Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Last Game - For Now

Irwin: Any man with a collection like this is a man who's never set foot on a battlefield. To him a minié ball from Shiloh is just an artefact. But to a combat vet, it's a hunk of metal that caused some poor bastard a world of pain.
"The Last Castle"

Easter time is always a good time – especially in Australia as we have a four day weekend and another national holiday just around the corner. With a four day weekend you can guarantee I tried to get in as much poker as I could and ended up with two very contrasting sessions.

First home game I played well for the first half and had a good amount of chips before the deck went cold, and I won one hand between 1am and 6am. The one hand I won was a massive hand but that didn’t help when I ran into hand after hand for the rest of the night. When the game ended, I was down just $10 which was ok considering what had happened. One of the loosest players couldn’t help but hit his hands time and time again, and despite being down 5 buyins at one stage actually came back to be in front some.

I just couldn’t get anything going. Pairs never hit their set even though I had so many small to medium pairs. I forgot how many times I would have straight and flush draw on the flop (maximum 15 outs without any counterfeiting) and it would come blank-blank. Just a really cold night for me and results showed that.

The next game we had a choice to head to the casino or the regular home game haunt. Considering the casino is an hour’s drive away, and more than likely this will be my last home game for a long time due to the impending arrival of the little bundle of joy, we decided to revive the home game and spend it with friends. I’m glad we did.

On the very first hand I was under the gun, and was dealt 72o. I folded it and the hand was quickly over, I said I got the worst possible starting hand and the only way was up from here. And I was right. If I had 8 pocket pairs all night, I must have hit a set 5 times and only lost once on one of those. Junk hit two pairs on the flop, check-raising with bottom pair garnered folds, draws came and big pairs held up.

There was a stage in the night when me and the guy to my left were both about 5-6 buy ins in front, and the rest of the table was loosing. His cards were falling just as good as mine, if not a little better.

When you get that far in front, you can start to have some fun and even give some money back to keep the game friendly – it was a home game after all and probably my last for some time. My friend to my left loves to check in the dark when UTG – as this was most common when I was dealing, I would always ignore his check in the dark and ask for his action after the flop just to rile him some. I also told him a real player would call a raise pre-flop then fold in the dark – that would really confuse people. So later on when I had the big blind, he raised $5 and everyone folded. Only I called and then folded in the dark before the cards could be dealt out.

A while later, he decided to raise, call a re-raise, check and fold all in the dark in the same hand. Like I said, when you are that far in front you can afford to muck around a bit. Turns out the hand would have probably played out exactly the same if he had looked at his cards anyway.

We agreed to keep playing to 6am which is pretty much standard, and when four handed at 5.30 I called an all-in from the short stack on a Jack high flop with AJ. He had a smaller kicker and even though the all-in was for $40, we made a deal and I let him off for about $7 just to keep the game going. By this stage, I was $400+ in front and just wanted to keep playing, the money didn’t matter anymore.

When the night finally did end, I was $490 in the clear which is my best result at this venue to date, and probably by a fair margin. I’m happy to be going out on such a high, as it was also a really good fun game to boot. Then again, it’s easy to have fun when you are pulling in an extra buy in every hour.

It will probably be my last game for a month or so, and then all night sessions will be few and far between from then.

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