Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Boy, I really never thought I'd make this game. First, I was so sick this past week. When I stayed in bed on Monday with the oppressive sinus migraine on top of the head cold from hell, I gave up the hope of Greg's game. Then by Tuesday it had passed and the hope was back again, until late that night when a short in the hot water tank kicked out every circuit serviced by the generator, including the deep freezer.
So I expected to spend the day getting that fixed.
Instead, a plumber electrician came and just disconnected the faulty element so we can limp along with one element for a while until we decide just what we want to install.
It is a good thing it all happened before we went to Florida. A week without electricity to the freezer would cost us plenty in spoiled food.
So I managed to make Greg's game.
And perhaps I'll make the other social events leading up to going to Florida.

Greg's game was fun, but initially I lost regularly in all-in bets where I was beat on the river.

Peter took me down one time when he called a huge bet (semi bluff really) with only a pair against my 2 pair and caught an ace on the river. Bruce called me with a 3-4 of spades and went on to catch a 3-4 for two pair.

Peter also successfully bluffed me on a couple occasions. We tend on rare but delightful occasions to bluff each other with nothing at all and then show in order to add to the other's annoyance.
One all-in I made early in the game when I was not bluffing. Peter went all in holding two spades for a jack high space flush (ace and king on the board) and yes, I also had two spades and one of mine was the nut queen.

However, things went bad for me for the first couple hours. I was $80 down when the game turned around. At about that time Bill lost a terrible all=in bet. He went all in after flopping a straight. Peter called with two pair that never developed. Greg called with a gut shot and caught it on the river to end up with just a bit higher straight. Bill was pretty deflated and just called it a day and went home.

I had pushed him out of a hand earlier when he had top pair (jacks) but a very low kicker after the flop and my aggressive bet made him think I had more than I really did. Had he stayed in that hand, he would have made a good bit of money because he would have had 4 jacks against my eventual full house.

So he was understandably frustrated.

Without Bill in the game, I seemed to do better. I caught some fine cards, won some hands and by the end of the day I had $108 profit and Peter had $124.
No one else had any money.
Peter had only bought in once. I had recovered after 8 buy ins and gone on to win almost as much as Peter for the day
Half way through the game, Greg had racked up quite a pile of chips, but slowly they slipped away. At the end of the afternoon, Peter and I took all he had.
He bought in a few more times, and we took that too.

The "Hill boys" took home all the money lost by anyone that day. This was a great psychological break for me. I have been on a losing streak and dropped over $500 in my last half a dozen sessions; session after session had left me down money.

Now I am back trying to pull myself out of my lifetime hole and get in the black.

I think the saddest hand of the day came when we were down to just three of us. Greg slow played his straight flush in hearts, just waiting for someone to bet in to him. But with only three of us, it was overkill. There was not much for Greg to do except show us the rare random event, smile, rake in a few paltry chips and shuffle up.

I remembered how often this happens in casino games when the players get down to five. Good cards come. No money is bet. And there the casino takes perhaps a third of the pot.
Avoiding that scenario is top on my list of things to improve.
It is hard to do. In Vegas it is easier as there is a game down the street. but at Turning Stone it means finding something else to do.
One more game at Greg's before we go to Florida for those games. I hope I can make the adjustment to ten people when I hit the Tampa games. Helpful may be another visit to Foxwoods with Jerry and his Mom on Monday. Foxwoods sent me 10 more free points for every week in June. Each of these coupons pays for almost half a Yankee Trails bus trip. Foxwoods certainly does a better job of taking care of the poker players than Turning Stone. Also they still spread a 4-8 game which I like.

Bruce announced that he had made the final tournament at Turning Stone, getting blinded out of any money. He was pleased to have gotten that far. I guess he played for 4 or more hours. That is what discouraged me about tournaments. Good hard play and a little luck may get a player close to the money, but too often those quick escalating blinds make the last half hour a game entirely of luck.

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