Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Last Ever Office Poker Game

The Last Ever Office Poker Game.

Tonight was the last ever office poker game.   One of my coworkers is leaving and in honor of him we somehow managed to get enough people for a game.   Once he’s gone I’m pretty sure there is zero percent chance that we will ever play again.

Here is your list of players:

Seat 1:  Me.  Your hero, and quite easily the best poker player this side of the Mississippi.  Or not.       

Seat 2:  Drew – Drew has played with us once, and he happened to win that tournament.  He used a brilliant combination of aggression and pure newbie luck to take our money and then never returned to the game.  Something about needing to spend time with his wife and kids.  Sounds to me like someone is either scared or just needs to get his priorities straightened out.  Anyway I want my money back, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to get it.

Seat 3:  Mark – The fact that Mark is playing is a Christmas miracle in itself.   His usual answer for any invitation to a poker game is “definite possibility” which is code for “I’m not going to play, but I want you to think that I might so you’ll stop bothering me.”

Seat 4:  Noah – the guest of honor.  He’s also the only person I’m really worried about.  I’ve played cards with him a lot.   He’s generally a pretty tight player, and he isn’t going to make a ton of mistakes.  The other problem with playing against him is that I never know if he is betting into me just to screw with me, or if he actually has a hand.  Playing regularly against friends, especially those that read your blog and generally know your playing style is definitely –EV.

Seat 5:  Paul – My project manager up until recently.  He’s a decent player, but he’s also a control freak which can work both for and against him.  When he has cards, or is against a passive player, he can push them around and do well, but when he doesn’t have cards, or can’t seem to push other players around I think he gets tilty.  He also tends to get impatient and over bet so that he can either double up or go home.

Seat 6:  Gary – Gary stopped playing in the office games for a while because he doesn’t have time to read poker books like some of us and he didn’t want to keep putting himself in a game where he felt like he had such a huge disadvantage.  He has played a few times since his announced boycott and done reasonably well.  He is also probably the easiest to put on tilt, as he is not a very good loser.   He also gets noticeably upset when he folds garbage pre-flop and then sees that the flop would have given him some sort of hand.

Seat 7:  Wally – This was originally Wally’s idea which is surprising since he doesn’t play.  Of course by the time the game actually happened he pussed out and went home.  I can’t say that I’m surprised but it was disappointing.  Its kind of tough to convince someone to play when he knows that you play poker all the time, and he doesn’t even know the hand rankings.  Oh well.  Booo-urns to him.

So, I was all excited that I would actually have some poker content to write about for a change.  I think this is the first time I’ve played real live face to face poker in over six months.  Unfortunately for me, and those of you adventurous enough to read this far, the actual game was pretty uneventful.    We didn’t have our regular blind sheet, and made it up on the fly and something just didn’t work out right.  Maybe it was just that each round was too short. I complain about the short 10 minute intervals on line, but in those 10 minutes we are able to see 10-15 hands.  Tonight we had 15 minute blinds and saw 4-6 hands in that period. So half the time we didn’t even get in a full orbit before the blind level changed.

So some hands of note:    First level I get my first playable hand ATo in middle position.  I raise 3x BB and Noah calls out of the big blind.  Again, this is why I hate playing with him.  I felt like I overbet based on how everyone else was playing so far and was surprised to get a call.  Did he think I was just trying to steal his blinds, and call out of principle, or did he actually have a hand?  The flop was rags and he lead out for about half the pot.  It was screaming steal to me, but I didn’t want to risk calling, or raising, so I had to let it go.  He turned over what I think were pocket queens.  At least that’s what I’m going to pretend they were.  I feel much better thinking that I narrowly averted disaster than threw away a chance to win a big pot by coming over the top of him like wanted to do.

A few rounds later and I still haven’t won a hand.  I’m getting absolute crap for cards, and when I do manage to see a flop, I miss it completely.  I then get A5o in the big blind and only Drew limps in.  The flop is A23 and I lead out for 1/3 potish.  Drew calls.  Drew is very much a calling station, so he could have anything from AK, to K2, but I have to give him credit for an ace.  And if he does have one, then there is no way I am ahead in this hand.  I check the turn and he bets, forcing me to fold.  

I win my first hand shortly after that when I flop four to a flush with A6s.  The blinds have gone up so high by this point that I actually go all in on the flop and Noah folds, saying that he gave up a pair.  He didn’t think I had anything, but didn’t want to risk finding out.

An interesting hand that I was not involved in had Drew, Mark, and Noah all checking around on the flop and turn.  The river brought a king, and Mark min bets.   Noah doubles it, and Drew calls.  Mark then reraises 3xish more, almost all in, and Noah drops after thinking a while.  Drew also takes a while to decide before ultimately calling.  Mark turns over K4, and Drew out kicks him with his K7.  Noah then shows that he too had folded K7.  That’s a lot a betting for crappy kickers.  Maybe I’m doing so shitty because I don’t have the balls to make those plays.

Mark gets eliminated shortly after that.  I don’t remember the exact sequence.  Paul is the next to go when he goes all in on a flush draw.  Gary calls him with low pair, and Paul does not improve.  

At this point the blinds are about half my stack.  I steal once by going all in pre flop with pocket fours.  Noah and Gary both came close to calling, but opt not to.  Noah said he had a medium pair so I probably lucked out there.

The next playable hand I get is AJo in the small blind.  I’m prepared to go all in when Noah beats me to it from first position.  I am 99% sure he has me beat here, but I don’t have enough chips to survive another orbit so I grudgingly call.  He has AT.   There is a pair of threes on the flop, and a king on the turn.  The river brought an Ace which looked good for me until I realized that it meant a split pot.  Should have kept my mouth shut.

The same thing happens a few orbits later.  I have A3s in the big blind and am planning an all in when Noah beats me too it.   This time I’m 110% sure I’m behind, but there is nothing I can do about it.  The blinds are going to force me in soon anyway, so maybe I can hit a flush or a three.   Drew also calls with absolute garbage, but he was halfway in the pot anyway so maybe he had the odds to call.  None of us improve and Noah takes the pot, moving into the chip lead and knocking me out in the process.

Gary goes card dead after that, and finally ends up all in preflop when he can’t cover the blinds with pocket cowboys.   Drew and Noah both call, and Noah chases Drew from the pot on the flop.  He turns over Axs with four to the flush.  The turn completes the flush, and Gary goes home.

After a brief heads up battle that I don’t remember any of the details, Drew ends up victorious.  So that makes two office tourney’s that Drew has attended and two wins.  I should really pay attention to his style, because while I don’t think it is generally very good, it seems to be effective in our setting.

So yeah.  No more office poker for me.  Unless I find a new office.  More on that later.  I hope.



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