The Bad Beat BBQ

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sometimes I wonder why I even play poker.

Well, another Friday has arrived and the Pink Sky Poker Club was aglow with the smell of a wood fire, stale cigarettes and banana bread. We have a 3 way tie atop the tournament points leaderboard.


The three of us have 11 points going into tonight. Here's the points structure -
1st (4pts) 2nd (3pts) 3rd (2pts) 4th (1pts)

We were missing alot of players tonight for some reason. No B.J., no Bill, No Pigeon Jack Fisher, No Jason Fisher, No Sammy, No Tonys. It is as cold as polar bear balls outside and the poker room is toasty. They can't be hunting.......can they ? Maybe the game warden paid another visit and tossed a few of them in the hoosegow for their numerous indiscretions with the local wildlife. Less people in my mind = less suckouts and chasers : )

Jimmy Smith came to the table with dreams of bluffing every pot and started raising all in every other hand. Rebuy after Rebuy he refused to slow down. Everyone took a turn busting him and then my opportunity knocked. I was in late position with the Qc 9c and I was wishing it was the magical Q8 instead but nevertheless I tossed in the $40 to call the big blind and prayed for a cheap flop. Almost everyone had limped in and nobody raised so here comes the flop. 4c 5c 8c. Bingo Bango Bongo ! The chances of flopping a flush are 0.84 percent or about one out of 121 hands. Problem is, how do you get paid off when it happens ? Answer...... bet into Jimmy Smith. The table checks around to me and I make a small feeler bet of $60 into the pot of about $200. Jimmy Calls. Everyone else folds. TURN card is 7s, making a very likely straight. I bet $100 this time and Jimmy does not delay in calling. RIVER card comes a helpless 2h and now I just have to decide how much I can bet and still get called. I settle on $200 and then it happens. Jimmy riases me "all in". I call and toss over my flush for all to see and start raking the pot. Jimmy flips over his hammer (2,7) for two pair and has to be told that he lost several times. He arranges the cards as I gather my chips, trying desperatly to conjure a winning hand. Alas, the rebuys have now ended and Jimmy is sent to the rail. I get a much needed double up.

With Jimmy gone, the action settles down and the pot sizes shrink for awhile. The other table loses Johnny when he flops a Unelected Queen high club flush at the same time that Eddie (fresh off heart bypass surgery only weeks ago) flops the nut flush and sends him packing. Tough beat. Tommy finally goes out after having been short stacked for an hour. He battled from $160 chips back to $900 but his luck ran out. Great news for me since he was tied for the points lead. Time to combine tables now that we are down to 8 players!

The final table gets underway and I find myself folding and watching alot. I am waiting on quality hands because I want to make the top 4 and atleast get some points and pull ahead in the championship stretch. Sitting to my left is my father, Jimbo, who is always dangerous and aggressive. Jimbo also has a knack for pushing me around in big pots so maybe I shouldn't have moved over and allowed him to sit on my left. You want strong player on your right so they won't come over the top of you all night and force you off you hands. Mistake #1. About 20 minutes into the final table I am on the button and I look down at my first pair of the night. Pocket 8's. Snowmen. The double scoups. When the action gets to me I make a small raise of $200 into a pot of about $400. I've got about $3000 in chips. Jimbo, in the small blind makes a re-raise of $400 and I think I have a read on him. I am figuring him for AK or AQ suited. The table folds back to me and I go into the tank for 2 minutes. This is my first pair of the night, I'm on the button and I decide to make a stand. Everyone is talking, saying they know I'm going to fold but I know I'm going to raise. I want to make a raise big enough that says I'm serious, but also one that I can get away from if Dad decides to push all in. Maybe my read is wrong, maybe he has a big pair afterall. I settle on $800 more, stack it up and slide it foreward confidently. The pot is now over $2000. Jimbo quickly moves towards his stack and shoves them all into the center. I know in my heart that I am beaten. I pick up my cards and turn them face up for the table to see and shout something rude in dad's direction as I do it. I fold. Kindly, as a good father should, he flashes his Cowboys at me and my spirit is lifted. I am still alive and I left myself with $1700 chips to start my comeback.

Soon after that hand the blinds go up. Ronnies has grown weary of the 1:30am final table battles and has instituted an Ultra Turbo policy. The blinds now go up every 1/2 hour and the action gets hot fast. The blinds are $200 - $400 and it's not even 10pm yet. We are down to 6 players after Ronnie falls out and I think it's time to start stealing blinds. I catch a run of small pocket pairs and start pushing people around using my position and perceived desperate situation. All In. All In. I had 66, 77 and knew I had the best hand but everyone folding was just fine. I built my stack back up to around $3000 in no time.

The button comes back to me and I deal myself another pocket pair. Deuces. There are 3 limpers in the pot and I make the same move again. All in!!! Everyone folds but Bosey, who seems pissed. "All in ?", he says. "Are you sure?" At this point I know I want him to fold. He asks me what kind of a hand I have and I tell him immediately that I have a pair. "How Big ?", he asks. I stare down at the felt and hear him light a cigarette. 2 minutes go by and he is still torturing me. Now I think he might have a small pair like 66, 77 or 88. Finally, he stands up, syas he is going to call me and starts to walk away from the table. He flips over AK offsuit and I am just happy he doesn't have a pair. As he heads away towards the bathroom I burn and turn the flop. 8 DEUCE 9. Boy, let me tell you something, nothing in this world make a poker player feel as warm and fuzzy inside as trips do. Bosey is still nowhere to be seen and I have yet to reveal my hand to the remaining players at the table but now I just have to, I can't contain myself. OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH they say !!! I burn and turn the last two, knowing that I am better than a 4.5 -1 favorite now and the even though the river brings an ace, Bosey is gone. I have him covered by a mere $80 in chips. When he comes back to the table he can't believe it. He sees the ace but has to be told about the trips that had crushed them. "Told you I had a pair". He goes on and on about how I sucked out on him as he gathers up his stuff to head to the loseres table.

The final 4 are left. Myself, TJ, Eddie and Jimbo. At this point Eddie has the big stack. We have colored up nearly all the chips to all black $100s.

Eddie starts playing every pot by limping in and I start making raises and taking them away from him before the flop. I take over $1000 off him in this manner and then he finally calls one of my raises and we see a flop. I have 6 8 offsuitand really wanted him to fold. The flop was something like 3 8 9 and it gave me a pair of 8s. I lead out at the pot with a minimum bet which Eddie smoothe called. The turn was another nice giving me two pair and I bet the minimum again. Eddie smoothe called. The river is a delicious 8 and now I have a Full House. I keep the same betting pace and motion but jack up the price to twice he minimum bet and pray for a raise of some sort. Eddie Smoothe calls and I show him my 6 8. He bows his head and scissors open his hand for me to see his pockets tens. Tough break, but he says "nice hand".

The blinds shoot up to $500 - $1000. I don't remember the hand that Eddie went out on but his stack had been slowly chisled down and he went out with a sputter. The final three are set. I am the chip leader now and I start to bully the table like you are supposed to. I was limping in and raising the flop when the other two seemed uninterested in it. I got pocket sixes on the button and raised all in. TJ and dad both folded in disgust and I showed the sixes to them. $1500 scouped without a fight. Im in the big blind now and I quickly squeeze out a pair of black tens before the other have seen their hole cards. TJ looks at his cards and I already know he's going to fold. Jimbo however has had enough of the bullying and moves all in. I can't call any faster than I did, showing the tens with pride :) Dad sheepishly turns over K 8 and starts calling for the King. It doesn't come however and BarbiesBoyToy is out in 3rd place, with two points and nothing else for his efforts.

Here we are again. James G /vs/ Food Lion. I think this is the 4th or 5th time that he have been heads up at either the big game or the losers table. Once we played an epic 1 1/2 hour session and TJ came out the victor when he called my big bluff with a monster hand. Other than that, I think I have won all the other matches. The funniest part is, TJ and I had emailed each other earlier in the week and we were discussing the events of last week and our bad luck and bad beats.
Here's the email......

----- Original Message -----
From: James G.
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005

> I just hope I have better luck this Friday. The
> whole night was a disaster.
From: TJ P
To: James G.
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005

I know the feeling all last month was a disaster.
Fri i was all in with KJ called with j9 and k10, J
came on flop so k 10 was out, river was a 9 bozie hit
the damn 3 outer. last week i had A2 flop 3 4 5, BJ
went all-in i called of course, he showed 5 7 he
needed runner-runner, turn 2, river was a 6. the week
nathan won he took me out i had KQ against K7. I'm
gonna start playing real loose and bad.

From: James G.
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005

Friday I'll play tight. We'll be heads up.

Talk about predictions. Here we go. Jimbo has refused to leave the table and is still here complaining about losing to my pocket tens. He asked TJ if he wanted to play heads up for $200 after we finished and TJ laughed at him. I have almost a 2 - 1 chip lead at the beginning of heads up play. TJ and I take turns dealing to one another and the blinds are still at $500 - $1000. If one of us limped from the button, the other one raised all in. The longer this went on , the more mad Jimbo got. He called us pussies. Blah Blah, don't you hate railbirds ? He asked if he could deal and I told him no. More pissed. LOL.

So far, the raiser was taking every pot and we had not seen very many flops. TJ had stolen a few more than me and actually managed to take the chip lead away from me. Then I find myself in the big blind with 3 5 offsuit and TJ makes a raise of $2000 from the button. He had either been moving all in on me or folding so I decided to make a play at this pot. I pushed back at him with my whole stack and he mucked. I showed him my 3 5 to try and push him over the edge a bit. Back and forth we went for a few more hands. It's been almost a half hour and the blinds are going up to $1000 - $2000 in a few hands. I had taken away his ability to read me by pulling my ball cap down low, looking at my cards and betting without looking up at him. He never called one bet I made in this fashion and he said I was cheating. Actually, he wanted his own hat he said.

I look down and see pocket nines in the big blind with my now patented hat move. When i heard TJ announce all in I called and turned over my hand. I knew he had an ace, but I was just hoping it was a weak one. Sure enough, he had A 4 and I was a big favorite. FLOP TURN ace. He got a pair of fours on the turn but that was it. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I took down the first prize and the coveted 4 championship points. I've got 15 and Jimbo has 13. I've got three wins and a 2nd. Two weeks left to go and only 2 guys have a shot at me. Stay tuned.

Sorry about the misleading title, I just didn't want to give anything away. Nice bluff huh ?


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