Sunday, August 13, 2006

Busting Fehljiglop - Epilogue

They say table selection is paramount to success in poker.  Had I seen from afar our little $1/$2 table morph into the pushfest that it became, I probably wouldn’t have sat down.  But once I got a feel for it, I wasn’t getting up.

Sadly, one by one, our friendly Norwegian maniacs went busto.  Soon, there were only two left, and unfortunately for the rest of the table, they began to play actual poker.

My final hand of significance came against an undercover Norwegian.  Yes, he was from Norway, but he entered the game late and played poker in a more conventional manner.  So when I flopped top two pair, and raised his post-flop lead out, I was quite taken aback when he re-raised me.  He led out for $20, I raised to $60 and he made it $100 more.

The board read QT5 and I was sitting there with QTo.  At first, I wondered if he flopped a set of 5’s.  But then again, he did lead out on the flop which put some doubt into my mind.  I flat called.  The turn brought an Ace to the board and he made a significant bet of about $150 into the pot which at that point totaled nearly $300.  I paused, trying to put him on a hand, but for the life of me, just couldn’t.

After I called that bet, the river brought a King and the sane Norwegian asked me how much money I had left.  I had him well covered with over $600 left.  He had about $150 in chips and three $100 bills behind him.  Then he made a bet that was by far, the easiest of the entire hand for me to call.  He bet all his chips, keeping his bills behind.  It screamed weakness in a voice that most likely everyone could hear.  In fact, it didn’t matter what he had, the pot was entirely too big for me to fold now.  The bet seemed almost defensive, but given that any hand with a Jack beat me, I just called.

“Do you have two pair?” he asked me.

“Yes, I flopped top two.”

“You’re good,” he said as he mucked his weak Ace.  “I flopped the nut flush draw and missed.  Nice hand.”

As another $600+ pot slid my way, our stealthy Norwegian took his three bills and got up to leave.  That left only one remaining, and not only was he the best player of the bunch; he had a good $1500 sitting in front of him.  Staying away from him seemed prudent and what better way to stay away than get up and leave the table?  I had turned $150 into over $1250 and was quite content to book this win and go have breakfast.  I looked towards G-Rob, and he nodded in the affirmative when I asked him about leaving.

As we left Caesar’s poker room, the guy who kept calling G-Rob “Denver!” walked out with us.  We were overly courteous to him, realizing that he had just donated about $2000 towards the table we were at.  We told him we might be back the next night around the same time and he said there was a good chance he’d be back too.  He was our Jerry Buss and we felt like Brunson and Greenstein, making sure our donator felt welcome to come play with us again.


During breakfast, G-Rob and I both reflected on how crazy the previous 5 hours were.  I’d never in my life played such a game, and when all was said and done, I was just glad to have survived.  It just wasn’t my style.  In fact, the next day when it came to decide at which poker room we’d play; my vote was for the MGM.  I told G-Rob that we basically caught lightning in a bottle and any attempt to do so again would most likely be met with failure.

I took away from the game an appreciation for the inherent gamble in some poker players.  It for sure loosened me up, perhaps making me less of a nit in the process.  Most definitely, it conditioned me to think more in terms of buy-in’s than bets during NL hold ‘em sessions.  And really, that’s what it’s all about – stacking your opponent.

Thankfully, it was G-Rob and I that did the stacking.

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