Friday, July 17, 2009

Week in Poker

Well, it wasn't all win win this week. At Greg's I did so poorly that I was $60 down and left two hours early as I did not feel able to come back against the flow of so many chips.
At Slink's I lost in the first session, but scored very high in the second, ending up $95.

Memorable hands at Slink's included some fine bluffs where I got Peter to fold the best hand. In one I held 3-6 and the gut shot straight did not come. I bet out and beat him. It was a good pot too. Perhaps this is why Scott lost to my flopped straight later. He has seen me do big bluffs so my all-in seemed a way he might recoup his losses. Only this time, I had the goods.

I hit the river with Slink all in once. He had me beat with a straight draw, a pair, and a higher flush draw. I had just two outs to make a small straight and I hit one of them for a good sized pot.

It was fun. Maybe a bit more of the rules chatter than I have seen lately, but generally an easy and pleasant evening.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Turning Stone

Well, it was a bit of a tough haul in late afternoon, but I came out ahead finally and easily ahead in my second session after supper.

The table during the day was a tough table of experienced players. However, they talked way too much. I stayed very, very quiet and just listened and picked up so much information that way. I started off winning two good pots with ace-king, one of them I did not have to show. The other was river luck, rare for my day. I had A-K of diamonds with two on the flop. My opponent bet $20 on the turn and I raised a full $50 and still he called me. The diamond did not come on the river, but a king did and it beat his pocket queens. He was miffed.

After that the cards went sour and I just tossed them in time and time. But I did not feel bored. I listened and watched and got a sense of who I was playing. Actually, I don't think it helped too much as I rarely played the people in the hands I saw. The one large bluff I made did not work. The fellow just ahead of me was very tight and rarely played. So I thought I might bluff him off whatever he held on the river. I'd stayed with Ace of spades and a royal draw, or any spade and had not hit anything on the river. I had called him each time, so to come out after his check with a $50 really should have had him fold his single pair of aces, but it did not.
At this time I also had pocket aces cracked.

My huge hand was also luck, really. The fellow to my right had folded a set of fours based on a mind game another player played on him and then went all in. The player claimed he folded 10-3 but I think he had the set of tens and the set of fours folded was a good read. However, once he convinced the fellow next to me that he had layed down a set for nothing, the guy could not get it out of his craw. He was the kind of idiot who could not get anything out of his craw. He had set the table off by commenting about other's play and been disliked, but everyone made up midway throught the game. I was tired of listening rehearse the same stories over and over. He seemed to forget he'd told us already.
So I had pocket jacks and he had pocket threes when the flop came three-jack-X. He bet $30, two called. I raised $60 and he went all in. I called. And he was very quiet. But I had suffered silently so long I could not resist,

"So, you fold the winning set of low cards and lose, then you bet the next set and lose again."

Quiet. For the first time in the game the old babbermouth has nothing to say.

"So, I guess it's damned if you do and damned if you don't?"

And he was quiet for a while then.

He would have been even quieter at Tampa Derby track. There the house would have doubled my pot because I won with pocket jacks.

He did mention seeing Red Foxx one time in Vegas and someone asked the dealer to tell about Red Foxx. He had dealt to him often. He said once with three spades on the board Red showed a 4 of spades and said, "Well, I've got the flush with two spades, the four and me."
The dealer noted that he could get away with that racist joke.
He also said that Red liked his cocaine. I wondered if that had helped along his heart attack, or been the actual cause of his death.
The dealer liked the old guy. And I liked hearing the story. For one thing it stole ol Blabbermouth's bragging rights as well as shutting him up for a while.

Well, I had gone in with about $250 so that brought me back over the top. A few more hands and I had profit, but I was now uncomfortable. I had been down $200 at one point and bought in again so I now had $687 in front of me and some of the players had me covered. Keith might love this part, but I am not comfortable setting myself up for an all-in bet of over $600. Look at that last hand. The guy might have pushed me off the hand as I would put him on aces.

So Gail, who had come with me was hungry, and it was 4:30 and time to head into Rome for supper at the Savoy. I actually found the place with no GPS and just one stop for quick directions a block or so before. I found my way back as well. The trick is to enter and exit Rome on South James Street.

It was a leisurely supper. They offered a $10 buffet out on the back patio, which is not the class atmosphere of the mail restaurant nor the fancier food choices, but it was very good and I liked being outside. They still played Frank Sinatra. One dish was all squash and zucchini and very good. The baked chicken was good too and the sausages and the meatballs, flavored in a unique way. Dessert was ice cream in a cookie which could be dipped in chocolate or cherry and let harden for a shell. Gail was proud to think of dipping in both and the concoction was very good.
The chianti seemed a bit skimpy and I won't bother with that next time. they used to give a good sized glass for $4.50. Now it is standard. Too much.

Turning Stone does not have alcohol, but I brought a bit of Myer's rum in my gambling flask and mixed rum and coke midday so that was nice. The rest of the day I just wanted coffee. The coffee was terrible. I won't get that from the waitress again. It was cold from being carried. However, the new drink holders will allow for the handle of a coffee cup. Perhaps I'll bring my own next time and order from the bar.

The second session was shorter as we took our time at the buffet. It was also very different and very easy. It was played almost like a limit game with most of the players calling stations and very few all in bets. Those I encountered were from short stacked guys. You can buy in for $200 but you can also just play with $50 and these were young fellows and playing with just a few chips. It makes playing hard.
Take this this hand.
A kid acting before me flops a middle card straight. He just bets $10. I have K-Q overcards so I put him on a middle pair and I call along with a few others. The turn gives me a Jack and makes me a very good straight to my king. It is the nut. The kid goes all in with about $50. I have after me one older fellow with lots of chips. I decided to go all in as well. This may have been a bad decision. He might have called the kid. There was no flush draw. He folded and I suspect that cost me money. On the other hand, if he had trips, he was going to pay for the full house or dump the trips. There were many straight possibilities.

At this table I was loose aggressive for a while. Aggressive here meant betting $15 so I did it whenever my calling stations were weak and I stole three pots, some with nothing except representation. One time I suspect I had a guy fold a pair of queens as I represented a pair of kings. I had a bare ace. The fourth time I got caught and had to fold, so I stopped playing that game and played a bit tighter. However, three hands before leaving time I had 5-6 of clubs on the button, which is playable. But I raised to $6. Calling stations all around saw my raise. The flop came 5-6-3. Well, I just wanted to take the money, so I bet $30. The good player to my right was the only one hesitating. He had pocket 4's. But the bet said that I already had the straight and some other players thought I did. They said so. Why they thought I would raise on 4-7 was beyond me, unless they thought it was just a button raise.
The fellow folded. Good for me. He had more outs than I did although at that moment I had him beat.
I would not show, but as I left the guy asked if I had his 4's beat and I told him what I had and why I bet what I bet.
So I left $259 ahead. I used some of the stuff in the book I am reading, especially checking his chart on paying hands, but I was not the Dominator. There was one at my first table and that made it hard for me to even try it. At the second table it was easy to decide who to be. I became Pokermaster Greg. It was clearly the table to play his aggressive style because it was so easy to get people to fold and steal small pots on very low bets. And that set me up for getting called perhaps when I had strong cards. I could tell I dominated that table, but I did it playing like Greg not like the book.
Well, today I see if my winning streak continues or I lose to the Pokermaster or the other usual suspects.
Nice to have a day at Turning Stone and some company and stories. I'll do that again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Greg's Game

Nice mix of player's today on this fine new/old table Greg found at a sale. What a treat of wood it is! And it works great because there is not leg that anyone must straddle. The top in made of squares of wood formed by strips of different grain patterns. It sure looks great!

Well, I did okay. I ended up $51. I was ahead more than that but the late gaming took me out. Nothing seemed to flop for my good cards and the rest of the time I had middle rank rags that would not straighten.

Peter did really well. He stacked up the racks. I guess he left with about a hundred. He just seemed to be in the groove.

Ed, Phil, Bruce, Ivan, Bill, Jerry, Peter, Greg, Karp and I played. It was a big game.
I don't remember too many hands. They have just slipped away from me. Plenty of good banter and a very nice atmosphere indeed. My best hand was when I flopped a straight but no one saw it. The turn gave both full house and the promise of flush possibilities so I just went all in and hoped for the best. it was a bet of about $60 and it did the job. I held the top end of the possible straights. Everyone folded. I was content as it was already a good sized pot.

Peter beat me about three times with higher kickers and fully enjoyed my refrain of "low kicker" Funny but I remember that from long ago when Mike Karp and I were kidding and he was at an upstairs table here at the house and I was downstairs and he sang the crack from all the way upstairs.

Well, it was a good afternoon. I was a little unnerved playing poker with my back so close to the window and the storm rushing across everywhere with thunder and lightning and enough rain to float a boat.

Greg's take on the game:

T'was a beautiful poker afternoon with lots of rain and 10 players joining the fun. I think the usual suspects made off with the cash and the other 7 of us either broke even or parted with about $350.
Game next Wednesday and every Wednesday in July begins at 1pm. Feel free to come early and enjoy your lunch in the back at the pond.
Happy 4th of July weekend!

Peter's Take:

I haven't been the usual suspect in quite some time :)
I left up $127.
Greg had a little under 20 chips and went all in. I was the only one left to call with ace 9. Greg didn't want to show what he had until 2 hearts came on the flop, with an ace. the only thing was his 2 hearts in the hole were 3 and 7. Of course the pokermaster rivered me. I was so mad I took all of his money. :)