Friday, June 10, 2005

Return to Live Play

As a tune up for our upcoming trip to AC, FTrain and I went to a new NYC club reopening for the first time after the sad events two weeks ago. I'll leave the club details to Mr. Asshat who I believe has been working on a review, I just want to describe quickly my hand of the night.

After having been there for about 2 hours a 1-2 table with a mix of players including a succession of two terrible fish who unfortunately had busted out and not reloaded (well, one reloaded and moved to the other table once he returned from the ATM, doh!), several reasonably tight but weak players who seemed like they were looking for a nice limit game, one prototypical Asian shark, complete with headphones, aggression and a big stack (but no shades), FTrain and your humble narrator (with shades), Teddy KGB sat down immediately to my right with $200. Well not Teddy KGB, but an older Russian dude with a an accent much more convincing than John Malkovich's.

The table at this time was short handed with 7. I had been playing tight aggressive and for the previous half hour after the second fish departed just aggressive aggressive, having built up from 300 to 400 and back down to 330 or so, without any major confrontations. Hand in question, I get dealt 66 UTG and limped in, FTrain on my left passed on the hand, and we get 3 other limpers including the SB to Teddy. Teddy pauses, thinks, and bumps it to 17.

Here was his first hand, no idea who is at the table, and he's put a significant raise into several limpers way out of position. I don't what it was, but I was not convinced and elected to call. The table folded around leaving Mikey McMe heads-up.

Flop comes K53 rainbow. Teddy comes out firing 20. After a few seconds, I think I probably can push him off this hand and may likely have the best hand, and raise him up to 70. Here's where it gets interesting. Teddy makes a small motion that looks like he's ready to fold, but then hits the brakes, looks up at me, and announces a call. Now I've never been particularly or consciously successful at reading physical tells, generally relying more a betting patterns, but this really struck me (and FTrain too according to him our post mortem). I was not sure he was setting up a bluff, but whereas my first prediction might have been 20-30% bluff, I now jumped to 50-70% bluff. Turn came a 10 with the 4th suit, figuring to improve no one. Teddy checked, and I, in retrospect probably wrongly, checked also. River was an 8. Long pause and Teddy starts to slide his chips in. Before he really initiates the action, I say "Call". Teddy pauses and looks up, angry and glaring at me like I spit in his borscht, and says "Whaaattt?!" FTrain says I almost lost $100 here, but frankly I wanted to check down since I was afraid even if he had been bluffing, he could have hit the bottom end of an ace with that 8 or 10. At any rate, my ploy failed as he pushed in nonetheless. I called and in the heat of the moment, flipped my cards rather than making him show. He mucked, but after seeing that I had called his all in with a measly 4th pair, quickly reached out to see his cards again—FTrain and I think he probably had A7 or A9, what else would he be double-checking? He was pissed, yelling out in Russian for more chips, this time $500 the table max and almost what I now had in front of me.

This was the most questionable and best call of my live poker life. Scary but immensely rewarding (at least in the psychological sense), finally using a visual read to win cash money. FTrain, who had managed to take a few pots from one of his tight weak jagweeds (I can't believe you raised preflop with 10-8 you psycho, you're not a very good player), and I got up the next push for a few beers to celebrate our triumphant return and imminent decent on the City of Atlantic. The steam continued to rise off the table.


At Fri Jun 10, 03:44:00 PM 2005, Blogger F-Train said...

Teddy pauses and looks up, angry and glaring at me like I spit in his borscht, and says "Whaaattt?!"

Hahahaha, I love it. Now just learn to be more succinct, dammit.

At Mon Jun 13, 10:48:00 AM 2005, Blogger Ben Waxman said...

Naw, fuck being succinct. The poker blog world needs a few more essay posters.


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