Friday, October 5, 2007

Season 5 kicks off

What a sick inaugural night we had. If only I had witnessed any of it. This is the part where I have to explain my motivation here. Most people assume that I started the Wall Street Poker league in order to play poker, but that's only a secondary consideration. The primary reason was to craft an environment that was both fun and instructive and would also have enough members to fill up on a regular basis. You see, in the early goings of this game, before there was even a league concept, it was sometimes hard to get people to come. Now, I'm fighting them off with sticks! But in order to keep up that level of enthusiasm, I sometimes have to make sacrifices as host. Sometimes that involves the expense of buying top quality equipment or cases of soda. Other times, it means I have to give up my seat in order for a new player to play or to keep a popular player at the table. Which is exactly what happened to me tonight when I couldn't even play in the first tourney!

Tonight's league play consisted of one tourney (at the new stakes of $27+$3) and one cash game ($1/$1 NL HE). "No River" Brown asked if he could bring a friend along, a new player. I said yes, of course, even though the table was already full. I think of it as an investment in the league. If I give up my seat now, it'll pay off when he/she enjoys the game so much that they continue coming back. One regular player who gets along with the group is worth dozens of my own buy-ins, at least. Ken, the new player, was a perfectly nice guy who lasted a while and, even though he wasn't playing in the cash game, still stuck around and shuffled for the tourney dealers. A class act and we hope to see him back soon. So I ordered some dinner and watched the table. What a well-oiled machine we have running here! People were shuffling, dealing, calling action, etc... all without my interference. It's a pleasure sometimes to just sit and watch TV and not have to do anything. Although, the Yanks getting crushed by Cleveland was giving me my own special heartburn. :-(

When I was finished with my dinner, I decided to deal the tourney to bolster my own dealing experience. I've got the basic mechanics of dealing down, though I still have to work on my pitching, but I sometimes get flustered when people talk to me. I actively worked on it and didn't do too badly, not making any flop mistakes and never pushing the pot to the wrong player. No exposed cards either. Yay! When we got down to 4 players, it was an attractive all-girl final table, with LJ, Carol, Abbie and Wendy all vying for the first win of the new season. Carol bubbled out and LJ took third. Wendy and Abbie nearly chopped because Wendy, who thought she was ahead, wanted to place first more than she wanted the money. But when Abbie recounted her chips for the second time, she discovered she had miscounted and she was actually ahead by 300 chips! So Wendy battled it out but Abbie outslugged her, eventually getting Wendy to go all in with A7 vs. her AQ. A Queen flopped and it was all she wrote.

We started the cash game pretty quickly and, once again, I gave up my locked seat to LJ. LJ is a great player who is smart, articulate, pretty and an enormous smartass (which, oddly, is a fun trait at a poker table. Uh, in moderation.). The table would be more lively and memorable with here there, so I let her play my seat. And yes, if you're paying attention, I give women at the table more leverage in taking my seat than men. But not for the reason you're thinking, although it's a nice side benefit! The reason is, again, because of the league. Having a much higher than average female population is a huge selling point, both to men and women. I can't tell you how many times I've described the league to strangers who were dumbfounded that more than a third of the regular players were women. I knew, anyway, in a cash game that people would eventually bust and I would be able to fill in. When Abbie R., another new player, cashed out, I had my chance. Darko came at the same time and there was a lot of money on the table when I sat down.

The table has become much much more aggressive than when we first started over a year ago. As such, it's fun and sometimes frustrating to play. I try to make moves, now and again, but I mostly stick to the basics. It worked out tonight as I was able to felt LJ with AA in the BB. She had gotten JJ in the SB. Drama raised in MP and LJ popped it to 11. If I flat call here with my AA, Drama is likely to call and my AA is much less likely to win three ways. But if I raise then I run the risk of scaring off LJ. Here's where the wisdom of "Better to win a small pot than lose a big one" comes in. So I re-raised to 30, practically screaming "I've Got It!". Drama got the hint, with two raises behind him, but Lana pushed all in with her JJ. I prayed to the gods not to kill me the way they've too frequently done in the past, and my prayers were rewarded with a flopped Ace. LJ made her J on the river, but to no avail. The table started busting out players and Darko was building his stack with alarming speed and some excellent plays. In one hand, I had AQo in early position and called a pre-flop raise from Darko, along with a bunch of other callers. The flop was some high cards that didn't connect to me. Someone, I think Abbie, led out and Darko came over the top, BIG. Abbie agonized and folded and Darko flashed 24. It was sick because of the amount in play. He must have been at least $50 invested in the pot and he bet into a board with some high cards on it and at least 4 callers. So, in the end, he pulled in another $50 or so out of sheer moxie, which is how he does it. Tricky tricky.

I only had one hand which I am still thinking about but I think I played it right. I was in the SB with Q5o. There are limpers all around and I limp too. The flop is QQ2 rainbow. I bet out $7 and only Wendy calls behind me. The turn is a 7. I check and Wendy bets $15. I check-raise and put $25 on top. She pauses for about 2.5 seconds and announces "All In" for $102 more. I go into the tank for a bit but finally fold, showing my Q. Wendy mucks but seems to indicate that I made the right move. Hard to say though, but it seems right that she had me. There are multiple hands that beat me there. 22 is a possibility given her pre-flop limp. 77 is possible, though less likely given my flop bet. The only thing that made sense was a better Queeen. And with her pre-flop limp, Q8, Q9 or QT seem likely. To make it worse, if she had Queen and a kicker above a 7, I can't even chop with a high card since her kicker would play. I'm basically dead to a 5 (or a 7 for a chop) and my thought was that anybody who goes all in over a check raise most likely is ahead. The only other possibility that makes sense is she had an overpair that she was slowplaying (KK or AA) but that doesn't seem likely given the number of preflop limps. I think she would have raised with a big pair.

What do you think folks? Did I play that one the only way I could?

At the end of the night, Darko cashed out with $519 profit, a monster night! I was only up $66 but I'm sure not complaining. I can't can't can't wait until our Limit 3/6 Omaha game next Friday. It's sure to be a blast!! Damn you Carol for hooking me on that game! I'm even, vaguely, contemplating getting back into online poker just so I can play O/8. {Shudder}

Carol has a great update of the night's events and an even better description of the girls at the final table. Who's Baby Spice? Anyone? My vote is on Puiki but we might have to go with Liezl to keep with the Glamour factor. And no, I don't think Puiki would disagree that she isn't Glamorous. Fabulous, yes. Glamorous, no. Puiki, if you're out there and you take offense, I'll print a retraction. :-)


Abbie said...

Darko made that move on someone else, not me. But I made a pretty good move on Darko! Sheesh, the favoritism around here... :-)

Thanks again for a great poker night, Jamie!

Jamie said...

Ooops! I forgot about your move Abbie. Sorry, I get tired.

The move in question, was when Abbie raised Darko $100 with KQ rag showing on board. Darko folded after having previously made some strong moves. Turns out he only had a gutshot with AT and Abbie only had Q2! Though to be fair, she *was* ahead, so it's hard to call it a "move". The only "move" was getting Darko not to bluff!

lj said...

moderation? what's that? i'll try harder. nice lj will be in full effect next time. :)

i was scared of AA, but i just couldn't believe it, and JJ looked so preeeeetty.

23skidoo said...

Hey Jamie

I'll be in NY the 8th-10th. I was hoping to get in the game if you have room.

I've played with Jordan several times at Genoa, so he can vouch for me.

23skidoo AT gmail


ckbluffer said...

I think the Abbie / Darko board was an all-heart flop as well . . . which made her move w/Q-rag that much more stunning. Maybe I am remembering wrong. But it was a sick ballah move!

Andy said...

Speaking of online, you gotta register for this: