Monday, February 07, 2005

Stupid People Shit Me

[Edgecomb gives Coffey some cornbread]
Paul Edgecomb: My wife made it to thank you.
John Coffey: For what, boss?
Paul Edgecomb: [Pointing to his groin] You know.
John Coffey: Oh, was she pleased?
Paul Edgecomb: Several times.
”The Green Mile”

I have not played very much online as of late, and to be honest I am still in shock at my investment strategies. Sure, all those Wall Street buffoons may preach about their “Blue Chips” and future markets, but I thought for sure the smart investment was in drunk poker players over-betting the hammer. And you know Al, it was still worth it.

I did get the chance for a home game last Friday night. Usually these games are 6 people who are all very knowledgeable and occasionally 1 or 2 new comers. This week was a little different, as we were playing 8 handed with 3 relative new comers including the host’s wife. Out of 15 people who said they could make it, 8 did in the end. Oh well, it was still the largest home game I have been involved in.

Online players are all wary of table selection. In a home game, it is more player selection – who to invite and who not to invite. While I don’t think there has ever been a problem with new comers to these games (as I myself was once), this week there was a problem with one player who was a friend of the host. He was not that experienced in poker but had played here before. He was lucky enough to get some chips early on and then the lunacy started. He would raise “eight blues” pre-flop. Never mind that those “blues” have a numeric value, just refer to the colour buddy. He got called the first time and eventually called his way to the showdown to show 83o, good enough for two pair on the river and the win. Then he did it again, raising pre-flop a massive amount (big blind was $200, he would raise $9,875 into an unraised pot.). It was funny, maybe even a smart move the first time he did it. The eight time? No laughs anymore. I, along with about everyone else, was just waiting for a half decent hand to call him on. I could not get anything over a 7. One player finally called him with AQo, and the raiser won the pot with J4o. Knocked out 8th, 7th and 6th in similar fashion (1st to 3rd get paid) – including one brutal river card that made his 53s a flush to beat a flopped Broadway straight. The host had to actually apologise to that guy as he left. Not only was the raiser making this stupid bets to ruin the action, he was carrying on like it was a great move – and really rubbing it in when somebody was knocked out. Finally I had a hand – AJc, I need to make a stand, he must be stopped. I called, and he had 96d. Always bloody suited. What do you know, I managed to get my flush out and double up. Problem was, my stack had hardly moved since we began and he had more than 4 times the starting amount. In other words he was still the chip leader by double and I was still one of the smaller stacks. It just didn’t dent him. Thankfully the second big stack player (who I think has finished 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st in the last four) was able to double through his as well. Now he was down in third, myself in second out of the five people left and he was forced to think about his bets.

The big hand of the night was a 4 way pot out of the remaining 5, and with Q6 I limped. The flop was 9TK rainbow, and was checked through. The turn brought me my gut shot Jack but put 2 diamonds on the board, and the host’s wife was first to act. She had been playing cautiously all night (which wasn’t surprising considering the action) and I don’t think had ever won a big pot. She finally had a hand and moved all in. In this situation I think I have to call and hope she didn’t have the nut straight, and I re-raise all in to scare off anyone else (since I was the biggest stack in the hand). The maniac calls all in and so does the last player. Not surprising I guess, there are four queens in the deck. The Wife had ace-something suited diamonds, and needed a queen or a diamond for the nuts. I of course had a queen, and the maniac? J8d. Drawing dead from here, but he could win one of the side pots. The last player also had a queen. The river came a rag and all was right in the world. Not only had the maniac been busted on the bubble, we were now in the money. It felt good.

Eventually third dropped out and it was heads up between myself and the big stack. We went back and forth for a while and I was able to get a few big plays on position to take down some nice pots and give myself the lead. It should be noted that while the other guy was a very good player, his cards were running hot. He had the rockets four times in 6 hands at one stage. I had them once all night and won a small pot with one pair. Approaching the other end of midnight, he went all in on a Q38 rainbow flop. I called with Q9 and he screamed as he flipped over Q7. That was it, and after 3 dismal showings in these games in a row I was able to pull one out and get back into the money.

After this, the two of us and the host spoke about the idiot before, and how he won’t be coming back (even though he did donate his money to the winnings) – it just wasn’t as fun with him there. We decided to play a quick three handed game to get some decent poker out of the night, and I finished second to the host but it was great fun. He knocked out 3rd with AA and the very next hand I looked at the clock (2.00am) and remembering that I had to be up in a few hours for a busy Saturday with my distraction, I moved all in with KT. He called instantly with AK. On the board came one of each and I was very happy with the night in the end.

If in previous posts it had sounded like I was frustrated with poker, then this night redeemed it all. Sure, there was an hour or two where one bad egg was able to ruin the fun, but the rest of the night was great and showed me how much I do enjoy playing against good players. Live games are always more fun that internet games – maybe not profit wise, but that doesn’t really matter at this stage.

On a side note, I also got to see some poker on TV, a rarity these days as we no longer have cable television. It was the 2004 American Poker Championship which Phil Ivey won. But watching the majority of the final table (couldn’t watch it all because of a quick trip to get more alcohol) really showed the importance of playing your stack size and position. Sometimes watching good players is just as beneficial as playing with them, if not more so.

1 comment:

Scott said...

It is always much more fun to play with players who know what they are doing than idiots who mostly play by luck.

I also had the fun of playing in two home games last week, neither for money, but almost as important is the bragging rights between cousins. As much fun as internet poker can be, it still isn't the same as playing face to face with other players.