Thursday, August 10, 2006

Busting Fehljiglop - Part 3

Part One

Part Two


If my table wasn’t already crazy enough, imagine my feelings when G-Rob found himself in the 10-seat.  Carrying over $1500 from the $2/$5 table was suspect and at first I mentioned to him that the max buy-in was only $500.  He gave me the look that basically said, “Shut the hell up.”  You know the one, a tilt of the head, a thinning of the lips combined with a soul-piercing stare.  So, like a good friend, I remained quiet.

G-Rob has already chronicled his set flopping madness and all the while, I’m folding unplayable hands with a measly $150 in front of me.  By now, Otis had wandered over to sweat the action a bit.  He asked me a very valid question, “Dude, why aren’t you bought in for the max right now?”

Why not indeed?  My answer was two-fold.  First, I consider myself somewhat of a bad beat magnet.  Like pocket Kings to an Ace-high flop, I am the southern pole that attracts the most brutal of runner-runner northern pole combinations.  At this table, with the all-in’s potentially occurring on any street, there would be little chance I’d have my opponent drawing dead.  And unless that happened, my opponent would have outs.  Unfortunately for me they usually find them on the turn or river.  Or both.  Pessimistic thinking?  Of course it is.  But that was only half of my answer.

Truth be told, the madness that was going on around me wasn’t poker.  It was pure unadulterated gambling.  It just so happened that NL Texas Hold ‘em was the framework for the gamble instead of craps or blackjack.  I don’t necessarily either enjoy this form of gambling or consider myself good enough to play this form of high variance poker.  So it was for those reasons that I kept just $150 in front for the time being.  In the end, however, it really didn’t matter.


It took a while, but finally I peeked down at pocket Aces.  I was in early position, so I limped.  And then I watched.  Fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, all the way back to the quietest of the Norwegians in seat 3.  Thankfully, he said, “Raise.”  He made it $40 to go pre-flop and amazingly the action was folded back to me.

“Aw hell,” I said to quote the ever-quotable Teddy Ballgame.  “Let’s all play like you guys.  I’m all in.”

And then the guy looked at me and didn’t act.  “Where’s my fucking goddamn double up you Scandinavian mother fucker?”  I didn’t say that, but I thought it.

“You want me to call?” he said.

“Yes, absolutely, without question, I want you to call.”

And then he folded.  I wasn’t sure there was even a word for “fold” in Norwegian, because that was the first time I saw any one of them do it.  Perhaps it was fortuitous that he didn’t call.  Perhaps I was destined to get my Aces cracked there, but miraculously didn’t.  The end result was that my stack grew to about $200 and I began again to play the waiting game.


Not soon after, a very odd thing happened.  Team Norway decided that rather than go all-in pre-flop, they’d limp, see a flop, and then go all-in.  Time for a strategy adjustment.  There would be no two cards I’d fold.

I wasn’t the only one making this adjustment of course.  The five players in seats 6 through 10 were all looking for the same opportunities as I was.  In fact, there was simply no disguising our collusive efforts.  Neither of us wanted each other’s money, we were all after Norway’s collective thousands.

After limping with T9o, I caught my first flop of significance:  TTJ.  On a real poker table against real players, I’d probably bet out at the flop for deception value.  Not here.  I checked and the action made its way around to the baby-face in seat 1.  With about $15 in the pot, he bet $40.  Seat 3 called and I simply pushed.  Seat 1 insta-called and for a moment, I feared I might have kicker issues.  Once seat 3 folded, the turn brought a Queen and the river a 4.  But they came runner-runner clubs to put a flush possibility on board.  Was this it?  Was this the beat I was expecting?  I had no idea because nobody was flipping their cards face up when all-in’s were being called.

“I have trip tens,” I said.

Baby-face just nodded and said, “They’re good,” and folded.

I have no idea what bullets I dodged, but my stack grew to about $450.


During this time of post-flop pushing, Team Norway must have doubled up the rest of the table multiple times.  But that did not deter them from re-buying when necessary.

The limp and see a flop strategy was still in full force.  But now, I had more money at risk.  Seat 4 had been the most active, pushing nearly every single hand.  Often times, he’d be taking down $10-$15 at a time, but not always.

Again, I limped with 78o and saw a flop.  It came 568 rainbow.  Top pair and an OESD, what else was I looking for?

Seat 4, still having me covered, predictably went all-in.  Folded to me, I actually went into the tank for a bit.  I still had three members of Team USA left to act behind me.  As I mentioned, nobody made any attempt to disguise the collusive efforts we were employing.

“Any of you going in for this one?” I asked.  I got three shakes of the head, leaving me alone to decide.  I thought I was good based on any random hand seat 4 could be holding, but in reality had no freaking idea.  I sure wouldn’t put $450 at risk on a naked draw, but the draw combined with top pair finally induced me to call.

Again, no cards were flipped up and I had no idea where I stood.

Turn was a Jack, river was a two.  I missed my straight, was a pair of eights good enough?

I showed 78o and my heart pounded like never before.  There was no smile on Seat 4’s face, not that any tell would do me good now.  He took his two cards and flapped them in the air, then smacked them on the felt face down several times without letting them go.

Then he tossed them face up.  I saw an Ace and some paint, both black cards.  I re-checked the board and noticed that there were in fact 3 clubs sitting right there.  Seat 4 remained stoic, but before I could fully see his hand, he grabbed his two-cards and mucked them.

“Unbelievable,” I said.  Literally, I could not believe I just won the hand.  My testicles found there way back out of my body cavity and I could breathe again.

Obviously, he didn’t have a flush, nor was the paint card a Jack.  Turns out, he had AKo and missed his 6-outs.  How the hell did I overcome a 6-outer?  I learned not to question those things, especially when a pot of over $900 came sliding my way.


G-Rob will continue with Part 4.

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