Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I hate you right now, $26 token races

I'm in a slump as far as the $26 token sng's are concerned. The Peep Races, as they are also known, have shut me out for roughly the last seven attempts. I'm oh-for my last seven? WTF? Didn't these used to be insanely soft six months ago?

Today was supposed to be the slumpbuster.

Five-handed, I'm 3rd or 4th in chips. Everybody has a comfortable amount, and we've been playing for a while. Fifth place gets a few bucks, top four get the tokens.

77 in the CO, one caller from the blinds, whom I have covered. He jammed, roughly pot-sized, on the 992 flop. I simply couldn't put him on a higher pocket pair. I smelled a stop 'n go. I called.

He shows me AQo, and it feels nice to be right about his hand. Turn 9, river Q. Ok, not so nice. I'm crippled, and out the next hand when my K9o gets owned by a set of 3's.

Blargh. I felt I played pretty darn well in this one, and I'm pretty sure that laying down those sevens would've been a mistake, anchoring me firmly in 5th place, staring at the red/orange zone borderline.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What not to do: pocket kings

If you'd like strategy posts, you'll want to read other bloggers. If you want to read anti-strategy posts, I'm probably your guy. I can't tell you what you should do in a given situation, but I can clearly and definitively outline what an awful move would look like.

Exhibit A, early/mid-point of a tourney, 12 out of 17 players remaining:

You've just lost 50% of your chips, when a tight player bluffed you off of top pair (stupid KQ), when the following hand comes up.

You hold KK in the small blind at a 6-handed table. An unpredictable, fundamentally unsound, and possibly legally insane opponent minraises to 600.

You have a little more than 4K in chips, and elect to min-reraise. Why? Because minreraising feels good, because stupid equals comforting. UFUPLI opponent calls.

The flop is J-8-7, rainbow. A bystander who's seen you play a bunch before, and enjoys retarded plays, suggests you should minbet, as a followup to your stellar minraise. You agree, and bet 300. UFUPLI opponent calls. At this point, his range of hands is any two cards 6 or higher, or any suited hearts/clubs/diamonds. You are an idiot for not betting more to protect your hand.

The turn is an ace. With 2K+ in the pot, and 2500 in your stack, you elect to check. Brilliant move.

Your UFUPLI opponent moves all in, quickly. Just as quickly, you call. No, don't stop to think about it. You showed weakness, your opponent overbet, there's a very good chance you have the best hand at this point. After all, you can beat any flopped one pair hand.

Of course he had the ace. Smart players might attempt to bet smaller, to entice a call, but he probably realizes you're an idiot, and a big bet would accomplish his goal of getting all your chips.

He shows you A9o. The river is no help. You stand up, and ask your roommate for a beer.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Trying something new

Wow, that was nuts. The black table was a loose, insane NL holdem game tonight. The red table? NL single-draw deuce to seven (aka lowball), and then spread-limit Badugi, 10/20 cent blinds, 20/100 cent spread. I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've ever played a Badugi cashgame. The only other time I've ever played it was right after I learned about it, I visited Oklahoma Jeff out in Havasu, and we played it, heads-up, pot-limit.

Then back to the black table for NL holdem, live straddles allowed. In our world, live straddles can be any amount, because hey, it's no-limit. 10/20 cent blinds, $20 max buy-in, and we each had at least $60 in front of us, four-handed at three in the morning. I think the biggest live straddle was $3.20 - Tarheel outdoing Skipper's $3 straddle on the previous hand.

And... now to sleep.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

For Peyton

I posted a message on my homegame's messageboard today about the For Peyton ebay auctions. I think The Poison is the only one that actually knows I blog, so I wanted to get the word out to the rest of them.

Hopefully, more potential bidders equals more money raised for Peyton!

And I've been drafted by my girlfriend Michelle to participate in a Relay for Life this Saturday evening. It's an American Cancer Society event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for cancer research. I'm pretty sure there's a lot of walking involved. The least I can do is keep Michelle company on the track. I don't think I've mentioned it before on this blog, but she's a survivor of childhood leukemia.

Take that, cancer!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Anybody else ever fold a straight flush? and been right?

My homegame takes all kinds. I've had "play any ace" tards, and players have have won multiple $10 MTT's on PokerStars in same month (his name is Tony D, his handle is Scionic).

This Sunday, we expanded the game.

$40 buyin, $30 unlimited rebuys, $20 optional addon. 3K in chips per. I figure this is just a big enough game to attract the Murderer's Row players. After all, my game usually is a small one, and it definitely is quite a drive from Westwood. (Though any Murderer's Row participant is welcome. If you met me at Hank's, you can play at my game.)

The bigger buy-in expanded the prize pool a lot, and kept many of the younger riffraff away. Adam Junior called up at 6pm, found out it was expensive, and found other things to do.

We had the Cermak brothers, Bruiser, Yosoy, Howie, 40oz, Quagmire, Tarheel, Derek, TonyD, Albert, Shawn, Chill and myself battling it out. The kiddie game is down the street. The only real player we're missing is Season 1 champ, Adam SBD.

The tourney was a normal one. Until THE HAND.

I'm normally an insanely tight player. Ask the Murderer's Row crew. Even Absinthe might admit I should loosen up a bit. For this particular hand, we were 9-handed and at 100/200/25, and there was an early limp from Cermak (who loves any ace, any two facecards, and any two suited), and a few folds before it got to me.

I had 43-clubs. This isn't stellar, but I've been known to limp in with a LOT better. I haven't played a hand in ages, so I limp. I'm playing off my reputation, mostly, and my position, if the CO and button give it to me. They do. It's folded to the SB, who calls, and the BB checks. Four to the flop, and I have position.

The flop: club, club, club.

Hello, I just flopped a flush. Then I look more closely. 7c, 6c, 5c.

Pardon me... Did I just flop a straight flush? I believe I did. *SPOOGE* With 9 players left in the tourney, and me with a medium stack, it's time to extract full value. Holy fucking shit.

The blinds check, Cermak bets 1K, and I decide to get greedy and smoothcall. I had hoped my smoothcall would be enough to frighten the blinds, but Jackie called. Three to the turn.

The turn is the 9c.

Eff You See Kay!!!!!!!!!!

I'm upset, but I'm optimistic. Certainly, Jackie and Cermak could have the ace and king of clubs, and not the eight of clubs. Let's see how this goes.

Jackie: bet 2K. (Crap, that's bad) Cermak: raise to 4K.

Has anybody reading this EVER had to go into the tank when they held a straight flush?

I did. If Cermak was a tight player, I would've folded here to that 4K bet. Ask anybody in my game about how long this decision took me.... it was about 4 minutes before I called that 4K. (Both Jackie and Cermak had me covered, but not by much.) I am seriously concerned Jackie has the 8c. If I had it, I'd checkraise like nobody's fucking business, but I'm not Jackie, so I have to go by the information I'm given.

Action to Jackie, and she jammed. Cermak calls.

When Jackie jammed I knew one thing - she had the eight of clubs. My straight flush was no good. Cermak's call just reinforces that he has the Ac or Kc... and I'm an idiot for not raising on the flop to double through him.

As much as it pained me to fold a straight flush, I did. Not only that, but I showed it to the whole damn table, before Jackie and Cermak showed down their hands. If Jackie has the ace, and Cermak has the king, I get to to look like the biggest dunce.

Everybody was, at the very least, moderately impressed with me folding a straight flush.

Jackie had Kx8c, and Cermak had AcXx.

So, I *almost* folded before I put in that 4K, but I was smart enough to fold after. I was right, my straight flush was not good enough, and I had 6.6K left after that.

I ended up in the money, finishing third. (To Jackie's 2nd, btw)

But in all the hands I've ever heard discussed in the poker blogdom, I have NEVER heard of somebody folding a straight flush. And being RIGHT.

I will not lie. I was shaken by the experience. It seriously pained and tilted me to fold a straight flush (especially when I might have won the hand by raising on the flop to shut out Jackie's OESFD).

How did I respond?

"Jackie, you've got Speaker in your phone, right?"

"Yes. Here."

*punches numbers* (gets Speaker's voicemail)

"Speaker, this is Drifter. I just folded a straight flush before the river. I have a double shot of SoCo in my hand, and was looking to do a dial-a-shot. Goodbye."

Epilogue: Jackie's straight flush won a huge pot, and she went on to finish 2nd in the tourney, which was also her first money finish at the Tustin game, and a much larger prize pool than normal for our game.

I truly am Stabby McFoldsalot.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My friends play poker

Everybody was playing poker tonight.

Albert made the final three tables in the Full Tilt $20K guaranteed, which netted him about a Benjamin.

Another Tustin Rounder regular, Russ, final tabled a $5 Pokerroom MTT, finishing 6th.

I was all over the board, winning a 9-person sng, a heads-up sng, and a HORSE sng today. I also bubbled in a 2-table sng, and busted near the bubble in a $5 MTT when my aces were cracked, four to the flop, by 54s. I had a pretty good session at $1/2 limit today, and I'm on target to play enough this month to get into the FT Iron Man tourney (bronze, oh yeah).

And most impressively, Absinthe final tabled the $8K guaranteed on FT. Seriously, does ANYONE transition better from full table MTT to short-handed final table? This guy's got skills. (Later edit: he chopped first/second place money, because he's the mack daddy.

Go go poker!!