Sunday, April 17, 2005

Home Game SNG

Occasionally, the Mrs. will get itchin’ for a game of poker. Nothing too high stakes and preferably in a tournament format. I’d been out with some friends on Friday night, so my task for the day was to organize a small buy-in tourney that could be played at the house. Phone calls, emails, and IM’s went a blazing and before long I was able to get 9 confirmed players at my house by 8pm for a $20 NLHE freeze out.

Since fellow G-Vegas inhabitant Otis was a bachelor for the evening, he was able to find time from his schedule to join us. The other players that rounded out my table included myself, MrsBlood, Tommy the Axeman and his wife Angie Aces, Mr. IceT (his wife is known as IceT and he has no nickname that I’m currently aware of), DoubleR, NeighborGreg, and CrawfishDan. The levels were 20 minutes and we all started off with T200.

The play at these recreational games is a bit loose and passive, so with that knowledge I sat around and waited for some premium hands. So it was no real surprise that I opened in mid-position with a 6xBB raise with the hammer. Otis called from one of the blinds and we saw a QJ4 flop. Boy did the hammer miss that flop. Otis bet out T15 and I folded face up. It was a shame his set of Jacks didn’t pay him off more.

MrsBlood had a real hand about midway through level 3. Her AK had flopped top two pair, but because AngieAces was the only opponent, she checked it down. She was going easy on her friend. I told her that was a mistake and she’d regret not winning more chips with that hand from her friend. Not soon after, I’m dealt KQ and flop a K against MrsBlood’s pocket 9’s. She simply check-called my bets and asked me to go easy on her. NFW, baby! This is poker.

As some of the inexperienced players busted out (AngieAces and NeighborGreg), I found myself in a battle of the blinds with Mr.IceT. I was in the BB with a truly awful hand, 34o. Mr.IceT checked it down the whole way to the river, at which point I made a pot sized bet. I was playing the board and knew that the only way I could win the pot was to bet at it. Mr.IceT reluctantly folded as the river had made runner-runner hearts to create a flush draw. After he folded, I mucked face up showing my bluff. I believe he was none to pleased, but like I said, this is poker baby!

MrIceT and MrsBlood busted out and we were down to 5 players. The blinds (25/50) were escalating a bit and I had about T250. I went pretty card dead at this point and even though I managed to grab a couple of blinds here and there during the level, I was left with T200 with the blinds moving up to T75/150 soon.

Finally, I’m the BB with T200 and half my stack is in the pot. CrawfishDan goes all-in from the button and is insta-called by Otis. I figure my cards are crap and will most likely have to fold, but I slowly take a peak anyway. The first card is decent, a King. I slowly slide it so I can see it’s brother who turns out to be an Ace. I call as well. There’s a T600 main pot and a rather big side pot as well. The three of us flip cards as Otis has CrawfishDan covered.

Crawfish flips up his pocket T’s and Otis flips up AJo. My AK is decent, but one of my outs is in Otis’ hand. The flop is all under-cards to the tens, but happens to be all-spades. Otis now has more outs than I do with his Ace of spades. The turn is a low club and we’re down to the river. My King was a club, so I was down to 4 outs: the two non-spade Kings and the two remaining Aces.



Ship it baby!

I’m suddenly Mr. Big Stack with T600 and 4 players left. With the blinds still at 50/100, I have some room to move. Tommy the Axeman bubbles out when I raise him all-in with AJo. His 24o doesn’t catch any babies and we’re in the money.

Otis manages to grab 3rd place, cashing for $30. I’m sure that extra $10 will go a long way, boosting his bankroll easily by micro-percentages. Otis was bled out by the blinds and it came down to me and DoubleR heads up. At this point, I held about a 2 to 1 chip advantage.

The first headsup hand, I’m the button and min-raise with K9. DoubleR folds. Hand two, I’m the BB and DoubleR calls and I check, holding K3. The flop is 235 and I check. DoubleR pushes for about T500 more. I have him covered and should I lose, I’d still have a very playable stack. I think my middle pair is actually good here and hope DoubleR is on a draw. I call and flip up K3 and he shows 24 for bottom pair and the straight draw. The turn and river bring no help and after two head to head hands, I am champion for the evening.

The overall play was less than spectacular, but these events are a bit more social. Even still, depending on the player, there can still be some good poker to experience.

Otis headed downtown afterwards to G-Vegas proper and even though I had a kitchen pass to go, I reluctantly called it an evening. Combine my allergies with the fact that I stayed out until 2am the night before and I just had no energy left. Word has it that G-Rob made it out as well and had a grand time.

BB out.

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