Monday, November 01, 2004

Poker flood

Rusty : Why do this?
Danny : Why not do it?
[Rusty shakes his head]
Danny : Cause yesterday I walked out of the joint after losing four years of my life and you're cold-decking "Teen Beat" cover boys.
Danny : Cause the house always wins. Play long enough, you never change the stakes. The house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big, then you take the house.
Rusty : Been practicing this speech, haven't you?
Danny : Little bit. Did I rush it? Felt I rushed it.
Rusty : No, it was good, I liked it. The "Teen Beat" thing was harsh.
"Ocean's 11"

Been some real poker action lately, lets get straight into it. First up, the live game was back on Saturday night, with three new guys I have never played with before. One was a quiet guy, new to the game but not clueless, the other two were pretty good, one very aggressive funny bastard seated to my left. It was a real laugh having him throwing jibes in all the time. On one hand, he went to the bathroom while the cards were dealt, came back and decided to play this one hand blind. He limps in with 4 others, sees a flop of AAx. Everybody checks it to him, and he says "You all checked to me, I bet I have an ace in here" so he raises it. Two people call, not me thank God, and one guy tries to go All-in after he has called, but was told he had to wait. It was kinda a tell that he had an ace I guess, but never the less he got his chance to go all in on the turn. The aggressive/blind player was a major chip lead, so he called for $8K (start with $30K), and what do you know, the other guy flips over pocket rockets for flopped Quads. Blind player had KQh. Funny hand. I had a crap game, down to $2K I fought my way back with 4 consecutive all-in wins to about $13K - two all-ins were back to back A7s. Eventually, on a flop of 77J, I had QJ I threw it in again and was called by the host holding one of the 7's. I didn't improve, and was out in 6th out of 6th. My previous finishes in these tournaments are 4th, 1st, 1st, 2nd, so I was a little disappointed but it was great fun once again. We only played one game as it took nearly 5 hours for 5 people to bust out.

Back to pacific poker, once again I took a deep breathe and told myself if every one is playing limit games and making a decent gain on it, then I have to as well. I have tried and tried but to no avail on the micro limit games (5c/10c), so I thought fuck it - I'll make the huge jump to 50c/$1 and see if it gets a little more like poker there. I laid down $40 on the table, fully aware that it could be gone in an hour or so.

Ok, so what's my strategy? Lets just have a bit of a look, fold a few hands and maybe limp to see what the action is like. Well, the Poker Gods said no to this, and gave me The Red Aces first hand dealt. I am trying to get slow playing out of my game as I try to use it too often, so I did the right thing and raised it pre-flop. It must have looked great, this newbie to the table coming in and raising up a storm. Another player raised straight back, 2 callers, I re-raise and he does it again! Two callers stay in for the capped pot pre-flop. The flop is As7h5h, and I open the betting. He raises back at me, 2 callers (????) and I re-raise, and he does it AGAIN! In the first sign of intelligence, one of the callers drops out. The betting is capped again. The turn is a horrid 8h. Oh shit. One of these chasers has just hit the flush. I bet first up, and again the same guy re-raises me. 1 caller, and this time I just call. The river is a salvation in 2h, giving me the nut flush (barring the straight-flush of course, but surely he could be re-raising with 6h9h, could he?). I bet, he raises, 1 caller, I re-raise, he re-raises, finally the other caller drops out and once again it is capped. I flip over my Ace high straight with my pockets Aces, he flips over a Queen high straight with pocket Queens. My God, he really didn't want to believe me did he? This was a 30BB+ pot on the first hand. I folded the second hand and on the third I limped with QJo. Flop comes QJx, I raise and get the calling station again. Turn is another rag, bet - call. River is a Q, giving me the nuts so I bet, he calls again. A 10BB+ pot. That's pretty good going for three hands, and then nearly everybody stood up. Once the fish leave, it is time to go so I did not feel guilty about this little hit and run. But man, what an introduction to low level hold em.

Then on Sunday, I sit down for a $20 + $2 tournament on Pacific with none other than
JW. This was to be an interesting deal - I knocked back the $50 bonus he was offering for his referral and said we could use that to enter a tourny and split the winnings three ways, with his charity being the third. With 280 other people, I was seated at table 28 - with JW two seats to my right! Early on I cracked some fool slow playing Aces. He failed to raise them pre-flop, so I was limping with 88. The flop was Q89 rainbow, and NOW he throws it all in. What can I do? I double up and take out the first of...Well, 1 sadly. He was the only guy I busted. After about 7 rounds, our table was broken up. JW was doing slightly better than I after some nice strong moves. He even pushed me off a few pots, but I push back damn it! My first hand at the new table, I double up again when AJ become a boat. The last hand before the break, JW goes bust with a semi-bluff I believe. After the break, and with the burdens and hopes of little kiddies suffering from a terrible disease (the charity is actually The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training), I soldier on. Really I was lucky to limp into the money when there was 30 left. Severely short stacked, I was now in push or fold mode. I was able to last out a little while, but then with 55 and no raise, I push from the big blind. The small blind calls with 99 and I fail to hit another 5. I went out in 27th, with a prize of $23.95, a profit of $1.95. JW was kind enough to forfeit his share of the winnings and let me keep them. It was great fun though playing with a fellow blogger, as this is rare for me considering the time difference and me not playing on Party at the moment (I know, I know. Don't start.). JW was also good in giving advice, such as "Why the hell did you call that?", which I replied "No fucking idea!". This happened on more than one occasion. I think I have found a new flaw in my game. These times it was when I had, say, KQ and see a 8 high flop that gets a strong raise in front of me. Calling is a stupid idea, it should be either raise or fold. But we live and learn.

Don't know how much poker I will be getting in for the next few days. Coming up this week is the four year anniversary of me and the distraction - and even though we are not married or even engaged she tends to take the anniversary very seriously. VERY seriously. Funny how women are like that. Anyway, the good news is - and nobody here in "real life" knows this, I have the ring ordered and *hopefully* it will be here before Thursday. That's an exclusive for all you bloggers and readers out there, I'm getting ready to give away half my bank roll and go all-in.


JW said...

SWEET! Great news! Congratulations! Great write up of course, but hell, everything pales once you read that last sentence! Keep us posted!

JW said...

Damn, see, your last paragraph screwed me all up! I meant to say: great quote from a great movie. Can't wait for Ocean's 12.

Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Crazy how that guy kept betting into you. What was he thinking? Congrats on the move up in $$$. Hope the future wife likes the ring and going all in is dangerous!! Best of luck.