Name That Ham
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I returned to the Wall Street Game last night, burnt out from a long day of work. The guest list was rather short, topping out at, I believe, 7 players when I entered about 30 minutes late. The game for the evening, .25/.50 PLO8, was likely the reason for the lack of players. Frankly, it seemed ideal to me. Less players allow looser action. PLO8 allows looser action. Deceptively low blinds make looser action. And I like looser action.
I entered to great fanfare as the only blogger to win two blogger tournaments in a night, my own personal Diggstown Challenge. As two time, two time World Champeen, I was barely concerned with my 'competition' (if you want to call them that), namely, Decent Steven, host Jamie, Ham-Hands Pauly, KJ, Matty Ebs, and Darko. That was actually the order of the line-up, and I sat between Steven, on my left, and Darko, on my right.
Amazingly, there was nary a female in the house, something that has rarely, if ever, happened on one of my trips to the WSG. For whatever reason, the WSG has always had an unlikely and uncommon number of broads, so the lack of chicks meant two things: (1) the inappropriate comments were not followed by apologies [or a shake of the inappropriate maracas], and (2) I was the prettiest one at the table.
The game started out frustrating enough. I couldn't hit a flop if my life depended on it, but luckily...my life didn't depend on it, even if my wallet did. The result was a quick $20 drop out of my $60 stack, so I reloaded another $20 (in for $80 total) with the expectation that I could double up, given the family pots and loose action.
I'll admit that I was definitely taken off of my game by the absurd amount of whiffs that came on the flop. In fact, it led to my first bust out. I was dealt AAXX, single suited. I don't remember the other two cards too well, but I think one was a 5 and the other was a royal card. Whatever the case, I raised pot preflop from the BB and got something like 5 callers at the 7-person table.
The flop came down 227, and when it checked to me, I bet out the pot, which, thanks to the callers, was a decent amount. As soon as I did it, I realized that (a) I put in most of my chips so I had to call a raise no matter what, and (b) I was a complete and utter donkey. Clearly, with all of the preflop callers, someone was probably playing A2XX and hit top set, top kicker, likely with a low draw. So, there was no doubt that I would get a call or be raised, unless, of course, no one had a duece and I was 'representing' A2. Here's a quick strategy tip: don't come up with your strategy after you act.
Like the dipshit I was, I took my beating when Darko, now with a massive stack from earlier stellar play mixed with some luckboxery, called and showed 22XX, for quads. REBUY!
I bought in for another $60, cursing myself and trying to determine whether I would be best off leaving. I didn't want to give back the $150 profit from last week, but I also couldn't bring myself to leave after spending a little over an hour at the game (after showing up late, no less).
I put my ass back in my seat and decided to continue doing what I was doing, except for the whole pushing all-in with crap on a board that will guaranty that I be called.
A quick interlude about Darko. For whatever its worth, Darko is one helluva player. I would consider him one of the best, if not the best, players I regularly play with. The key to his success is his interplay with other players. I don't know if he plays online (definitely not for significant sums), because I am not so sure if his talents would translate there. All I know is that he can talk an Eskimo with white gloves into buying a melting ketchup icicle. He'll get you to pay him off when he wants the action and conversely force you off a pot when he has nothing. And he'll show you his crap cards every time, not because he wants to prove that he outplayed you, but because it will help him outplay you again later. While it can be a bit aggravating, it is also a thing of beauty. Early in the night he must've shown bluffs 5 or 6 times. Each time, he acted with precision and purpose during the hand.
I write this here because I want to show a bit of respect and compliment Darko; Lord knows my ego is too big to say this to him in person.
A little while later, I had my first good fortune of the night. I held 6624 (I think, but definitely 66), when a flop came down 269 or something similar. I think there was a flush draw out, too. I think I checked and Pauly Ham Hands decided to bet out. Ebs was also in the hand and called. I called as well. The turn was a blank, I think. All I know is that I bet out pot immediately. I know a low did not hit, and I guess I sorta woke up from my lax play on the flop. Pauly called, Ebs raised pot, and I re-raised all-in. Pauly called, as did Ebs. I assumed I was in desperate shape, but after the river, my set held up against my opponents' likely bajillion outs, tripling me up and all but erasing my earlier losses.
I tried to limp in to pots cheap or simply fold. It was clear that people were playing looser than usual, and I wanted to exploit that since I knew I could get paid off on my big hands. Unfortunately, big hands were few and far between, even though I won a couple of medium-sized pots with, in one instance, a Darko-life bluff with air, and in another instance, a turned wheel that scared off my opponents after builing a decent pot on the flop.
I was getting antsy and began pacing around the room. The dealing was horribly slow. It was clear that Ebs, who was in the box (i.e., acting as dealer) was not into his job, and the result was a very slow game, what with all of the dealing, pot-chopping, and math involved in PLO8. I have to say that I finally understood why PLO8 is not as popular in casinos (aside from the obvious). The game is terribly slow if you are not online.
I finally got fed up (mostly because I was card dead and wanted to see more hands) and asked Ebs if he wanted to switch seats. He jumped at the opportunity, obviously happy to be free of dealing duties. We swapped seats and I probably dealt with twice the speed as before. Make no mistake, I am not knocking Ebs, who clearly didn't want to be designated dealer in the first place and was sharing the duties with others at the table. Rather, I was just fucking manic about playing, and dealing would keep me busy and engaged in the game.
Time for another tangent. A long while ago, when I was dealing at the WSG, I accidentally directed action past Pauly before he had a chance to act. This happened probably 3 or more times before I came up with an excuse for my lapses in judgment. "It's not my fault your ham hands cover your entire cards." Sure enough, Pauly was covering his cards with his hands, but it isn't as though Pauly's hands are particularly large. It was just my usual sarcastic self. Well, Pauly Ham Hands (or Ham Hands Pauly) has stuck, and we've now entered the realm of nickname nicknames. Favorites from last night include, Hammy, Hamuel, Hammy Davis Junior, Hamuel Adams and Hamuel L. Jackson. I wanted to work in Ham & Cheese, but there was no angle that made sense. And for the fuck of it, let's have a random contest. Give me a random nickname that is a derivative of Pauly Ham Hands. The best one gets $11 to play some cheapo tournament on FT or Stars (your choice). 1 entry per person, 5 total entries (i.e., 5 submissions) in order for the contest to take place. I'll give you until Thursday morning.
In the dealer's box, I was able to see more hands...and fold more hands. I tightened up considerably, mostly because I was calm once again and realized that success would come with big hands, and not just by playing any two cards. (BTW, if you are an any-two-cards player, try Omaha.... the whole four card thing is a mind trip). In one interesting hand, I held A993, with the A and 9 of Spades, and saw a board of 25XX, with two spades and two hearts. Pauly, I think, got all-in against me and Ebs, who was also all-in. The river was a low card, completing my nut low. However, Ebs held A344, with the Ace and Four of Hearts. In other words, when we got our money all-in on the turn, we both had a draw to the nut low and a draw to the nut flush...although obviously different nut flushes. If a 4, 9, or any Spade or Heart came out on the river, Pauly was toast. As it were, he won half the pot and Ebs and I quartered the low. LEMON!
I announced at 10:45 that I would be leaving at 11:15 (and admitted in the same breathe that this really meant 11:30), so I waited out the clock as I counted my chips. I was above my $140 of buy-ins and looking at a decent profit. And then the big hand happened. I literally announced that it was my last orbit just a few hands prior when I was dealt 6442, single suited, a hand awefully close to my earlier 66XX hand. I saw a flop with a bunch of other people: 964, with two hearts. It wasn't a bad flop. I had bottom set, and a low flush draw (I had 4h and 2h, the board had 9h and 6h), but since there was a low draw out there, I was concerned that at the best, I would chop and at the worst, a flush or straight would be me by the river. As a result, I reluctantly called a bet from Pauly. Ebs called as well. The turn was an offsuit 7, which ruined my hand even more. It was an ugly straight card and it could complete a bunch of low draws. As I remember it, Pauly had bet $5 on the flop and $10 on the turn. I called his turn bet before Ebs raised $35 on top. Pauly called and I nonchalantly threw in my $25. In reality, I was dying inside, scared that I was going to give away all of my profits and stack in the last orbit. Still, I liked my odds. Even if someone hit the low already, with three players in the pot, I would get equity from any action, as long as either (a) no one had a straight and no one was drawing to a better heart flush, or (b) no one had the straight and the flush did not come, or (c) the flush came and I was the only one with it, or (d) the board paired and I hit my full house. The actual result was (d), when the river came out a beautiful 7h. It gave me a full house, but also completed a flush.
I was first to act and decided that there was no reason to bullshit. I bet out $55. Ebs seemed really distraught until he finally folded. Pauly was taking his sweet time, like a slow roasted ham, perhaps, so I began talking it up. He finally called, and when I showed my full house, he mucked. He later stated that he had the nut flush, which was the only reason why he called. Miraculously, he didn't have a low. Ebs, however, had folded 38XX, for a weak but winning low hand.
I cashed out up over $150, walking on air. It was after 11:30 by this time, but it didn't bother me one bit.
I feel like I'm on a rush, so I look forward to playing more in the future. I don't have anything on the horizon, but I'm sure that will change. I intended to take a day trip to AC on Saturday, but that's going to have to be rescheduled. Oh well.
A couple of quick odds and ends to tie up.
First, it looks like I may get some funds on Bodog soon, which is sweet, since I really enjoyed the recent blogger tournament series there. It's absolutely ridiculous how much free money they are throwing at bloggers. So, thank you to Bodog. You can see more about the past tournament series at http://www.bodogbloggertournament.com/. Yeah for Bodog! Yeah for poker!
Second, let's see how I am doing with my WSOP Prop Bets:
Fuel55- Most Cash Won (Fuel's Sorel Mizzi, Phil Hellmuth and Jonathan Little vs. my Allen Cunningham, Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan)
Cunningham added to his cashes by narrowly missing the final table in Event #33, out in 13th place. I lead $419,927 to Fuel's $114,702.
Phil Hellmuth, $100,292, 8th, Event #28, $5k PLO Rebuy
Sorel Mizzi, $8,103, 68th, Event #5, the $1000 rebuy, and
$6,307, 29th, Event #24, $2.5k PLHE/PLO
Phil Ivey, $37,130 9th, Event #14, the $10k Stud World Championship, and
$7,998, 23rd, Event #22, $4k HORSE
Allen Cunningham, $6,247, 22nd, Event #10, $2,500 OE, good and
$76,205, 4th, Event #24, $2.5k PLHE/PLO
$18,401, 13th, Event #33, $5k Stud Hi/Lo World Championship.
Johnny Chan, $27,072, 13th, Event #8, the $10k Mixed Game Championship, and
$246,874, 4th, Event #28, $5k PLO Rebuy
Ingoal- Most Cash Won (Ingoal's Daniel Negreanu and Jesus Ferguson vs. my Bill Chen and TJ Cloutier)
Ingoal has continued his beatdown, thanks to Ferguson's impressive 2nd place in Event #33. Compare that with Chen's recent weak cash in Event #40. Ugly! Ingoal leads with $664,501 to my pathetic $20,868. Is Cloutier even playing this year? For his sake, I hope not.
Daniel Negreanu, $16,496, 22nd, Event #5, $1000 rebuy, and
$33,417, 11th, Event #14, the $10k Stud World Championship) and
$204,874, 1st, Event #20, $2k LHE, and
$123,437, 7th, Event #28, $5k PLO Rebuy
Jesus Ferguson, $14,438, 51st, Event #25, the $10k HU Championship, and
$69,433, 10th, Event #28, the $5k PLO Rebuy and
$202,406, 2nd, Event #33, the $5k Stud Hi/Lo World Championship.
Bill Chen, $15,594, 19th, Event #31, $3k NLHE Shorthanded
$5,274, 24th, Event #40, $2.5 2-7 Triple Draw.
UWannaBet- Most FinalTable/Bracelets (UWanna's Michael Binger, Brandon Cantu and Erik Seidel vs. my Cunningham, Johnny Chan and Joe Hachem)
Michael Binger, Event #5, $1000 rebuy
Brandon Cantu's, 9th, Event #10, OE
Erik Seidel, Event # I don't remember, NLWhoGivesACrap
Cunningham, 4th, Event #24, $2.5k PLHE/PLO
Chan, 4th, Event #28, $5k PLO Rebuy
That's everything, up to Event #42. Looks like I'm almost running even overall, down just a few bucks.
Until next time, make mine poker!
posted by Jordan @ 5:01 PM,
- At 7:16 PM, said...
- At 8:39 PM, RaisingCayne said...
Oh man... only ONE entry per person!?
- At 9:24 PM, Laurens said...
Paul, lets gHAMble
PS..keep up the great blog
- At 10:29 PM, 23skidoo said...
I'm thinking about some variant of green eggs and ham or the popular Denny's dish Eggs over my Hammy.
By the way, are you getting my emails?
- At 11:29 AM, Joe-Unimpressed said...
Keep an eye on your email. Your email went to my spam folder.
- At 12:30 PM, Mary said...
I have been officially admonished to post my entry here - I had sent it in an email because it had Paul's surname in it.
Anyway, my entry is Paul "Honeybaked" H.
- At 1:05 PM, MattyEbs said...
I had 359t with spades the last hand, made my straight and low on the turn....should have potted and committed myslef...my stack to pot ratio should have been a factor and i neglected it but I think my fold on the river was mandatory in retrospect
Based on my last two nights with Paulie...I have to go with Paulie the HAMBurgular although I need to make a Wimpy reference after he went to the book the other night
I will gladly give you two ham hands on Tuesday for a playable hand today
- At 1:49 PM, bub said...
Pauly Pork Pockets!
- At 3:26 PM, said...