Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friday night.

The original home game fired up Friday night with a nice turnout - 9 people for a full table. It was very nice to have our friend Freddie there, feeling strong despite his second chemo treatment, and mixing it up.

The poker itself on Friday is secondary to socializing and having some cocktails, so I'm usually not on my A game. Nobody is there to make money or embarrass anyone. If someone is betting into me when I have the nuts or I suck out on the river, I'll often just call the bet. (unless it's Tony, the other "serious" player - I believe it's understood that we can bang on each other in this game).

This Friday, I put a little scare into JJ - one of the tightest players at the table. He rarely "represents" a hand - if he's involved, he's got something or a strong draw to something. In this hand, I limped on the button with A2o. The flop came all diamonds with an Ace. JJ bet and I raised, representing the made flush. He called me a few names (something he does anyway), and made it clear that he had a flush but not a high one. In fact, he said "there are 4 diamonds higher than mine, crap". Sounds like 8d9d...

He debated on whether to call, and finally, with a little help from someone else at the table who wasn't in the hand (usually a no-no, but semi-tolerated in this game), he called.

The turn blanked, he checked and I fired out the max $2 bet. He called me some other names and called again.

The river was nothing interesting. He checked and I bet one more time. He called and I said "just trying to put a scare into you, pair of Aces". He looked at me cockeyed and dragged a decent pot.

This last bet was a mistake on my part - of course - he had already decided to check/call his middle flush down, and I knew this. I was throwing good money after bad. In fact, I could have probably minimized the damage with a $1 bet on the turn instead of the max bet. I think my raise had already convinced him I had the higher flush, so he wasn't going to raise me. A turn check might have woke him up, though.

I won back this pot and more with a fantastic dealt hand of 8 KKK A in "Kings and Little People", which gave me a royal flush in this goofy game. We also played a game for the first time called "Cryogenic Freeze", a 7 card game that you could "freeze" at any time, and make your last card wild. I ended up with a pair of sevens and three Aces, with the Aces wild, and my 5 sevens took another nice pot.

We play a fair amount of Omaha in this Friday game - a game I'm not very good at, and also nearly impossible to play as a limit game, in my opinion. Hitting a set or top two pair in this game has almost no value - as everyone is still drawing to straights and flushes, and our $1/$2 limit makes it impossible to push anyone out of the pot or deny them odds to draw. If I hit a medium strength hand like 2 pair or a set, I usually either fire out a bet if I'm early, or even check/call to keep the pot size manageable. If I'm late, I'll call a bet or check behind, but rarely raise it up - since everyone is going to call anyway. The goal is to boat up and bury the straights and flushes.

I ended up +$8.50 on the night - very nice after going down about $20 early. As I mentioned, the company was more important than the cards, though.

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