Wednesdays are basically my Saturdays now, and accordingly I have spent the last two out with a friend. Nevermind you mind that all we did was go out and play poker....I still did at least hang out with a friend, which is a solid start for me. Last night was no different, as Batman and I hit up The Oaks and then Artichoke Joe's, and I can assure hilarity did ensue. First, The Oaks....
I got home from the Stanford men's basketball game around 11pm (The CEO had an extra three tickets to the game and invited me and Danielle to tag along....the game was fun, but the last time the Cardinal was ahead was I believe 6-4 with about 3 minutes gone in the game) and called Batman to inform him we were ready for action. I drove to San Francisco to pick him up, then headed across the bridge for some late night 30/60. One thing about playing late at night is that the amount of time you spend waiting is insanely variable. You could walk right into an empty seat, or you could be 5th on the list with a single game from which nobody stands up for an hour. I've seen bdaddy and MitchL spend what seems like hours tooling around on their phones waiting for seats in the Oaks 30. For guys who are used to playing 200+ hands/hour online, that had to be torture. If you show up at Bay 101 at 11:15 AM, this never happens. They either have a short list or are about to start a 3rd 20/40 game soon. It's just easier.
So anyway last night I ran good in the "get a seat" department, as there was one seat open in the 30/60 and Batman offered to let me take it (he actually ended up posting in about 5 minutes after I did). The Oaks had no 15/30 (since Batman hadn't been there to hold it together) and so this game was all we had. This is like saying that your only option for dinner is the Bellagio Buffet. Sure, if it were to suddenly explode in a fiery ball of king crab legs and kobe beef you might be in trouble, but odds are pretty good you're going to end the night fat and happy. The game was excellent, with only a couple players who could tie their shoes sprinkled amongst some loose passives, loose aggros, and just plain monkeys. I played a hilarious hand against The Russian, after which Steven, that little fucking prick God it pains me that you are allowed to steal my air, somehow told him that I said he played like a girl, which caused The Russian to ask my name. I told him, and he immediately said, at high volume "Fuck You Jesse!" I didn't even know what to say and could really only laugh, and eventually it was explained to The Russian that I hadn't said anything about him calling down with QQ after one flop raise on a QJ7ss-5s-Th board. It was in fact Steven who said he played it like a girl. As I've already alluded to, Steven, you can DIAGF. The Russian (who is a GC 40/80 regular mind you) and I parted ways on very friendly terms. Everything is fine. The funny part of the aforementioned hand is that had he raised me on the turn, I was probably going to 3-bet him with my QJcc for top two pair. So he didn't miss one bet, he missed two. And he did play it like a little girl, but I certainly didn't say that. I'm a prop, I can't go around saying shit like that. I mean really.
The fish started picking up one by one, and eventually it was down to Steven (who despite my hatred actually plays pretty well by local standards) Alan Bostick, Batman, myself, and the Russian sitting around waiting for the last remaining flounder to spew off his 5 racks. I mean, this guy was truly, truly terrible, but Batman and I didn't really want to sit around and fight the other players for his money. I mean I in particular have to do that 5 nights a week now, and didn't really want to spend a 6th working on the task. So I suggested Artichoke Joe's and Batman made the call. "Full game with 3 names on the list" we were told. Aiyah, time to go! So we pick up (with me extracting two pots from the mega-fish on the last orbit and subsequently booking a gigantic $16 win) and make haste for San Bruno.
Once again upon arriving there was a single open seat in our game of choice (the 15/30) which Batman let me take. This time he spent 30 minutes or so playing 6/12, during which I became very sleepy and contemplated going home. Then I slowly came to realize what was going on around me; this game was epic. The guy on my immediate left (seat 2) was playing every single hand and check raising post flop almost at random. To his left in seat 3 was Dimitri, the resident AJs 15/30 Alpha Lag, who usually plays pretty well post flop but is capable of tilting very badly and even when he doesn't shows up with T5s that he limped UTG from time to time. Seats 7 and 8 held reasonable players (one nit and one pretty solid winner), but 9 was also clearly awful. Two reasonable players left and were replaced by Batman (who took the 6 hole) and a former favorite player of mine from back in my 6/12 days who apparently hasn't gotten any better (and sat in my vacated 1 seat, as I moved to the 4 hole). So again, the line up is:
1. Loose passive 6/12 player.
2. VERY loose and somewhat aggressive mega-fish.
3. Tilting LAG
5. Guy who calls two cold with T6s and peels the flop of 772.
8. Winner, at least in this lineup
9. Loose passive player B
Batman is appalled by what is going on around him. People are dragging 3-bet preflop pots with 42 suited. Peeling flops with two unders no draw. Lighting multiple bets on fire with KK when it's so obvious their opponent has aces it makes my ears bleed (this one was bad...after seat 1 capped preflop and on the flop, seat 3 STILL RAISED the T73-6r turn. Seat 1 finally gave up and just called, but then scratched his head and donked the river 3, somehow thinking that the guy who raise/4-bet preflop held T7 and had just been counterfeited. Seat 3 raised again and I actually mumbled "Dimitri hand reads too well not to have tens here" while seat 1 was calling. Dimitry promptly turned over KK and seat 1 tabled AA and I put on my head phones and pretended I hadn't said anything). During the madness I actually folded KQo to a preflop raise (the loose passive UTG raised and got two insta-coldcalls from mega-fish and Dimitri...I mucked because KQo plays horribly in massive pots...and the board ran out QXY-Q-Q. Not only would I have dragged a monster, but I'd have gotten the $100 four of a kind bonus on top of it).
So things are just out of control, with the mega-fish in seat 2 driving all the action, his stack fluctuating between 3 and 5 racks nearly every orbit. Then it happened*.
Dimtri limped UTG and I raised red kings next in. Seats 5,6, and 7 all folded (which wasn't at all uncommon...I had one of the best seats I've ever had) and the solid player in seat 8 3-bet me. The button folded, and my old loose passive 6/12 buddy called all 3 bets cold in the small blind. Mega-fish called two more in the big blind, and Dimitri called. I 4-bet, seat 8 just called, the blinds just called, and Dimitri gave me a "WTF why not?" look and put in the 5-bet cap. That's what Alpha Lags do. They cap it. So off we go, 5 bets 5 ways to the flop of.
I'd have preferred to flop a set, but you know, I can work with this. Unless seat 8 has TT I have him crushed (it'd be hard to believe he could have aces since he didn't cap preflop....not capping 5 ways with AA is pretty rare) so basically I'm hoping nobody can build a straight or two pair around the Ten Seven combo that's out there, and that no more spades roll off the deck. The blinds check and Dimitri don....well it's not a donk because he capped it preflop. So Dimitri "leads" and I raise. Seat 8 3-bets (concerning) and the SB calls 3 cold. The BB now 4-bets and Dimitri caps it. I call 3-bets cold, acutely aware that I'm somehow probably behind, but that I'm getting 47:3. Everyone calls and there are 50 small bets in the pot.
Shit. SB checks, BB fires and Dimitri turbo-raises. I have to muck it and so do the other two players. The SB just calls, and a red 8 falls on the river.
SB: "Oh no!"
BB: "I flopped two pair" and some other gibberish as if to say "I cannot believe I was bad-beated again"
Dimitri: "It's good"
The big blind tables 72o and Dimitri mucks A9ss face up. The small blind is beside himself, claiming he folded 87 and would have won the whole thing. Aiyah. The big blind immediately calls for racks and leaves with 6+ racks of chips. The game instantly dissolves around him, with Batman and I leading the charge to cage.
* Disclaimer - I realize now that I got the action wrong on this hand. The button was in seat 1, not seat 9, which means Dimitri was actually in the big blind and the mega-fish who won the hand was in the small blind. I know this because there is no way Dimitri limped in with A9 suited. It's just not possible. The action is basically exactly the same, just with one less check to start each street, as the guy in seat 9 was actually the button, not the small blind. This does mean that he called 7 bets cold with 87.