Monday, May 15, 2006

Johnny Cakes

So did you see Sopranos this week? There is a great scene where Vito is doing some actual construction work, as opposed to the no-show construction work he's used to doing. There is a voiceover of Vito's inner monologue, basically saying "It must be 10:30 by now - don't look at your watch - save it - enjoy it," etc... then there's a cut, and Vito is still working, he's saying to himself "It's gotta be 11:30, maybe 11:45 - look at the angle of the sun - ok - go ahead - check your watch," he's just trying to make it to quitting time. He checks his watch: 9:55am. "FUCK ME!" Vito yells out loud - and I couldn't help but laugh - as I've definitely been there. Me and Vito are kindred spirits, only he's gay, fat, Italian, a total douchebag, a Yankee fan and a mobster. Other than that, he's just like me...

Oscar went to the groomer this weekend, where he got a stylin' trim. We just came back from yet another trip to the vet. He's trying to preserve his league leading status atop the West Village Animal Hospital appearances list. This time it was for a mysterious intermittent leg injury that he's been having. The vet couldn't diagnose the problem, but did surprise Oscar with his not-so-favorite test: the rectal thermometer. I was thinking, "Um, his leg hurts, he's not sick," but what the fuck do I know - I'm not a vet. I thought he had a luxated patella, which, in English means a bad kneecap. Little did I know that dogs only have kneecaps on their hind legs - the front legs are their arms, and thus have elbows. Oscar fought the backdoor intrusion like a champ, but I had to hold him and settle him down, as the last thing I need is a BROKEN rectal thermometer inside of him.

How about some ACTUAL POKER CONTENT at Kid Dynamite's World? I haven't played recently, but I have still been watching, among other poker shows, the World Poker Tour (hey, I'm a stockholder!), which is almost unwatchable in the wake of the stellar "High Stakes Poker" (season two debuts the first week in June!). So this week was WPT Tunica - Gold Strike, featuring Gavin Smith, Scotty Nguyen, and Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi sitting right next to each other in that order. Scotty and Grinder are the chipleaders, and play a pivotal pot early, where Scotty has 4-4 in the small blind, and Grinder has 5-6 in the BB. Forgive me if I get the action wrong, but I think it was very close to this:

Scotty limps, Grinder checks (Grinder may have made a small raise, not sure).
Flop: K-x-7, rainbow. Scotty checks, Grinder bets around 1/2 pot, Scotty calls, and says "You're going to check the turn, so I call now."

Turn: 4, giving Scotty a set, and Grinder an open-ended straight draw. Scotty checks. Grinder says "He wants a check, give him a check" and checks behind.

river: 3. Grinder goes runner-runner nuts! Aiyahh! Scotty checks, and Grinder bets out about 2/3rds the pot, perhaps slightly less.

Scotty starts to think. He cuts his chips - and at one point he even says "I can't believe I could just call you here," but continues to cut his chips, and there is no action ruled. After several seconds, Scotty stacks his chips into the pot as he says "RAISE," and reaches back for his raising chips. Grinder, in a complete brain fart, turns his cards over!

The tourney director is called to make a ruling, and SOMEHOW, he rules that Scotty can just call the bet! Huh? There is no way that's correct. Scotty is obligated to a min-raise at least. Gavin Smith pipes in something about how "there was reason to believe he was beat," but I really couldn't catch what he was trying to say, or figure out if that had something to do with the Floor's decision.

Anyway, this was a pivotal hand, as Scotty would have clearly had a tough time getting away from his set of fours on this relatively non-threatening board against a player as aggressive as the Grinder. Scotty would have check-raised the river, and Grinder would have come over the top. Scotty may very well have had to pay Grinder off with his set, as he fears only a bigger set and exactly 5-6, and suspects that Grinder's re-raising hand range is wider than that. Then again, maybe Scotty would get away from it, who knows. In any case, it was a huge mistake for the Grinder, who ended up finishing second to Scotty.

Until next time,


Anonymous said...

yeah I thought the ruling was screwy as well, until I thought about the alternatives available to the tournament director..

1. do the "by the book" ruling, make scotty min raise, and give the grinder a 10 minute penalty.

but .. in this case with the high blinds and playing 3 handed, wouldn't a 10 minute penalty actually be worse than the 170k more that Scotty would have to put in ? You also have to take into account that in some tourneys exposing your cards counts as a muck. I think this is a very difficult decision, and basically the grinder fucked up so...


Kid Dynamite said...

I think the proper ruling was to make scotty min-raise and NO penalty for the Grinder.. he wasn't shooting an angle...