Snowboarding, Gay Pride & Poker

I spent a week in Vancouver… time flew by pretty fast as I spent most of that week sleeping… I still am not completely over my jetlag… I wake up at 7am SHARP every morning… but I feel pretty good, so that is good. Plus 7am is not a terrible time to awaken. I prefer noon-ish, but hey, that’s just me.

I went up snowboarding to Cypress and am currently in Whistler. As much as I rag on Canada, it obviously has some good qualities, and skiing and snowboarding resorts is one of them. Whistler is stupidly expensive (more on that below) but it is pretty damn amazing to have a world class ski resort about 100 km’s away from Vancouver.

I’ve only been here a day so far but it’s been really awesome. I wasn’t going to go here, at first, because of how expensive the hotels are. But a friend of mine told me about a deal at whistler.com, called Suite Secrets, which offers 4 & 5 star hotel rooms at about half price. Basically, they tell you all about the hotel, but don’t tell you the name until you book it. But they literally copy & paste the text descriptions from hotels such as the Westin’s websites, word for word, so it is pretty blatantly obvious which hotel you are going to get. I managed to get the Westin in Whistler for $196+tax/night which, for Whistler, is outstanding.

The Whistler Westin is, btw, a fabulous hotel too. I always really enjoy staying here. Their shower pressure, and hot water, are second to none… and after spending a day on the frozen alpine, nothing… NOTHING feels better than a scalding hot, intense shower (Their hot tub is great too but I couldn’t go there today for reasons I describe below).

I always used to come up to Whistler on the weekends but for those who want to enjoy the mountain, I highly recommend getting up mid-week… it is so much better. The conditions today were excellent and there was no line-ups anywhere and it felt like I had half the mountain to myself.

But as I was walking around today I noticed all sorts of rainbow colored flags and gay-innuendo stuff… and then I realized… it is gay-pride week in Whistler!! Argh! This only really pisses me off because I was here 5 years ago and completely by fluke again, was here during gay pride week.

I know what you are thinking…. “suuuuuurrreeee, Jeff”… just a coincidence, again eh! But I assure you, I have no interest to participate in these kind of activities!

But, I tell you, gay guys REALLY like me. Here is proof… I checked in and got to my room and the phone rings… I answer and a guy on the other end says, “Jeff?”… I was confused because I don’t know any guy who knows I am here… I answer, “uh, ya?”… then he says, “You going to the hot tub now?”… NOW I was really confused!!?? So I said, “Who is this??”… he says, “Russ.”… Russ? That has to be the gayest name I’ve ever heard. I told him, “I don’t know you”… and after a long awkward pause he apologized and hung up.

There is no way that it was a fluke coincidence that some dude was trying to call some guy named Jeff and ask him to go to the hot tub and got my # by mistake… I have no idea who or how they got my info but it goes further to my proof that I am definitely attractive to gay men! Sigh. So, for obvious reasons, I am steering clear of the hot tub area today.

Why can’t it be girls who find out my # and call me the second I show up at a hotel and ask me to come down to the hot tub with them… if only a paradise like that existed! Oh wait, it does… Asia. :)

POKER

I know many of you don’t care about poker, so you can stop reading now. But I had yet another stellar performance in Vancouver and am so happy at my continued domination that I had to write about it.

I played at the Edgewater casino, downtown, which has a pretty live poker room.

I won a huge $2,000 pot (big for a $2/$5 game!!) with a pair of AA’s. But the reason I won so much is what makes it interesting. It was what I had done on some prior hands.

I had hit quite a few hands and hadn’t shown my cards on many of them and I could tell my table image was starting to become that of a bluffer, even though I hadn’t bluffed too much.

I was in one pot with 2 guys, one guy sitting to my left who was drinking, but didn’t appear too drunk… but definitely a bit buzzed (a dangerous state to be in, in a poker game). They both played the hand like they had something fairly good, but they were both very scared of what I had, I could tell… plus the board looked a bit dangerous. So, I decided to play the hand like I had the nuts. I bet on each betting round, but not too much… just enough to look like I was trying to slowly get their chips. By my bet on the river they both figured I must have a big hand and they both folded. I was about to muck my cards when I realized, by showing my 2,4 (on a board of 10, J, K, 7, 8) I could really get a lot of value for the bluff on future hands when I did have a good hand. So I flipped my cards over… the guy to my left looked skyward and was making all kinds of sounds, like he was in a lot of pain!

He looked at the other guy in the hand and said, “I thought he had the nuts… he played the hand just like he had the nuts”… I laughed, “really?”.

Then about 10 minutes later I got the AA’s. I was sitting on a huge stack at the time… and so was the guy to my left after he had just won a huge pot. One player raised… I reraised… the guy to my left called and the other guy folded. So I was heads up with the guy to my left.

The flop came 10, J, 5… I bet $500… he called. He called?? The only way someone calls there is if they have JJ and want to try to slow-play. That was definitely on my mind. But I looked at him… he was clenching his jaw and was definitely anxious about something. I know that my bluff on the prior hand really hurt him… plus I knew I really was starting to get an image of being a bluffer…

I figured if he had JJ he probably would reraise me, hoping to get me to bluff, all-in. So I considered for about a minute, then announced, “all in”. He INSTANTLY called! I thought for sure I was dead… how could he instantly call that huge bet?

The dealer dealt the final card and it was an inconsequential deuce. He still sat there, clench jawed… I was very curious as to what he had, but he wouldn’t show. Finally I turned over AA and he let out the longest most painful, soul-extinguishing sound I had ever heard come from a human! LOL. I’ve only heard wailing like that come from whales!

He folded his hand into the muck and went into a fetal position for the next 30 minutes. I never found out what he had, because he never showed. But I am pretty sure he had 99 because of how he talked about the hand afterwards. He told everyone that he thought I was bluffing with only a straight draw… like KQ.

So, anyway, the moral of the story is, that by creating a particular table image, and showing one guy a really big bluff that hurts him, you can end up extracting his entire stack in the immediate future.

I actually went on to bankrupt nearly half the table, yet again… and wound up making 10x the money I originally brought in to continue my amazing winning streak… It has now been months since I’ve sat down for a serious poker session and have done anything except take everyone’s money.

I am playing in LA this weekend at the LA Poker Classic tourneys and am really excited to see how I fare against what I would expect (but not necessarily) is better competition than I’ve had in Australia/Philippines/Canada. We will soon find out!