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Poker is Hard Work

but it sure is fun. I played yesterday in SIF's homegame for the third time. Three visits to the land of odd mixed games and three wins. Jordan, Mixed Game Specialist.

The game was an odd assortment. This week, we played PL Double Board Hold'em (two flops, turns, and rivers dealt at the same time, and if you only win on one board you take 1/2 the pot), Limit Stud 8 or better, PLO8, Limit Badugi (more on that later), NL 2-7 Lowball Single Draw, Limit Omaha 8 or better, NL Crazy Pineapple, and Razz. When it comes to a variety of games like this, I really like to let my inner donkey out, especially early on. I guess it builds action, plus it warms me up for some more serious play. So, basically I started off giving a lot of action. And fortunately it paid off.

It was one helluva table too. There wasn't a soft spot to be seen. On my immediate left was Maigrey, a player whose ability to actually focus (gasp!) makes her an immediate threat. Her depth of poker and even mixed game knowledge also makes her extremely dangerous. To her left was SoxLover, a player who I greatly respect for his determination, confidence and skillz (yes, with a 'z'). Next to him was the host, Bradley aka SIF, and he was running this freakin' Frankenstein of a poker game, so he clearly had a ginormous edge. Next to him was my buddy Matty Ebs, a true poker player who is a former dealer and has experience at higher levels of poker than little ole me. Next was Mary, one of the tighter players I've seen. If there is one thing I mentally note about tight players, it's that they are usually dangerous. If they are in a hand, you best be looking for the exit. Finally, my nemesis sat to my immediate right. Dawn from I Had Outs may come across as a friendly gal, but she's a shark of the most vicious variety. Plus, being between her and Maigrey meant having to watch the girls high-five whenever they split a pot consisting of mostly my money.

Let's talk a moment about one of the less common games in the group: Badugi. Badugi is a four-card draw poker game where the goal is to get the lowest possible hand, A234. The thing is, if you have two cards of the same suit, you can only use one card, so you'll have a three-card hand. Likewise, if you have a pair, you can only use on of those cards. So the mortal nuts are A234 rainbow. If you have one of each suit, its called a Badugi. So, if you are dealt Kc Jh 3s 2d, you may just want to stand pat with King high in a lowball game, because any 4 card Badugi beats a three card Badugi.

My favorite hand of the night saw one particular play dubbed the Bajordi. I was in the BB and it was a limit game. SIF, in MP/LP raised to $8 from the 2/4 blinds, and when it folded to me, my hand was 4sJsKsJc. In other words, I had crap. But I was also up over $100 (and probably over $200) by this point, and I felt like playing for the hell of it. So, I called and discarded three cards, holding onto my 4s. The result: 2h 3d 9c, a collective 4-card 9-high Badugi. Now, that's a great freakin' hand, and Dawn, on my immediate right, was playing along with me since she had folded and, as far as I was concerned, this was all just a goof. But when we both saw what I drew, we were all a hoopin' and a hollerin'. I bet out, and SIF raised. I reraised, all the while the table laughing along with the pure absurdity. We redrew (we were playing it in a triple draw format), and I stood pat while he drew (correctly ditching his J-high 4-card Badugi). I bet out, and I believe this is when he folded. I tabled my monster as we all laughed at the sheer absurdity of it all.

All in all, I won $395 at the home game. This was my third trip to the SIF mixed game, and my third win (my last two were $145 and $34. Hell, since the Bash, I've won 6 out of 7 live games (the loss coming at underground club Genoa), and won a large chunk of my currently yearly winnings. I've also broke my yearly goal of $1800 once again, but this time feel confident that I won't be looking back.

SIF said something interesting while I was whooping ass yesterday. Basically, his monthly goal equaled my yearly goal. Well, I don't doubt it, and I'm sure he's not the only blogger I know who can trump my levels with nary a thought. Morseo than anything, it just gives me something to look forward to. I've been building up my bankroll over the last two years starting with a series of failed $20 reloads followed by three very successful freerolls. I haven't had to deposit online in well over two years, and that alone is a huge accomplishment for me. In the last several months, I withdrew or spent live winnings of over $1,000. My poker is make a positive impact on my life and wifey Kim's life, and really, that is all that matters right now. The goal is to keep building, and while I've had to make cash withdrawals and while I need to get back to a cash bankroll, I am moving in the right direction.

The HUC4 is coming along. We have some great participants, including Veneno, DoubleAs, Tripjax, WillWonka, Flopilicious, 23Skiddoo, Fuel55, and PokerPeaker. If you are interested in joining this elaborate field, the most it will cost you is $41.50 (the $25 entrance fee, and three $5.50 losses in a row in round one, which is the worst-case scenario). Plus, you may get some heads-up experience which is invaluable in late stage tournaments, and you'll get to mix and match with some of poker bloggerdom's best and brightest.

That's all for now. I won a $26 token this morning, and I've already registered for DADI X (Nov. 16th, $26 entry or a Tier 1 Token), so I'm going to hopefully get a Tier II token for an entry in the Big Game. Wish me luck!

Until then, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:03 PM,


At 1:08 PM, Blogger Fuel55 said...

I was first introduced to Badugi as this year's WSOP but the only game they were spreading was $300/600 limit which seemed a little steep to learn. I watched a few hands here an there as I was in the area of the Badugi table and brought it home to our home game were regularly play it. Drawing odds are reduced compared to standard triple draw games making for very interesting bluffing situations. I just love it and hope the WSOP makes it a bracelet event sooner or later.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger SIF said...

I have a belief that Baudgi and other triple-draw variants may be the future of limit poker, simply because the draws are so much more seductive but usually pointless. (For example, you have a lot fewer good outs in Badugi than you think you do most of the time, since you almost always need to show down a reasonably good 4-card to win at a full table.)

As for my a goal of $1,000/year vs. $12,000 a year -- your title says it all. One of the reasons I host the home game is ot have fun in poker, because grinding out a grand a month is hard work and often boring. One of the reasons I have no interest in hosting a NL HE home game is because I already play plenty of NL HE to make "easy" money and it's can be somewhat boring when you grind it out.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

It's definitely a fun game, SIF, and I look forward to it whenever you have one. As I said, the goal of $1000/month (current goal, $1800/year) is something I also look fwd to, and playing against people such as yourself with much higher goals as me gives me an opportunity to expose myself to the sort of players I will see when my roll is sufficient. That's just another huge plus. I personally believe that if I had a sufficient bankroll, I could pull in $12k per year, but I'm focused on getting that bankroll through hard work and determination. Some people hace seemed to have an easier time than me, but in this game, my only competition in the long-run is myself. Once again, SIF, thanks for the invite and for hosting.

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All in all, I won $395 at the home game"

Lol dude, you fuckin' owned em' -- what were the stakes??

Oh yeah -- for anyone interested I made a new blog using Blogger Beta at my old blog address

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

Hey, he didn't own me! I made $429 - although I gave about ten back to the house because the pot was short at the night's end!

:) I think our combination -- betting station/calling station personas should travel around the country cleaning up at home games.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger SIF said...

I am happy to host and glad you enjoyed yourself. I am planning at this point to host a bit less frequently but longer (probably 1PM-midnight) games. That's more convenient for my wife.

I am able to make $1,000/month playing off a $10,000 bankroll and never playing higher than $2/$5 NL HE, and usually $1/$2 NL HE live and four-tabling smaller (usually $.50/$1) online. I put about 10-15 hours a week to pull that off.

If I wasn't taking that $1,000/month out of the bankroll, I could probably build it up to play higher. Instead, it stays static and I don't move up, so big scores are unlikely to come as long as I am using the $1k/month for expenses.

The problem is, if your goal is to make money, you have to pick unchallenging (indeed, read "boring") soft games most of the time. My home game, while positive didactic EV, is negative money EV because it is tough to get an edge in mixed games like that. It's just low stakes for fun.


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