Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ahhh what a riot. Last night's game was incredibly entertaining. I still can't think of a name for games at my house; suggestions welcome!

The phrase used above as the title of this post was coined by Dusty (I think following a bad beat of one sort or another), and no sooner did the words fall from his lips did Ed chime in, "Now THAT would make a great title for your blog post!" And thus, it was decided. "Suck my ass hair" would be the title for this post.

We ended up with 9 players - very nice, considering the fact that more lake effect snow was falling on Chicagoland, and the winds were just insane - whitewash driving conditions and whatnot. The game, as per usual - no limit Texas hold'em. We started with 1500 in chips and decided on 20 minute blinds. Buy-in was $25, with the top two places to split the prize at a 75%/25% ratio.

The roster:
1. Dusty
2. Big Paddy (Patrick)
3. Ed
4. Tracy
5. Kathie
6. Shelly (me)
7. Randy
8. Armando
9. Jim

It was a little bit of a squeeze at an 8-man octagonal table, and Paddy and Randy were a little late in arriving, so we posted and folded them until they showed up. I had forgotten that my brother took back his folding table and chair set from my house, so we had to dig up my old cushionless kitchen chairs from the basement. I have smiley face cushions that were used to provide a bit more comfort than sitting on hard wood - I think Dusty referred to them as "hemorrhoid donuts" or something to that effect.

We started blinds at 5/10. Since this group of players was a half-mix of regulars from the Diamond game, and my own circle of friends, there were 2 conflicting notions of how many starting chips we should have. At the Diamond game, we usually start with 3,500, but in the smaller games held amongst my friends, we usually start with 1,500. So, we settled on starting with fewer chips, but doing 20 minute blinds instead of 15, and throwing in a few of the oft-skipped lower blind levels. It seemed to work out well enough.

It didn't take long for a questionable hand to appear. One of the first few hands of the game was at 5/10 blinds. It went like this:

Jim brings it in for a raise of 100, 10x the big blind. He finds two callers out of the blinds - Paddy and Ed. Flop comes: Kc 6c 2s. Checked around, free card. Turn comes 10h. Jim raises it up 300 - Paddy folds, Ed calls. River comes a rag, no more action. Jim flips up his pair of Queens, and Ed turns over K-10d for 2 pair. Jim was beside himself that Ed would call a raise pre-flop with K-10d. (Yes, we heard the "but it was soooooooted!") - Ed insisted the call was fine, for 100 measly chips. My take was that I'd have folded the hand, being not a very strong starting hand and easily dominated, because the raise was 10x the big blind - a relatively large raise. (And, 100 chips of 1500 is a pretty hefty amount to play K-10 with, suited or not). Then again, I'm a pretty tight player. Opinions were split about even as to who would play that hand for that raise and who wouldn't. It was a lucky win for Ed and put a pretty good hurt on Jim's stack early - and fueled a bunch of ribbing for the rest of the night.

Level 1 saw me play zero hands. Zip zilch zero.

Level 2 saw 10-high take down a multi-way pot that was checked down to the river when the board hit absolutely nobody. We discussed the sheer power of 10 high, recalling Gus Hansen's play against Antonio Esfandiari on one of last season's WPT episodes, where the Magician had put Gus to an all-in bet with a pocket pair of some sorts, and Gus pondered out loud, "Well, I have 10 high... I have to call you...." and DID! (And won!) One of my favorite hands of all times. We also had some giggles over the dreadlock dude from the 2004 WSOP limit game who got a big bwa-ha-ha laugh over the hand - "He called me with jack high!!"

Late in level 2 (blinds 10/20), I played my first hand: pocket 8's. Snowmen, yay! I bet them all the way, with a flop of one over-card and a turn/river that brought another overcard, and ended up taking the pot with a showdown.

Level 3 saw our first bust out. Jim managed to pull 2 pair with his A-4, and bet it aggressively and eventually all-in, with Tracy calling him down. Ends up she had a higher 2 pair with A-9. River came an Ace for the boat-over-boat action, and Jim was bounced from the game. To add insult to injury, a few hands later when it was time for Tracy to deal, she accidentally tossed a card Jim's way, and when he corrected her, she said, "Oh, are you out??" Honest mistake - a girl is allowed to forget knocking another player out of the game, right?! :) Jim kindly dealt the rest of the game for us. Thanks, Jim!

Our reckless and often crude banter unearthed a new rule to add to the poker rulebooks: It's OK to fold out of turn, as long as you announce it. Something to ponder.

Level 4 sees me in the small blind, and I'm finally playing some hands. I look down to see 10-4 of diamonds. *Groan* Well, maybe the 10 high will take it down for me - I limp into the unraised pot and we see a flop. 10-10-4. DOH! As Mike Sexton would say, I had fireworks going off in my head, and knew of course that I couldn't bet that flop. First to act, I checked, and got bet into around the ring. There was a caller or two... I called, and we saw the turn. I checked again, hoping for more betting action - didn't get any, as the turn was a rag. River came a King. I figured, I can check and hope the king helped someone enough to bet it, and risk not picking up a few more chips if nobody bets, or I could bet it. I threw out a small massage bet. The king hadn't helped anybody, and I got folded to at the end (see below), but I showed down my flopped boat anyway, much to the collective dismay of the table (who analyzed my slow play as "how could you NOT bet a BOAT!"). Of course I replied, cuz the rest of you fools woulda folded! I mean, come on - 10-10-4 helped nobody but me. The only way I was going to maximize chip extraction on that flop was to slowplay it.

Randy was in that hand to the end with me, if I remember correctly. I think he wanted me to check on the river so he could check after me, as opposed to betting into him. I lost some relationship brownie points for making him fold his hand, I think. Sorry baby - poker is poker, love is love :) Two different things!

Level 7's notorious event was having one card short of a Royal Flush on board. Hearts, even. Nice. Nobody held the magic completion card, but it was a fun little hand.

Level 8 saw me flop my 2nd boat - pocket sixes, to a flop of 6-Q-Q. The cards had really started falling in my favor, and I was picking up all kinds of goofy pots like that.

Two more rounds saw little to no action for me, and when Randy knocked the remaining people out, my once-leading chip stack was now a slight dog to his. He had around 8500, I had about 4500. Definitely playable, and I was catching such mad cards that I'd have loved to play it out. But, most people didn't want to wait around, so we took a poll - if we quit playing now, would the remaining crowd stick around for another game? Verdict was yes, so Randy and I chopped 1st and 2nd place. This led to some general pot-chopping-theory disagreement.

The way I've read of pot chopping (having no real-casino-tournament experience in chopping pots), the 2 remaining players both get 2nd place money, then the remaining funds are split at a ratio comparable to their chips stacks. Randy thought it should have just been chopped straight up based on chip stack. Calculated my way, we'd have split the pot 125/100. His way, 135/90. No big deal, I guess, but at higher stakes it's a much bigger deal! I suppose it worked out more like my way, but we got sick of trying to do the math under pressure, and just settled on whatever was easiest based on the denominations in the bowl.

The final results from tournament #1:

1. Randy (chop)
2. Shelly (chop)
3. Ed
4. Armando
5. Paddy
6. Tracy
7. Kathie
8. Dusty
9. Jim

Time for tourney #2! We made this one $15, to encourage full participation, again with 2 places paying. Same group of degenerates, minus Paddy, who got called in to work at midnight. Hopefully he is not a human popsicle right now, as he works outdoors and wasn't expecting the call. He had on jeans and a jacket, and with wind chills of 15 below zero last night, ya gotta feel for the guy.

I've discovered something about my play: whenever I win a tournament or place in decent money, and then sit down immediately to another game, I just generally don't "care" and don't play my A game, figuring I've already won. I play the same hands, but I am more lax in calling off my chips or betting off all my chips on a hand I know to be second-best. It has happened to me a few times. So, in light of recognizing this trait of mine, I should do one of 2 things: either STOP playing in tourneys the same night of a winning one, OR tighten up that second-chance game and don't be so blissful about the previous win!

It all goes back to the "in the moment" thing. As much as people say that you have to forget about bad beats and play the next hand brand-new, I think you also have to forget about nice wins and play the next hand in the moment. I'm really bad at the latter, and not very good (but improving) at the former. Definite leaks in my game.

Anyhooo, I think I went out in level 1 or 2 of the 2nd tournament, betting my pocket 8's (snowmen... booooo this time!) against a generally rag-filled board. I raised pre-flop and Ed called me. Flop came rags, and I bet 400. He raised me to 800. I was thinking, "I should really lay this down..." (I think there was one overcard to my 8's onboard), but based on my recent win, I was like, naawwww let's play! Ends up Ed had pocket 2's, and the 2 on the flop gave him a set. He played it straight out of the textbook, and I bet and called his raises all the way down till I was all in and broke.

There's a saying that you should never find yourself calling all-in when you had started the hand with a playable stack (8+ times the big blind). I think that's probably a good rule of thumb. Raising or re-raising all-in is another story, but calling all in is probably almost never a good move, unless you purposely were slowplaying and know you have the nuts.

I don't remember if I had pushed all in, or if I called an all in on that hand - to no affect, as I busted out to the trip 2's anyway. I didn't care... I was up $80 or so on the night, and was happy. (You're welcome, Ed!)

Armando was getting hammered by Tracy late in the game, losing all kinds of miracle draws to her, along with just plain out dominated cards. His AK ran into her JJ, all kinds of harsh hands. Thank goodness he had a deep stack, because she was just running him over. It was a bit like salt in the wound, too, because all she wanted to do was go home! "All in!" "All in!" We thought she was just pushing in to get the game over with, but Tracy proved to be a sneaky one - doing so with crazy mad monster hands. Ironically, though, her two bouts with pocket Aces didn't hold up for her.

Another oddity of the night - similar to our last game at the Forest, Armando experienced the phenomenon of receiving the same hand, twice in a row, out of two decks.... FOUR TIMES. I've got to find out the odds on that. It just seems so impossible - especially considering a couple of the times had the cards of the same suit as well.

Turns out Ed did well with my chips. I think we wrapped up around 3am. The results:

1. Ed
2. Armando
3. Tracy
4. Randy
5. Kathie
6. Jim
7. Shelly
8. Dusty

Poor Dusty, couldn't catch cards (or his falling beer bottles) to save his life. That guy manages to spill something EVERY time I see him - even completely sober!

Good night for me and Randy. I commented early in the evening that I need to play face to face cards in order to fund my online losses, since I win so much more consistently in live games. Hehehe.

Ed had some good news - he had finished 3rd the night before in a $5 re-buy tourney over at PokerStars, for a net of $1200 or so. Sweet. Nice job, Ed!

And thus concludes Saturday Night at Shelly's...

4 Comments:

  1. Ed said...
    Thanks for the props Shell.....sry for the bust out in the 2nd game.....I had 22....and 6 ppl called a 200 raise..i had a pair and had to try....quack quack! and K10 is the way to go.....right Jim!
    Shelly said...
    LOL no problem Ed - nice hand ;-P (the ducks, that is... I still wouldn't play the K10 for 10x the BB!)
    SirFWALGMan said...
    Randy > Shelly! Say it's not so!!!
    Shelly said...
    I'm afraid it is. We might play it out one of these days, just to see - though I was catching such great cards that night that it just wouldn't be the same. Believe me - after riding a chip lead the entire tournament, my ego was not happy at all to just accept a second place, just like that. :)

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