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Genoa Salami

Oooooweeeee! I can only hope that the Genoa Club allows me to return next week for their $40 freezeout tournament, because if my streak continues, they are going to toss me out!

Last night, I went with Dave Roose over to our favorite NYC illegal card room to play in their $40 tourney. Genoa uses the tourney to bring in players, and it’s working. The turnout was 17 players, which was 7 more than the last Wed tourney I played there. No money is taken out of the prize pool and as a result, we were playing for $680! Only 1st and 2nd get paid out (70/30), unless players make a deal.

To start off, each player pulls a card. At this point, we only expected one table. I pulled 3. Roose pulled 2. I didn’t want him there. First off, I know how Roose plays, and so I don’t need to act before him. Second, most of your action at a game happens with the persons to your immediate left and right. I don’t soft play my friends, but I didn’t want to get into it with Roose if I didn’t have to. I grumbled about it for a bit, until the second table was put into play because of latecomers. Cards were dealt around the table, and Roose, with the Ace of diamonds, was sent packing. His table was clearly the softer of the two. At my table were the two Jewish kids who placed top 3 with me from the last tourney I played at Genoa (who were not particularly good and sat to my immediate left and right…booya!), a black guy named Kevin who Roose overheard someone say “Oh, damn. He’s here” (presumably he is a talented player), a very aggressive player from my last go-round, and a few other shark-looking dudes. What’s a man to do? Let’s play poker!

In the first hand, I was UTG with QQ. I raised from 50 to 150 pre-flop and all fold except the BB. He calls. The flop has an Ace, which scares me, but is otherwise simple enough. He checked and I bet 300. He folded and I felt great. I never noticed it as readily as last night, but winning the first hand does a lot for a man’s confidence.

From there on out, I played relatively aggressive. I noted the one blatant fish at the table and picked on him when I could. He was in the BB when I was on the button, so this became easy as blinds increased and players tightened up. An unassuming Asian guy was slowly and quietly collecting chips. Kevin was also making plays, obviously the smart player at the table. I kept an eye on him and had him fairly read. I lost a huge chunk bluffing with Kd9d the entire way down to the river against Moshe, the SB who chopped 1st and 2nd with me last time. He was putzing around and hit his 3 on the flop. His hole cards were 93. Ug.

At that point, I had less than 900 or so chips, and the blinds were 100. We started at 1000, but at one point, I had 3000 or so, so I was definitely on a slow bleed. I decided to follow the Rule of 10 and either fold or push. I looked down at KK in MP. Before me, quiet Asian (QA) raised from 100 to 500 or 600. It didn’t make a difference to me, as I was going all-in. Moshe, interestingly, called the 500. I pushed. Kevin looked at me while sucking at his teeth. I knew what he was thinking. He wanted me out. We had already established ourselves as the dominant players at the table. He thought for a minute and pushed all-in for about 2000 total. QA folded. Moshe, with about 2900 total, called, leaving himself with 900 if he lost.

As you recall, I held KK, and Kevin’s hesitation told me he didn’t have AA. In fact, he had AK, which wouldn’t do him a lot of good. Moshe held AQ. I stood up. “No ace, no ace!” Five cards later, and I had tripled up. Back to 3000+, I went back on the attack.

All players folded to me when I held JTo. In the BB was Sean, another one of the Jewish kids (I’m a member of the tribe too, but these guys seemed more religious) who was a sloppy player, and the Fish. The blinds were 100/200, so I raised to 700. Sean folded, but Fish called. This was the ideal situation. On the flop, the cards were ATx. Fish checked and I bet 500, hoping to seem like I wanted a call. He folded. Kevin said, “Man you don’t have anything,” in an attempt to get me to show. I knew what he was doing and mucked. He admitted his plan and I said it was no big deal. Sean didn’t think I had anything either. This would help set up the next hand. On the next hand, I was dealt Td4d, to the right of the button. When it got to me and all players had already folded, I decided to raise it up again, to 600 this time. Sean, on the button, folded. Fish called. Kevin folded, clearly miffed at my blind poaching. This was what I was waiting for. The flop was all diamonds. The fish bet out 500. I re-raised to 1000. He thought for a while and folded. Okay, so I didn’t get much for my flopped flush, but the point was that I was aggressive and people were seeing it.

I took the fish out in the next hand, with a little bit of ebb and flow. I was pushing him hard. Now it was time to switch gears and watch him fall. I had AJ in EP and limped. Fish and Kevin limped. Moshe limped. The flop was AQx. I checked. Fish bet 500. He had about 1100 total in front of him. Kevin thought for a while. He looked over at me. Exasperated, he folded. Moshe folded as well. I pushed. Fish was tired of being pushed. He called with A8. Kevin was visibly impressed. My timing was good and I knocked out the Fish.

My radar was actually very good that day. I called Kevin’s hand on one hand precisely. I held 88 UTG, and decided to bet from 200 to 600. Kevin in MP called. Moshe, in the BB pushed for 900 or so. I had to call. So did Kevin. The flop had high card Q. I checked. Kevin bet 400. I said, “take it down with your AQ.” Sure enough, he had AQ, and took out Moshe. I’m sure I got some respect with that call.

Our table busted out 4 or 5 people before the other table busted their first. By that point, there were 11 players left. The player who busted out at the second table was Roose. His 2-pairs kept getting beaten by draws. I don’t know much else about what was going on over there, but I know he was having a hard time with that. Once the tables condensed, he got out of there. I went back to play some more pokah!

We re-drew for seats and I was in 10. Kevin was in 9. Perfect, as he was the one I was most worried about. By now, I was the chip-leader or close to it. So was Kevin. But it didn’t take long before he and I were the shortstacks. I lost most of my stack when the other contender for chip-leader, Rich, a white generic college student, called my bets all the way on a stone cold bluff. I believe in tournaments, there are times where you can just smell weakness across the entire table. When this happens, bet hard and fast. If they act like they can call your big bets, continue to bet big. You’d be surprised how many times large bets on the flop and turn are called, but the final bet is folded to. Unfortunately, my radar was off, because Rich held KJ (a hand we will see again later) to my 55. To make matters worse, the flop was 2KK. The turn was K. The river was a 5, but this didn’t do anything for me. I checked after two huge bets on both streets and he pushed. I folded, with 3000 left in chips. I lost about 5000 or so on that hand.

I got into the Rule of 10 with about 6 players left. The only female in the game, a British chick who was dating the dealer, told me that I talk a lot at the table. She wanted to know if it was nerves. I thanked her for her observation. I told her I get bored easily and talking is fun. I think that conversation also got players thinking. “Why is he talking so much? What is he up to?” Really, I just can’t help myself. I’m chatty at the table. Adrenaline, baby. Adrenaline.

Brit chick was knocked out by Richard, as was owner Joe. He took out Joe on a suckout, KJ v. K8 preflop. That left college guy Richard, QA, random Hispanic (RH), Kevin and me.

I had a couple of interesting all-ins.

I was all-in against RH and held A2. RH had min raised pre-flop and I went all-in for about 2400. He called with A3c. The flop had two clubs. The turn was a 2. The river was a blank. I doubled up on a suckout. Truthfully, I expected to chop anyway. Still, it’s a nice bit of luck.

I think Richard took RH out too. I had an opportunity and made a balsy all-in against Kevin. He was in the SB, when the blinds were 300/600. I had 3000, and he had about 3400. We were the shortstacks. Folds to him and he bets 1200. I go over the top all in for 1800 more. I held QJc. He thought for a while and I kept quiet. In the end, he folder KT. I showed to frustrate him and show my big cajones.

A little while later, he pushed with ATo in the SB. He beat me to the punch, as I, too, had AT and planned to go all-in. I thought for a moment and called. I had the Ace of hearts, and when three hearts fell, I thought I was golden. Not so. Regardless, I’m proud of my call. I knew he didn’t have me beat.

With four players left, I hoped to make it to 3rd and work out a deal. Suddenly, Kevin moved all-in. I looked down at 26o and folded. Richard called. QA pushed all-in with a large stack. He must have had near 6,000. Richard had him easily covered, with most of the chips on the table. But I was still surprised when he called. If Richard won, I’d backdoor my way to 2nd place. Richard had KJd. Kevin had 99. QA had 77. The flop had a J. The turn was a K. And I am in the money!

I usually play these things out, but I was tired and severely outchipped. Even so, I’m not taking the $200 and giving him $480. He’d have to sweeten the deal for me. So I made the offer. “I’ll make a deal, but only for $280. Otherwise, I’ll play for it. Doesn’t make a difference to me.” He agreed. That $400 I left for him is a good psychological payout. In the end, I earned $80 extra through positional advantage. Who needs cards?!

So, that is me and Genoa. At the end, I considered playing in the 1/2 NL game, but the stacks were mostly 500$ deep and I had to lock in most of my profit. I’m not sitting shortstacked. I mentioned to Sean that I couldn’t play because wifey Kim said, “Don’t lose!” after I told her about my tourney win. I said, “She is usually cool, but we can use the money.” He pointed out, “You just got married. That’s why she isn’t cool anymore!” Hahaha! He was joking. He better have been!

That’s a lot of poker. I’m out!

posted by Jordan @ 4:37 PM,


At 5:19 PM, Blogger GaryC said...

Dude, he wasn't joking!

Nice write-up, as always.


At 7:00 PM, Blogger TraumaPoker said...

From this post and my hero Phil Hellmuth I have figured out how to defeat you in the HUC battle. I am going to dark check to you after calling your raise. I am going to dark check at least 5-10 times each match because Phil Hellmuth does it and it must work. I am going to be the first person to use the online dark check to take you down!!!

At 8:17 PM, Blogger jremotigue said...

Hey, I'm in NYC pretty often. I'm actually at LaGuardia as I type. Maybe we could do our HUC2 match at a club. I usually go to a club in Midtown.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Well, I don't think you and me are matched up on the brackets, Donkey, but I'd be glad to meet you at a cardroom. I'll email you and we'll figure this out.


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