Glenn's Poker Journal

Husband to FeliciaLee.. here are some of my poker adventures in 'bilking the internet poker machine, six dollars at a time' (--quoted from Sean, Anisotropy).

Location: United States

NOT a poker blogger!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Pairs Are King!

Played the Shootout at Riverside Casino last night and made the money this time!

Last time, I _did_ make the final table, but I only got the $50 (buy-in back) consolation prize going out in 7th position; only the top 5 get paid from the main prize pool. So, I’ve won the “shootout” table 2-out-of-2, and made the (serious) money 1-out-of-2.

The shootouts are a little different there. Normally when you think of a shootout, there is only one winner per table. Since the Riverside is not a large card room like Bellagio, they only do 5 tables for the first round, then the top-two, or last two standing, advance to the final table.

Last week, the first time they had the shootout, I made the final table when my 44 stood up against 2 others: A3s and AQo. This week (yesterday as of this writing), I made the final, again, based on small pairs that held up.

We didn’t bother getting to the room super early this time, as last week it didn’t sell out. Last week we ended up playing for about 3 hours to make sure we got a seat (many of their tournaments sell out), in a tournament that didn’t completely fill up to the maximum of 50 players. I’m guessing it’s partly due to being a Monday night, and possibly partly due to no rebuys, LOL.

I got to play two hands in the ring game before starting the tournament, KQo and AQs, catching no flop either time. This sucked since we had an action table and any good hand was paid off.

Got to the tournament table to see two others who made the final table the week before, plus another player that I recognized as a solid player, chewing on a toothpick. Not the easiest of tables, I thought, but in the end, I was kind of wrong. Only one player was super loose, an older player named Bob. He was one of the final table people. And he was just as loose this time, too. Calling an obvious over-pairs pre-flop raise with 99. Over-pair shoved on the flop of T9x, and Bob couldn’t get his money in fast enough. This made him chip-lead for a while. But as all loose players, can’t keep it unless they continue to get lucky.

I played tight myself in the early rounds. During the second round, it got folded to the button who limped. Button was an older guy (yes, _most_ of the players are older –grin-) who was probably legally-blind; he had funky glasses with what looked like thick magnifying lenses fitted about an inch and a half over the first pair of lenses giving him a kind of bug-eyed look. Tight-lady in SB completed. I saw AKo in the BB and decided to check. I had a feeling that I could trap the button who I felt would bet either way. This before has burned me, catching no flop and having to give it up to any bet. However, if I got no flop, it might be because the button is sacking AA or KK and is trying to get some value, but I took the chance either way. Flop came AQx. I was pretty sure that the button would have raised to just steal the blinds with AQ, so I went ahead with my check-raise plan; after the SB checked, I checked too. Sure enough, the button bet, and I check-raised all-in. He thought about it, looked at his hand again, and then mucked. I think this was a good play for me, not only to get a bet I might not have initially if I just raised pre-flop, but also to let the others know that I was capable of trapping.

Between this hand and just a couple steals with AQo and A9o (actually, I think the A9o was an all-in that I survived when I spiked a 9 vs. a better Ace, but I was short-stacked), I was still about even in chips from the start after the 2nd level. I need chips badly!

Caught my first double up not long after when a tight older guy went all-in in early position, folded around to me in the SB and I found 44. I sat there looking at the guy and his chest started heaving. Hmmm, he doesn’t want a call, I was thinking. If he had AA, KK, QQ, he’d be more sure and calm. Of course, could be heaving because he DID have AA, but I need chips. As a famous dame (who doesn’t like to be called a lady) once said, “you have to be willing to die, in order to live.” So, I called all-in. BB thought about it for a second and got out of the way. I turned up my 44, never slow rolling, and the old guy turned up…AQo. Yippee! I was ahead. 44 stood up for me last week against two players, and stood up for me this week too! I raked in my T3K chips and waited for another opportunity. This left the gentleman with only T300, not even enough for the T400 BB. He went all-in, then all-out, the next hand.

At this point, I think we were down to five players, when I got my next, sort of big hand. I say “sort of”, because I think I basically broke even with JJ! Solid-toothpick guy was still in, and folded UTG. One short stack, who might have stolen a pot from me, went all-in UTG+1. Next player, the blind-guy from the AK hand earlier went all-in over the top. I look down in the SB and see JJ! I dislike going against two others with Jacks, but we were getting close to crunch time and I had to believe that they both could just have big Aces and not an over-pair, so I shoved. The BB looks at his hand, and I guess cause he just got lucky a hand or two before, plus, being close to crunch time, decided to call with Q9s! Not the best of hands considering all the action, he was really gambling. Blind-guy is the only one who had me covered, the other two were shorter, which was good for me, as it came, little, little, little on flop; little on turn; Queen on river! Ugh! I ended the hand with T2800. I can’t recall what I started with, but I think I _might_ have gotten a couple extra chips from the side pot between Blind-guy and me. So, I knocked out one player (the UTG+1, he held TT), put a good dent in the chips the Blind-guy had, and the BB quadrupled to about T6K (allowing him to just fold his way to the final).

Crunch time…what is it? These first two shootout tournaments, the Riverside decided to put a time limit on the play for the first table! Last week, it was one hour; this week it was 5 levels (15 minute levels, so just one more level than last week). We were on that last level. Solid-toothpick guy, understandably, looked surprised and said something like: “there’s a _time_ limit on a shootout?” Course, it’s up to him to read the rules, but I’m glad he didn’t, he probably would have been much more aggressive.

Knowing that he had to pick up chips, Solid-toothpick went all-in UTG. Me, back in the BB, I find 22. I still need more chips to get into 2nd place so I go all-in. BB, Mr. Q9s right-fully folds (although he did actually think about calling, dummy), and Solid-toothpick spikes a Jack on the flop with his AJo. But the river comes the miracle two-outer, giving me deuces-full on the paired board :-D (Solid-toothpick tried to say that I sucked out on him, and I stated that I had the best hand to start with. He tried to argue _that_ too! I checked it out in and found that, yes, I was right…so :-p to Toothpick!:
pokenum -h as jc - 2d 2h
Holdem Hi: 1712304 enumerated boards
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
As Jc 811193 47.37 891623 52.07 9488 0.55 0.477
2d 2h 891623 52.07 811193 47.37 9488 0.55 0.523

After the end of that 5th level, it was just Mr. Q9s, myself, and Blind-guy. Blind-guy ended up being about T800 shorter than me, so it was Mr. Q9s and me to the final! Two-for-two for my shootouts.

At the final, I did the optional $20 add-on to try to get some more chips. Alan, the TD, wouldn’t allow us to chop the 3rd guys chips from the shootout, meaning that I was at a chip disadvantage from the start! They don’t restart us with even chips at the new table, which Felicia and I think is wrong in this type of shootout. If anyone knows a site that shows the rules for a shootout, let us know; we can’t find any.

So at the final, we all start out kind of tight, which is good for me. Only problem was I had only about T8K _after_ the add-on, and the blinds started at T400/T800, since that’s where our table left off. (Another thing about the shootout that we feel is wrong; starting out at the same level the last shootout table left off at.)

First level I stayed even when I just stole the blinds with raises with AQo and ATo. Then I got card cold and got a whole lot of nothing, nothing, nothing; deja vu of last week!

Got to a point were I was just thinking about surviving to the money. Granted, 5th was only $110, but that’s better than just getting the $50 back—I’d be making _something_. A couple people had been knocked out right away; people who were also short-stacked, made a move or defended and lost.

Once down to seven, there was a raise from Leon, a younger local (yes, we do have some younger locals ;) who drinks too much and becomes very obnoxious (see Felicia’s “buttmunch” post). Older short-stacked guy who saw Leon raise earlier with QJo (to get called all-in by QQ), called. Another younger guy on my right (this table, for once had half the table a younger crowd—under 40, so I get to count myself, hehehe), I’ll call him Tipsy-tourist since he was drinking too much and I’ve never seen him before, said “alright, all-in!”. I immediately put him on AA or KK, since he was really tight for a younger guy. Leon called, and the short-stack called all-in, since he was pretty committed by that point. Leon showed QQ, older guy had AJs, Tipsy had KK. Flop is Q99; obnoxious Leon flopped a full house. Turn, King, for the turned bigger full house! I was very happy, lol. Short-stack was knocked out. Tipsy-tourist congratulated him and we were down to six, the bubble.

Gene, one of the older locals in a wheelchair, was the bubble. He played a great game, but I think a little too tight (see Felicia’s posts on “Polio Gene” from Canterbury). He got one good double up to stay ahead of me on the waiting game of getting into the money, but then I doubled up too to stay in. I had to fold T4o after Tipsy-Tourist went all-in from the SB to steal my BB. I couldn’t see him raising without a better hand than T4o and I prayed for a better hand next round or for Gene to bust. Next hand, it again got folded to the SB, me, so I just put my chips in blind. BB quickly called and turned up AJs; oops. I turned up J4o, just a little dominated ;) A4x on the flop…4 on the turn, I got another two-outer to stay alive.

This meant Gene had to made another move, but this time got bumped on the bubble. Everyone at the table, all the young guys, got up to shake Gene’s hand and congratulate him on a good game. That just tickled me pink and gave me hope about the new poker players to see them being so gracious.

We talked about chopping—and with my amount of chips I was happy to—but the Tipsy Tourist on my right asked for a break for a “Day of Reckoning”. I thought this meant that he had to take a dump and joked with him in the men’s room, lol. When he headed for a urinal, I said, “hey, you said ‘Day of Reckoning’, so I thought for sure you’d be headed there”, pointing to one of the stalls. He laughed and said he just meant he had to think and pee. Which, to me meant, no chop.

Sure enough, after the break, he said he had too many chips and wanted to play for first. I completely understand, he had more than anyone else, but the blinds at this point were T2K/T4K. When I got the BB and it got folded to him again in the SB, he went all-in. I saw 55 and called. Tipsy turned up A6s and the race was on. Flop came two of his suit and I thought for sure I was out. I had to dodge six over-cards AND 9 clubs; giving him a 56-44% advantage on the flop. I was able to survive, put a good dent in Tipsy’s stack, and actually became co-chip lead with the guy on my left.

At this point, Tipsy goes, “ok, now do you want to chop?”. Even he chuckled. After counting out what I had T22K, with being in the SB next hand, I really only had 5xBB. Plus, player on my right had exactly the same count. Tipsy still had between T15K-20K himself (we never did get a count from him). So I agreed to the chop. Considering how I went from the chip dog with only 2xBB to chip lead in only 2 hands, it’s too much of a crap shoot and I took the $466 on the 5-way chop.

So, for that night, pairs were king!

We’re headed to LA tomorrow for Commerce’s LA Poker Classic.

See you in a few weeks!

Posted by Glenn

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Sidestep Shuffle

Let’s recap. I posted about variance, where I basically whined about how I was losing and that I shouldn’t worry about it, its just variance… Then I posted about how I finally got on a great run and won back all I had lost in one session. Now, I’m down just a dribble in the past week, pretty much breaking even. What’s the deal here? Not winning, not losing…just doing a sidestep shuffle.

I played a tournament with Felicia a couple days ago at the River Palms, didn’t get much going there. My nemesis, Sammy the dealer, was downwind of me this time, picking off my bluffs. Our table is very passive and tight, and I steal when I can; when Sammy’s folded and the two people to my left are telegraphing they’re going to fold anyway. It’s amazing how people do this time and again without thinking about it. They hold their cards like they’re ready to fold when the action gets to them. Even the BB did this one time. I had K9o on the button. I really didn’t have _that_ many chips, and wouldn’t have stolen if it were Sammy in the BB; he’s too loose and might actually call me. But these people were easy! It was like the BB just assumed someone would raise and he’s telling me, “hey, I got crap here, go ahead and raise…look, I already have my cards off the table, ready to put them in the air and flip them to the muck!”

So, I make little steals here and there, keeping myself even. Once I got checked into a straight in the BB, but with a pair on board, no one would call any bet and I guess I really didn’t have to have anything that hand, they were so disinterested in the pot. So, we get to the break, and I’m still in without having to do a rebuy (bonus!). I bust one guy out after I get AK in the cutoff and he’s in the BB with KQ, short-stacked, and takes a stand.

After going past the 500/1000 blinds again, I have about 10K. UTG limps (new person that got moved to my table with a big stack) and I’m next to act and see QQ. I figure if I raise, I have to raise enough to get Mr. Big stack out of the hand. I’ll have to raise at least 3x the BB to 4K. That puts my in the 50% realm of my stack, though. If you’re going to go in for 50, you might as well put it all in. So that’s what I did. I shoved all-in…and get quickly called by one of the tighties to my left. I wait till the action is down table, turn to her and say, “You have Aces don’t you?” Of course, she nods, but it wasn’t really a question. I get no miracle and I’m out (she doubled up with Aces earlier and had me covered…by one chip, lol). So, I’m out, but at least I didn’t have to do any rebuys in this one and got in, and out, relatively cheap.

At home, it’s the same kind of thing. I win a little here; win a little there. Then take a hit where I lose most or all of what I just won. Oy!

Last night we ended up at the Riverside to play their tournament. I play the 2-6-spread limit game and Felicia gets in the tournament. I did get on the alternate list for the tournament, however, because Felicia tells me that they switched to 20-minute levels and I thought I’d give it a try.

It’s an hour into the tournament before I get called to take my seat, literally at the cutoff before they stop allowing alternates in. I’m able to take an optional rebuy and the add-on without playing a hand (the hand I sat down during was the last before the break). So, I get to sit down when the blinds are at 200/400 with 5500. Not too bad, let’s see what happens.

First hand in the blind and I had to let AJo go. A kid that I saw folding, folding, chucks in an oversized chip and the dealer _asked_ if he wanted to raise, which of course he says yes to. They have a rule there that if someone puts in one an oversized chip without stating “raise”, that it’s NOT a raise, but a call. I want to see a flop with AJ! So I try to debate it with the dealer, but he’s new and says that he asked if it was a raise…ugh. Jxx on the flop (late position person called), and the kid comes out betting 1K, the same as the raise. Hmm. Either he’s trying to extract more, or he really didn’t hit the flop. I’m trying to decide if he had it or not, but I think not. I might have lost some chips on that fold, but I still think I have to fold AJ to a raise when I have more than 10x the BB to play with.

Since the kid is to my left, and another person that I’ve played with before (and therefore knows how tight I am) I’m able to steal the blinds from them one round with A9o. Another time, I’m in early position (and the blinds are up to 400/800) with AA and I’m thinking about how much I have to raise. Once again, there’s a limper and I’m thinking the old, “OK, if I raise 4x the BB it’ll pretty much be a…let’s see…” and then think to myself, “hmm, with all this hesitation, it almost looks like I’m unsure of my hand. I wonder if I’ll be more likely to get a call looking like I _don’t_ want a call.” So, I shove in. The tight kid on my left thinks about it for a bit and folds. Everyone else folds, including the limper. Wanting people to keep folding to my raises, I show. Kid says, “oh, and I almost called too, I had pocket tens.”

Later, after going thru the blinds again, I get AKo and raise to 2400. I guess I should have shoved here, because this time, the kid DOES decide to come after me and goes over the top. This time though, he was the one that took a little time. So I think if he had to think about it, it might be a coin flip. I need chips, and even though I could release and still have about 5K, that’s really not a lot to work with, and I have odds to call with a coin flip. So, I call and get shown JJ, what I was hoping for, an under-pair. If he suckered me with my same play with AA or KK, I’d be really hurting. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any help and I was still out. But, once again, I think I made the right play, even if it was perhaps over aggressive. I keep thinking that I want to try to not just squeak into the money.

Back at the side games, I count my odds and go for the straight with the two over cards. I get there, but with someone else and I end up splitting the $80 pot, after the money that I put in the pot, I’m about $30 up still, not bad. Helps when the flopped two pair _and_ the flopped set call two cold (the guy to my left had the same hand and raised all-in) then called my 3-bet. The guy with the set was to the immediate left of the guy with two pair. One raise from him and I would have had to fold. But nooooo, he slow plays and gets bit!

Twice before the tournament a similar situation happened. THREE times my table saw a player raise with KK and flop a set of Kings. Only once did that player NOT get outdrawn. Who was the player? Me. Why? I didn’t slow play. Both the other sets slow played. First, they also didn’t raise the full amount pre-flop. I did. I may not have won as much as I could have, but I did win.

I also got a table share of the Bad Beat Jackpot that was hit at another table: $35. Not huge, but good enough for just sitting there. As I lost $27 before the tournament, then dropped $60 for the tournament, my $50 win (including the $35 table share) kept me out of a big hole.

Combined with a couple small wins during the day, I ended the day -$11.51. Well, it’s better than the $40-50 losses I had at the beginning of the month! But still, what’s the deal here? Up-down, up-down.

Sounds like I’m doing the “horizontal bop”…I wish!

No, it’s more like the “sidestep shuffle”.

Posted by Glenn

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mpeg from PokerClan Tournament!

Just thought I'd share the following. It's an mpeg that was taken during the PokerClan tournament. It shows a hand where Felicia limped in early position and I raised. It got folded around. The blinds folded. With only Felicia left to act, folds her KQs face up. I look at her like "you folded that?", and show her my KQs! The look on her face was priceless.. for me anyway.. hehe.

Posted by Glenn

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Any change? (Tournament report incl'ed)

Never understand why anyone would want to take my picture. I don't change! Check this out, taken yesterday:

So? Do I look any different from the picture that I have at the top of the page that was taken years ago? No, at least I can't tell. -grin-

This was taken during the tournament PokerClan put on at the Plaza in Vegas yesterday. I was very glad to be able to participate and had a great time meeting with everyone and playing some fun poker.

Felicia and I debated on the way back: it's not exactly positive EV to play against other good poker players, is it? At the same time, we had a lot of fun. If we dropped some cash along the way (during the ring games that followed) it could be considered entertainment for the night. Either that, or we're just trying to justify losses, lol.

We got there a little early; I think Felicia got us out of the house early, knowing that if we tried to get to Plaza more "on time" for the tournament, that we'd hit rush hour traffic. I put my name on lists. Felicia gave me a hard time, as always, "can't be out of the action for one minute, can you? You just have to play!" OK, I admit it, I'm a poker-holic. I got into a 1-4 spread-limit stud game. I was able to finally play some stud! I mostly folded, as there are no antes in this game, so tight play is rewarded. I got checked into KKs-up once, and AAs-up another. As the tournament was almost starting was when I was pulling in my winnings for the AAs-up and I remarked, "hey, I got my money back, ohh, plus $1." Next hand, I get 2c for the bring-in, there goes my profit!! LOL. After that hand, I cashed out the same $40 I started with and headed to the tournament table.

We ended up playing 11-handed, and I got the 11th seat. Normally, I won't play local tournaments, as the structure is usually terrible. However, since this was a tournament put on by poker players, they had a pretty good structure, starting with 25/25 blinds, 20 minute levels, and T1000 of chips. Not bad, and the levels did NOT double every time. I would have a chance! So I ponied up the $100+10 and got settled to play :)

I never got AK or AA, but I did get AJs and AJo and raise-opened each time. Once, winning the blinds, no contest. Another, I got called, spiked an Ace on the flop, bet out and the only pre-flop caller folded.

Interesting hand came up where Felicia limped opened, the one player in between us folded, and I looked down to see KQs. I noticed Felicia limp once or twice before, and at least once fold to a raise. I know she doesn't slow play, so I couldn't put her on AA or KK. I always watch the action to my left as well, and saw at least one person with chips and figured others would come into the pot if I just limped behind. Not wanting the blinds to get a free shot to spike trip deuces, bottom two, or some-such, and to try to limit the field, I raised. The potential callers folded, as did the blinds, as did Felicia! That surprised me. Then she further surprised me by showing me KQs as her hand! I showed mine and asked why she didn't raise? She said she was hoping to make a big hand and bust someone. With my raising everyone out, and her feeling that she was dominated, she folded. One of the players to my left also stated he folded AQ to my raise. Wow, tight table.

After a while, with the blinds every increasing, I only really managed to stay about even in chips. Pokerclan Founder, Jon, would raise occationally in late position with weak hands, so once when he raised and Felicia went all-in (short-stacked at this point) and I was getting something like 3-1 on my call from the BB. I did call with A2s. After talking about this on the way home, Felicia said that it was pretty marginal; better if I had more chips. I'll have to admit that she was right.

Finally I got a great break when Tanya, a very aggressive player to my left, went all-in UTG. It got folded to me in the BB and I found KK. I said, "oh, yeah, I call." Tanya ended up having 33, got no help, and I doubled through. Was Tanya's play bad? Well, if I can fold an early position caller and a late position player, both with group II hands, then you'll realize that everyone was playing pretty tight and definitely going by the adage that it takes a much better hand to call a raise, than to make one. She was looking to buy her blind money, but just got caught versus a group I.

Later on after more players had been knocked out, I went all-in with AQ and bought my blinds for that round.

Felicia got knocked out when she called all-in with KK. Raiser had A4o and spiked that ever present Ace.

We got to the bubble-time and out, and then I was in the money! The group had decided to pay the top 3. Third place would get 20%, which would get Felicia's and my buy-in's back, at least, if that's what I got.

That's what I got! Blaize, the player to my immediate right, knocked out so many players that he had a huge stack. Biggest hand was his AK, vs 22, vs JJ. KKx on the flop, and the other pairs didn't get any help.

Once we were 3 handed I tried to work on my tight image and raised with QJo. Blaize called. I was hoping that he was only calling due to his stack and hoping to bust me if it came little, litlle. So, although leary of the over card on the flop of KQx, I still bet out anyway. I just made sure that I bet enough to fold him if he didn't hit, and low enough to get away if he did. He check-raised me all-in and I reluctantly folded. I kinda had a bad feeling from the way he reacted to the flop. But I needed chips to have any chance of winning. He folded his KdTd face up; giving him top pair and second-nut flush draw. Dang, talk about hitting! No wonder I had a bad feeling.

Then, Blaize doubled up the other short stack. She only completed the SB, so Blaize set her all-in, thinking that she'd fold. She quickly called with ATo and, Blaize, chuckling, turned up his "Big Lick", 69o, which fell to a final board showing two Tens.

Since I was now the short stack, I called all-in when Blaize raised my blind. He had K9o and I had A8o. A 9 on the turn with no 3-outer Ace on the river, sent me to the rail with third place earnings.

After that, we all had a blast playing mixed games at a limit of 2/4. Felicia and I still managed to drop too much in the game, but it was wild and crazy. Knowing this, is why I raised and then called a reraise with the 2nd nut flush during an Omaha high hand. I was hoping that the other was betting two pair or a set on the flop. No he was betting the K-high flush draw. When the Ace of suit came on the turn and he still bet, I raised him, only to get raised back. Then he goes, "don't pair the board", and that even more made me think he was on a set! Instead, when he bet the river, he did in fact have the KJs for the nut flush. Ahh, well.

Sucked in the cash games, but at least I placed in the tournament!

Thanks again to the Pokerclan crew for a fun evening! :)

Posted by Glenn

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Can't Sleep, I'm Dancing

Right now, I’m reminded of a David Lee Roth video. He’s dressed/made up like a fat, producer; and, in response to a question, says, “I can’t think, I’m dancing.” Well, I’ve been tossing around in bed, too keyed up to sleep, because I’m dancing on the inside.

Felicia felt like going back out tonight to play poker, even despite the Riverside not having a tournament on Saturday. We called the River Palms, they were doing $25 sit & goes, but were told that it might not go. Not wanting to have Felicia just sitting and waiting for a tournament that might not ever start, we ended up at the Riverside so that she could play Omaha8. I got on the 2-6 lists and the NLHE list.

I played one hand at 2-6; I got A6s in mid-late position and limped. A6x on the flop, someone bet 4, another called, and I raised the full amount to 10. Initial bettor called, middleman folded. Checked to me on the turn, I bet the 6 and got called. River, check-check, and I showed down my two pair and took the pot.

Once I was UTG, Lenny, the brush, called my name and said, “no limit?” Huh? I thought it was just an interest list, I didn’t know they actually had a game going…kewl! I said, “Oh, yeah, I’m on my way.”

I grabbed a stack of red from the desk on my way there; sat down in the 4-seat and tucked a C-note under my stakes, after seeing that most people had around $300. While waiting for the blind, I got to try to inventory the players a bit. Couple dealers at the table: Carlos, long black hair in a ponytail, and another I didn’t know the name of in the 3-seat. Carl, a loose, calling station from the Belle was in the 5-seat. A young gun, Raymer-wanna-be, complete with the snake eyeglasses, was in the 7-seat. One seat was a loose, older man that I’ve played against before too, couldn’t remember his name.

I finally get the blind and it’s raised from 4 to 15 by the 6-seat (we were playing the 2/4 blinds again). I looked down to see pocket Jacks. I’ve been burned before with re-raising and then having an over-card fall, so I just called to see the flop and to see what reaction to the flop I could tell from the 6-seat. After calling the 15, I look over at the 6-seat to find that he’s looking at me! Hehe, that’s a first for the Riverside. So, my action first, I look to see a flop of Qxx. With the guy only raising to 15, and him checking me out, I’m putting him on a non-pair, hopefully AK or AJ. Could be AQ, but I take the initiative and bet 20 on the flop to see what he does. He looks at his cards before mucking and I get the flash of an Ace before they hit the muck. For whatever reason, I “courteous-show”. Part to show I had a hand; that I might trap with a big pair; and possibly that I don’t need to have top pair to bet.

The dealer to my right busts out the AK-guy a little later. Dealer limps UTG, I fold, AK-guy raises to 20, all fold to dealer who calls. 77x on the flop: check, check. Hmm. Turn is an off-suit deuce, and all hell breaks loose. The Dealer checks, AK-guy bets 30, Dealer check-raises to 60, AK-guy goes all-in and Dealer calls! When the dust settles, AK-guy turns over AA, slow-played on the flop. Dealer turns over pocket 2’s for the turned boat! Dealer had AK-guy covered, and AK-guy exits.

Dealer, who’s going to be the blind the next hand, decides he’s going to cash out, and I move over my stack to his 3-seat so that I can have a better view of the rest of the table. Carlos ends up taking my old seat, so that I have him to my left. There was a small confusion as the dealer (in the box) was trying to tell me that Felicia (who joined our game in seat 8) asked for the 3-seat, but after I took it and Carlos moved, declined the seat change. California guy takes the vacant 8-seat.

Whatever fire started a kindle when that Dealer made the boat with the deuces, just kept building to a nice flame.

I got a couple small pots here and there. Like flopping top-pair-no-kicker from the blind. Check-check, all around on the flop; I pot it on the turn and all fold. I pick up A6s in late position. AKx on the flop, checked to me, I bet, all fold.

Then the first big hand happens. Another older dealer, OD, comes and takes the 2-seat. He limps UTG and I make some comment like, “playing already?” The guy is a good player; Felicia and I have played in tournaments with him before. I’m next to act and find AA! I make it 30 to go. Carlos looks at me and asks, “are you sure you didn’t mean to put out blue?” (Blue, single $1 chips ;) I said, “yep”, and he reluctantly folds. I fully expected OD to fold, having to know that I probably am as tight as Felicia. Instead, he easily calls the 30 and we see the flop 2-handed. AQ3 on the flop--OD checks and I check behind. Turn pairs the 3’s: AQ33, and OD bets 70. I raise to 170, OD calls all-in (he started with 200). He turns over AJo and I table my AA for Aces-full. He played the one hand and I got his whole stack. Ouch.

Later, I get QQ UTG and reach for chips to raise. Carlos to my left starts saying, “don’t do it.” I respond, “you can always go over the top”, and finish my raise to 30. Carlos calls and we see the flop of TTx two handed. I don’t put him on a Ten; maybe AK, AQ or another PP. I’m _hoping_ he doesn’t have AA or KK, but decide to put him to the test and see where he’s at. I lead out with 40. Carlos turns to me and asks, “you didn’t flop quads did you”, and folds his JJ face up. I tell him that I had him beat, and showed him my QQ.

Don’t ask why I showed that time, I guess cause he’s a nice guy and chopped with me once that he didn’t need to. He had called UTG and it was folded around to me in the BB with Doyle’s hand, T2o. Carlos asked if I wanted to chop and I said sure. The dealer told me he had to deal it out and Carlos and I agreed to check it down. After he was shoved the pot with two pair, he gave me my $4 blind back. I thanked him for that, and perhaps made me show him the Queens, to at least let him know that he was beat. Later, he told me on my Aces-full hand, he would have had the nuts. He folded 33 to my raise, knowing that I probably had AA or KK. I tried to give him a red bird for folding, but he wouldn’t take it; “part of the game” he said.

Later, I limped early with TT, Carlos limped and an old guy in the 10-seat (I’ll call Sailorman, due to his no-mustache, split beard) raised 20 to 24 total. I called the raise and Carlos, seeming to not like my flat call, folded. Sailorman and I took the flop alone. Flop is J98, two spades, and I have two black Tens. I’ve been watching Sailorman, and he rubs his forehead when he’s drawing, which he did when he saw this flop. Having 2nd pair, an open-ended straight draw and backdoor flush draw, I lead out 40. Sailorman rubs his forehead _again_ and calls. Turn brings a low spade. Now I’m open-ended and 4-flush. Sailorman still doesn’t look happy, so I bet 60. If there was anyone that was just an open book and didn’t want to call, it was Sailorman. The river is an off-suit 5 and I check and he checks behind. I table my TT and he shows 77! He was calling me down with an under-pair and inside straight draw! (He also had the 7 of spades, which, of course, would have been no good vs. my Ten.)

After that hand, I got a good suck-out on Felicia –grin-. Carlos is the BB, I’m the SB. It gets folded to Felicia who makes it 25 to go. Folded to me and I see JJ. Ugh. I could very well be beat, or she could be on AK. With her not playing many cash games, I’m not sure where she’s at. Plus, I have Carlos to worry about. He’s a loose player, and if he calls, spikes a pair to beat an unimproved AK, I’m going to feel really stupid mucking JJ. So, I complete, and Carlos is in agony. He knows that we both have big hands (remember, he’s a dealer and has seen us play), but he has a hand and calls to see the flop. I try to watch Felicia, but like I’m going to see anything on her face. All the while, she’s going, “you two are calling my Aces???” Flop comes down Jxx and I look at her. She knows right away and says, “If you flopped a set of Jacks, you better bet!” Hahahaha! Dang, no slow-playing the wife!

There was another consideration, however. With a husband and wife in the same pot, neither of us wishes to be thought of as colluding. Therefore, I did two things I would normally never do. I plopped in a full stack of red, and after Carlos visibly jumped in his seat, I turned over my JJ to show my top set. Might as well, since she just told the whole table what I had anyway! Carlos mucked and Felicia tossed her Aces face up. The dealer in the box was confused, wondering what was going on. Felicia told him, “well, I’m not calling him--he’s got top set!” She let me have it for out-flopping her too! Telling me I’m going to sleep on the couch, and how could I call her when I know she has Aces. How could I lay down Jacks? If it were just the two of us, I would have no problem. But with someone else in the hand, there’s still potential to a make a hand to bust the other guy, so I couldn’t lay it down. Then she goes and tells everyone what I had so I couldn’t try to slow play it. LOL!

Wow, what a night! I ended doubling through my 320 buy in! So, yes, I can stop whining now, haha. Didn’t I do a post a while back about bringing on the no limit? What have I been thinking?

Ahhh, now that I have all that out of my system, I think I can finally sleep!

Good night all. God Bless.

Posted by Glenn

Saturday, January 08, 2005


OK, I'm still in the stink-hole, downward-spiral section of that lovely term "variance". Or "Standard-deviation", whichever floats your boat; mine's sinking, however.

After having pat full houses outdrawn on me twice in Draw and just losing, losing, losing, I called it quits for the day and did some reading.

Later that night, Felicia and I went out to the Riverside. I started in the 2-6-spread limit HE game. She got a seat in the O8. Those tight old biddies that play the O8 wouldn’t play six handed. In fact, a couple would only play _eight_ handed. Come on people, its only ONE $2 blind!

To help get the game going, I moved over to the game when Felicia asked me. Of course, once I got to the blind, I flopped the _second_ nut flush, with a gut-shot straight flush. I bet out, and get called by one of the old ladies to my left. I don’t know if she has the nuts or a set when she calls, but I should have known when she still bet out on the river that she was happy with her hand. After that I had a small set in the BB. Following Ray Zee’s advice, I check it with 2 low cards and a flush draw. I at least saved some chips as the flop was checked and I failed to fill on the river and dumped it when the flush got there. Still kickin’ it in Omaha 8’s or better at the Riverside! LOL.

Felicia gets called to the tournament, and I couldn’t get my chips off of the Omaha table fast enough. I head back to the 2-6-spread limit game. I made a little come back after getting some chips with AA and KK. Then, I get KK again. UTG was about to limp, and then decides to make it 6 total. I made it 12 and he calls me. AJx on the flop, and he makes to go for his chips and checks. Now, the older crowd does this a LOT. I’ve seen some newer players do this as well, when they are trying to induce a check. So, does he have the Ace? Inexperience showing through and neural pathways bending his hand towards his chips before realizing he should perform the standard “check-to-the-raiser”? Or instead, is he really wanting a check, so that he’s faking to his chips as if he _wants_ to bet…a la, “acting strong when weak”? Since he only raised to 6 pre-flop, after pondering if he should, then not popping me back, I went ahead and bet, hoping he was on a smaller pair. After I bet and he called, I figured he either has the Ace, maybe two of them, or JJ. Ten on the turn put a possible straight on the board and he checked to me and I checked behind. Ten on the river again, again he looks like he wants to bet, but thinks better of it with a possible boat and possible straight. I’m pretty sure he has the Ace now and I know that he’ll call after I checked the turn, so I just show my KK. He turns over A4o. Ace-FOUR!? He raised UTG with this hand, and then called a max re-raise. So, in one hand, I pretty much lose what I had gained before with the AA and KK hands. Ugh.

After a bit of the tournament players got knocked out, we finally got a NLHE cash game going :) I have only, so far, played with “overs” buttons. This means that the game stays we usual, unless the only people left for contention of the pot have “overs” buttons. If this latter is the case, then the betting is No Limit. While I’ve been in games like this before, I don’t think that I personally have even been in a pot with just other “overs” players left. I’m just too tight that I don’t get involved as much. With just a single $2 blind, there’s no need to get too out of line. I do loosen up here and there. I DID play 79s UTG my last hand before going to the NLHE game, hehe. Made a boat and got called down all the way. (Yes, this was a rather loose call, but when 7 players on average see the flop, I will occasionally do it.)

I racked up my chips and headed over to the NLHE game: 2/4 blinds, no max buy-in. Bonus! I see that most people just have a couple hundred in front of them. I go ahead and buy-in for 340-350 (whatever the extra chips were from that last pot from the 2-6 ;). Only one guy buys in for a bunch, about 500. Fortunately, I know the guy and he’s probably not going to be involved with me unless he’s really got something.

I’m glad to see the one drunken guy at the table double through early off of Mr. Deep (from above). He flopped the nut straight and Mr. Deep caught up with the 2nd nut on the turn and calls Drunk-guy’s all-in. Only problem for me is that drunken guy starts bluffing off his money like crazy and I get no piece of it.

I only get one pot the whole time. I limped in the cut-off with K8s after seeing 4 limpers besides the blinds. I spike top-two and amazingly, gets checked to me. I pot it, hoping that with so many people in the pot that _someone_ has a piece enough, but all fold. At least it bought some blinds for me to see flops with their money ;)

After a while, I pretty much am hardly playing; combination of getting no cards and wanting to watch Felicia as she’s getting closer and closer and then finally in the money in her tournament. At least someone’s making some money around this household :p

Posted by Glenn

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Can I join the club?

OK, decimated again and Felicia says, "Let's get out of the house". Sounds good to me. Change of environment, change of settings, actually seeing the players. The sights and sounds of chips. Also, there's to be a tournament with $500 added. Bonus!

So, out of the confines of the house we go, over the mountain (I forget the exact height that a hill needs to be before it's called a mountain, but this sucker is tall enough for me. edit: Felicia says 5900 ft.), and back down to our little Vegas, Laughlin, Nevada.

I got a kick talking to one of the floor guys when calling in our names for the tournament; he said that they expected 50 for the tournament. LOL! I wish they got 50! Unfortunately, that card room just doesn't pull that kind of crowd.

One of the dealers looked at me funny when I sat down at her tournament table and said, "You're playing a tournament? I thought you didn't play tournaments?" I replied, "well, they're adding $500 this time; and besides, do you see any ring games going?"

It was true, all the ring games broke up so that people could get in on the tournament. I even saw people that I've played with from the Belle that normally never play at the Palms. Ionizer Bob and "Big" Gene was among them. Tanya of Panther Poker was out as well. (If you read Felicia's posts, you'll know who I'm talking about ;)

I immediately asked for a table change when I saw that both Bob and Tanya was to be to my left. And Bob almost doubled up within the first few hands off of a raise that 1/2 the table called, and then I called too, being I was in the blind and getting something like 11-1 with T8s. Flop is T high, and although I might have the best hand vs Bob, I wanted to see what the others did. So, I checked, Bob bet and it was folded back to me in the BB. Forgetting my aggression that I've been using in the online tournaments, and my read, I just called. My suspicion that I had the best hand was confirmed when he checked behind me on the turn. Ugh, I should have raised him on the flop, as the river brought 4 flush on the board and I didn't have that suit, checked, he bet, and I folded.

While this didn't leave me short stacked right away, it didn't help my chip standing and I ended up played short for quite awhile. I wasn't getting much in cards anyway, so figured I'd save my rebuys until later and hopefully start catching. Finally, toward the end of the 3rd level, I was going to have to rebuy regardless, as after the BB, I'd be all-in on the SB, and was about to take my first rebuy so that I'd have some chips just in case.

However, UTG I get moved to another table..Felicia's. Ugh, again! I also see, to Felicia's left, two to my right, is Sammy, a dealer from the Riverside, with a huge stack of chips. I get stuck in the BB, almost all-in, with the premuim hand of 35o. Sammy limps in, as does the SB, and I check for a free flop: T38, all spades, the suit of my 5. So, I chuck in the last couple blacks I have and Sammy calls, SB folds. Couldn't be worse; he has the T for top pair, and a J of spades. River brings the 4th spade, and I do my first rebuy.

When I was in the cutoff, Sammy open-raises from 400 to 1000, and I look down to see 88. I know Sammy enough that I probably have the best hand, and if not, I need to double up anyway, so I go over the top all-in. Sammy calls and turns over 66. Better odds than I hoped. River brings a 6, I exclaim, "Sammy!"; Sammy just says, "You knew it was coming." Rebuy!

Once I get UTG, I have 2600; 2000 my rebuy got me, and 600 from getting the blinds when I raised with AQ. UTG I see ATo, not the most premium hand, but since other big stacks got moved to our table and the levels about to go up soon, I raise to from 400 to 1200, trying to gain some ground. Sammy calls from the SB and we see an A-high flop. He checks, I toss in the remainder of my chips, and he calls turning over AKo (even spikes a K on the river for good measure) and IGHN.

I could have done another rebuy, but I already was stuck enough for one day. Plus, if I stayed, I'd pretty much have to do the add-on, which was another $30. I saw that there was a ring game going and went to an open seat.

I guess I was steaming a little bit, because I tossed in 2 chips to see the flop with T5s, but I was aware enough that I was in late position and no one else had opened. The guy in the SB was one of the regulars that I've played with before, and the button, another. Both know my playing, and I'm probably mostly considered a rock. Flop comes AAK, BB checks, I toss in 2 (this is 2-6 _spread_ limit) and I get the pot. I love this game. Of course, I'm so up and down with it, I still do much better with online Draw. But sometimes the people are just so plain.

Two younger kids sit down and things start to change. About 5 limpers ahead of me and I see 42s. Call. Seven players to the flop. This is more what I'm used to for this game. We see a flop of 265, gets checked to me, and I bet the 6. The kid behind me folds and I get one caller, a calling station that likes to draw, and everyone else folds. Bonus! 9 on the turn and the calling station checks. I say, "I'll see if that flush comes first" and check behind. He smiles and checks an offsuit river card 7. I bet again with my big bottom pair and he folds ATs face-up, saying "you were right about the flush." Yeah, I know, thank you :)

As time goes on, the kid to my right starts raising a bit, eating into my stack and I start waiting for an opportunity to catch him. I'm on the button with 88 and limp. He makes it 6, again, from the BB, the few other limpers call, as do I. Flop is Jxx, kid bets, folds down to me on the button, and I raise him. No reraise, so I'm guessing he's betting a small pair again. He checks the turn and I bet out. He checks the river. I've seen him give up on the turn before when he thinks he's beat, so I just show my 88's. He turns over KJo. He raised about 4 people with that hand. Ugh. So, my read was right and wrong. I know he raises on meduim strength cards and I was good before the flop. With no reraise I didn't put him on the Jack, not until the call after the turn. That put a big dent in my stack.

I limp a couple other times, with no good results. I ended up calling a max raise once with 44, a hand I normally will muck for that max raise. This time, however, so many people called the raise, I actually had my 8-1 to pop a set! Amazing. No set.. on the flop. 4 was on the turn! Either way, two people got into a raising war on the river (shutting out the original raiser). Two boats: Queens full of 7's and Queen's full of 4's. Yes, two people played Q7 and Q4o for a full raise (meaning $8 preflop).

As the blind is starting to get to me, I see Felicia standing and find out that she busted from the tournament. She says she'd like to go when it gets to my blind, so I do something I have only done twice before in my 2 years of playing. I straddled. UTG, I placed 4 chips out preflop. I get 2 limpers, the BB completes to 4 and I look down to see...


I chuckle and check to see a flop of...

J72 rainbow! BB checks, I chuck in 5 chips, they all fold and I get to show off my Hammer!

The dealer tries to correct me to say, "that's 'Waldo'" (the local term for the hand) and I just tell them that "The Hammer" is the online Blogger term for it. Not that they have any idea what a Blog is. But regardless, I had fun taking down my first pot that I had raised, even if it was dark, with the Hammer.

Can I join the club now?

Posted by Glenn