Sunday, May 08, 2005

Who says booze and poker don't mix? Aye - not if I plan to be profitable, anyway! Now I'm hungover with a bad hair cut.

When last we spoke, I was debating how to spend the final two hours of my afternoon prior to the JackHammer game at Armando and Kathie's house. I contemplated reloading Empire to play through that bonus. Well, I decided not to - instead, I would go get a much needed hair cut. I was getting sick of the length, and with summer approaching, I wanted to get it up off my neck a bit.

Once upon a time, I used to go to a salon and pay a ton of money every few months for a hair cut. Then I realized that I could not afford to eat because of the money I was spending on haircuts, highlights, product, etc. (I'm one of those suckers that can't walk away without buying all the add-on sales at the end of any service-related experience). So, I starting getting cheap haircuts. You know, the $12 "super" or "great" or "fantastic" cuts. Works well for a trim, but....

Right now, my hair looks like I tried to cut it myself.

I was going for a Jennifer Harman sort of 'do, and instead look like I got into a bar fight with a flowbee. I even brought the cover of CardPlayer magazine featuring Jennifer to the "great" clippery. Wow. My hair looks nothing like Jennifer's right now - and it's not just the red vs. blonde thing...

Thank goodness Kathie is a hair stylist (the kind I can't afford) and offered to fix my furs. Until then, I'll suffer knowing that when it comes to looking good, you get what you pay for...

Upon leaving the sad excuse for a hair salon, I headed over the the JackHammer game. I drove past a liquor store on the way and decided it might be a good idea to buy some beverages. Sure, I'd already picked up a stash of Diet Dr Pepper (my fave), but - aww what the hell, I'll have a few drinks. I haven't drank and played poker in a while - and I am now reminded that there is a reason for that! Though I tend to take bad beats much better when drinking... hmmm... I'm a happy sort of drunk!

The lineup:

1. Manda
2. Ed
3. Eric
4. Shelly
5. Kathie
6. Val
7. Ray
8. Armando
9. Randy

Randy didn't make it for the first game but arrived for the second.

First, we played a cheap $5 game, paying 1st and 2nd places. The game - no limit hold'em, 500 chips to start. Turbo-hold'em, if you will.

I saw 4 playable hands all night, the first of which went like so:

I've got KK in late position. I raise Armando's big blind. On the short stack, he's pot committed, and goes all in. I think Ed was the third person in the hand. He didn't make it to showdown. The flop brought a third king for me, and I bet at it - I believe that's what knocked out player #3. My set of kings was good, and Armando was no longer with us.

As an aside, there were many hands last night that resembled online hands. You know - the any-two-cards-can-win types of hands. I'd never paid much attention to the fact that I really do play a different game online vs. face to face. I'll have to think about that sometime in more depth.

We had a little fun with my brother Eric last night - someone brought up collusion and Eric didn't know what that meant, so I told him it was swahili for "good hand." Imagine the word "collusion" being thrown around in the context of its "new" definition - it made for some funny mad-lib type conversation.

For the record, E - here's the definition of "collusion":

Pronunciation: k&-'lü-zh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin collusion-, collusio, from colludere
: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online
Good times...

My second playable hand of the night was only marginally playable, but after so much folding, I was bored out of my choppy-coifed skull. Alcoholic beverages do not bode well for my sense of zen-like patience. I held QJ offsuit, out of position - I may have been in one of the blinds. Can't recall. Ed raised me, and I decided it might be fun to try and outdraw him (seeing as I held a drawing hand, at best). I called his raise for 2/3 of my stack or so, and the flop brought a 9 - not so good towards the whole drawing idea. Ed put me all in, and figuring that I'd rather call my cousin Laura to catch up on gossip (her boyfriend stole her away for a surprise afternoon the day before, and I wanted to know what the surprise was!!), I called off the rest of my stack against Ed's pocket aces, and then called Laura! The previous hand, Ed had pulled off a bluff of some sort (again, memory failure here), but I figured I was up against a pair of some sort in this hand. A sober and non-bored me would have let the QJ go :) Damn booze! No worries though... this was the cheapo $5 game. The "real" game was still to come.

Ironically, after Ed's bluff followed by pocket aces, he managed to pull pocket aces AGAIN to take Manda out of the game. All in a row. Hella good card placement there. Just what you want to see after a good bluff! (Hey Ed - what was the bluff hand that I can't remember???)

If I'm not mistaken, Ed took first place in the $5 game and Ray took second. Good job guys!

We took a break between games and waited a bit for Randy. Time for the real game! $20 buy in, no limit hold'em. 1500 chips to start.

The last two of my playable hands of the night occurred in this game. The first was the very first hand of the game. I look down and see pocket fours. I limp, and the flop comes 8-4-10. Wheee! It took all the power and will in my soul not to kick Kathie under the table (as sailboats are her holy grail of a hand). Should anyone have seen me kick Kathie, they'd know immediately that I was sailing, and that I did not want. I couldn't wait to show down this hand!! I ended up heads up against Eric, and we bet big back and forth. Turn was a blank, and the river came another 10 - full house for me! I'm singing sailboat praises in my head, and I re-raise him on the river. He calls. Showdown: Eric had pocket 8's for the higher boat. We'd both flopped sets.

Fucking sailboats.

That took a bit of the wind out of my sails (and some heft out of my chip stack). How I didn't manage to get myself all-in there, I have no idea. The sailboat debacle cost about half my stack maybe - pretty hysterical considering the blinds were 5/10. I managed to win some chips back, but the poker gods had stung me, and I didn't care much about the rest of that game.

I folded a bit more (which was funny, considering each drink I consumed widened my range of playable hands, and I still wasn't getting any cards to play!) Then: Armando's chance to exact some revenge on me. Again I held KK. I limped. (What's the rule? NEVER SLOWPLAY! Damn, I'm dumb. Dumb dumb dumb). Flop came A-x-x. Armando moved all in, and I called. Of course, he had an ace. Big slick, if I'm not mistaken. Chip stack: critical condition. Pride: bruised.

I actually managed to stay alive for a while - I just remembered my 5th playable hand. After posting the big blind, I had one BB left in my stack. I find QQ in the pocket and move all in. The details escape me as to who was in the hand, but the flop crucified my Hilton Sisters, and the glorious turn made them a set of three. That was nice.

I pulled a couple other miracle saves that confirmed my notion that I've been on a bit of a lucky streak this past month. Not insane luck, but +EV luck at the very least. I've seen some outdraws that without luck, I had no business winning lately. Winning is definitely a confidence booster, and I think that it plays into our poker sensibility. For example, without my recent luck and positive bankroll flow, I'd have never had the confidence to sit at the $1/2 games this weekend on Noble Poker. Winning gives us the confidence to take those leaps of faith in our abilities, and from that progress is born.

Ahem... sorry. Tangent. I digress...

I went out of the JackHammer game with Ace-baby. Flop came an ace, and I tried to represent a better ace than I had. There was no bullying Val, though, as she called my flop bet, and my even larger turn bet. Great... chip stack has dwindled to nothing, and my options were to go into check-fold mode with my stack once again on life support, or push and hope my ace held up. I pushed, and she called. I turned over my hand saying, "you've definitely got me outkicked." No - she didn't. She had the straight with 6-7 clubs!! You go girl - kicked my ass! I didn't even see the straight out there. Damn booze.

And that is how I went broke!

Val went out third when Randy's Ax suited flopped a flush. Ace-baby is such a damn hard hand to play, except when it flops a flush. Then it's pretty easy!

Randy and Ray had a wicked good heads up match - the kind I like to see! They skillfully avoided the "push all-in on every other hand" brute-force approach, and played each other back and forth for a good hour or so. I liken Ray's style of play to my own - he's a tight/aggressive. Randy, to me, is an unpredictable player. He's aggressive, for sure, but he can mix up tight and loose like nobody's business, and I rarely know what the hell is in his hands. That's one thing I need to learn how to do is mix up my game when appropriate. Randy does that very well. With that combination of playstyles, their battle was a good one.

It ended disastrously for Randy, though, when he pushed all in with 6-3 of hearts, expecting a fold and the blinds to be shipped his way. He ran smack dab into Ray's Big Slick. Ouch. Nothing you can do when the cards show complete disregard for your timing. It had to be music to Ray's ears to hear Randy's all-in! Just what you want heads-up with a monster in your hand.

Good game, guys!

Final standings:

1st - Ray
2nd - Randy
3rd - Val

Great night for Ray, placing in the money in both games. Round of applause... and some props to Val as well, placing in the money in only her third poker game with us. Husband Ray is obviously teaching her well!

Since I was sans-notebook last night, I don't have precise notes on who went out when. I believe Ed bubbled in the 2nd game, finishing 4th. Beyond that, I have no idea!

Thanks to Armando and Kathie for having us out, and kudos to all for a good game. Much fun was had by all :) I'll have to redeem myself next time and leave the booze behind...

Well, it is time for me to go prepare for the Mother's Day festivities that are upon us. Have a great one, to all you mothers out there!

1 Comment:

  1. Ed said...
    Hey shell....

    I raised to 600 with 65 suited, and manda called, which put her all in....she had 97 suited...LOL nice try by me.....followed by AA and AA. Took 3 people out in the process......good stuff =)

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