Monday, January 24, 2005

The Weekend

I got a decent amount of poker in this weekend, both live and online. (Want to make sure I satisfy Felicia's blogroll requirement ;)

Friday night began with a recreational $10 NLHE tourney at a neighbors house. It was mainly married couples with a few stragglers rounding out an 11-player field. I was referred to as both a shark and The Matador before the tournament started. I'm not sure I want any recognition as a decent player because that just makes you a bigger target. And then if you don't win or place, you have to graciously accept the verbal barbs thrown your way.

Mrs. Blood participated, but had to leave at 10:30 to pick up the mini-bloods. Unfortunately, and I'll admit surprisingly, when she left she was in 2nd chip position. Based on my performance, I should have been the one to leave, not her. I lost most of my stack with A,K on a board that read A,7,4,9,A. The hostess of the evening showed down pocket 9's and groaned when I told her I had trip-Aces. She had no idea she had a full-house. Even after I explained it to her, she was surprised to be raking in a huge pot. Then the coup-de-grace saw me eliminated from the big blind holding K,2 off. The flop was K-high and I pushed. The hostess decided to call with 3,5 suited. The board was K,8,7. The turn was a 5 and the river was a 3. Buh-bye.

While it was fun, I had to laugh. My skin, it appears, is thinning from the bad beats. Just when you think you've built up enough layers of protection, the waves of bad beats come at a frequency that erodes away your defenses. I have to admit, I've been put to the test these last few weeks. It almost gets to the point where winning isn't even fun because you think you'll get outdrawn every time. More growth from me as a player is needed in this respect.


Saturday rolled around and I decided to work off some bonus at Party. Things came together for me while I was two-tabling at the $50NL level. My initial $100 combined buy-in grew to about $300. The wife and kids were out and I was able to fully concentrate on poker. I'm finding that I'm playing with too many distractions of late and that this alone time allows me to focus more sharply. That's not too insightful and most of you are probably thinking "Duh, BadBlood." Obviously I'm forcing both my play and my playing time when such an obvious conclusion isn't immediately seen by me.

Mrs. Blood and the mini's eventually roll in and I'm about to call it quits for the day at Party. Unfortunately, I'm dealt A,A in the big blind just as Mrs. Blood walks in. The Kiss of Death. It's folded around to the the small blind who completes. I'm not letting a free flop come by, so I raise it and the small blind calls. The flop is J,8,7 and when all is said and done, my A's are cracked by J,8 offsuit. My attitude sours when the bad beat and the distraction of Mrs. Blood telling me about her shopping spree combine to foil any further decent poker play. As mini-Blood likes to say, "Daddy, click the X."


One of the great things about Saturday's live tournament, in retrospect it was the greatest, was meeting a couple of hours beforehand with Otis and G-Rob at a local establishment that espouses it's penchant for serving FireWater. G-Rob was the victim of an overzealous waitress who refused to serve him since he had forgotten his wallet and had no means of identification. Obviously this waitress didn't watch the local early morning newscasts....

Luckily, Otis was able to bring G-Rob's wallet and merriment could begin. I had a great time shooting the crap with the UpForPoker crew, remembering Vegas highlights and listening to some unbloggable events that happened down in the Caribbean.

Tourney time rolled around and we made our way to the venue. Nineteen players in all would drop down $75 and compete for the top four positions. Due to table size constraints, we had to play three tables of 6,6, and 7. We'd condense to 2 tables once we got to 16 total and then down to 1 at 8 players.

G-Rob busted early on and waited a bit impatiently for the eventual side game to begin. Otis was a bit shortstacked when we condensed to two tables and eventually had to push when the blinds got big in relation to his stack. He busted the second time he went all in and joined G-Rob at the side game.

Yours truly was holding on to dear life with fewer chips than I started with. I was nearly all-in with two other players holding K,Q. A Q-high flop allowed me to push the reminder of my smallish stack and both other players folded to a bet that was about 25% of the total pot. These guys had no concept of pot odds, pot committment and overall equity. Thank God.

I finally was on the right end of a suckout when I put a shortstack all in. I was holding A,6 and the flop was A,5,10. The other guy showed A,5 for two-pair. Ruh-roh. The turn was a 4 and I thought I was down to 3 outs, any remaining 6. Well, when the 10 came on the river, it counterfeited my opponents two-pair and gave my 6 the status of higher kicker. Ouch. But I'll take it.

At the final table, I was at below average stack holding about T350. I found pocket K's in late position and pushed after there was 1 early position limper and the 20/40 blinds already in the pot. Everyone folded and I showed my K's in Matador style fashion hoping to build a table image of pushing with premium hands. I got to about T500 when there were 7 players left and got blinded down for an orbit or two.

My undoing came in the form of pocket 9's. With the blinds at 40/80 and only holding T350, I pushed again with only 1 early limper. The early limper called with K,Q off and caught both a K and a Q on the flop. A 10 came on the turn giving me 4 additional outs in the form of a J. It never came and I was bounced in 7th. Off to the side games.


As G-Rob can attest to, the side game players were horrible. But unfortunately, they were just horrible enough to catch the flop with their garbage holdings and bust some premium hands. I broke about even at the side game; no real decent cards game and I couldn't double up against some of the bozos playing.


I finished up my poker for the weekend on Sunday with some crushing defeats. There are sections in Brunson's Super System where he writes "Sometimes you're just going to pay the other guy off." That happened to me on two occasions, each time holding top two pair. I held A,K on an A,K,x flop but lost to someone with pocket K's. On a nearly identical hand, I held A,J and flopped A,J,x. I lost my stack again to someone holding pocket J's. Again, my thick skin to the beats became thinner and thinner.


I went out to watch the Pats game, but I won't bore you with how I watched them dismantle the Steelers. I know CJ and Al are Eagles fans, so guys, throw some interesting wagers my way and we can perhaps make the game a bit more interesting.

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