Edward Wilson : How do you know I am the right person?
Ray Brocco: I was told you were a serious son of a bitch with no sense of humour, there can't be two of you"The Good Shepard"
I had a good poker weekend financially if nothing else, but something was seriously missing that I still haven't managed to put my finger on. But lets get right into the results.
Friday night and we can't get a home game going again, so we head into the city back to the Dome to scratch the itch. We only play in the $20 SNG's, because there is a new one every 10 minutes or better sometimes. In the first two games, I folded rags until I was severely short stacked and then went all in with AK the first time and KJ the second. In both games, that would be the only hand I would play as I was knocked out. Nothing I could do, and I felt really bored with it and helpless even. I reviewed all the folding decisions in my head and decided there was nothing I could do so I should just buy my next ticket and get on with it.
The room is pretty big with 20+ tables. When we get there at 8ish there is usually 8-10 of them running. By 11pm every table will be full. With nearly 200 people in the room, things get crowded and hot. This week though, the air conditioning was busted making life very difficult for my third table, which was stuck in the farthest corner under the brightest lights. Add to this a table of immature guys younger than me, all engaged in their own conversations and not paying attention to the game (meaning about 4 hands per 15 minute rounds) and it wasn't an enjoyable table. They were a mixture of guys that knew enough to be dangerous but really didn't know much at all. There was one woman at the table, maybe mid thirties, who was a bit of a regular. She made some interesting decisions – I think she knows the best plays for the cards, but not for the situations. One example was from the SB she calls the 200 chips to be heads up with the big blind, who was short stacked. The big blind raised to 900 all in, meaning another 500 for her to call (she had about 7700 in chips and the lead.) She folded 64d. I would have probably raised him all-in blind, but defiantly called that last 500. Anyways, that was her choice to play that way.
Again I was cold decked, and sat back and watched some really silly calls, especially by one player in particular (who would later be dubbed Mr Giggles, more on that to come). Without doing much, we got to four handed and I pushed from UTG for my last 4 bets with A6s. I got called by a King-rag and took the pot to double up plus some. The Woman at the table couldn't believe I would go all-in with a weak ace (suited damn it!) like that – I couldn't believe she would fold it!
Anyway, I got to the bubble and busted one of the youger, "Naïve" players as the woman called them, when I hit a set of sevens and he had KK (AJ7 flop mind you). It was the slowest game ever, it was hot and not really enjoyable but at least we were now in the money. Normally the money is $60 for second and $120 for first, but she offered $75 and $105 to end it now, with me having a commanding chip lead. I thought about it for a bit – I was fairly confident I could run over her heads up but I was only leaving $15 on the table. I was happy to end it and hopefully get to a better table, as well as be in the black for the night. This would be my first at the dome as well, so all was good.
On the next table, a few of the same players were there including Mr. Giggles, which was the name my buddy gave him on the drive home. He would sit there expressionless and deal so slowly and deliberately (no dealers used in this card room, that would get them in legal trouble). He would slide one card off the top, on to the table and then around to the player. When it came time to deal the flop, he would slide the burn card off, then the three flop cards face down. Then place the deck down and put the button back on top. Then move the three flop cards together, then roll them over and spread them out one by one. If the Royal London Guards ever dealt poker, this is how they would do it. This would all be very intimidating…if I hadn't seen him call off ¾ of his stack at the previous table with nothing but queen high.
A very interesting hand early involving my buddy and another guy at the end of the table that amazed me. Buddy raises to 250 (25/50 blinds) from late position, Calling Station calls from SB. AQJ flop, check from CP and Buddy raises 500 (which is 25% of the starting stack), and the CP calls of course. Turn is a 2, same thing happens. The river is an 8, and both check. The board shows AQJ28. My buddy shows 66, and the calling station shows T8. He called off 1250 of his 2000 with a gut shot straight, and in the end hit a pair. I was shocked that both players committed so much to the pot.
The CP now has chips, and was prepared to call all-ins with K8o, and thankfully he only won 50% of them which was enough to thin the field, but still not make him a run away chip leader.
I was again forced to sit back and wait for my chance to play and won some chips in hands I do not remember. When it got to short handed, I had a good idea of how all the others were playing. When I was in push or fold mode, I was dealt AQo in UTG+1. UTG was the calling station, who still had a fair amount of chips – enough to be first or second. He pushed all-in in front of me, which was the first time he had done that all game. I had a look at the AQ and decided that I was beat. It got folded all the way around, but he generously still decided to show his hand. He had AcKc, so my fold was the correct and I was very grateful he decided to show it.
Four handed, and this time I have won a few pots and now am 2nd in chips, CP is 3rd. In the BB I have AJo and the other two players fold. CP just calls, so I bump it up (300/600) to 1000 chips on top. He looks at his cards, and the aggressively shows all his chips all-in. I ask for a count, as I consider what has happened. He has called all-ins with disgusting hands, has delighted in showing how little he knows how to play, and when he had a good hand he couldn't wait to get his chips in there. There is no way he is smart enough to call then re-raise me here with a monster. I figure he might have something like KT or QJ even, something that looks good but I have beat. I call and he shows A2o. No help for the weak, and I knocked him out – and get a thank you from the other two players after he has left the table. I don't think anyone wanted him to make the money.
Down to the bubble again, against two decent guys and decent players. One of them played his Aces very well, but the other guy rivered 2 pair with JT after the money went all-in on the turn, which knocked him out and I've made back-to-back money finishes! Out of the 20K in play, I have maybe 8.5K. He offers an even chop because his friends are waiting to go, and I accept but only after we run the last hand to see who can call themselves the winner. He had an ace-high flush draw on the turn to my two pair, and I rivered the full house so I'm claiming that one too!
Friday night – 4 games for $115 profit. This would be the first time I walk out winner from the dome, and I am forced to be satisfied with the night but yet again left hungry for more.
More poker was needed for Saturday night, so I put in plenty of bribes for the Distraction in order to get my Travel Visa, as the Distraction also doubles as the minister for recreation. The bribes involved house work, more house work, downloading a few of her absolute favourite TV shows from the states (that won't be shown in Australia for another year) and then seafood. The visa was granted, but was almost retracted after some post-granting remorse.
As we were walking up to the second level where the card room is, the air conditioning was working beautifully to the point where I could have called those stairs home. I was relieved and even said thank god the air conditioning must have been fixed. As soon as my head rose above the floor level of the 2 nd though, I felt the harsh reality. The air conditioning was only broken on that level, and it was still that way.
Saturday night at the Dome deserves it's own post, so I will continue this later in the week.