Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday Revisited

It took about an hour and a half longer than I expected, but I made it this guy's place on Friday just in time to miss the first 6 minutes of the Leafs-Sabres game. No big deal, as Buffalo had only scored one goal by this point... a second a couple minutes after we sat down, and two more before the first period was over. 9 shots, 4 goals. Cujo was pulled with great alacrity and replaced by Pogge.

Pogge had a much better game, and a solid 3rd period saw the good guys pull within one goal before a not-so-pretty goal by Buffalo sealed the deal.

It was a good crowd, a full house, and had Leafs "home game" moments due to the large contingent of Blue and White jerseys in the crowd. The bitching and moaning from the Sabres fan behind me was amusing. The second goal on Joseph hit the crossbar and bounced off Joseph's back into the net. The crowd went wild of course.

The 2nd (or 3rd?) goal by the Leafs was similar, where it bounced of Miller's back into the mesh. The other half of the crowd went wild. The guy behind me wailed about what a cheap goal that was. Maybe my memory's going in my old age, but I don't remember him whining about the Sabres goal that was almost exactly the same...

Anyway, post-game we grabbed some quick BBQ in town and a beer before heading to Seneca Niagara for some cards. The girl behind the desk had a hard time finding our names on the board (they were at eye-level in the column for the game we said we were signed up for... obviously very hard to locate), but finally figured it out. We sat at the 9 and 2 spots and started donating.

It was a juicy table, and we both knew it, but the deck decided that we should just be teased instead. VinNay lost his first buy-in with a failed flush draw I believe to a total LAG who could have had any two cards. I flopped a boat from the limped BB and won a whopping $10 when nobody caught a damned thing on a face-heavy board. Then I saw my cowboys go down in flames to a flopped set of 3s that were held by a guy who was still learning NL after years of limit. I had put him on a smaller overpair.

My second buy-in went down slowly over a few hours and Vin got my last $26 of that when my AQ didn't crush his KK.

Before my 3rd buy-in, those were literally the only hands of interest for the 4 hours the chips lasted. Card death seemed to the story of the game for seasts 1, 2, 9 and 10. It was a limp-heavy table, but there was always at least one LAG who would call a heavy raise. I'd get in cheap with connectors (I eventually stopped caring if they were suited or not), A-face, suited Aces, and the very rare low pocket pair (shocked when ducks didn't get there), and hit nothing. It was one of those games where you didn't regret a single hand you folded because they never would have hit anyway, or if they did, you would have been crushed.

Third time's a charm though. Running off Redbull at 4am, I tossed a couple more bills on the table and finally started to feel the rust shake off. It was around this time that I realized the last time I played anything that could qualify as a "real" cash game was last summer at the Vegas Mulligan weekend. Vegas in December was all tournaments, and any home games in the interim tended to involved limits like drunken 0.05/0.10, which doesn't lend itself well to real play. I quickly looked back at the last 4 hours and realized that despite the shitty cards, my game had sucked HARD. Zero aggression, no image creation, and a general appearance of weakness.

So I stepped it up a bit. The table had seen some turnover, and it was a pretty good group filling the seats. I started picking up blinds, small-to-medium pots on the flop or turn, and generally took advantage of situations as they arose. The increased aggression paid off on a few hands.

First was ATh. It limped to me in LP and I raised. A re-raise from my left got called by one other player and I came along. Flop came two hearts, all low cards, and I bet out. The reraiser reraised me and the caller folded. I called, knowing he flopped a set. Jh on the turn sealed it, and I checked with a mote of disgust. He bet big and I went Hollywood for a bit on the decision. I called. River was a blank and I bet out around 1/3 - 1/2 the pot, and he folded his set of fours face up. I mucked and pulled the chips my way.

A point of annoyance here. Across from me was a decent player who was talking up the table. Seemed like the usual fun-loving easy-going regular you'll often find. As I "debated" the 3rd heart and the bet, he called me on it. "Oh, that's all Hollywood there." It took no small amount of control not shoot daggers at his head. Now, *I* knew I was faking, and I'm sure others at the table didn't buy my BAFTA-calibre acting job either, but I think the guy I was against wasn't sure yet. This call by someone NOT in the hand obviously flipped that switch in my opponent's brain and let him get away on the bricked river. It cost me money, and in fact, cost me a profit on the night in the long run.

On the other hand, the next hand I was able to take down the pot on the turn with two overcards, and the guy who called me out for my acting changed his mind. He figured I was now, in fact, frustrated, and was bluffing the flush draw previously, and now just taking pots when I could. Funny how he could only be right in the present, but past and future seemed clouded to his abilities.

Second was T7c in the BB with a limped pot. Crubs always get there, right? Yah, that axiom even works in the northern parts of the States, as I turned my flush and took a decent, if not spectacular pot with it. The only reason I stayed in that hand was CK's voice in my head. So I guess I owe her a drink or firebet or something next time I'm in Vegas.

The next big hand was ol' reliable - AA. Only my second pocket pair over 66 in 5 hours, and a fresh new LAG at the table. I raised from MP and got about 5 callers. I was shocked. I hadn't played nearly enough hands to be tagged as loose, and 6x BB raises PF generally thinned the field. Not this time though.

Flop comes KQ8, and I bet out again. This gets some folds, except the LAG, who calls me. I figured the best he had was KQ. Turn is an 8, and my read means I'm ahead with a counterfeited 2 pair. I check, he bets, I call. River might have filled out a flush from the turn, and I check. He bets the pot, or possibly more, and I do a review. I can't put him on the 8, and I can't put him on a draw getting there. I call, a bit confused... and he flips over AKo for TPTK. I show my Aces and take a pot that brings me to $15 from being even.

VinNay got up at this point and I had my BB out. So I played one more orbit, donked off a stack of reds, mostly against the LAG I beat with my Aces with draws that never made it. All in all, I was down less than a buy-in, which wasn't bad considering I was in for 3 of them.

I met up with VinNay in the casino as he was shooting for quads at video poker. I dumped some cash to the Blazing 7's (stupid Buffalo), and then made some back with video quads of my own before redonating that to the 7's again. It was around 6:30am at this point and there was no way I was making it the 2 hours to Toronto without a fiery crash along the QEW and the headline "Asleep At The Wheel" being on the front of the Sun the next day. I took my host up on his offer to crash at his place, as long as it didn't involved the air matress of DOOM.

4 hours of sleep and some breakfast later, I was on the road home. Both the hockey and the poker games were good, and while the results of neither were my ideal, I can't possibly complain about combining two of my favourite pastimes.

Good trip, and thanks to VinNay for his gracious hosting. Nothing even burned down while I was there.


BamBam said...

Sounds like fun to me!

Last joke I promise.

What do they call the Blazing 7's in the B-lo?

Lackawanna, Cheektowaga, Delawanna, Tonawanda, Batavia, Depew & Amherst.


VinNay said...

Glad you came down, if was a fun time. We should do it again next season for another Leaf's game.

BWoP said...

Hooray for the crubs!