Viva la victory!

Monday, January 12th, 2004, 3:27 pm

I’ve been struggling a bit lately, and it’d gotten so bad that I’d sunk to the point of taking advice from Chris Halverson. Chris mentioned in a recent post that he was playing two tables at once, and that got me to thinking. I tried double-fisting once and didn’t do too well, mostly because my computer is getting a bit senile and switching back and forth between tables can be a bit slow. But the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. If I’m a better player than the rabble on PartyPoker, and per hour I win more than I lose, then increasing the tables I play should increase my overall profit. If I can’t play more hands (i.e. play looser) and win, playing at an additional table should allow me to play more premium hands per hour and, over time, increase my winnings.

So I gave it a shot, and results were mixed. I didn’t have much problem playing the two tables, either from a computer standpoint or from paying proper attention. I hit some nice hands early on that paid off and was soon up $15. Then things settled down a bit and I slid back to about a $5 profit. Then I had one of those hands that makes you bang your head against the wall.

And I do mean hands–at one table I had AQh, on the other pocket jacks. I raised on both, but I should’ve known better. I hate AQ suited and JJ, they’re the hands that probably cost folks the most money. They look pretty, but they’ll break your heart in the end. At least this time I was merely taunted by the poker gods. On my AQ table the flop came J-7-4. At my JJ table the flop showed A-Q-2. Oh, fabulous. I doublemucked and went about my business.

I was about even when I was dealt pocket queens, raised it up, and bet it to the river, when an ace appeared. I couldn’t imagine someone with a mere ace had stuck around so long, so I bet–and was re-raised. I popped some tinfoil in my mouth and chewed hard as I called, and sure enough the yutz had A-3 offsuit. He called my raise, called my two bets, and hung in with ace high.

I guess I played OK the rest of the way and ended up about $7. But it was 11PM, The Eiger Sanction had just come on, and I decided to play a $5 SNG. My no-limit play has a decided fishy smell to it, but I really like playing them and PartyPoker has actually increased the number of SNG tables they have available, perhaps in response to the pointed email I sent them a few weeks ago. I played two the other night and got skunked out of the money, and I have to say I played like crap. I resolved to play better this time.

Uh, no, I played like crap, at the beginning at least. For some reason I think an $85 raise in early position is a good play with a marginal hand, and when I made that play early on and faced a $200 re-raise I had to muck. The table I was at was unusual for a Party SNG–there was only 1 insane all-in during the first orbit. Usually you see chips flying around like a lumberjack competition, but this was a rather patient, passive table.

I managed to waste another $500 on weak calls and timid raises, until I was the short-stack with $300. No one had a huge lead, and the blinds were still low, so I decided to screw my head on and play with brains and balls. Well, balls at least–I had 10-5 offsuit and the flop came 3-4-5. With my massive pair of fives I went all-in, hoping to steal the $100 or so in the pot. Nope, got called. Two junk card on the turn and river, but my foe only had ace-high, and I was back up over my original $800.

I won a few more pots with Iggy-esque steals and bluffs, until I had about $1200. And then came the hand that will keep me from bitching about bad beats for a whole…week. I had J-10c on the button and when no one bet I threw in $200. I was called by the big blind, and the flop came 10-6-10. Trips, very sexy. The BB had the big stack and he threw out an $800 bet, I thought to bully me. Not with trip tens. I went all-in, and he called. I wondered what he had. Did he have a ten? Possibly, but he’d need to outkick my jack. A six, to make two pair? I didn’t have long to think. The turn showed a trey, the river a…jack. I had full house, and to be honest I thought that was overkill. I didn’t need the jack, I felt sure, but I was glad to see it.

And then the cards flipped over and the BB showed pocket sixes. He flopped a full house and got beat on the river by my three-outer. I was so shocked I didn’t have the wherewithal to rip him about it and really put him on tilt. No, I wouldn’t do that, bad karma.

I was now in bidness. We went back and forth awhile, me slowly building my stack until I was the chip leader, until we were down to four. The guy I’d just crucified with my jacks (I’ll post later with the Bad Beat Analyzer) had J-10 and flopped the nut straight. He went all in with about $1200 and was called. The turn paired the seven already on the board, the river paired the nine. Yup, the other guy turned over Q-9. Unreal, the guy flops a full house and a straight and gets absolutely butchered. Finished in fourth place, out of the money. I felt bad for him for about six seconds.

And then it was back to work. I was in second position now and didn’t catch much, and then the big stack made trip aces on the river against little stack and we were heads up. He had $6685, I had $1315. The blinds were $150-$300, so I couldn’t putz around. I was dealt KQ and went all in. He called, and neither of us paired. But he had K-7, so I doubled up, and, as the Brits might say, game on!

There’s little to report about the rest of the match. I’d like to say I played brilliantly, but that would be a lie (no, really?). My opponent was either intimdated by the size of his stack or, well, I don’t think he was intimidated by me. But we played a good 31 hands heads-up and on only 3 or 4 did he raise or re-raise me. I think he was waiting for a hand where he could trap me, and he was so passive that I was able to steal a lot of blinds from him and quickly set us to level. He let me call too often and see cheap flops, and when I bet out he folded like Superman on laundry day. He won a few hands, and even took the lead again when I called him all the way with pocket tens even though there was an ace on the board, and he took about $1000 from me. But I was always the aggressor, and even though I wasn’t feral he kept checking and folding until he was down to about $1000. The blinds were $250-$500, so when he went all-in from the big blind it was only $250 for me to call. I had Q-6c, and the flop came 9-J-8,with the 9 a club. The turn was the deuce of clubs, and…hold your breath…the river was the ace of clubs.

I had a flush, an A-Q flush. Only if he had the king and another club would this battle be rejoined. And, of course, he didn’t, holding a measly Q-9 offsuit. True, that was better at the start than what I had, but no matter. I had just won my first SNG! The big message flashed “Congratulations!” and I thrust my arms in the air and, I have to say, I felt pretty damn good. The $25 I earned pushed my winnings for the day up to about $32 and my overall bankroll to $68. At one point yesterday I was down to $30 and near despair. Now I feel like I’m back in business.

I know that I didn’t play especially well. I got really, really lucky. Well, it’s about time, isn’t it? Wasn’t it baseball great Lefty Grove who said, “I’d rather be lucky than good,”?. Or was it Ringo Starr? Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with being lucky and good, is there?

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One Response to “Viva la victory!”

  1. "Cheryl Washington" Says:

    “Cheryl Washington”

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