December 04, 2010

Big Hands, Big Defeats

"Big hands, big feet.  You know what that means."

"Big gloves, big shoes."

In honor of my recent birthday, I took the afternoon off, and enjoyed a late lunch at Jethro's BBQ before heading to the Meadows ATM for some poker insanity.  The room was busy, but I got right into a 1/2 NLHE game, where I found a table filled with the usual suspects.  I wound up spending most of the evening next to "Pervert Mark", known for his love of telling dirty jokes, making risqué comments, being far too open about his love of strip clubs, oversharing about his sex life with his wife, and flirting with any woman within 20 feet of his table.  However, his schtick is harmless and rather amusing, though some of his quips are enough to make a sailor blush.  My favorite line this session was when he broke his chips into $20 stacks while pondering a raise, and stated, "If I think of these as chips, I play stupid.  But if I think of them as lap dances, I play smart." Not exactly Harrington On Hold 'Em, but solid advice nonetheless.

This evening turned out to be one of those sessions where my profit or loss would come from just a few key hands.  After a couple hours of sparring, I found myself in my first big pot.  A loose player raised preflop, and I called from the big blind with AdJd, as did a couple other players.  The flop was pretty meh, K-T-8 with one diamond (the ten).  I check-called the continuation bet, thinking I would reevaluate the hand after the turn, looking for a chance to steal on a show of weakness.  That plan went out the window as the turn brought the best card in the deck for me—the Qd—giving me the nut straight and the nut flush draw and gutshot royal flush draw as well.  Donkey Kong!  With the badbeat jackpot sitting at $112,000, I had visions of the river Kd giving me a royal flush against quad kings.  I check-raised for about half my remaining chips, and was called.  Regrettably, the river was a blank, but I pushed all-in and got the courtesy double-up from an overplayed AK.   And yes, hilarity ensued!

Later, I got into a big pot when I called a preflop raise in the blinds, along with five others, holding Ah9h.  The flop was a gorgeous 9-9-5.  Yahtzee!  I check-raised a c-bet, and got one caller.  The turn brought a disappointing 5, giving me the boat, but likely chopping the pot. I bet, was raised, and called, wanting to see the river before getting pot-committed for my stack—any Ten or Eight would give me pause about being counterfeited by a better boat. The river was a deuce, so I led out for $125, a little over half the pot. My opponent thought a bit, leading me to realize I had misread his turn action, and he likely held a smaller boat with a mere Five.  He finally made the crying call and indeed showed the Five. Good times!

I was contemplating whether to leave with my profit when three rather loose-playing friends sat down, and the action jumped a few notches to crazy.  These guys would ram and jam with next to nothing, then win with rivered two pairs or gutshots.  I decided to stay and see what happened.  One of them was eventually knocked out when on the turn, with the board showing 8-8-A-4, he bet $50, the tightest player at the table check-raised to $200, and the kid pushed all-in for another $100.  The tight player shrugged, called, and tabled ... wait for it ... an Eight.  Shocking.  River was a face card, and kid flashed ... wait for it ... pocket ducks.  Yup, he tried to bluff with a two-outer against a pot-committed, deep-stacked, uber-tight player showing strength who was basically telegraphing he held trip eights.  Again, not exactly Harrington on Cash Games.

After the kid left, another crazy regular, Brian, sat down.  Now Brian loves to gamboool, but is a good LAG player who is not afraid to make and call big bets.  On Brian's first hand, he posted in from middle position, and raised to $20.  I was in the big blind, and found pocket Queens.  I raised to $60 total, and got three callers, for a $240+ pot preflop!  Flop was T-6-4 rainbow; not bad for Queens.  I led out for $200 total.  First guy folded, but one of the maniacs pushed all-in for $201.  Brian then pushed all-in for $240.  I made the easy call.  Turn was a Deuce, and the river was a Jack ... giving Brian two pair with his JT offsuit.  Other kid flashed an Eight before mucking.  Fun times.

About an orbit later, I'm on the button when Brian raised yet again preflop, perhaps the 8th time in a row.  I made the call with Q8 of spades.  Error No. 1.  A couple of others call, and the flop came down Kh-Ts-9s, giving me a flush draw, gutshot straight draw, and straight flush draw.  It checked to Brian who led at the pot for $20, roughly half pot.  I raised to $60 total.  The small blind thought, then called.  Brian immediately pushed all-in.  Aiyiyi!!  My semi-bluffing ability just vanished in a poof of aggression.  I figured Brian had at least a King, but ... it was hard to tell, as he's capable of making a move with any two cards.  He has often shown down outrageous bluffs.  I started thinking about whether my monster draw was actually a favorite over his likely range, forgetting about the yahoo caller behind me.  Error No. 2.   Finally, I decided to make the call, figuring my monster draw gave me plenty of outs, plus there was a lot of dead money in the pot.  Error No. 3.  That's when the yahoo started thinking about calling, despite also having a monster stack. Say what?? I instantly knew yahoo had the nut flush draw, and I started wishing for him to fold. Regrettably, the folding fairy was busy over at the 3/6 LHE game for the first time since the badbeat jackpot went over $50,000.  Error No. 4.  Yahoo finally made the call with ... As6s. My monster draw immediately resembled Dracula with a garlic-laced stake through his heart. The turn and river rolled off as a red Nine and a red Four, and Brian rolled over KT offsuit to drag the monsterpotten.

Just goes to show I should heed my own mantra:

"There's always a better place to get it in bad."


  1. For some reason, your intro joke reminded me of one of my favourite lines (one of so many!) from The Young Ones:

    "Euripides trousers, Eumenides trousers"

  2. If The Wife say's you're OK, then you must be OK! I look forward to meeting you Sir as her recommendations are never, EVER wasted on me.
    Hope you had a blast!