Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Daily Home Game

A year and a half ago I went through a job change that was caused be my previous employers master plan. The main affect of this situation, other then moving on to a better position, was to destroy what had become a major influence in my poker world. It was the daily home game.

The daily home game consisted of around 12 players who would get together during our breaks and at lunchtime every day and play a running SNG. We had a $5 buy-in with the top three getting paid $30 for 1st, $15 for second and $5 for 3rd. It was a great way to kill time and pay for my lunches at the same time.

The structure of the game was such that we started with 2500 in chips with blinds at 50/100. The blinds would go up every 15 minutes or after a player was knocked out. Because of this structure, we could complete about 4 games in a week and didn’t keep anyone off the table for very long. The draw back was that it could be a crapshoot on many days and required great discipline to achieve consistent results.

In this game we had all kinds of players.

1) Mr. Baseball was the tightest player I’ve ever played against. If he made a raise you better have the nuts if you call because he’ll have them if you don’t. He played the game the way it wasn’t intended to be played. To get third. His claim to fame was getting third place in 8 strait games. I loved playing him because he didn’t bluff and you always read his holdings. Terrible heads-up.

2) Mr. See a flop would call any flop and call to the river with any part of the board. He would have runs that were unstoppable but in most cases was early to go out. I would guess he dropped two buy-ins a week on average, maybe more. Confusing heads-up because he would play any two cards. Didn’t understand hand value at all.

3) Mr. Ruebinski was a calling station who liked to play but didn’t understand the important parts of the game to become really good. He was an adequate player who could win with good cards but not with bad cards. He could be pushed around in heads-up play.

4) Mr. Oil was good. He would test your holdings and punish limpers without fear. The drawback that he had was he didn’t always adapt to the players he played against. He could be trapped and would try to push the calling stations with less then premium hands. He is a good heads-up player.

5) Mr. My Old Boss was hated by almost everyone there. Not because he’s a prick but because his ROI was about 100%. Nobody liked it when I invited him into the game because he was a manager and thought he would get us in trouble. Eventually they hated him because he took their money. Very solid player who could throw away a good hand but was to tight at times. Could be beat heads up.

6) JAG is a friend of mine from the beginning of my employment. If there was anybody in this world who is more competitive then me it would be JAG. He was a very aggressive player who punished limpers endlessly. His drawback was his tendency to tilt. At the same time he had the ability to tilt a table when he would show down his crap cards. The advantage I had over him is that I’ve played every game imaginable against him and no his flaws much better than I know my own. Trappable heads up.

7) Hanky Panky was, and still is, a gambler. He wasn’t afraid to play any two cards from any position. He would also call you down if he felt you were being to aggressive and put you to the test at times. His willingness to gamble kept him from being a consistent winner.

8) Max-y-pad was a lunatic. He would push just because he could. He, more then any other player, could lose a chip stack like you have ever seen. Table captain. Enough said.

9) Crater Boy had no idea how to play the game in a logical way. One day, after going a couple of weeks without cashing, he says to me: ”I can’t keep playing. I’m dropping $20 a week and I’m the only income at home.” Now this is a guy who makes $40,000 a year with a wife and three kids, a mortgage, and two car payments. My response was: “then start playing better. You need to learn while you play instead of continuing to do what your doing. Watch how both the good players play and how the bad players screw up and take advantage of this information. Within two weeks he was a break-even player. He’ll never be more but at least he can enjoy the game.

10) The Poker Enthusiast enjoyed all his meals that others paid for. I played tight aggressive and avoided making plays on the wrong people. Between my old boss and I, one of us was cashing virtually every game and many times both of us cashed. It got to the point that the other players would collude against us in hope of knocking us out.

As my final days with the company came to an end, I realized that the one thing that kept me focused on my job during the stretch before the plant closed, was the daily escape into the world of high action poker.

After I left the company, the production manager joined in the game to fill my seat.

On the last day of work, the group played a two table freezeout for a $20 buy-in. They spent the last four hours of empoyment playing poker with the VP of Operations OK.

What sre you going to do, fire me?

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