Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It Hoits! It Hoits!

FTrain if you don't want to read this, stop now, you're not obligated.

For the rest of you, if you are into Schadenfreude, you'll get a kick out of this.

I almost did not write this but I need to fight the tendency to only write when I'm running good.

Technically, these are not really bad beats for the most part, but rather coolers. I have a genuine desire for comments as to how I could have played these with less damage.

Lately (the last two months), my internet results have been piss poor. My live play has been better, with a tourney win, two cashes and a few decent nights on the cash table, but not stellar with a few small hits and one large loss. With the club scene shutting itself down in NYC, I've also been playing less (though it turns out FTrain may have been right so this may change).

So FTrain and I planned on a trip to AC, which became a more general blogger trip as the Rooster and "Dawn Summers" wanted some live action as well. In addition, we met Saturday at the tables with Jordan from High on Poker and Carter from Cuban Links.

First, on Friday Joaquin and I were the only ones of the New Yorkers who wanted to go down, so we headed out that evening, checked out the new poker room at Caesar's (not bad, surrounded by slots though) and the old one Bally's (fishy but full of smoke as it's the one room I've been to that allows it inside). I got bluffed out of a reasonable pot in NL at Caesar's, bad beat runner runner with flopped top pair trip Qs in a limit HE 3-6 (par for the course, not even complaining about that one) and treaded water at the 1-5 stud table (no antes!) as Joaquin enjoyed an exploding deck. Result for night: stuck about 175. Not pleasant but no big deal.

Back in the action Saturday morning after a stay at the chain-smoke motel (Trop poker rate rooms all taken), Joaquin encouraged me to start out with a fresh mind at what I consider to be my bread and butter casino game, 2-5 NL, rested and ready to go. We headed off to the Taj and I was immediately seated as Joaquin went off to play some limit.

I bought in for the full 500. When I sat down at about 11:30 here was the table:

Seat 1: Old guy who didn't get involved in any big hands that I saw with about 500.

Seat 2: Asian lady with about 3000 in chips in racks. Very chatty, seemed solid. I believe she had been there most of the night.

Seat 3: Table bitch. Oh, I mean me.

Seat 4: Younger guy with a short 150 stack who later admitted he had hoped to play 1-2 but found the wait too long and decided to take a shot at the next level despite not having a bankroll for it.

Seat 5: Non-descript relatively tight roughly 700 stack.

Seat 6: Tight aggressive middle aged white fat guy, 2000 stack, turned out to be Asian lady's boyfriend.

Seat 7. Gangsta look calling station with very pointed goatee and what I thought was a large rhinestone earring with about 600. According to Asian lady, the biggest donator she'd seen in awhile. He had bought in for 4,500 and later it was 6,000 so this may have been a diamond. Seat 7a (not playing) was seat 7's buddy who helped stack my chips for him when the time came.

Seat 8: ZZ Top look-a-like with about 500. Very loose, he stacked my chips by himself when the time came.

Seat 9: Non-descript, about 500.

The table play was not exactly WSOP: either 5 limpers or preflop raises (5-35) with 3-4 callers on pretty much every hand. I knew this was going to be a high variance situation, but felt like it was a spot to really make a killing (I was right).

Early hand got me nicely started when in cutoff following 4 limpers, I limped with J9 diamonds and the short stack button raised it to 25. Everyone called and the flop was 996 with two hearts. It check around to me and I could feel the button was going to raise. I checked and he made it 50 to me. It folded around to me and I pushed. He called with KQ hearts and my hand held up, leaving me with about 750 and the good feeling of had climbed out of the hole I had been in the previous night.

A few orbits later after the short stack had rebought in for 100 and built up again to about 150, first disaster. MP opens for 15 preflop, 5 callers to me on the button and I have presto (55) and call. SB calls and BB folds. Flop is Q75 with two spades. SB opens for 40, gangsta calls and the action folds around to me. I think that I am not sure what the SB has but I am probably ahead of him and definitely ahead of the gangsta, who I suspect is drawing to spades. I really want to get heads up with the small blind here, so I made it 200 on top, putting the SB all in and giving the donator the wrong odds to call for 1 card (thinking at the time: if I push here, he'll have the right odds to call knowing he'll get 2 cards if he calls my 200, if no spade hits I'll push and if a spade hits, I'll fold unless he gives me a cheap enough draw for the boat). Both players call. Turn is a 9 of diamonds. Gangsta checks and I push. River was non-spade blank holdings: SB QQ (yes he had cold called from SB with 6 callers behind) and gangsta had 68 offsuit. Result, lost 700 (I had him slightly covered). Analysis: I overlooked the straight draw but I am not sure how I play this differently. (Cold comfort: of course Gangsta, after he and his buddy proceeded to stack my chips for 3 minutes, shortly gave them away to others.)

Disaster #2 happened in the same dealer push. Rebought with 550 in front of me. Middle position folded to me, I have snowmen (88) and make it 25 to go. 4 cold callers, including ZZ Top in SB. Flop comes 478 rainbow. ZZ Top, who has me covered opens fire with 100. Wow. Am I about to be on the right side of set over set? Or is he on a draw? Just not sure but I'm not going anywhere so I call and we're heads up. Turn is a 3 and ZZ bets 200, instilling an ominous feeling though I'm sure that card didn't help him. I called again. River was an ace. Crap if he limped with AA, which as you see would have been possible at this table. He checked and so did I. His holding: 56 offsuit. My loss: 325. Analysis, I flopped top set against straight and did not lose my whole stack (he would have gotten paid if he put me in of course). In my mind this is good but boy did it hurt. Hurt so much I got up and played more tread-water 1-5 stud with Joaquin for a few hours until FTrain and Dawn arrived.

We moved on the Borgata to meet them and the other bloggers. FTrain kindly bought me a beer ("I know what it feels to be stuck like that") and Dawn a tap water (no daiquiris at Borgata). We got on the 2-5 and 1-2 lists. Given my shell shock, I really didn't want to play the former, but that's where the seats opened (Dawn and the Rooster sat at a 3-6L table). FTrain and sat down with massive stacks around us and thankfully 2 1-2 seats opened quickly for us so we moved to 2 new tables.

We shortly got to the same table and I played more or less defensively with an utter donk (and obnoxious racist) to my left, FTrain 2 seats further on and a bunch of others FTrain and Carter (who joined the table later) describe in their posts. Only hands of note were snapping off FTrain's (someone has to stand up to the 90 pound bully), bluffing a tight weak player off his top pair while his girlfriend sat behind him (some guys you can tell would hate to be seen making a stupid call with the fan club right there) and this one, just for those of you looking for a last sadistic kick:

In MP with fishhooks, I opened for 20, action folds around through FTrain's button (with a meaningful glance into my soul as he folded) to the big blind a young soon-to-be law student, who paused and looked at me with question in eyes before calling. Flop was a pretty good 99T but he opened for 25. I raised him to 50 and he called behind. Ok, what the hell does he have? Did he smooth call with AA, KK or QQ? A9 seems unlikely. TT perhaps. I do not feel good here, but I see the same action with AT, KT or even 88. Turn is a blank and he checks to me. Not liking this since I can't really tell if I'm ahead or behind, I check too. River is a king. This can't have been good for me and his 50 river bet didn't make me feel any better. Still, with 142 in the pot, I have to call. He had 99! (Derek: yeah quad 99s are good.)

I hope they grind him to glass as a 1L and then give him to me as outside bitch counsel three years later when he hits BigFirm.

I'm on a self-imposed poker hiatus for at least a few more days until my psyche recovers. Oh, I lost my prescription sunglasses too so I'll have to find a new way to intimidate Iggy and FTrain at the table.


At Thu Nov 17, 12:32:00 PM 2005, Anonymous weak_player said...

Man, you are just having a miserable run, friend. So sorry. I am out in LA for work, but getting tons of action at Commerce. Here is what I think of the two big disasters. Please don't be mad or think I am kicking you when you are down, but I am up $2300 for the trip so far. I will be home Friday, 10PM or so.

Disaster #1: I would have pushed the flop. I think you want to not just force your opponents into a mathematical mistake, but you want to make it a huge mistake. I am guessing gangster is calling anyhow, so I don't think you could have gotten away from that one.

disaster #2: Agreed, no way to get away from that.

Better luck, dude.


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