Dirk: You're not the boss of me, Jack. You're not the king of Dirk. I'm the boss of me. I'm the king of me. I'm Dirk Diggler. I'm the star. It's my big dick and I say when we roll.”Boogie Nights”
This quote brought to you by the good Dr.Pauly.
Well it has been a while since I have graced this blog. I haven’t had time to breathe of late, and not a hand of poker was played for weeks. Thankfully, this last weekend was a long weekend here in Australia and I had plenty of opportunity to play some live games and get some online action going.
Monday was a public holiday because 90 years ago some British bloke couldn’t read a map and heaps of Aussie and Kiwi soldiers got killed because of it. ANZAC Day as it is known is now the best non-present giving holiday of the year. We pay our respects to the fallen soldiers, two-up is legal for the day (I think technically it isn’t, but no cop would dare bust up a game of two-up on ANZAC day) get the day of work and there is always an awesome Essendon vs Collingwood footy game on. But back to poker…
Saturday morning I decided to get back into the Omaha 8 tourneys at Noble Poker that Scurvy organised. I have missed the last couple and was very keen to get back into it. 10 people showed up for the $5 entry, but due to the structure the top 10 get paid – go figure. So 10th gets $1.25 and 1st gets $15. But hey, these are more for fun than money so what does it matter?
It would be amiss for me not to mention that the deck hit me fair in the face. I took a nice pot early when my top set improved to a full house, and it only got better from there. I would flop the nut low, get a flush draw on the turn and then the nut-flush on the river. I could do no wrong, which clearly pissed off one person at the table. Hey, when you are on a run, you keep playing. So after dragging 3-4 pots with the nuts, I decided to see another flop with 44xx. Without much raising, I saw until the river and hit my four to scoop the pot. One player sitting across from me decided to let everyone know what he felt. There is no need to name names, everyone there knows who I am talking about. It’s a shame really, but at least the other 8 players were cool and hung around for a little while afterwards.
When we had three left, I had 11,000 of the 15,000 chips on the table. And I was still hitting flops. It’s very easy to make it look like you’re playing good poker when you have the cards.
I joined a ring game later on to try and clear some of the bonus dollars, and took in a few more pots that left me up a little more for the day.
Saturday night and we have a live game going, 9 runners. Very friendly $10 game with many first timers – which made it very hard. What was also difficult was my Distraction was playing (for my newer readers, the “Distraction” is my fiancé. Long story, read the archives if you want). Now this doesn’t annoy me, she’s welcome to play and I think it’s great that we share a passion for the same pastime. What worried me was if she lost, she would be very pissed and I would have to live with that for the next few days. If she won, she wouldn’t let me hear the end of it for months. My simple instructions to her were before you bet, the first thing you are to think is “What is the nuts?”. Thank you Matthew Hilger. It’s best to start with small steps.
The tourney was good fun, although the “Poker Police” had to come out a few times – splashing the pot, string bets and so on. The Distraction took a big pot early, and even though she had the nuts (78 with 3456 on the board) she was shaking. Someone with a 2 called her bets and she continued to shake with nerves for an hour later. She makes great bluff tells!
We had one player who accumulated a massive chip lead early and never surrendered. He doubled me up twice and one other player, and it hardly made a dent. In one hand, he put the short stack all-in and then showed his cards (78o) before the SS had a chance to call. Now I think this should have made the hand dead or forced him to fold perhaps, but since the SS had a better hand (A5s) we were keen for someone to take something off the massive chip leader. The SS felt guilty about calling, but changed his mind when a 7 on the turn was joined by an 8 on the river. That hurt.
Top three paid, and it was the chip leader, the Distraction and I battling for the big dollars. I was happy because at least two of the money places were coming back to my place tonight, it just depended on which ones.
The distraction put me all-in with a re-raise. I checked the time and it was getting late, we’re in the money so why not call with T7s? Because my princess was holding two Queens. She knocked me out and soon lost a race to the big stack. One funny hand heads up, she had QJs . The flop comes AKK, the turn A. I think she has the best kicker and told her to go for it. She does and he calls, showing Jack high. The river brings another Queen though, and we have to split this one up. The very next hand, the board shows the exact same cards. The deck had been shuffled and the players got different hands, just the board was identical. Weird.
So a third place finish for me and second for her.
Sunday night we had a more serious game at our place, with hopefully 5 players. One cancelled at the last moment and the Distraction stood in to make up the numbers again. Again she was scared because she stood to loose what she made last night.
We played a $15 +$5 Terminator, which basically means $15 goes into the pot plus everybody has a $5 bounty on their head. It made it somewhat interesting.
One of the players, whom I shall call Vinny, seemed very determined tonight. He has played twice in these games and got his money back the first time, and lost to an idiot who went all in every hand the second time. I noticed that he always likes to sit on my left – maybe he has me targeted? You can tell he thinks about the game a lot, and is really disappointed that he hasn’t cashed here more before. This night he turned his aggression right up, and man was it hard to read.
During normal table talk, he asked who Doyle Brunson was, and claimed to have never heard of him or Super System. I said nothing, but I am 99% sure this was a bluff. I was sure he was going to say “I’ve only played on Yahoo” next. Thank you Iggy, I am wise to these shim-shams now.
It was one of the best aggression games I have seen played. He didn’t go overboard with it, but you had to be sure of your hand if you wanted to get in the pot. I managed to push him off maybe twice, but wimped out most of the time. Nobody could put him on a hand, but he just couldn’t put anyone away. When we did have a hand and pushed, he was forced to call and would be behind, doubling us up.
My Distraction made a decent sized pre-flop raise, and then the small stack went all-in after her, the rest folded around. She looked deep in thought, and said “I don’t know if I want to call, but I guess I have to.” I was picturing small pocket pairs or maybe medium suited connectors. She reluctantly called with the Aces! I never saw them once for the entire weekend, and she nearly folds them pre-flop! The wedding would have been off if she did that. The Aces held up too, which was good to see.
We only pay the top two in this game, and it was down to Vinny, the distraction and I again. I gave a large amount of my stack to the distraction on a poorly timed bluff with the hammer. The distraction calls my pre-flop raise and then goes all-in on a K high flop. I look at my 72o, and after making it look like a big lay down, I muck. She shows the Cowboys. She may have been just a little too strong there, but she had become the chip leader by this stage, and I was nearly down to the felt.
Vinny picked the wrong time to go up against the chip leader and bounced out on the bubble. Man, was I happy to see that. After he played so well all night, he made one mistake. I had maybe 4-5 BB in front of me, and of the remaining 99% of chips on the table, he had maybe 40% of them. Why take on the big stack? It was a shame though because he deserved to be ITM, but made one mistake that cost him. I was out not much longer and the Distraction had posted her first win! She tried her best not to rub it in, but she couldn’t stop smiling, giggling and shaking still.
We fired up a winner takes all $10 Turbo, with the blinds rising every orbit and doubling on a knockout. One player was knocked out on the very first hand, which made for a quick game. The Distraction knocked out Vinny again, and he left pretty disappointed again. I had crippled him when he went all-in with A5o and I called with A9s, and then paired them both, but unfortunately the Distraction got to collect his bounty again.
I did get revenge though, and took all of her chips later. That was a risky move – not because of the cards, but because of the consequences. I can now say that I check-raised my fiancé for all of her chips and lived to tell the story. If she hadn’t of finished 2nd and 1st in her last to outings, I could have been in real trouble.
Holding A7d, the flop is a beautiful three diamonds. My 7 ruined any chance of a straight flush, so I just check. The turn brings another diamond, and I check again. She takes a stab at the pot, which tells me she might have something. I smooth call, which should have sent warning bells off.
The river brings a fifth diamond, and I check. She throws out a fair sized bet, and I re-raise all-in. She knows I love to bluff her out of pots and calls. I ask if she has a diamond, and she replies in the affirmative. I say “I bet it’s not as good as this one” and show the ace. She took it rather well though, and being 3am probably helped.
Before long I won an all-in with JJ vs AK, with no help coming for Big Slick on the flop or turn, a Jack on the river sealed it. It sure was great fun playing with decent players again.
My results for the three live games were 3, 2, 1 while my Distraction was 2,1,3. With over $100 of the winnings left sitting in the middle of the table, one of the players remarked “Damn, look at the rake this casino charges.”
It was a good weekend.