Thursday, February 25, 2010

1st place win

Just over the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border is the Seabrook Poker Room in Seabrook, NH. It’s about 40 minutes from my house and I play there maybe every two months. They have sit n goes, tourneys and cash games. I came up to play the 1pm $150 tournament.

First let me tell you that most of the guys that play there fall into two categories. Older men in their mid 50’s thru mid 80’s and they are in there all time. I dunno if they’re in there playing every day, but I know they’re definitely in there every week. I always see the same faces, regardless of which day I’m there. The other type of player there is the young guy, wearing his ear buds and sunglasses, and thinks he’s all that. Those two categories make up 90% of the players.

Like I said, I’ve played there in the past and have come in the money more than a few times.

I don’t know if this is typical of larger poker rooms, but these men always want to split winnings and never play to the end. Heck they start talking about splitting when it’s down to 5 players. About 6 months ago, we were in the money there were 4 of us left, I was the chip leader and they all wanted a straight split. Um, no. I said let’s play until we’re even and then talk about splitting and maybe let’s wait until we’re down to 3 or 2 people. Anyway, the place closes at midnight, and at this point it felt like the other 3 guys were ganging up on me (all regulars) and insisting I split. It’s about 11:30pm anyway and one of the guys tells me the place will be closing down soon anyway. I decide he’s right and I split. Here’s the thing. I later found out that even though the place closes at midnight if there is a final table in progress they’ll let you keep playing till at least 1am. Needless to say I was a little bitter about that. Nobody told me the guy was handing me a line, not even the dealer. This place is very close knit – and I guess I don’t play enough to be considered a regular, plus I KNOW the woman thing is a factor – with a few of these guys anyway.

Okay, fast forward to the 1pm tournament. Usually when I play there, people do remember me because I’m tight but aggressive, and like to have fun at the table. First 45 minutes go by pretty uneventfully. I usually spend the first hour doing two things; people watching and blind stealing. I like to monitor people’s betting habits. People are creatures of habit. They just can’t help it. So in that first hour I’m identifying who’s tight, who can’t let go of a hand, and I’m only in a hand if I’ve got the goods. Don’t get me wrong, in that first hour I’ll try to steal as many blinds as I think I can get away with, but if I get called and I miss the flop, I’m outa there.

Before the first break, I get my first break. J, 10 suited. I flop a pair of jacks and a flush draw. I make a big bet and I get a call (oh my). There are two people in the hand – me and this middle aged biker chick. The turn comes and it’s a diamond. I hit my flush and I check. Biker chick goes all in. Shit. Either she’s representing a flush because I acted weak by checking or maybe she has a higher flush. I think about it for a while and say puck it, I call. She hadn’t impressed me with her play up till then, but then again, anyone can have two higher diamonds – with skills or without. I call. She has Big Slick but no diamond. It was a total bluff and I get a nice influx of chips right before the break.

Then I get moved to another table….start chatting with the dealer and I tell him he’s my fave dealer (can’t hurt right?) then he gets tapped and leaves. The next dealer gives me a full boat, and I take out another person. I tell the dealer he’s my favorite dealer…and this gets a big chuckle from the table. At this table there are about 3 older guys, 3 young ones and I forget who else. The old guy to my left, tells me I remind him of his ex-wife and she’s dead. I tell him I’m sorry and he says don’t be. He says “I have two ex-wives and they’re both dead. The first one died of mushroom poisoning and the second one died of a hit to the head…..because she wouldn’t eat the mushrooms! Do you like mushrooms?”

He’s playing to my left and has made it his business to try to steal my pots and over bet. I wait and wait till I have big slick. Iconnect with the ace on the flop and hurt him badly. He’s pissed. He tells me “You’re like a snake. Snakes lick and then they bite. I know you bite but do you lick?” I said buddy, if you want to find that you, you’re gonna have to buy me dinner first. Laughter at the table and the mood lightens. I’m easily the chip leader at my table but I don’t know where I stand in the tourney. They update the average stack about every half hr, but it’s hard to see.

Dealer changes again. New guy and he seems nice. I win a quick little pot and I say “You’re my favorite dealer!” All the guys start laughing and say “she says that to all the dealers, don’t believe her”. I tell the guy he could be my real favorite if he gives me AA. Then the old guy to the left pipes up and says “She licks you know, maybe she’ll lick you”. The poor dealer turns red, and I ask the dealer if the old coot is allowed to talk to me like that. Old coot says I wasn’t talking to you I was talking to the dealer. Ugh. I tighten up and wait. No matter what I play he’s raising and I know half the time he has shit, but I’m just waiting for the one time when I have something great and it happens. I flop a straight and he flops top pair. I bet, he raises and I go all in. He insta-calls and I show him my straight. Turn comes and it matches the board…he’s got two pair, but thank God, there was no house made on the river. He’s out. He starts with the f-bombs and tells me how lucky I am and how lucky I’ve been in the whole tourney. I say it was lucky to be sitting next to him.

Fast forward to final table. 8 places are in the money and there are 10 of us in the final table. We take money off of first and 2nd place so everyone’s a winner. Short stacks do the suicidal jump, and we’re down to 5. I have more than double everyone else and they wanna split. NO. Now we’re down to 4. Three men and I and all three men are named Brian. For real. How wacky is that? There’s a nice Brian, mean brian, and a forgettable brian. They wanna split!! I say talk to me when we’re even. Mean brian says he can have me out of the tourney in 5 hands, having more than double the chips doesn’t matter. To a certain extent I agree, but I’ve been playing good, the poker gods are with me so no thanks. Besides, I like my odds heads up, first place is $1,800 and I really wanna buy a sectional sofa…which I can do with $1,800. I tell this to the Brians and they say split and you can still buy a sofa (I never bought the sofa, at least not YET). To mean Brian, I say get close to my chip stack and we’ll talk. Nice brian is just happy to be there. Playing nice, tight and predictably. Nice Brian goes all in preflop and I’m looking down at JJ. I gotta take a chance so I call. NB has ace ten and doesn’t connect. It’s down to me and the meanie. The meanie is young. So 2nd place is $1,000 and if we split it’s $1,400 but I’m not interested in giving this guy $400. We keep playing and I start going all in more often than I should, and steal steal steal. Then I get Pocket Kings and do the same thing, all in baby. He decides this is the hand and calls me with a K,J and it’s over!

Ohhhh I forgot to mention that The tourney took about 10 hrs to play and for about 3 of those hours I was sitting next to this other guy, who was like the mayor. Literally 7 different men came over, said hello and massaged this guys shoulders – every one of them. After his 3rd massage I said dude, all these guys come over and massage your shoulders, what’s your secret? It happened again and again and we’d laugh about it every time. He was a nice older guy whos wife was playing at another table. Anyway, after he was out of the tourney he stayed to watch, was really nice and supportive and actually came and massaged my shoulders every half hour! Sooo nice. Not a creepy massage – just being a nice guy. He’s a definite regular and we became friends that day. When it was over he gave me a hug and said he was impressed with my play.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Damn men

I play in a weekly cash game that I joined about 2 months ago. Let me give you a little of the back story and then I'll get to this past game.

Game usually consists of the following players:
Marvin (best of the bunch)
Troy (marvin's brother and a good player)
Glenn (another brother who's mediocre)
Junior (conservative and good and has a crush on an older woman - me)
Perry (also pretty good but gives me his cash when I smile pretty)
Steve (loser - too tight to play right)
Lynn (it's at her house and she loses EVERY WEEK)
June (Lynn's wife - sometimes plays and always loses)
Gina (another lesbian who can't play but has fun losing)
Dale (Lynn's brother and another big loser, in the poker sense)

So they have a cash game every week and a tourney every sunday. I consistently won every week and last week I left up $21 but it was a total grind and I just never got into my groove. If I had something and I bet everyone folded. If I was trying to buy the pot I got reraised by Marvin every time. It just seemed like he has a tell on me, and I wasn't playing like I usually do - I was much more conservative.

My problem lies with the brothers - all the guys who play in this game are black and all the women who play are lesbians EXCEPT ME. So back to the brothers - they really know how to play - so much so that they seem to play EVERY HAND. They at least look at a flop regardless of how shitty their cards are, and if you don't bet enough they don't drop flush draws, straight draws or bottom pairs(hoping for trips). So usually my mode is to bet big - if they want a card they have to pay for it. Last time, I didn't do that because I hate risking alot of money (remember it's no limit) to get rivered.

So I'm playing premium hands betting 5 bucks here and there and getting called and getting sucked out on. So I get AA and just raise to $2.00 get a couple of callers - dangerous territory. Flop is Q-5-2 rainbow. I bet $6 and get called by Marvin. Turn is a 10. He checks, I bet $10 and get called. 5 on the river. He checks, and I check. He laughs and says I was hoping you'd bet and shows 9-5 - trips bust my AA. I don't even show my AA - think I should've gone all in after the flop but I dunno.

Last hand of the night and everyone is in. I look down at J-10 suited (my fav hand) and I say Oh, I have my favorite hand. Flop is J-J-6. TRIPS! Junior says I know her favorite hand and I fold. Marvin comes along for the ride when I bet $20. Turn is a Q - man I hope he has one. Ibet $20 and he folds because junior tells him my fave hand is J-10.

Arrrrrgh! How do I play against these guys????? Any ideas out there?