The Bad Beat BBQ

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Saturday night special

Saturday night we played a big buyin tourney to cap off the NL Holdem we've been playing for a year now. Starting next week we are switching to PL Omaha for a ten week tournament and it can't come soon enough. NL Holdem is a suckers game designed to lower the skill level so that a monkey with a football can win buy pushing all in and getting lucky. Such was the case last night yet again. Let me set the scene.

Since the buying for this tourney was more than twice the usual ammount and it fell on a Saturday instead of the regular Friday night, we had a much smaller turnout. Only 9 poker players were in the room and we all crammed into one table for the night. We got 1500 chips instead of the normal 1000 and the blinds started at 20-40 with one hour levels. I pulled the queen of spades from the mound of cards and got to deal first. There was lots and lots of limping going on early and nobody wanted to get too involved becasue there were NO REBUYS in this event. I started building my stack with bold aggressive plays in good position and showed down a few nice hands in the process. I flopped trip sixes and took down a $1200 pot vs two other players who had both flopped top pair. I was rolling.

I had the big stack after the first hour but we had stil not lost any players just yet. On the button I dealt myself 6 8 offsuit and with three other players in the hand I turned and flopped 2 4 5. BJ was in the small blind and he put in a 1/2 pot bet and got two callers including me with my double gutshot straight draw. The turn came a 9 which left me with the same hand. BJ made a smallish bet and I put him on two unmatched high cards. I called. The river was the jackpot. A beautiful seven with no flush possiblities that gave me the rock solid nuts. BJ made yet another smallish bet and I took a moment and the raised the pot by about 1/2. Eventually BJ made a crying call and I showed down the nuts and took a nice pot of nearly $2ooo. I was now the monster chip leader and feeling pretty good about my chances. The stacks around the table were shrinking with the exception of Jimmy who was only playing good hands and avoiding trouble. Meanwhile, Jackie Fisher, the suckout king/queen who has been my longstanding poker nemesis had made some horrible plays and his stack was suffering to the tune of about $375. I was in the driver's seat.

I was dealing again and gave myself some ugly cards. 10c 3c. In the pot were Jack, Ronnie and myself. Everyone limped in and we saw a flop. Kc 8c 5h. Jack pushed on the flop for his last $275 and Ronnie called. I called too and planned to check it down, just hoping to make a flush and knock Jack out. I had no plans to put anymore $ in the pot and I put my head down and kept saying "check" "check". When the river still showed no club, Ronnie made a jackass play by betting $100 into an empty sidepot and I folded while chastising him for the horrible tournament poker play he had made. Jacks 9 9 held and he was back over $1000 chips again. Not good.

I am still the monster chip leader with nearly 6000 in chips. I took out cousin BJ with pocket aces and then sent Ronnie packing with top two pair. Uncle Bill was gone and Johnny Buzz ended his amazing final table run with a mediocre finish. We got down to three handed between Jack, Jimmy and myself. We were paying the lions share to 1st and the buyin was returned to second place while third got nothing. I was getting bad cards fromt he start and I was conserving my chips. Jack started pushing all in and making stupid size raises to steal pots right away. I was folding and waiting. See, here's the thing, I know what Jack is going to do. He senses weakness and he trys to take any pot that nobody else wants to bet at. The past few weeks I've had him against the ropes with dominating hands and all the money in the pot only to see him catch up on the river and knock me out. I don't know why it keeps happening. Everyone else at the table seems to be afraid of him when he bets but when I punch him in the mouth someone hands his ass a gun at the last minute.

The blinds are now at 100-200 and the hands are coming out faster. A few steals later, Jack has a little over $2000, I've still got nearly $6000 and Jimmy is sitting quietly with around $4500. I'm dealt 56 offsuit in the Big Blind. When the flop comes 3 3 4 and nobody bets I make a min bet with my open ender. Jack pushes all in from the button in a hurry. Jimmy folds and I instantly call but not without thinking a lifetime in that split second. Here's why. I knew I was behind with my 6 hi of course but I saw a chance to maybe get lucky when I had some chips and get rid of him. I know that he wouldn't stop the bullying and raising because he felt he had nothing to lose. I knew that if I had flopped quad aces that theres a 99% chance he'd suckout a Royal Flush and whack me. So I called, and crossed my fingers. It didn't work. He had A 3 offsuit and his trips held on. Now he has the chip lead but I still like my chances.

Two hands later I'm dealt Q5 offsuit on the button and I limp in for $200. Jack calls from the Small Blind and Jimmy checks. FLOP !!! 5 5 9. How lovely. Jack bets $400 and Jimmy folds. I do my best Meryl Streep imitaion as I glance back at my cards in confusion. I decide to make a teaser raise just equal to his. $400 + $400. Jack calls. The turn is a total brick and I check to him, knowing with 100% certainty that he is going to move all of his chips in the pot and give them to me. I know this with all my heart. I played the hand so well it was scary. Sure enough he does it. "All in" he says and I immediately call and show my trip fives. For a moment I see it in his eyes and he knows he was outplayed. He turns over JJ for an overpair to the board. He is drawing dead to one of the two remaining Jacks in the deck.

Here's the odds for you from Two
jh js /vs/ qs 5c -Board reads- 5h 5s 9h 4d

Js Jh winning cards in the deck 2 win% 4.55
Qs 5c winning cards in the deck 42 win% 95.45

And the Jack hits on the river. That's all folks. I don't even call that lucky. I call that alot of other bad words that I won't write here because the internet saves everything. You tell me how this can keep happening. That's 3 river suckouts by this fella in a row vs me. I even told him after wards that I consider him a very good card player despite his sucking out ways. I'm telling you all right now however, that I am much better, just unlucky. He and Jimmy split the prize money and I went on to kill the sidegame for the next two hours.

Next week ? Omaha. Where the luckbox factor is dimished and skill prevails.

Stay tuned.

Have a Drink on me

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Poker Diagram Listener Tourney extravaganza

One of my favorite podcasts comes from a couple of fellas from London who fancy a game of online poker and a drink or two. Henry and Zog from thePoker Diagram Live Poker Podcast do a show every week or so where one of them (usually Zog) will play a short online poker tournament while the other (usually Henry) chats it up and fills us in on the table happenings. For those of us with Poker on the brain, it's a good source for a poker fix on the go. Every once in a while they put together a tournament where all the listeners are invited to come together and have a go at one another. Today was such a day.

36 players plopped down $10 for a chance at poker immortality and instant podcasting fame. I was at a table with a few listeners I had seen before. Tiltaholic, LucienJ, and LenBuddha all were familiar to me from past listener tournies but I only had notes on Mr. Tilt. I had remarked that he was a solid player and I should have a hand if he was raising me and I chose to play back. From the get go, Tilty was telling everyone he was card dead so I was happy to steal from him until he fought back. Early on I got the Hilton Sisters and made a standard raise and I got just one caller. Of course and ace flops out there and I am in the classic quandry. Im last to act but the caller decides to bet out at the pot and forces me to a decision. He makes a smallish bet of about 1/3 the pot and I have to think. The ace is scary, but wouldn't they have reraised with a big ace preflop? I decide to make a stand with my ladies and I put in a sizeable raise of 3/4 of the now juicy pot. The caller takes only a few seconds to fold and I lurk back into the shadows with my booty.

A few players have now been ousted from the tourney and some new blood comes to our table. I have the big stack now, but not by much. I get dealt AQ offsuit in the small blind and everyone folds to me. I don't like playing pots out of position in NL Holdem so I decide to take the pot right now and I make a 3 1/2 BB bet into the Big Blind and wait for him to fold. No such luck. The BB raises back into me and I don't even hesitate to put him all in. His name was TableImage so maybe I should have taken that into account beforehand but too late now. He calls without much delay and I am sickened to see that he has me dominated with AK suited in clubs. My horror turns to elation when a lovely queen comes to town on the flop with all spades. No juctice for TableImage on the turn or river and I boost my stack up to over 4x the starting stack making me chip leader in the tourney for now.

With the blinds now at $25 and $50 WVU_Mtneers and profProfet fill the empty seats at our table and soon thereafter I am dealt ACES in the small blind. Everyone folds to me and I decide to make a silly move and I just limp with the most powerful starting hand hoping for a reraise. The BB wisely checks and we take a flop. 6 5 2 with two clubs. No a great flop for me but not horrible. I bet $50 into the $100 pot and the BB, profprofet, makes the call. When the turn comes a 4d I am really kicking myself for limping out of position with this beautiful hand. I suck it up and make a $100 1/2 pot sized bet. Profprofet comes over the top f me for $300 more and I seriously consider cutting my losses and chalking this hand up to experience. I have the big stack and I want to protect it. Nobody knows what a jackass I am with my pocket aces and I could just fold them and move on. The timer counts down... tick tock, tick tock. I let Pokerroom fold the hand for me and I take another drink and sit back. Wiser.

Starbelly78, nmonkey and profprofet are now goners and we are 7 handed at my table for the time being. I get dealt ACES again in the Big Blind and make a standard raise. One limper folds and one person calls. I win the hand with a probing bet on the flop and don't get to show down my bullets. WVU_Mtneers now has the chip lead on my direct left but I am a close 2nd. The tables swirl around and I am at a table with Tiltaholic again along with godard_7, matthawaii and LucienJ who has had his AWAY sign up since the tourney started. Blinds are now at 75-150 and I have over $5500 in the small blind with the midlife crisis hand, 4 4. Matthawaii limps into the pot in middle position and I make a slightly larger than average raise since I'm out of position. Matthawaii goes all in for his last $650 or so and I call. He shows me a pair of ducks(22) and I'm a 4-1 favorite going into the flop. And then............. he hits his 2 outer and flops a set of deuces. Great. I am chanting four.,,,,,four.......four in my head and then it hits, on the river. I make a set of fours to trump his set of deuces. I think it's only fair that a 4-1 fav wins now and then don't you ? Aloha Matt.

The blinds move up to $100 - $200 and I am dealt ACES for the third time in early position. LucienJ who has returned from his self imposed exile has $200 of his remaining $225 in the big blind and I decide to go fishing with my ACES. I push all in for $7300 and pray for a caller with AK or a pair of jacks. Anything. Nobody calls but LucienJ with his Q2 offsuit. Oh, the poker gods are cruel. The final board reads 4 5 6 7 8 and we split the pot as we both have the same straight. Boooooooo !!! The very next hand LucienJ pushes all in with crap and ScottG takes him down, in effect, stealing my $225 :).

Blinds still $100 - $200. We're now six handed at my table and I am dealt pocket nines in the small blind. Godard_7, who diagnosed me with Poker Rage in my Feb 12th post comments, is in the cutoff and he makes a bigger than average raise. I like my nines but not enough to make a big over the top move right here. My wife comes in the room and sees my cards and I tell her I am going to play it cool and just call and hope to flop trips. Then Lenbuddha makes it even more interesting when he decides to call as well out of the Big Blind. FLOP !!! 4 9 A with two hearts. The perfect flop for me because one of the other two has to have an ace in my mind. Hopefuly they both have aces and want to go to war I'm thinking. I make the minimum bet into the pot and wait for the fireworks to start. Lenbuddha likes the Ace I suppose because he raises it up by 3/4 of the pot. Godard_7 folds (obviosly he was on the steal). So I have my man where I want him, no time to worry about those two hearts on the board and I cut off a stack of raising chips. The pot is already over $2000 and I settle on a $2000 raise. Lenbuddha wastes no time and pushes all in for his last $4000 or so and I call. The poor chap was unlucky enough to flop two pair, Aces and Fours. He did not improve his hand and I took the down the biggest pot of the tournament to that point, over $11,000.

FINAL TABLE action !!! We're down to 10 players and the blinds have jumped to $150 - $300. I have the big stack with $11,755. 2nd is WVU_Mtneers with $6,600 and then Webthing with $6.400.

The rest....
GMC325 - $5185
HoldThePhone - $4905
godard_7 - $4310
Scott-G - $3950
bonak_shed - $3793
kasilof - $2823
DJQuad - $2510

The action heats up and I kinda lose track of what happened but I broke two people in one hand with a pair of sixes. We were all in preflop and I had the only pair. I think the other hands were something like KJ and AJ. The board had two queens and a bunch of low cards and I doubled my stack to a whopping $25,000. We are now down to six handed and the blinds are $300 - $600. Godard_7 is in 2nd with $7700 and DJQuad, kasilof and Scott-G both have about $4600. Webthing is the shorty with $3600. But Webthing doubles up at the expense of Scott-G when his A8d takes down the I'll timed assault of Scotts Q5 offsuit. Just like Henry always says, when you have A8 the 8 always comes and it did. The ace high would have won it, but the 8 made a nice insurance policy.

Blinds $500 - $1000. The final three came down to godard_7, kasilof and myself. The hands come so fast at this point that the details get a bit fuzzy. One hand lead to another and godards river finally ran dry leaving only kasilof between me and the title. It wasn't long after that hand when I got dealt AQh out of position. I made a small raise and kasilof saw his chance to push me back. Well, with AQ suited heads up I had to feel pretty good. I had over a 2-1 chip lead and felt it was time to end the tournament. I made a huge overbet and put kasilof all in. He called me with K5 offsuit. The first card off the deck was the 5c giving him the best hand with a pair of fives. His lead was quickly erased however when the third card off the deck was the sultry Qc. The turn was a 7 and then the river gave me an unnecessary ace for two pair and the win.

Zog will say that I only survived because I never had to sit at the same table as him and for that I am thankful. It's really not fair having to play against him ad Henry at the same time anyhow. Besides, I was the one that knocked Zoggy out of the last listener tournament before exiting myself, stage left. It was a fun time and I was thrilled to win out over such a tough field. I had it all. Some good cards. Some good luck. And for a change, some real poker dexterity. Thanks for putting on a great tourney fellas. See you next time for sure.

Card Forums discuss the tourney with other PokerDiagram listeners.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Jack is now the suckout queen

Some folks I guess, you just can't beat. I got it all in last night with my pair of queens vs Jack's nines. Why the Poker Gods deem it necessary to punish my brilliant play, I'll never know, but Jack sucked out trips on the river to win again and he thought it wa s a brilliant call because he had an underpair and a 5 hi flush draw with one card to come.

I can't wait til we start playing Omaha instead of Holdem because there's a whole lot less luck in Omaha and I think I'll be handing everyone their asses. Bold talk from a donkey that's tired of being punched in the head.

At the losers table I took control of the mixed game format and picked off everyone at the table.
Bosey locked up the championship in the 2nd 10 week Holdem Tourney so now it's on to Omaha. 10 weeks of explaining the rules to drunks and people trying to see the score of the Heels game.

What's wild ???????

Donkey Puncher

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Congrats to Johhny

It's been a long time coming but there no doubt tonight.Johnny wiped the floor with anyone who stood in his way. He built a massive chip lead by knocking out Ronnie 3 times and laying waste to all others one by one. There was a 3 hour break in the game when a CAT dozer was called in to move his chips from table two to the final table. Once there it was a tour de force display of power poker. Johhny took down the single biggest prize in the history of our game. Pizza for all !

As for me, not quite the same result. I'm really sick of NL Holdem Tournaments. Fed up. I got a decent stack early on but handed half my chips to Sammy on my right and the other half to BJ on my left. I was gone. I nestled into a comfy spot at the losers table where a bloody game of 7 - 27 was going on. In this game the goal is to make a hand as close as possible to either 7 or 27. A round of betting occurs after each card is dealt out one at a time. Once nobody takes another card, the game is over. Closest to 7 gets half and closest to 27 gets the other half. Face cards count for half a point, aces are either 1 or 11 and others are face value. The secret is simple, get a 7 in your first card and start raising. Get dealt a face card right off the bat for 1/2 a point and fold. That's all I did. I hate that game. Crazy old Jimmy who some of you might remember was killing everyone with 7 after 7.

When it came my turn to deal however, the game changed to Omaha Hi/Lo and I had to give a 1 minute rules seminar beforehand. These goofy holdem players have no idea what it takes to put together a solid omaha hand and I felt I had the advantage having played thousands upon thousands of Omaha hands online. I took down the first hand with the nut straight an no qualifying low hand. Nice pot with all the chasers. The next hand it was Big Mikes turn to deal and he settled on 7-27 again. I got dealt a queen of diamonds and folded immediately. As it worked back around the table for me to deal again the Pigeon Jackie Fisher was busted from the final table in 6th position or so and he wanted to join our game. He sat down on my right. I announced Omaha Hi was the game and deftly filled each players hand with 4 Copag, Poker Sized, indestructible playing cards. The official card of the Pink Sky Poker Club.
and watched the players try to organize their hands into winners. I looked down at a pretty first two cards, the Jack and Nine of hearts. I exclaimed that I only looked at two cards and that they were enough to raise with from the button. Nobody else had raised so I popped it up. Everyone called. (I can't wait til we switch over our tournaments to Omaha next month) I put out a flop for all to see. 10h Ac 8d. Now I look down at my other two cards to find I'm holding Jh 9h 9c Qh giving me an open ended straight and a backdoor gutshot straight flush draw.
Evrone check around to me again and I pop it up. Evryone calls. Did I tell you I can't wait til we are playing Omaha every Friday? I burn and turn the beautiful 7s giving me the nuts with no flush draw on the board. This time, Tommy puts in a bet from early position and a few people finally drop out. Jack calls on my right and I reraise with the nuts. There are four of us in the hand at this point and I burn and turn another ace on the river making a possible FH now and shrinking my nuts. Tommy puts in his bet again from UTG and Jack decides to put in a raise of his own. I'm sitting there on the button with the nut straight and I just don't think anyone had trips before this from the betting. I reraise back into Jack and everyone calls. Jack flips his hand saying "trips" as if he had rivered me yet again on one of his "felt it comin" hands and I show the straight and take down the monster pot. I think Tommy was in lala land with his two pair.

We ended up playing 5-6 hands of Omaha between all the 7-27, 7-Stud and Follow the Unelected Queen games and I won every single hand of Omaha. Once hand I took down when my horrid hand of 88 K 2 made a full house on the turn and I took all of Ronnie's chips after he flopped trip kings with only one in his hand. I'm not going to give these guys any lessons on the dangers of 1 card trips in Omaha anytime soon.

Oddly enough I took down the last Omaha hand of the night with just such a hand. I was dealing and I wound up with AA K 8. I hated that 8 dangler but the aces made me warm inside just like the Miller Lite had been doing for hours. When my cousin BJ sat down on my right and raised the pot for me. I reraised with my aces of course and I think everyone called again. We had doubled the stakes at this point since it was late and we were about to quit for the night. The flop was King high rag rag. Everyone checks to me and I bet. Everyone calls. Turn is another blank with no flush, straight or fh possible. I bet my aces again and everybody calls to see the river which is another King. I was prepared to check it down when it came to me unraised thinking that someone might hand a King and now my Aces were foiled. As I lifted my cards to turn them I realized that it was me who had the King for trips. I was so fucused on the Aces that the King had slipped my mind. Instead of checking I put in te final big bet and got just a few callers with time but it was Mo $ ! Nobody had even the aces themselves beat. For not winning the big one, it was still a fun and profitable night.

I sold my double deck set of Copag cards to the club tonight and I'm ordering a new set of 4 color ones. I play so much online that when I see the red diamonds on the cards instead of the blue diamonds I have grown accustomed to, I get all blurry eyed. Check them out and never buy another deck of cards. I thrown these into a bowl of hot soapy water and clean them once a month and they are as fresh as when they were new. I can't play with anything else now.

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