Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No cash, but still a winner at the Wheatie

As the WWdN went on last night, I began to realize something. It had been a long time since I had dropped the Hammer on someone. I hadn't felt the rush of winning with the glorious 7 2o. Sure I was doing well, having chipped up in the first period to around 3500. My reads were on and better yet, I was playing back strongly at people.

Sometimes when I play the Wheatie, I don't take it as seriously as I should. I may try some different strategies or play more aggressive than normal. You know, do something different to see if I can improve as a player. Yesterday it was defending my blinds. Going in I was determined to defend my blinds with any cards that would work. So if they were suited or connected, I was going to play them.

It worked well. I had a frisky player on my right who continually tried to raise me out. Only problem was, I was connecting. My read was he was raising with an A or maybe some face cards. Boards were coming in low. So I would either hit a pair or an OESD. I usually would check/call, sometimes raise, or bet out the turn. If anything, I believe it may have confused my opponent, because he did a lot of folding.

It was somewhere in the beginning of the second session when I made a play I am quite proud of. The Hammer had finally come home. I don't know if anyone had been noticing but I had tightened up quite a bit. I wasn't playing many hands, especially in EP. With blinds at 75/150, I made my raise to 500 in EP. It folded around quickly to Wil in the BB. He didn't act right away.

Uh oh, he caught a hand. This can't be good.

Then he spoke: "i have to do some math. I think i'm jamming at you, stb"

I think I then make a classic mistake.

I talked back. "Bring it!"

I instantly gave myself a Homer Simpson. DOH! The old strong means weak tell. As Wil thought about his play, I began to put him on a range of hands. My gut was telling me low pair (6s or less) or A Q or A J. But as I was putting him on a hand, I could tell he was putting me on a hand. Thus, my talking was just what he wanted to hear.

He quickly said "okay" followed by a "good luck" and went all in. Well, he wasn't lying about jamming. I made a quick call. I had to. If I had any other mediocre hand I would have folded. But not this one. It was the Hammer. Though it would cost me another 1279, I was feeling good about my play and knew I could make it up if somehow, some imbalance in the universe would occur and the Hammer would go down.

Plus, call it stupid, but I just knew it would win.

Wil showed his A Q and quickly yelled "HAMMER!". I wouldn't be surprised if he had me on this particular hand. Play with bloggers long enough and you develop the sense.

What Wil didn't see right away was the 7 on the flop. When the J hit the turn, his jubilance of making the right play was fading. I believe his words were "oh dear". The 10 on the river sealed it.

The Hammer had claimed another victim.

Wil was the best of sports after taking the beat. With all the morons on the rail yapping away in the chat about what an idiot play I had made (ha, non-believers), Wil took it as a pro will and told me to go on and take it all down.

Well, I didn't take it all down. I ran into my own beat later on. With 9 9, I had raised it up and was facing an all in from a player that I was not too familiar with. I sensed weakness and made the call. I was right; he had 6 6. But he spiked his 6 on the river to cripple me. I doubled up once but made a bad push against A A, giving me a finish in 13th.

So I didn't win the WWdN last night, but I still collected a prize:

Now congratulate Pauly on his ESPN gig.

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