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Lunch Meat Live!!

I made my return to the Genoa Card Club in New York City last night. After a long day spent driving around NY, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island for work, I was actually looking forward to spending some relaxing time with wifey Kim and the idiot box. However, Roose kindly reminded me of the random call I made to him late last week. At the time, I was jonesing for a live game, and asked him if he's be interested in playing on Monday. He agreed. Thankfully, he also remembered. I, on the other hand, had let it slip.

I rolled up to Genoa in my sweet Chevy Malibu rental car (no Compact for me, bitch!) and found a parking spot that didn't look too dangerous. When Roose and I walked into the Club it was 7:15. The tournament start time was 7:30 and there were more staff than players (maybe 5 players, total), but we knew that by 7:45, the place would be packed.

Genoa is an interesting place. Its small, with only three tables, and while some of the players know me by face, I don't think anyone knows me by name. The staff seem to be all players who eventually went broke or decided that they might as well make their daily bread in the same way that they would be spending it playing poker. They are also all courteous enough. I was sat in the 2 seat, next to an elderly woman (the only woman playing) and some guy on my right that I have totally blocked out mentally. Roose was originally at our table, but when we broke the two-table threshhold, was moved before the tournament started.

One of the odd rules at Genoa is that anyone can buy into the tournament for the first two rounds (15 minute rounds, 30 minutes total). Apparently, the rule was changed, so that any busting player can also rebuy in that period. However, if there are no seats open and there is a waiting player, the busted player must give up his seat and be placed on the alternate list. It's a terrible rule. Players who arrive on time should have priority OR it should be one buy-in per person. Instead you have people pushing all-in on the last rebuy hand, only to discover that they can't rebuy because some shmuch showed up at 8:14 for a 7:30 tournament that started at 7:45. But I digress.

My first big hand saw me in the SB with 9Ts. A player in MP/LP decided to raise from 100 to 300 and I called the 250. I had decided to play tight, but I saw an opportunity. With 9Ts, if I hit a flush, straight or two pair, I could cripple a player with a high pocket pair. As it turned out, the flop was QT9, and I checked quietly. The BB had called too, and he checked. The original bettor was the spitting image of The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy, save the wit and self-confidence. He looked like he was spooked out of his head. Out of nowhere, he bet 1000. I had about 1400 behind and pushed all-in. The BB folded. The MP/LP called. He was priced in. Before he flipped, I announced, AQ? He showed AQ. The turn and river were blanks, but from my vantage, they seemed to fill his runner runner flush. I sat down dejected, until I saw how upset he was. I squinted and saw the truth. My hand held up. Shweet!

Later, a solid player named Justin bet from 100 to 400 in EP. When it got to me in the SB, I saw two red Kings. I raised from 400 to 1400. He folded. I still liked the play. I was there to accumulate chips with minimal exposure. He was either going to fold or push back. I was ready for either.

A goofy looking bastard sat down at the table, a late edition to the festivities. He was a frat-looking white boy, with a cap on, t-shirt and jeans. He had a look of perpetual shock and bewilderment, and bushy eyebrows that constantly raised while his mouth stood agape. He also pushed all-in on his first hand and then showed his stone-cold bluff.

This was enough to scare the table, and he accumulated chips with all-ins after all-ins. He did this at least twice with a flush draw. He also raised preflop like it was going out of style, one time showing J8o. In one instance, he bluffed all-in and then mucked. He claimed he was on the flush draw again, but I saw the mucked card, and it was an offsuit 4. He probably had LESS than a flush draw. All these things told me one thing: I was going to make money off of this guy.

I was dealt A9 in the BB, and it folded to the Tool. He bet from 100 to 450, and after the elderly lady called in the SB, I called as well. The flop was Q93 with two diamonds, and the lady checked. I reached for my chips and realized that Tool had me (and everyone else) covered. Fuck him. "I'm all-in." I mirrored his all-in movement, separating my stacks and moving them around my cards on both sides. He pretended to think for a while and then folded. The lady folded too. "I learned it from watching you, kid." Someone else asked, "You had the flush draw?" I didn't respond. I was focused on the Tool. "I had a Three, but I couldn't call," he told me. "I had you beat," I responded. "I know," he said, looking smug. I love it when people say stupid shit like that. "I knew, too," I grinned wide. I knew it was a matter of time before I got more of his stack.

Unfortunately, a few hands later, the lady beat me to it. Tool bets preflop, and she raises. At that point, I folded my 66, mostly because of the lady. I would've called him in no time. She had bet out 1500 on top, a sizeable sum. He asked her how much she had left, and she said 3k or so. He announced, "I'll put you all-in," throwing six purples into the pot. She called. That's when I looked at his stack. I chimed in, "She has you covered, buddy." He was annoyed, "No, I threw in three purples for her 3,000." "Purples are worth 500. You are all-in...with 22!" By then he flipped his cards. She had 88 and rivered her full house. I was glad I had the hand read correctly. I would've re-raised him in an instant, but I knew better once the lady came in.

The blinds get high quick at Genoa, and my tight play caused me to start hemmoraging due to antes and blinds. When I was down to 2800 with 200/400 blinds, I announced that I was pretty much all-in or folding. I then got 23s on the button. I would've pushed here, but there were 4 limpers, and I didn't think I could push them all off. Instead, I call, immediately getting a reaction from a hotshot that was not in the hand. "It's the one exception to the rule." The flop came down, K22. A player UTG pushed all-in. It folded to me and I called all-in, after saying, "Do you have the K or the 2?" After I called, some other guy said, "You have the two." I realized it was my question that gave me away. I will remember that for next time. Whatever the case, UTG had slowplayed AA into oblivion.

The blinds being as high as they were, I needed to make moves, especially once we hit 400/800/75. I had about 5k. I bet 2400 on the button with T2o. I had won two pots under similar conditions earlier, and since it was folded to me, I just needed to get around the two blinds. The SB moved all-in. He was a quiet guy, and he was also the chipleader. I knew I was behind, put on a show, and folded. One guy said, "You must've had nothing, since you were pot-committed." He was right, but I still threw this at him, "Pot odds didn't make a difference. I had him read. He had TT or higher. I was on a two-outter. I had to fold." In truth, I DID put him on TT or higher. It was all in his demeanor. But fuck, folding was tough.

I went out the next hand. I had 67s and knew that if I was called by AQ or the like, at least I still had two live cards (as opposed to pushing with A2, in which case, AT or higher is going to call you and you will be crushed. Well, 99 called, and I was crushed. I went out 7th out of 27.

When I got home, I wanted to play in the Hoy. However, I wanted to spend some time with wifey Kim even more. That was it for my live poker trip. I felt like I played well. I made moves when necessary. I killed myself with the ill-timed T20 bluff, but in that spot, I still think it was a valid play. I don't even mind my laydown, although I am interested in people's opinoins. Whatever the case, I love Genoa, and I'm already anxious for the next time. Until then, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 4:38 PM,


At 11:25 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

tough hand with T2 offsuit. If it works , you feel golden. When it doesn't, you question your move.

I definitely agree with your 67s hand...that type of hand against Ace Big wins for me more often than I can think in that type of situation. It really pisses people off too. I love it.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger MHG said...

I've definitely run into the T2o situation plenty of times. I don't really question the move, but the amount of your bet leaves you little wiggle room. I've learned that it is probably best to either just push all-in, or make a smaller bet so you don't have to fold when you are pot-committed.

400+800+525 (7 people left@75ante) a round is 1725 an orbit in blinds and antes. With a 5k stack I'm pushing or folding here.

Since I'm in push/fold mode, I probably wait for a better hand--like your 76s hand which isn't as big of a dog when you are called.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger czechrazor said...

Agreed. I think it's push/fold and I would choose to fold.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I dislike my T2o play. If I'm going to make a steal, I need at least something that I would be willing to call all-in with. I don't necessarily mind NOT pushing all-in, as long as I was willing to call the all-in. Clearly, T2o was not the right hand. But that is poker, and specifically, that is tournament poker, when the cards are sometimes not as important as the blind levels, position, and chip stacks.

Thanks for the comments.


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