"They're dogs! And they're playing poker!".
Hit the $25 NL/PL tables last night on Party. Pretty much a roller coaster session. Got AA twice and got paid off both times. Once by Big Slick and once by Cowboys. KK flopped a boat; I flopped quads. Sorry fellas, I've been on your end. Pocket Jacks, not so lucky. Really, I WANT K9s calling my pre-flop raise. I WANT that. Not when he spikes a King on the turn, though. Also got sucked out once when I caught top two pair in the BB with 96o. My pot-sized bets on the flop and turn put my opponent all-in. She showed pocket 10s (unraised pre-flop) and hit her 6-outer on the river to make a straight. Painfully gave back a chunk a bit later when I read a guy for a medium pair. I had KQs and made a big bet on a scary flop (A A 10), thinking I'd get him out of it. No such luck and I folded to his all-in.
The lesson, of course, is that I shouldn't be making plays like that. There are enough hands that are being played badly by others, or where I'm holding the nuts and get callers, that I shouldn't "force the action." It's not a role in which I have much experience or positive results. Goes back to the patience needed in these games. You aren't going to push anyone off a hand, even a crappy, second pair-bad kicker hand. Not at this level.
Played two tables for most of the night. Both started out with some wild plays/players, but tightened up as the evening went on. Obviously, my bankroll did a little less moving around later on, as well. I love the tight nature of these games, especially in regard to the resistence to raise pre-flop. I'm happy to limp in in MP with pocket 7s, hoping to make a set and make a big score. The 11% of the time I flop that set--and the resulting big pot--more than makes up for the times I drop 50 cents by folding when it misses me. Excellent risk-reward if the deck hits you. But if I'm looking at 10s or higher, I'm raising the max. It seems a lot of others are reluctant to do so, or only raise the minimum, which doesn't eliminate anyone. I've cracked two or three big pairs from the blinds, because I got to see free--or nearly free--flops. Conversely, I've gotten callers when I've made a big raise and punished them when they caught a piece. A prime example the other night when I saw KK and raised the max at a PL table (something like $3). Got called by two players. Flop came KJ6 rainblow and I bet $5, hoping to take some folks along for the ride. I got max raised by one player, other folded and I went all-in. He called with KJo. Which he should have laid down to the pre-flop raise. Even though the flop nailed him, it still cost him plenty. Premium hands, people. Or hands you can play cheaply that can pay off big.
Not that everyone doesn't already know that. That's the thing about my introspective, strategic poker posts: they're written at a 6th grade level.
Only 10 more shopping days until my dear and patient wife and I celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. For those of you scoring at home, that would be the "wood" anniversary (insert Levitra joke here). You know, five years seems like a pretty darn good accomplishment to me, and though it really isn't all that difficult to be married to my wife (the converse may or may not be true), I think wood is kinda weak. Seeing as I'm not much of a whittler, I'm at a loss for the theme gift. I'm told that silverware is an acceptable, optional gift for El Cinco, but I'm imagining the look on the wife's face if she opens a package of silverware on this magical day.
Generally, we tell each other pretty explicitly what we want on these gift giving occassions. Anniversaries are different. All I need to do is encapsulte the full spectrum of my feelings in a single gift.