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The Jordanian Special

Dubbed the Jordanian Special by David Roose, my home game last night was a success...for some people. For me, it was another example of me doing the one thing I tell myself not to do. In fact, it was a sign to me that I know what's right for my game. I just don't go about doing it.

So, the two major rules I broke that led to my loss are: (1) Don't play at your own home, and (2) Do not bluff.

As for (1), I have discovered that my track record at home is much worse than my track record elsewhere. I blame it on the distractions that come about when hosting. But let's not spend too much time on it here, because it's a fact of life. I love poker, and if I have to host a game, I'll take that loss of edge.

(2) Do Not Bluff, is the real important part of this story. More specifically, I have to remember that I should not bluff someone who thinks I bluff all of the time.

Dave Roose is under the impression that I never have anything. I like this, because it means I know how to play against him. Play good cards and get paid out. Seems simple enough. So why did this hand happen:

I have A4o in the BB. Roose is in the SB. Everyone fold pre-flop. Roose min raises from the SB and I call. The blinds were probably 100/200. Our stacks were both about even with 2600. I had him covered by T25.

The flop was 789 with no flush draw. Roose bets out 600. I push all-in. He thinks for a little bit and then calls. He has A7o, and I lose. In the next hand I went all-in with my last 25, and lost with my 99 v. QQ. Oh well!

So, what went wrong? There are two possibilities. One, I shouldn't have bluffed at all there. Or two, I shouldn't have bluffed against Dave specifically. I'm going to go with the Dave-specific answer though.

As I said, Dave always thinks I am bluffing, so he is more likely to call than most players . I simply chose the wrong person to bluff. I think 9 times out of 10, the person in Dave's position folds.

Unless he hit a set or a straight, he's likely to fold to the all-in. I was playing tight for the most part. Anyone in Dave's spot would've feared the straight from such a bet, or at least a set or over-pair. I guess you could say that the all-in was fishy, but in this game I realized that most players would be too scared to call all-in. Of course, Dave isn't most players.

Let me just add that the fact that Dave called with bottom pair is a testament to his intelligence and good poker-ship. When Dave first started playing I didn't know what to expect. But he has grown to be a solid player. So solid, in fact, that he chopped first place with Robbie Hole. Third-place went to Damien, a new addition to the home game. I, of course, came in last, after one rebuy for a $40 loss.

But the night didn't end there. I jokingly asked the 2nd player out if he wanted to play some Heads-up. He didn't feel like it, but at that moment Marcos went out 3rd. He and I joked about playing some Heads Up Omaha. I assumed he meant a tournament, but surprisingly he wanted a cash game.

Now, I know it doesn't exist, per se, but we ended up playing .25/.50 NL Omaha, with a $20 buy-in. Right away I told him that I hate Omaha. In all sincerity, I consider it my worst game. However, I was in the mood to have fun, and after a while, Hold'em can get a bit repetitive.

So, off we go. I'll make a long story short and tell you that I won all of his $20. At one point, I held an AQ42, of four suits. Marcos bet it up .50 pre-flop, so I called. The flop was Ax9x3c. I checked and Marcos bet $.50. I called. The turn was 9c, pairing the board and creating a flush draw. I checked. I bet $3. Marcos hesitated and then called. The river was a blank. I bet $4. Now, Marcos only had about $7 left in front of him, so he was really on a decision to go all-in or not. He thought long and hard, while I tried to look weak. I bit my lip. I looked away at the TV. I did all this hoping he'd see me and think, weak means strong. Well, not here. Weak meant weak. But then again, he may not have noticed any of this. He said aloud, I really want to see what you have. He finally laid it down and showed me his cards. "I have 2 pair, Aces and 3s." "No you don't, Marcos. The 9s counterfeited your 3s." We looked through his cards and found a K. "You have Aces up with a King kicker." I showed him mine, "and I have Aces up with Queen kicker." I wasn't rubbing it in. Well, maybe a little bit. But I was also showing him what his actual hand was. Because, ladies and gents, Omaha is a bitch of a game.

In the end, I lost $20. So be it! At least I had some Omaha fun, and got to play a little live poker prior to my weekend trip.

It's all set. On Saturday, I'm taking a train or ferry to NJ and hitching a ride with Dave Ruff and Vinny Delpino to Atlantic City. I'm tagging along, and the plan is to go to Borgata. Ruff and Delp have done this day trip on more than one occassion, so I'll just follow their lead. They usually play 1/2 NL, which is a fine game but also a dangerous one if you hit some bad luck. Ruff plans on bringing $400. He will sit with $200, and if he loses it, he will take out the other $200.

My live game profit for 2005 is currently $463. Online, I have about $650 (remember, I withdrew $200 online, which went right to my live game profit #s). Anyway, my point is that I think $400 may be too much for me to gamble. I plan on bringing $300. I'll play $150 at 1/2 NL, and if I lose, I'll take the other $150 over to 3/6 or 4/8. I think $150 may be a bit short for 4/8 (less than 20x the BB), but I'm hoping that I'll be able to make that money last (and grow). I can't help but feel intimidated by casino poker. My records have not always been great. Although, if you ignore my trip to Vegas and one debacle at AC, it hasn't been too bad.

One more thing. When I mentioned to Ruff (he was at the Jordanian Special) that certain bloggers will be in AC, Roose coughed . Hmm. I hate to say it, but that stuck a cord. This blog thing, the blogosphere if you will, can be a bit cultish. I sign on to play almost daily, which in and of itself is a ritual. The existence and interaction of other bloggers creates a cultish aura about it. I guess it isn't much different from any group of friends who have a similar interest/obsession. But it can feel a bit...cheesy, to someone who is not in it. Bottom line, this ain't no cult, but rather a group of people with a similar passion. We love poker so much that we choose to spend our time thinking, talking, and writing about it. If we also choose to get together for a blogger event in Vegas, AC or Oklahoma, well, hell, it's just like a big book-sellers convention, or something. The only difference is, our get togethers will be more fun.

Work has been extremely busy, so that will be all for now. Wish me luck in AC. Hopefully I'll see some of my fellow bloggers there.

Also, check out the new blog by RiverRun. When I first "met" RR, he was a reader of blogs (generally, not mine though) and saw GCox or me drop the hammer. Looks like he's been indoctinated into the cult.

One of us! One of us! One of us!

posted by Jordan @ 10:21 AM,


At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You see Rut, it's not that I think you're bluffing all the time. I folded to your not so obvious raises a couple of times. You thinking that, can actually backfire on you. Just remember that. It's just the fact that I've learned to read people a little better, and you just happened to be bluffing while I was testing my new skill. Plain and simple. No hard feelings focker!

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Well, la di da. You may not think that I am bluffing all of the time, but when I win a hand, you always say "you had nothing." But regardless, you had me read, and it wasn't the first time either. Nice job.

And Roose, be careful dropping my last name on this site. I'm trying to keep incognito. Even so, the first syllable is out.


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