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Appreciation Day

While playing in the Hoy last night (and taking the lowest paying money slot after some bad beats), I got to spend some table time with Surflexus, a long time blogger and friend. I try to write for those who don't read the bajillion other poker blogs out there, so I should provide a tad bit of background.

Surflexus is one of the first bloggers I interacted with regularly. I think he was in one of my early challenges, but whatever the case, over the years (yes, I've been blogging for years), I came to appreciate a few things about Surflexus.

The first is that he is a fantastic poker player. He's won a shiteload of blogger tournaments and does well away from this merry band of misfits, too. In fact, I once bought a piece of Surflexus' action in some WSOP Circuit event and to nobody's surprise, won some money when Surflexus cashed.

The second thing you ought to know about Surflexus is that he is consistent. This is not a guy who goes on a short tear for a month and then recedes into the background. For the length of time I've known him, he always seems to be winning, and when he is not, he is either smart, quiet or patient enough to never give off the impression of being a loser.

The third thing is that he is one of the nicest guys around. I got to spend some time with Surflexus at Okie-Vegas last year and he is not only an easy guy to get along with, but he is also a commendable human being. Hearing him talk about his family and just spending time with the lug was a downright pleasure.

But enough of the ole Surflexus love fest. I mention Surflexus only to provide this hand narrative from last night. Watch Surflexus extract as many chips as possible:

We are playing 5-handed in the Hoy, with blinds of 20/40. Surf already has 7900. Ridiculous! He is in the SB with AJ. ERT152 (blog?) with about 2300 chips in UTG+1, which is also the CO in our shortie table, raises to 80. I will let the kitten out of the bag and tell you he has KK. Surf makes what I consider to be the obvious and correct play and calls the min bet. Perhaps a raise would work here too, but why get committed with AJ when you (a) could miss the flop, (b) could be facing AK or AQ, or (c) could be facing a monster hand that will re-raise push you off of your hand before you get to see the cheap three-card flop.

The flop came down A65, rainbow. Surf checks. It's the smart play. ERT bets 180 and Surf flat calls.

The turn is a 2c. It seems harmless enough, even though it now creates a club draw and potential straights. I have to admit, I don't exactly know Surf's thinking here (Surf?) but he chose to lead out this time, betting 180, the same amount that ERT bet on the flop. I really don't want to taint Surf's opinion (and hopefully comment) about this hand, but after seeing its effect, this is a great play. Surf has to assume one of two things: (1) he is ahead with his Ace to a lesser but likely adequate hand and ERT was continuation betting the flop, or (2) he is behind to a stronger Ace or even A6/A5 in a shorthanded game, in which case his bet is a blocking bet and also a tempting bet to re-raise for AK/AQ/A6/A5/66/55/AA. It's especially tempting to make the re-raise with a superior hand if you fear the potential flush and straight possibilities.

ERT called the bet, which would indicate that it was cheap enough to call, even with his less than AJ hand. That basically gives Surf the green light.

The river was a Jack of hearts, giving Surf 2 pair. The pot is 820. Surf bets 1200...and gets the call. The overbet for value worked.

Now, maybe I'm just drinking the Kool-aid, but it seems to me that Surf played this hand to perfection. And THAT is why he has a spot in the High on Poker Poker Role Models Hall of Fame Aqueduct.

* * *

With my WSOP prop bets going, I've been devouring all things WSOP in a fervor not seen by me since 2005. But I really wouldn't give two shits if it weren't for the next two people getting their come-uppance HoP Appreciation Day style.

Really, let's just do this one band-aid style and rip this bitch off.

Chip counts are ok, but when I want to feel like I'm really at the WSOP, I read Tao of Poker by Dr. Pauly. Frankly, this has been Pauly's best year yet because he is free from the shackles of institutionalized poker media. Instead, he can write about the things that are actually interesting, like the mood in the room, the scene as people bust, the background stories on players and events, and the rumors going around the casino floor.

In fact, I was reading him today when I came across this nugget:

Phil Ivey made a 600K bet that either Allen Cunningham or Phil Ivey will win a bracelet this year. I wrote sometime back that I thought Allen Cunningham would win a bracelet this year. Finally... Phil Ivey and I agree on something.

Hmm...who else bet on Allen Cunningham and Phil Ivey to do well in this year's WSOP? I can't seem to remember....

If Pauly is the Yang of WSOP coverage, Change100 is the Yin. Change provides a second (and generally confirming) view of the festivities. Pauly and Change's writings are very compatible, but they also are distinctive. I really can't put my finger on it, other than to say that reading both of the blogs makes me feel like I am not only at the WSOP, but that I am one of the insiders.

So, I say to thee, YOU ARE APPRECIATED, SURFLEXUS, DR. PAULY, and CHANGE100. I thank you all.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:16 PM,


At 7:58 PM, Blogger surflexus said...

i like your analysis of the hand. i'm going to try and post something about the same hand so you can see how it lines up with my thoughts...thanks for the kind words friend.


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