Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Best Hand

Tonight was the Monday Night Game at the usual spot with the usual people. We had a 7 way ring 1/2 game followed by 2 $5 buy-in NL tourneys among 5 of us remaining.

In the ring game, I was down early when a player who had watched some sort of video today on "aggression" took that a little too far and decided to raise 100% of hands preflop and all streets. Maniac is the word, yep. Anyways, early on before we put him on 'crazy', I held JJ and 3-bet his standard raise pre-flop. He capped and to the flop. All undercards, I bet he raised I called (had him on AA,QQ,KK,TT or something "strong" as a pocket pair). Turn was an undercard, I check called giving him credit for possibly a better pocket pair than me but I had to call him down since he was not a good player typically. River came a Q. He bet, I called. I said "OK, what HUGE pocket pair do you have over there?" "Oh me? Just a Q-To". Gah, rivered by a maniac. At that point I wished that all of his chips would soon leave him, and leave him they did. He actually bled off about 15BB on a hand holding a pair of 9's (one on board -- middle pair) against a made straight to the Q to the host of the game, and that made me smile.

After my early beats, I brought the limit game back to about even by the end, finally finishing down $4.50. Again, a loss at this soft game... bah.

On to the NL tourneys. As mentioned in previous posts, these are crapshoots. Blinds are 25/50 with 1500 in starting chips, and they raise every 10 mins to start, lowering by 1 min for each set. This makes the game last AT MOST an hour. In the first game, I was busted early in a hand i literally dont remember. Guess it didnt mean much to me.

Second game, I took a better seat at the table and FOR ONCE started to watch players faces when the flop came down. MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME? Not to say that I could read everyone perfectly... but after watching a good 10 hands or so of one particular player, I had him clocked. I could have played him without looking at my cards, and that's totally wild to my amateur poker mind. Too bad it didnt come down to he and I, though I did go all in on a flop with Q-10 overcards when i read him weak. He actually surprised me with bottom pair (he's quite a gambler personality by the way), but I drew a 10 to win that one.

A few hands down the line, I am dealt AA in the SB. Same player UTG goes all-in for T750 with K-2, player in the dealer position calls that. I push, and the dealer position calls my all-in (I had him covered) with A-J. Of course, none were happy to see the cards I held as it made me a considerable favorite. Hah! They say, get your money in with the best of it... and I certainly had that, but the K-2 flopped a K-high straight, the river made the bottom end so I split the huge side-pot with the button, and I lost a big part of my stack.

Aces DO get cracked, no big deal... of course, next hand i'm dealt JJ on the button. UTG calls T600 in blinds, I push. I'm called by the UTG with K-J. King is the first card out on the flop and thats that. The VERY next hand I am dealt 22 UTG and push again, figuring at least if I lose 3 pockets in a row i've got a story to tell on my golf and poker blog. One caller with K-T. Flop comes a King followed shortly by a 2 and I bust him out.

Three hands later, i'm dealt 44 in SB and push (at this point i was pissed). Dealer called with 88 and I didnt improve. I think this sort of move is considered tilt, but honestly pocket pairs getting busted by those flops is rough. So what, its only $5... true!!! But I played that game and got my money in the pot when I had the best of it... and life gave me lemons. The 44 push at the end was due to my getting blinded out by the crap-shoot system previously mentioned by the way... though I figured a coin flip at worst. Final hand I held A-3o after doubling up with A-10s when he called with K-7o. He called with K-2 and spiked his King to win. I didnt have a large advantage there, but I liked my ace and it was the best hand going into things. That would have put me as leader, but instead i'm typing this out.

Meh, its 2:30am, I lost $15 bucks playing poker -- big deal -- and I'm only pissed off because playing things the right way resulted in my loss. The maniac, then the cracking of pairs... it hurts... I guess it just wasnt my time to start winning money from these guys again.

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