Tuesday night saw the return of “Justin” Dustin, who has been away from our table for some time. Dustin works with Scott St. G., so he really has no excuse not to come, but I pushed him to explain himself anyway. “Uh, I’ve been going to the gym a lot”. Ok, doofus, whatever. Me, I know I’m going to die of a heart attack slumped onto a poker table, still holding on to my nut flush draw with one card to come. But that’s just me.
I played tight both tourneys last night, mostly because I was card dead. I’ve pretty much given up trying to make too many moves, given the competition and have chosen the path of “wait for good cards, raise it up, and hope you flop”. I gave up lots of middle pocket pairs when the action was being pushed very high. By the time the first tourney was down to 6 players, I only had about 1700 in chips and I needed to double up. Abbie obliged me by putting me all in with her AT. I peeked at my first card, Ace of clubs. My second card? Ace of spades. Uh, I call? Once I doubled up, I felt a little more comfortable, but Abbie and Scott St. G. both had monster stacks. Until Scott made his patented “Poker Idiot” bust out by dumping all his chips to Abbie. Abbie was in the big blind and Scott had limped into the pot along with a few others. Flop was K2rag, I don’t remember the suits. It checked all around and the turn was a 5. Scott bet out and Abbie raised it up. There was about 2500 in the pot and Scott re-raised all in for about 4000 more. A huge play, which Abbie called down immediately. Scott showed KQ for the slow played top pair, big kicker. Abbie showed THE DARKO (25o) for bottom two pair. She was able to avoid rivering a second pair and she felted Scott to take about 70% of the chips in play. It was down to Abbie, Liezl, Krishnan and myself. I was in a tenuous second place, but Liezl kept limping into pots on the button, not allowing Abbie to give me a walk on my big blind. And then she kept firing out, taking the pots. Darnit, how am I supposed to keep building my chip lead if I have to give up my blinds all the time?!? ;-) Then I went completely card-dead, including a run of three hands in a row when my hole cards were 93o! But Liezl managed to donk off her chips to Abbie when she pushed with a weak Ace vs. Abbie’s AA and Krishnan and I were in the money. I had Krishnan slightly outchipped but I managed to lost to Abbie with an A7 and I was out in 3rd. Krishnan and Abbie chopped, with Abbie giving Krishnan an extra $5 to give up the fight. He was outchipped more than 10-1, so I think it was a prudent move.
In other news, we had a lot of new players at the table last night. Tony, Olga, Alice and Art all made their first appearance at the Wall Street game. And with the appearance of Olga and Alice, we have officially taken the mantle of the Hottest home game in New York. By ‘Hottest’, I am referring of course to degree of attractiveness, not temperature. The designation, formerly held by the IHO crew, has been tipping our way in recent days with the frequent appearance of Stephane and Mary from said crew at the game. And with Liezl, Olga, Vivian, Alice, Lana, Wendy and Carol, we’re way over the top now. It’s like a Maxim photo shoot for god’s sake! As PP said last night, “Wow”. (If I left your name off of this list, it was only because I forgot. You’re beautiful too.)
Oh, other features of the first tourney included Wendy going out with QQ on the 3rd hand when she ran into Viet’s AA. Whoops. The second tourney had a similar hand with Darko, who had his QQ also run into Aces. The question was raised as to whether you can get away from QQ if there is heavy pre-flop action or if the flop is ragged undercards, as it was in both Wendy and Darko’s cases. My vote was no, you can’t. My theory is that in a short-stacked single-table turbo tourney, like we run, the third nuts pre-flop is as close to gold as you can get. If you’re worried about running into a category 1 hand, you can try to see the flop as cheaply as possible and check the texture, but if you have to try to double through with something, QQ is a good possibility. This thought process was running through my mind in the second tourney when I picked up TT UTG with blinds at 200/400. I had about 2300 in chips and instead of pushing with a medium pocket pair, I decided to limp and either re-raise all in on a raiser or see a flop and hope for the best. Wendy came out and raised it to 1400 and it folded to me. Decision time. There are only 4 hands that are beating me at this point pre-flop and I was hoping Wendy had AK, AQ or something similar when I pushed all in. She lamented that I had “better not have Aces” or she was going to cry. She flipped up QQ (again) but this time it held up. It was strange, given her luck at the table lately, how natural it was to assume a Ten would flop. But no such luck on my part. Paulie had another monster run of cards, showing me and Darko QQ to take down a good pot without a showdown. The very next hand, he felted a hapless player with KK! Paulie went on to take down the tourney with our new player Art coming in a respectable second place. Scott St. G. came in 3rd to round out the finishing group. It was only about 11 and it would have been fine for me if everyone left, but there was much talk of a cash game. However, by the time the dust settled, only Darko, Wendy, Paulie and Tony stuck around. No cash game. “We could play Omaha,” chimed in Paulie. Oh, allright then. So we played low-limit Omaha for 90 minutes or so, playing 1/2 with 1/1 blinds. Tony, who innocently claimed to not know how to play Omaha, managed to take $22 in profit. It helped him that we only played Omaha high, because there were plenty of hands I managed to get the nut low and could do anything with it, though I did scrape together a whopping $9 profit.