Sunday, November 25, 2007

Apparently I'm a Slow Roller...

I've noticed there's a new regular at the Vic who seems to primarily play the 100 NLH game (this has a minimum sit down of £100 and a max of £600). He seems a bit eccentric and talks a lot and wears what looks like a cravat, I think I heard someone call him John, so that's what I'll call him.

Anyway I'm playing in this game and I make £11 to go UTG (blinds are 1/3 btw) with AA. Fold, fold and now John moves all-in.....for £600. Sweet, as Fred Carle would say. Everyone folds back to me and I obviously call with the boots.

As soon as I said call and moved my chips over the line (I had John covered btw) he flips up QQ. Now I guess this John is used to tournaments on TV or something, but I only ever turn my cards up in all-in situations like these in tournaments, not in cash games, and many other regular cash game players would do the same.

The flop comes down K J T, but I manage to fade his six outs and as soon as the river has been burned and turned I show my hand and then get told, "Nice slow roll".

Jeez, I know it sucks to lose a pot, and this John doesn't seem like a bad guy, so I guess he said it in the heat of the moment, but who out there thinks I slow rolled him? I would never do such a thing, even to a player I loathed and thought of as a complete and utter drak (there's a few candidates out there, don't you worry about that!).

I've been playing long enough at places like the Vic to know that I don't ever want to show my hand unless it's at the showdown. If John had outdrawn me I would've thrown my hand in the muck facedown and told him I had deuces or something; isn't this what poker is all about? Playing your cards close to your chest and all that?

When I first went down the Vic I used to show far too many hands, especially nut hands - I guess I wanted to be liked and crap like that. I'm still paying for that mistake now many years later.

On another note I'd just like to congratulate my mate Neil Channing for winning the £1,000 NLH freezeout - not only for the win, but his third big final in a row (Bristol Gala Grand Final and Blackpool GUKPT just recently). Surely his name is all over the GUKPT Grand Final trophy?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mistakes Part 3

100 Pot Limit Holdem, the Vic. I have £1800 in front of me and I'm in the small blind (technically the small blind as the blinds are £3/£3 in this game). There's a raise and a few callers so I decide to call with 5s 6s.

The flop is 5 6 T with two diamonds. Ok, bottom two, shall I get cute and check to the raiser? Nah, this particular pre-flop raiser is not guaranteed to bet and a free card for all these schnorrers would be disastrous, so I lead out for £60. There's a fold and now Ashley Alterman, who's in front of the raiser, makes it £160. Everyone folds back to me. Shit, what have I run into?

Now I'm quite friendly with Ashley and respect his game. I'm pretty sure this respect is a two-way street (might not be, he could consider me a complete egg which is fair enough too). Anyway, the point is I know Ashley is not fucking around and I guess 99% of the time his raise here means a real hand. That's not to say he isn't capable of raising with the square root of fuck all here by the way. Plus he has about another £700 behind.

Oh boy, for him to have limped early position and then call a raise which then merits a raise on this flop, he must have either a set or straight and flush draw (like say, 7d 8d, which I'm a small dog to). Fuck, my hand doesn't look too good so I fold and decide to wait for a better spot.

Ashley being the mate he is flashes me the boots as he mucks his hand. Shit! I was miles ahead. Wow, he played those aces pretty sneakily, not like him at all. Why didn't he re-raise before the flop when the action had got back to him?

Why? Because he never limped in in the first place. He was the original pre-flop raiser, not the guy I thought it was. D'oh! Well, I deserve to lose for not paying attention. What a costly error. And I got what I was looking for which was action for my big hand, it's just that I thought the action was supposed to come from somewhere else...

The Vic famously used to have a "moody" rule whereby you weren't allowed to talk about your hand. Thankfully they got rid of that rule, but it has to be said that the floodgates are now truly wide open.

I refer to this as later on I had the dubious pleasure of playing in the No Limit game with Will who has taken talking about one's hand to new levels. I have to say I actually found it sort of amusing after a while, especially as he kept making 10-13 BB size raises before the flop only to always find sandbaggers waiting in the wings.

Quite often it was Ken Wong who has not been playing down the Vic too long yet has already accrued a load of good results in all the various daily tournaments. Will would make his standard huge pre-flop raise with plenty of chat about how great his hand was and then the action would get back to Ken who would then casually slide about £200 worth of chips all in. This must have happened about ten times and Ken gradually built his chip stack up to over a carpet just like he would have done in a tournament.

Every time Will would go into a huge dwell up and song and dance about he actually had a real hand and how could Ken do this to him, but every time he would fold.

There's another new player in the Vic who is quite vocal, but unlike Will this guy is pretty obnoxious. Neil Channing told me a good story about this loudmouth as I left.

It's the £250 PL game and Loudmouth is playing snug. He limp-reraises from early position and is heads up with the star in the game. The flop comes down something nice safe for an early limp-reraiser like say 5 3 3.

All of a sudden the waitress appears with Loudmouth's dinner. Now instead of taking a tenner off of his stack to pay for his lobster thermadore or whatever it is they all eat there these days the Loudmouth asks Neil if he can borrow a tenner! Hmmm, is that a tell or what?

As Neil said, it's a real nit's dilemma. Do you just swallow and pay up for your dinner there and then or are you determined to extract full value for your aces? Of course he could have just told the waitress he was in the middle of a pot and that he'd deal with her afterwards, but I guess his hand was so good that he got caught up in the moment.