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Stuffed on Tuna

Another Tuna Club tournament, another win. This time, I chopped the top three spots with one of the three of us getting $390 and the other two (myself included) receiving $650, basically a $490 profit.

I feel so in tune with this particular game and these particular players. It helps that we had slightly too many for one table (11 players), so we started shorthanded on two tables with a lot of dead stacks that new players could buy within the first three levels.

Shorthanded poker is my bread and butter. There is so much more game to be played, and I like to mix it up when I can. I've really come to realize that the best way to "read" players is to simply gauge whether they are comfortable or not. That takes a lot of things into account, but it also cuts through a lot of the bullshit and gets to the heart of the matter.

Interestingly, this was another tournament where I didn't have amazing cards. Last time, I mentioned two late KK hands, but those were the only big pocket pairs I had. This time, my highest pocket pair was JJ and it lost when I called an all-in from a shorter stack who ended up holding A7h. Lemon! By then, we were five or six handed and I was a big enough stack that, while disappointing, the loss wasn't disastrous.

Table chatter was interesting today. In one hand, I showed my 27o when I raised preflop 3x the BB UTG and everyone folded. I was on a rush of winning hands, so I decided to use the momentum. We were also shorthanded with maybe five players, so there wasn't many players to push out of the pot. When I showed, I wasn't flashy. I just put my cards face up and quietly placed them down.

Across the table was this dude who I busted the last week when my J3o took out his KK. He basically slowplayed until I made trip 3s. When I showed my 27o, he said, "Wow, you're amazing. You bluffed out four people." He was speaking fairly quietly, but I decided to respond, "Yeah, all skill. I'm putting on a master class." It was clear from my tone that I was speaking very tongue-in-cheek. Of course, you show the hammer for this very reaction. Tilt factor is definitely in play. But my comment was meant to sound like I was on his side, mostly because while I want them tilting, I don't want them to have a bad time. It's a fine line.

I ended up busting the guy with my JTd vs. his AKo. Preflop, I think I limped in position and he raised. I called because I got the sense the entire game that he wanted vengeance against me, and I like it when players target me. It usually backfires. It also helped that I had enough chips at this point to lose a couple without a care.

The flop was AK8. He checked, so I checked. The turn was a blank. Check-check. The river was a Queen. I believe he bet out most of his stack but not all of it. I paused for a moment and did some hollywooding. I wanted him to feel comfortable calling all-in, but I was afraid he had nothing and was just betting at it to try to win it against me. I asked him how much he had behind, and once he told me, I paused and then announced, "All in." He called and I took down the pot with the nuts.

An old guy was at the table, probably mid- to late-60s, white, portly, with darkened glasses and thinning, pulled-back hair. I had seen him around and assumed he knew how to play based on age alone. The guy actually pulled some angleshooting earlier in the game, insisting that a botched hand meant he got his big blind back, even though he had already folded. Basically, UTG limped, MP raised, the SB and the old guy in the BB folded, and the dealer took all the discarded cards and put them into the deck, assuming the hand was over. Since UTG had limped, the hand wasn't over. The floor was called and at first, the players agreed that UTG could take the limp back and the next hand would be dealt. But once the old guy saw an opportunity, he claimed it was a dead hand and he should get his BB back and the hand should be redealt. He got his way.

So, after the JT hand, the old guy looks at me and says, "Why did you do that? Why did you ask what he had? You had the nuts. You didn't have to know." I looked at this guy with a perplexed face. Either he was shitting me, or he just couldn't understand level 2 thinking. I replied, "Are you serious?" "You had the nuts." "Look, guy. I'm not here to give you lessons. You've got to be kidding me." I swear, I said this. I even eventually explained it, just to get him to stop bitching.

What the fuck! I swear, it was a weird table. Maybe it's just paranoia, but I felt like that old dude and the guy I busted with JT v. AK were gunning for me. I suppose that is to be expected. People don't like losing, and these older guys probably don't like a guy like me coming in to a game where they know everyone and just ripping shit up. I'm an invader, an outsider, and I'm taking their money.

So be it. I'm really only there for the money anyway.

Final fun hand. The old guy was hanging onto an shortstack for a very long time. It was pretty much all-in or fold for him for a while, but I guess he worked up his stack enough so that at the 150/300 level, he raised to 900 but still had chips behind him. It folded to me in the SB with A9o. Unfortunately, I thought the old guy was all-in, so I decided to call expecting to have my expenses capped for 5 community cards. The BB folded and I threw my hand out face-up. "OH! He's not all-in!" someone at the table said. FUCK!

Now, at the beginning of the tourney, the tournament director announced that if you intentionally expose your cards, its a dead hand. I didn't want to deal with any bickering, so I insisted we get the floor immediately for a ruling. I figured my hand was dead, but someone else said I just had to play face-up, since the old guy and I were the only two players left in the hand when I exposed my cards.

The floor came over and I explained the situation. "I thought he was all-in, so when I called, I turned my cards face-up." The old guy chimed in, "Now, now. Let's be honest here. That's not what happened. You threw your cards in." Fucking angle shooting fuck! "Are you serious?," I protested, "Are you trying to angle shoot on me?! You know that wasn't a muck." I was just shaking my head, incredulous at this ridiculous man.

The floor ruled: "The hand plays on with the hand exposed." The decision was made, but the old man got pissy again. By then, I had turned my cards face down. "Hey! You can't leave your cards like that! They're exposed!" I was shocked again. "Yeah, guy. You caught me. I'm so clever. I thought you already forgot my A9o already. I tell you what," I held the cards to my brow and pushed it on hard enough to stick for 2 seconds, "How about this?" The guy next to me laughed along with me. This was such nonsense.

The flop was dealt, Q9x. I pushed all-in, noting that he probably had 4.5k behind and I had well over 17k. He grumbled, "This is such bullshit. You are so lucky." He then took 2 minutes before folding. "I would've expected that to have been an easy decision for you. My cards are face-up." Yeah, I had to stick one more jab in.

For the most part, I won the game by making some bold calls. I took out some tough competition with coin-tosses once I had a monster stack, secure in the knowledge that I could suffer a loss if need be. I also took out some major competition by making tough calls only to find out I was dominating. It was an easy tourney for the most part. I just did what came naturally.

When we were down to 3, I was about even with one player, and the third player had probably less than half of our stacks. Even so, the blinds were not astronomical, so there was a lot of play left and there were only two spots paying. The deal was reached to ensure me a good profit, just short of $500. Next time, though, I think I'm going to play it out. Out of my 6 wins at Tuna Club (out of 11 attempts this year...I'm over .500!), most were via chop. I believe in the art of the deal. There are definitely times where you can win more with negotiation then you are otherwise entitled to. But I need to actually finish out a tournament. That's a pretty nice goal to have, though.

Just to recap: Tuna is my bitch.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 8:44 PM,


At 11:12 PM, Blogger The Poker Meister said...

Dang! You clean house at the Tuna Club on a regular basis. How does one go about finding these underground clubs? I'm in the DC area and - for the life of me - I can't find anything! I would love to play live more often...

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous PokerLaz said...

From a new reader, and novice player, all I can say is that whilst I'm really enjoying reading your blog, I hope I don't bump into you at the felts!

At 9:53 AM, Blogger BLAARGH! said...

>>>Just to recap: Tuna is my bitch.

You do realize you've just jinxed yourself for like, the next 100 years, right?

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Meister, I found Tuna through a home game. If you can find enough home games, you'll eventually meet someone with connections to an underground room. That said, underground rooms are not all that they are cracked up to be. The rake is usually higher than in a casino, the players are generally better or at least more aggressive, and there is always the chance of robbery or a police raid. But if you want to meet up at AC some time, let me know.

PokerLaz, thanks for the comment. I always appreciate hearing from new readers.

BLAARGH!!!, let's be real. The way I'm ripping it up at Tuna, I'll need a lot more than one jinx to be taken down.


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