Sunday, February 12, 2006

Coming together for one of our own

The Fulltiltforum that I belong to could use your help. Please, look here for more information. And play in the tourney for Rich!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Live Poker at the Legion

Okay, so a fellow forumer (Khanwoman) lives just up the road from me and had posted about the Legion game up there, so I decided to give it a try. I need to work on my live game now that I have had some success virtually. So I made the 30-minute drive up to see how things looked. Based on her previous reports, I had a pretty good idea as to what the game would be like.

Got a late start, but that was okay as they did as well. We decided to play the $10 10-person SnGs. I showed up about 10 minutes late for the first one, so she and her brother took their names off and signed us all up for the second game. When I arrived at the Legion, there were 5 names on the list, so we had to wait for a bit. We sat at the bar and she pointed out some of the players that she had written about earlier so I would know what to look for when we got in a game.

About 30 minutes later, we were ready to go. None of the players at the first game had been in her earlier report, so I decided to sit and watch for a bit and decide what to do as the blinds went up. The structure was better than I expected (I forgot to ask first) with 1000 chips, 5/10 starting blinds and 15 minute levels. Wow. Decent structure and no rake. I was liking it already.

So I know of the play of two people at the table, Khan, from playing against her online, and her brother Dave (who she said was easy money). For the first 45 mins, I don’t think I played a hand out of the blinds, I was in surveillance mode, getting a read on people, trying to put them on hands, looking at betting patterns, etc. Only 4 people worried me, Khan (she’s tight aggressive, but not afraid to take chances), the guy to her left (he was talking about how he played all the time live, was tight aggressive, was mad about how he got busted out of his last game by K8 off, how he played at the “Big Game” in Dayton, at a place that is known for the good players…blah, blah, blah) but he was a solid player, guy in a Coca-Cola pullover that impressed me by watching players more than his cards (note to self, use the tells against this dude) and one older guy that was 2 seats to my right that was playing good ABC poker. There were a few players that I wish I could have tangled with, like the woman to my immediate left that played every hand, no matter what. Her friend was sitting next to her trying to help. At one time I heard her friend say “You need to play like this guy to your right. See how he throws all his hands away when he doesn’t have cards?” I almost lost it. Anyway, back to the game.

After about 45 mins, we were only down 3 players. Khan had lost some serious chips early on, the table was pretty loose (no raises really were getting any respect) and I had, I hoped, presented a tight image to the people who were paying attention (like the talker and the Coca-Cola man, well get back to that later). I looked down in EP to find 6d5d. Blinds were 50/100. I knew this would be a good multi-way pot, so I limped. Khan had 70 chips left, and limped behind. 2 other callers and we looked at the flop with 280 in the main pot and 80 in a side pot. Flop was A Q 6 all black. I checked, two others behind checked. (Cola man and the old guy that was playing ABC and was in the BB). Turn was a 6h. I was now sitting on a low set with Cola possibly having an A, or maybe a flush draw. BB man was probably freerolling. I had about 800, since I had been paying blinds and had picked up one medium-sized pot to keep up with the blinds once earlier. I decided I wanted the 80 in the side pot no matter what, so I bet out 200. Fold, fold. Khan turns up A-7 suited and the river is no help, so she’s out in 7th (or 6th?, forgot to take notes) Now the deck wakes up for me a little. I get A9 suited on the button, raise, and everyone folds. Now I’m up to about 1300 in chips. A few more battles and we get down to four. Me, the talker, Cola, and the old guy. Old guy has about 2300 and I have about 1200, and the other two have the rest, with talker having a slight lead. I decide to go to war. 44 in the BB, talker limps, UTG, Cola folds, SB completes, I go all-in. Fold, fold. I pick up some chips. SB I get Q7 clubs. Old guy limps on the button, I push. Talker folds in the BB and old guy calls. He has A-rag. Flop a 7, river a Q and I double up again. Old guy is now on the short stack and gets doubled up on his BB. Then on the button, I get AK off and push. SB (the talker) calls with A9 off. Gets his 9 on the flop and I’m out in 4th.

So now it’s time for the second game. Cola man chopped with the talker and signed up to complete the table. I find myself drawing the BB first and decide that I’m going to change gears a bit and mix it up if I can against Cola man. He’s been watching the players, not the flops now for a while so I am hoping to induce some bets and folds out of him by showing some anti-tells. I’m a sneaky bastid like that. First hand I have KsJs in the BB. Khan’s brother calls, 3 to my left. Cola man calls, 4 to my left, Khan folds, one more caller from LP and the SB completes. So we have 5 players to see the flop. I do not like that, so I raise 100. Brother folds, Cola calls (time to use his observation against him), LP limper folds, SB folds. Flop is AK10, two hearts. Damn. Well, he has position on me, and I hate that A. So I go into Caro weak is strong mode. I slide 200 into the pot and look away. I can feel him studying me, and he reluctantly calls. Damn, he might have an A. Turn is a low spade. I’m trying to be as meek as possible and place 300 into a pile, I try to shake a little (I’m heartless, I know). I slide it in and quietly say “Bet 300”. I look away again. I feel like I’m transparent now, but have to keep with the act or he’s going to pounce on me. He calls again. Now I’m worried. But this guy is pretty good and probably has me beat. But I’m going to go down with the ship on my 2nd pair at the river, I’ve decided. The river is another blank. The straight draw has me pretty worried. But I again bet out 300, sit back in my seat and look away. I try to seem uninterested. Cola man thinks for a good minute, and folds. Whew. But now I have 1500 chips and am feeling good about using his reads against him. He says he had a K, and I lie and say I flopped two pair, and the straight and AK had me worried. Maybe he bought it. I probably had him outkicked if he did have a K. I wanted to pick up chips early so I didn’t have a small stack this time as people went out, so I make a few more plays at pots and get up to about 2K. Khan goes out when her raise gets no respect from a loose-aggressive kid two to my left. Flop is A 10 X (maybe an 8?) he goes all-in immediately. She has the right read, knowing he’s on a small PP. She has KQ suited, and has the gutshot, backdoor flush and overcards. She finally calls. No help on the turn or river and she’s out.

I’m starting to get some good reads on people now. I concentrated this time on the two players to my immediate left (one guy Khan said was good, she had played him heads up a few times, and the loose guy who took Khan out) and the one to my right (a woman who was friends with the two to my left, but was playing very tight-passive). I start to notice some things about the loose guy. He’s got all of the classic Caro tells. I watch him for a few orbits to make sure it is not an act, and it isn’t. He gets taken down a few notches when he plays junk and Khan’s brother has a good hand and doubles up through him. The next hand gets dealt and he takes a quick look at his cards. He stops for about half a second and then says, “Well, I’m on TILT now”. Action gets to me and I look down to see 99. I don’t even hesitate. I muck it. He goes into acting mode and says, “Hell, I have to raise this”. I can’t believe it. He’s got AA or KK, I’m sure of it. Other people actually buy the act and call his raise of 150. He gets 3 callers. Flop is all low cards. He’s on the button. Checks to him. He sighs. He says “All-in”. Two people actually call it. I’m amazed. He turns over KK. He more than triples up. I’m convinced that I can beat this guy without a problem now. I decide to be a bit evil, and when he’s getting low, I’ll raise into him. Check the flop, fold when he bluffs at it. I need to feed him some chips to keep him alive and take out the people who aren’t on to his game. I know that some will think this is a bad play, but I can sit and be quiet, pick up pots that he’s not in, and let him do the dirty work. If he gets lucky against me at the end, so be it, but I pwn his butt and know that I’m going to break him when the time is right.

I feel dirty.

So we get down to about 6 players, and the table is still fairly loose. I’m in the SB and look down to see 10s9s. Four people have limped already, so I am happy to complete to see a flop. The good player to my right in the BB is not so happy and raises 200. Two callers in front and I decide that with my stack I can see a flop and get away from it if it misses me completely. So I call. Flop is As, Qc, Js. I have an open ended straight draw and a flush draw. I check. BB goes all-in for his last 350. Old guy at the end of the table that has been a calling station with any A calls it. Other player shows her cards while folding, thinking it will be heads up between the two, not realizing I’m still in the hand. She’s got 3h4h, so it doesn’t help any of us, but now I’m happy to know she will play low suited connectors. With 350 to call into about a 1500 pot it’s a no-brainer for me. I have about 3K in chips. I call. Turn is 7c or 6c. Still no help for me. I check, old guy checks. River is 8s, so I hit both my straight and my flush. I decide not to bet into a dry side pot and check. Old guy checks. I show my flush and pick up a nice pot that gives me the chip lead.

The next hand of consequence is when we get to four handed, it is me, loose-guy to my left, Khan’s brother, then the woman who showed the 3h4h. I still have a chip lead over the others, with about 4K of the original 10K. Loose guy has about 2500, brother has about 2000, woman has the last 1500. I’m in the BB and have trash. Loose guy UTG raises (not a big surprise, he’s been trying to push people around). Brother folds. Woman in SB calls. Flop is A A 4. Loose guy checks out of turn. Then goes into, “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you checked” mode. Girl still doesn’t see through the act and goes all-in with her KJoff. He has the A and we are down to 3.

I start to use the big stack to steal blinds and punish these two. I want to get heads up with Khan’s brother and split. I see through every play that the loose guy tries to make and make him pay me off. I take him out after a few hands, and Khan’s brother and I chop 60/40. I end up with a $40 profit for the night, and have a new fun live game that I can visit once in a while that is pretty soft. My only regret was not making some plays earlier in the first SnG so I could have made the money in both. The games really are as easy as Khan had promised.

Thanks again for the invite. I’ll be back. You can see Khan's report here.