Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Poker League Recap - The hunt for nuttin'

MNlogo Bar league poker is changing for me.  It used to be a place I'd go and really try to win every week.  Through time and experience, I've come to realize its true value: practicing live poker skills and laughing with some nice people.

I think the idea that skill in poker will translate to success in our league is a bit misguided.  There are some competent players there, but for the most part, its like navigating a freeroll online.  You are going to get called.  Someone is going to shove.  At the end of the night, you will need to get lucky more than once just to survive.

And this is no ordinary kind of luck.  You will need to realize that you are going to be all in with AA and be called by any two suited cards or any pocket pair.  You are, at best, a 31% favorite to win the hand.  You will get called by more than one person.

In online poker, we see plenty of hands per hour.  This is a factor that will favor some skill in the long run.  Patience and level headedness will bring rewards.  At poker league, we are lucky to see 10 hands per hour.  Ugg.

Last night, I did my best to be in small pots with small hands.  I would like to have been in a big pot with a big hand, but alas, third pair was my best hand for the first 2 hours.  It won, a very small pot, but it did win.  Yeah! and there was much rejoicing.

At my first table, I think I've had the most fun just sitting with the people there in a long time.  My wife, OhCountess, made a very rare appearance.  She's in grad school right now with her class day on Wednesday.  Bodie25 was sitting on my right.  Jon B, a home game regular and Bourbonator, was on Bodie's right.

OhCountess was picking up the chips, while Jon, Bodie and I were slowly dwindling.  Bodie eventually busted out before the first break.  Remember that pair of 7s I mentioned earlier.  That was me taking a small pot from Bodie.  We run g00T?

After first break, the table broke.  None too soon either.  We were playing 5 handed and Jon B and I were short stacked, card dead and bleeding blinds too fast.

I made it to my second table of the night with a mere 700 chips.  Blinds are at 100/200.  Yeah, this sucks.  I tell OhCountess I should be able to get home and pick up.  The kids were with a sitter, so it looked like I would be the one at home, alone.

My first hand at the new table was AJo.  I only know how to play this hand in this situation one way.  If you know another way, be sure to leave me a comment!  UTG shoves all his chips in.  I seriously doubt I can wait for another hand that is better than this.  Heck, its gotta be better than the hand of the devil.  The CO shoves in over the top making this a 3 handed shovefest.

Oops.  This could suck.  Well, UTG tables 99, CO shows his KK and I have 2 live cards one being an over card!  Sweet jebus!  We all know the outcome, the pretties card in the deck shows me the promise land!  A nice little triple up at the expense of UTG who goes home.  Not sure I'd push a healthy M all in with 99 from UTG.  Not like anyone cared about my 700 chips.

As fun as tripling up can be, I'm still just sitting there with 2400 chips and a couple of passive players on my left.  A few more steals and I'm getting the feeling like I can make a comeback.

I shove preflop with AKo after a battle of raises and his TT loses with another flopped ace.  For those of your scoring at home, I actually won a coin flip.  Make a note on the calendar, this may not happen again for a while.  I'm no Surflexus.

You gotta love a rush.  I pushed and shoved my way to the tournament chip lead in a matter of a few minutes.  Its fun when it works.  The only thing I'm grateful for was resisting the urge to shove them in with lessor holdings earlier.

People bust all around, the blinds are starting to get silly.  A final table congeals and we find two married couples.  This is was interesting.  OhCountess and I and another couple formed half the table.

OhCountess busts out in 6th place and my rush ended with my unceremonious shove of ducks.  I got called with AK and K8.  No 8s, Ks or As appeared in the middle.  Only 2 pair.  Tens and threes.  Yes, I was counterfeited on the river.

In the end, I had fun.  I laughed a lot.  I'm REALLY looking forward to Sunday.  Bodie and I are heading to Diamond Joe's in Iowa for some live poker action.  The run a tournament and have a little NLHE cash action for us.  Anyone else want to join us?  Let me know!  Maybe a little warm up for Corn Vegas?


Drizztdj said...

Go north, not south!! :)

OhCaptain said...

Where do you like to play north? We go to Treasure Island once and while, I grew up in Red Wing. I tried Canterbury once, but the smoke was more than I could handle. I'd love to hook up sometime in da nord country!

Drizztdj said...

Canterbury is smoke free now. But still all LHE.

We'll shoot for meeting up at Treasure Island sometime (Yahoo IM ID = hrking275) and I'll try to get another MN blogger to come with :)