Friday, August 31, 2007

A Horse is a Horse, of course

We had our first HORSE rotation cash game last night, and it worked out much better than I expected. And we had some surprise bonuses too. Wendy and Darko, who weren't on the YES list, showed up to the game. Congratulations Wendy ont making your basketball playoffs! Even Carol ended up playing, along with her boyfriend Marcus, fresh in town from Nevada. Marcus is playing in a celebrity tourney sometime in the next few weeks (the perks of former athletic stardom I guess) and he needed to learn how to play! In true WSP tradition, he made money, even if he was playng with profits off of Carol's stack.

The HORSE play (HA) was very enjoyable, but way too short. We only did 40 minute rounds of each game, leading up to a few hours of NL HE. But at the end of the 5th round, Brian asked, "Wait, is that it"? Yeah, that's all for now, but I intend on adding much more limit play and rotation games to our repetoire. It was a refreshing change of pace from NL, and a profitable one at that. For all my ups and downs in NL HE, I'm still a better limit player, when I concentrate and stop screwing around, than I am a no limit player.

The proof was in the pudding as I finished the HORSE rounds up about 85 dollars from a 100 buyin (2/4 limits) and cashed out of the night minus 200 after NL. Not that I played particularly poorly, but I couldn't catch a single draw I was looking for. And these weren't 2 outers either. I was in 3 big pots where I flopped or turned OESD with a 4 card flush draw to go with it. Jesse will vouch for me since I flashed him my cards each time and cried him a river.

I was met with little sympathy.

And there was a little incident which put me on tilt. To wit: I had flopped middle pair on a ragged board of 79Q. Darko and I took turns leading out the flop and turn bets. On the river, I checked and Darko came out with a perfectly sized 18 1/4 pot bet. In fact, it looked so much like a bet begging to be called that I got suspicious that he hadn't missed his draw and was bluffing a "value bet". I picked up my chips and my hand was in the air on the way to the felt when John turned over his card and said, "I have a straight". But my hand hadn't hit the felt yet and I never said "call". So I held my chips back and mucked my pair. But when John revealed his cards, he had an 8 high. I protested that the pot was mine, citing the rule that if a player deliberately misrepresents his hand in a way that makes another person muck, the player who mucks can be awarded the pot. John countered that I hadn't fully called the pot and was therefore not entitled to the benefit of that rule. We ended up chopping, which was a fine solution and that's the end of it.

Except, that I will be forced to completely clarify this rule now that it's been blogged. The former situation is not up for debate since that's history and over with, but in the future....

Please make every attempt to not interfere with a player as they are making an action. Talking about your hand is fine(in heads up cash play only) but talking and action have to stop once a player starts an action. Also, cards speak and we are all experienced enough to know what hands we have. Misrepresentation of hands on showdown, causing another person to muck will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the house. Hopefully though, this situation will never come up again.

Oh yeah, back to my (now tilting) NL play.

A few hands after "the incident", I got big slick suited UTG and raised to 4. About 4 people called and Brian, on the button, put 30 on top. This play could have been interpreted a number of ways. Brian is a very aggressive player and could easily been stealing a bunch of limp calss into a smallish raise. When it got to me, I only had 90 more behind. I figured there was about a 10 percent chance Brian had one of the two hand that crushed me (KK, AA), a 25 percent chance he had Ace witha big kicker (AK,AQ), another 25 percent chance he was stealing a $20 pot with junk, and the remaining chance he had a pair of Queens or lower. So, in my estimation, I had only a 10 percent chance of being dominated and a 90 percent chance of being 50/50 or better (perhaps dominant. Plus, if I made a strong move by moving all in, there was a chance he would fold. It seemed like the right move with a shortish stack, so I pushed. Brian called and showed my 10 percent nightmare, KK. He blessedly let me run the board 3 times and the 3rd run made a straight so I took 1/6 of the pot. I still think I did the right thing.

I reloaded and got rewarded with AhQh. I made it 8 when it got to me and got called by Carol and one or two others. The flop didn't hit me, but it gave me a flush draw. I bet out again and Carol called. No heart. The turn came, no heart. I made the same bet as the flop, and Carol raised 24 on top. There was about 100 in the pot now. I was getting 4-1 to make the call for a river draw that gave me what I thought was 15 outs. It turned out to actually be 12 outs since Carol had a middle pair and also held my Queen, but even 12 outs is the right number to make that call, so I did. And got rewarded with bupkus on the river. Jesse lit into me. LHow could you make that call? If a Queen had come, you would have been killed.". I told him I know bwtter than to overvalue top pair into a raiser. I knew the Queen probably wouldn't have been good. I was hunting for the flush or, maybe, the Ace. He even admonished me for overvaluing my big slick agaist Brian, but Carol defended my call against her, eventually conceding that she hadn't raised enough and I was getting proper odds. Gratifying, yes, but Sklansky dollars does not the rent pay.

It went on like that. Eventually, with 30 left in the last button rotation of the night, I limped with 2c7c, hoping to win at least one pot with the hammer (the last refuge of the desperate). I flopped a club, got a free turn card and saw another club. Marcus, Darko and I did a 3 way all in on the turn and the river produced something not resembling puppy toes. Wendy looked at me from over her huge chip stack, her eyes welling with what appeared to be pity (but was probably straight up condecension) and remarked that I should be mindful that "God hates me". (Sigh).

I am on a bus to AC as I am writing this, the bloodbath of last night far from my thoughts. My spirits are now focused on one thing. King of the Moutain baby! Season 3 begins tonight. The crew is down there now, having gotten off work earlier than I, and I might already be the winner! ;-)

We're going to be trying some low limit Omaha tonight to get our feet wet. I anticipate joy, laughter and a little pain. At least for 20 minutes. After that time, Wendy and Darko, their appetite for bloodlust not sated at limit, will curse the concept of limit and move back to the knife fighting of NL HE.

~So this is Thriller, Thriller night, and no one's gonna save you from the beast about to strike~

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