Sunday, February 05, 2006

Kindred Spirits

I flopped top two in the BB with 96s and the 2s was in the tank, trying to figure out what the hell my check-raise meant. It was $21 to him with one to act behind. After a time, they both called. An ace fell on the turn and I pushed in my last $62, which was just more than half the pot. He tanked again and finally called, as did the 3s with his last $55.

"You got a set?" the Two asked.

The river came a jack and we flipped our identical hands, as the 3s mucked his missed OESD.

"Nice hand, bro." he said, offering his knuckles.
"Thanks," I replied, returning his gesture. "You too."

And that's how I met Brandon.

Five hours later, still at the same 1/3 No Limit table at Moronogo, we were FUCKED. UP. Why? Shots.

by the session's third hour, we'd become buddies. Talked of this and that and poker when he said, "Bro, let's do some shots."
"What's yer pleasure?" I said.

Crush. I quickly looked at my watch. Whipped out my cell. Midnight. 3 a.m. Pennsylvania time. Too risky. But oh, did I want to.


I bleeping love live poker. Even when the max buy-n for the NL table is only $100. Kiddie game. But the table was a mix of idiots and solid players, Brandon being one of the latter (sonofabitch laid down JJ on a 10-high flop when I popped him with my QQ). And I managed to tilt at least a dozen of the folks who passed through during the course of the session.

I boated up with 53s, which I played in the CO in a family pot. I played the hammer 4 times. I won--and showed--them all. And they got increasingly more daring. Might have had to do with the shots.

First, I open-raised and got the blinds (or $1 since the rake is min. $3 at the table).
Second, I raised to $15 over two limpers. Both folded.
Third, I open-raised to $10 and got two callers. I fired out $25 on a QT6 flop and both folded.
Fourth, I opened for $10 and got re-raised to $25. I popped him back for $60. He thought for about 30 seconds and dropped.

That last guy? Mega-tilt.

A cool guy and reasonable player to my left in the 5s saw all four. He marvelled with increasing length every time I tabled the Hammer. "How can you do that?" he'd say.

"They don't know what I have."
"But $60?! With seven-deuce?"
"I just play 'em like they're aces."

I had a dichotamous table image. Showing four hammers and half-a-dozen monsters will tend to confuse folks. Wide range and all that. For most of the evening, I played the players. The guy who got the fourth hammer beatdown, he's the ONLY player I try that against, 'cause he had shown he could lay down a big hand AND we had a similar battle earlier where I folded after he re-raised. The solid palyers knew what I was up to. I'd been out-playing donkeys after the flop like crazy. But the donkeys thought I was an idiot. And continued to pay me off. Dear donkeys, when I call your flop bet, I'm HUGE. When I then raise you on the turn, I'm GOLD.

I worked my stack up to nearly $400, but ended up giving back a hundred when Brandon tried to push me off my TPTK on the flop. I knew I was good, but the turn gave him his nut straight.

It was one of my more rewarding poker experiences. I was locked in. I made one bad call all night. I saw a lot more flops than usual and successfully made plays at people. And all the while, I was having a great time talking with Brandon and 5s and a guy who eventually moved into the 3s who claimed it was his second time ever playing (outside of home games with buddies). I called "bullshit" on him, since he always acted on turn and was pretty solid.

I was further entertained by the WPT Champ-in-training in the 10s with his shades and perky poker reparte, which included such gems as "I put you all-in in the dark." He was running over the table when I arrived, but I tilted him a half-hour in when I pushed him off his medium pair on a KxxK board and showed him my AQ. I swear to god he didn't say anything for 20 minutes. And then left.

I enjoyed the Asian dude who plopped into the 6s about 2 in the ayem and proceeded to bluff off his stack in 20 minutes. "My bluffs were working at the other table," he said as he walked away.

I <3 Talky McTalkerson in the 9s (one of the victims of Hammer Drop #3), who didn't shut up for five seconds and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt with his every poker observation that he had no idea how to play. "Seven-two, again?" he'd ask every time I entered a pot.

And I dearly appreciated the procession of single-celled creatures in the 1s, nearly all of whom bought in for $40 (or $40 at a time) and stacked me up with startling frequency.

Most of all, I was reminded how much fun poker can be. I have always loved the social aspect of it and I feel on much more solid ground with my game when I can look folks in the eye. Playing the giddiot drunk guy who may or may not have a clue also cracks me up, though it's not an act. I am that guy. Just more aware than I seem. And the hammer drops? For once in my life, I can say I know what it feels like to be G-Rob.


At 6:48 AM, Blogger cc said...

Live poker is rigged...

I think we all need to play poker for the fun of it as part of our mix, and that means live at lower levels than we would normally play (significantly lower, not dropping from $30/60 to $15/30). Not only is the fun come in loosening up, it also comes from the folks as well as the remembering when we were in those other seats, when those white chips were so significant and the rebuys were such an insult to ur manhood.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

If Drizz pushes all-in preflop in a cash game he has KK or AA.

Beyond that it depends on alcohol consumption, time elasped from the last episode of Wife Swap, and the amount of tourneys that bloggers pressured me into playing (tilt level).

Well done at the tables Joe!

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

In all seriousness, I've always thought you were one of the better post flop players I know. But then again, I'm a donkey.


Post a Comment

<< Home