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Lawyer's Game Revisited

Two weeks with no live poker. More, probably. But that all ended Sunday thanks to Matty Ebs.

It seems like the beginning of the year is traditionally a very slow poker time for me. I am sure it has to do with a multitude of things, such as the poker binge I usually have every December and the annual rush of work I have every Jan-March. Still, it's a sorry state of affairs for yours truly.

This Sunday, Matty Ebs got me back into the Lawyers Game. The game is usually held on Thursdays, but for whatever reason, the game was moved to Sunday and the format was changed from a $30 rebuy to a $50 freezeout.

I secured an invite from bro-in-law Marc, and the three of us met at the usual Italian restaurant across the street from the game.

Once inside, I presented the host with a gift, a set of black Copag cards. I had them lying around my apartment for months, and I didn't really know the host all that well, so I thought it'd be a nice gesture, since he was kind enough to invite me and my bro-in-law.

A nice gesture it was, but practical, it is not. Sadly, these black cards are terribly difficult to read. As you can see, its not that the card index is small or that the card is inherently unclear. There is just some odd psychological effect that comes with reading white on black or red on black. For instance, in an early hand, a player rivered his heart flush. Even though there were three hearts and one diamond on the board, the other player failed to even realize the possibility of a flush. I note the diamond only to underscore that the board had a whole lotta red, but even so, there was a mental barrier to seeing the three hearts.

After the second blind level, the black deck was retired. I guess its the thought that counts.

Meanwhile, I was sitting at a table with players I've come to know. Matty Ebs was there, although he was the first person out of the tournament. After busting, he hit the road, since he planned to go to AC for a $1k buy-in tournament.

Tom-Green-lookalike was at my table. He's a very intelligent aggressive player, so I knew to be cautious. There was another player who reminds me of Mikey Aps based on his look and his attitude. Unlike Aps, he isn't great at poker, so his easy-to-tilt nature and aggressive tendencies are exploitable. Another player at the table, a slightly older guy with curlier hair, was just plain awful, but in that good, exploitable way. He would chase draws and play terrible cards like A8 like they were worth raising. Finally, we had a player who was new to me, a bigger Hispanic guy. He had earned the nickname of Flushman, which told me a lot. Notably, he liked to chase cards.

I didn't get any good cards for the whole tournament. My best preflop hand was AK, followed by AJ twice. I didn't get any pairs over 4s. I played relatively tight as a result. Meanwhile, Flushman had knocked out the Aps-lookalike when Flushman hit top pair, top kicker on a T-high board to Aps-like's JJ. They got all-in and Flushman rivered an Ace. Eventually the tables combined, and I was a shortstack. I was also seated to the immediate left of Tom Green, with Marc to his left. It was a bad spot to be in, but I play shortstacks well.

I began to up my aggression and make some bold plays. After I accumulated chips by pushing with KQ, AJ and AT, I limped with 22. Flushman and the BB were in the hand. The flop was JJ4.
The BB checked. I checked. Flushman bet out. BB folded and I decided to call. I knew he was loose and probably making a play. The turn was a 9. I checked. Flushman bet out about 1600, and I pushed for about 5k more. He thought for a while before folding. He knew I had the Jack. I knew I had 2s. So I put out my cards and asked him to choose one. I knew that no matter what, he'd see a 2, so it didn't matter which one he chose. Sure enough, it just confused him. Did I have a Jack 2? I must have had something!

Sadly, I made a play that would eventually seal my fate. UTG, Tom Green pushed all-in. When it folded to me in the BB, it was 3.1k to call. If I called, I would still have about 7k left, but blinds were going up to 500/1000 soon. I also held JTo. I really debated whether to call, but I've played with Green before and I knew that he was capable of pushing with any two there. After all, he was about to be a BB with few chips and he may've thought that he'd make his stand before he was priced in. His demeanor confirmed that he did not love his hand. I did some loose calculations. His 3,900 + the 400 SB + my 800 BB = 5,100. I figured I was facing a cointoss weighted in his favor. 3,100 to win 5,100 for a weighted cointoss in which I had enough chips to survive if I lost. And it was against Green, who in my estimation is the best player of the group, not including me, Matty and Marc. I called. He had A8 to my JT, flopped an 8 and never looked back.

I was down to 7k when I opted to push in the CO with A7c. The blinds just raised to 500/1000, and I figured it was time to make a move. I was wrong for two reasons. The first is the fact that Tom Green had Aces. But I couldn't have known about that. More importantly, I would've been better off pushing with 7 rather than A7. Any AT-AK was going to call me, so I didn't need to put myself into a situation where I was going to get called by a dominating hand.

Naturally, I lost. I considered sticking around to watch Marc and inquire about a cash game, but I had enough and wifey Kim was waiting at home.

I made my exit. A few hours later I heard from Marc. He had chopped first place with Flushman. He also got on the email list.

Poker keeps chugging along. I've had no significant live success yet this year, but the year is still young. I came in 11th out of 135 in a Bodog $10k guarantee recently for a disappointing $120 payday. But it reminds me that I still got it. I just look forward to playing more and more so that I can collect on my potential.

Poker outlook sees a Wall Street Game next Friday. Wish me luck.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:49 AM,


At 1:03 PM, Blogger AlCantHang said...

For the Key West trip I took a deck of those exact same cards thinking it would be a nice change. It only took us two hands to abandon them altogether.


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