Thursday, February 22, 2007

Short Stack Poker

Susan Stanton: Your grandfather was a great man. Jack Stanton could also be a great man, if he wasn't such a faithless, thoughtless, disorganized, undisciplined shit.
"Primary Colours"

In my last post, I used a quote from "The Good Shepard", which is a movie we saw on Sunday. It's got an ok story to it and everything, but to be honest the lead character is just so fucking boring all the way through it kind of ruins it. Not to blame Matt Damon for his job, it was just the character was meant to be that way. Funny though, because early in the film the lead character was in a college stage play in full drag and singing (quite well for a fake female voice I might add) – and the same character is so dead pan for the rest of his life. Yeah, a few things didn't make send about the characters but it is what it is.

Back to the story at hand, we were back into the un-air-conditioned Dome on Saturday night. Before we reached the bar, the guy had our drinks opened and ready. It's good to be considered a regular on your 4 th visit. I think my buddy standing next to me kind of stands out though through looks and personality, and the fact that he drinks Toohey's Old.

Anyways, we get the first game underway eventually as the room is unusually quiet. Parking was a bitch thanks to a Boys 2 Men concert on next door. Seriously, Boys 2 Men. I couldn't believe it myself.

I made mention before the first hand that I had a golden duck once before (knocked out on the first hand), and then my buddy goes and does just that. He had a weak ace, hit the turn and was betting on every street. The opponent had KJ - J on the flop and K on the river. That was enough for him.

Three hands later I had KK in early position and I made a raise. I get one call and then a re-raise from the button, and another call. I thought about pushing right there, and I should have in hindsight, but I was a little gun shy as I could be up against aces again, so I just called for a total of 500, 25% of my (and everyone else's) stack. Four handed see a Queen high all diamond flop. I didn't look at my cards because I remember I have two red Kings, so I have the King high flush draw and an over pair, maybe I can take it down here unless I am against QQ. Even then, I have outs. I bet 500 more, and the next player min-raises to 1000, the last two players fold. I can call which will have me pot committed, so I may as well go all-in or fold. I have zero read on the opponent, but he didn't re-raise pre-flop so maybe he has AQ. I decided to go all-in and he has to call regardless, but he had A9d for the flopped nuts. I hit my flush on the turn, but it was obviously pointless and I was gone already. That was a quick one.

Next game, I am back to my old habits of sitting back and folding crap. I've got a very passive female to my right and a clueless player to my left who is a veteran of many free rolls by the sound of it. He has shown that he bets any pair but then meekly calls if he is raised or bet into. The passive female has shown she will call with just about anything, but did hit some hands early to have chips.

I get down to 1050 in chips with blinds getting dangerous. I have Q5h in the BB and get to see a flop 4 handed. Female player bets 250, I raise to 500 because I believe top pair has her beat and I want it heads up – she'll call for sure. Then the free roll veteran pushes all-in without much hesitation. The other player folds and the female calls for all her chips (more than me). I look at my little five, and then my last 550 in chips. Some people would look at the pot and see value for top pair, but all I saw was an exit to two players that I considered myself better than, and I folded my Queen face up. I got some funny looks from the other experienced players at the other end of the table – "You folded a queen to them?"

"I'm beat." Was all I could say. The female player rolled over KJ for second pair and a straight draw, while the free roll veteran had 99 for a set of nines. The turn was a King and the river was a blank, as the blinds went up to 200/400 and I had 550 left.

I managed a double up on the next hand, but after folding my blinds again to raises I was back down to 550 again and waiting to go all-in with anything decent. UTG+1 with a limp in front, I thought about it with A7o, and had the chips ready but for some reason I pulled them back. There was a raise behind me and three players were all in with King high the best – and there was an ace on the door! D'oh! Maybe the wrong decision there, but for some reason I just thought my ace was dominated. Very next hand, I get the same ace back but with a nine this time, and I push all-in (a raise of 150 on the 400 big blind). I get called by only the big blind, which is about as good as I could hope for. I hit another ace, and that's good for a double up plus some. Then finally the cards start to fall, and I make it to heads up where my opponent is quite passive and lets me steal a few times. He has maybe 60% of the chips at the start, and we get very close to even when the telling hand comes.

I have 89d and raise, he calls. Flop comes KdQd8h. I bet, he raises and then I push all in. He thinks about it and tries to talk me around my hand but I try not to give any clues. Eventually he decides to call with Q5o. I was happy with a call or fold to be honest. I hit my flush on the turn, and he is left with just the big blind in chips. We deal the last hand open and I have ATo vs 73o, and no bad beat this time which means I have my first full paying win at the dome!

I did apologize for the flush draw hitting, but he actually said I was ahead in the coin flip, reckoning it was 53% to me. Just doing the calculator now, I was ……………..

There seems to be a bit of a slow night, and I have to wait a while for the next table to form. We go to sit down finally and there was 11 players, so they decided to run it with 11.

After 10 hands, we were down to 7. After 20 hands, we were down to four. Two guys have been hitting massive hands and getting paid off – including this gem four ways. Board reads QJJK8, 3 rd diamond on the river. Player 1 has KT, Player 2 had A6d, player 3 had J9 and player four had QJ meaning he was pretty much freerolling the hand from the flop.

The final four has me the short stack, as I have yet to see a flop let alone win a hand. There is a female player coming third, who has won one hand. The other two guys have all the chips, and have won every other hand in the game between them. We were on the third level of blinds and already had 7 knocked out.

The chip leader knocked out the last two guys, and then it was heads up again. I had won a few pots by this time, but still was well behind in the chip count. I eventually doubled up again with a diamond flush draw (I pushed, he called with a pair I think). That meant I had 16K in chips now, and he had the remaining 6K. He went into push or fold mode, and with the blinds at 200/400 I was happy to fold if I had nothing – which I usually did and showed him I had four high and was folding. I was going to wait for a hand to end it, and he eventually called my all-in when I had JJ. JJ held up against 68c and it was two wins in a row, and this one was a little bit bigger thanks to the extra player. Well hey, ten bucks is 10 bucks.

After that, I grabbed a bourbon and coke because back to back wins was worth a toast to myself (by myself), and I waited for my buddy to finish the game he was on. Some drunk got refused service at the bar, and then staggered and whinged about it to everyone within ear shot just to prove the bar staff right. The Boys 2 Men concert had just finished, which saw an influx of young gangsta wanna-be white guys flood in, half drunk and half stoned.

I took stock of the night. I was up $190 tonight, which after a disastrous start to January had actually put me back in the black for the first time this year in live play. The room was still hot and was only now getting crowded at 12.30-1am. When my buddy finished his game, we decided to put this one in the books and head home.

9 games, $180 in entry fees, return of $60. Loss of $140.

7 games, $140 in entry fees, return of $445. Profit of $305.

I think the main difference was a run of beats the first time around didn't occur the second, and I figured out how to get many different types of bad players to give me enough chips to tackle the good ones. Also, I let a lot of people do the hard work for me and only played hands when half the field had left. And yes, some flush draws and aces when small stacked certainly helped a lot.

1 comment:

Dremeber said...

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Learning Texas Holdem Poker