The IHO tourney was Friday. Despite my reputation as being the “rebuy-master” (a dubious but effective honor), I was completely card dead for 3 hours straight. By the time I got to the point where I had to steal blinds to even survive, I had 7d8d in the BB and it checked all the way around to Dawn, our illustrious host. Well, suited connectors seems like a good time to push, so I did and got insta-called by QQ. Damn you Dawn! I will crush you….someday. So I was out, but the camaraderie at the table was too strong for me to just leave. I dealt for a while and then, when Dawn finally busted out (an inevitability, HAH!), she suggested we play heads up Stud/8. Why Stud/8? Because that’s the game she sucks out on best! We played on the balcony in pitch blackness (uh, get a light Dawn) and true to her reputation she sucked out on me for half my starting $20 stack. I will defeat her in SOMETHING one of these days. Maybe she’ll agree to an archery tournament? Nah, she’ll probably end up being a former state champion or something. Oh, I played cash afterwards but my heart wasn’t in it. The blinds were only .25/.50 with $25 max buyin, so I promptly played around with two buyins and lost them in spectacularly bad fashion. Granted, I got KK on the very first hand and let T8 limp in. He flopped top two and turned the boat. Goodbye first buyin!
Even though I really didn’t want to wake up late this weekend, I woke up at noon and puttered around the house relaxing. Carol had mentioned she might want to go to AC at 4PM, but when that time came and went, I wasn’t feeling it. I was firmly ensconced on the couch, watching Man of the Year (interesting premise but not good) when I got an email from Darko at 6PM. He asked simply, “Are you coming to AC tonight”? I texted him back that I probably wasn’t but if he was going I just might. But when I called him to see what was up, he was ON THE BUS ALREADY! 30 minutes out of the city!! WTF?!?! Thx for the heads up, moron-boy. I got the last laugh though, because an hour later, Carol called me and asked me to meet her at the Good Look club.
“Uh, aren’t you in AC”?
“Nope, I didn’t feel like going”
So Darko went down, possibly alone. Sweet justice prevails. :-p
I met Carol at Good Look and the place was…dead. There were only 5 tables going. One Omaha/8, One 2/5 NL and Three ½ NL. Carol was already there tearing up the Omaha table. She makes a great table presence because she’s fun, talkative, easy on the eyes and a great player. Oh, there I go gushing again.
I sat at the ½ table and promptly called the list of people who might join us at 8:00 PM on a Saturday. Only Wendy (The Hurricane) made the trek. My table was good for my purposes. I knew some of the players and all of the loose ones (save one) were on my right. There were a few new faces and I made sure I played slowly so I could read the texture of the play. It was mostly a limping table with some pretty strong moves post-flop. Perfect for what I like to play. Of course, it would be nice if the cards cooperated. I did make about $70 on a hand early on when my KdTd hit top pair on a ragged board. I bet the flop and the turn and was check called each time by a strange looking guy in seat 6. On the river, I checked when a 3rd club hit the board. It was runner, runner to make the clubs so I didn’t think he had it but I was curious why he kept calling my increasingly stronger bets. Was he slowplaying a set? I only had top pair by the time it was over so I didn’t feel like losing too much. He bet the river, $20 into a $120 pot! Are you kidding me? There was no way I wasn’t calling that with top pair. I called and he turned up As8s. He hit the 8 on the flop but never improved. I filed away his actions for future reference (check call all the way and fire out on the river). I got your number buddy.
So I was up a bit and it gave me ammunition to at least see a few flops with a pre-flop raise. I did just that with some medium pocket pairs but could never connect post flop. Then, after I had lost a pot after making a raise with AK, I got QQ in the very next hand. I HATE getting big hands two hands in a row. My issue is that if you raise preflop twice in a row, you’ll probably be believed and not get any action. Yeah, maybe somebody will put you on a steam raise, but that doesn’t happen, in my experience, as often as people believe. Usually, people just fold to you. So I decided to mix up my betting pattern and limp with the Queens. I even limp-called to a raise to $12. A mistake, I know, but QQ is too easily beaten. I’d rather see the flop and check out the action. The flop was a craptacular K99, with two clubs. I had two red Queens. Ok, right now I had crap. What I *did* have though, was good position in the cutoff. When it checked around to me, I put out a $25 feeler and got one caller, Mr. Strange who was two to my left. Aha! Now I’m gonna get paid? I hoped. The turn was a rag. He checked. I bet another $25. At this point, I put him on a flush draw. The river was a beautiful Qc, giving me Queens full of 9’s and completing both a flush draw AND a straight draw. If I was lucky enough, he might even have a 9 that he’s slowplaying. So when he checked to me, I bet out $35 into a pot of about $150. He mucked! What?!? Why did he donk off $50? What was he calling with? It’s a mystery for the ages…
So now I was up again. And then I was down and then I was up. But never by more than $75 or so. It was a long session where nothing really happened. And then it happened. I had KdTd (again) in the cutoff (again). I raised to $10 when it limped to me and I got 4 callers. The flop was a very awful AcTc4c. Yeah, I got middle pair with best kicker but there were too many ways I could be beaten here. It checked to me and I put out another feeler type bet of $25. I got one caller from the one loose-aggressive guy to my left. A sidenote here about players. Generally, guys who have prominent tattoos are looser and more aggressive and more willing to bluff than other guys. Add to that a pack of cigarettes in front of him on the table, and an unlit cig in his mouth and you’re talking about a natural bad-ass. Now, back to the action. The turn was a rag and I said, “Same bet”. He called. At this point, I bet the same amount since I’m trying to control the bets. I’m hoping to improve as cheaply as possible. If I check on the turn instead of betting, I’m inviting *him* to take control of the action and he could easily bet me off this hand. Now that he’s called twice in a row though, my hackles go up. The river is a blank and I check, figuring he either has it or he doesn’t. Then I notice something interesting. In previous hands, when he’s given up a hand that was obviously tough to lay down, he would grip his cards very tightly while making his agonizing fold. This time, he started to grip his cards but then put them down and went to his chips. He very thoughtfully carved out $85 and bet it. He did this in a longer span of time than he usually bet. So now it was $85 to me, which was about 90% of my remaining stack. I thought about all the information and tried to figure out what would make a guy check call two bets and then fire on the river (like Mr. Strange, except this guy was a better player). I decided that a flush draw would do it. Trusting my instinct, I made the call and heard the sweetest sounding two words in poker, “Nice Call”. He showed Kc5d for the busted nut draw. I showed my middle pair and got immediate respect from the players around me. That felt almost as good as raking in that pot and doubling up my $180 buyin.
It was 12:30am at that point and I decided to play my courtesy hand and leave with my profit. I did stay long enough to watch Wendy double up when she flopped bottom set with 99 and a board of KQ9. Her opponent moved all in on her big raise and she called. He had JT for the flopped straight, but the board turned a K and she boated up for the win. Yay Wendy! Carol also texted me to tell me she was doing well at Omaha/8, at 8:30 in the morning!!! I feel sooo inferior.
Sunday morning, even though I got to bed at around 2AM, I managed to wake up at 3PM! Wow, what a sleep. I haven’t had that kind of sleep in a while. I hope it lasts through the week. J