Monday, March 28, 2011

When the read is spot on but your opponent has no clue

So, last Tuesday, I made it back Brother's for the weekly game of the Minnesota Poker League. Much like the drop in posting on this blog, I've just not been finding the opportunity to play bar poker. Somehow, I've made it 4 weeks in a row. Shocking. Hell, I've even made the points two of those three weeks. I figure not to shabby consider the previous times I'd played live poker, were the two whiskey club meetings since the WPBT Winter Gathering.

Oh how I missed poker.

So last night, I sit down at my assigned table. A couple new faces and a few usual suspects. The lady sitting on my left is sort of new. She seems to have come a lot since I went on hiatus, everyone knows her. I've played at her table once before, more on that later. Don't let me forget.

There's a new guy sitting directly across the table from me. He's a bit disheveled and playing almost every hand. Let's just say, he's giving no real solid indications about having poker skills. Three to my left, is the well manicured man I've written about in the past.

The hand I'm sharing today is one that I know I misplayed. I did. I made a tactical decision and it the results...

I started the night in the big blind and haven't played a hand yet. I have 1975 T$. We are in the first blind level (25/25). I'm in the big blind. The player two to my left limps, well manicured man raises to 100, next player folds, Disheveled Man raises to 200. It folds to me, I look down to find QQ. In the early stages of bar poker, I hate to go crazy to early with hands like QQ. You are much to likely to be seeing the flop with 3 or more other players to get any real value out of a raise. I call. The early limper insta-mucks. Well manicured man just calls.

The flop comes KJ6 rainbow. Since I'm in early position and whiffed the flop, I decide to check and gather a bit more information. Well manicured man raises to 100, again. A little something about him, he likes to organize the stripes on his chips. He's a very orderly guy. This small raise into a pot of 350 has traditionally meant that he's weak and looking to thin the herd. I'm figuring him for ace rag. Disheveled Man calls. Now, I have no history on him. Everything about his mannerisms tells me he's weak. His raise preflop seemed odd when he did it, like he was bluffing. This call also appeared to me like he was fishing for something. I figured I was way ahead of both of these guys at the time, so I just called. (Mistake 1)

Turn is a 9. I'll be perfectly honest, this wasn't a card I wanted to see. While I didn't think Well Manicured Man (WMM) would raise pre with QT, I'm not sure where Disheveled Man (DM) is. WMM raises it again to 100. I'm positive, he's got air. Ace rag is still a good guess. DM raises super fast to 500 and is totally looking like this is an absolute bluff. When I looked back at WMM, this really made him look uncomfortable. If my read is correct, I'm still way ahead here. Both guys are fishing for something or being bar poker stooges and bluffing madly with crap.

The river is a Q. I've made a set. I decided to take my stand. I know there's the ten possibility for a straight, but I just couldn't put either guy on any tens. Each one looked disappointed with the river. So I shoved. I really thought I was shoving for value. At best, I figured someone had AK, KQ or maybe even JJ.

WMM folds instantly. DM starts counting out chips like he's making a crying call. He calls and turns over pocket tens. "You caught me bluffing, can you beat a pair of tens?"

I sat there pretty much in shock. My read was spot on. He was convinced he really didn't have much. Someone at the table had to show him the straight by laying the cards out. "Wow. I figured I was busted."

I'll be perfectly honest, it sucked losing to someone that didn't even know what they had. A nice healthy sprinkling of salt in the wound. He had me covered so I got to take the lonely walk out. I don't like busting ever, but busting in the first blind level totally sucks.

It did remind me of a very important lesson you always have to keep in mind when you are using reads on weakness to make a decision. A player is only showing weakness they think they have. They may not realize just how strong they really are. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Trip Report 6: #WPBT Living Large in LaGasse

My Calendar says March 2. How about yours?

I wrote a while back that I had two more posts to write about the 2010 Winter Gathering in Las Vegas. I can hear Kat right now, "God lord." (*miss you) I figure it's never to late to post more pictures of our little get together in the desert. I have two more set to share and damn, I'm gonna share them.

Sunday is the last day for many people. Not sure why, The town empties out a bit so there's time for strolling peacefully. Wait, that comes later. Right now, I'm here to tel you about life in the Lagasse Sports Stadium.

For some reason, just saying that makes me start singing the song, "There Coming To Take Me Away" by Napolean XIV weird. Maybe not weird. Hm. So, Lagasse. I'd love to share with you what it's like there but to be perfectly frank, you really need to experience it. There's awesome food, so-so beer (geez, you'd think people in the desert would be thirsty and get great beer- you'd be wrong), more food, lots to drink, more food and most of all, there's lots of bloggers.

This is the best opportunity you have all weekend to just chat. It's really quite extraordinary. Here's the pictures, it's the best I can do for you.

This kinda shows you the lay of the land. There's couches and TV's everywhere. All the games are on. Around the corner you see in the back is more bloggers, a pool table, some video games and off to the side, a patio to the outside. It was lovely there. 60 some degrees. Did you see how our dome collapsed? I didn't want to tell my wife about this. She was up to her nipples in snow, the furnace stopped working and the minivan got stuck in the driveway. Look at all those smiling bloggers.

Why, you might ask, is OhCaptain showing us a pile of boxes with crap in them. Good question! You see, AlCantHang rocks like no other. He and the boys from Full Tilt's Poker From the Rail blog, hooked us up with all kinds of great swag. Those of us that got there early even got flasks. Flasks. Nom nom. Thanks again guys for setting everything up and treating this crazy group to all kinds of goodness.

Like I said, I really can't explain everything to you.

Dr. Pauly was there to protect us from, I didn't catch Falstaff's ring name...anyone know it?

Of course we had a photo op for the 3rd greatest last longer team on the planet. Check out Team Skol! Mattazuma, Drizz and OhCaptain. Gotta say, I love the trophy but that horrific jersey worn by Drizz has just got to go.

That's the last of the pictures I will share here. I've posting extras to my Flickr site. You can check out the rest of the trip there. Of course, there's really no words there but I'll bet you can figure them out or at least create an fanciful story that sounds good. One last post photo walk. Should be up ...