I finally made it out to the infamous home game, as Joe calls it, for a $20 two table tournament with fhwrdh, the Geek, Absinthe, HDouble, HDouble’s buddy, and special guest Mrs. Double. An extra $5 went towards your bounty and $5 more covered the cost of food and drinks. These games are worth hitting up just for the cash games afterwards, as the WPT wannabes are plentiful.
I was seated Table 1, Seat 3, with HDouble to my right and Absinthe three seats down in seat 6. I posted the BB for the first hand and found QT. The flop came J9X with two suited cards and I bet out my OESD. Seat 4 called and the rest of the table folded. Bet out again on the turn hoping to get a flush draw to fold. The river brought me no help and I checked helplessly. Seat 4 checked behind and turned up J-rag for top pair. So much for that.
In the small blind I found KQs and completed to see a K high flop. I bet out and got min-raised by a jumpy writer guy. The table folded, I re-raised, and was min-raised yet again. I was pretty sure this guy had crap cards, but it could turn out that he had flopped two pair. I bet half the pot on the turn and Jumpy went over the top all-in, loudly announcing that he had to do it. I felt I was good, but it really wouldn’t do to go out first in the tourney while only holding top pair. I folded and Jumpy chattered like a monkey. If this had been even one orbit later, I would have called him, but again, second hand…
A whole lot of folding goes by, during which time Absinthe and HDouble get heads-up. After the preflop action, the flop comes all low-medium cards and Absinthe check-raises Hdouble all-in. HDouble insta-calls with aces to Absinthe’s tens. The turn gives Absinthe an OESD, and the river completes his 10-high straight. Bad beats and suckouts would be the rule in this game.
Absinthe managed to get into another heads-up pre-flop all-in-fest, this time with lkim, the host of the tournament. Absinthe held KK to lkim’s QQ, which made a set on the turn, doubling-up lkim.
With all that folding, I eventually find myself short-stacked, with about 10BB left, when I get deuces in MP. I raise to 3xBB and seat 4 pushes all-in. I figure I need to call with my short-stack and find myself up against QJ. The deck throws all sorts of scare cards out there, including a 9 and a K, but my twos hold up and I double-through.
The very next hand I get A9s in EP and raise to 3xBB and get called by the lkim. The board shows a lot of paint, and surprisingly, lkim and I check it down. The board pairs twice by the river and lkim shows AJ for the same hand.
I think I get AKs in the very next hand and raise once again to 3xBB. Seat 4 raises all-in and Absinthe re-raises all-in. I figure I’m up against two pocket pairs or a pocket pair and a big ace, and don’t like my chances in a 3-way. When it’s folded to me, I fold face up to the amazement of a couple of the players. Seat 4 shows QQ while Absinthe shows JJ, remarking that any ace or king would be good. I still feel good about my fold and watch as the flop comes K high. Absinthe catches his 2-outer on the turn and no queen comes on the river to save Seat 4.
A while later I get ATs and raise 2xBB from MP. I figure with the size of the blinds, and the hands I’ve shown raising with, 2xBB is ok. I get called by lkim in the SB and we’re heads up. Flop comes Q high, lkim checks, and I decide to check behind. The turn brings an Ace, lkim checks, and I decide to check behind once more. River’s a rag and when lkim bets out a little over half the pot, I call. My AT is good against lkim’s slow-played QT.
When the tournament gets down to 10 players, we decide to squeeze around one table so that a cash game can start on the second table.
Soon after the 10th place finisher goes out, I find KK on the button. I raise to 3.5xBB and get called by an EP limper. The flop comes ace-high with two clubs. I’m not happy about it, but when the limper checks, I make a continuation bet of the same amount. The limper raises all-in and I figure I’m behind to an ace. I call anyway rather than folding and leaving myself crippled, and I’m surprised to see the limper with 67s. Clubs. To go with the 5c and 8c on the board. Well, I’m ahead, but he’s the favorite. I burn and turn a 7, burn and turn another 7. Oof.
With that, I’m out in 9th. And just in time, too, since the cash game is just starting up with Jumpy, who busted in 16th place or something, and English. In case you’re wondering, these guys and Blue Shirt are the loose callers I wanted to play against.
Cash on the Table
This was, without a doubt, the best time I’ve had playing a cash game. In the first orbit or two, Mrs. Double busted HDouble twice, once by spiking a K on the river with her KQ to HDouble’s QQ, another time by flopping a boat and letting HDouble bet into her with his trips. I think HDouble’s reaction to getting busted by the Missus alone was worth the price of the tourney. Good times.
Of course, when something happens to the other guy, it’s comedy. When it happens to you, it’s tragedy.
Blue Shirt raised preflop and I called with pocket eights. Mrs. Double called as well, and I believe the rest of the table folded. The flop came 6 high, and when Blue Shirt bet, I raised and was shocked to find both Mrs. Double and Blue Shirt call. I figured them both for draws so I bet the turn as well, which paired the 6. The two additional calls made me nervous, so when Blue Shirt checked the river, I checked, and was glad to see Mrs. Double check behind. Checking was probably the right move for me. Blue Shirt flipped up his sevens, I flipped up my eights, and Mrs. Double flipped up her nines. And there go my initial profits to Mrs. Double.
In fact, Mrs. Double ended up quadrupling or quintupling her buy-in by busting the dead money. Great for her, but I wanted a piece, too. It seemed there was no showdown she couldn’t win, usually by spiking two pair or trips on the river, but occasionally by showing down huge dominating hands the other guy didn’t have a chance against. As you might be able to tell, there were loose calls mixed in with monsters, and no one at the table could put her on a damn thing. It got so that a busted player would have to buy a stack of dollars from her since she was holding most of the chips.
Eventually the dead money got busted once too often and they sat out or left for the night, leaving five bloggers, HDouble’s buddy, Mrs. Double, and Blue Shirt at the cash table. Oh, yes, one by one, the bloggers got thrown out of the tournament on their asses, with Absinthe coming closest to cashing. At any rate, playing at this table stopped being a matter of profitting from the dead money, but rather giving and getting action to shift the chips around. Sure, Blue Shirt and Mrs. Double were still there to call off too many of their chips with weak hands or an overcard, but it was ever so much more fun seeing Jumpy and English get busted, especially if you were on the profitable side of those scenarios.
I closed out the night down $30 for the tourney, bounty, and beer, and up $4.75 for $20NLHE. Next time I’m going straight to the cash game.