Thursday, January 27, 2005

Home Games and Leaving Home Games

Bernie Focker: Can you believe I fathered him with just one testicle?
"Meet the Fockers"

I've got some poker playing to talk about, so buckle up.

Predictably, after that last post I decided to take the advice of another blogger and ply my trade back into Party and try to clear another bonus. So far my three sessions have been up $10, down $30 and up $10 - so not too bad so far. I did make my favorite mistake YET AGAIN and signed up for a limit SNG. I think I came in about 5th or something, but I got some good notes on the other players. Absolute calling stations, unbelievable. I did not see one 3-bet during this tournament. It was amazing but at the end of the day I did not have the cards to pull it off. Eventually I was gone when my small flush was too small.

I did try a little of Omaha pot limit, and was happy with my results. I usually like Omaha Hi/Lo because for some reason I rock and getting the nut low and betting it so I take down the high as well. Happens all the time, but for this game I decided to only play normal Omaha and look after the high. First hand I get dealt A247, and regret it already.

After the second hand, my lovely distraction wakes up and informs me that we will be leaving the house in T minus 5 minutes. Great, what a way to plug a session. Then after another few folds, I get pocket fours and decide they are golden. "These fours", I say to myself, "represent my retirement plan." I raise pre-flop and get four callers. And what do you know, a four pops up on the flop. Another player across the table bets the pot limit, which was about $4 or something, and gets two callers to me. I have a distraction standing at the door holding three bags of rubbish and waiting for me to relieve her of them. So what do I do? Raise the pot limit $17 out of my $23 stack. Did I mention this was high limit poker? No? Good, cos if I did I was lying. One guy thought and thought about it until he folded. Don't know if this was a good move or not on a 4TQ rainbow flop, but I had to leave and the pot was already big enough to give me a profit for the extremely small session. Not a bad way to spend our national holiday.

The night before however was home game night! We always play $15 entry SNG with massive starting stacks to get full value out of the games. In the past, my finishes have been 4th, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 6th - with the top three getting paid. As the new host of these games, I was hoping to put up a decent showing. I failed. I came in 4th in both games, but I lost on decent hands so I guess I can take that with me. 3 hands deserve a mention.

First game, five people left and I am coming second by a small margin. Dealt in late position The Hiltons. Ok, my best hand so far. The small stack UTG pushes all in. Brilliant, I hope to take him out and anybody else who calls. The next to act is the chip leader, who too goes all-in. Ah, shit. This was the one thing I did not want to happen. He didn't even hesitate on it. I have the third best starting hand possible. There are two other's in this hand. What are the chances one or both of them have the cowboys or the rockets? I contemplate what I should do - if I win, I not only knock out another place but I will also cripple the chip leader. If I loose, well then I bubble out in my own home game. I decided to fold, thinking I just made a brilliant lay-down. I think this was the first sign the beer was catching up to me. The short stack flipped over 88, while the big stack showed 99. Damn it - and wouldn't you know it, the very first card on the flop was a Queen. The turn brought an 8 so the short stack doubled up enough to play properly again. I hated this hand.

Hand number 2 worth a mention in the first game, I am dealt those lovely red aces. I can't over bet here because it is way too obvious, so I make a pre-flop raise of about 4BB - enough to show a little strength I think, but easy enough for everyone to call if they are feeling lucky. The flop comes Ten high, and I check. The player to my immediate left makes a very big bet indeed. This was at the stage of the game where all-ins were not uncommon and scaring people off with TPTK was not uncommon. I decided that this was what he had, or at best an OESD. I decided to go back over the top for everything, and he calls. I show Aces, he shows 66 - you know that ten high flop? Well it too had a 6 in it. Shit. I'm out as he has me covered.

Hand number three, in the second game I am dealt AQh and again raise pre flop. I get two callers on a Queen high flop. I check to see the action, and so does everybody else. An ace hits me fair in the face on the turn and I again checked. The same player who knocked me out in the first game goes all in. Isn't there some rule about not going broke in an un-raised pot? I decided my top two pair would have to teach him this rule. The alcohol had definitely hit me by now, and it was about 2am. I say "I have to see" and call. He has the Hiltons for flopped trips again. And again, it is good enough to kick me in the ass. I became dealer after this and couldn't even do that right as I showed cards, miss called bet amounts and suffered premature dealings a few times. It was all in good fun though and nobody was adversely affected by it.

Again, it was great fun but I was disappointed that I lost in the same way two times in a row, and that lay down of the Queens pissed me off even more. I did play some good hands though, but I can't remember what they were. One player at the table was being accused of becoming a calling station, and I managed to make him fold to me three times when I had rags. In fact, I can't remember winning many hands at showdown at all for the night - it probably did happen but my memories are really centered around the three worst played hands I had during the night.

On the GWR front, we have all the info we need to get started, and the record we plan to break is very doable, just as we had hoped. I will post more as it become available.

On another non-poker front, I got a new mobile phone today. I'm such a sucker for a new toy. My old phone was one of the crappiest on the market, even though I had programmed in the theme music to "Leisure Suit Larry" as my ringtone. Now the new phone has everything you expect these days for a free phone on a plan - mp3, picture and video capture, I can assign pictures and specific ring tones to different people - but best of all, it looks just like the one Jack Bauer used in the early seasons of "24". I already took a picture of my desk top wall paper here at work and made that my phone's wall paper. Is that silly?

UPDATE: I couldn't help myself. I now own 2% of AlCantHang. I had my last drink more than 38 hours ago, so can somebody come up with an excuse for my behaviour for me?

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