Check It: DADI |


The I Had Outs Game

It's truly as though something is happening to me. I go about my business as though nothing is wrong. I focus and play very easy natural poker and rise to the top without even noticing it. But when I click that icon and start up online poker, it's like my purple pants burst into cutoff shorts and out comes the Incredible Donk!

He's a nearly unstoppable beast, causing rampage and destruction at whatever online poker site he chooses. Boom, playing over the bankroll. Smash, throwing chips around with reckless abandon! And with every loss, every ounce of destruction, it is as if the Donk gets bigger. The Donk gets STRONGER!

Thank god my Bruce Banner game is lighting it up, though. I am on f-f-f-f-f-f-fire.

The High On Poker live tour came to Brooklyn last Saturday. When wifey Kim told me she and her friends were going baby shower gift shopping on Long Island and I received an email about a tournament hosted by the ladies of I Had Outs, I couldn't help but open the door to opportunity knocking.

The game was a $30 tournament, with one $30 Rebuy, which could only be purchased after busting entirely. There were no add-ons. There were a whopping 19 participants, with 30 minute levels, so it was going to be a long game.

My night started off very lucky. I walked down to the subway and within a minute, my train arrived. We arrived at my first transfer and the transfer train was waiting there for me too. I got to Dawn's apartment in record time, interrupting a game of Scrabble between Dawn and her friends Karen and (I believe his name was) Pi. I love me some Scrabble and I did my best to help Dawn catch up from Karen's soul-crushing 7-letter word, but alas it was not meant to be.

I set up the chips with Alceste as we waited for the guests to arrive. I also began nursing my 40 oz Colt 45. It seems that the only time I drink 40s are when I'm playing poker, another one of those "quirky" self-destructive vices that seem to come so easily when I'm gambling. Yes, folks, vice synergy at its best.

The group was a nice mix. There were the regulars, like Alceste and Mary, some people I had met before but hadn't seen in a while, like Alana and Tobey, and a good mix of strangers. I love playing against strangers.

The very first hand (or close thereto) pretty much set up my game. I held 84s in MP/LP and decided to limp in. The blinds were 25/50, I had 3000 chips, and I felt frisky. Preflop, it gets to Karol on the button, and she raises to 200. By the time it folded to me, I figured she had something worthwhile, so my 84s would get paid off if I hit. Meanwhile, if I lost, I could easily fold.

Now, let me be the first to admit that on its face, this is a very stupid move. I'm calling an additional 150, which is actually 5% of my starting stack. In fact, at the time, I was resolved to fold preflop, because I had to assume I was probably way behind. By the time it got to me, though, my mood had changed. Let me play it and see where it goes. At the very least, it'll build an image.

The flop came down 268, rainbow, with one spade. I had top pair, shitty kicker, and decided to check it. Karol bet 400 or so, but I didn't believe her. The way I saw it, she was betting with anything there, and I was starting to get the impression that she had two high cards, like AQ. I figured it was 50/50 between AQ and a weak overpair, so I was presumably gambling on a coin toss (the coin toss signifying whether I was ahead, and not whether I would hit the next two cards).

The turn was a Jack, and I checked, doing my best to look sly. Karol had the same look on her face when she checked. It was the look of someone saying, "Yeah, I'm onto you," but thinking, "Are you onto me?" The river was a King. I checked, she checked. 8s? I asked, as I tabled my crappy hand. 6s, she replied. That dirty dog, trying to steal. So, I won the hand and set my image.

My live game lately has been effortless. This is really the mode that seems to help me rise to the top easiest. There is little effort, little stress. Just fun-time Jordan, working the crowd mostly out of pure enjoyment. The side effects, namely making table friends, loosening the table, and getting paid off, all aid me, but they are usually not foremost in my mind. Because of this effortless style, hands seem to blend together. A few stand out, but they are rarely the ones that accumulate chips. That truly comes from taking pots uncontested. But, I do remember a few hands, and I'll spew them out for you.

I butted heads with one player in particular, a friend of Alceste named Chris (or was it Craig?). He was playing loosely, so it was bound to happen. In one hand, he beat me with 55, when my OESD didn't get there. A while later, I got my vengeance on 55. Many players limped, including me with 22. Chris raised in late position. He had this way of squinting his lips, like (: |). It's usually a sign of weakness and I saw it, so I called. Heads-up, the flop was more or less useless: A5x. I checked, and he checked behind. His mouth seemed to change, but it wasn't anything I had seen before. It still seemed to be squinting, but also a bit slanted. If it were a smiley face, it would look something like (: \). I thought this over as I checked the 3 turn. He bet, and that's when I decided to make my move. My style means that my stack is in constant flux. I probably go through larger swings than anyone else at the table. At this moment, I was fairly short, so I re-raised about 1350 more into a pot around 1k. He called immediately and tabled a set of 5s. As the last card was dealt, I said, "I need a 4." OH! There it was, my 4-outter.

Chris was pissed, as most people would be. When I pushed, he said, Call, and I told him not to worry about counting the chips until the last card was dealt. When I won, I threw in the call and showed him my remaining stack. "What about the Call?" he asked. "I already threw it in." Tobey, on my immediate left, confirmed this. "This is ridiculous," I don't know if he doubted my sincerity or if he was just steaming, "This is why you should have let me count this out before the last card. I hate this crap" He implied that I was pulling a scam on him. I felt my blood boil, "Hey, relax. This is how its done in a casino, so I don't see why you are getting all combative about it." Yep, I said combative. What can I say? At the tables, I am always ready to go to war, and I guess my first line of defense is to confront my opponent with his own aggression. Realistically, I am just as bad, once instigated.

We tussled later when we both limped into a pot, with me in position. I had AJo, and perhaps he raised a small amount preflop. The flop was 8TT, and he made a small raise of 200 into a 600+ pot. I decided to call with my over cards. The turn was a King (8TTK), and he bet out 400 into the pot. I was looking at the paired board and thinking, Why am I even in this hand? But something felt fishy, I didn't put him on a full house, I could hit my straight and likely be paid off, and most importantly the bet was SO small. I could easily call and not feel the sting. So call, I did. When the river came down with a Q, I was fairly confident I was golden. He bet 800 and I considered hard before raising to 2000. He called, and I showed my rivered straight. He showed his hand, J9o, for a LOWER rivered straight. Two donkeys in a pod. He was pissed about that one too, and told me that I was stupid to call. When I pointed out his weaker hand and told him he should not have been betting, he responded that betting is different. "Yeah, and I don't mean to educate you, but next time don't blame me for betting too small." I mean, really.

From there, I continued to chip up with selective aggression. When we got to the final table of 10, I was in good shape. Maigrey was on my right, and as always, under the impression that I was nothing but an over aggressive donkey (all assumed from the way she plays against me). She restole one of my pots, and then a little while later, I finally got a hand, QQ. She raised from 300 to 900 UTG, I raised to 2000 flat, and everyone else folded. When Maigrey pushed all-in, I called with confidence. She was hesitant, and I knew what she thought of my range. She had JJ...and promptly hit a J.

We had our break after this very hand, during which time, I tried to get control of my emotions. I can say with confidence, though, that I was fairly calm. After all, I laid my own suckout on Chris earlier in the night. What goes around comes around.

A while later, I stole a pot with my dangerously short stack. It was over a raise from Maigrey, who seemed annoyed to have to lay down to me. On the very next hand, she raised again and I was dealt AA. She raised, I re-raised all-in, and this time she called. I think she had 55, a common holding against me, apparently, and I took down the pot when the Ace turned for a set.

That's all I can really remember right now. I busted a bunch of players and worked my stack back up. We were down to the bubble, 5 players, consisting of me, Maigrey, some guy who I believe was named Matt, Karen and Tobey. Maigrey was the chipleader (24k to my 17k) and playing extremely well, but had to leave to catch the last train home. We did our best to work out a deal, but in the end, we gave her 3rd place money and sent her on her way. Her chips were taken out of play. Matt was the one hold-out, and was, ironically, the short stack. He felt bad about turning down the deal, so I told him: "This is a game played for money. Your money. So you have every right to turn down a deal, and no one should give you shit for it." That's good advice, and I suggest you all take it to heart. Most of you, of course, know this.

Then, I busted him. To his credit, he took it very well. The game was getting tedious and it was well after 1am, so I suggested a three way deal. We decided to split it up based on stacks, and I had a slight advantage. When it was all said and done, I took down $185 in profit, and was officially 1st in chips and payout.

Live poker can be so effortless sometimes. The hands you've seen are the ones I recall. Looking back, it appears that I played a manic game and got lucky (and unlucky once). That is definitely part of the story. The other part was in between the hands included in this post. Those were the moments when I made my raises with air to take down orphaned pots, or played tight waiting for my moment when appropriate. Dutch Boyd once theorized that in every tournament, there is a perfect path. The difficulty is finding that path. Lately, I feel like I'm just letting the game wash over me and the path has become clear, one step at a time.

Next up is my return to the Roose home game on Wednesday. Then, I return to the SIF game next Saturday (not the upcoming Sat). Wish me luck.

Until then, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 5:55 PM,


At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice write up as usual. In the "two donkeys in a pod" hand, im assuming you had AJ not QJ? Otherwise you only made a pair of queens.

At 3:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donkey! :-)

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Thanks for the edit, JL. I'll fix it.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Fuel55 said...

You gotta beware those presto peddlers.

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gydyon Smash hereby objects to your gimmick infrigement. You are High On my Smashing list now, sir.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger NewinNov said...

Vice Synergy - nice. Very zen post.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Up 'til now I've been an online player but I'm slowly making the jump to live play.

How much stock do you put into how people handle their chips?

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt here (and you had the name right). Two small points of correction.

1) Karen busted me when it was the four of us and I was really on the ropes. She raised with what turned out to be QQ and I pushed with A5off. She caught a Q on the flop making my A that I got on the turn just look silly.

2) While I was a hold out, I'm not sure I was the only one. Also, I was the short stack, but one hand can make a big difference at that point.

All that said, I didn't really feel too badly. I was there as we all should be to win... not take a gift of 5th : )

Congrats on the win. I thought you played a really tight game.


Post a Comment

<< Home