Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Badger Poker...Playing the small crowd

Monday night football knocked out most of the crowd on Monday. It was off to the Bay View Bowl to play some cards on Monday, with only 42 people starting. With the Packers playing, we lost roughly 30 people. It would make for a fun crowd that was playing, and a lot less smoke.

Going through the second season, there are fewer and fewer new faces around. The starting tables are filled with people I have played against before. This night wasn't any different as Tigers hat sat to my left once again (this would make 4 consecutive nights of starting against him) and his wife were there. AK Slowplay, PBR, the Black Widow, and Grape Soda were there. The whiny guy's brother was there. He is a funny loud guy when he is winning. Quite quiet when he is not. Tighter than tight was there. This older guy didn't play a single hand that wasn't a blind for like 2 hours. The last at the table was Leather Face. First impression I had of him was how Kramer looks after he started smoking on Seinfeld. His face looked dark and rough like a catchers mitt. Too many Marlboros for him. And after we had gotten started, Wes added GI Joe to our table. This guy looked like the old GI Joe doll. No, not the action figure, I am talking the doll that had the short fuzzy hair and beard. All this guy needed was dog tags. This first table was quite fun as people were cracking jokes and having a good time.

GI Joe would also set the pace. He joined us after the second hand. On his second hand, he caught A A and slow played them taking in a decent pot. Within a hand or two, Funny loud guy does the same thing. Slow plays the aces. So what do I do with the next hand? Act like I have aces. I bet out with K J from UTG, raising it 500. I announce that I don't slow play my aces. There seems to be 5 callers. Anyway, the flop comes 9 10 x, rainbow. I bet out 1500. Leatherface calls. Turn is a Q. Having made my straight, I bet out 2500. He calls quickly. River is an A. Having the nuts, I push. There is a good pot there and even if he doesn't call, I take down some chips. He called, though never showed and I double up.

Next hand I avoid a trap. From the big blind, it comes around to me with 3 callers, including Leatherface who is all in for his last 1000. I raised it to 2000 with Q Q. Tigers hat's wife re-raises me. Ouch. I know she has me beat here. But with the raise of only 1700 more, I call to see the flop. It comes A high. I check and fold as soon as she bets. I know she has slow played A A like everyone else has. Sure, enough, she shows the rockets and knocks Leatherface out.

Two hands later I would get my chips back from her though. From mid position I limped in with A 10 clubs. Flop came with 2 clubs, Q high. I bet out 2000 and only Tiger's wife calls. Turn is a club. I check. She comes out firing 2 more. I take my time and give the reluctant call. River is a rag. With the nuts I push. She folds. I believe I made a mistake here. I should have bet out 2500 or so. I could have looked her down and tried to make it look like I was buying the pot. My bet was too big for her. That I should have know. Anyways, I do win a nice amount still and am sitting pretty at the first break.

The second session wouldn't be as kind to me. I gave some chips to Tiger's hat's wife on one pot when she re-raised me again. I limped in and didn't hit the flop on a couple. Then I got involved with AK Slowplay on a hand that that about put me on tilt. I limped in with Q J diamonds. Flop came Q 2 2. I bet out 3000 on the flop. He thought about it and called. Turn was a rag. I bet 4000. He thought about it and pushed all in. Nice bet. I thought about it. My gut was that he was bluffing at it. I was pretty sure my 2 pair was good. I counted out the 7900 it would cost me to call. It would leave me with my original 10k. I thought about what he could have. My two pair, J kicker seemed good. I couldn't see how he would have a two. I was concerned about A Q or K Q. I decided to fold. He then showed A K. Damn, I knew I had him. It was a good bet, one that I had considered making myself but of course didn't. From there, I would win a couple of small pot but never really accumulating many more chips. When they broke us down to 2 tables, I believe I still was hovering around 24k.

The new table had the same faces. The Marine was there with a good stack in front of him. Frito Lay looked to be giving chips to everyone. There was a bald guy who somewhat reminded me of the bass player from Anthrax and his friend to his left with the Badger hat on. Flannel man was on my right. There was a guy who kept buying cans of Lite just so he could get extra chips. GI Joe and Tigers hat were moved there as well. Not much happened for me there. Flannel man went out soon. He re-raised the Marine all in from the blind with A 8 suited. Marine had A Q and it held up. Stupid play. I knew he didn't have anything.

I believe I made only one move here, raising one pot to 15k with Q Q. It bought me the blinds so that wasn't bad. Otherwise, I wasn't catching cards. What a bad time to get cold decked. I may have stolen one more set of blinds but hat was it. They got us to the final table and I was blinded out. Went in blind with my last 20k just to lose to a flopped straight. Thus, my night ended in 6th place. Not bad, but with such a good start, it could have been better.

Bagmans words or wisdom- From AK Slowplay, who may have been a little drunk when he started as he was pretty smiley all night. Perception is key. That became his mantra. I came back though with "Deception is victory". Not bad for making stuff up on the spot.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Bad beat on the bubble

With no football games of interest on the tube, I took a little trip to a hall to play some poker. A friend of a friend had thrown together a small game with a $70 buy in. There were bounties being paid out as well to the tune of $10 with a special mystery bounty at $30. The structure of the tournament wasn't too bad either. You were given a start of 1200 chips. Blinds were starting at 5/10 and moving up every 40 minutes. Thus you would get plenty of time to wait for some cards. And I would need to wait.

There were a few familiar faces there. Tigers hat, his wife and T from Badger Poker fame were in play. There was another guy I had seen play before as well. I drew a table with Tigers hat and T. With only 23 people signed up, we were starting with just 7 players. And what a bunch they were. I had Tigers hat on my left. On my right was Shades. I noticed how the shades came down only when he had a big hand. Otherwise they stayed on top of his head. There was Any Pair, an older guy who was staying in with any pair, no matter how many over cards are on the board. Holey Shirt had an Earnhardt (not quite sure and I didn't need to check it out too closely) shirt on with a hole on his right shoulder. 3 neck was across from me. This guy was big. Big enough that he had 3 rolls of fat for a neck.

I usually don't know what to expect at these events. With a lot of new faces, I like to take it easy at first, but play aggressive with great cards. Problem today was that I wasn't going to get any good cards. I limped in on a couple of pots, played the blinds but nothing was coming my way. I didn't win a hand in the first hour and a half. Not one pot came my way. And when it did, it wasn't that big. That totally sucked because there was some loose play going on. Holey shirt would play any ace or face. Any pair was playing, well, any pair and taking it to the river. 3 neck was rather tight but would bet when he caught the hand, but otherwise had little clue on effective betting (which was good as he allowed me to draw out to many a hand when I had limped). Shades was predictable too. He was one of the few guys who would raise preflop. There was one big pot when Tigers hat raised it to 50 preflop. 3 guys called. On the flop, he bet out 200. They all called. He didn't like that. I thought it didn't make sense. He checked the turn and Holey shirt now bet out 200 which got 2 callers. Tiger hat folded pocket 10s. That was a good move as there was a J and K out on the board. There was another big bet on the river. Holey shirt won the hand with a pair of jacks. Any pair called all of that down with a pair of nines, while 3 neck folded on the river. This was typical of many a hand. Guys calling down with just a pair or maybe A high.

As mentioned already, it was an hour and a half into the game that I won a hand. I limped in with K J. Flop came J high and I bet about 1 1/2 times the pot. Everyone folded and I finally stacked some chips. But that was not a sign of things to come. One of the table was short so they moved me because I was the short stack. Though we could have gone down to 2 tables, he kept 3 going with 6 to 7 players per table. Because I was always short stacked, I was the one who kept moving. I went to a new table and played 3 hands before I was moved again. I was put at a table with Tigers hat, Holey Shirt, Dog man (guy looked like Pedro Martinez but smelled like he wrestled his dog. Also looked like it as there was a lot of dog hair on his shirt), Fubu, and Any Pair. I was down to roughly 800 in chips. Blinds were sitting at 50/100. I tried to limp in with any connectors or suiters but Dog man kept raising it up. He had two buddies behind him that had already busted out. Every time he raised me, it was 3 in a row, I started to complain, hoping that he would show me his cards or give me some info. It worked as I was starting to see what he was raising on. He raised on good hands so I was avoiding some danger. Any pair would get knocked out and we would down to 5. Blinds went up again and with just 525 left and in the big blind, I had to push all in. Fubu, a terrible player, had called. I pushed all in blind. This is a favorite move of mine. I also got them to play the board without me showing the cards. Fubu had called on a pair of 3s. Flop came with an A and K. When all was said and done, I turned over A 2 and had doubled up. Fubu had somehow gotten himself a big stack of chips. I don't know how as he pretty much sucked. I got a read on him early and he was showing people his cards as well. I knew that he was going to raise the pot by only the big blind if he had an A or a small pair. He would raise it more with a big pair. Time and time again he did this.

Having double up, I decided to try and get on a roll. In the small blind, I saw A 8. Dogman is on my left and has about 3 times the amount of my chips. I push all in. His buddies go nuts and he thinks about it. He claims he wants to call but he can't. Turns out he had only a J 3 suited. Now I need to make things count. Two hands later I look down and see 2 red aces staring at me. I push all in. 3 pushes in 4 hands. This is great for table image as they now think a small stack is pushing on anything. Dog man quickly calls. Tiger hat folds. Fubu thinks. This guy isn't very bright to begin with. Case in point is the two-yes two- barbed wire tattoos on his arm. What a dork! He folds as down Holey shirt. Dogman shows Q Q. No help and I double up again to over 2000. Next hand, Dogman goes all in for his last 1000. It folds around to me. I see A Q and call. He has 7 7. A queen comes on the flop and I knock him out. Best yet, I collect the last $10 bounty. Suddenly I have about 3500 in chips which looks to be above average. Before I know it, we are down to 8 players and they set us up for the final table.

The top 6 get paid. I notice that I am probably in 3rd place, maybe 2nd at this point. Fubu looks to be the chip leader. Tigers hat and his wife are on the low end with a quiet guy and T in between. I get the button and deal. A couple hands in, Tigers hat's wife goes out. I had limped in with Q J suited. Holey shirt was in as well. We both checked the flop when it came with rags. Turn was a K and he bet. I didn't like that. Apparently this guy doesn't understand tournament play as the right move in to check it down. That way there are two hands that could possibly knock the all in player out. A Q hit the river and he knocked her out with 2 pair. Next hand, I try to steal blinds from UTG. The table is playing very tight at this point as no one wants to go out on the bubble. I see 6 6 and raise it to 1200 (blinds are now 200/400). Big blind calls. Flop comes A K 2. He checks and I bet 1000. He immediately calls me and flips over his cards. A K. I do not catch a 6 and he doubles up.

On the next hand, I would go out on the bubble. This pissed me off because I am sure I made the right play. You decide. I am in the big blind. Fubu makes his usual raise to 800. It folds to me. I see A K offsuit. I have about 3500 or so. I am not sure what my chip total is but I know Fubu has more. I go all in hoping to take it down right there. I am confident he went in on a ragged ace. He asks me to count out what I have. I start to and he decides he will call. He shows A 7 off. WTF? He called with that? Very bad call. Flop comes 3 5 6. Shit! Right then I knew I was in trouble. The feeling was rising through my bones. I told the dealer not to turn the 4. Turn is a 2. River is the 4 of diamonds. This idiot hits his 3 outer and I am done. I was shocked but then again, I wasn't. It was one of those things I could see coming when the flop hit. I got in with the best hand, made a good read on this clown and received a bad beat. I don't know if I should have played it any differently. If I had just called pre flop, I would have bet the flop with the 2 high overcards. I am pretty sure he would not have folded. The only thing I could see was calling to see a flop and then folding just so I could survive into the money. But the aggressive play was the right move in my opinion. Maybe next time I don't have a moron calling that bet.

Funny thing was that this clown was now in a commanding position. But he would go out in 5th! He gave all his chips away to Tigers hat. I don't know how he messed it up, but then again, he is a very bad player. Don't know who won exactly. I was starving.

Me and B, who had won over $300 in side games, went to Hooters where I collected on my last longer bet. At least I got something out of it. $10 bounty and some wings is a good collection on the day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Badger Poker...Steaming

Sometimes you get a bad beat and go out quickly. Other times you get the bad beat, start to steam, make a move and get very lucky. I did the latter last night at the HAND. It helped me work my way back to a workable stack, but in the end, one bad move knocked me out. It was deja vu when I sat down. There was Tigers hat, Gonzo, Granny, and WG. It felt just like Monday night! Then Twins fan and his lady joined the table as did Tigers hat's wife. Smoker chick sat to my left and Pierced Eye was 3 to my right to round out the table. Except for a brief time on Monday, I had experience with everyone at this table. I felt my feel on these players was pretty damn good so I was looking for to some good play.

Things got out to an interesting start. Got sixes on the first hand and limped on in. Called 500 on the flop but folded the turn. 3 overcards were too much. Second hand I limp again with K Q just to fold to an A high flop. From there I didn't play much for the next half hour. There wasn't much action at the table. Gonzo was playing every hand, winning a bunch of small pots. He commented that he would win the small ones and then lose the big ones. Sure enough if he didn't dump a good pot to Pierced Eye on a flush. Four cards to the flush on the board and he called it down with his straight. Everyone knew she had it too. I should have paid more attention to this. Instead I read it the wrong way.

I limped in with A J from the small blind. Smoker Chick bumped it 500 from the BB. Gonzo and I both called. Flop came J 7 8, two diamonds. It checked around. Turn was another diamond, the 9. I had the A of diamonds as well as a gut shot straight draw. I bet out here to show I had caught my flush. Smoker Chick folded as a good player would. Gonzo thought about it and finally called. River was the Q of spades. I bet out 2500 to once again show I had the flush. Gonzo called quickly and showed K Q. He called all that with absolutely nothing and sucked out on the river. I was pissed. Twins fan gave me the WTF look. There must have been smoke coming out of my ears as I was steaming. Suddenly I was down to only 4k left.

A couple hands later I saw 8 8 and pushed. Yeah, I was on tilt. Two others had limped in so it seemed as good as any time to push. I was happy to get out of there if I lost. Tigers hat thought about it and folded. He was pretty sure he knew what I had (I have a good rep with him. I don't think he can read me at all). It came around to the first limper, Pierced Eye who said this was the best hand she had all night. She called my 4000 bet. But then WG, the other limper, went over the top. Oh shit! I knew I was in trouble now. PE called his bet as well with A x. WG had pocket rockets. I got up to go as Tigers hat flipped the flop. I nice red 8 was the first card I saw. No A came and I tripled up. Got lucky while steaming! Not bad.

A couple of hands later, WG pushed UTG for 5300. I looked down to see J J. I thought about it for a while and counted out my chips. If I called, I would have around 7500 to play with. With plenty of time to go, I decided he didn't have an overpair. I placed him on an A only, especially since he was down and had resigned himself to playing the second chance table. I called. Pierced Eye went for the ride too. WG showed A 7 and PE showed A 3. He called for an A. He got the A on the flop. But along came a J and I knocked both of them out. At the first break, I was sitting right around 24k. Not bad.

But the second session was pretty rocky. I gave 5k to Twins fan's girl when I tried to limp with Q J hearts. Flop came J 10 7 all diamonds. I bet it out but she called. Turn was an A so now I had the straight draw as well. River was a rag. She bet out 2k and I gave the crying call. She showed her A. Actually she had A K hearts so I was in trouble from the start. I tried to limp on other hands to no avail. Towards the end of the second session I would rebound a bit but only after I realized how much I had bled out. I was in the big blind when the bet was raised to 4000 by Tigers hat. Gonzo called. I looked down to see A K off. I thought of the hands Tigers hat had raised in the past and made my move. I went all in. He called for a chip count. I had 12800. He had me covered. What? I realized how much I had given away and was bummed. Gonzo thought and folded. Tigers hat showed K 9 suited. He had no help and I doubled up. Next hand I got A K again and knocked him out. I was back in the game again.

But in the third session, Tigers hat's wife (THW)started to run the table. Worse yet, she wasn't showing many cards. She used her big stack well. I bled some chips out on 10 10 to her. Flop came A high and I mucked her 3k bet. She was constantly raising and picked on the small stacks really well. I got blinded down a bit when they moved more players in. With blinds at 2000/4000 and about to go up, I made my bad play of the night. A new guy with a healthy stack of chips raised UTG + 1 to 8k. I looked down and saw K 8 suited. It folded around to me and I decided to defend the blind. I called to see a flop of 2 2 A. He checked as did I. Turn was an A. He checked again. Now I thought that maybe he just had a king high and was using his stack to buy the blinds. I bet 4000. He pushed all in. I knew I was beat but felt pot committed. I called with my last 8k or so. He showed A K and I was drawing dead. Well played. I should have checked it down and just folded to a bet. But with blinds about to go up again, I felt I need to do something. What a bad decision.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Badger Poker...Oooh that smell

The second season of Badger Poker is slowly coming to an end. I think we are past the midway point and it has been a bit tougher than the first go around. More fish are in the seas with some very strange play. That was evident on Monday at Bay View Bowl. New faces and weird play. I saw some very familiar faces in the room and there was a couple at the table. Tigers hat was there as was the whiny guy (I should change his name because he isn't whiny any more and is a good guy). My friend Cor was there. I should call him Frito Lay as he was giving chips to everyone last night. Grape soda was on my left. He kept popping cough drops that smelled like grape soda. Gonzo, an older Mexican(?) guy was a loose player who seemed to play every hand. Granny, one of the biggest rocks that I ever saw was straight across from me. A really round faced guy was next to her. By Tigers hat was a squinty eyed guy. And to my right was DiCaprio.

I did like this starting table because I had a good feel for how some of them played. I knew WG would be aggressive and Tigers hat would push on big cards. I just needed to figure out the other 6. And that wasn't hard. Especially when you are not getting any cards. Hardly any pre-flop raising was going on. Nor was there much betting. Not until WG started to push the table a bit. He quickly doubled up taking out DiCaprio who played rather bad last night. Grape soda hardly played any hands as I didn't either. I tried to limp with an ace here or there, some connectors, and some suited since the price was cheap but was hitting anything. I watched Cor bleed chips and wondered what he was doing. Apparently he was getting a lot of little pairs and wasn't hitting anything on the board. Gonzo, as mentioned, was playing every hand and seeing some wild stack swings. He gave up a bunch of chips to the squinty eyed guy when he stayed with second pair. Granny played maybe one hand that wasn't involving her blinds. Funny thing was she always bet it heavy too. She would limp in, see a flop, and if it hit her hand, she would bet like 4000 into a 1200 pot. WTF? Round face guy was doing ok and slowly gathering chips.

I don't think I won a pot until the hand just before the first break. Blinds were 200/400. I think I may have been in the cutoff. WG raised it up to 1800. I looked down and saw the Hilton Sisters had come to visit. I knew WG could have any set of hands but my feeling was that he didn't have a big pair, maybe A K at best. I raised it another 3k. This is where playing with some of these guys has paid off. I raised with the thought that he was most likely to go over the top with his big stack. If not, I was going to push on the flop. Sure enough, he pushed with 8 8. Nice double for me as none of the limpers even thought of calling my raise, let alone his push. Grape soda commented how I missed out on his chips as he would have called the initial raise. I guess he doesn't understand how the skanks can turn your good hand into mush when too many people see a flop and that A or K hits.

After the break, things got a little interesting. People had noticed Granny hardly played. Suddenly she was playing some hands. Not well, but she was playing. She got crippled by the round faced guy. She called from the small blind and saw a fop of 4 6 7. She bet 5000 on it. Round face guy raised all in. Warning signs were oh so present. Lights should have flashing, sirens blaring not to call. But she did with A 10. He showed his big blind special of 3 5 for the flopped straight. She would lose her remaining chips just a bit later than that on another crappy hand.

Gonzo got lucky. His chip stack was moving up and down as he paid off many a hand. He quaded up on a pair of jack. From UTG, Cor moved allin with his last 3100. Gonzo had only 3100 left as well. I was in the cutoff and saw A K. So I called. Squinty eyed guy called as well from the small blind. I believe the flop came J high, two spades. I checked and Squinty bet 1000. I called with the two over cards. Turn was no help. I then bet 1500, feeling that he was on a flush draw and that my A high might be good. He called. Hmmm....didn't necessarily like that. River was a blank. We both checked. He had A 7 spades, missing his flush. My K kicker gave me the side pot. Cor had K Q and nothing while Gonzo had pocket jacks for a set. That may have been the only hand I played in the second session. Round faced guy was getting hot. He called an all in bet from Squity with another small stack. Squinty had the rockets with RF had K J. Flop came K K x and that was all she wrote. Going into the second break I was down slightly from the first break and getting cold decked.

Third session began with some new players. It was here I made a bad play and a good play. I tried to buy a pot off of one of the new guy. I had limped in with something like A 8. There were 4 people in the pot. Flop came with two hearts, with one being the 8. The first two guys checked. I bet out 1500. One of the new guys thought for a bit and called. The other two folded. Turn was another heart. I figured he was on the flush draw and that is why he had called. I bet out 3000. I should have checked but thought a decent size bet might have him thinking I caught the nut flush. He raised me back. I had no choice but to fold. Should have gone with my initial read instead of firing the second bullet.

A couple of hands later I would make up for it. One of the other new guys, Fivehead, had been talking with Grape soda earlier during one of the breaks. He was bragging that he was up and had bluffed a couple of times. Thanks for the info bub. He started playing every hand when he sat down and got busted up. He came with a stack of around 30k that quickly diminished to roughly 15. He kept betting aggressively and was called down on every one. I was able to take advantage of this. I limped in (blinds 1000/2000) with 9 10 spades, mainly because I had mentioned how this hand can be powerful with the straight combinations that are possible, plus with a flush possibility. It didn't hurt that there was a small stack in the small blind and two guys had already limped in. With 5 guys seeing the flop I got the monster I needed, 6 7 8. Fivehead was first to act. This was good and bad. Good because he immediately reached for his chips. Bad as he went all in, scaring out the two guys behind him. If he bets around 3000, I know one of them probably calls. Instead he pushed like 14000. I immediately called. He showed J 8 for top pair. Turn was a 10. Suddenly I thought I was gonna get screwed by a nine to give him a J high straight. Thankfully a 5 showed up and I won a nice pot.

That was basically my last hurrah. With 22 people left and us short playered, we were moved to two tables of 11. That didn't last long as a couple players dropped quickly. But on the first hand after moving, I look down and see 7 7. Being in late position, I raised it to 8000. The button called me and there was one all in. Flop came Q 10 5. I bet out another 8000 thinking that aggression was the way to go. Button quickly pushed all in. It was only another 5 to call and the pot odds were great. She had called with 5 5 and had her set. It stood up and I lost half my stack just like that. Next hand I get K Q hearts. WG had been put here and pushed all in from under the gun. Once again, having played with him, I knew he didn't necessarily have a good hand. I called my last 12400. However, the small blind then called as well. I had kinda forgotten about the players behind me. WG showed J 3 spades. Small blind had Cowboys. No hearts came or spades for WG and we were knocked silly. End result was 17th place. I was a little disappointed as I had a good read on WG but what a crappy time to have a big hand behind me. Worse, a Q had hit the river so I would have taken it down. Only two hands could have beaten me and one was out there.

Bagman's words of wisdom. This one goes to Gonzo. It is always strange when these gamblers get onto your table. They get too lucky at times. In this case, with a board of J J Q 7 3, someone pushed Gonzo all in on a decent sized pot. He sat there thinking and declared "I know you have the better hand". Upon hearing that, I said "And that is why you are going to call". Sure enough, he called and won with Q 9 over Q 8. His kicker held up. Amazing. You say someone has you beat and you call anyways. Stupid. Lucky, but stupid.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Badger Poker...Patience, what is that?

I like playing at Stenys. There is a bit more room than some of the other places and usually the smoke isn't too bad with the fans spinning above. Even at a table with 5 smokers, the air clears up well. Unless you start at a tough table like I did on Thursday. Too many respected players were there. Twins Fans and his girl, Tigers hat, Cowboys fan and MGM. The biker was there as was a Bears fan on my right. A slightly greasy hair dude was across from me and next to him a quiet guy. Some good players to start against so I knew I was going to have to play smart and if necessary be patient. It was a good game plan. If only I would have stuck to it.

I didn't play many hands to begin with. Even folded both blinds, though when in the small blind I should have called the 500 bet with 6 others players in. Board wouldn't have done anything for me so it didn't matter in hindsight. I tried to steal a pot when I flopped a straight draw but Tigers fan moved all in behind me with his two pair. I took down a decent pot against the greasy hair guy. I was in the big blind with A 8 suited. Flop came J 8 4. Greasy hair guy bet out and I raised him 1200. He called. I liked the move that I made. I had read about getting free cards when you get a piece of the flop by raising back at the player. You can judge the true strength of their hand if they bet out, or if they check, there is a good chance you are ahead. It worked well this time as he checked turn and river, showing a pair of 8s as well. My ace kicker was good.

About the only other pot I won was just before the break. Had the Big Lick in the big blind and saw a flop of 9 8 8. I bet it out and everyone folded. There was one bad beat just before the break. Twins fan took the beating. Tigers fan delivered it. Flop came 5 6 3. Tigers fan bet out 2000. Twins came back all in. Tiger thought and thought and then called. I was wondering why the hell would someone play 7 4, knowing that one of them had exactly that. I realized Twins fan was in the big blind. Also knowing that he would only push like that with the nuts, it was the only possible hand he would have. He showed the big blind special when Tigers hat called. He was on the straight draw. But the board pair up the 4 and the 3 to give Tigers hat the full house. Runner runner delivers a near fatal blow. Ouch. To an extent that was some of the kind of play that was going on at times. Greasy hair was winning pots on the river and accumulated some chips. He was also calling down on any suited or ace high. Not a good player but one you want to see at your table to start with.

Halfway through the second session they broke us up. I was treading water most of the night, sticking to the plan. I hadn't received any good cards up to this point. Really, no great starting hands. At the new table, there were some other familiar faces. Twins fan's girl was moved there with me, Cowboys fan and 2 others. The whiny guy was there. I had played with the guy on my right before and knew him to be aggressive.

It was only 3 hands in that I forgot about the plan. UTG, I saw A 10. Now, being cold decked all night, that can suddenly look fantastic. Plus, I felt if I hit the flop I could take down a good pot. So I raised it 3000 (blinds 500/1000). It folded around to the big blind who called. Flop came A 5 6 and I pushed right after he checked. He called quickly. Shit! This cannot be good. I tossed my 6100 in and saw his A Q. Two kings fill the board and I am done.

Aggression killed me. What happened to patience? I wondered if I would have checked and seen the king if it would have mattered. The non-bet with an ace might have indicated that I had K K. I don't think it would have. In the end, I was aggressive when I didn't need to be with a mediocre hand. I had time to wait around and play but didn't. I just need to learn from this.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Badger Poker...Playing at the drunkard table

Tuesday night means heading downtown to play some poker at the HAND cafe. Parking sucked again. Not sure why. Marquette might have been playing or maybe the Admirals. I hope that isn't a sign of things to come. Same crowd, same strange poker play. I sat down at a table that would give me some space. At the table was the Worst Player Ever, still living up to his name. Omar, a guy I had played with before. Tigers hat sat on down. There was a stout guy to my left that liked to raise every hand. There was Pat (I had little idea whether it was a dude or chick when I first sat down. After 45 minutes, it spoke and I realized it was a chick). The Deadskins fan to my right. When he sat down, I was tempted to move or tell him to move. The guy with the yellow Brewers hat wasn't there too long. Corona drinking guy and finally, Peach Fuzz. This guy was very loose. Called a lot of hands down and got lucky. I was amazed by how the length of hair on top of his head matched his whole face.

Stout guy got the action going and raised the first 3 or 4 hands. I limped on in with K 10 the first time around with 4 callers. Nothing on the flop so I folded. Somewhere around the 5th hand, I caught pocker rockets. 3 people tried to limp in but only one called by 1500 bet. It was the Deadskin. Flop came down 8 8 5. I bet another 1500 at the pot and he folded. At least I got paid a bit on it. After that, things got a bit busy as I didn't play many hands. I paid 1000 with a pair of 4s but failed to make anything big of it. I tried to steal the blinds with K 4 but Peach Fuzz would have none of it. I fired on the flop and the turn, but stopped on the river. The board had paired up and I thought he had a pocket pair. Turns out he had K 6 and we split the pot. I should have fired on the river. However, this hand would help me later. Pat didn't last until the first break. Neither did yellow Brewers hat who made an extremely weak play. He got heads up with Peach Fuzz. You could tell when the flop came with an A & K that he was in trouble. He hesitated too much. You could smell the weakness. Peach Fuzz called his weak 3000 bet. They both checked the turn but Peach Fuzz forced him all in on the river. And he called. Stupid. Peach Fuzz, though he very loose play, was collecting some chips. I had to try and make them mine. He even knocked out three guys just before the break- Deadskin, Corona, and the Stout guy when he played his 5 2 suited and made a straight on the turn. He called an all in bet of 3500 on the gutshot. Ugh! One of the more interesting things that Omar pointed out was I kept flopping aces. Twice I tossed a pair of rockets on the board.

So after the break, we started short handed with 5. Of course, they break us up just after the blinds go by. Omar, Peach Fuzz and I go one table over. Do rag is there. The Mick is on my right. A yapper is on my left. A nerdy guy in yellow I will call Myron is playing along. The others don't matter as anyone new to the table seems to get killed. I unfortunately get placed into the path of the blinds. They are no help and I lose them as well. 3000 gone, just like that in the blinds. So when the button comes along to me, I try to steal some back. I raised it up to 3000 with K Q. Yapper folds but Peach Fuzz calls, of course. Flop comes with 2 spades but totally misses me. I bet 3000 again. He calls. Turn is a blank. He checks as does I. On the river, the board pairs up. He checks and I move all in for my last 1500. And he folds. I remembered the hand from the first table and knew there would be a chance that he would fold if I made the bet. Suddenly I have some life and doubled up. A couple hands later, Omar raises it up to 3000. It comes around to me. I see K K staring back at me. Once again, I think of a play that Omar made at the first table. I decide to push as there is a very strong chance he would call. He did with 10 10. I doubled up again to just over 20k.

Next hand I get A 8. I remember a strategy by Doyle Brunson. He advises playing the next hand after winning just about no matter what. So I limped in from late position. Flop comes K high with two hearts. No help for me. It checks around to me and I bet 3000 to try and take down the pot. Only Myron calls me. I figure him for a K. Turn is an A. Myron checks. I bet 5000 and he calls. He checks the river, which is a 6 or something. I check and he shows A Q. He called the 3000 with one overcard? If he was smart, he would have re-raised my turn bet. But suddenly I gave back a chunk of what I just won. Damn you Doyle!

At this point, Do rag suddenly starts to go all in on anything and everything. He doubles up at the expense of Peach Fuzz twice. First he pushed with 9 10 and caught a 10 over PF's Q 9 suited (WTF?). Then he busted Peach Fuzz with A Q over his A 10. Peach Fuzz didn't last long after that. The yapper was busted out. Omar went. A dude with a Miller hat and a stack soon disappeared. The Mick on my right kept trying to limp into pots but folded to a bet. I wonder how he had managed to double up when I didn't even see him play. Even when I was in the big blind at one point. I bet the flop with my 7 4 (to a board of K J 8) and he folded. The Mick is one tight rock. But after we shot down at half dozen players, I got moved to the drunk table.

I guess these guys were hitting hit hard. Rounds for the table. They had done a number of shots. Up there was Cowboys fan and MGM. Each had a good number of chips. The Doc was talking but he wasn't playing much. The Mick was put up there. There was a black dude to my left who interned at my place of employment years ago. And then the 3 buddies, one who was a puddle. The Puddle was blitzed. You could see him getting drunker by the minute. Apparently one of his buddies works at the HAND so maybe they get a deal. Anyway, the Puddle is basically showing his hand to half the table. He would bend his cards and twist the to the left and right. The Mick told him he should be careful but the Puddle didn't want to hear it. He yammered that he shouldn't be looking at his cards. That if this was a cash game, it would not be allowed. Whatever you drunk bastard. You show your cards like that, I will look. Stupidity should not be rewarded.

Anyhoo, the table was supposedly loose when I got there but tightened up dramatically. Hardly any flops were being seen. So I tried to get a bit aggressive when I could. But that wasn't going to work as I didn't have much to play. After seeing dozens of Qs matched with 6s & 7s, I get pocket 9s and raise to 5000. It folds to the Cowboys fan who thinks then folds. And that was pretty much the only hand I played in an hour. I kept some blinds when it folded around but there was no action except for the bending of cards by the puddle. After that hour was up it was moving time again.

We were down to 3 tables now. I sat down to the right of Do Rag and the left of Bagman. Me and my big can of Heineken were ready to do some damage. Also at the table was Tigers hat, a young black lady and the card snatcher. Of course, I went out of the first hand there. Never fails. Buy a big can of beer and you go out quickly. It started out well. The Hilton Sisters came to visit. with just 11200 left and blinds of 4000/8000, I had to push. Bad thing was Tigers hat called quickly. I knew right away he had either KK or AA. Sure enough, Cowboys were tossed down and I was tossed out.

I was content with most of my play. Should have bet Peach Fuzz a bit more, but I got value out of my big hands and had no bad beats. I can feel it now. Stenys will be good.

Bagmans words of wisdom- As always, Bagman is trying to impress the ladies. When I sat down at the last table, both he and Do Rag came back with 2 drinks apiece. Do Rag already had one at the table. Bagman, in his ever to be the smooth one, explains to the lady behind him that he had to buy his buddy a drink because he had bought him one. Nice gesture, but you are wasting alcohol. Your buddy now has 3 drinks in front of him and probably won't finish them. You know, you could have waited a half hour and bought him one when needed. Dipshit.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Badger Poker...Time to try the wings

I headed on down to Stenys a bit early on Thursday night. Had to try the wings. If my poker game is just ok, maybe it can be spiced up with some hot wings. Then again, maybe not. The wings were ok. Nothing to brag about (like they claim on the board outside; famous my ass!). If you are hungry and need a cheap snack they are ok. Plus, I don't think they do anything for your poker game.

I sat down at the first table I noticed with an opening. It also had quite a bit of room around it so I didn't feel like a sardine. Also, the fans were going so it didn't seem very smoky in there either. It was a good table to start at. Trick or Treat was there along with his brother. King Tut was on my left. The card snatcher was two spots over. The Biker was across from me. The dude on my left I had played with before. He kept the hat pretty low so you really couldn't see his eyes. Freeway's older brother was two spots to my right. A guy with a Marquette shirt and some guy in a sweater round out the table.

Things started out ok. I didn't play for a full orbit. I mucked a pair of 6s when Low Hat raised the pot 1000. That seemed to be the bet. King Tut started it by raising 1000 and the table adopted it. Somewhere around 19 hands in I caught K K on the button. There was one caller ahead of me and I raised it up to 1700. King Tut had already grabbed chips so I was pretty confident he would come along. He did. Big blind folded but Trick or Treat called. I dealt the flop, thinking all along, no ace. 7 7 5, two spades hit the board. They both checked. I looked at the 3700 pot and decided to push. The aggressiveness paid off and they folded. I then went back to mucking. A number of hands later I got A J diamonds and decided to bump it up 1900. Freeway's brother had been bleeding chips and had already called the blind. I didn't expect Marquette to push. He had only 2100 so that wasn't bad. Freeway's bro called the 2100 bet. I looked over and saw that he had only 1400 more left so I re-raised him all in, knowing he didn't have much of a hand. He didn't as he flipped over K 10. But Marquette had 10 10. No A or J hits the board and he tripled up. By taking out Freeway, I had lost only 700 on the hand.

Strange hand happened a bit later. King Tut got Trick or Treat's brother heads up. Flop came A Q x. King Tut moved all in and was called. Tut turned over A K. ToT'sB had Q 8 suited. WTF? At that point someone said it was over, but ToT'sB said he could still hit an 8 or Q to win. Sure enough, the Q hit on the turn and the 8 on the river for the boat. Unbelievable. One really bad call tripled him up.

There was another bad play that set me off just before the break. I was in mid position and limped in with 7 7. Tut called and Trick or Treat's Bro raised from the small blind to 1600. Big blind, sweater boy, pushed all in. He had done the same the hand before but everyone folded. I hated the move. I would call the extra 1200 but I wasn't going to put 9k in there. The Biker called down his last 6k as did ToT's bro who had this clown covered. Sweater boy had only 5 5. WTF? He went all in with that?!?! ToTb had K 7 suited and the biker had K 10. Flop came with a 7 and I was pissed. Two 3 filled the board and ToT'sB won. How could he push with 5 5? I walked to the bar and was able to vent on J (thanks for listening J).

In the second session, I didn't have much to work with. I tried to make some suited connectors and big cards work but the flops weren't hitting me. I don't even think I won a pot. In the end, I went out with A Q. I dealt King Tut cowboys and that was all she wrote. There was an interesting spot that happened though. One the new guys, leather jacket was in a pot with King Tut. The board had a bunch of face cards up. Tut pushed all in and it came around to leather jacket. He was thinking of calling. Then he asks if he can flip his card face up on the table. Right away, old man Badger said that would constitute a fold. I said that it wouldn't. There was no one that could act behind him so he could do what he wanted. I then must have sounded like a total poker geek as I pointed out the same thing was done in the 1993 WSOP. This was just on ESPN Classic and I had watched it earlier today. They called Jason over and he ruled it was good. Didn't matter as the guy folded but it provided for a bit of entertainment.

And now a word from our sponsor. Some people need to learn some manners. The other night I was invited to a tourney that featured a good prize. One of the players at the table had overheard someone else being invited and was trying to weasel his way in. When the host of this game came by the table, he loudly started asking about the details. He was pretty much ignored by the host as he should have been. If you are not directly invited to a game, it is not your place to spread the word about it or inquire about it. Do everyone a favor and just be quiet.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Badger Poker...A mountain of chips

Once I got my lungs cleaned out from last night's smoke-a-thon, I decided to give downtown another whirl and headed down to the Have a Nice Day Cafe. Parking sucked because there was both a basketball game and a concert going on. But the air was crisp and I could breathe.

There was no table assignments so I sat down with my friend Cor at one of the new tables. The new tables are quite nice. Cards glide across them like an air hockey table. Slow Bus took a seat as well as PBR (formerly known as Cubs fan). One guy over to my right was a stack pusher. Had played with him a couple of times. Dude on my immediate right was young wearing one of those knit hats that is pulled down to your eyes. There was a really dumb player across from me. Two younger guys and a dude wearing glasses rounded out the table. One bad thing was that they started us out with 11 players. We got jammed in there pretty bad at first.

Slow Bus got off to a good start collecting some chips. But of course, the dumb player started getting lucky and winning pots. What made him dumb? His betting. First, he couldn't understand the concept of raising the minimum of what was bet. This was told to him at least 3 times. Second, there were spot where he underbet the pot or didn't push someone all in where he should have. Plus, he overplayed hands, but I am not complaining about that. I tangled with him once from the big blind. Had A 9 and saw a flop of A Q x. I checked and he bet it. I called. Turn was another Q. I checked as did he. River was a rag. He bet 2000. Underbetting the pot is usually begging for a call, but I don't think the dumb player has a clue about value betting. I was pretty sure he didn't have a Q but was more concerned he had a A with a better kicker. I called and saw his pocket 5s.

I won a nice nice pot when someone went all in for 1100. 3 others called. My K J held up when J of hearts filled the flush. Some dude without a sense of humor then sat down. Surprisingly, we started out with 11 people that did not smoke. First thing the new guy does is pull out a cigarette. I jokingly say "They didn't tell you this was a non-smoking table?". He scowled. I then asked if he was going to do his best Sam Farha impersonation. Apparently this wasn't funny as he replied that he was going to smoke his cigarette. Whatever no sense of humor guy. Thankfully, he didn't last long.

After the break, things started to heat up a bit. The glasses guy was getting frisky and started to push. So was the stack pusher. I had a Lite vitamin during the break so I was ready for battle. I also managed to do my best Dan Harrington impersonation. Now if you don't know who he is, then you don't know poker. Simply put, the guy is very good and has a WSOP championship under his belt. He is a rock. As rock as they come. But he makes his hands pay big. That is what I did. Glasses guy tried to raise the bet to 4000 (I believe that was the bet). Stack pusher on my right went over the top and all in. I looked down and saw two red kings. I looked at stack pusher and tried to figure out what he had. Of course, I am only concerned about pocket rockets. I then thought about how he pushed a couple hands ago with Q Q. Glasses guy had pushed with 10 10 before so I was comfortable knowing that I had the best hand here. I called as did he. He turned over Q Q. The Cowboys doubled me up towards 30k. Feels like a Stenys moment. I have chips somewhat early. Nice.

They break our table up and I get shifted to a real action table. Robin Hood is there (Aggressive Asian- very good player, but always building a stack and giving it to other players) and some young dude with a Quad Graphics shirt are the guys with stacks. The rest of the players aren't donig bad ranging anywhere from about 8k to 15k. No real tiny stacks here. But people were going down like flies. Though attempts were made to keep the table full, someone was getting busted out every 5-10 minutes. And many pots were going to see 3-4 way action with raised bets. I capitalized early at this table. Was in the big blind with 8 9 off. Robin Hood and another call. Flop comes 8 7 7. I bet 2500 and they both call. Hmm...someone has a set. Turn is an 8 for the full house. Now I am wondering how to play this. Do I check or bet? If I check, there is a good chance that Robin Hood does bet. But if I bet, there is a good chance he pushes. I bet 5000. Sure enough, RH pushes all in. The other guy then calls! I pause a bit and then call with my full house. They each flip there cards and have the set of 7s. Amazingly, they are both drawing dead. I rake in a pot of around 75000. I now have a mountain of chips in front of me. Bad part is that Robin Hood still as around 20k himself. He proceeds to build his stack again, raising any checked flop. Pushing on the turn with high pair. He builds it up and then distributes a big chunk to Quad. More players come in and more players go out. We take a break and I still have the mountain of chips in front of me. I haven't really played many hands but make the most of those that I have.

During the break, I meet up with Cor and we head to the bar. They have mini king cans for 3 bucks so I start to guzzle a Heineken. This may have been the fuel I needed. Play resumes as AK Slowplay is put to my left. A guy who beat me at Gametime is across from me. Robin Hood and Quad a still there as well. I am looking to trap Robin Hood and take him out. I would soon get my chance. With blinds 1000/2000, RH raised to 8000. I looked down and saw K K again. I raised it up to 20k knowing he would probably come over the top. Sure enough, he did with big slick, A K off. No help for him and I took his remaining 30k or so. My mountain just got bigger.

But the table was still rather aggressive. This was not a table to try and push around with the big stack as you could get trapped easily. They moved a young lady to the table and she started to beat up on Quad. She played her pair of aces very well, goading him into calling. I found it to be quite funny as she talked him into calling her down.

I took my mountain to a new table again. We were down to 30 some people at this point. The only one I recognize at this table is the Whiny Guy. Maybe I should get a new name for him but not quite yet. I respect his play, but not the whining. There is another guy I have played a couple times with. As I would find out, it is AK Slowplay's brother. Learned that when I knocked him out. I raised the pot up to 20k with A K. He went all in from the cutoff for 51k. I counted my chips out and took a look to try and figure out what he had. I could easily call and not be hurt here. I made the call as I figured at the very least, I had two over cards. My gut feeling is that he had A something. Turns out he had A Q. No help and all the red chips he had were all mine. My mountain is even bigger now. Best part is that I have managed to make every big hand pay off. Haven't played many hands but got paid on the big ones.

Dodged a couple of bullets too. We went down to 20 and Tattoo Talker was at the table. He was small stacked and was going to push on anything soon. I was in the big blind and saw A 4 suited. He went all in from EP for about 50k. Small blind called quickly. That I didn't like. Now I had to think about it. It would only cost me about 20k more, but I didn't want to triple TT up. I knew I had him at this point. I didn't think he had a pair. I was confident he had two face cards. But I didn't know what the guy on my right had. TT even tried to talk it up. I told him I was confident I had him beat but didn't know what the small blind had. I ended up folding. TT had Q J. Small blind had A 7. A jack hit the flop and TT had moved up.

Soon enough we got moved to the final table. I had around 250k in front of me at this point. Blind though were 10000/20000 and moving up. Antes were going at 2000. I got put into the big blind to start. UTG, Darkman, raised to 40k. It was folded around to Twin's Fan Lady. She thought for a couple of minutes and then pushed all in for about 125k. I looked down and saw AK. Now it was my turn to think. What did she have? More importantly, what did Darkman have that he raised up with? I decided that Darkman didn't matter. I focused on her. She didn't like having to make the call and didn't look confident about her push. I put her on a medium pair, maybe J J tops. I felt good with overcards. And every good hand I had this night paid off for me. I called. Darkman folded (he had 6 6). Twin's Fan Lady turned over 10 10. No help on the board and the pot was hers.

Blind and antes were then raised again to 20000/40000 with 5000 antes a couple of hands later. I didn't get much to play after that. Suddenly I felt like I was being blinded away as it became an all in fest. Soon blinds were 25/50k. I figured I had to make an effort to at least capture the antes. From early position, with blinds coming around, I pushed my last 75k in with K 4 off. Broke my rule by pushing in with a less than optimal hand. Of course, two people call because they have aces (second rule broken- everyone pushes with aces at final table so don't push with a ragged king). They turn over A 7 off and A 3 hearts. I like my chances at first because I have clean outs. But I didn't any of the 6 and was done in 7th place when the heart flush was filled.

Not bad, but feel I could have done better. But again, it is something to build on. I think I will go watch Dan Harrington play some more.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Badger Poker...Get me an iron lung and a night of WTF?

Another Monday night means playing poker at the Bay View Bowl. This week though I was unprepared. Unprepared to get cancer and unprepared for the psychotic play that was happening. Ever feel like you are the only person not smoking in a crowd of 70? That is how I felt last night. Hey, I don't mind if people smoke (I own big tobacco stocks and make good money off of smokers) but there needs to be some ventilation. And please, keep the ash tray off the table. At least people were kind enough to move them right away when asked.

Ok, let's get back to poker. The play was psycho to begin with. I don't believe I saw so many bad calls that won (and don't even begin to argue that it isn't a bad call if you win the hand), or all in moves that the person got plain lucky on (ok, I had one of those). It was an interesting table. Trick or Treat's brother was there along with his girlfriend again. But Trick or Treat was no where to be found. Bummer, no easy chips tonight. There was a young tuff at the table all decked out in his hooded sweatshirt, hat, sunglasses and scowl. I think the side burns did it though. To my right was King Tut. To my left was the Whitewater Kid. His buddy was to King Tut's right. Young kid with dirty looking hair. Two spot over was a guy that looked like Freeway's older brother. Lite Man (decked out in hat and matching shirt)was two to my left and Old Flannel was off in the opposite corner.

First hand saw immediate action. ToT's brother was on the button and raised it up 500. King Tut and Lite Man went for the ride. Flop came K high. ToT's brother bets out and gets two callers. Turn is a 4. ToT's Bro bets again and both call. River is an A. ToT's Bro moves all in. King Tut thinks, thinks and mucks. Lite Man calls him and wins with a pair of Aces. ToT's Bro had a pair of 5s. WTF? Calling all those bets just to hit the river? I was also surprised King Tut folded the two pair. I knew two pair would win that hand, that neither had trips. Lite Man more than doubles up. Unfortunately, he would use those chips. Not that he was a good player. He wanted to see as many cards as he could and would pay to see them. But if he got the nuts, he would bet it hard.

I played my first hand soon thereafter. Was able to limp from the big blind with K 9. Flop came 9 high so I bet it. Lite Man came for the ride. Turn was a rag. I checked as did he. River was an A. I bet it again as I knew it was the only way I could win. He raised it, forcing me to fold. A similar thing happened to me against the Dirty Haired Kid. Got A Q and raised it up to 700. 3 players came along. Flop hit a bunch of rags. I bet 1000 and only the Dirty Haired Kid called. Turn was a rag. I bet again and he called. River was a 10. I felt my A high was good enough though I checked. He turned over J 10, having caught the 10 on the river. WTF? How do you call two bets with nothing? This had me a bit pissed but it wasn't major. The psycho play was continuing as people stayed in hands they had little business being in.

I avoided trouble with a similar hand. Limped with A 9 with 4 people seeing the flop. Flop came 9 high so I bet it out. Freeway's brother called as did Old Flannel. Turn was a Q. Didn't like the over card and the straight possibility was on the board. I checked and Freeway's bro bet 2000. Old Flannel called. I felt I had FB beat, but wasn't sure about Flannel. I mucked to play it safe. Sure enough, Old Flannel filled his straight on the river and knocked Freeway's O B out. He only had the pair of 9s with a king kicker. WTF?

I actually won my first hand on a crap play. I limped in with A 3 diamonds. Being the short stack, I had little choice but to push when an A hit the flop. Feeling that I was probably going to be outkicked, it was a desperation move. But a 3 hit the turn and my two pair held up. ToT's bro had a pair of jacks and the Dirty Haired Kid had A J. Suddenly, after getting crap for an hour, and not hitting any cards, I was up to 13300. Not bad all things considering.

The Whitewater Kid went out on a very stupid play. He had been quiet most of the night. Limping in and folding quickly. He had given up about a third of his chips when he suddenly raised the pot 2000. Of course Lite Man called. He was playing basically every hand. Flop came out and Whitewater bet. Lite Man called. Turn was an A. Whitewater stopped like a deer frozen in the headlights. He checked. Lite Man bet 5000. Whitewater sat motionless. Now I knew what he had. K K. That A just kicked him in the gut. I knew he wouldn't get away from it and he reluctantly called and then was knocked out when he pushed on the river. Lite Man had A J. I even announced he had K K before he showed it. Stupid call.

His buddy, the Dirty Haired Kid made a bold and stupid move soon after. From the big blind he pushed all in for 5100. He had two callers, Old Flannel and a new guy to the table. The new guy was then re-raised all in by Old Flannel. Flannel had J J while the Dirty Haired Kid had only A 2 suited. The new guy had K Q. WTF? How do you push with A 2 suited and how do you call that with K Q? But the suckouts continued as the Kid hit his flush and tripled up.

The last hand before the break was another psycho play. A new guy, DiCaprio sits down to my left. With blinds still 200/400 he raises to 1500. The Tuff calls him. Tuff hasn't been doing too much so far. Flop comes with a bunch of rags. Tuff checks, DiCap bets 2500 and Tuff calls him. Turn is another rag, but there are hearts on the board. Tuff checks and DiCap bets 4000. Tuff raises him back. DiCap calls. River is a 10. Tuff checks. DiCap moves all in. Tuff thinks about it and calls. He wins a with a pair of 10s. WTF? He called it all down to suck out on the river? The raise on the turn was a good move, but if you are willing to push, you don't call the all in bet with just a pair of 10s. The psycho play continued but it was also winning. WTF?

Somehow I managed to play through the next hour. I had won one pot all night but was sitting in a position where I could make a move. But over the next hour I would limp on maybe 21 hands, try to bluff Lite Man (what the hell was I thinking? You can't bluff this guy as he will pay to see cards) and did a lot of folding. The psycho play continued- as did the constant smoking- yet somehow I still had 5900 at the second break. A couple new guys were moved to the table and kept hitting miracle outs to survive but not much more happened.

With the blinds at 500/1000, I finally made my final move. In the big blind, I had AK and pushed my last 4900. Of course, the Tuff who had limped from early position called and showed 3 3. I knew right away that I would not get either of my cards and got up to walk. Yep, nothing helped me and I was done somewhere in the 30s. I realized the board helped me once all night. I didn't have many playable hands, but never got help from the board, even though others were hitting their miracle cards on the psycho play.

Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

Bagman's words of wisdom- This one has to go to Trick or Treat's brother. Now I have heard many a WTF call, and the "I have to go home" call , but he had a new one. It was the "I feel like playing pool now" call. Of course he pushed with Q 8 and hit two pair to triple up. That shit just doesn't happen for me.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Badger Poker...Oh how I miss thee

Strange things run through your mind when you are running bad. You over analyze some hands, questioning your play. You change your style and play either tighter or looser just trying to get back into the winners column. But most players will tell you that there is one and only one thing to end a losing streak. Walk away. Stay away from the game for a period of time. It may be a couple days, maybe a week or a month. It has worked for me in the past so I walked away, albeit only a couple of days. So I did feel a bit refreshed and ready to go when I collected my chips.

The was a new site for Thursday’s game- Stenys. I used to come down to Stenys quite a bit in the past. When Walker’s Point had a good bar scene. Now it seems that too many of the places have gone gay- not that there is anything wrong with that. But Stenys has always stayed the same. Harley hanging upside down. Playing reggae (though they didn’t last night) among other types of music. They redid the place since I had last been in there adding more space that once was a beer garden. They even had 35 cent wings, but I did not partake. Hey, I was there to play poker.

The assigned seating arrangement seems to be gone for now. My opin is that sucks. I like the random opponent better than walking up and find 6 buddies at the table. Yeah, the buddy table can be quite fun but you never know what shenanigans they might be up to. My first table (a foreshadow of things to come???) wasn’t bad. I sat down with my friend C on my right. Lo and behold Trick or Treat was on my left. Nice. Across from him was his little/big brother and bro’s girlfriend. Slow Bus was at the far end. There was a really young guy on my end. I wonder if he got carded? Someone I will call Snatch was on the far end next to a loose player. A guy in a white shirt rounds out the table.

Play started out rather interestingly. Slow Bus paid off the ToTB’s girlfriend to see her full house. 3 kings were on the board as well as a flush. I can’t believe he called the bet with just the flush. From late position, I tried to limp in with 5,6 but White Shirt raised it up a thousand so I mucked. Flop came 6 6 K. Ouch. Further ouch when the case 6 hit on the river. Funny thing was that I tried to retrieve the hand to show my friend but grabbed out 9 5. Did I see my hand wrong to begin with? I only had one beer in me. Hmm. I finally get into a real hand after a full orbit. Get 6 6 and raise it up 500. Get 4 callers. Flop comes 7 3 4. I bet it out and only White Shirt calls. Turn is K and I check. White shirt checks as well. River is a 7. I bet out 2000 feeling my two pair is good. White Shirt calls it and shows pocket 5s. My 6s hold up and I take down a good pot. My friend Cor is throwing chips around like he is shooing flies and goes out early. Trick or Treat is playing like he always does. Any face or ace means he is in the pot, calling any raise as well, even if he only has Q 2 or something like that. Soon after my friend was knocked out, I look down and see Kojak. Usually I would raise in mid position with this hand but I decide to just limp in. 5 people see the flop- K J 6, two diamonds. Top two pair is nice. I bet out 1500. Of course, Trick or Treat calls and does the loose guy down at the end of the table. Turn is a rag but a heart. Now there are two diamonds and two hearts on the board. I feel one of them is definitely on the flush draw so I will make them pay. I bet 4000. ToT calls right away and the loose guy thinks before slamming down his chips. I know I have him beat right now. River is the 2 of clubs. I bet out 5000. Trick or Treat calls as the loose one mucks. Two pair are easily the best hand as Trick or Treat was drawing for the flush. I find myself up quite a bit here around 37000 after that hand and at the first break.

One thing I didn’t like at the table though was the actions of Snatch. I noticed he would grab some people’s cards that were mucked when the hand was over. He did that a couple of times. I waited for him to try that with me but being on the other side of the table, it would have been extremely difficult. Another thing was Slow Bus. I am willing to bet he tightened up just so he could read about his play here. Yep, I am on to you Busboy. Still can’t believe you paid off that early hand but the full house you filled with the pocket 7s was nice.

I feel pretty good about my play so far. I vow not to make any stupid and unnecessary aggressive plays. Yeah, right. Right after the break, I look down and see A 9 hearts. I raise the pot 2000. Trick or Treat comes along from the small blind. Big blind calls as well. Flop comes Q J 8, only one heart. I bet enough to push Trick or Treat all in. He calls (what a shocker!) but White Shirt folds. ToT actually has a hand- A K. He fills his straight on the turn and takes the pot down. So much for not being too aggressive. A couple of hands later I try to defend my blinds with Q 2. Flop came Q high so I bet it out. Snatch raised me up. I told him he either flopped a set or two pair and let him have it. Apparently he only had a pair of queens but easily had me out kicked. They break our table soon after that.

I head over one table to find myself next to AK Slowplay. A number of weeks back at Rock Bottom, I was knocked out by his slow playing of Big Slick. I would not let that happen to me tonight. On my right was a pretty aggressive guy. An older lady had a good size stack in the middle. A loud youngun was dancing away at the far end. White shirt was there too. I came over with about 33000 or so. Wasn’t thinking about mixing it up unless it was necessary. I talk to AK Slowplay a bit about the ruckus they had earlier in the night. Apparently one guy was pissed that his pocket jacks were beat by pocket 3s when the 3 came on the flop. Jack boy was “degrading” AK about making a very bad call because he had jacked it up by the pot pre-flop. Hey, this was AK Slowplays hand, pocket 3s so he wasn’t going to get away from it. In the end Jack boy was booted. Good move by Jason and Wes to keep things under control.

Again, I didn’t want to tussle with anyone unless necessary. I guess K K makes it necessary. Aggressive guy on my right raised the pot to 3000 under the gun (blinds 300/600). I look down and see the Cowboys. I take my time and think about what I want to do. Funny thing happens here as I ponder how much to raise, AK looks at my watch and says “Cowboys???”. My first reaction is how did he see my hand. I know he isn’t cheating and the comment is just a coincident. So I push all in. AK Slow play calls quickly. The big blind limps in with her remaining 2400 and the early raiser folds. A king hits the flop and I am sitting pretty. The older lady slow plays her pocket aces and knocks out the aggressive guy. Maybe I shouldn’t say she slow played because she never raised a pot. Always placed a minimum bet or called a bet. There was another hand I played against aggressive guy where I had a ton of outs but didn’t hit any.

I get moved again to a new table. White Shirt seems to be stalking me as he get moved to my left at the new piece of felt. Jersey is there with a decent stack. Loud youngun gets moved there as well. He Man doll would be moved in. There was Horse (he had a long face). There was Curly and an aggressive Asian. I was sitting with around 45k or so and knew that as long as I didn’t do anything too stupid, I would survive into the points. Well, of course that would be boring. I find myself on the button with K 8 diamonds. It has been folded around so I raise it up to 2000. Both blinds call. Flop comes 5 K 7, two diamonds. I bet 4000 and White Shirt calls, Jersey folds. Turn is a heart. White Shirt checks as do I. River is a non diamond rag. I don’t feel too good about my kicker. WS checks again. Greed sets in and I bet 4000. Bastard check raised me all in. It will cost me only 3500 so I call. He flopped a set of 5s and played me like a fiddle. Now I have around 25k. Jersey goes out on two somewhat bad beats to Curly. Curly hits runner runner on back to back hands to send him packing. It was rather brutal to watch. I stole some blinds after that to basically keep myself where I was at. Just before they broke our table, I raise up the pot to 15k with Big Slick. I knew the loud youngun, who had limped into many a pot would fold his early position limp and I could take down 10k with the blinds.

With about 30 people left, I get moved over to an interesting table. I sit next to Aaron whose eye is killing him. Tattoo guy is there chowing on winds and being quite loud. The older lady is hanging around trying to get far enough to get a t-shirt. A somewhat attractive blond is on my end as well as He Man doll. Oh yeah, how could I forget. Bagman is there as well with a big stack going, though they were basically all scattered in front of him. People kept telling him to clean it up. He got organized after the harassment and the chip up. Blinds are now 2000/4000. I tried to limp on in with A K on the button. There was a early caller and the blinds seeing the flop. I had thought of raising but if I did, I would be pot committed. I was willing to take a chance and make a big hand with a slow play. Flop came 2 4 8 with two hearts. Aaron on my left was basically all in after calling the early raiser. He filled his flush on the river beating the set of fours. I wonder if the 4s would have folded if I had raised it up preflop? Probably not. Not at Badger Poker where people think a pair is mana from the Gods.

Blinds soon go up to 5000/10000 with 1000 antes. I lose another chunk of chips when I am in the small blind and raise the pot to 20000 with K Q. Aaron is sitting with around 13k and decided whether to call me or not. He goes with the WTF call and matches the 10k. Flop comes J high. I check as does he. Turn is a 10 giving me the open end straight and I look at him and push the last 4k in knowing it would end up in the pot anyways. He turned over J 6 suited. Classic WTF call. Bad, but what can I do about it.

I don’t play many hands at this table. I get blinded off and am forced all in from the SB. Somehow I survive with a pair of 6s and quad up. But with the antes and blinds coming around soon again, I know I need to make a move. And this is where I make a mistake. We have gotten down to 20 people and are at the last two tables. Stoner Girl has been moved to our table and is sitting with a hefty stack. She raises it up 10k. I see K J. I am all in if I call here. I feel she has a pair minimum and my best hope is two over cards. I should have pushed but folded instead. I don’t see anything from there on out and get blinded away finishing 12th.

Not bad as I like the feeling of getting somewhere for once. Now I just need to build on it.

It's back! Bagman's words of wisdom- Bagman always likes to act like his the nice guy at the table. He will flirt with the girls and try to be cool with the boys but sometimes he doesn't get it. At one point, with the older lady on my right, I am in the BB. He looks at this cards and then his stack. He folds. Older lady folds her small blind to me and I win uncontested. He then says to her, "If I knew you were going to fold, I would have bet. I didn't want to take your chips but would have taken his". Whatever tough guy! It doesn't matter what your actions would have been on that hand. No one fears you. Was I suppose to be shaking in my boots?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Badger Poker...Time for a hiatus?

A dreary Monday night brought us to the Bay View Bowl to kick off another week of Badger Poker. Crowd was bigger than it had been in the past as 7 tables were set up. Lots of new faces were in the crowd. Didn't know quite how things were going to go but hey, when do I ever?

There was no assigned seating so I took whatever spot was available. Was only familiar with one person at the table. One that I respected quite a bit. I knew Chris could push at any point and of course he would. Guy on my left has played a number of these events. I just didn't want him to miss his dip cup and spit on the table by accident. On my right was someone who looked like he just came from work. He had rolled up his sleeves but was still wearing the tie. Another dude had these stupid looking glitter glasses. Did wonders for his game! On the far side of the table were the aggressive boys. Raise Everything and Re-raise. They were going to set the pace and make it interesting. Or frustrating. It was pretty much both. There was a talker who didn't care for my sweatshirt and a quiet guy in the middle of it all.

The first couple of pots were taken down by Raise Everything. If I am not mistaken, he played every hand except for 2 or 3 in the first hour. And in those hands, he raised it preflop on every one of them or he called the raise. If the bet was to him, he then bet the flop. And his raises weren't cheap. At the 100/200 level, he started with 500 raises. But he then bumped it to 1000 when the table started to fold. Well, Re-raise wasn't going to have that and started to re-raise every time Raise Everything played his hand. Sure enough, RE would fold. I noticed this and couldn't wait to catch something to play on these guys. Unfortunately, we weren't seeing too many show down and we weren't seeing what they were playing. My guess is RE was going nuts with any two face cards and any ace (which was the case as he liked to show his laydowns. Yeah, you are that good to show us your laydowns just about every time). Raise Everything took out the talker early when they both played their aces aggressively. Why do you go all in with A 4? Stupid. Chris was taken down when his cowboys got busted.

I didn't play much in the first round. Got K J and raised it up. Raise Everything and Tie came for the ride. Flop missed me with A 10 x, but I had a chance on the gutshot. Tie though reached for chips and bet out 2000, roughly a pot size bet. That sucked. I would call 1000 but the 2000 was too much too early for a gutshot. Next playable hand came with A J suited that I raised pre flop. Again, RE and Tie went to see a flop. Flop was a bunch of rags. I fired a bullet and Tie called. Turn was no help. Tie checked as did I. I thought about firing the second bullet but couldn't pull the trigger. On the river, Tie bet and I had to fold. Going in to the first break I was down a about 2k and not going anywhere.

I caught Big Slick early in the second session. I raised the bet up to 2500 and the quiet guy called. Both blinds folded. Flop came Q high with 2 clubs. Before the flop was fully revealed I went all in with my remaining 3k. Thankfully, the quiet guy folded and I was close to where I started. They broke our table up after than I headed over to table 1. I had played with just about everyone at this table. When I sat down, I had the great fortune to post the small blind. The one unknow went all in and had 4 callers at 2400 each. State Visor ended up winning the hand with a pair of 6s. He called the 2400 bet with Q 6 suited? I was amazed by that one. I didn't stay in the game much longer after that. Towel Guy raised the bet to 1800 from early position. I was on the button and called with K J. Flop came J 8 3. He bet 1600 and I pushed. He quickly called. I knew what he had and asked if he had A J. Sure enough. No king hits the board and I was done. Don't think I could have done much else with that. Short stacked and a need to take some chips down. Maybe next time I need to just read a bit quicker.