My buddy Stan says that HORSE is softer than the 8-game. I can't imagine how, but I've never played HORSE, so I'll have to take his word for it. Lord knows I have a long way to go when it comes to the stud games and lowball. But I'm holding my own, and apparently there are many who have less of a clue.
In fact, I'm doing somewhat better than holding my own when it comes to leaving the game up. Last night I doubled up when I was certain I was jamming 4 x the pot only to split in the NLHE. I guess he didn't believe I had the Broadway to his two pair. Calling stations abound in the limit games and I guess the urge carries over. Each game does have its own gear.
I don't depend on the NLHE round to make significant headway. I figure every player is somewhat proficient and come to the 8-game after doing some time in Hold 'em, paying one's dues, so to speak. I may be assuming an awful lot there. Yet, there always seems to be two players who are more interested in gambling than playing, and as a consequence, make their stacks very, very vulnerable. Bless their hearts.
Even though the game is six-handed, there are rounds in which I don't play a single hand, even in the Hold 'em games where I feel most comfortable. Last night really wasn't that much different as it checked around until (he and) I hit on the river. Tonight was more of an anomaly, for in one round I had pocket tens set up and pocket kings hold up. Both hands I played aggressively preflop and saw folds on the flop, even with two callers.
One of those players evidently had enough of what he must have seen as unwarranted aggression, especially since it was on his Big Blind. And, having called both times previously, when I again raised it up 5 x BB with pocket Queens, he, of course called. Or it might have been a short-stack strategy of some sort, I don't know. He only had $2.17 to my $13.57. And because he had so little behind, I had no qualms calling his check-raise all-in on the flop of 3dAdTh. If he had an Ace, well then good for him, but for some reason I didn't think he had an Ace. Maybe not even a diamond draw. His call any raise approach meant he could have just about anything. And I was correct. He held 3s10s.
The Ks came on the turn, giving me a few more outs. Come on Jack!
Ace of Spades. Pretty.
He left the room right away, and since the other donk at the table had also recently went away, plus I had evening chores waiting, I left as well.
I was still running the hand over in my head as I went out the door. As I walked up the path to the duck coop, I noticed our OCD neighbors were burning garbage in their mini incinerator. With a good northwesterly wind for most of today, the smoke should have made its way right to our back door. That's the way it usually goes. If they just burned paper, I don't suppose I would much care. I don't know what all they burn, but I do know it stinks something fierce. But now the wind had shifted, amazingly coming from the northeast, pushing the smoke back toward their house.
I'll take the small victories.