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Ghostly Straight

Late yesterday, I checked my Evites for upcoming poker games. As it stood, I was scheduled to play at the Wall Street Game on Thursday for a cash game. I had been avoiding the tournaments, mostly because the league-like structure provided benefits for players who could make a good number of those events. Plus, the buy-in, $30 for a single table tourney, was low enough compared to the cash games (anywhere from .50/1 to 1/2NL, 2/4L to 3/6L) that it made more sense to use my time playing cash.

Still, when I saw a seat open in the 9pm $30 tournament last night, I was happy to sign up. After all, poker is poker.

I arrived at the Wall Street Game at around 9pm after having dinner with wifey Kim at a nearby abortion of a diner. Matty Ebs was already multitabling Full Tilt after busting first from the tournament with pocket Kings. His luck hadn't turned around as he showed me a table where he got all-in with top and bottom two pair on a Q9J flop, only to get called by A7o (the Tourist), who went runner-runner for the straight. Meanwhile, Jamie, Ham-Hands Pauly (he of many names), Take-Your-Time Scott, and one other player were finishing up the first tournament.

I tried to keep myself busy with the Wii, playing a poor round of bowling with some of the early busters. I think I hate very few things more than I hate waiting for poker. It gets my blood aboil and the anticipation can sometimes cause me to make foolish plays early in a session. With that said, when we stacked chips for the second tournament (an anemic 8 players, down from the usual 11), I mentally told myself to play tight.

The action at the table was really manic. On my immediate left was Cheryl, a mild-mannered woman who plays a deceptively LAGgy game. She entered way too many pots raising (from my vantage point), taking down a slew of pots. Across the table was Any-Two-Will-Do Slavin, calling bets in LP with 29s just for the hell of it. To my immediate right was Matty Ebs, who is well known to be aggro.

Sitting back is a difficult thing and on one or two hands, I opted to call light to see if I could convert some marginal hands into big bucks. Neither attempt was successful, so I reverted back to a nut peddling approach.

I was down from the 2500 starting stack to about 1200 or so when the blinds reached 75/150 and I was dealt red Aces. I min-raised from UTG only to get a call from Slavin and a push from Decent-Player Steve, named such because on one post a long time ago, I referred to him as a decent player which sounds like some sorta backhanded compliment. After pushing, he asked, "Did I just fall into a trap?" "Yes you did," I replied, before realizing that Slavin is loose and may call as well. I tried some reverse psychology, stating aloud so everyone could here, "Don't tell Slavin, though. I want the action." Slavin folded, reminding me of one of my prior lessons: Most players actually tell the truth at the table, so be very careful what you say.

Steve showed TT and I doubled up. A little while later, I was dealt black 9s, with a nice-sized stack. I believe I raised it up and Slavin re-raised all-in or pushed. Either way, we got all-in preflop, my 99 vs. his Q9. I was in great shape, calling out "No Queen, No Queen," when the flop hit KTx. I switched my chant to "No Jack, No Queen" when the turn came out, Jack. LEMON! Slavin hit his improbable straight. I changed my chant again, "Queen, Queen" hoping for a chopped pot, but it didn't come.

The board was swept up by the dealer and I turned to Slavin, "What do you have there?" He replied, "You've got me covered." I'll admit, here, that his response annoyed me. After all, I still had to pay him out, covered or not, and I was annoyed enough from losing, even though I wasn't outwardly showing it. I put it to him straight, "I have to pay you out though, don't I? So what do you got?"

This is where things got odd. Everyone at the table was confused and I said, "He had the straight." People looked at me like I was crazy and Slavin and Steve (who was dealing) stated that they didn't think that Slavin made the straight. I began to doubt myself as everyone else agreed. We tried to reimagine the board. Players insisted that there was a 7, 6, Ten and a Jack. At this point, I tried to quiet down. I wasn't 100% sure of the straight, especially when everyone else didn't see it. Jamie, as the floor, tried to work out what to do. Someone suggested we chop the pot. Someone else suggested that I had won. We looked at the cards on top of the deck and saw an Ace of Diamonds, something definitely not on the flop. After another card was one of the flop cards, followed by the Jack of Diamonds, which I was sure came out on the turn. Steve kept peeling off cards and the King of Spades was shown. It was the same card that came out on the flop. I was sure of it. Someone else, Slavin perhaps, recounted that he thought there was a King on the board in hindsight, without seeing the King of Spades. The table was still working out the details when I chimed in. "Look, I'll make the decision. He won the hand. He hit his straight. I'm sure of it now. That King flopped, I asked for no Jack, and the Jack came giving him the straight." I put an end to it, mostly out of my desire to be fair. This was a game amongst friends and I knew that I had lost, confirmed by the King of Spades. It sucked to hand Slavin my stack, but that's the way the game can be.

I busted shortly after and hit the road, returning home before 11pm.

In the end, a poker player really only trades on his reputation. I don't expect to get staked or stake anyone seriously, but I do want people to have confidence that if they are playing with me, they are getting a fair shake. It's something that I think should be paramount in any poker player's personality, even though we all have our slip-ups from time to time. I'd go so far as to say that the difference between a poker player and an angle shooter is the desire to have a fair game. I'd like to consider myself a player.

Poker again at WSG on Thursday. I'll hopefully get a WSOP Update done tomorrow.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:07 AM,


At 11:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Tough way to get stacked.

It happens. Hoping life is treating you great!


At 7:40 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Christ! I step away from the table for one fucking second...


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