Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Up all night, suffer all day

I'm not sure if it'sa good thing yet, but the underground game that I've gone to a couple of times has moved far, far closer to my house. This could be good and bad on alternating evenings. Last night it was both in one night.

I played their $60 rebuy tournament, which I new going in was above my bankroll. But I assumed the play wouldn't be stellar, and I was correct. What I forgot to assume was that I'd be fairly card dead, and the mediocre play that was exhibited would still be enough to send me home shortly after taking my single rebuy and the add-on, plus the dealer toke of $10 for another $1,000 in chips.

I can't even whine about bad beats. I just had crap cards and played them badly. I needed to realize earlier on that I couldn't push anyone off top pair, medium kicker, and just wait for real cards. But I didn't so I blew $190 on a tournament I never should have played. I'm not going to promise anything about learning a lesson, but I'll try to keep that info in the back of my head.

So I start the $1/2 game stuck a buy-in, and we start off 5-handed, filling up fairly quickly as folks bust out of the tourney. I've never played with anyone at the table, but I quickly realize that 3 out of the five want to see every single flop, the other one is a serioud tightbox, and that I'm a donkey. That last is just a general observation, unrelated to my play last evening.

So I came to a realization about my game lat night. My success as a poker player is predicated on two things - playing shitty hands and hitting flops hard, and playing against people that can fold if they convince themselves that I have a monster. Fortunately last night was a good night for both of those things, and I finished up a whopping $10 for the night. Which means I doubled up in the cash game playing monsters like 85o and K8s. When you raise 6x BB under the gun with K8s, nobody really expects the flop of 388 to have hit you, so when the BB catches a ten on the turn, he's going to bet hard into you. And he's going to continue to pay you off. It was pretty.

The look on his face when I told him what he had was even prettier.

But the hand of the night happened earlier in the night. On an early hand in the tourney, A9 runs into QQ which runs into KK. All the money gets in the middle of the A-high flop, and the A9 drops. KK had bet, and QQ raised all in, since the middle card on the flop was a Q, giving him a pretty set. Turn is a blank and river is of course a King. I wasn't in the hand, I don't owe you a doller.

What made this interesting was not the play, which was fairly typical from mediocre players, which is most people. What made it interesting was the kid in the 6s, on my right elbow, who was providing running commentary all through the hand, which he also wasn't in. When the re-raise came down on the flop, he looked over at the KK guy, looked at me and said "he's got kings and he's too weak to lay them down." When the KK guy was indeed incapable of folding his overpair, the kid goes nuts, telling him what a terrible play he was and how he's an amazing donkey. The KK guy got plenty steamed, which was the kid's intent, but my amazement stemmed from the fact that A) the guy who had a human being's body weight on this kid didn't squash his head like a grape and B) that the kid talked nonstop for about 7.3 minutes about what a terrible play this was without ever once stopping for breath.

When he was done with his tirade, I actually asked him to show me the gills, because I couldn't believe that he was taking in oxygen at a rate high enough to replenish the hot air he was expelling. The big guy ended up outlasting the kid in the tourney, but the kid wasn't a bad player, doubling up his $250 buyin in pretty short order with naked aggression and a couple of sick catches.

Which leads me to the sick call du juor and a question - how far are you willing to go with a read? Guy to my right is into the game for about $900 at this point, having just reloaded for his fourth buy, this time for $500 (this is a no cap buyin game, average was $150, but some as low as $60. No one had bought in this heavily until this point, but I'd just stacked him for a couple hundy in the last two hands - end shameless bragging). Guy in the 1s (I'm in the 9) is still on his original $100, but he's built it a bit. Steve (8s) calls Dude (1s) down to the river on ever-increasing bets until there's over $250 in the pot. With bottom pair, threes.

It's good.

Dude was running a busted flush draw all the way, and Steve made a sick read and went with it. For me, I can't call the $25 flop bet into a $45 pot with bottom pair, knowing that more betting is coming on the next two streets, but he did, and it paid off. Does this sound like someone who just doesn't value money, or is he just sick?

BTW, before the end of the night (my end, I left at 1:30 and the game was still accelerating), my catchphrase had become "$12 bet and I only got 5 callers? Tightboxes." The game plays a little loose, to say the least. I really don't think I've ever had a limped family pot in a $1/2 NLHE game before last night.

Hmmm...just got a text on for tonight. Let's see what Suzy says after we go pick up the new lawnmower. Yeah, I bought a new lawnmower. It balanced out the new digital camera (one responsible purchase, one toy). The new Birkenstocks I'm justifying as a work purchase, since I've got a conference next week. Oh yeah - I'm in Vegas next Wednesday - Monday. Lemme know if you're around, we'll get drunk together.

And I'm gonna go by the Stardust and pick up some $1 chips before they close down. If anybody wants me to buy a few for them, lemme know.


HighOnPoker said...

In my experiences in underground card rooms in NYC, the play is also very loose. I think it is because for a person to be willing to play in an underground establishment, they really have to be an action junkie. They have to find out about the place, and then go to this place, with an air of illegality surrounding it all. A casual player wouldn't feel comfortable or wouldn't go through the trouble. But the action junkies can't help themselves. GL in the future.

Chilly said...

Get me a chip, por favor.