Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Home game conundrum

While playing in my home game last night, we came across an interesting hand. It is important to note that we do not have a designated dealer. Meaning that each person takes their turn dealing. This is important because one of the people involved in the hand was dealing.

I did not see the hand in question until the turn. I had folded and was returning from the bathroom. The flop was Ah-Th-6c. I saw the turn card peel off. It was the 2 of hearts. Prasad, in the small blind was heads up with Eric, the dealer. Prasad checked the turn. Eric over bet the pot. Not unusual for his style of play. Prasad pushed the rest of his chips in. It was obvious to me that he had moved all in for more than the original bet. Eric peeled off the the 8s for the river without acknowledging this. Prasad had tried to get his attention while he was burning for the river. The issue was this. Eric did not make the call of $40. Carl, the host of the game said the 8s had to be reshuffled and a new river dealt. Another heart came and Eric won the pot with the nuts. He held AK with the king of hearts.

Prasad sat speechless. Eric raked in the chips. I have many issues with what happened. The first being that Eric controlled the deal. He did not make sure the pot was correct before dealing the river. After he dealt the first river and "noticed" the raise from Prasad, he said something to the effect that it did not matter he was going to call anyway. In my opinion, the hand should have been over and Prasad the winner. Eric kept it going by then saying that the rule says it needs to be dealt again. Carl intervenes and says Eric is right. Eric shuffles the 8s back into the deck, deals and wins. He then says he is not sure if he has a heart or not. He made a little theatrical event by flipping each card one at a time. This point makes me think he did it on purpose. He had the nut draw. He is a player that is playing poker for a living in KC. He put in huge bets on a draw heavy board. He can only do that if he knows he has a draw to the nuts. He knew what he had and basically stole a pot from a guy that he calls a friend.

I saw Prasad the next day and we talked about the incident. He told me he was good with Eric and did not think there was any malice involved. Prasad felt it was an honest mistake. I conveyed my worries to Prasad. My number one issue was Eric held the deal. He made the mistake. If it were at a casino, I can understand the rule. A non biased party made a mistake. The rule makes sense. Here it is a "friendly" home game. Coupled with Eric saying he would call anyway, I believe Eric should have released the pot and Prasad declared the winner. Eric made the "mistake" and Prasad lost. Inherently unfair.

I know I would have given the pot to Prasad. The pot was large enough and Eric had the nut draw. The $40 extra would not entice a fold. Even with 8s being declared dead, Eric called, I think Eric should have been allowed to fold to the $40 raise, nothing more.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

KK vs AA?

Here is the notable story from Thursday.

After I busted out of the tournament, I decided, foolishly, to play some cash. I was tired and had been playing for over ten hours. I should have just booked my $130 win and call it good. But, I had come out in the evening specifically to play the casual after work crowd. I had been playing the day grinders with small success. I wanted to get a piece of the easy pickings the fellas in my home game talked about. They said Amerstar was super soft at night.

I buy in for a little over $200. I dwindle up and down all the while trying to stay awake. I should have just gone home. I tell myself I will wait for one more big hand and whatever the outcome head home after that. Few hands later I get KK. Here we go. Guy on my right limps. I bump it to $15. It is a 1/2 game. I get called in five spots as it gets around to the limper. He says something like it is too much but he is priced in and calls. The flop is 6-4-8 off suit. Checks to me and I shove my last $100 into the pot. The small blind calls. I am for sure behind. The limper on my right starts chuckling and says "really?". He flashes his cards to the other end of the table and folds. My kings go down to a set of sixes and I get up to go home. The limper looks at me and says he folded AA. I say "Really?". I do not believe him. The other end of the table confirms it. This holds with what my home game guys were claiming. What a horrible way to play aces. He got the dream scenario. Five people in for a total of $75 in the pot and he just calls. He decides to play aces that way? If he pushes his $150 there, I call and the sixes guy goes away. That was his pot and I told him so as I walked away. He gave me a puzzled look. Will try again soon.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Harrahs and Ameristar

Played poker yesterday.

Went to Harrahs for the super turbo with the old dudes. I trudge along. Get moved to another table. Two hands of note. Loose older gentlemen is playing lots of hands, and playing them for raises. He had been raising two to three times the blinds and showing hands like KQos A7os KT. We were six handed. Pretty standard stuff. This hand he min raises in early position. Folds to me in the big blind and I have J8 of spades. We have nearly the same chip stack. His raise to me smells like a monster. AK or a big pair. I decide to call and hope for a favorable flop even though the 400T blind represented a significant part of my stack. The structure in this tournament is escalates rapidly. Horrible, but the only game in town. We see a flop A-3-9 all spades. I check the monster while trying to remain calm. He thinks for a few seconds and moves all in. He has me covered by T100. I croak out a call. He flips over A-Q of clubs and is drawing nearly dead. I hold and my stack makes me the chip leader at my table. We play one more hand and eliminate the shorty. Final table time. First hand at the final table, I look down at A-A in the cut off plus one. A short stack in the cut off limps for one quarter of his stack. I pet enough to put him in and protect my hand. To my surprise the only guy that has me covered pushes. Cha Ching. Thank you poker gods. Folds to the short stack and he calls. I call and flip over my cards. The big stack groans and shows his JJ. I have to sweat the river when JJ gets open ended but prevail. I now have 25K in chips. The tourney started with 68K in chips. I am the huge leader. Two hands I go from short stack to prohibitive leader. I give away a bit with AK on the next hand against JJ, otherwise I go on cruse to the final three. I lost the chip lead to seat one when he knocked three people out back to back to back. He had AA, KK, and AA in three successive hands. Unreal. He had me two to one in chips then as I had dwindled. I had a third more chips than third place. Surprisingly, the chip leader asked what the three way chop would be. First woas 554, second was 340ish and third was a little over 200. He proposed the chop and we jumped at the idea. We all got a little better than second place money, $366. Turns out he had to leave soon. Take it.

Harrahs was otherwise dead so I headed over to the Ameristar. Sat down at a 1/2 table. Chipped up a bit. I was being fairly active and get AA under the gun. The older solid guy in the big blind said it smelled like 99 to him and called my $15 raise saying he had two overs. Flop is T-4-4. I bet and he raises me. I call, happy to let him drive the betting. I was confident I was ahead. The turn is a king. He bets half the pot and I smooth call. Still confident I was ahead. The river is another ten. He checks and I decide to value bet $20. He thinks and then raises me $40. I make the crying call and he tables T-7 for the two outer. $100 bucks gone.

I decide to play the tournament. Much better structure. T5500 starting chips. More blind levels. A lot more playing room. First hand I get 9-9 in middle position and limp. The small blind at the other end of the table raises. If folds to heads up with me and I ask the dealer how much he raised. Could not make it out. She seems to ignore me and starts pushing the chips to the raiser. The guy next to me starts yelling at her to stop and tells her I asked how much the raise was. She was apologetic and got it right. I call and we see the flop of 9-7-3. Gin. Small blind leads out 400 and I bump it 1000 more. If he has AK he goes away. Big pair, he stays. He calls. Nice. Turn is another 7. He checks and I make a mistake. I thought he would go the distance with his over pair and bet 2k. He thinks and folds showing QQ. Oh well. Still a nice start. I chip up to twice my starting stack. Win some key races along the way and make the final eight. Four get paid. I am a shorty with blind at 1k/2k. I have about 15k left. Under the gun limps. This guy had not made any moves or out of line calls while I played the last hour with him on the final table. I think to myself, this looks and smells like aces. I look down at AKos. Damn. I raise to 4k from middle position. He starts fidgeting and actually kicking the table. He cannot wait to make a move. I see it and my mind is still screaming ACES. He puts me in. My mind says ACES ACES ACES WARNING. ACES ABORT ABORT ABORT. I find my hand picking up my chips and throw them in while saying you have aces don't you. He does and I lose. I should have folded, but I could not stop myself. I guess I just wanted to show myself that I was right. I will never be great until I learn to lay down those hands.

I have one more story. Next post.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pub Poker

Found out via text that there was a $25 entry fee tournament at a local pool hall. It happened last Sunday. My friend P and me, (fun to say), decided to go play. We arrive and find out it is for a satellite to a lesser WSOP event. The satellite would is in a couple of weeks. Not really feasible for our schedules. We say screw it and play anyway. Figure we could sell it to somebody. Well half of the participants were from our home game. We did a $5 last longer. Winner would get their buy in back.

We play and play to the final table. I am grinding. No good spots and bad cards. It took me an hour and a half to get above my starting stack. Get my 66 against shortie with AA. Flopped the set. Got re sucked on the turn by the Ace. Blinds reached 400/800. I look down at my first card and it is a queen. I open push for my 13k. I get called in two spots. Damn. Been caught stealing. Q3 vs 88 vs AK. Turn is a queen and I go from dead last to almost 40k. 140k in play. I get in a nice hand with the weakest player at the table. I limp the small blind with 63. He min raises and I call. Flop 5-7-9. Double gutty. I check and he min bets. Smells like AA to me. Turn is the fun 8. I check and he bets the pot. I push. He tanks for a good minute. He finally calls. Yep AA. I am the chip leader by a good bit now. But wait!! River brings the 6 and we split. Damn. A few hands later AA guy knocks out the other guy. That secures my last longer so now I am free rolling. We spar a bit. I chip up when I get my first big starting hand of the tourney. QQ. He bets big pre flop. I push and he folds. We are even. Almost He has me by 800. Next hand he moves in pre flop. I had been just limping a lot in the small blind heads up. He often would raise and I would always fold. I was lulling him to sleep to set a trap. So he moves in and I had limped with AJos. Monster heads up. I instant call. A3 vs AJ. I win. I now have 132k to his 8k. Long story short I lose the next five hands and lose the tourney. Ridiculous. I was ahead in every hand pre flop. I wish I were more into the math. What are the odds. One time he had to hit the three outer on the river. Love this game.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chop It?

Do you chop? I always chop. The only way I do not chop up the blinds is in the event that we both have a cheeseburger. A cheeseburger being a hand that can turn into a bad beat. They call it a cheeseburger in Kansas City. It is against the rules to openly talk about the bad beat. The blinds cannot ask one another if they have a bad beat eligible hand. If they do the bad beat could be voided. I have chopped numerous times and many times been asked if I had a cheeseburger. I have seen the blinds chopped considerably more and the cheeseburger question usually comes up. I have yet to see the blinds decide to play it out.

While at Ameristar Thursday a hand occurred that was folded to the button. The button in the nine seat started to make a motion that indicated he would at least call, but probably raise. The small blind said "You could just let us chop". The button set his chips down and folded. The big blind in the one seat went ballistic. He wanted to play the hand and lambasted the ten seat. The small blind through his dollar at the big blind and apologized. The big blind threw it back. This went on for three more rounds as they jawed at each other. The small blind did not get it. It was not about his dollar. The button was going to play for a raise. He was a very aggressive player. The big blind had a huge hand and was most likely win a little bit of money. The small blind should have kept his mouth shut.

Grinding session. Got AK once. Won small pot when an ace flopped. JJ twice utg that I limped with hoping to trap the aggressive guy. Both times no raise. I lost the minimum on one JJ hand . Flop was 77T. Aggressive guy flopped quads. If I had played the jacks for a raise pre flop, he calls and gets my stack after the flop.

Friday, June 3, 2011

This and that

Played my home game this Monday. It is a .25/.50 game that plays like a 1/2 by midnight. I arrive at 9:30 and survey the stacks. I opt to buy in for $100. That is about table average. My first hand I look down at 66. UTG raises it to $6. Call, call, I call and one more call. Five way action. Flop is 643. BINGO. Original raiser bets out $20. Nice. Next caller. puts $60 more on top. Really nice. I am now kicking myself for not buying in for more, but all I can do is push for $14 more. Folded around to original raiser. He thinks and asks the second raiser how much he has left which is only $3 more. He thinks for a few seconds and puts the other dude all in. Call of course. King. Seven. I lose. Guess the hands and who won.

Okay, one buy in gone. I go to the car and get another $100. I grind up to nearly $200. Grind down. Near the end of the night we are playing 5 handed. I get QT and limp in. Family pot. Flop is GIN. AKJ off suit. Checks around. Turn is the 5. It puts two hearts out so I bet $2. One guy says he got a little bit if the board and calls. The turn is an off suit 4. He leads out $20. I raise it $50. He re raises it. I push all in for $10 more. He calls and flips over his wheel triumphantly. I show the nuts and rake in my double up. He could not believe he lost. He could not put me on that hand. He was drunk and the only reason I was still playing. I was sure we were splitting it when he four bet me. I ended up $9 on the night Not bad after flopping top set in the first hand.

Cashing Out

I check in on my online accounts from time to time. Just seeing what, if anything, has changed. Recently Full Tilt converted some tickets to cash. Thanks FT. Swell. I cannot cash out but, hey look at the money I will probably never get. Super well done. I forgot I have a couple of SCOOP tickets on Stars. They have not converted them to cash. Does anyone know if they have or plan to convert these to cash? I could always use the $50. Would be nice seeing as how they pay their players and all.