Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Tea House

A couple of my favorite WPBT memories have happened at the Tea House in the IP. There was the summer in 2006 when I had lunch with DoubleAs and got to talk a little poker theory with one of the finest poker minds among us. There were a whole bunch of breakfasts with my wife on various trips when we were able to just chill over some scrambled eggs.

And then there was lunch with Johnny Hughes. Johnny Hughes was instantly recognizable by his hat, with Texas Poker Wisdom embroidered on it in gold letters, a smart piece of marketing from the self-published novelist. Getting to play poker with him was great, especially since I had position on him. One of my greatest poker moments came from making a move on him on an Ace-high flop with 4-2 off suit. I had called his preflop raise, knowing that if the flop checked around to him, he'd likely fire another bullet to take it down. It checked around, Johnny fired, and I raised him pretty stiff. He folded muttering "A-Q," giving me far too much credit. I don't bluff much in Vegas, there's no margin in it because you can't usually bet anybody out of a pot, but when I had the chance to raise a smart player in position I knew I could take it down.

Strategy moment - That's an important point of my game - I bluff very little. My friends think I play shit all the time, and I do have a huge range of hands that I'm willing to put money in with, but I'm very seldom on a naked bluff (unless I have the hammer, which will only happen a little less than 1% of hands). I bet my draws, and when they hit I bet harder. I bet my middle pairs, and if I get raised, I can dump the hand. If I get called, I have another chance to win the pot on a later street. But I'm practically never (again, about 1% of the time) betting with absolute air. There are come people who consider betting out with their draws and their middle pair bluffing, but to me that's just betting for information and to build a pot.

But anyway, regardless of the one move I put on Johnny at the table, when Suzy came down for lunch with her dad, I invited Johnny and PokerPeaker up for lunch with us, and they both came along. Hanging with the old road gambler was one of the highlights of my trip. Not so much because of any poker wisdom I picked up from the conversation, but more from the life wisdom he floated casually through the conversation. Who'da thunk that a Texas road gambler would have turned into a yoga practitioner? Or a college professor? Johnny is a helluva guy, and I'm about 2/3 of the way through his book now and think it's one of the best reads I've picked up in years. So if you're looking for a Christmas present, click over on my Amazon bar and order Texas Poker Wisdom by Johnny Hughes. Lunch with Johnny and Peaker was definitely one of the high points of the trip for me.

7 comments: said...

You didn't put my book on the Amazon link. You put a friend of mine's book. Texas Poker Wisdom by Johnny Hughes.
It was great to meet you and he wife. You shouldn't brag about beating me this trip. Everyone beat me this trip. Thanks so much for organizing a great event. I had a blast. As I was leaving for the airport, I came down to the poker room at 7 a.m. or so. Falstaff had jumped off 400 winner and was running over them. I was jealous since I hadn't had any cards like that all week. Again, thanks for everything.

SirFWALGMan said...

I could not get over calling that place "The Tea Bag'.. and I ever ordered the "Tea Bag" House Salad!

pokerpeaker said...

me too, man, me too, lunch with you and your clan and Hughes and STB was a highlight for sure.

Drizztdj said...

I'll remember never to try to out act the actor ever again.

Great seeing you again!!

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