Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

There's something about the festive season which seems to inspire fantastic action at the poker tables. Maybe I've been lucky, but the last few times I've been at the Vic I have played in some blinding games. PLO seems to have had some sort of resurgence recently and quite a few of the old donators, and a couple of new ones too, have been making the games very playable.

Last night I played in a tremendous 5-10 NLH - possibly the best mixture of rocks and Charlie Chuckaways I can remember in a long time. Most everybody was playing loose-passive thus ensuring plenty of opportunities to see a cheap flop.

There was one absolute superstar who basically called every bet no matter what the board was, the river would usually put the world's fair out there, flushes, straights, full houses, you name it, and every time he would either fold to a bet or his opponent would show something like top pair weak kicker and he would then nod his head indicating that he was beat. It was amazing, wtf was this guy calling with every time?

He eventually went over to the Omaha game and ran £400 into about 3 grand and then lost it all in one hand when he flopped a straight against someone else with the same hand and a freeroll which got there (I know this because naturally I followed this star to the Omaha game).

In the Holdem game I played with somebody I used to play with about 5 or 6 years ago in the old £50 Round of Each days. This particular player was pretty loose and used to call raises with any two or four in any position and take all sorts of flyers on the flop and turn with all sorts of funky hands. Sometimes he could be quite tricky to play against, but on the whole he got out of line way too much.

Anyway he comes and sits down in the 5-10 game and I'm thinking to myself, "Yum-yum! Put on your seatbelts, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!" But hold on, did aliens kidnap this guy and replace him with some kind of granite clone? He barely played a hand! One time he even just flat-called a raise with pocket jacks - in the old days that was an automatic three-bet, don't you worry 'bout that!

Of course what I was witnessing here was somebody playing out of their comfort zone and just as I was noting this fact to myself an interesting situation arose. The player on my left straddled to a pony and everybody folded to my old R of E mate who now made it £30. Er... there's been a straddle actually so that counts as a call. Did I mention that this old nemesis wasn't exactly the observant type?

The SB folds and I find AK in the BB so seeing as my old R of E villain was interested in raising I take the cautious route and just make up the straddle. The straddler checks and the hare is running.

K 7 6 on the flop so I lead out for a bullseye. The straddler folds and now my foe makes it £150. I realised it was very likely he had the same hand as me - I ruled out pocket 6s or 7s as likely holdings as he had not raised with those sorts of hands at all (although that was his modus operandi in the smaller R of E games back in the day).

I called his £100 and raised another £200. He was immediately taken aback and started going on about how I must really like the flop and so on. "You've flopped some kind of weird two-pair haven't you?" he said, "Alright, I'm laying down Ace-King here".

Because of our history (and my cuntish ego, yeah alright I admit that) I couldn't resist showing my hand which then caused him to splutter, "But you're a tight player! I can't believe you re-raised with that!"

Ok, it's not much of a story and a rather minor triumph on my part, but I thought it was kind of interesting how differently this guy played in this game compared to a smaller buy-in game, and how his pride wouldn't let him admit that he was playing differently.