Poker Words - A Poker Blog

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

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Midweek Poker

My friend Aaron's wife is out of town this week and with his newfound freedom to do whatever the hell he wants he decided to host a small poker game at his house. We've done this sort of thing a number of times recently, where recent is sometime in the last year, and "a number of times" is three or four. It was still a school night so we couldn't play for too long, but we were able to get in a few 6 handed tourneys.

We started off with holdem because that is what we all know and love. I must be rusty because I couldn't find a hand I felt like playing for the first three or four blind levels in a shorthanded friendly, low-buy in game. Finally my cards got better, or I just loosened up and started playing, and things went pretty well.

Nothing really stands out until the hand I got busted on. I had AK on the button, and made a big raise, which Jason called. Jason isn't a very good player by any stretch of the imagination. He plays with us not for the enjoyment of the actual card game, but for the drinking and social aspects. He knows the rules, but not any strategy. He also takes great pleasure is his completely random betting and card selection habits because he knows it frustrates everyone to have no idea what he might be holding. And because of that he's probably a much better player than any of us give him credit for. He has built the perfect loose aggressive random image that I think he actually does a pretty good job of exploiting when he wants to. We all make a big deal out of his willingness to call almost any bet, and the nonchalant smirkiness of his raises but lately he's been laying hands down when appropriate, and only calling/raising when he has a hand. I just don't think we've really noticed, or given him credit.

Of coarse I'm telling you all this to explain why I bet into the nuts when I'd like to think I would have folded to anyone else in the same situation. Back to the hand, The flop is A45 and Jason quickly turns to his neighbor, who was out of the game and asks him a question. I'm fairly certain he asked if aces count as one. At this point anyone with half a brain would have put him on the wheel and gotten out, or at least tread carefully. I didn't do that. I either thought he didn't actually have that hand, or that he didn't realize that it was any good, and bet into him. Again and again, until we went all in on the river. He did in fact have the wheel, and he also had me covered by a couple chips. He went on to win the tourney.


Round two was Omaha. Omaha still makes my brain hurt, but I think I might be starting to get it. Either that or the cards finally started coming my way. I was drawing to the nuts rather than hoping my two pair would hold up. I was taking advantage of other people's inability to remember they only get to use two cards from their hand, and I was actually getting good cards. I was rolling. And then, I don't even remember what happened, but before I knew it I had a few busted draws, and I fell into another one of Jason's traps, and I was out. Failing to money yet again.


In the past few meetings such as this, round three was Razz, but our resident Razz expert/enthusiast wasn't there, and I didn't want to have to explain it/remember how to play, so we stuck with a holdem varient and went with pineapple. Or crazy pineapple. I don't remember which one is which and I don't feel like looking it up.

For those of you unfamiliar with pineapple, it is just like holdem, except you are dealt three hole cards. You must discard one of the hole cards either before or after the flop, depending on if you are playing crazy pineapple or just the regular sane variety. We played the version where you discard after the betting on the flop.

I never thought the decision on which card to discard would be so difficult, or have such a significant affect on the game, but it did. There were a number of times when people discarded made average hands to chase something better because they didn't think it would stand up.

On the very first hand I had KK9. The flop was KQJ, which looks pretty good for me, although I'm a little worried about a strait. I obviously discard the 9, and then cringe when a ten comes on the turn. Although, I don't know how confident I would have been having the low end of a strait, it would have been better than no end of a strait. The river was inconsequential and someone with T9 took the pot.

It was quite surprising how often the discarded card could have won the pot for someone else.

I didn't fare any better in pineapple than I in any of the other games. This time I was undone by overbluffing with my 722 which completely missed the flop.

Despite nothing to show for it, it was certainly good to play a game for the first time in quite a while. My wife is out of town next week, so I'll be the one hosting the games. Depending on how many people we have, I think I want to make it a cash game dealer calls it for an orbit. I've never run a cash game though so we'll have to see how it works out.

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