Organizer: Of course you know certain sceptics note that perhaps 10,000 of the nation’s most elite highway patrolmen are out there waiting for us after we start, but let's stay positively: Think of the fact that there's not one state in the 50 that has the death penalty for speeding... although I'm not so sure about Ohio.”Cannonball Run”
There has been a lot of talk about Party dumping their skins. While I currently have $0 invested in Party and all of their skins, I’m still a little disappointed as this obviously creates a smaller crowd at party for the time being at least. I don’t have an intimate knowledge of the rake back offers going around and if/when Party will offer their own, so I think I have already said enough on this topic.
I organised a home game this past Saturday, and was worried that we wouldn’t get enough players to make it viable during the day, with only 5 confirmed and 3 maybes. As luck would have it, all three maybes turned up and we were good to go.
We had one new player join the game, and so there is always a feeling out process involved when an unknown joins the crowd. The usual questions come out – how long you been playing, do you play online or at the casino and so on. This guy gives us answers like “I’ve only played once before, never played online, I play mostly 5 card draw”. Alarm bells are ringing in my head – ok, he can’t be serious because who would go to a strangers house with 6-7 other people he had never met to gamble at a game he has never played? So this has got to be the worst ever attempt at playing dumb ever, which makes me think this might be an easy mark after all. As it turns out, he wasn’t lying at all. He hadn’t even seen it on TV, so I have no idea where his interest in poker rose from.
Never the less, the games were away. We play $15 freeze outs, with $5 bounties on each player. 3rd gets $10 back, and 1st and 2nd get the rest. I managed to stay out of trouble, never the short stack and never the chip leader and make it down to the final three. In these home games, I have always been haunted by Queens. I either loose with them, or I loose when somebody else has them. It just seems to happen that way in these home games.
In the final three, I manage to crack my opponents Queens with big slick with a king on the flop and an ace on the river. I loudly proclaim that I am no longer afraid of them, the bitches are off my back! It was a pretty lacklustre hand to be honest, but I needed to make a point to myself and stop being so superstitious about these stupid Queens. With it now heads up, the chip leader had maybe 10% more chips than me. It had been nearly 2 hours since the first player bounced, and in the interest of keeping everyone happy we decided to split the money and get the second game going. We ran a flop just to see who had the better hand, and my ace-high held up. Screw it, I’m claiming that one!
In the second game, something reoccurred. One of the usually tight players was raising nearly every hand. He did this last time and was bluffing 90% of the time, but it was working for him as he was willing to bluff all-in over the top, and the rest of the table would fold. He was doing it again, and I was loosing a few raises when I couldn’t call with mediocre hands. After an orbit or two, I am dealt those Queens again in the big blind, and the newly aggressive player UTG goes all-in. One other player went into the tank for a long time thinking about calling, and I had already committed myself to the decision: If he calls, I fold. If he folds, I call. He would have to have something big to make this call – but wouldn’t he already call if he had Aces or Kings? If I put him on a big ace, can I still call with Queens? I know I should, but fortunately I never had to make that distinction as he folded. UTG looked relived, and then a little surprised that I called. I told him I’m not afraid of Queens anymore, and flipped them over. He simply told me good call, it was a stone cold bluff with 45o.
There is a 4 on the flop.
Queens…why do they do this to me?
An ace on the turn – wow, glad the other guy folded with ATo (he said he would have called if they were suited.)
Jack on the river, and the Queens double me up, leaving UTG with less than the big blind. I was pretty happy at this stage. I knocked out everyone else on my way to heads up, only sucking out once (with AK hitting an ace on the river to beat JJ). I was heads up against a player so tight we openly call him Ayers Rock. Simple, if he bets he has something, if he thinks and calls then he is on a draw. I like being heads up with him because you always know where you are.
The thing about his tight play though, he was getting cards like you wouldn’t believe. Getting pocket aces is about 220 to 1, right? He had them 8 times on the night that we know of. I cracked them once with 66 when a six hit the flop and he called my all-in. In the first hand of heads up, I decided to fold 92 in the small blind – I was kind of disappointed as soon as I did it because with such a rock I should raise every single hand. But my cards had already hit the muck – and he flipped over the aces again!
We go through the motions, then with Q3 we see a flop – KJ3 rainbow. He bets out a little, and I think about folding but the bet was small enough to let me gamble – maybe he only has ace high? The turn was a 8, and the same thing happens. The river is another 3, and he goes all in. I think he has a King now, but nothing with it. I check my cards, grab the three out and flip it over as I say call. He looks shocked, and once again shows his aces which have been cracked again. This was probably the first time he had tried to slow play them and it ended the tournament for him.
So there we have it, including bounties I had a total profit of about $75 on the night which I was happy with – but I also gave it all back on the $1/$2 NL table on Titan the next morning (AK vs K8, flop was K8x). I only have one more night left for poker opportunities before I have to say good bye to poker (and this blog) for 3 weeks at least.