It’s been too long since posting, for two reasons really. The first is work, where I’m deep in the middle of coding our new royalty and commission engine. The second is just from poker fatigue. I’ve been playing a lot and haven’t had time to write about it at all.
So I’ll try to start correcting that now. And I’ll start with my best results since my last post because it is the most recent, freshest in my mind and, well, its my blog. :)
Last week was the semi-regular home game at wy’s house in his great loft in downtown L.A. Its always a good setting and a friendly game, although I haven’t done very well in the past. I don’t think I’ve played poorly, the cards have just never really been kind to me in this game.
The game has slowly been growing and, for the first time, two tables were planned, 14 - 18 people were expected. As it turned out, the second table consisted mostly of wives, girlfriends and first timers, and wy ended up giving some free lessons.
The main table was:
1s - fhwrdh - your humble narrator 2s - es - a regular, coworker and smart guy. learning the game. 3s - tn - new player - unknown 4s - cl - played with once before. quiet. film-maker. 5s - jk - good, tough regular. good for laughs, too. 7s - cb - new to the game, second time in a home game with me - coworker and smart guy. 6s - jy - good, tough player - won last event. knows how to play. 7s - nl - played with once before. nice guy.
Early on, tn stated that she had only ever played once before and in the previous game she had played for/with raisins. She immediately started playing very aggressively and took down a couple of pots without showing down. I played two key hands against her early that would shape the night for me…
Blinds at 15/30 and I was dealt aces in the small blind. tn raised to 120 under the gun and it was folded to me. I reraised to 360 and she called. Flop was A88 rainbow, giving me a full house. I checked to her and she bet 200. Call. Turn was a brick. 200. Call. River was a brick. I risked it and checked, almost positive she would bet and I could raise. 200. I thought about what I could get her to call and decided on 500. She paid off and I was suddenly the big stack.
A little later, I see AJ and raise tn and 2 others call. Flop is JJT. I decided to lead out this time with a small bet. tn called, others folded. Turn a 3. I bet, she calls. We seemed to be replaying the earlier hand with the roles reversed. River was a 7. I bet and she goes all in over the top of me for 2900. there was about 7000 in the pot, but if I called and lost, I’d give up the lead and be back to a slightly below average stack. Then I thought about the possible hands she could have. This was a bit scary because she was calling/betting with any two cards. I was a little worried about: JT, J7, 33, 77. For the first time ever in a live game, I went into the tank. I got up and walked around, reasoned a bit out loud, hoping she’d give me some tell about her hand, but I got nothing from her. Finally, I decided (1) I wouldn’t be out if I called and lost. (2) she may have made the same play with 2 pair or a jack with a weaker kicker. I was sweating when I said “call”. She turned over … Q9. She had bluffed off all her chips! I got a lot of “nice call” comments. Maybe this would be my night.
The game slowed down quite a bit and we played for a long time before people started going out. I kept a decent lead until we got three handed: jk, jy and myself. We traded the chip lead for a while. each of us with a turn as the chip leader and as a short stack. Finally, jy was short and went all in, I had KJd and called. He caught a jack on the turn, but I made my flush on the river and we were heads up.
jk and I battled heads up, but I had a good lead and the cards were falling a bit in my favor. Eventually I wore him down and won. It felt especially good to break through in this game, where i have not done well in the past.