Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Annual Jerry Silver Memorial Poker Game

Sunday March 28

This recap of the first annual Jerry Silver Memorial Poker game was delayed because of needed sleep.
I was up at 3 AM the day of the game.  We stopped playing at 3 AM the next day.
It all caught up to me last night.  I slept 12 hours.

It was a fine game in every way, well attended and delightful.  Jerry had plenty of house selling stories and told us a bit about his new life and job.  He is happy to be relocated, happier with the new job and the new area.  Such a fine thing when such a huge late in life change turns out to be wonderful.
Jerry actually banked the game for us which made me very comfortable.  Thanks Jerry.  When he cashed out  to go home at about midnight, he ended up about a dollar or so over as banker, and that felt good as well.

Players included: Jerry, Slink, Jay, Bill, Gregg, Peter, Bruce, Dewey, Charlie, and my Burden Lake neighbor Ron.

Scott was supposed to come, but his septic backed up on him.  I guess he figured he did not actually have to drive and put up with any of our sh*(t since he had plenty of it right there at home and without the inconvenience and waste of gasoline.

I can't hope to remember the hands.  I 'll do my best with a few.  I ended up with the high hand trophy because I hit tens full of nines.  Up until then Jerry had tens full of eights.  So I just squeezed him out of it.  Ron would have had it, but he did not show his quad 7's.
I edged Jerry out of one delightful pot too.  I had A-6 of diamonds and the nut flush on the turn.  I slow played while Jerry bet a bit into me and on the diamond river card he ended all-in.  He had the king of diamonds.  Both of us had accumulated nice chips stacks so that win held me through most of the night.
I got terribly tired later in the night and lost all my chips and a few more buy ins until I was out of chips and $110 down.  I decided to take a break;  Jerry decided to call it a night and everyone cashed in.
At this point Peter was the big winner.  Playing his aggressive "match the pot" strategy Peter was up over $200 which is a huge win in our games. 
So I offered Peter and Gregg another session if we could start all over again.  They agreed and that proved a fine offer for me.  When I left I was up $42.
Again it was nice to play aggressive poker against Peter.  He was playing with won money so I just redistributed it a little.
I don't know how all the others did.  I know Bruce was first out and left after his $50 budget.  It was a hard game for him.  He was not too lucky.
He had been eager to play too.  He arrived for the 3 PM game at 2:30PM and I was trying to catch a nap.  I had spent most of the day taking down the garage sale stuff so the poker room was neat and clean.
Charlie lasted a good long while.  He thought he was going home a few times, but all in wins helped him stay until almost the end of the session.
Bill came late and just could not get cards to play.  Then he got cards and a couple of us sucked out the chips after all-in bets.  I remember one that I did on a good sized pot.  I actually called a decent post flop bet with just a gut shot straight.  I held Peter's 6-9.  On the turn came a 6 and on the river another 6.  I had runner-runner trips.  This did not make Bill happy at all.
I think Peter was the other culprit.  Peter can tend to win on rivers because he uses the "match the pot" play to semi-bluff.  So every little while he will get sucked into an all-in call and need the river to win and he will.
So Bill left after a bit thoroughly frustrated.
I guess others left with small bits of money. Gregg played two sessions, leaving early and coming back for the all night session.  That is why his last e-mail was signed exhausted. Well, almost signed exhausted.  He was too tired to spell.

I did not do food and everyone said it was fine.  No one ate.  I made a bit of popcorn.  Slink wanted to call out for pizza but he was the only one who wanted to eat, so he went to the corner and got his own individual pizza.  I like it that food is so handy there unlike Burden Lake where off season it is a long way to get anything.

Everyone seems to like this Orford poker room.  I love it.  I don't feel I am bothering Elizabeth and now I have one room cleared out and a single bed set up so I can sleep overnight and not drive home.

We have used the red table each time.  I have a long table set up withe leaves if we get say eleven.  After that we can split and play on two tables.
I made certain we had plenty of chips and also plenty of trays this time. 
I liked people being very considerate around the alcohol issues. 
The only thing I don't like is having to bank the game.  So in the future my invitations will ask for someone who expects to come at the beginning and stay a while to do the banking. 
Peter is willing, but he does not have the funds to cover his errors.  Gregg is willing, but he banks at his house and just covers the errors without even knowing how much they might be.  So I don't think asking either of these guys is a good idea.
Having to leave after a few hours is not a problem  If you start the game as banker we can set the time you are leaving as a time to cash in and reconcile the chips, and then start again.  Many of the players had wished in this game I had split the sessions so that there were not so many huge pots toward the end.  I expect I will do that.  It also better accomodates late players.  It is very hard to come in with $10 against large chip stacks and manage to end up a winner.
Everyone teased me about chairs and my email of many colors, but had all the possible folks come, I would not have had enough chairs to cover the game.  You can always come in and ask, leave the chairs in the car, and then only get them if you need to get them.  Remember too that even if many people bring chairs, when they leave, they take them along, so if each person had one folding chair and brought it, that would do the trick.  Eventually I'll buy some when I find good ones at a reasonable price, but there are lots of things the poker room needs, so bringing chairs helps.

I ended up with a new card protector from the garage sale, one of my inlaws toy pigs.  Gregg took a rubber fellow made to look like a dressed up Nathan's hotdog playing baseball. Jerry insisted the guy was a cricket player.  It was a hard position to argue, but then Jerry likes defending counterintuitive and just plain wrong hypotheses, so he was in his element.  I thought that there were no hotdogs at cricket matches, but I am wrong about that.  Still, the guy's clearly a baseball player.

One serious thing to say here is to urge everyone to bring a card protector or use chips to protect your hand.  There were four incidents in the game where, had they happened in a casino, the unprotected hand would have been collected and mucked.  We don't get as strict as the casino on these rules, but it is frustrating when someone throws cards on a hand or a dealer grabs cards left too far toward the middle.  Make it easy on all of us and develop habits that will make your casino visits easier as well.

Oh, and while you are looking around for card protectors, another helpful thing is to look around for inexpensive decks of cards that are not backed in  red or blue and do not have black marks down the sides.  These used to be easy enough to get in Vegas and I have supplied the games at Gregg's and my own game as well with most of the cards we use.  However, Vegas now black marks nearly all the decks they sell.  As you look consider too that we light the large cut of cards.  Some expensive tourist cards are smaller and have smaller numbers and pips.
Some dollar store cards or so poorly made that they don't hold up for more than one game.
And I am not suggesting that you buy them at new prices.  I won't pay more than a dollar a pack myself, but in casinos they are often less than that and even free as promotions.   Also, I have found them in thrift stores and garage sales for as little as a quarter. Think about donating them to the next Gregg or Orford game.

Okay,  I don't anticipate any Orford games until after Vegas, but you never know.

Thanks for coming to wish Jerry a fond farewell.  Thanks, Jerry for being a game catalyst.  Sorry to have missed the rest of you, but there will be more opportunities.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Orford game.

Well, I finally got to play Orford poker.  It was all in the middle of a porch  sale with the left overs scattered all around, but it seemed to work.
I also got to try out my new kitchen, and it seemed to work pretty well.  I won't promise food every game, but for this first one I made chili, spaghetti, barbecue pork, and quinoa with black beans and carrots.  The food went over well, and I have a freezer full of spaghetti sauce and chili in little jars so that I have lunch if I am working a day at Orford without bothering my upstairs neighbors.

In attendance:  Gregg, Bruce, Phil, Peter, Charlie, Slink, Dewey
a nice number.
We were sorry not to see Cassidy and Ivan.  Maybe next time.

Gregg keeps telling me the hands I am to write up and just how I am to tell the story and the tone and..............................
What!!  Are you my editor now??  Am I your friggin' secretary?

Just click the reply all button run your fingers across the keys, and tell your own story.

I don remember on classic deal.  The cars went out wrong, they were moved around, it was all confused, but we played them.  Gregg folded the three cars he had dealt to himself and never noticed.

Gregg also missed a full house possibility, had the nut flush, set a trap for Peter, and then was very relieved that Peter did not go into it as he had not seen the full house possibility.  Trapping saved him a lot of money.

I do find I remember few hands now after these games.  I would have to take notes.  I envy guys who can remember certain hands for years.  But it is the same with fish for me.  Some guys remember just when and where and what bait they are using for twenty years.  I barely remember to bring my tackle box and bait.

I had wonderful cards Sunday.  I won twice with pocket kings and each time I was not ahead when the all-in bet was made.  Slink's was the hardest (for him).  I had trips and he had the Ace high heart flush. 
The case king came on the river. 
I thought for a while we might have a bit of the Delmar boys ritual throwing of cards, but he restrained himself and kept his composure.  If you haven't seen this obscure religious rite, you'll have to come to a game.
At one point Slink urged other players to throw some chips or cards.  They declined.  I guess Slink is sort of an evangelical Delmar believer wanting to make converts to this strange poker religion.  Perhaps he'll wear a suit and show up at the door for the next game with friends and ask where if we want to be in a poker afterlife.

Just say, "What a shame"  Slink and let it go.  You're Southern pal Goat should have taught you to do that.

I would have had another quad, jacks, had anyone called me.  We saw it when we ran the rabbit.  I had pocket jacks two hands in a row.  Peter beat me one and then folded one.

By mid game I needed those good cards.  I played such bad poker at the beginning, that I was down $80 within just a few minutes and everyone was playing for my money.  At the end I was up $64.  Peter won as well.  Gregg stayed the latest, just before midnight, and he tried to take on the Hill boys, but he had no luck.

Gregg says he does not want to be called "Pokermaster" anymore. 
Hmmmm.  Does it irritate you and annoy you and put you off your game?
Well, then Pokermaster, expect to hear it a lot.
Peter put it up on Facebook.
No joke, he really did.

I liked the game.  It could be slowed up with no trouble and it seemed easy enough to figure.  Then it was just the cards.  Unlike Wednesday when I was aggressively all-in with the best hand and consistently losing, I felt in the groove on Sunday.  Hope I can take some of that to Vegas with me.

Well, if you guys remember some of your hands, add them in here.  I can't.  I do remember that Phil called my all-in bet in order to go home when I was trying to bluff him off a pot.  I was lucky there and that Phil gave me some chips to play with.  Thanks Phil.  it is always a pleasure to take your money.   Phil has his own poker religious quotation:
"God hates a coward"
I think it is from the book of Hezikia.

Peter played a great game using his classic match-the-pot bet to push the rest of us off pots until he had plenty of money to play with.  We all know what he is doing, but we can't figure out how to beat him at it. 
Damn pot bully!!  It is people like you who keep Karp away from these games.

I often stake Peter to the game at Gregg's and that means I don't play too aggressively toward him, since if I beat him, I have to give him his next buy in. 
This time I didn't. 
I was down and I knew he had the garage sale money to play with. 
It changed the game for me, and Peter and I bluffed each other and had some good banter.  I don't think I am staking him at Orford in future games.  For one thing if I stake him and make food, there is no way to break even. 
But I liked the play better. 
Let Peter play until he loses. It ain't like he has a long way to go home.

I remember one great bluff I made that sent the kid groaning.  I had nothing and took a fine, big pot. 
If you have raised a teenager, and sought revenge, invite the 20-30 somethings to a game. Poker is a fine way to do that once they are gown and you know they deserve it.

Charlie gave me some whiskey porter as a house warming.  I am looking forward to that homemade brew.  He tried to get a break to smoke his fancy cigar on the deck, but the game held him inside.  Charlie would like a game with cigars, but that ain't happening until he hosts. 

Charlie also promised to invite me to breakfast.  Don't forget Charlie.  I want to hear all your stories.  Bruce won't let me talk at the poker games, so I need to have some breakfast conversation to get caught up.

Slink added

What are the odds of flopping the nut flush and then having a player push all in ahead of you? That's poker nirvana. Unless that player is Dewey ''4th King on the river'' Hill. I think I showed great restraint limiting my reaction to a few muttered obscenities even though throwing something would have felt much better. Still won $40 for the night although a hand like that still makes one feel like he's somehow down despite how much he walks away with.
Charlie added:

Slink got my forty. That was a good game.  A bit long , I was dragging at end, surprised it was six hrs. Lots of good hands, with all ins, pot size raises etc. i remember the three queens on the board, I was on a streak and it  checked around and around before Peter took it with little.  Someone should have bullied that hand, like me.  Peter rebuilt his stack and took off again from there.  Also late in game i goofed calling Deweys flopped nut flush with crap like high pair. ouch.  It was down hill from there, while the Hills went on upswing, great cards and dominating raises, mostly battling each other. Finally got in some hands, busted out and left for a smoke on way home. Tell you what Dew if you like home brew I'll trade you some for ham and eggs or oatmeal and OJ. I head out rt 4 sometimes to the store there.  are finishing up a cream ale,ale portion, this weekend. If not you know know what they say, "Home Brew is like a fart, only its owner appreciates it."