March 2007
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Five out of five aint bad

Maybe I can’t actually lose in the Gutshot £25-£50 game.  Five evenings, five winning sessions and nearly £300 up.  I have to be running good, the question is just how good?  I really need a losing session to keep a grip on reality.  I left (relatively) early this evening as I was getting tired (but apparently not too tired to brag in a blog entry) and left with £83 of other people’s money in my wallet. 

It all started off so promising when I couldn’t hit a straight draw in a pot that was just too big to let go.  Along with eight (count ’em) others, I’d called a £3 raise from the small blind holding T8 in spades, and the flop brought J93 with two diamonds.  Sixth to act moves all in for his remaining £28 and the player to my right throws his last £14 into the pot.  It’s £28 to call, to win £74, which I can’t pass up.  I could be drawing to only 6 outs for some or all of the pot, and there’s a chance it could be raised behind me, making me play my remaining £40 for not such a great price.  But there could also me more callers, and if I can beat one of them I can beat them all.

Then things got good just after the tournament started.  Our table had been reduced to three-handed, and after a few £5 pots I somehow managed to win another player’s stack with an ace high flush against a smaller flush.  If that happened online with just three players dealt in, you’d say it was fixed.

After I got moved to the dealer-dealt table, the only way I managed to increase my stack for about an hour was by adding the change from my burger to it.  Tipping waitresses with chips is one thing, but letting them give you chips as change for your twenty feels a little bit funny.  Those chips should never have been in play, but nobody seems to care when you bring more chips onto the table, only when you put them in your pocket.  What can you do?

My big hand came well after the burger was just another juicy memory.  I called a pre-flop raise from the huge stack to my right who had been raising every time he played a hand.  KQs was more than good enough to see a flop with, and I was very happy to see five other players join in – had to double check I wasn’t actually in Vegas!  I flopped the nut straight – ace, jack, ten – and let out a little cheer internally.  With two hearts on board and seven players left in, I wanted to find someone who also didn’t like the possible flush draw to get it all in against right now.  I bet £20 into the £35 pot, and only got one call from the pre-flop raiser.  It didn’t really tell me much, but at least I’d ended up with position.

I willed for a black card, and the turn obliged.  Be careful what you wish for though: it was a king, so I still had the nuts, but you’d expect it to kill my action.  How on earth did I actually get a payoff from a worse hand with AKJT on board?  My customer went into the tank for a good nwhile and eventally called my last £50, saying "I don’t believe you".  He turned over king-ten and didn’t improve on the river.  That king had actually helped me, although I’m still not sure how he could call with a very weak two pair on that board (he didn’t believe I had better than ace-nine?) and I was stacking up over £170 as the bully stood up to leave.  He still had about £200 to take home, but he was clearly wounded.