Saturday, April 30, 2005

Home Game Redux

I managed to put together a home game last night, a .25/.50NL ring game. My normal
procedure for setting up a home game is to email my ever-growing mailing list at the
beginning of the week and send updates as the week progresses. This gives me time to get a rough feel for how many players I'll have and whether or not I need to coerce anyone who's on the fence into playing.

This week I had to take Thursday and Friday off from work as Mrs_Blood took a weekend trip up to Boston and left me with the minis. (Note to self: How did that happen?) By Wednesday, it looked as though I only had about 5 or 6 definites for Friday's game. I'd like to at least have a table of 8 or so, as usually some people drop a buy-in or two and leave.

By the time everyone showed up on Friday, we had 15 players. Largest. Home game. Ever.

I had to break the action into two tables for much of the evening. We had a mix of some new blood, old schoolers and a new blogger hit the Blood table. Wes from over at BigPirate managed to make the drive from Columbia to G-Vegas and actually was the first player to arrive.

Old schooler's like Teddy Ballgame showed up a bit late and a bit intoxicated. He was the first to drop two buy-ins and take off not soon after. G-Rob and Otis made their requisite appearances, the latter after having hooked up some babysitting action. The Crawfish and MikeD arrived ready to play as did nearly the entire Smith family: TeamScott, Shep, and the Wolverine. Frank the Tank, the winner from the tourney held earlier this month, brought his aggressive style into the mix as well.

I'm not too supersticious, but I generally don't do well when I win the very first hand of the evening. So when I look down to see a couple of black Aces on the first hand, I'm a bit taken aback. I manage to win a decent sized pot against CrawFish's pocket T's and I was off and running.

The cards were flying at this table as hand 1 had me holding pocket A's. Hand 2 had Team Scott Smith holding pocket K's and hand 3 had someone else holding pocket A's again. Crazy start. I dropped some of my stack when I ran into pocket A's twice in the next 30 minutes holding top pair.

My first buy-in was extinguished holding AQ on a A-high flop when I ran into A5. The 5 happened to be a spade and matched the 4 others on the board, of course coming runner-runner.

My second buy-in lasted quite a while without doing much of anything. As players left here and there, we condensed to 1 table of 10 players. At this point, G-Rob and MikeD were the massive chip leaders, both with over $300 in front of them. In fact, I had to break out the green $25 chips to accomodate G-Rob's stack - he was quite proud of being the only person of the table with the alternative chip denomination.

If I were to make my buy-ins back, I knew it would come at the hands of the big stacks. Unfortunately, G-Rob and his aggressiveness were directly to my left. When I found the Hilton sisters UTG, I made it $3.50 to go. G-Rob came over the top for $7 and it was folded back to me. With his stack and his play style, I felt he could have had just about anything, so I took my time to think out the next play. In my mind, I felt he would call if I came back over the top all-in due to both his huge chip stack and his play style, so that's just what I did. He called relatively quickly and showed AJo. A queen on the flop let me double up back to my initial $100 buy-in level so I was a bit more able to be patient and wait for other premium hands.

I actually had to lay down one of those premium hands, AK of spades, when faced with a pre-flop re-raise from TeamScottSmith, followed by a raggedy flop. I initially put him on AK as well, but figured there were too many pocket pairs he'd also re-raise with. That scenario put my call of his post flop bet at -EV so I folded face up. TeamScott showed his pocket A's and I was glad to have folded, but much more glad an Ace didn't hit the flop. I'd have gone broke.

The hand of the night, without question, came when MikeD put Shep all-in on a 889 board. Frank the Tank came along for the ride, but his T9 was totally outclassed by MikeD's T8 and Shep's 68. Post flop, MikeD was a huge favorite with easily $200 in the pot. When a 6 hit the turn, the entire table erupted in ooh's and ahh's. But they were immediately drowned out by the subsequent screams when Shep's 3-outer was outdrawn my MikeD's two-outer T on the river. Just amazing.

By 2AM most had decided to leave, but a few stallwarts lasted until 3AM, mainly the Smith family. I managed to pull a profit for the evening when my 63o flopped two-pair and became a boat on the river, busting the Wolverine's trip 6's.

My live play is so far and away miles above my online play, it's ridiculous. I can make laydowns live that I could never do online and I have no idea why. Perhaps it's the idea that it's easier to bluff online with no obvious tells to give and that I'm pretty decent at reading people in live play. I'm not touting Hellmuthian-like soul probing abilities, but at least with some of the people with whom I play regularly, I can at get some additional information about their hands that I can't get online. Whatever.

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