Saturday, January 3, 2009

A tough act to swallow

I was just about done writing the below when our power flickered a couple times and died. That was 22 hours ago (2 am). I went upstairs and the DW and I were treated to one helluva light show as transformers blew blue and orange to our north and south. I went out to the shed to retrieve the generator, we put extension cords on the fridge and freezer, the wood stove fan, a couple lights, the coffeemaker and TV. Then we hunkered down.

We now return to our regularly scheduled posting:

I woke up this morning still tired from staying up a little too late last night. I ate a breakfast of granola with a banana and a glass of orange and grapefruit juice mixed. I took my multi-vitamin along with 3 vitamin D gels. I then took one L-Theanine cap (200 mg), one Rhodiola cap (200 mg and 15 mg of Vinpocetine. I drank a 20 oz. coffee while I cruised the Web and then laid back down.

My nap was interrupted by the phone. R called to see if I was coming to the game. They were already into a cash game, and after a meal that R had prepared, they were going to start a tournament. I got dressed, went to the barn to get wood for the fire, gathered up my pills, the apple pie I had baked (frozen variety), a pound of Tully’s espresso and my water bottle.

There were two tables of eight players, and I suppose I could have sat down, but chose to wait. R had cooked prime rib and baked potatoes. Someone had brought meatballs in a bbq sauce. Of course, there were tones of chips and assorted dips. Someone had made a nice mesculin salad and there were carrots and celery. I ate a small end piece of prime rib, two meatballs, one half of a potato and several sticks of celery. I was ready to play.

The tourney was for $20, no re-buys, no add-ons, twenty-minute blinds with a starting stack of 3K. Three places would pay. Readers already know how I feel about tourneys, and I quit playing R’s tourneys a long time ago. However, with a $20 buy-in and guaranteed no craziness without rebuys, I decided that I would play. If I went out early, a cash game would start at some point and I’d be good to go.

There was a hitch in the plan. Instead of a cash game, R announced that there would be a $10 heads-up tournament, winner take all, that would play out as players were knocked out of the first tourney. Great. Like I have any end game tourney strategy, let alone any real idea of how to play heads-up. Others quite liked the idea, including this new kid, Brad, who was ecstatic. A cash game would then run concurrent to the heads-up.

Some of the players at my table were familiar to me from the cash games. Steven was to my right, and I knew that he loved tourneys. Brad was to my left. Although I had not played with him before, I was familiar with his type of table talk: youthful testosterone who could not help but discuss hands after the fact. R was at my table, as was Marge. I knew R was good. And although I hadn’t played her before, I knew Marge was feared as tight and effective. Rex was there too, a hot-headed, over-player who was dead money in the cash game.

Right off the bat I split a sizable pot with R, both having AJ with a J on the board. Then I took down another unmemorable and smallish pot. I was feeling pretty good. The other table was a madhouse. Two players were out before the second level, and in that I was next BB, I was moved.

Again, I knew several of the players from the cash games. Kim was to my right, wife to Steve at the other table. The other Steve sat across from me. He’s solid but cautious. Fernando was to his right. Before I left the other table, I had asked Steve 1 who I should look out for at the other table. He said Fernando. I had played with Fernando a few times in pub tourneys over the last couple years. I remembered nothing in particular but heeded Steve’s advice. The remaining players I had never even seen before, including the woman and two other players to my left.

I was card dead for ages, so the pocket 3s I picked up UTG looked good enough to limp with. The woman to my left raised to 3 x BB, everyone folded and I called. The flop came 242, I checked and she put out a c-bet. I raised and she called. The turn was another 4 and I led out. Don’t ask me why, but I put her on an Ace. She called. The river was a Q and I was all-in. She called and I had her covered. I flipped over my 3s and she mucked. Good-bye. Ballsy, eh?

Another players at the table, Jason, one of the unknowns, was a veritable calling station and luck box. He would have been out early had I called his short all-in (one caller) with my A3 off in the BB. Instead, he amassed a huge lead at our table. My AK against his A 10, etc. I was not alone. I settled back into card dead, nursing my stack and watched as one player after another was knocked out.

I was down to 5M when I found A4s UTG. I limped for 600 and Steve 2 raised it to 1600. Something told me that he had JJ thru KK, and I so badly wanted to see a flop. I jammed and he called. He had jacks and I flopped and turned two 4s. Alive.

We combined tables when eight players remained. There was a short break as we moved to the other table and I repeated the above dosage and put on a pot of coffee. Brad and Jason, the two with the most chips, were both on my left. I was short stack with about 6M, and remained out of the mix until I was down to 3M when I started to see a lot of Aces with sizable kickers. After several raises and table folds, I was up to 10M. Jason’s stack dwindled, as well it should have, and I continued to apply pressure every time I had an Ace or pocket pair.

At one point I was in the SB and everyone had folded to me. I had A 10 and raised it 3 x BB. Brad is clearly perturbed and says, “I’m tired of you raising my blinds (when in actuality, I had not). He called. We checked to the river and he showed Q8off with an 8 on the board. I missed, but I made sure I showed him my cards and said, “See?” I was somewhat dismayed that I had lost 25% of my stack on the hand but wanted to impress upon the lad that I wasn’t raising with air.

Let it be known that I derived a certain satisfaction when I eliminated Jason the calling station, and even greater joy when the game was heads up between me and the self-proclaimed king of heads up, the backwards-ball-cap-wearing Brad. (Guess which ball cap I was wearing.) No, I was amazed I had made it this far; yet, I must say I was not particularly nervous. An affect from the pills? I am not fully prepared to say, yet I was hunkered down and ready to rumble.

Brad had a sizable chip advantage, maybe 3 to 2. I played cautiously and folded my first SB and limped or folded my BB for the first four hands. Hand #5 I had 9 10s in the SB and limped. The flop was kind in that dramatic kinda way: 9 Q 10 rainbow. I checked and Brad bet the pot, 4K. I jammed and he insta-called. Q 6 off. Brad was crippled. Funny thing though, just as he had been yacking it up all game about strategy, he made it abundantly clear that he was kicking himself hard for the bad call. Time to apply pressure, but in that drunken samurai kinda way. If I had squat, I folded to any aggression… ah bullshit. I had pocket Kings twice and raised enough to put him all in. The second time he bit.

bastin took down his first tourney at R’s! Trumpets blared, bagpipers and drummers marched around the house. No one noticed or seemed to care. The heads up game was at the other table, and now this one was finally freed up for the cash game. I went outside to call the only person who would really care, my Dear Wife. But she would have to wait, as Brad was outside having a smoke.

I said, “Crazy weather, huh?” The wind was picking up and it was raining. Brad was having none of the small talk. He wanted me to know that he thought a lot about his game (“that’s a good thing”), and he was still kicking himself for the top pair call. After all, he pointed out, he played professionally at the local casino and wouldn’t normally make such a mistake. After he went inside to take part in his area of expertise, the heads-up tourney, I called DW. Yes, she was pleased and excited for me. Bless her heart.

The cash game wasn’t as profitable. I bought in for $40 and after three hours had made little headway. My J9d in the limped SB flopped a flush, 783. I checked and waited to check-raise. When I did, I got three callers! The turn was a blank, I jammed and again got three callers. R was one and was all-in short, Brad was another and was also all-in short, and finally, Phil called and had me covered. R had the Ad, Brad had the Qd and Phil had K 10d. Time to call it a night.

I know I’ve been a bit tough on the kid, Brad. To his credit, he took down the heads up tourney, so he did quite well for himself.

As for the pills, There is a tourney tomorrow night I might hit. We had plans for dinner with neighbors but DW hurt her foot today when we were running errands in my rig. (It rides a bit higher than her car, so she must have stepped out wrong or something.) If I go, I’ll take the pills and see. Stay tuned.


joxum said...

Hello, new reader Joxum here!

Been lurking for a bit, so I thought it was time to check in and wish you a merry new year and a happy return of The Voltage.

I live in the countryside too, btw, although sometimes it can be hard to see, for all the traffic. I'm also into organic farming, although mainly as a customer at the local supermarket.

Anyway, keep it up, now that you're on my blogroll and all...indeed.


Anonymous said...

Great game! That kid Brad had a tough time playing against you but I'm pretty sure that he learned a lot as well.

Memphis MOJO said...

Nice job!

"The river was a Q and I was all-in. She called and I had her covered. I flipped over my 3s and she mucked. Good-bye. Ballsy, eh?"

You trusted your read, excellent!

Memphis MOJO said...

"bastin took down his first tourney at R’s! No one noticed or seemed to care."

That says to me they respect your game and no one was surprised.

"prime rib and baked potatoes. Someone had brought meatballs in a bbq sauce. Of course, there were tones of chips and assorted dips."

I'm going to the wrong tournaments, lol.

"A tough act to swallow"

Cute title!