Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An historic night (of poker)

What'd you think I meant? Oh, that thing....

Last night, on Election Day ’08, Wall Street Poker opened up it’s two table tourney format for the first time. Despite a few last minute hiccups, it was an unqualified success. The format was pretty much the same as the standard one table format: 2500 in starting chips, 15 minute blind levels, blinds start at 25/50. Like a well-oiled machine, the tables collapsed to one table at 9:15PM on the dot, in time for a cash game to start up at the main table. Meanwhile, at the final tourney table, blinds were progressing pretty rapidly and the table finally chopped for two places at about 10:30PM. Congrats to Vivian and Matty Ebs for winning the first tourney. Also, it was Vivian’s…er..30th……22nd (yeah, that’s the ticket) birthday, so congrats on looking so fine.

Overall, I was pleased with how the two tables worked out but I have to put some tweaks in. First of all, the blind clock, which was placed on the bookshelf last night, needs to be put somewhere where everyone can see it. I played town crier all night announcing blinds. Second, I need to get a new lamp for the corner near the window so the second table can have more light. I think I’m going to pack up my chess set (no one uses it anyway) and sell the gaming table it’s sitting on and put a new lamp there. Also, it was pretty arduous making the transition from a two table tournament to a one table tournament and a cash game. When the tables collapsed, I was a beehive of activity trying to get everything moving in time. I believe what I’ll be doing from now on is EITHER a single table tourney with a single table cash game OR a two table tourney with no formal cash game. If a cash game breaks out after the tables have collapsed, then fine, but it won’t be my responsibility to keep track of the cash. It’s the actual tracking of all the statistics that makes the whole thing difficult. If I didn’t have to do that, it would be much easier for me to deal with all this. For a guy who’s not raking the pot and not taking a vig on the tourneys, I should be able to at least play in my own games, right?

When things settled down, I was able to play in the .50/1 NLHE cash game, where I ground out an $80 profit by the end of the night. I had lost most of my first buyin on a very well-played hand by Brian G. I was in early position with AhKh and when it limped around to me, I popped it to $7, getting Paul W. and Brian G as calls. Flop was QJ2 with one heart. I made a small C-bet of $7 and Paul folded. Brian called. His call was suspicious to me and I couldn’t put him on a Queen. Perhaps a Jack or maybe a straight draw (KT?). Even an underpair. Turn was a 5h, giving me a flush draw to go with two overs and a gutshot. I felt emboldened enough to bet $12. He called again and I started to feel sick. River was 8c. It completed the low end of the straight draw but now I was starting to feel that Brian was calling me down with just a pair of Jacks. I decided the only way to win this pot was to bet at it and I fired $32, about half the pot. Brian put down the deck he was dealing and started to think, with a half smile.

“Should I make a hero-call here?,” he asked.
I shrugged and smiled.

About 15 seconds later, he took out two green $25 chips and placed them in front of him. Damn him. I mucked my AK and he tabled 2s7s!!!! Bottom pair with a seven kicker and he put me on the right hand the whole way. Very sick read on his part. When I asked him why he couldn’t put me on AQ, he explained that “you would have played AQ differently”. I couldn’t get a detailed explanation but I was in awe of the read. Brian continues to give me trouble at the cash table.

After blowing through my last $20 or so dollars, I bought in for another $100 and a few hands later I get in late position. There’s a $7 PF raise and I call along with a few others. Flop with J83 with two hearts. W bets out $20, Paul W. raises to $45 and now I’m forced to move all in for $92. W contemplates but folds a heart flush draw. Paul W. calls and I ask if he wants to do business. When he sees my hand, he agrees instantly but when I see him table AJ (top/top) with no flush possibilities, I have to negate the running of business. He’s dead to running Aces or running Jacks and I pick up the pot when he draws dead on the turn.

All of a sudden, I’m back in the profit zone and I build it up a bit more until my stack is about $275. I pick up 7h9h in the SB and I get to limp in to a multi-way pot and the flop is 732, rainbow. Nothing scary on this board, right? I bet out $7 to see where I’m at and it folds to W, who calls. Everyone else folds. Her flat call on a completely innocuous board makes me nervous. She’s in position too, which doesn’t help. Turn is a brick, maybe a T. I check and this time she says, “Same bet. 7 was friendly.” She puts it out and I call. River is a Jack. This time, I bet $16 because I’m putting her on a draw of some sort, maybe 45 for the up and down which missed. But when she min-raises me to $32, I give up the hand. I’m 90% certain she flopped a monster. I say 22 or 33 for a flopped set.

A few hands later, I mix it up, this time still in the SB. By the way, how come all of my big starting hands seem to come in early position?!?! It’s frustrating. Anyhow, I have AJs and it limps to me and I raise to $6 and get two callers. Flop is Jack high and I C-bet $16. Cheryl calls. Turn completes a flush draw and I check. Cheryl checks. River is a Queen. I check and she checks again! I have the Jack, she has AQ! The $16 call with the two (actually one) overcard was sketchy and she sucked out.

It was hands like that that kept my stack from growing too high, but a win is a win. I have the Deutsche game on Thursday before I leave Friday for my road trip in Louisiana and Mississippi. Can’t wait!


Dawn Summers said...

why did i think that road trip was in december?

Jamie said...

That's a separate trip. The Dec. trip starts in Memphis, hangs out in Tunica for a few days and then takes a leisurely tour down Route 61 visiting old blues haunts.