Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wherein James Woods Talks Shit to Me - And I'm Not Even Playing!

"NC." Says FBT, and Bolivia and Steve (a $100-$200 limit player) and a couple guys snigger.

What's 'NC,' I ask.

"Nerd convention." They laugh knowingly, the disdain dripping off the chuckles.

This was prompted by the following incident. I'd just busted out of the $1020 mega satellite for the main event here at the LA Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino. The Commerce, by the way, is the center of the poker universe, not Vegas. Aside from the WSOP Main Event, the juiciest fields of dead money are in the LA Poker Classic Main Event, the $10,000 buy in that last year paid a top prize of $1.8M. That was with 518 players, and tomorrow's field is expected to be between 600-800, for a first place prize of over $2M. Although I'd already won a seat online into the main event, the overlay on the mega satellites is juicy enough that it's worth buying the 1K seat to win 10K cash (which is what you get after you've already taken one seat).

After I busted out, I went over to see what was up with Ed (Bolivia) and FBT, who were playing in one table sit 'n' go tournaments for $1060, with $60 going to the house and $10,000 going to the last man standing to be used for the main event. As with the mega super satellite, if you had already locked up a seat, the SNG could be used for cash (and often people chopped the prize pool 5k each when it got down to 2 players and the chips were relatively even). I hadn't seen FBT in a year, and the guy is genuinely and gregariously hysterical. Moreover, he's an awesome player. The shit that comes out of his mouth generally has everyone laughing their balls off. Since a seat was open next to him, I thought I'd relax and chat.

As it happened, James Woods was at the table. Woods, like Ben Affleck and Tobey Maguire, are genuinely smart poker junkies. Woods is basically a genius who went to MIT on full scholarship for engineering, but dropped out to do acting. He was part of the 64-person NCAA-bracket-like field in last year's NBC-televised National Heads-Up Holdem Championship, losing to Johnny Chan. So, for the full timers, seeing James Woods is no big deal in a way. He's on our turf. Same with Affleck and Maguire. Affleck is much, much smarter than his media image portrays him as. He's one of those guys who is up to the day on TPM, for example. And Maguire is quiet but probably the best player of the three. Ed has often swapped percentages with Tobey in the WSOP Main Event, and that's out of mutual respect.

So, FBT's table went from 10 handed down to 6. Woods was on FBT's right (though there were empty seats between them where I was lounging). FBT was short and Woods had a stack. FBT was talking so much shit that the whole table was breaking up. It was fun. But since FBT was short and letting me sweat him (showing me his down cards), it got to the point where he was close to moving in with any two cards. Thus, in his small blind he said something to the effect of, well, I'm not even going to look, here, you look, and passed his cards to me. Everyone folded to Woods on the button. I started to look. FBT had T9 offsuit. Woods folded. I passed the cards to FBT and he looked. He called and the BB (also short) raised all in. FBT folded and the BB showed pocket jacks.

Now, this is what happened. Woods says to FBT, you shouldn't show him (meaning me) your cards. Why not, you wonder? Because Woods said he liked FBT and the problem was when I got to look, Woods could read me (I collapse in hysterics just typing that). The hilarious part is that the T9o was shown and if Woods could read me reading that hand, then he knew FBT was weak and yet he still folded. Hilarious. As if I haven't looked at 10 million hands in real life before and have some sense about how to look unreactive to anything I see.

FBT shoots me a look, like, holy shit what a geeky, gay thing to say. And a couple hands later when FBT busts out and I move two feet over to the next table where Ed was playing and relay the story, he laughs hard and says, "NC."

I am just pumped that James Woods thought there was equity in talking the shit to me - and I am not even playing. Made my whole day.


Blogger TubaOnFire said...

That is pretty cool. Have you seen this:

Your response should have been: Dude, I can act a little, Mr. Be Cool.

8:32 AM  

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