(AKA Kick Yourself in the Junk Night)
"Save yourself the calories."
--Ugarte conceding a pot to Signor Ferrari after making a pair of exposed jacks on fifth street.
It take a lot to get me in a bad mood, but Razz will do it. A bad mood is part of Razz.
I've been playing razz with some degree of consistency for several weeks now, and I'm generally a fairly level-headed poker player, but never have I had a more frustrating individual session of poker (spanning my 14 years of playing various forms of poker) than the razz session at the Blue Parrot last night. Reviewing the notes that I took on a pad provided by Joel, they look like this:
A-5 / 3 : brick, brick
A-6 / 3 : brick, brick
3-7 / 6 : brick
A-4 / 6 : brick, brick
A-2 / 4 : brick
A-3 / K-8 (got free fourth street) : brick
I could go on, but I think I've made my point. There were also the fantastic starters that I never seem to get dealt in Stud or Stud-8: hidden queens, jacks, and aces; split aces, kings and queens; oh and let's not forget the rolled up 7s or the rolled up kings. My hands were either spectacularly bad, or bricked up in a hurry. Ferrari and I could have opened our own masonry shop and been doing gangbusters business.
Yes, it's true -- I wasn't the only one on this ill-fated three-hour tour. Joining me, in order around the table, were:
Gilligan (Ugarte) -- "Lil Buddy" has all the dexterity of a Parkinson's sufferer getting off a Tilt-a-Whirl. Watching him shuffle cards is usually worth the price of admission. Except last night. Nothing was worth the misery that we collectively endured last night. Christ had a better time on the cross.
The Professor (Nader) -- first timer at the Blue Parrot, the mathematics professor somehow managed to avoid the bricks and seemed to take to razz. He was the least grumpy dwarf by the time we called it a night.
The Skipper (Ferrari) -- Contrary to popular opinion, I was not at the helm of this disastrous evening. It was all Ferrari: his idea, his organization, and his hosting. Anybody whose junk is still numb this morning has Ferrari to thank. The karmic retribution was watching him tilt like AlCantHang trying to get that last drop of SoCo out of the bottle after he bricked repeatedly and flopped massive draws in Omaha Hi/Lo that never got there.
Maryann? (Joel) -- I just couldn't fit Joel into any of the other characters to make this silly little analogy work for everyone, and I'm really sorry for that. I'm very grateful for the pad that he gave me for notetaking, though. Interestingly enough, he didn't really complain about razz, though he certainly snagged his share of bricks.
Millionaire's Wife (Om) -- Totally got fucked by The Millionaire. Om deserved a better fate. He was the first of us to totally go out of his fucking gourd and was begging, nay pleading that we change the game as early as 9:30.
The Millionaire (Arthur) -- Arthur is not actually a millionaire. He's just a guy from Brooklyn that Ferrari hooked up with via the power of the internet. And watching him play razz, I'm quite sure he never played the game before. Yet somehow, he managed to brick up the least while playing the most hands (king doorcards, etc.) and had amassed a massive stack, mostly at Om's expense, by the time Ferrari took mercy on us all and concurred that we should switch to dealer's choice.
Last but not least...
The Movie Star (Dr. Pauly) -- I have never, ever seen Pauly in such a foul mood. I've seen him drop a few buy-ins at the Blue Parrot and take it with a smile and a shrug, but last night he looked like he had gone a few weeks without partaking of any mind-altering substances, and everyone knows how happy that makes a true junkie. It got so bad that when Ferrari sucked out a two-outer against him in holdem, Pauly flat out lost it and snapped at him a little bit. Not in a ranting, Hellmuthian kind of way, but the Doctor was not his usual bundle of cheery goodness, and it showed.
I think the moral of this story is that it really takes a special person to both enjoy razz and persevere through the sadism that is razz. Trying to teach the game to three people who had never played it before, and trying to bring the game to two or three others who were familiar with it but didn't have much exposure to it, was about as good an idea as attending your ex-girlfriend's wedding. Nobody needs that.
I suspect it will be a long, long time before razz is ever allowed back in the door at the Blue Parrot. I think I'm probably lucky my credit is still good there.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
(AKA Kick Yourself in the Junk Night)