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The Tale of Two Shitties

I think this is my second Dickensian reference in the last 10 days or so. I feel smart.

I played a little live poker yesterday. The game was hosted by Lee, a guy who works in the financial field and somehow knows Matty Ebs. A while ago, Ebs got me into the game, which I dubbed the Financial Game for the finance-heavy crowd. I made a few pesos the first time around, but couldn't make the second invite. Instead, I sent my brother-in-law Marc, who also made a few dinar before we both agreed that this was a juicy game. Most of the players seemed to have money, and the action was fairly loose.

It was with great delight, then, that we met up after work yesterday for dinner before poker at the Financial Game. We opted for nearby Jackson Hole, a bar, like JG Melon, known for its burgers. The difference is that where JG Melon has a small menu of standards, Jackson Hole has a huge menu with a variety of options. Even so, we opted for cheddar cheeseburgers and shared orders of fries and onion rings. Jackson Hole burgers are huge. They are also incredibly juicy. A couple of weeks ago, I was working late on a Saturday and stopped there solo for some dinner. I sat at the counter, where I watched the line cooks grilling burgers. It's an interesting system they have. Their burgers cook for a seemingly long time, which is probably necessary, given their girth. They are also covered at some point to keep the heat in. This is probably what cooks the burger through. Whatever the case, there must be more to it. My guess is that the meet is infused with some sort of liquid to keep it juicy. The grill is probably cooking at a low temperature to cook the meat without drying it out.

After gorging ourselves on burgers and beer, we began the long, cold walk crosstown, eventually opting for a roundabout subway trip, since we had time to kill. When we arrived, most players were already there, and the game started within 15 minutes. We each started with $200, playing $1/2 NLHE.

Within the first 5 hands, I was dealt A3s. I decided to play it for cheap, since the post-flop action can be great and we were shorthanded. These guys sometimes play any two cards, so the chance of coming against a stronger Ace, while still present, is not a foregone conclusion with multiple callers in this game. I'm not sure if someone raised it up, but in any event, me and three other players saw a flop: A3A. Yep. Flopped the boat.

In the SB, I checked. It checked around. Gulp. The turn was a 2, which also made a flush draw. I bet out $10, hoping to look like I was merely betting to take down the pot after everyone checked the flop. I think I got one or maybe two callers.

The river was a 5, and for a second, I thought that some donkey hit his straight. Then I remembered that I had a full house. Duh. I bet out $20, and only one player decided to play, Pete, a tall-ish shaved-bald guy wearing a suit. I looked like I didn't want a call, and saw him reach for his $25 chips. "Raise $50 more." When it got back to me, I pretended like I was really distraught. I was praying that he had a 4. I finally said, "You know what? $75 more." "All-in." "I call." I flipped over my full house and he showed 46o, for a rivered straight. Wow.

The very next hand, I made a few pesos off of Lee when I flat called his bet from the button after flopping top two pair on a J97 board. The turn was a 9, giving me another full house. He checked, I bet, and he folded, admitting that he was playing bottom pair.

As you can imagine, that's a nice way to start a game. I was up $280 or so by the time I had my next colossal hand of the night.

I'm pretty sure that b-i-l Marc had already rebought once by this time. We were now a full table of 9 players, and I was the chip leader or 2nd chip leader. Marc lost a big hand against a guy everyone called Ham. Ham was very tight by reputation, but he didn't show that yesterday. In the pivotal hand that left Marc broke, Marc decided to re-raise Ham huge in order to force Ham out of a pot. Ham had two pair, if I'm not mistaken, and Marc looked the fool at calldown. He rebought, but seemed to be on tilt.

I was super glad when I saw AA. I was up $280 or so, but I was card dead and I wanted to play tighter to avoid losing my stack. I was UTG+2, and UTG, a small guy with an eyebrow twitch named Piller (he was named Piller, not the eyebrow twitch) raised to $12. Lee called in UTG+1. I decided to thin the herd by raising to $30. I wanted to raise more, but I also wanted the action. Two players later, allegedly-tight Ham called. A few more players folded and Marc, in the BB, raised to $100 or something similar. I was salivating. Piller than pushed all-in for probably $70-90 or so total. When it got back to me, I raised all-in. Ham grumbled and folded. Marc called.

We all flipped our cards. I had AA, Marc had KK, and Piller had...AA also. Someone said, "It's over." I said, "Hell no. It isn't over until I see five more cards. Deal it out." Things looked good on the weak flop and turn, but a King river sealed my and Piller's fate. Marc had turned his $200 and change into a mass of chips, an I went from being up $280 to being down to $60-70. I opted for a full $200 rebuy immediately.

This is where the Tale of Two Shitties begins. It was frustrating to lose in such a manner, but I understand that such things will happen. I did my best to compose myself. I wasn't really upset with the suckout. It just sucks going from a profit to a significant defiict in no time.

I reminded myself that there was more poker to be played. If I played well, I could win my money back and thensome.

Later into the evening, Marc seemed to be still on tilt. He engaged in a major hand with Ham, where Ham bet big preflop, and Marc called. The flop was 842, with two diamonds, and Ham bet out $100, an overbet to the flop. Marc carefully pulled out a stack of greens and raised $200 on top. Everything he did screamed set. I was praying that Ham would just fold, but I figured that Marc was in good shape in any event. Ham took his time, but to everyone's amazement, made the call. Ham had JJ. Marc had A8. Marc was caught making another move, but it was one that I think was warranted or at least justifiable.

From there, though, Marc just tilted hard. I think the final straw that caused the uber tilt came when Marc had AhQx on an all heart flop (Marc had a nut flush draw and two overcards). A shortstack pushed all-in for $30. Pete called and Marc called. The turn was a blank. Pete bet $80 into the dry sidepot. Marc showed his hand to Lee and I, which to me is never a good sign. When people start announcing their hard decisions and bad luck, the rest of the table picks up on the frazzled mental state. It's like sharks to blood. He eventually folded, which in my estimation was the correct move. The pot was around $100. His chance of rivering a heart did not justify the call. Besides, it appeared from the action that the other players had at least one heart, and someone may already have the flush, reducing Marc's outs. The river, though, was a 7h. Pete showed a baby flush (64h in his hand), and Marc steamed.

His tilt really became apparent, though, at the very end of the evening. I think Marc had to reload again, so he was already down $400, at least. This hand is almost hard to type because it was just so aweful. On a diamond flop, 789. Marc held QTs. There must've been some preflop action, because the pot was sizeable, although not huge. It was just Marc and a quieter player at the table. The quieter player pushed all-in, and Marc mentally locked up. He showed his QTs to Lee and I, trying to determine what to do. "I don't think he has it." All I could think is, "Yeah, but you know that you don't have it." There is 0 fold equity, since his opponent was all-in, and even a King Duece was ahead of Marc's Queen high. Sure, there were 8 cards for a straight and Marc had overs, but that is being very generous. In reality, Marc could've been drawing dead against a flush, and even if his opponent only had one flush card, two of Marc's outs (6d and Jd) would not help him, leaving him with 6 outs or, if his opponent had a pair and a diamond, 12 outs. Whatever the case, it just made no sense to call, but sure enough, that's what Marc did. The quiet guy showed his hand, JJ, with no diamond. Ironically, that took away two of Marc's outs, leaving him with 2 Jacks, 4 Sixes, and 3 Queens, 9 outs total. As it turned out, the turn and river were both diamonds, and the players chopped the all flush board. Still, Marc's tilt was exposed, and from there on out, he was fighting from his back foot.

All the while, I was playing smart poker. I wasn't tight. I still limped into as many hands as possible. But I made some good laydowns and some great value bets.

At the end of the night, I stood up down $41 (I thought it was -$15, but I guess I counted wrong). Even though I lost, I recouped some of my earlier losses and for the most part, avoided tilt. Marc, on the other hand, stayed later than me, and probably left a decent loser.

Amazingly, I don't feel really bad about losing, either. The truth is, I'm down a couple of hundo for the year, but the year is still young. I also do not play live poker often enough to be worried. If you only play 4-6 times per month, there will be months where you are a net loser. I think I played 3 times in February and probably 4 times in January, so while I'm a loser so far, there is a lot of poker to be played.

Tomorrow, I have to go to Pennsylvania for work, but I'm angling to end up at AC for a few hours afterward. Wish me luck.

I am also toying with the idea of going down to AC for the weekend of March 28 to hang out with Jamie from the Wall Street Game. Apparently, Van Halen will be in town, and while I will not be attending the show (I just never got into VH...before my time sorta), I will be up for some poker.

I'd like to take a moment to wish a very happy birthday to wifey Kim. If I haven't made it clear, wifey Kim is the centerpiece to my life. As much as I love poker, as much as I love myself, I love wifey Kim even more. I've heard stories from other people about terrible relationships. From these stories, I see how truly blessed I am. Not only is wifey Kim a beautiful person, inside and out; she also "gets" me. She understands who I am, and she supports my endeavors, whether it be poker or anything else. Happy Birthday, wifey Kim! I can't wait to give you your presents.

I'd also like to take a briefer moment to wish wifey Kim's twin brother, b-i-l Marc, a happy birthday. But really, I hope he doesn't even read this post. Reliving tilt can be almost as bad as the tilt itself.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:01 AM,

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