Monday, August 16, 2004

Badger Poker... I think I need to call TJ Cloutier for advice

Monday night. I should be upstairs in my tenants apartment trying to fix a small leak in the plumbing but instead went to play poker. Can you blame me?
Ah yes, the Lava. Don't necessarily care for the place, but it is a poker game. Interesting how the demographics slightly change between the east side and downtown. More college age kids here (not a surprise). From what I am hearing, they are playing a lot of poker at home, though thankfully, they aren't totally interested in becoming very good poker players. But on to the game.
I plunked down at the closest table. Who did I see? The black widow! She kinda sneered at me. I was going to enjoy having a chance to knock her out early. Other people at the table weren't anyone else I had played with. Some younger guys I had seen for the first time. Things started really slow. Wasn't really catching anything good to begin, so I tried to play some Ace suited connectors, etc, while the blinds were on the low side. That didn't work that well. By the first break, I was sitting around 6k, down 4. Nothing too exciting was going on, and I hadn't even drug in a pot. There was an aggressive blond who was doing battle with an Asian guy. She jumped up pretty quickly as she made some bigger bets to take down smaller pots. Asian guy was taking chips off of sunglasses guy. Greasy hair guy to my right had moved up nicely as well. There was a lot of big bet calling going on with small pairs winning. Third or fourth pair was taking down the pots. Strange.
When the blinds moved up, so did I. Got A J in early position and raised. Got 2 callers. Bet the pot on the flop (it had totally missed me) and they bailed. Hey, you need to win one to get it going. Again, I didn't play that much for a bit, took down another small pot. The black widow and sunglasses guy got into an all in situation with Asian guy and both of them were gone. Later, I took out the aggressive blond. I limped in from the button with Q 8 clubs. 3 player saw a flop of J, 7, 9- 2 clubs. I bet my gut shot half the pot and had just the aggressive blond call. Turn was a 6. Aggressive blond moved all in for about 1800 more (she had been bleeding a lot out). I counted out what I would have left if I went for it. I would have been sitting with about 4500 if I called. I figured I a ton of outs and called. Hit the 10 for the straight and took her down. I then moved to another table. One guy easily had a bigger stack than the others and was bullying them around. He would raise every pot (good move). Blinds were now at 500/1000. I caught A K quickly and raised it with 2 callers. A hit the flop and they folded. I had gone back above the original 10k mark to about 15k. Slowly but steady. I was able to push up even more soon. Got Q J in the cutoff. Bet was at 2500 and there were 4 people in the pot. Flop came 9 10 K. Cha ching! I bet 7500 to try and take it down right there. Everyone folded except for a different Asian guy, the one who was causing the action at the table. This is the guy I wanted. The big stack. Turn was nothing of interest so I moved all in. Action Asian thought about it. The bet was about 8k or so. He counted out his chips. Played with them. Thought... thought...though. And folded. Damn! Smelly dork to my left with the truck driver cap on had to rabbit hunt. This caused a small commotion at the table as most people didn't want him too. Action Asian looked at me as I was about to toss my cards. He said to me "I don't want to see your cards" as if I was going to show him and say "Nice laydown" or something. Instead, I shot back "You are going to see them, you need to pay!" Boy, do I make friends or what?

I was now around 30k going into the 2nd break. The second session had been very good. Now I was going to try and hang around and see if I can make a move to the final twenty. Nothing spectacular happened in the next session. I won a few hands here and there. Knocked some people out, but no real big hands, though I did double up. Most interesting thing really was the table. The actual table kept breaking down. One of the brackets wouldn't stay in place and every time Action Asian leaned on the table, it would buckle a bit. Otherwise, players started falling by the wayside. Guy on my right was playing some good poker. He made a nice move on me to force me out of a pot when I had QJ again and tried to limp.

Got moved to another table then. Action was pretty tight with about 30 people left. Any raise seem to cause the folding to begin. Except when I tried. Caught A 9 suited and raised up. Greasy hair guy from the first table was going all in. Damn him. Fold. Didn't play many hands here. Got moved again. But before I did, 3 young bucks were going at it. Big pot taken down knocked out 2 as more guys got knocked out at another table. Suddenly we were at 20. Everyone started high fiving. WTF? Must be the first time for them. Me, I feel like been here, done that. They are talking about where they are in the standing and how they are going to move up again. Pffff! Ain't catching me tonight boys!

I then move to another table as blinds are now 2500/5000. I am sitting with around 40k and feel like everyone at the table is smoking. This table was represented by one big stack and 2 mediums. Everyone else was sitting about 15k or less. A Q split a pot with A Q, but knocked one guy out. I doubled up with a pair of 7s against A 6. People were dropping like flies. I got moved again to the other table. There were about 12 left and they evened us up. They redrew cards for the button and I caught it. Blinds got moved to 5000/10000 with a 5k ante. Brother to my right doubled up twice in a row to get back into the game. I had a A J hold up when I flopped an ace. Then two big stacks went at it again catching a 3rd guy in the middle. Bam two people were gone. At the same time, two others got knocked out at the other table as well.

We would start the final table with 8. I was hovering around 125k or so at this point. There was 1 really big stack, 3 medium stacks around 200k, myself and 3 little stacks, not even enough for the blinds. These guys went out quickly. I was able to double through again when a pair of snowmen held up. We were then down to 3. I was on the smaller stack with about 300k or so. The other guys were sitting around 500k and 400k it appeared. We played 3 way for about 15 minutes. I was able to move up as I played rather aggressive. I got up to about 500k when the other two got into the battle. The guy who had a big lead at the final table had been whittled down. He got out kicked by A 10 to beat his A 9 and was out. He would proceed to sit at the table, kinda sulking. We were down to two. I was out chipped by about a 7-5 margin.

I took control early with a pair of Ks. I would keep the pressure on until he was down to his last 200k. Caught K Q and moved all in. He had A 10. He caught his A on the river to double through. He moved back up nicely. He doubled up again when my K Q couldn't pair up against his ragged A. I was now down to about 250k. I felt like TJ Cloutier. Doing well again, but couldn't seem to win the big one. Got A 10 suited and pushed. He called with a K 4 and hit the straight on the river. Second place again.
More shirts, hats, blah, blah, blah. I wanted the victory. I feel I outplayed him, but couldn't get the card I needed for the death blow. Worse yet, I realized as I was driving home that they hadn't taken my name down for finishing in second. I need to make sure they credit me with my points. Top dog, gotta stay being top dog.

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