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Hero Calling Collect

I returned to Tuna Club last night, hoping to play some 5/10 LO8. I had actually sought out other options, but none really came to fruition and poker was on my mind.

After work, I took my time heading down to the poker room, stopping at Chipotle to see if their "Mexican" food was as disappointing as I remembered. I love Mexican food, but the crap at Chipotle is not even close to authentic. Still, I didn't want to eat at the way overpriced burger place next to the card room, and I didn't feel like the Chexican food place, which for those not in NYC are essentially taco places run by Chinese people, hence the mix of Chinese and Mexican. Chexican food can be delicious, but its always low quality, and I felt like giving Chipotle another go. As for Chipotle, it wasn't bad, just disappointing. The fact that they sell beer was nice though. I had one Corona with my burrito, enough to mentally loosen me up without actually affecting my judgment.

When I arrived at the poker room, there were probably 7 over people, including staff. Only one other person was waiting for LO8. The rest were there for the nightly 2/5 NLHE game. I had brought roughly $500 (I never carry my full roll at these places, since I could lose it all in a police raid or robbery), so I had enough for the 2/5 game, and since I didn't want to wait around for an hour, I agreed to play. It helped that all of the Asian young gunz were on my right, and I had two seemingly crappy players on my left (a slim guy of indiscernible origin with olive skin and glasses on my immediate left, followed by a European guy whose big body doesn't match his small, nerdy head on his left).

Some players were buying in for $200; others for $300. I decided not to be a hotshot and bought in cheap at $200. Anywhere else, I'd buy in for the max, but I haven't really found my comfort zone in this game yet.

The biggest problem I seem to have is that feeling like I should be making more money. Some of the players are stupidly aggressive at times, others are tight and/or passive. But overall, I felt like I should be able to play this table well. Yet, my cards were dead, so I was mostly folding to start.

I only had two noteworthy hands, but of which were pretty bold. The first hand, I held 44 and decided to limp. The guy on my immediate left, let's call him Lefty, raised to $15, which was his standard. I saw him playing less than optimal hands already and he had shed some chips, so when it folded to me, I considered the best play. I could play for set value because his stack was probably around $150 or slightly less, not too bad for set farming. I also sensed his weakness, based largely on his demeanor, so I opted to flat call.

The flop were obviously all overs, Q98, with two spades. I checked and he checked too. That gave me a lot of information. I felt confident that he did not have an overpair (KK or AA) or hit any pair. Most people with the AA, KK or top pair bet out in that situation for fear of the flush/straight draws, and due to the fact that at least there is already something in the pot worth taking (roughly 1/5 of his starting stack). Players who hit the lesser pairs also bet out, thinking that they might temporarily be ahead, but only temporarily if the give free cards. So, that meant he had either an underpair, or more likely, a big Ace, like AJ.

The turn was an offsuit 6 or 5. I checked again and he bet $15. I thought for a moment, considering the fact that I had an underpair to the board, but ultimately made the call.

The river was an offsuit 2 and I checked again. He took his time, which in and of itself was a tell. It let me know, based on his hand movements (first reaching to his chips, then hesitating) exactly what he was thinking: He could only win this by betting, but it had to be big enough to force me out...and small enough that it won't cripple him if I make the call. After all, I was check-calling him down thus far, so he had some reason to fear that I was slowplaying.

He eventually made the bet, $30. I took some time, eying him. I wasn't 100% sure, but I felt fairly confident that he was worried. I decided then to call, thinking that if I were wrong, at least no one would see my shame. He tabled AKo, for nut no-pair. I tabled my 44 and got some oohs and ahhs from my tablemates. The guy next to me asked a couple of times how I could make that call. I didn't want to talk up my prowess, so instead I just shared, "Hey, it's only money!"

The other hand is less exciting, but very similar. I impulsively limped with A8, as did Lefty and maybe one other person, along with the blinds. The board was KK6. It checked around. The turn was a 4. It checked around to Lefty who bet $5. I decided to call. I can't even really explain why. The bet was just so small that I felt I could spend the $5. The river was another low card. I checked and he checked, and then tabled A7. My A8 one by a hair.

Hero calls were the only way I was making money.

At about 8pm, the LO8 game started and I switched tables. There were some new players in the 2/5 game who bought in for $500+, and suddenly preflop bets of $30 were common.

I should mention that the rake at 2/5 is an astronomical $8/half-hour. It wasn't much better at LO8, which is at $6/half-hour.

I played LO8 for an hour. I was up about $30 from NLHE, and gave it all back along with another $115. I finally cashed out at 9pm, a short session mostly because I wasn't loving the LO8. I think my fantasy of LO8 is a lot different than the reality. It seems like a fun time, but at this club, it's just tedious. There is a bit too much gamble and hands take so long that I just get bored. Hence, I got up at 9pm when it was time to pay the $6 half-hour charge.

Losing doesn't phase me in the least. I'm just happy I got to play some.

This poker situation, however, cannot stand. I will have to find a new outlet for poker, which may simply mean heading to Matty's remote location for the time being. But really, I want AC, and I want it bad.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:34 AM,


At 9:51 PM, Blogger MattyEbs said...

you are missed now running games at my apartment about to get out of the business but will definitely maintain at least one or two weekly games being banned from Tuna makes my options less and even though I know about a dozen clubs I think I'm over that scene, hope you can make it to the wall street game one of the next few weeks. Also there is a Sunday tournament you may be interested at a bar next Sunday

be in touch

At 9:59 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Love the title J.

That's good stuff.

I played an PL08 tournament at a dudes house one time and it was brutal. It took forever and I think we played 15 hands the whole night. Never again.


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