Monday, August 01, 2005
Yes, I'm alive. In the aftermath of Randy moving in, and having to write my very last paper for my masters degree this weekend, free time has been scarce! My apologies.
Last Thursday, after spending the day packing stuff up, Randy and I headed over to Jim's for our second trip to the Nice Table game. You see, Jim won some massively huge tourney on Stars a while back, and used his winnings to buy a very sick (in the best of ways) poker table. It's more like a piece of furniture than a poker table - complete with fancy chairs. I reckon it must have cost several thousand dollars. It's good stuff. So, I never pass up a chance to play at the Nice Table, if at all possible.
This was a casual game of 10 players, including Jim and his wife Kim, Ed and Scott (of the Diamond games), Sebastian and his girl (also Diamond regulars), a friend of Sebastian's, Randy and I, and... I'm going straight to hell for this. I can't remember the other guy's name. Mike? John? He has played at the Diamond game, too. You see, I forgot to bring my notepad to the game. For that reason, I haven't got many hands to detail either.
I was lucky enough to draw a seat at the Nice Table for both games. Hell yeah.
The first game was a $20 buy-in NL hold'em tourney. We started with two shorthanded tables of 5 players. Kim made a play early on that made me think she must be working on improving her game. (She's new to poker). She had a low pocket pair and raised it up preflop. She found two callers (one of which was me). When the flop came overcards, she let up a bit, and since the board missed all of us, she ended up taking down the pot. As we chatted about the hand afterwards, it seemed that she didn't consciously decide how to play the hand, but the fact that she could sense danger in the board texture (as opposed to keeping the single-minded "I have a pair!" push-through common with beginners) indicated to me that she's seen enough hands to start sensing patterns. Poker is all about patterns, and the only way to get that sort of sixth sense about the game is to have enough patterns stored in memory that the subconscious can act on them. I was glad to see that - I'd love to see Kim come out and play more with us (if only Scott would stop yelling at her!) LOL :)
I saw myself go out of that first game pretty early - right after Jim, if I'm not mistaken. I held pocket 4's preflop and called Kim's raise to see a flop. I hit a 4 on the flop, and when she bet out, it was nearly all of my remaining stack. I pushed all in, and she called. We turned up our cards, and it was my set of fours versus her pocket Queens. No sooner did the thought of doubling up pass through my mind than a Queen hit on the turn, to give Kim the higher set. Bye bye, me. Jim and I went out to the loft to watch some Family Guy while the game continued on.
If I remember correctly, Randy bubbled in that first tournament. I think he had A-K in a three way pot when he was all in, and I don't have the details on how the hand went down. Maybe he will be so kind as to post them. I also don't remember who placed in that game (top 3 places paid, with 3rd getting their buy-in back). I know, I suck. Feel free to post in the comments if you know who won and I'll edit the post :)
Game#2 was more of the same, but this time with a $10 buy-in to encourage all ten players to stay. (Twenty was too much for a few people). So we played for ten bucks a head. I went on a mad rush early on. Ed was dealing, and the deck was slapping me in the face. On a very early hand, I held 6-4 hearts in the blinds and flopped a flush. By the turn or river I'd gotten myself all in, and Mike? (I fear I've got his name wrong) went into the tank. He ended up calling me, and I think he had top pair top kicker, which could not beat my flush. You see, I don' t usually pull those all in moves - you know, the kind you see on the sit n' go donk-fests. For some reason, I had a sense that I could double up there (even with my weak ass flush). So I went for it. Of course, after knocking Mike/John/whatever his name was out so early, I felt horrific guilt. Sorry, man.
I continued to hit cards, which was nice. Randy kicked my ass on one hand, where he flopped the wheel, and I flopped 2 pair. He slowplayed and I fell right into the trap, even raising his river bet. There was a potential flush onboard, so he didn't take me for all my chips, but it sure sucked. Nice play.
I ended up heads up with Scott in the second game. We went back and forth for at least half an hour, when I decided to push with my ace high. It was getting late, and Randy and I had to be up at the crack of dawn to pick up the UHaul truck the next morning to move. I'm not a fan of heads-up play where it's just an all-in luck fest. I much prefer to play it out. Scott and I had a great game going, too. But, I pushed with my A4, and Scott's Ace had me outkicked. I didn't improve, and he took first place. My second place prize made me back my buy-ins for the night, so I played for free.
Scott mentioned that he'd like to get a regular cash game going, weekly or bi-weekly (aside from the big tournaments every 6 weeks or so). I'd love to get a regular game going. We could rotate houses and take turns hosting. I'm all for it. It looks like we'll play again in a couple weeks (probably at Scott's). I'm thinking I'll volunteer for Randy and I to host the following game. That should give us enough time to get all of these boxes and stuff unpacked.
Good times at the Nice Table. Thanks to Jim for hosting, and thanks to Kim for all of the snacks! They had the coolest poker paper plates, too. I wish I could find them! Yeah, I'm a dork. Until next time...