He has pocket aces, and is trying to figure out what to do. To see his mind working was like looking at a Van Gogh painting, a beautiful work of art. I had to fight back the tears because i haven't seen anything so beautiful in years. Well he finally realizes his hand is no good and folds his AA face up, and the rest of the table has a real confused look on their faces. That is until Fishyboy somehow proudly turns over 67 for the nut straight. The other players at the table gasp in shock wondering how one man could make such a huge laydown, but our hero just quietly put his ante in for the next hand and went about his business. Afterwards I privately asked the legend how he made that laydown, and he replied " I wasnt playing my aces there, I was playing my opponent. And as bad a player he is, nothing would make him happier than to knock me out, so I knew he had to have my AA beat." Pure poetry. That is the only way i can describe what he said there.

              Well it wasnt too long after that, that our hero was sucked out on again by Fishyboy when he tried a steal on the button with K3o and the G.O.A.T.( greatest of all time) sniffed that out right away and pushed all in with AJo. Naturally he showed his calling station tendencies and turned a nasty straight to eliminate the legend. But he was given a standing ovation upon his exit, and decided to stick around and root the remaining players on. What a great guy he is. he even helped out by dealing some of the final table.

              To summarize my day in this tourney, all i can say is that the experience I gained by watching a maestro such as the G.O.A.T. in action far outweighed whatever the buy in was for the tournament. Oh and by the way, not only is he the best poker player Ive ever seen live, he makes one hell of a stromboli. His cooking alone was worth the price of admission. I can't wait until we can do it all again.



              • #8
                Oh ... my ... god. (wheeze). Can't ... stop ... laffing ...

                There is going to be SO ... MUCH ... PAYBACK over this. The eastern seaboard is going to rock with it. You don't mess with the 1913th ranked player of the world and get away with it.

                Joe and Ed, your days are SO numbered ...


                • #9
                  For some reason and I suspect the Bravo-Alumni will end up with their own tables (maybeown poker room) at the Orleans this summer during the PSO convention.


                  PS I think it was mentioned once or twice that 1913 was a better ranking than Howard Lederer.


                  • #10
                    LOL. Great stuff, guys! That's giving me flashbacks of all the funny moments from this past Saturday.

                    At first, I thought I was unfortunate to be stuck at a short-handed table with the poker legend and his arch rival the chipmonger, but the entertainment value was priceless. Once the anxiety wore off, or was laughed off, it was a great experience. 8)

                    I can only imagine what that table would have been like if Kailyn31 (had he made it and who has to remember he's not 21, anymore :lol: ) and Johnny_Bravo were at it. I almost fell off my chair laughing a couple times as it was, but I surely would have if the latter were true. (Those four guys, who play live and together, somewhat regularly, are hilarious when they get their trash talking going amongst each other.)

                    I still have to put a trip report together, but I've been beat, all week, especially - after beating all those circling sharks with my horseshoe. :P

                    Great reporting, Frank! Will be looking forward to your home game.


                    • #11
                      I nominate this thread, particularly AJ's reply, for January Post of the Month!


                      • #12
                        bump, this is for you Brant


                        • #13


                          • #14
                            bump, why not, it was good reading


                            • #15
                              Good reading and good memories.




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