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A $90 Story and You Decide #8

On Saturday, I had a first. I visited a pokerroom on Long Island. An illegal pokerroom. In NYC, there is no legal casinos within a 2 hr radius. I don't have a car, so its few and far between when I can play in a legitimate (i.e., not a home or Internet) game. I guess the illegal pokerroom is no exception, but it was closer to the real deal.

On Saturday morning, the local newspaper had an article about two raids on illegal pokerrooms in NYC. The rooms must have been getting too popular, because they had been operating for a while without problems. Their usual take was about $10,000-20,000 a night. At the time of the raid, $100,000 in cash was seized. The players originally thought they were being robbed. Cops reported hearing them say, "Thank god, its only the police." "Thank god" is right, because the players were allowed to leave without trouble.

I've always avoided the NYC cardrooms for one major reason: I love poker. I thought that my fixed income would be put at risk if I had a game accessible 24/7. But then my little brother's friend (little bro = 23 yrs old) told me that he was dealing in a room on LI. I grew up on LI. My parents live on LI. So I'm there every couple of weeks. When he told me about the pokerroom, my mind started to put things together. Here was a room that I could not go to without a 1 hr train ride and arranging a car with my family. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place when he told me about the $30 rebuy tourneys on the weekends. So here it was: a pokerroom, close enough to get to conveniently, far enough to be only an occasional thing, and cheap enough to play responsibly.

On Saturday, I got to the pokerroom at 2pm, expecting the tourney to start at 3. I was wrong, as the tourney starts promptly at 2, and players can buy in for the first hour. In the future, I may intentionally miss the beginning, but this is yet to be seen. After reassuring the doormen that I was who I said I was (they didn't believe my I.D. until I showed them my work idea and the progression of my follicle exodus until my present state) I sat at a table with a rag-tag group of players. Included were two black guys who were clearly sharp players, a couple of young guys who were the marks, a couple of old guys who looked like they'd rather spend their money on a long-shot bet than on a spin-cycle at the local laundramat, and a chain smoking middle-aged woman. What a crowd! I was right at home.

Chip counts started at T1000, and blinds at 25/25, raising to 25/50, 50/100, and then the rebuys stop and the antes come into play.

My first big hand was when I raised it to 200 with 66 on the button. The flop was T94 with two clubs. There was just me and some kid wearing a full-on jacket where most people were wearing shorts. The dude looked doofy, but I was not 100% sure of his game yet. He had certainly been aggressive. He called two all-ins a couple of hands ago post-flop with the nut-flush draw and hit it, tripling up.

With all of this info, I raised it up 200. He pushed me all in for just shy of 600 more. All-in would've been tough. I thought for a minute about my options, and then I looked at JacketMan. He was looking at the table quietly. Thank you Mr. Caro. I called the scared kid, but only after stating, "Well, if you paired the 9 or 10 I'm screwed, but I'm willing to bet you are on a draw." I was wrong. The twerp had pocket 5s. At least I picked up on his tell. He didn't want the call, but that's what he got, and I doubled up.

A while later, a strong hand of mine was cracked and I ended up double rebuying (they allowed this) for $40 and T2000. I also did a single add-on at the break to keep my exposure below $100 (the rest of the table bought a double-add-on. At the end, I was shortstacked with about 1200 (remember all of their add-ons), with 50 ante and 150/300 blinds. I went all-in UTG with AQs, and one player called with AKo. The flop was QJ4 and I was singing, "Lady in Red" quietly as the Q was a Q of hearts. However, ole lady luck stuck it to me good when she coughed up a T to give my opponent a Broadway straight.

Losing sucks, but at least I've found a new place to play. Now I'd like to direction your attention to:

You Decide #8
In the tournament at one point with 100/200 blinds I was down to about 1400. One of the black guys, an aggressive player, raised it from 100 to 500 UTG+1. The table folded to me in the BB. I was thinking that I would likely lay it down until I saw my cards, AA. I raised it to 1000, leaving myself with 400. At the time, I wanted him to call. I announced, "I'm making a play for your chips." I expected him to push me all-in, but he called.

The flop looked okay to me: 562. I raised all-in for 400 more. I told the guy that he could save himself 400 if he wanted. Realistically, he was going to call no matter what. I was happy when I saw 78s. The turn was uneventful, but the river was a 4.

Did I play this wrong? Felicia (I think) recently posted a comment that stated that you try to protect your good hands in tournaments and get value in ring games. I definitely didn't play to protect, but I didn't slowplay either. Here I thought that I could get my opponent to call heads-up with inferior cards. I was hoping for a high pocket pair, but you see what I got. I was still dominating, but luck has to come into play somewhere. So there you have it. Did I play this wrong or right? You decide. Post a comment. Your thoughts are always appreciated.

Poker poker poker.

posted by Jordan @ 9:29 AM,


At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Toni said...

I think you played it right. When you have AA and only one other person is in the pot with you preflop and they are betting big, you want to drag as much money out of them as possible...which you did. The luck factor kicked your butt that hand, not your strategy.

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Pii said...

Dude, I have a history of slow playing Aces much to my detriment, and I believe that Maudie recently addressed the topic as well, but I don't think she really drove home the point she was trying to make. (ahem)

Anyway, in retrospect, it's easy to say that you should have pushed from the onset, knowing as we do what he was holding.

Even without that knowledge, in the midst of the game, I probably would have pushed. For starters, heads up, AA is a pretty good hand. The worst case scenario, he's also holding AA, so you're tied. In every other case, you're ahead, and in most cases, you're way ahead.

I doubt he would have called you with his meager suited connector had you gone after him.

If he had, well at least you could take comfort in having pushed while you were ahead.

That's the game.

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Lou_Ford said...

A quick couple of questions. Was the table 10 handed? What was his stack like?

Since he raised in early position, I would think he has a strong hand or in this case he could just be mixing up his play. Either way, you have less then 10BB so I would push here and pray for a call. Depending on his stack, I could see him calling there with a large chip stack. His call PF wasn't bad since he was getting 3-1 and in your case he was an approx 3.3-1 underdog, so it wasn't too bad of a call. In worst case, (88 vs his 87s) he was a 4.5-1 underdog. And his call after the flop was good as well since he was getting better then 2-1 for his money and that's how much of an underdog he was.

Nonetheless, tough beat, but it happens. I would have probably played it exactly the same way as you did and as he did as well(if I would have made that PF raise of course).

At 6:44 PM, Blogger STeelerJosh said...

Fun post to read and I agree with the other comments. Bad luck beats good play now and then. How is the limit challenge going? I just jumped up a level and doing well despite better than expected playing. Curious how this will look, first time commenting from BlackBerry. Killing sometime waiting for a haircut. Wish I could play on this thing!!!

At 9:18 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Thanks folks. The only error I could possibly see would be not pushing all-in pre-flop. Still, sometimes its hard to lose a crucial hand like this and not find a problem. I'd almost be happier if I saw a hole in my game to work at.

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous doc said...

Hey I agree 100% agree with the last few comments. This blog has great opinions and this is why I continue to visit, thanks! ##link#


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