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Justify My Love

I live in a sitcom environment. I have a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in the Financial District of Manhattan. I'm here with my fiance', Kim, my brother, Keith, and his girlfriend, Jen. Its a regular odd couples, but we make do. The rent is cheaper because of the split, and we all get along well enough.
I only mention this to set up the poker game I played yesterday. Keith's friends from out of town came in. Big shout out to Wowack, who brought Keith a chinese star from Thailand. Keith and I, as young teenagers, had a couple of contraband stars we hid from my ma. We'd go into the backyard and wreak hell on our wooden fence.
But I digress. Wowack was in the mood for some poker, and I am always down. So Wowak, Keith, Tim (another friend of Keith's) and I played a quick $10 tournament. I had been talking about poker and playing online seemingly nonstop for the entire weekend, so I knew that if I was not to be shamed, I'd have to have a decent showing.
The game was an odd one. Generally, no one raised pre-flop, and one guy even said that it was rude and he hated when people did it. That didn't stop me entirely, but, out of politeness and in the name of friendliness, I did limit my pre-flop raises. Note that these guys were not experienced players. Wowack had some experience, and I think Tim may have played a couple of times, but Keith, my very own bro, was a poker virgin.
With all of this, it was a hard table to get a grasp on. In one hand, with blinds of 1/2 and 100 chips per player to start, I had pocket TT. Tim, on the button, limped in. Keith, small blind, called. I raised to 7 total (5 more). Tim and Keith called. The flop was AQJ, with two hearts (my tens were both black). It was the worst flop I could see. Keith and I checked, and Tim raised. I had to put him on a J, Q, or A. Nothing else would have made sense. Keith called, and I folded. When I returned from the bathroom, I discovered what both players had. Tim had pocket 99, and Keith had pocket 22. I had them whooped. It just goes to show you that playing with novices does not necessarily make an easy game.
As it turned out, I won the game and $30, which increases my 2005 winnings to $505. Not bad, for me and my low stakes action. I'm hoping to hit $1200 by year end. Its a modest goal, but I'm a modest guy. Hopefully Vegas (leaving on Wed.) will be good for me. It'll be my first time. I'm psyched.
Now, for one last hand. The last hand of the 4-way tournament was between Wowack and me. I was the big stack, and he was blinding himself to death waiting for the nuts. He had about 70 left, I had 330. Blinds were 10/20. I'm on the button, and look down to see AKo. I did not raise pre-flop, as I normally would, because I knew he would fold, and I wanted to break him. The flop came down J99. He checked, and I checked. The next card was a Q. He bet about 20. I called, slightly leery, but assuming he was trying to bluff at a pot. The river was an A. He bet 30 or so, with another 20 chips left in his stack. I put him all in. He called. Wowack had J8, and I took the pot with my rivered A. Wowack's error, if you missed it, was the check on the flop. He was shortstacked and could have used the blinds. He also had the best hand at that point, and should have bet for value. So if I folded, he would have protected his hand, and if I called, he would still be the favorite, and could have maybe pushed me out on the turn before the A hit. But that is the difference between a novice and more serious players. So, in reference to my earlier statement about novices not being easy, as Snoop Dogg might say, "Novices ain't easy, but yo, they ain't hard no." You just have to adjust your play, and know your player.

posted by Jordan @ 12:42 PM,

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