Tuesday, December 4, 2007

H.O.R.S.E. rundown

Last night’s pre-surgery H.O.R.S.E. was a qualified success. I say qualified because it wasn’t unqualified. This was the first time I’ve run a HORSE tourney, and the blind structures were a bit of a gamble for me. I didn’t really know, this being a limit tourney, how long it was going to take people to bust out in the higher levels. As it turns out, I was way way short in my estimation. By the time 11:30 rolled around, there were still 5 out of the original 9 players in. There wasn’t a break in the whole tourney, which had cards in the air at 7:30PM and I have to commend Matty Ebs on taking the initiative to deal. He initially wanted to deal just the split pot games, but ended up dealing everything, much to the chagrin of his back. He was professional and efficient, hardly making a mistake in what has to be the ultimate litmus test of a dealer, HORSE. The only big mistake made during the game was when W took over dealing duties during a hand of Hold’Em and mucked Matty Ebs live hand! Normally, that’s a ‘too bad’ for the player, but he had a chip on his cards to protect them! Matty was heads up with me in the hand, with what he said was AK (I believe him) and I was in the BB with 88. I decided that the fairest thing to do in this situation was to call the entire hand dead and to redistribute everyone’s chips. It was an easy decision in this case because it had folded all the way around to Matty on the button, but if there had been any action in between, I would have had to make a tough decision. One thing I know, though, is that the idea of “Whisper your cards to the dealer and have him/her pull them out of the muck” is just not happening. I think, in the future, if there was any action on the hand I’m just going to have to declare “tough shit”. Putting a chip on top is just not enough sometimes and it doesn’t mean you get to stop paying attention. Still, in this homegame, I’m going to try to do my best to make everyone happy and make everything as fair as possible. After all, Matty did a great job dealing and it’s only fair he be given a break.

The only slowdown in the tourney, other than the usual issues of HORSE being very confusing, was when the Slayer couldn’t comprehend why we were switching games. I tried to poitely explain that we were playing a rotation tournament but he didn’t seem to fully understand. Still, he was game enough to soldier on, even if he didn’t quite know the rules of Omaha. We tried to drop hints, like when four hearts came up on the board and W remarked casually, “So, if you have just the Ace of hearts, you DON’T have a flush!”. The other players were kind enough to allow this semi-coaching to continue, mostly because it was dead money at the table. The Slayer did manage to take down a few pots, but that was usually because he limped all the way to the end and luck can be funny sometimes. For myself, I didn’t do well at all. I can’t make excuses about bad cards, or the like. I just played too many hands and donked off my chips when I was clearly behind. The only hand that I might possibly have been forgiven for was when I got a six perfect low and Aces up in stud/8 and got sandwiched between Darko’s boat for the high and Jesse’s wheel for the low. Dawn called it “monkey in the middle”, but I felt more like an ass myself.

Limit tournaments, of which I have precious little experience, are a whole different animal than no limit. You rarely have the opportunity to bust anyone and the emphasis is much higher on steady chip accumulation rather than the large bursts of accumulation that are characterized by No Limit. Trapping, therefore, is ill-considered and bluffing is nearly impossible, especially in the lower levels. I attempted some of these stupid moves myself only to be rewarded with bupkus. Darko, who had only come into the game at the last minute, ended up with a large bunch of chips when all was said and done.

At 12:30AM, after not having exercised my option to convert the tourney to No Limit, the table was still at four players. Matty Ebs, Dawn, Darko and Jesse were all battling to stay off the bubble and come into the money. Instead of deciding the tourney in No Limit mode, though, the players decided on a 4 way chop based on chip counts. Darko ended up with the most, Jesse and Matty tied for second and Dawn came in third. All participants almost got a $10 house bonus when I miscalculated the size of the pot, but all was made right.

Thanks to Matty, again, for dealing a great game. Thanks to W for shuffling duties. Thanks to PP for his general congeniality. Thanks to CK for introducing me to E, and for providing a generally high level of play to live up to. Thanks to Jesse for the sharp eyes in pointing out structure errors and dealing issues. Thanks to Slayer for the enthusiasm and the ATM-like doggedness. Thanks to Darko, for ocassionally gracing us with his presence (:-p). And, finally, thanks to Dawn for the pie and showing that underneath the crust and bluster is a well hidden sweet woman (but don’t tell anyone).

Dawn has a recap here.

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