Monday, February 12, 2007

Every Hook Needs A Worm

Chris: You're gay?
Bobby: No, I got both my nipples pierced and bought a house in Morocco because I'm John fucking Wayne!
"Rock Star"

I had a great time over the weekend going through DVD shops with the distraction, and seeing some great movies for bargain prices. We managed to restrict ourselves to just $20 (which the Distraction found crossing the road to the mall in the first place) and picked up both "The Game" and "The Godfather" – can't argue with that. I also saw the all time classic "Grunt" up for sale on DVD. My dear lord, I can't believe someone took the time to convert that one over to the newer format. This movie has to go into the "So bad it's worth it" pile some day.

Every hear the one about…

There are these two guys in the jungle, studying the flora and fauna and what not when all of a sudden they see a tiger looking at them from some distance away. The tiger starts to move towards them with a hungry look in it's eyes, and the two guys are to be it's dinner for sure. Then, one of the men sits down and starts putting on his shoes. "What the hell are you doing" says the other, "Even with your shoes on you can't out run that tiger!". The first man finished tying his laces, stands up and says "I don't need to outrun him, I need to out run you".

That was me playing poker this weekend. I didn't play brilliantly, even made some poor decisions at times, but there was always someone willing to make a worse decision when the time came and that is how I got paid off. For example…

Holding Ace King, flop is AK5, not too bad. It's heads up, and I put out a feeler to see if he has an ace and I can get paid here. I get called, and the river comes another 5. I bet, he raises. Now I decided to push all-in here, which isn't a good decision I decided in hind sight. What am I hoping for? If he has AQ or AJ, then maybe I get a call, and I think that is a big maybe. Anything better than that and I don't want a call, anything worse and he can't call. So basically the all-in bet is to take down the pot then and there, and I am not really protecting myself against any draws – inside straight maybe, but that's about it. Anyway, he decides to call and shows TT. Ok, I did not put him on that hand, but that terrible call certainly made up for my bad bet. About a $100 pot or there abouts.

And another hand, this time online so it could be forgiven as I haven't played against this opponent often, if ever, so there is no table image to speak of (unlike the previous hand which was in a regular home game). This is on Full Tilt, 6 handed 25c/50c table. Middle position makes it $1.75 (pot raises) and I call from the small blind with 74d, big blind also calls. Questionable to call out of position with 74d, but it was about the third hand and it is easy to get away from when it misses. The flop comes 7h4sQh, which I guess is about as good as I could hope for. I check – hoping for a follow up bet from MP. BB also checks, and MP bets $8 into a $5 pot. I raise it up to $50 all-in. If there ever was an over bet, that was it. BB folds and MP instantly calls – and shows AA. Turn and river are both rags, and I have felted the guy within the first orbit.

No doubt he would have spoken about how online poker is rigged, how I am a fish calling with 74d to his raise pre-flop and so on. But really, would you call with an over pair when someone bets nearly 5 times the pot on a check raise? Ok, I might have had AQ, but really I would have put me on 44 or 77 and trying to cash in on AQ or get rid of the flush chases. 74 would have been the worst hand I could have been on, and again the all-in here might not have been the best move, but I got a caller.

I did bust out of a few SNG's, once to a semi-bluff into quads, but in the last one I played I would have knocked out 7 of the 8 players myself. A few times I had the nuts on the flop or turn, and the pot was already big enough so I would push, only to get called by hands that were drawing dead or near enough to it. Set over set on the bubble helped too mind you. But then heads up, I lost to two beats in a row when I had a 10-1 chip lead. Not terrible beats, but I put my money in with the best of it and he hit the river card he needed both times. First time was T22 flop, I had T8 and pushed to get called by AK. Ace on the river, but what can you do? Next time, I had J8 and the flop some T92. Check, small bet from him I call. Turn is the 7 and I push, he calls with 22. Another nine on the river, and now we are pretty close to even. Eventually I push with a flush draw plus overs and loose to his bigger overs when none of my outs come. But what can you do? I was happy enough with the second place finish as I haven't played this much poker online in quite some time.

Talking with one of the regulars after the game on Friday night/Saturday morning, he mentioned how he doesn't gamble on horse racing or casinos or whatever, only poker but he admits to being addicted to it. Not addicted in the sense that he is putting his mortgage on the line or anything like that, but he would play good long sessions of poker at least once a weekend, more often than not twice, and some online play during the week.

Last week was the first time I ever felt like I was actually addicted. I needed to play and poker was all I could think about, which meant back to back nights into the city. This week, after finally getting out of the SNG's and back into some proper cash games, I didn't feel the need to go into the city come Saturday night, even though I got a free pass from the distraction. I think the itch was sufficiently scratched and I was quite pleased with myself that while I would have liked to go play again, I didn't feel the need to. Having said that I did put in a few hours playing online come Sunday morning, but never the less.

While playing on Sunday morning, I was also watching the episodes so far of season 3 of High Stakes Poker. This is still my favourite poker show on TV, and I'd much rather watch this that the WSOP even. I have just started watching Poker After Dark, which is ok, but just ok. Signs that televised poker have gone to far – I saw advertised this week "Hip Hop Holdem". I can't imagine how bad this is going to be.

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