April Poker

10:54 and I’m finally sitting down to relax for the first time today, and I decide to spend it with you oh most valued reader. Aren’t you lucky! Twas a busy day to say the least, but I started it with grand plans of a night spent tinkering with computery things. Soon after work the wife-al unit took off for the night, so I thought I’d get to spend that quality time with meself. (No humorous comments please.) The eldest girlywog had a friend over, so I figured I just needed to keep them fed and I’d be able to do what I wanted. I ended up being called by my old lawn mower to get it in ship shape for the summer. So I fixed that up, got the garage one step closer to being clean enough to store vehicles in, and did various other odds and ends. Eventually it came time to take our visitor home, get the girlywogs to bed, and get cleaned up. So here I am now, listening to a new podcast I’ve found of people playing Dungeons & Dragons (reminds me of what it would be like for Monty Python to play D&D), sipping watery beer, and blogging.

I really should be going to bed since I’ve got the “End of Days” bachelor party to go to tomorrow and need the rest. I call it that because the joke’s been for a long time that the wedding is the 7th sign, since it’s taken so long for them to tie the knot. 🙂 We’ll see if I still have any of that vintage 1990’s party animal left in me. It should be pretty tame. We’re going out to eat, hit a baseball game, and then probably come back home and play some cards. Eventually my old age, or someone with more common sense than me, will indicate that I should go to bed.

Anywho, let’s get to why I’m here. I figured that I needed to give my monthly poker post, so that those of you who can’t live without the valiant stories of my meager poker skill. I always wait so long to write up this post that the details escape me. But I’ll try my best.

Friday April 8
I had been through quite an emotionally draining ordeal already that day, and then had to get the van looked at. I probably shouldn’t have gone, but I felt I needed some time away from the house and something to occupy my mind. Another good turnout as we had ten people for the first two games and nine for the second two. Once again, the food was excellent. Won’t they be sad when all they have are peanuts and salsa when they come to my house in June? 😉

I seem to be having an identity crisis at the poker table of late. I’ve gone from being “The Bully” to more or less “Mr. Consistent”. I’m consistently getting my points every session, but I’m not instilling fear and pushing people around like I did in the “old days” (read:Last Year). I’ve become more of a tighter player, which isn’t very good at our extremely loose aggressive group. You may stick around a while, but you won’t have much ammo (chips) to throw at anyone. But since I am in second place overall, I find it difficult to complain too much about my play. But 2nd place isn’t nearly as good as it sounds, as you’ll find out later.

Game 1 was a lesson in patience for me. I got pretty much nothing. I saw a few flops but just had no cards to do anything with. My bluffs just cost me money. Somehow I ended up in the final 3 and was actually in 2nd place by a few chips. I was very happy when myself and the 3rd place in chips were forced to go all in because we couldn’t meet the next hand’s blind. I would have been quite satisfied if we’d both lost, because that would mean I’d get second place points since I started the hand with more chips. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. I split a side pot with the chip leader while the main pot winner dropped me into 3rd place from which I couldn’t recover. Oh well, I got 3rd place points in a game that I got no cards. Not bad. My big regret in the game, which could have definitely changed the outcome, was not playing hand 1. I usually will always play hand 1 no matter what I have. I folded 3-8 right off the bat. If I would have paid the meager blind to see the flop I would have had two pair, and then would have made the full house on the turn. This hand saw big betting going on and was ended up being won by just a pair. I could have made a lot of money on that one.

I don’t remember much about game 2 other than that I was either 2nd or 3rd out. I’ve really been trying to pay attention to hands even when I’m not in the hand or out of the game, so I stuck around at the table. I’m just not picking up the skill to put people on a hand. I love how David Negraneau can do that, and I really want to develop that skill. Seriously though, I don’t think he would have much luck with my group. They just don’t play according to what normal sense would tell you.

Game 3 started with me getting A-J in the hole. This was the first ace and the first hole cards that were both paint of the night so I definitely saw the flop. The flop came A-9-x. Two other players stayed in and I called with my aces. The turn came J. Once again, a bet and a call were made ahead of me. I had the top two pair on the board and there was no chance of someone getting a flush so I finally showed a little of what got me “The Bully” nickname. I was pretty confident that I had the best hand at the moment. The pot was a pretty good size so I was quite content to take it down right there. So I went “all-in”.

A little background is in order. In the old days, I somewhat perfected the technique of going all in on the first hand of a game. It’s part of how I became “The Bully”. People back then tended to not be too keen on risking all of their chips on the very first hand of the game. Sometimes I was pretty confident I had the best hand, other times I smelled weakness. It was a tool, but I didn’t abuse it (much). Back then, a call during that first hand was very seldom. But now, it seems like people can’t wait to jump into an all in pot that early in the game.

Now as I mentioned, I really just wanted to take down the pot right there. I didn’t want someone to have a chance to get lucky and catch a card with a drawing hand. Three of a kind would still beat me. So imagine my surprise when both players really pondered their action, and actually called with all their chips. I was quite thrilled! I can’t remember what the first had, but I think it was nothing. (Crazy!) The second had two pair also, except his was A-A-9-9. He said he put me on aces, but didn’t see my jacks coming. The river didn’t screw me and I now had 3 times as many chips as anybody else.

We got down to the final 3 and then we were just swapping chips back and forth. I once again started to fear I would lose out on the big points and end up 3rd. I had earlier missed an opportunity to knock out two players at the same time when there were four of us left because I couldn’t bring myself to call with what I had. So now I was kicking myself. The short stack was living a charmed life and just would not go away. Finally, I clashed with the 2nd chip position. He went all in and I called with A-9 suited hearts. I was feeling pretty good until he flipped over pocket aces. I was sure I was going to lose, being chip crippled and would eventually end up with 3rd place points again. The flop came 9s-xh-xh. WHAT A FLOP! I now could catch a 9 or one more heart. The turn was uneventful, but the during the river there was a huge sucking sound. Yes, I sucked out with another heart. I didn’t feel too bad. I’ve been the victim of my opponents catching lucky cards too. That’s poker!

I ended up splitting 1st and 2nd place points. My heads up track record hasn’t been very good lately. It’s really starting to tick me off. Overall this season, I’m 1-1-2 when I get heads up.

I remember nothing about game 4 other than that I wasn’t the first out.

A side note on pocket aces. This is the most exciting hand to start with in Texas Hold-em. Your heart pounds as you decide how you want to play them, slow or fast. Probability says that you should win with that starting hand quite a bit of the time. In my group, this hand is a CURSE! My suck out against the pocket aces is just the latest in a long line of cracked bullets. I’m probably the only player in the group to win with them. I’ve won 2 out of 3 times that I remember over the past year, but the one loss was quite heartbreaking. There’s definately an unholiness concerning them in our group.

Speaking of unholiness, Unholy was at it again. He ended up winning games 2 and 4. Previously he was master of the river after playing junk up to that point. Now it seems he’s actually starting to get good starting hands. I don’t know how to contend with him. There wasn’t many hands where we actually clashed. Somehow I need to take it into my own hands to knock him out of the games, because I need to get the points without him earning any. In the current standings, Unholy leads with 590 points. I’m 2nd with 317. The next two positions have 295 and 235 respectively. I need to win 3 straight games to take over first place. That really stinks. I think my goal of winning the player of the year award and then retiring from the game isn’t going to happen this season.

Man. It’s 12:34 right now. This post took a while. Hey, if anybody has any poker advice for me, don’t hesitate to offer it.


2 Responses to “April Poker”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    poker advice eh?
    you gotta know when to hold em,
    know when to fold em,
    know when to walk away,
    and know when to run,
    you never count your money when you’re sitting at the table, there’ll be time enough for counting when the dealing’s done.

  2. FloydWing Says:

    I guess I should have known better. 🙂

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