The Bad Beat BBQ

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bringin Sexy Back to the poker table

It's been awhile kiddies, but I'm back. Did you miss me? Blogging is hard work. Just ask Iggy. People I know have been asking me what happened to the blog? Why don't you write anymore? I don't know. Why don't you start a blog I ask them. Then they lose interest in the subject. But hey, enough about that, let's talk poker.

Lately,I have not been playing in the Friday game as regularly as I used to. It started a few months back when we made a switch to No limit 7-Card Stud. Have you ever heard of such an idiotic game? It was horrific on so many levels and I just quit going to the game until they got done with it. You see, there's always a bigger tournament running alongside the weekly tournament. We pull a small portion of the weekly prize pool out and set it aside to be given to the overall points leader at the end of the big tournament. Here's how it works.

1st place = 4 pts 2nd place = 3 pts 3rd place = 2 pts 4th place = 1 pt

The points leader after 10 weeks takes it all.

The switch back to NL Holdem happened well over a month ago and since then I have made it to play three times. My first week back was interesting. My uncle and my cousin were there and we all three ended up at the final table. Since it was weeks and weeks ago I can't recall any of the hands for you, but suffice to say I was a juggernaut. I was knocking people out left and right all night and the final table was no different. My uncle was out in 4th and my cousin left in 3rd. The one non-family member was FNG Tony who was quite short-stacked when we started heads up. I think it took two hands heads up for my AQs to take out his lowly 83o. My first tourney win in over 10 months. It felt good.

But that ain't the end of the story. The very next week I showed up again to defend my title and pay for the pizza for everybody like the winner has traditionally done since the game began. It's $20 but some folks like Jack are just tightwads who only show up for the money in the first place and have no interest in parting with so much as a dime. The pizza was good but I donked off all my chips after starting off hot and building a decent stack. I had called ole Johhny Buzz earlier in the week to gloat over my win and he didn't seem to care that too much. Johnny used to be cool, but lately he has turned sour and grumpy. Turns out, I never should have let him borrow my copy of TJ Cloutiers Championship NL and PL Holdem book last year and he'd still be languishing at the losers table every week. Johhny waltzed in and won the tourney out of spite. Touche. That makes two wins for Johnny since the Holdem started back up again. As a side note, he never had to sit at the same table as me and that allowed him to play more aggressively. But maybe is I wasn't such a donk, I'd have seen him at the final table.

The following week I didn't play, instead opting for some family fun, but the poker brought me back to the table this past Friday and the sparks were flying from early on. The field was a bit on the short side this week and we only had 9 players all sitting at one table when I arrived my usual 20 minutes late(it's 30 miles each way from my house). Bosey pulled into the driveway a few minutes after me giving us 11 players. Eleven was enough to break into two shorthanded tables and that made me happy. I think that I have an edge with less players at the table because I read people well and I play aggressively. Most of the players like to limp alot so I can steal alot of blinds and antes in good position with marginal hands.

My table consisted of Jack "The Pigeon", Bosey, Toby, Food Lion and FNG Tony.
Unfortunately, I had T.J. aka "Food Lion" on my left and he likes to reraise me from that seat,trying to steal because he knows I will lay down alot of hands if I think I'm behind and out of position.

T.J. started with that bullshit right off the bat. Raising, stealing and mucking. I laid down QJ twice and KQ once to big overbet style raises and reraises but when I picked up A6 one off T.Js button I decided I was going to make a statement. I limped in following the lead of two other limpers, fully expecting T.J. to raise it. When he made it 4x the big blind and everyone else folded to me I pushed all in. He called quickly and showed JJ. I failed to improve and was left with just 180 chips. I know it was a bad move so early in a tournament but heck, I sent a message to the table that I couldn't be pushed around. Maybe I sent two messages, the other one being that I was a jackass who would go broke with no pair. I still had chips, but I went over to the other table and handed over my money for more chips because I anticipated going all in on the next hand so I could rebuy. Funny thing, I sat back down to play and the first hand I saw was the Brunson, Ten Deuce, but I mucked it in hopes of something slightly better before the blinds hit me.

The very next hand I got dealt KJs and I pushed in. There were two limpers before me and everyone behind me including the blinds folded. I got called by Tony who showed Q9d. King high won the pot and I tripled up. I now was back to nearly 600 in chips and I could afford to sit a few rounds and wait on a hand. I went back to Ronnie and got my rebuy $ back. Three or four hands later I got dealt my first pair of the night and it was a big one. Cowboys. But how to play them ? Slowly, I decided. Ok, playing slowly still means raising it preflop because not doing so would be asking for trouble. I raised 3.5x BB and hoped for a few callers. I got a few and then got a great flop. Q 3 8 three suited was about the best flop you could ask for. I was in early position, it was checked to me and I put in a 1/4 the pot bet and got two callers. The turn was a 5 and I felt confident enought about my overpair at this point to slow down and see where the power was. My check induced the button to take a stab at the pot and I flat called the bet which left only the two of us in the pot. The river paired the previous 5 and I led into the pot with a 1/2 pot sized bet and the button called quickly and turned over KQ. I showed down the Kings and took a big pot. Time to sit on my stack I thought.

I was catching lots of hell from the guys because I had brought an acrylic vegas style chip rack with me this night in anticipation of filling it with black chips. Everyone thought it was funny and that I was asking for bad luck just by merely bringing it. Now it was filled with chips and towers of blue chips surrounded it like night watchmen. The chip rack made for very efficient intimidation bets where you needed to cut off $5000 in a hurry for nasty check-raise or some bold-bluff-bravado.

Final Table

By the time we whittled ourselves down to the final table we had lost fan favorites such as Ed, Eddie, Jimmy, TJ, and alas....Johnny. I did my best to avoid confrontations at the beginning and caught a lucky break when the blinds jumped from $100 - $200 to $200 - $400 just as the button came to me. This blind level always induces panic and action but I had too much to lose so I waited. I folded hands like Q9 and K10 that I like to play but when I looked down and KJ offsuit I decided to play it for a limp. Bosey was on the button and he limped in too. A good flop came down... Kc 8d 3d. I made a 1/2 pot sized bet and the only caller I got was Bosey. He then turned over the Ace of Diamonds and I looked over at Boseys dwindling stack and put him all in. He called kinda fast and showed me A3 for two pair. Since he was dealing and didn't fancy any drama, Bosey turned the river card without delay. It was the Jack of Diamonds !! I spiked two pair on the river and thought I had won. I shouted out.........YES !!!! Then....... Oh shit !!! When I realized that my two pair didnt beat his two pair. But then Bosey exclaimed......."You lucky Mfer!!!" and I was confused. Apparently I didn't notice that I had the nut flush draw on the turn, but I hit it regardless. Dumb luck perhaps but I'll take any luck I can get. So long Bosey.

That was the hand that really iced it for me. If I hadn't drawn out I still would have had plenty of chips to mount a comeback but it would have been rough going. As it turns out, I cruised to the victory taking Tommy out heads up in two hands after he called off 2/3 of his chips chasing a flush that never came on hand one. Hand Two I just pushed all in with 55 and he called with A4 and didn't improve. I'm tied for 2nd in the points standing with two wins and a 4th for 9 points.

Rack Me ! Out.

I'm dedicating my win and this post to my Grandma whom I love dearly.

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