Friday, November 21, 2008

Is There a Return in the Future

Well it has been ten days since I started my hiatus. I spend the long evenings looking at the screen of my laptop…I look and wonder what it would be like to slip my toe back into the waters of online poker. Is it the draw of the game…Is it the draw of the competition…Is it addiction…Am I just a loser that has nothing better to do with my time? I am a lurker. I watch friends play to fill up the empty space left by my exodus from online poker.

Actually, I’ve been playing WOW and having a blast. I hooked up with waffles the other night and watch him kill things in one shot that would take me much longer to kill. I guess being a 70th level Undead Rogue has its advantages. Anyway, I have leveled up pretty good, 16th level, but I’m running out of time on my free trial. I guess I’ll have to run to the store and buy it so I can waste more time until my hiatus is over. Hell, the cost of the game is much less then my monthly juice/rake so it is all good.

I played live last Friday. I wasn’t going to play because I was short of funds but I made a deal to trade some Pay Pal money for the buy-in and went on my way. It was a $35 buy-in with $5 going to the house for food and drinks and $10 going to a bounty. We had three full tables of various skill levels with the typical calling stations and agro lagtards. My first table had a nemesis sitting two to my left. He thinks A4 is a great hand to call two raises with and over plays junk all the time. There was also my old boss, worldpoker05 on full tilt, who is very tight and a number of players that I’ve played enough to have good basic reads of them.

First couple of orbits I played tight until I found AK in latish position. I raised 3x to 150 and was called my nemesis. The flop was QT3 with two spades and I fired a continuation bet of 200 into the pot of 375 and he called. He could have either the straight draw or a flush draw as well as either or pairing the Q and T. I he is a good enough player to fold a whiffed pot so I know he has a piece of it. The turn brings me an off suit J giving me the straight. I thought a bit and tossed out 250 into the pot of 775. I was trying to feign weakness but he just called. At this point, I hope he has two pair and because I know he will call an overbet for value. The river is a 7 and I tank a bit. This is a bounty tourney so I want his bounty chip but will he call a shove or even a small bet. I shove hoping he thinks I missed the flush draw and he folds. He later said he folded T9. To bad an 8 didn’t hit the river.

Shortly after that hand I was moved to the TV table. We watched the Blackhawks game in between hands. Anyway, It didn’t take me long to realize that most of the players like to limp and see flops so I opened up my range a bit and began to make raises. I won the blinds with T8, A7, A5 and 53 before someone re-raised me. I actually had a hand with AQ but folded after a couple minutes of thinking. That didn’t stop me though. I raised with Ax and bet at a Kxx board and took it down. I also came over the top of limpers a few times and enjoyed watching them slam their cards in the muck as I pulled the chips in to my stack. Before I knew it, I had 13K while the next biggest stack had maybe 3200. By this point the blinds started to mean something and I continued to put pressure on the players. I asked players there chip counts and raised half there stack over and over again. Nobody played back at me…until a shorty pushed after I,,,limped…with AQ suited. I knew he would have to push with the blinds coming and wanted him to commit his chips. His A7 was no match. As we got ready to move to the final table I made one call that was very questionable…well it was actually dumb. A shorty pushed for less then the SB and I called from the SB position. The big blind pushed over the top. To 2025. I was getting about 1.6 to one to call while holding 56 suited. I was looking at busting two players for about 10% of my chips stack. Really I was playing against the raiser and I figured him to have a big ace so I was close to the right odds minus the shorty. I made the call and was happy to see that the raiser had pocket 2s. The shorty had me dominated with his 75 but the flop came and gave me a 6 to take the lead. I was gold until the river when a 2 hit and gave the stack to the raiser. I guess it was the wrong play but it almost worked.

At the final table I was an average stack…maybe a bit above. Anyway, it was tight as the blinds were getting huge. In one hand, my nemesis limped from early position and it folded to me in the BB. I checked blind and we saw a flop of 544. I announced ”I guess I should look at my cards” and checked. He made a pot size bet and I came over the top for all of my chips. He tanked a bit and folded JJ face up. So as a good sport I turned over my 82 off suit. He went on major tilt and bled chips for the next 30 minutes. I got a couple of high 5s but I knew I would have to tighten up. And that killed my game.

I was never able to get much going and players folded to my raises because they knew I had something when I raised. The real problem was the short stacks and idiots trading chips back and forth. We didn’t lose anyone for an hour and fight though I might, I could gain any traction. I finally pushed on the bubble and got called by the big stack. Yes I missed the cash and a chance to replenish my online bankroll a bit.

The bluff was a huge thing in may ways. It hurt me a bit tonight but all of those players will remember it. I can use that when I have a hand…and I will.

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