Monday, February 05, 2007


Last weekend I was seated at a 5/5NL game, having convinced Mr. Tart that heading to the casino was a much better way to spend a dreary Sunday than doing laundry!

I was fortunate enough to have another spectacular session and ended up +$505. Mr. Tart was down $85….but he battled back after losing a K-high flush to a straight-flush….so the result isn’t all that bad.

The amazing thing about both sessions is that apart from a few hands, I played relatively ABC poker. I was just lucky that not only did my strong hands hold-up, but I also got paid off. It was actually quite strange – there was one player who paid me off not once, not twice, but three times when he held second pair. The first time I guess I can understand – to see if my betting truly did represent a strong hand - but 3 times? The last time he said "I know this is a bad call". And yep, it was.

My favourite hand of the day was early on when I held AA. It’s raised to $25 in front of me. I re-raise to $75 and get FOUR callers. Holy hell.

Flop comes K-high and I check, hoping to check-raise, and it gets checked around. Ooops.

I bet the turn, and everyone folds. I take down over $300 uncontested! Oh lordy, if only every session could be like this.

We left after 3 hours, and I was on cloud nine again.

The next day we had a Monday-Night Boys game. We started playing this every-other-Monday game a year ago….and it’s a crazy game. Most of the players have been friends for a long time – there’s a lot of shit-talking, but it’s all fun. It's not the most profitable game for me, because of the rebuy structure and magnitude of suckouts. But I’m a sucker for punishment, and love the game, so we keep going. Lucky for me, the guy who runs the game decided to try a freezeout format (which works much better for my style), and I guess I was still on my rush before, because I took this game down.

Frankly, when it got short-handed, I looked around the table and thought that I could beat any of the 4 other players heads-up because they were playing so pasively, but my stack wasn’t very big and I was worried I wasn’t going to make it that far. But I pushed, and pushed, and pushed, stealing the blinds for 2 blind levels, until my absolute dream scenario happened…

I was in the BB when Old-timer limps in. Now to understand Old-timer, you only need to know that he has the record for the number of rebuys in this particular game. He thinks that the game is all luck, and has sucked out on so many players, that he’s legendary. Players both drool and cower when he’s in a hand, because he’s either going to double you up, or send you home bruised and battered. For the most part, I avoid him unless I have something super-strong. So Old-timer limps, SB folds, and I have 59o in the BB so I just check.

The flop comes 6,7,8 with 2 hearts. I flopped the straight and while I might normally check here, I know that Old-timer will check if he missed and I don’t want him to get away cheaply so I bet 3xBB. He says “How much you got there?” and as I start to count my chips he says “Doesn’t matter, I’m all-in”. I instantly call and flip out my straight, he flips over A6 for bottom-pair, Ace kicker. Turn & River don’t help, and I double up, crippling Old-timer. This gave me a monster stack, which was all the momentum I needed.

Once the bubble burst, we quickly got down to heads-up, but that proved was more challenging than I thought. I gave my opponent more credit for hands than I should have – not realizing that he had loosened up quite a bit once he made it into the money. After I realized that his bets didn't always represent strength, I adjusted my play and ultimately won.

I took home over $1100 in 24 hours. Poker is crazy.

Mr. Tart talks about Riding The Wa (a term I think he read in an article by Phil Laak) – I’m not entirely sure what it really means….but for us, it’s about feeling the game intuitively. Knowing that your bets are right, that your folds are good, and your bluffs won’t get called. I’ve been riding the wa. I know that the ride won’t last forever, but I’m sure enjoying it while it lasts.

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