April 2007
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Diet Coke Broke

This is what happens when the Coke machine in McDonalds breaks down.

At least you still get the monopoly game tokens.  I’d have been lost without these, even though I did have a backup plan for monopoly gratification: I was sitting in a restaurant on Pentonville Road, just around from Kings Cross station.  Free parking nowhere to be seen though.

Today’s haul included a free coffee and an Oatso Simple porridge that I’ll never use.  Even if I ever do get to a McDonalds before 10.30, why the hell would I want a pot of porridge when there’s perfectly good meat products on offer?

Thinking aloud

Vij was staying with us at the weekend and I’d left him in front of the TV whilst I went upstairs to play some poker.  I’m a fantastic host, as you can tell, but he knows where the kettle is, and that’s all that really matters.

When he wandered in I had four tables running and almost straight away I fell into this hand.  Instinctively I began talking through my thought process, which made me look like a genius (naturally) and also made me wonder whether thinking through hands out loud was a good strategy.  If I have to justify every decision to someone else, I should make good decisions.

I made a pretty damn good laydown here, and for the right reasons, but I’m still not convinced by my flop play. It was a little bit on the random side.  Should I be thinning the field with a good but vulnerable hand in a multi-way pot, or should I wait for a safe card or to improve and then re-evaluate? I opted to call, not really knowing whether I was trapping or going fishing.

Still, I folded a set and I was right. 🙂

PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, $0.50 BB (9 handed) Hand History Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)

CO ($41.75)
Button ($60)
SB ($23.55)
BB ($20)
Hero ($77.65)
UTG+1 ($25.40)
MP1 ($71.15)
MP2 ($44.35)
MP3 ($20.25)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with 9c, 9h.
Hero calls $0.50,

We’re talking about something else, and I limp in on autopilot.

“Chris, you’ve got a pair of nines on that table.”
He points, but knows better than to get too close and risk getting a sweaty fingerprint onto my monitor.

“Yep, I already called, look.”

“Didn’t you want to raise with that?”

“No, I’ve got poor position and I want to keep the pot small…”

UTG+1 raises to $1.5,

“… so I can still play if someone raises. Like that. :)”

There was an actual smilie at the end when I spoke

MP1 calls $1.50, 2 folds, CO calls $1.50,

“Any more callers? This will be easy then. If I don’t catch another 9 I’m done, but if I do I should be laughing.”

Vij nods. He didn’t actually nod. He’ll have said something, because that’s Vij’s way, but I wasn’t exactly listening. I was waiting to see if I would be able to show off by winning a nice big pot. In fact I don’t really remember what else he said at all. Hell, I’m struggling to remember what I said myself and just making up stuff to fill in the gaps.

1 fold, SB calls $1.25, 1 fold, Hero calls $1.

Flop: ($8) Tc, 9d, Js (5 players)

“Yes! Oh, wait. That’s sort of good”.

SB bets $0.5, Hero calls $0.50,

“Right, let’s see what happens.”

UTG+1 calls $0.50, MP1 raises to $4,

“Hmm. What’s he raising with?.”

CO calls $4,

“Oh. This one’s got something then.”

SB calls $3.50,

“So somebody could have the straight. I’m not scared of him, but he’s a worry. This guy probably has a draw, probably just a queen.”

I wiggle at MP1, then CO, then SB in turn using the mouse pointer, then pause to work out the pot odds.

“But I do have odds to draw against the straight, so I can call even if I’m behind”

Hero calls $3.50, UTG+1 folds.

“OK, pair it!”

Turn: ($24.50) 4s (4 players)

“That doesn’t help anyone, so let’s see who’s still interested.”

SB checks, Hero checks, MP1 bets $14,

“Right. I’m not afraid of him.”

CO raises to $36.25, SB folds,

“Now we have a decision, don’t we?”.

Vij nods, or something, and I press the button for some extra thinking time.

“OK, I don’t care what the first guy has, it’s probably not much. This is the one who has a hand. He could have the straight, but I can’t say for sure. Aaaaagh, what do I actually beat? Anything? Would he really push there with two pair? No.”.

I’ve come to a decision. Folding a set is excrutiating, but there’s no way I’m winning.

“He’s got two tens, two jacks or a straight.”

Hero folds, MP1 calls $22.25.

“God I hope I’m right.”

River: ($97) 2c (2 players)

Final Pot: $97
Main Pot: $97, between CO and MP1.

MP1 has Qh Jh (one pair, jacks).
CO has Ts Th (three of a kind, tens).
Outcome: CO wins $97.

My hands thrust themselves into the air.

“Oh yes. I’m good”.

And Vij is less impressed than he should be.