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Wall Street ADD-itions

I returned to the Wall Street Game last night for a little 1/2 NLHE action. It's my favorite game Jamie spreads, mostly because a win at the game is usually significant enough to feel like an accomplishment. Winning $60 via a cheap homegame tourney is fine and all, but winning potentially hundreds of dollars in a cash game where there is no chance of early bustouts and 2 hour waits is much preferred.

Of course, Jamie runs a great game, as per usual. I arrived probably 5 minutes early and the game was already in motion with probably about 7 players at the table, not including Jamie, who was acting as a dedicated dealer (not playing). I grabbed a seat to the left of Liezl and to the right of an empty seat that was locked up for another player after I made sure that the "other player" wasn't Darko. No need to set myself for trouble by being on Darko's immediate right.

I started off with $200. I got down to about $115 before I was able to start my comeback. My big comeback hand came at the expense of one of the two buddies whose names I never quite got. Both look like, well, typical Caucasian guys. They looked like WASPs, I guess, a bit formal in appearance, although that is probably more of a sign that they came directly from work. Both of the guys, who I guess I'll call the WASP twins, seemed to like bigger bets. An Asian guy was also there, another one of this new class of player. The Asian guy also liked the big bets and was a play maker. I did my best to avoid him until I got wind that he was making plays. Then I strategically re-raised him (with air, if necessary) when I realized that he took me for a weak player. Basically, a couple of hands, I missed the flop and he bet in position. I saw him do this with other players, so I just followed my pattern, raising preflop, missing my flop, checking, and then, when he puts out the bet, check-raising 3x his bet. And it worked.

The WASP twins, though, were tricky because either they liked the action (no hesitation firing several bullets, each one progressively and exponentially higher) or were incredibly lucky. After a while, I had to settle on the former. The best sizing from these guys was like an announcement to the world, "I WANT YOU TO FOLD!" But since I was card dead for most of the night, I had to comply with thier requests most of the time. Finally, I decided to call the far WASP's preflop raise with JTc after limping in EP. There was another player in the hand (or maybe two more) so I wanted to see a flop and I was willing to gamble the extra 9$ or so to call. The flop was JTx with two hearts and I checked to the WASP raiser. He bet out a large sum, I think $50, and I pushed all-in for another $50 or so more. He called and announced that he had outs (before seeing my cards). The turn was a Ten and he said, "Maybe I don't have outs." I showed my full house at showdown and he mucked. Even so, I don't think he even had the flush draw. My guess is he was straight drawing. That's just the way those guys were playing.

I played KK terribly but still made some money. The table was in transition with one player cashing out, so Paul-in-the-Hamily was dealing while Jamie was cashing out the other player. I finally got my first pocket pair above 4s, KK (and my only pocket pair above 4s, aside from maybe 7s, for the entire game...come to think of it, I never had AK, AQ, AJ or KQ either). I guess I had a brain fart, because even though I had a great starting hand and there were a couple of limpers, I just limped along. I was hoping one of the later position players, which included the other WASP twin and the Asian guy, would raise, since they tended to be fairly aggressive when entering a pot. Not this time, as they both limped, and we saw a 776 flop with two hearts. I think I bet out here and only got one caller, the Asian guy. The turn was an Ace, further ruining my hand. I think the Asian guy checked and I put out another bet, hoping that I could just win the pot right there. He called again. The river was another heart, and when it checked to me, I had to check back. An Ace beat me, a 7 beat me (which was possible since he was in one of the blinds and saw the flop for free) and now the flush draw got there. I didn't want to give this guy a chance to check-raise. At showdown, I tabled my hand and he mucked. Poorly played, but I was able to squeeze some money out of it.

The last significant hand of the night for me was against my neighbor, Shawn, another one of the newer players (Note: The only reason why these players are "new" is because I just started joining this previously-private 1/2 game; they may be regulars to this game for all I know). I had K5h and was in one of the blinds. After the flop came down, I was already on the phone with wifey Kim and I was surprised I was still even in the hand. I guess I was just in my own world for a moment there. The flop was A86 with two hearts, so when Shawn bet a small-ish amount, like $6 or $7, I decided to flat call, as did about three other players. The turn was another heart, giving me the nuts. I think Shawn bet again, $11, and I considered re-raising, but since I had the hand in a lock, I wanted the two other players in the hand to come along for the ride. I also hoped that someone else had hit their lesser flush draw; based on the post-flop action, it was definitely a possibility. If so, I felt they would take the initiative and I could then re-raise and possibly felt the sucker. So, I called, as did the other players, ruining my hopes of a re-raise. The river, a final fourth heart came, which was not quite ideal. I still had the nuts and Qh might get fooled into thinking he/she is good, but short of that, I didn't expect much action from anyone. This time Shawn checked, though, and since the pot had grown significantly, I bet $30. I wanted it to look suspicious. Everyone folded around to Shawn who finally called stating, "This might be a very bad read." It was. I showed my hand and took the pot.

A little while later, I found myself up and about, moving around the apartment just to clear my mind. Sometimes, I think my self-diagnosed ADD gets in the way of poker. I just couldn't stand still any more. I also noticed that I was talking way too much at the table, giving away all sorts of information by analyzing hands or explaining situations. This isn't the usual Wall Street Crew, where I don't worry about those things. I was on a mission to make money, and I couldn't do it by being off in my own headspace while I jibber jabber away.

I finally decided to pack it up around 9:45pm. It was still very early, but there was a player waiting for a seat and I was getting hungry, since I skipped dinner. I left up $180, which was a fine score. For the year 2009, I'm almost 50% of the way to my 2008 total, which is as much a reflection on my shitty 2008 as it is on my wonderful 2009. ADD or not, I'm just happy I keep progressing along.

While I'm at it, let me also congratulate Jamie on his fine 3rd place finish at a $300+ buy-in tourney at Mohegan Sun recently. It couldn't have happened to a better guy, and probably couldn't have happened at a better time. Also, congratulations to WSG regulars Viet and Liezl on their upcoming new addition to the family. I have $5 on it being a boy, which in hindsight was a suckers bet since 51% of births are female...sadly, Jamie wouldn't give me $5 to win $5.05. I guess I should've figured that out before we shook on the even money proposition.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:28 AM,


At 3:03 PM, Blogger Mike said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jordan. If it's any consolation, the doctor gives us odds of it being a boy at 80%. Hope to see you Thu. Viet


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