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Reverse Hammer and the Salami Returns

I had a wonderful night with wifey Kim celebrating her birthday yesterday. We went to Rosa Mexicana a middle-to-higher-end Mexican restaurant in Union Square at wifey Kim's request. We started with the $14 guacamole for two, prepared table side. Truth be told, I knew before wifey Kim ordered it that it would be disappointing, but this was wifey Kim's day, and I was glad to play along. For $14, you get a busboy to roll a large cart up to your table, throw some onions, garlic, some other crap and chopped cilantro into a bowl, mash it up with avocado and tomato and serve it fresh made. Unfortunatlely, I am an enemy of cilantro, particularly when it is overused, and our busboy was too quick for me to throw in my light-on-the-cilantro request. Still, wifey Kim enjoyed it and it was decent guacamole, if a tad expensive.

For our meals, I agreed to split two dishes with wifey Kim. She had some sort of steak taco dish, with all of the items (steak cooked in a skillet with chihuahua cheese and whole scallions, some type of salsa, charro beans with "bacon" apparently of the invisible sort, and a corn-based concoction) served with soft tortillas. I had the enchiladas suizas. Both were passable, but neither were great. I note this only because wifey Kim and I are connosuers of Mexican food, and while we both enjoyed the meal, it paled in comparison to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Baby Bo's. I highly, HIGHLY recommend Bo's, located on 34th Street and 2nd Avenue to anyone looking for a good meal. The Venice Burrito (beef) and Chipotle Enchiladas are top picks.

But really, even if the meal was horrible, it was still wonderful. Wifey Kim was happy and that was all I needed.

When we got home, I went through my usual routine of distracting myself long enough to avoid playing online poker. This involved watching Lost, which according to Hoy, sucked. His assessment (and no real spoilers here), that the episode was a stand-alone throwaway is fairly spot-on, but I didn't think it was a complete train wreck. But, then again, I am sometimes easy to please, and while the show was definitely lacking in the storytelling and acting, it still quenched my Lost thirst. While I assume these things were mapped out and filmed well in advance, the episode did feel a little like they were giving the complaining viewers what they wanted, and passive-aggressively showing those viewers that what they wanted was silly nonsense. For you non-viewers, the complaints were that the story had shifted away from the original characters and camp, so last night we returned only to see how you can never quite go home.

On that note, let me say that if you were disappointed with Lost, just man up and jump on the Heroes bandwagon. Sure, it will likely fall off in the second season, much like this blog did in the second year, but that's the way with these things. It is hard to keep a high level of creativity and high quality product. After a while, these shows either become too convoluted or two repetitive. But, hey, I still love 'em.

Moving away from television, I did play some online poker earlier this week. I lost a $10 single table SNG, took 3rd in another, and lost a token tournament. Whatever. It still feels fake to me, or at least that's what I tell myself after I bust.

Here's a fun hand involving the hammer, sorta. This is one of the $10 tournaments, and we are at the 15/30 level. I have 1,380, and have been very tight so far. I am dealt 68o in the BB, the only player in the hand is the SB, who calls. I check. The flop is a hammerific 227, rainbow. The SB, who has been very loose, trying to win every pot if possible, waits until he has 15 seconds to act and then checks. To me, this move is often a sign that the other player doesn't have anything. The delay, for overaggressive players like him, followed by a check, is his weak attempt to slow me down. I guess the idea is that the other player (i.e., me) will think, "Why did he take so long? He must have something, so I better check and not try to steal the pot." So, what do I try to do? Steal the pot, of course. The fact that it was a hammer flop actually encouraged me to bet here. My logic was that it was just another sign from the Hammer Gods that it was time to bluff.

Bluff I did. I bet out the pot, 60. Dellup, the SB, then does something a tad curious. He minimum raises me to 120 total. Now, hold on, Mister. Let's recap. I have diddly-squat with a draw to jack shit, facing a minimum check-raise from an overaggressive win-every-hand type player who is out of position. Really, this could go any way, but that hammer flop is just calling my name.

Let me be straight with you here. I put him on a bluff check-raise. Not every player has the bluff-raise and bluff check-raise in their arsenal, but some of the more aggressive players do. The fact that Dell was the type of player to try to win every pot, and the whole sequence of events, told me that he put me on a position bet/steal or at least on a not-so-great hand that would fold to pressure. My super tight image (yes folks, truly, I had been playing super tight up until this point) would make his raise even more likely to succeed, in his eyes.

The next part of this play really depends on stack sizes. I put him on a bullshit play, but I didn't want to cripple myself if I was wrong. Hell, maybe he had 47o and would be willing to take it deep, having a good read on me. Still, I don't want to put myself into a bad situation, so I had to show him that if he wanted to play this hand, he'd have to really commit to it, while leaving myself enough chips to fold. The obvious solution, therefore, was a raise from his 120 to 360. I don't really like minimum raises or minimum check-raises unless I have the mortal nuts. Simply put, some people will ignore the fact that you are announcing that you want a call. They will ignore the fact that they do not have odds to even call the min-raise. What they will do is think, "well, I just bet that amount, so I might as well call it here and see what comes next." If I he re-raises, I have to fold. If he calls, I go into check-fold mode. It's all on the line here.

And he folds. Of course. Dildo. I mean, what a stupid move by him.

So, what have we learned from this hand? Be aware if a player bluff raises or bluff check-raises. Some players simply will not do this, while other more aggressive players might. It really does give you a clear picture of the type of player you are facing. Also, when you raise someone, cut that min raise crap out. In this case, he min raised and what does he get for his trouble? I re-raise his ass. Now, if he raised me from 60 to 180 (3x instead of a min raise) or even higher (240 would be ideal for his move), I fold immediately. Instead, he lets me re-raise his ass 3x and still hold onto 900 or so chips in reserve in case I have to fold. Simply put, min raising should only be done when you have a very strong hand.

Tonight, I return to Salami for the 7:30-ish (last time it started at 8, grumble grumble) $50+10 tournament. We'll see if I can keep my streaks alive, 3 wins in a row in the Salami tournament, and 5 out of 7 tournament wins for 2007. If anyone is interested in going, hit me up with an email or comment.

On Saturday, the plan was to go to the IHO tournament. Sadly, I had to cancel. Fortunately, it is for a good reason. While wifey Kim was planning on doing a mellow girls only dinner with her friends, her twin bro, Marc, decided to arrange a drunken bar gathering. Sorry IHO girls. I might still get to play, though, as there is potentially a SIF game that same day during the afternoon. I'm crossing my fingers that that game goes.

In other exciting news, it seems like the IHO contingent will potentially all play in the WSOP Circuit event on March 10th. Well, that works. So, the new plan is to get to AC Friday night and then get over to Caesars for satellites and to sign up early for the event. Folks, if you plan on playing the event, I suggest you do the same.

Until next time, make mine poker!

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posted by Jordan @ 2:29 PM,

1 Comments:

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Man Jordan, everybody and their mother keeps telling me to watch freakin Heroes. I may have to give it another try one of these days. I tuned in once for maybe 10 minutes and couldn't take it anymore, the story seemed so dumb and so "out there". Maybe one more chance is in order. I heard last week's show was particularly kickass.

 

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