Monday, May 24, 2010

Lend me Your Eyes

It really is getting difficult to come up with titles. I have a few things I want to say here and will probably end up rambling quite a bit, but again it's my blog and hopefully I'll be at least somewhat entertaining. First of all, I've promised Danielle I'm going to write a post about all good things that have come from me playing poker for a living. She's the one who has to deal with me being grouchy when I come home stuck $2,000, or get upset with some ridiculous angle shooter, or spend 2.5 hours on the "freeway" system. Honestly, there is lots of good stuff that I do take for granted fairly often, and I need to write it all down and confirm that yes this life ain't so bad. But before I write that post I need to discuss once more the animal farm that is the Commerce 20/40 game.

A while back Private Joker and I talked briefly at Commerce and he conferred upon me a pretty basic and sound piece of advice regarding how to deal with my having just incinerated more than an entire 20/40 bankroll as a prop in 6.5 days. "Just play here. It's pretty hard to be a loser in the Commerce 20." Truer words have seldom been spoken. These people are truly, utterly, beyond believability. A post on 2p2 really said it well recently:

how does an idiot distinguish from when he should and shouldn't peel with no pair no draw? i raise pf, they call. i bet the flop, sometimes they fold. why did they fold this time? how could it be any different from the last time when they also had no pair, no draw, no showdown value and no fold equity? how?

And he really has a point. Some of the hands that I see turned over at showdown are just beyond belief to me; I practically have to accept that the player misread the board or his hand or maybe simply decided he was taking his hand to the turn regardless of what fell on the flop. Another hand posted by DesertCat just remade the same point:

Hand of the day.

40-80 half kill. I three bet CO raiser with JJ in SB, killer in HJ and CO call.

Flop J63r. I lead, killer calls. Turn 8 of rainbow. I pause to reflect that I'm gong home even or maybe up a little because the only hands that can catch me couldn't call the flop.

River 9. I bet, he raises, I laugh and three bet to get a bet from the two pair I know he can't have, and he calls. I show, he rolls T7h for the straight.

It's 40/80 for crying out loud, with a kill. This guy is calling flop bets with literally air, in hopes th at somehow DC doesn't even have a pair yet and that making a T or a 7 on the turn will miraculously be good. What does he fold on this flop? What hand could he hold that is worse than T7? Admittedly he probably had a back door flush draw (and that seems like as solid a reason as any to peel one off to most of these people), but if you showed me a flop of J63r and asked to pick hands NOT to continue that could reasonable be played (like we're excluding 72 and the like), almost everything is better than T7. So again, I ask you, what does he fold? I was playing at Commerce 2 days ago and to make a long story short the board came down:


I raised preflop and bet every street, and when the river hit we were 3 handed. The small blind donked. I removed my headphones and asked him straight up "How do you have a 2?" and shrugged and made a bad call. Then the player behind me actually raised, the small blind called, and I tossed my hand into the muck. The player behind me held A5 (which in and of itself is a pretty amazingly awful thing to be raising there. people from the next table could have told you this guy had the deuce), but the small blind tabled 92s. That's a niner and a deuce that peeled the flop of A33 against an early position preflop raiser. I think he had a back door flush draw, on a paired board, but that might not even be true. What hands does he fold on this flop? I mean, if I have an ace (I raised UTG or UTG+1 or something at a full 9 handed game) or even say pocket tens, he's drawing dead to running cards. So against like 70% of my range (or something I just made that number up) he can't even win on the next card. It's just like Joker said, it's really, really hard to be a loser in this game. They're just so bad, and for that I thank them.

Now it would please me to relay some bad beat stories in addition to the one above (for the record I did have the ace and the jack there and on the river was fading a total of 6 cards a roughly 10 bet pot) from todays poo-dodging session.

I raise TT in very early position and am cold-called by a mega-fish. The blinds come along because nobody ripped their cards in half, and I take pause to think about my image to each player in the hand. The mega-fish really has no idea what's going on, but the SB thinks I'm a lunatic. The reason for this? I 3-bet the current BB a few hands ago with 77 and extracted 3 full streets of value on a board of 965-2-9 board (he had 76s and I am awesome). Never mind that what I did was completely standard, to him it was maniacal (is that really how you spell that word?). So we see a flop of:


Two checks, I bet, cold-caller calls one more cause what's one more bet amongst friends, and the SB check/raises. The big blind clears out and I 3-bet, which causes the cold-caller to get the picture and seems to assuage the sb, as he only calls. The turn is a beaut:


And he check/calls. You see what happened here is that he lost some outs with some of his range (hands like 98, 96, hell 95, 94) and could even have lost the hand if he holds 97 (extremely unlikely because this is me we're talking about here but stranger things have happened like the time last week where a guy waited til the river to raise a 553-K-Q board with AK and I just kind of laughed cause I had KQ and sucked out something fierce on him). So anyway, and this is the important part, he looks at me and says "check dark" and taps the table forcibly. I don't know people check dark like that, it must make them feel special like they're getting one over on me or something, that they know no matter what comes their hand is so shitty they can't bet and that somehow makes it OK that their hand is that shitty because hey it's shitty but at least they know where they're at. Anyway, the checking dark happens and the river falls, to put it mildly, poorly:


He practically jumps out of his chair and I insta-check. He declares "full house!" and tables T9o (I didn't even need the board pairing turn to kill his outs....they were dead from the word go and he was lucky to flop a two outter against my hand) to which I respond "no shit" and toss my hand towards the muck. Someone asks to see it because it's Commerce and why not and my tens are revealed and the guy who asks says "Wow that was a one outter, I folded a 9" and I respond in rhythm "yeah those come in like 30 40 percent of the time around here right?" and we all have a good laugh.

So the next orbit I beautiful, sexy, black aces UTG and raise. The cold-caller from the last hand calls cold (I mean I'm referring to him as the cold-caller what did you think he was going to do?), and girlfriend sweat man in seat 2 (who's girlfriend has been watching him play, lose, swear, and berate the dealers for almost 2 hours straight while he's borrowing seat 1's headphones so he can listen to music and completely avoid talking to her I'm serious people this stuff happens...actually this is the guy who asked to see my Tens I don't know why that would surprise anyone) calls two cold, and the player from last hand calls on the button. I think one of the blinds called, I don't really know, who cares, I have freaking aces. The flop:


I mean, that's maybe not top shelf grey goose vodka flop, but it's definitely not gordan's either. We're probably like in the Belvedere region. I do my thing and bet, cold-caller calls, girlfriend sweat man calls instantly and the button raises. If the blinds are in the hand, they fold, and I 3-bet. Cold-call man....cold-calls the two more bets, girlfriend sweat man ain't folding no way no how and the button calls and all of a sudden I've got a 12 bet pot on my hands.


Note the similarities to last hand. Nobody can beat me with two pair anymore, the only outs anybody has are the two that would make them trips, any gut shots they have (note that nobody can even be open ended as I have 54 covered by way of boating up on a river ace), or some incredibly impressive back door heart draw that just got picked up. I bet and guess what? They all call.


I bet, cold call guy calls, girlfriend sweat man folds, the button calls and fastrolls his A7dd to make sure everyone sees that he played the hand perfectly what can he do but over-call the river with second pair when his hand is good zero percent of the time against just me, let alone the guy who just found a way to press the call button five times this hand. I declare "aces" but before I can turn them over cold-call guy turns over K3 of hearts for close to the nuts. For good measure girlfriend sweat guy asks to see my hand, apparently having missed the fact that I declared aces because he's listening to those fancy ass headphones.


J said...

You could have titled it "Animal Farm."

Great post. You make me really want to ask the wife to up my bankroll so I can play limit again at those stakes.

Honestly, when you told me in the car that a monkey could play the 20 at Commerce, I wasn't completely convinced. Back in '05-'06, that was the grinders' game and supposed to be fairly tough. I guess they all moved to NLHE.

jesse8888 said...

I really don't believe the Commerce 20/40 was ever "tough" by any rational standards. I mean you're a nice guy and have no reason to lie, but I think you might have bad information. I have heard stories of people taking $40/hour out of the NINE EIGHTEEN game at Commerce around that time.

J said...

I never worked up to playing that level at LHE. I was just going off of the word from the forums. It may not have been.

But thanks for the nice guy compliment! I only lie at the table.

Anonymous said...

If only you didn't have to live in Cali to play there... :) If I thought there was any shot in hell of convincing my wife to move...

Ken said...

These hands remind me of one particularly memorable beat from the glory days of Borgata's original poker room.

6/12 LHE - a super drunk Russian guy sits down and massively spews chips into every pot - giving large portions of his endless stack to every player at the table. I look down to two gorgeous Aces, and decide in my head it is my turn to hit this ATM.

I raise preflop, he reraises, I cap - and its just the 2 of us heads up. Flop K-8-4 rainbow, he checks, I bet, he raises! I think to myself...oh man, did this guy flop 2 pair on me? So I just call planning to show down. Turn 2, he bets, I call. River 2 - I think "Sweet! I just counterfeited his 2 pair!", he checks, with confirms this in my mind, so I bet once more! He now raises me again, which is truly baffling. I think that it's somehow possible he made it here with a 2 in his hands. He tables 10-2 and drags a monster.
This was ~5 years ago and still stings. Beats are beats. Runner-runner beats against particularly bad players are particularly annoying.
Jesse - love the blog - keep it up!

Mark said...

et tu jesse

Anacardo said...

I mean, there's nothing particularly wrong with that first hand at all, aside from not four-betting the river which is obviously lol.