Saturday, April 08, 2006


Stanley: It's not gonna end like this.
Gabriel: Oh, come on, Stan. Not everything ends the way you think it should. Besides, audiences love happy endings.

As we return to modern times…

That was quite a little diversion wasn't it? I really am feeling the poker bug now.

I played in a regular home game last week, a game I was invited to some time ago but I didn't have the time or the bank to attend. When I found myself with both, I decided to make ti at least once to see what it was like.

The night started out with six runners, but heaps of guys would join and leave during the night. I manages to get my buy in from $50 to $125 at it's peak, and eventually cashed out dead even for the night.

My early wins were with AK both times. I called all-ins when my opponent was on a draw or had hit the ace only. After that, I basically gave up raising pre-flop as it did nothing to scare anyone off. I had decent cards and the flops would come crappy, and someone would have 2 nd or 3rd pair. I'd never improve, and so I lost most of my profit for the night without getting past a flop. It was just crappy cards and flops for me.

I made a poor decision too, when on the button with a raise of $2 to $3 UTG, everyone called. I had Q3s, and decided that I was up against it and I should save my $3. I was the only one out of the 7 players sitting that pot out. Of course, the flop was all spades. Decent sized already, it wouldn't have mattered if I didn't get another cent out of them. Nevermind. As a richer man than me once said, folding to a raise is only a small mistake.

One player was calling down everything, even when holding King high once. I was just itching to catch a hand against him as he would surely pay me off. I get dealt pocket 8's and limp from middle position. The flop is 866 and I'm in pretty good shape. I could try to slow play it, but lets just see if I can get enough calling stations with two cards to come to build it a little. I get 2 callers to my $5 bet and things are looking ok. The turn is a third 6, which could be disaster but maybe puts me in a dominating position. I just check it and then call a small bet from the calling station. This puts us heads up. The river is a King, which can only worry me if he is holding two of them in his hand. I decided that all I can be worried about is quads, and I'm probably going to pay him off if he has them. Can I risk a check-raise here? I decide no, so I bet out $25 into the maybe $30 pot. I'm confident he will call, and I'll probably cry if he raises.

Not only does he fold, he folds face up an eight. I couldn't believe it, after calling down everything all night the one time I had a hand he decides to make a great read. I don't think I could have laid it down in that case. Very annoying but what can you do? After this he decided to become the bluff master too.

I saw a guy drop $400 in 3 hands chasing flush draws and straight draws, all to the one player. In one case he flopped the higher flush so he was only drawing to a split pot, in the other he had the straight covered but not the flush. It was almost embarrassing for him, but he didn't seem to care so there you go I guess.

I got cold decked for the remainder of the night, except for getting pocket Kings. I decided just to limp and see what I could hit, but then another player after me made a $3 raise. I decided the pot was big enough now to put me back in the black so lets take it down. I re-raised it $25 which sends a pretty strong message. After thinking about it, the calling station from before says "I'm going to show you respect" and lays down T8d. Show me respect? Just throw your shit away! Turns out nobody wanted to call the bet, but they ran the flop anyway. It had an ace and a king, which means I might have got paid off more if some of the players did see the flop. But the river would have filled a straight for the T8d guy, which might have just put me over the edge I think.

By this stage, some of the stacks at the table were well over the $200 mark due to multiple re-buys from most of the players. Even when you buy chips off the table here, the money stays in play – which is different to how we play it normally at home. I guess opinion is divided on this, as we usually have the "only chips count" rule, and selling chips as an acceptable form of "Rat Holing". We also play smaller limits, and I guess this allows people who make a massive profit protect it slightly. I know the other way would be more correct for a casino game, as money on the table stays on the table and all that. Homes games should be different though, that's why we have them.

Anyways, when the game wrapped up I had had my fill and was happy to leave down only $2.60 which was for a vanilla coke I bought on the drive home. Better for the run, as they say.

I let the early results change my play, and I became an absolute rock by the end of it. That isn't so bad, because everyone else was loose aggressive, but I never really tried to use my image to my advantage. Quite the opposite in fact. The money on the table got so large that my stack just wasn't scary enough to push people off pots, and I never got the cards or played them right to get the money to make it scary enough. I've got something to improve on for next time, whenever that is.

I also relented to two pressures from the Distraction this week. The first was buying a new TV. The Distraction works for a large brand name in the TV business, and as such she gets discounts on such things. But really, 10-20% discount on a $4000 TV isn't that much to get excited about. Every now and then they have factory seconds, which are still covered under warranty. This would be the way we would go, but not until we got some of the other debts under control. However, as of this week they would stop doing this, which meant the end of the massive savings. The $4000 TV, a beautiful 42" Plasma with heaps of bonus extra special super features was $1600. Since this price won't be repeated, I let her put it on the credit card. They delivered it yesterday and we set it up last night. Man the thing is huge. All the dvd's look different now.

The sad thing is our TV reception is really terrible. This led to the other sign off on my part, as I had been holding back on getting Pay TV for some time. With a big screen like this though, you just got to make the most of it. Besides, thanks to the advertisements on the side there this blog is paying for it. That's right, no more monthly kicks into the online bankroll, it all goes to the little box on top of the TV now. Which is fine, because I will have less time for online poker now anyways.

One day we will be out of debt…one day.

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