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AC was a no-go this weekend, due to two impending trials, most of which have landed on my impressive shoulders. Its an interesting thing, prepping someone else's cases. It's kinda like clothes shopping for another person without any input. You might know what looks good to you, but invariably, you find that your target's tastes are different. The only way that it's unlike clothes shopping without input...I can't just hand over a gift receipt. Shit, I even have to do the tailoring myself.

So, I'm in the office on a Sunday, but I was able to salvage my Saturday thanks to Bradley at Ship It Fish. I was originally locked out of the game, due to space, but was able to get in. Unfortunately, I was unable to secure a seat for Mikey Aps, who was kind enough to agree to go to AC before work reared its ugly head. Sorry Mikey.

When I arrived at the game, I was about an hour late. The game had an early noon start time, and I was waiting for the cable guy until about 12:30. Fortunately, the trip to Bradley's (aka SIF's) is really close. In fact, it's the closest homegame to me thus far, so I was delighted to be able to gamble without a ridiculous commute.

The thing with SIF is that he's clearly a poker nut, accent on the word nut. Now, to some that may seem like an insult, but I assure you that it is not. In fact, its a high compliment. See, some people are NLHE players. Others are just Hold'em players. But SIF, he's a Poker player. Hence, we weren't meeting to play NLHE or even LHE. SIF's game was all about the mix.

When I arrived, I looked at the game chart. The games played were (approximately in this order): NLHE, Limit 2-7 Lowball Tripledraw, PL Omaha, Limit Stud 8 or better (i.e., Hi/Lo), PL 5-card Draw, and Limit Omaha 8 or better.

Looking over that list, I can assure you that the only one I have played live is NLHE, and perhaps a PLO8 tournament (not one of the games, but close) and a few donkerific hands of Stud 8 or better. So, I was going to be learning on the fly, but poker comes very natural to me.

Out of all of the games, I have to admit that I really enjoyed Pot Limit 5-Card Draw. I had played a decent amount of 5-Card draw on Paradise Poker a while ago when I was clearing my VPP or PSO bonus (I can't remember which). It's a fool's game, really, with minimal complexity, but like most games of poker, there are more layers than meets the eye. I made one of my biggest hands late in the evening, when I bet pot preflop with a 4-card flush draw, raising from 1 to 5 (the NL and PL games were 1/1, and the limit games were 4/8). When I hit my flush, I bet out pot again, hoping to appear semi-week, as though I had a solid two-pair. A friend of the host was kind enough to pop me back pot after he drew 3 cards, so I had him on a set. Sure enough, when I push back, he called and I was paid. Really, the hardest part of the game is avoiding the situation that the host's friend found himself in. You don't want a solid hand, like a set, when you are potentially facing a higher hand. It's just too damn hard to fold, since 4 out of 5 hands, a single pair will take it down, and players will get aggressive with any two-pair on up.

2-7 Limit Triple-Draw was probably my weakest game. I had made some headway, up to $288 or even above $300, starting with $200, when I hit the wall at Triple-Draw. Any game that let's you draw, draw and draw again is like a...well....drawing drug. In fact, I think I may've pissed off Maigrey (we were butting heads the whole day when figuring out what the pot was for Pot bets in the PL games) when I called a $4 raise from the BB in Triple-Draw, and then defiantly drew 3 cards...then two...then standing pat. Sure, I was goofing around, but I eventually ended up with a 76432 low, ensuring a big pot win. For those uninitiated, the equivalent is essentially calling a raise in LHE with 35o, hitting bottom pair and calling, and turning a set, all against an unimproved high pocket pair. But hey, thems the breaks when you have me gambling it up.

The opposite happened too, you know. I played horribly AND got my come-uppance. I went from over $300 to about down $265 or so over the course of a miserable two hours. By the end, I'm staring at the table and the players' hands, blocking my view of their faces with the brim of my hat, trying to determine when I'm leaving, since I'm pretty much leaving stuck. I was sorta steaming, but in the back of my head, I had to remind myself that this was the realities of poker. I could still turn it around and win back a sizeable portion of my stack. I was merely card dead.

Luckily, my card deadedness did turn around. I think the PL Draw hand, mentioned above, was the start of my real turnaroun. I also won a nice hand of PLO against Bradley, after he re-raised to isolate me, protecting me from my constant enemy and compatriot Dawn from I Had Outs. By that point in the hand, I was ahead of Bradley, and I was fortunate to double up.

Really, it was a rambling, long game, so details will have to go by the wayside. I will say that I'm damn excited for the next game. The mixed games make things fresh again, and while I agree that they are nowhere near the greatness of Hold'em, which has a beautiful balance of information and strategy, variety is the spice of life.

Really, this is why the WSOP needs to reconsider its Hold'em obsession. Players WILL take to these other games, the same way they took to Hold'em when most only knew stud or draw. But if it's unavailable, then they will remain ignored, and the legion of 'aging' NLHE fans will have nowhere to go when they are feeling burnt out.

I really feel like I didn't get out what I wanted to in this post, but I just don't have it in me. It's been a tough week, and I doubt the next one will be much better. Until then though, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:35 PM,


At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one can't wait for the day when Jeff Madsen wins bracelet number 3 against Doyle Brunson in Crazy Pineapple.

I'm really surprised Pot Limit Omaha hasn't caught on more. It's such a better action game than any variation of Hold Em.

Once you go Omaha, you never go back.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I love me some Mixed games.


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