Thursday, September 09, 2004

Badger Poker...What does it take?

Things got off to a better start for me Wednesday night at Gametime. I think it may have been the table. Sat down and watched the table fill with some good players for a change. I knew what to expect from each of these guys. Bucksman knew when to push. Chimney could be aggressive but also wouldn't push on crap. Schlitz was a somewhat loose player but not wild. Cubbie wasn't really good. Johnny Cash was somewhat loose. Germ was there. I had no feel for either of the two new guys. One had a hooded sweatshirt. I thought I was gonna watch someone do the Unabomber impersonation. The other guy on my immediate left was the juicy one. A perfect LAG.
I was able to chip up with some good bets early on as well. Caught A J suited and raised up 800 for a couple callers. Flop came with 2 of my suit, but no pair. I bet 1500 and had Cubbie calling. Turn was no help. Fired another 2500 and Cubbie folded. Apparently he was going for a straight. A little bit later against Cubbie I had 10 10 and called his 700 raise. Flop came with an A high. He hesitated so I made a pot size bet figuring the A was a scare card. He folded. I won another small hand before the break without showing any cards. Nice. Was actually up for once at the break by about 5k.
But to my left, the LAG was in full effect. He was playing and raising anything. He got a pair, raise. Suited, raise. Connected, raise. At the showdown, he was showing busted straights and flushes galore. He was just about out early on. Bucksman put him all in and showed A Q. He flipped A 9. He then flopped his trip 9s. I didn't mind because I wanted a piece of this action. I wouldn't get it for a while. Heck, I didn't play a single hand in the second session. During the whole 200/400 round, I tried to limp from the small blind once, but LAG raised it. My cards were very bad. The preflop raise was routine, which meant I couldn't play the Hammer just for kicks.
I got back in the action at the 500/1000 level. Busted out chimney. He had raised to 2000. I kicked it up to 3500. He then went all in and showed 7 7. My Q Q easily held up and he was gone. I sat tight, waited for cards, and played well. I wanted my chance against the LAG. I would get it when I peeked down to see 10 10. I raised up to 3500, and of course he called. I had him heads up. Flop came Q 7 5, with two hearts. I bet out 3000. He immediately went all in. It would cost me 5200 more. I looked at the board and at him and back to the board because looking at him was no picnic. Did he have a Q? I doubted it. I figured he was drawing to the flush, maybe A high again. If I called, I would still have about 12000 left. I didn't really like my 10s and felt I shouldn't have called, but hey, I wanted the LAG's chips. So I called. He showed A A. Shit! I get a chance to bust him and got clobbered. Oh well, time to move to a new table.
New table was good. I sit down to the left of a massive chip stack. I look at Germ and tell him my plan is to get all of his chips in 3 hands or less. He laughs and tells me to go for it. I would try. The new table would allow me to go on a rush. Soon after sitting down, with blinds at 1000/2000, I looked down and see Big Slick. I raise it up to 3500 and get two callers. Flop comes A A 9. Time to act. I scrunch up my nose, hem, haw, sigh and bet only 2000. I get called quickly by one but the other folds. Turn is a rag. Considering the size of the pot, I look at my last 6000 and "reluctantly" push in. He looks at me and asks what I have. I tell him a winning hand. He calls. I flop over the slickster to the oohs and ahhs of the table. He shows the Hilton Sisters and they get no other hos on the river. I would next see J J and raise up to 5000 with no callers. Next hand, I steal more blinds. Table has gotten real tight and I like it. Before I know it, I am sitting around 45000.
Germ and Bucksman had moved to this table as well. Bucksman is really interesting to watch when he gets short stacked. He will push all in with no fear. And it usually happens that he will win 3 to 4 all in bets before he gets knocked out. I did my own share of knocking out. Caught the rockets and raised up and knocked out two smaller stacks. Got A Q and knocked someone else out when a Q hit the board.
I am in a good spot here. Enough chips to coast into the top 20, and yet enough to pick on the smaller stacks.
They chip everyone up and soon we are at 20 and they move us again. I am very surprised to see the LAG there. I sit down into a small blind. Things are kicked up to 5000/10000 and play is even tighter. Soon they even add the ante. This is where I begin to find things amusing. I raise up to 20000 with A 10, hoping to just steal the blinds and antes. It works. But soon the other table starts losing people. Two guys at my table keep asking how many people are left. They are counting how many points they will earn tonight. Funnier is how they are really short stacked and slow playing just to survive. Me, I think they are missing the point and I look to get their chips. Just as the blinds go by me, they move us to the final table.
I get there to see Johnny Cash and another guy from the first table still in it. They redraw for the button and I will get it soon. I sit by and wait for smaller stacks to fall by. I don't see any need to force a mediocre hand into play. And fall they do. On one hand 4 people go all in. One for 50k, two at 20k, and one at 10k. No one flips over a strong hand. Highest is A 2. And when the deuce hits the river, the guy has quadrupled up. Other small stacks go away. We are down to six. I don't mind finishing at this level, but want one more spot as it would give me an overall lead. I am sitting around 80k or so. I look for spots to move and get them. Catch A J and push all in. Steal the blinds and antes. I do this a couple of times. Next we are done to 5, then 4. One huge stack is pushing people around. Johnny Cash is doing good in second. Me, I am a distant third but have more than 4th who would go out soon. I hung around again as the two big stacks would go to battle. I chipped up enough to keep around and took in some all ins when necessary. I then made a move on the former huge stack. He was playing very loose and I took my shot when I caught A 8 suited. He got no help on his K Q and he was done. I was down to the final two once again. Blinds are 20000/40000 with a 10000 ante. I look to see I am down by about 3 to 1. I need to double up soon. We take a couple of flops. I bet on every one to take them down. Finally, I look down at A 5. He raised 100k preflop. I try to make my move and push it all in. He calls and shows Q 10. Flop comes all rags, except for 2 spades. River is a spade. I call out "no spades, no spades!" River is not a spade. It is a Q. I am done. Bartender at game time is laughing as he liked it. He tells me "you made the right call, but you should have called for no queen either". Oh well. Once again, I come in 2nd place. Later when talking with the organizers, I find out that there is a prize for the points champ. So now I guess there is something to really gun for. I will win one of these. Sooner or later. Hopefully, more sooner than later.

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