Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What Did That Buy In Ever Do To You?

Lewis: Can that chubby boy handle himself?
Ed: Bobby? He's rather well thought of in his field, Lewis.
Lewis: Insurance? I never been insured in my life. There's no risk.

Wow, work has been kicking my ass of late. I have been far too busy to think about poker, and after an unusually busy weekend socially, I am tired and sunburnt and not feeling like overly thinking things at the moment. That means a continuing series of early nights and not much poker again this week.

I did get a live game in a week ago that I have yet to post about, and I will be brief. I ended the night up $120 which was the first profitable night for the year, breaking the back-to-back $200 loosing sessions previous to this one. It was a good night, where I made one of the best lay downs I ever had.

With 77 in middle position, I call a small raise with a few runners. Re-raising pre-flop just doesn't do anything in these games. The flop comes a harmless 742 rainbow, and I'm all happy. An early position bettor and then a min-raise and I think things are looking good. I just call and we have 3 or 4 runners to see the turn (I can't remember which). The turn was a six, putting 7x4h2x6h on the board. 77 still looks pretty good. UTG checks, then the player to my right bets $10, which is better than the standard $4-$5 bet that goes on. Something smelt funny, and I just didn't believe that top set was still ahead. Sure, if I was right then I would still have plenty of outs and I could have even pushed the action a little harder before now, but I could not get the thought out of my mind that he had just hit his straight. I agonized over the decision for a while, and then showed my cards to a few of the guys who had already folded, as I said to them "I can't believe I'm folding this". Then I mucked my cards and let the rest of them finish the hand. The river didn't pair the board and my opponent to my right's 58 straight held up.

Say what you want about the play pre and post flop, I was mighty proud of that fold on the turn (regardless of the river). After having a bit of a bad run up to this hand, I said "I'm getting sick of making great lay downs". After this, my luck turned some and I got a few good wins to get up for the night. One player lost a buy-in in 2 hands by firstly way over playing top pair and then pushing with some hand against a big pair. One player commented the title to this post – "What did that by-in ever do to you?" – which I thought was pretty funny and will soon become a common barb around our poker tables.

Last weekend we had a change of pace and went back to a lower level SNG home game. I started my home game career on these games, so it was good to see the guys again (even if we can't convince them to join the cash games – mores the pity). In short I didn't find myself enjoying it as much as the cash games, which isn't a surprise since this is what we left the games for, but it was good to change the pace. I finished in the money in the last 2 of the 3 games, for an ok profit on the night.

But to more important issues, I am noticing more and more than some of the regulars are now becoming not so regular. The people that are leaving the poker games are the gamblers – the people that are either up 5 buy-ins or down 5 buy-ins. While I am by no means a student of the game, I think I have learnt something over the past few years. Some others have been paying for the lessons but ignoring the teachings I guess. Once their wild ways get figured out, everyone knows they can be relied on to pay them off when they get a hand or miss a draw. I will admit, most of my winning sessions, my bigger winning sessions, these guys are directly responsible for, so it is always sad to see them go. But even more so, it will be sad if the games themselves go. I'm happy to spend 7-8 hours tosses chips and cards and then to walk out with the same amount of money I walked in with. You've got to be happy with that in home games among friends.

Which is why we have agreed, it might be time to expand the circle again. Or we just wait until the lost guys grow fonder with their absence, and come back to us.

No comments: