A Friendly Game of Hearts
November 13, 2021

It's been a long time since I've gone home as the sun was rising and woken up as it was setting. I used to do it all the time when I was grinding cash games here in town and in Minnesota. Those games that ran from about 2am til they broke were often the best money-making opportunities that were available to a mid-stakes grinder. It was a worthwhile sacrifice to be on a crappy schedule so that I would only have to work 25 hours a week, instead of 40 hours doing the day shift.

As I've gotten older/moved to playing more tournaments, I've naturally moved to an earlier schedule. But, since I'm moving into more of a balance between the two, I knew the night that I played the cash game til sunrise would come soon.

Also as I've become older/more successful, the stakes and games that I play and where I play have changed. It used to be 40-80 limit at the Venetian. Now? High stakes hearts.

Everybody (Gavin, Cantu, Layne, Fuller, E-Tay, Madsen, etc.) has been playing a bunch of hearts lately for some pretty decent stakes. I have yet to make it into a game, although I have definitely wanted to. Cantu's been begging me to play (probably not a good sign for me), and I finally decided to play last night.

The lineup was Gavin, Madsen, Cantu, and I. We were playing $10 a point and all points are paid. If you land on 120 when you go over 100 to lose? Well, you pay everybody [120-(their score)]*$10. If you wind up in negative points in any given game, you get paid double by everybody. Standard rules otherwise. Poker Videos

First game goes well for most of the session. We had Cantu on the ropes which is always a good feeling, having him stuck 86 to like 55, 35, and 25. I was leading the way and things were going good. Then, we couldn't give Cantu a point to save our lives, I couldn't duck the Black Mariah, and Cantu managed to shoot the moon on the last hand to win 95-99-gavin/jeff over 100. It was a small game, and we were ready for another.

Now, I'm pretty decent with hearts, and I was feeling good about my play. I was making reads, inducing, drawing, etc... all the old tricks, but somewhere along the way I got tired since I was awake at like 8:00 am that morning and Gavin got me drinking beers.

The 2nd game was pretty much a disaster. I don't remember details, but I started sucking and ended up losing $200 in props and $1200 in the game, erasing my meager $200 profit in the first game.

We were about to call it a night, Jeff and I (who were obviously the fish... Gavin and Cantu are both highly underrated cardplayers IMO) were done, and we finally got suckered in by this speech from Gavin. "I'll pay you each $300 to play another game."

Now, I mean, I know I wasn't playing well, but c'mon, I can't be thaaaaaaat big of a dog, riiight?

They called FEMA after my first half dozen hands.

I couldn't do anything. And I was sucking. And running bad. And after like 8 hands it was 87 for Gavin (Gavin was running thrice as bad as I was playing), 81 for me, and Jeff and Cantu (who had to be chuckling to himself that Gavin paid to make this game go) were both under 30. It was looking expensive. I am supposed to lose about $1500-2k in this game.

But then, through no influence of my own, I somehow luckboxed my way into 19 points, making my score a smooth 100, that magical number that *POOF!* makes your score go away. In fact my counts were so off that I thought I had two less points than I really did, but when I rolled over and counted my points I found that ugly black lady plus six loving friends, making my total 19 points, and 81+19 = 100, and just like that I was all the way down to zero points once again.

This is like a $4k swing by the way.

I was really tired going into that game, but after luck-sack-ing my way through that hand, I felt like I was on a complete freeroll for the night and ended up chatting with Gavin on his back patio around 6:30 am by the time I finally got moving toward my truck. I netted somewhere around $1500 on the night, got home, and then slept til the sunrise.

Now it's 6:07 pm, dark outside, I haven't eaten anything but a mirco-orange juice from my micro-fridge and a banana. I need to run errands before leaving the country on Saturday, and that's looking like that's gonna happen tomorrow now :).

Off to see Vinny Favorito with Gavin, Lisa, and Shelley at 7:30, and who knows after that.

Peace and good luck,


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