Saturday, July 09, 2005

Night before last, Randy and I headed over to Scott's house for a mini-Diamond game. 7 players assembled for tourney #1 and 9 for the second game. I didn't bring my notebook (I have to buy a smaller one - mine is too large), so I have no good notes, but there were a few noteworthy hands etched into my memory.

The first game featured Sebastian taking first place and Ed taking second. (Two places cashed). The highlights (or lowlights, as they might be):

I was definitely not my poker self that night. I felt fine - attentive and all that, but on two distinct occasions, I completely misread my cards. Luckily for me, my misreads ended up being winning hands. On one hand, I thought I had 4-5 diamonds in the blinds. With very little action, my hand made it to the river, where I missed the gutshot draw that I thought I had. We flip up the cards and my opponent in that hand (was it Jim?) had nothing. I flipped mine up and said - "me too, busted draw." Turns out I was actually holding 5-3 and not 5-4, and spiked a 3 on the river. Thanks, boys, for pointing that out. Ship it! LOL. The second misread was similar - I was remembering my hole cards incorrectly, and won the hand with two pair (I think again against Jim). I remember one of the cards being a ten for what I thought was my one pair (third pair on the board I believe). I was calling down some sort of draw. That hand crippled Jim's stack and then the hijinx began.

Jim started straddling all in left and right. With every round of blinds, he was straddling. He was a short stack relative to the table but after winning one of those straddles, he was short stacked no more (but continued to push all in blind preflop). My fatal error came as a result of one of Jim's straddles and some cunningly deceptive moves by Scott.

Jim announces that he's all in blind under the gun as the cards are being dealt. I'm holding QT. Action to my right goes fold-fold, and it's on me. Calling Jim's all in would require me to risk about a quarter of my stack - maybe a little more. I'm thinking about it. QTo has a good 57%-ish equity to win or tie against any random hand, so I'm liking my odds. In the meantime, as I'm soaking in everything going on around me, Scott has already poised his hand for the muck. I pick up on that and figure I'll be heads up. In a bout of stupidity (I told ya I was a bit off), I was thinking out loud and as Scott asked if I had a big pair, I was like, "Nope, just a nice drawing hand..." Hello, Einstein - he hasn't acted yet and I just told him what I've got. Anyway, I call Jim's straddle. Scott immediately pushes all in. D'oh! I've been snickerdoodled. At the time, I figured he pushed because I had announced that my hand was marginal and he was holding an ace. Little did I know...

Scott's all-in is a little more than double Jim's all-in, which now in total puts about half my stack in the center of the table, should I decide to call. My recollection of the numbers isn't quite precise I'm sure, but let's say Jim's all in was 900, I called making the pot 1800, and Scott pushed for the 900 plus another 1200. There's almost 4,000 in the pot and I've got to call another 1,200 to see the flop. I'm getting over 3:1 on my money. I can't remember Jim's hand, but my train of thought was, I'm up against 2 random cards in Jim's hand, and probably a naked ace in Scott's. I'm, say, 35% to win the pot - a 2:1 dog maybe. As is my new mantra - I'm not here to limp around and blind out; I'm here to win this thing. I felt that my call was mathematically justified, so I made it.

Then Scott flips over his pocket rockets. Hmmm. That is one fully dressed ace in his hand. I've just shrunk to about a 4:1 dog. I managed to flop and turn a straight draw, but it was not meant to be, and Jim was eliminated while my stack was chopped in half. Nice play, Scott! I have made detailed mental notes of Scott's ability to premeditate deceptive moves and act them out convincingly. :)

Later in the game, we got to bear witness to a semi-tilting Scott, whose stack was crippled when Sebastian called Scott's all-in with Queen-Ten. Scott had Sebastian covered, but the suckout sent Scott through the roof. Much talk of "what are you doing calling that raise with Queen high?" I am reminded of the gap concept - it takes a much stronger hand to call an all-in than to raise all-in yourself. I'm not sure what level of experience Sebastian's got, though, and he may have been a bit shortstacked at the time, so... I'm not going to place judgement on that hand. It was a bit of a loose call, and I'll leave it at that. Scott managed to bounce back though and lasted longer than I did, so...

Fast forward to game #2. Randy is on his way from work, and we gained another player as well for a total of 9. We posted and folded Randy for the first hand. Cards are dealt, and I believe 4 players (Scott, Jim, Sebastian's girl, and... guy 3 to my left - I forget his name!) took the flop of Ten - Queen - King, all diamonds. As the cards hit the board, I hear a resounding "thump" come from beneath the table to my right. Scott bets big, and Jim (to my right) pushes all in. (This is the first hand, mind you - blinds are 10/20). Third guy gets out of the way and Sebastian's girl (so bad with names I am) is debating. Scott is, what we call, pot committed, and calls. Jim encourages the rest of his opposition to fold, since he already has one caller in Scott. By now, Jim has jumped up, hugged Scott, and shown him his hole cards. She wanted to call, but the boys spared her stack and basically forced a fold out of her.

Scott turned over his flopped straight for a monster hand... and Jim turned over his flopped straight flush with Jack-Nine of diamonds. Jim confirmed that the thud I'd heard earlier was indeed "his cock hitting the table." Nice one. Hell, I might even pop a boner after flopping a straight flush. Needless to say, Scott lost the hand and was eliminated from game #2 in hand #1. But - if you've got to go, it might as well be to the proverbial nuts. We later found that the Ace of diamonds had been folded by the guy one to my left. (Me and my name problems - hey Scott or Ed - if you have any names to fill in the blanks, post them in the comments and I'll revise. Thanks!)

I'm a bit lax on hands for this game, as that's the one significant hand I remember. I vaguely recall getting all of my money in on the short stack in the big blind with Jack-Four and a flopped two pair, only to get rivered by Randy when a King hit to give him a higher two pair (he had paired the nines on the board with his K9). The river was a bit brutal to everybody at Scott's house that night. Somehow, I knew it was coming on that hand.

Randy went on to chop the prize pool with Jim, as it was getting late and they did a lot of trading blinds back and forth heads up. Nice game, guys.

And so concludes another bit of poker over at the Diamond house. The next Big Game there is a week from today. I'm quite looking forward to it, as I've missed the last couple games (one was while I was in Vegas for the WPBT event, one was when Randy and I were in Vegas in March, and one was trumped by a wedding that we had to attend). Seems like forever since I've played in a big game over there. Scott reported that this game may be smaller than usual, but that's OK. You know me. I'm there.

Thanks for hosting us the other night, Scott, and kudos to the genius chef who made those Chex mix chocolate powdered sugar thingamajigs. Damn those were tasty!


  1. Bill said...
    I will be in Chicago next weekend. What are the chances that my wife will let me ditch her, the boy and our friends engagement party to bust up your home game?

    Yeah, I'm drawing to a one outter, but a guy can always dream.
    Shelly said...
    Hey Chilly - you are SO totally invited! We're about 30 minutes south of the city. Email me if you think you can make it out! 8pm Saturday the 16th.
    Bill said...
    Yeah well I just found out the exact plan. I'll be in Hoffman Estates for a party that starts at 7. So I doubt I could make 30 minutes south by 8.

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