Daniel: You think you could break a log like that?
Miyagi: Don't know. Never been attacked by a tree."The Karate Kid II"
Long time readers will know I am a big fan of a home game. I'd rather it over a casino game or online game any day. There is not that much to loose, there is not that much to win, and when everything is played in the right manner it is all good fun regardless of how the cards treat you. Often even the cruellest of bad beats are just fodder for taunts and laughter, which can only be a good thing.
Last night I attended a different home game, which I felt I was robbed but I couldn't say anything really, because it was (I believe) innocent and all in good fun. The tournament had 22 people in it, and they were paying the top three only. I would probably pay 4, but three is still ok. The payouts were $350 for first, $70 for second and $30 for third ($25 buy in with some of that deducted for pizza and drinks). So out of the prize pool of $450, the payouts were 78%, 16% and 6% roughly. That's a little unbalanced methinks, as most games would adopt a 50/30/20 split, but the payouts were said at the start of the game so you can't really complain. They like to favour first heavily, it's their game and everybody agreed to it, so why not?
I'll try to not go into hand histories too much, but basically all the guys were aggressive with anything better than bottom pair. My plan of attack was zero bluffs, let somebody else do the betting for me when I have the best of it. I had about a medium sized stack when we got down to the final 8 and saw JJ in the big blind. Blinds were 1000/2000 at the time and I had about 13K at the time. There were about 4 limpers, so there is already 9k in the pot (folded small blind). I'm thinking I want to get everyone out now, or at worst go up against Ax. So I made a raise of 7K on top. Would this make me pot committed? Probably, but if the flop has no ace on it I will be first to act and probably push. I get two callers which to be honest was surprising and a little worrying.
The flop comes QT5 rainbow, which looks harmless enough to me. If one of the players (both have me covered easily) has AQ or KQ, I guess I'm paying them off here. I push for my remainder and get called in both positions. Damn, this doesn't look good.
Turn brings a King, another overcard and I start packing my things. They both check. The river brings an Ace from heaven and I check the suits – nope, I've got the nuts. Lets see if I am splitting it.
The both check the river, and apparently the first guy was hoping to check-raise the river on the other guy. Player one has AT for a rivered two pair, and the second guy has T8 for a flopped-middle pair. Wow, after two callers on the flop and another overcard on the turn, there was no way I thought I was ahead. Turns out I was ahead all the way facing about 4 outs on the river. That helped a lot.
I knocked out the bubble and survived to make it heads up against the player who had T8 above. Apparently he was having an amazing run of luck all night. Now he had me out chipped 4-1 and the blinds raised again. I had 5BB only, and was in push or fold mode. I made an error and he won with a pair of 2's to take out first.
And then I got robbed for the second time. They had made a mistake with the calculations for the payouts, and the kitty was $10 short. Since they had already paid third and separated the $350 first place money, they decided to deduct $10 from the second place money to make it only $60, or down to 13%. In my mind, it should have been about $130 and in the end it was $60. But what can you do? I was annoyed, but I just made a little joke of it and left it at that. Also this is a large group of friends that are playing together, and I'm sort of a friend of a friend who is into poker so I feel like they look at me as a bit of a shark in this game. Not that they don't make me feel welcomed. 1 guy did pick me as the "red hot favourite" before the game started, which did worry me a little.
But alas, this was the first foray into live poker for some time, and the first game since I established an actual live bankroll. It was good to book a win regardless of the size.
I have played a total of 20 minutes of online poker this month so far. At the absolute insistence of some friends, we went out on St. Patrick's Day without the Distraction. I had a great night and noticed something weird – Parties are different now that I am married, I even enjoy them more! You see, when you're single, it's all about trying to hook up. When I was attached, I was worried that any time I talked to a girl, she would think I was trying to hit on her (because I would still my usually charming self with lines made of golden comedy and witticism, and stories of my mad poker skillz). Now, I don't have to worry about it because girls notice the ring on the finger straight away and they seem much more comfortable I guess. Any way, just something weird that I noticed. But it also gives me the unique perspective of not being in competition for the attention of the females in the party, while the multitude of my single mates are. It was really funny watching one guy try his best when the target in question gave an obvious "tell" that she had eyes for someone else. I couldn't remember everyone's names, so when we were going through them again to one of her friends, I said "And so Cat is the one inside who likes Ben?".
"Is it that obvious?" She replied, to which another friend of mine piped in…
"Married people have a sixth sense about things like that."
Truth be known, it was my mad poker skillz in reading people that gave it away, I was really just fishing for an answer to see if I was right. I was, and now I get to inform my mate Ben that he is cleared for take off.
Anyway, the real reason for telling the story was I got home at about 3.30am, snuck into the bedroom to let the Distraction know I was home and I would relegate myself to the spare bedroom to spare her from my brewery smell and the snoring to come. She replied in the affirmative – very affirmative if I recall.
The inter-webby machine is also kept in the spare room, and for no good reason I thought some late night poker was in order. Again, for no good reason I thought Omaha Hi/Lo looked good at 3.30am. It was a 6 person SNG, and I'll be darned if I didn't win the thing. I think I was too drunk to try fancy plays, and just pushed it when I had something and people called me when they were drawing. At least I think that is what happened, I can't recall all that much. I do remember winning, and I remember thinking "I'm far too drunk to be playing poker, what the hell am I doing?".
The distraction made up for it the next night. I was called out to run another tournament at a pub, and she decided that since she had nothing better to do she may as well come along and play in it, as well as one of our other friends.
The two of them got knocked out pretty early and then decided to see if they could challenge the rest of the bar in double-bourbon and cokes. I think they won.
However, our friend who came along (lets call him Dave, because that's his name) had an absolute gem. He doesn't know much about poker at all – in fact, out of the 30 people there, he came 30 th. After enough people are knocked out, we throw some chips on an empty table and call it a practice table. A girl sat down and declared she had never played before in her life and knew nothing about poker. Quick as a whip Dave spoke up. While holding a single chip in his hand he said the following:
"See these? These are chips. They are good. You want more of them."
And I thought I could not have summed up poker more perfectly or succinctly if I tried.