The "Doublewide Game" has been retired. Now, it's the "Pool Table Classic." Each week, anywhere from 8 to 16 people gather around the pool table for some Texas Hold 'Em action. What it lacks in comfort, it makes up for in green felt, not to mention cup holders.
Last night, 12 people showed up, and, reluctantly, we decided to play one table. I didn't mind so much. Patience is my game and with the blinds taking longer to come around, I could pick my hands and pounce.
About four hours later, we had finished two games and I had seen two hands. That's right. I played two hands.
"Old Man" Chris is the game's surly host. If he's not bitching about something, he's looking for his beer. He's a nice guy, but he'll let you know when something is bothering him. One night, it's the fact that the blinds moved from 200/400 to 300/600 instead of doubling to 400/800. God forbid we play a little poker before moving to the slot machines.
"Bad" Chad is the old man's son and another regular. He's got slow-playing down to an art. And by slow-playing, I mean I could call "Clock" on him every hand if it came down to it.
"Steeley Dan" is a co-worker who introduced me to the game. In fact, he's introduced me to a number of games, and hundreds of dollars in profits later, perhaps I should figure out a way to thank him. This isn't the softest he's ever brought me to, but it's close.
First game, I'm in the BB in the first hand with "Steeley Dan"' to my right in the SB. Blinds are at 25/50 and we start with 1200T. Four people call before "Steeley Dan" completes the bet. I decide to check without looking. I do it on occasion and announce I won't look until someone bets. Other times, I raise on principal just to punish the limpers. Perhaps I should have don the latter in this case.
The flop comes donw Ah-Qc-Tc. "Steeley Dan" bets the pot, 300T.
"Ah... you're gonna make me look. Watch out!" I say, before peeking down at Kd-Jc. That's right, the nut straight. I pushed all-in.
Frankly, I was trying to tell him to lay it down. I was trying to tell him he couldn't have a better hand. He obviously thought I was trying to put a move on him, and he called. He flipped Ad-Th.
"Looks like you guys will have an all-time dealer," I said with a smile.
I was an 81% favorite at that point. He had four outs. I'm not a fan of bad beat stories, so I'll keep it short. The Ac fillled him up on the turn and my miracle Kc missed the river. I was out.
Guess who became all-time dealer.
Mercifully, that game moved along exceptionally fast, finishing in just over two hours. We lost our first 6 players at an average of one every 6 minutes.
The second game started with just 11 players and I found "Bad" Chad to my right. He was UTG the first hand and he threw out a raise to 200T. I peek down at my cards and see AQs. Here's the thing about "Bad" Chad's play, he either limps or min-raises with monsters. He craves action and wants callers when he's got a big hand. I knew he didn't have a big hand.
I raise to 500T. He moves around the table with about half of them faking an all-in move, joking about me going out fast again. When it got back to "Bad" Chad, I considered immediately calling "Clock!" but I didn't. He went through his typical ritual of stacking his chips and counting and stacking his chips and counting before moving all in with authority. Paging Mike Caro!
I knew I had him beat, but by how much? I suppose he could have had a little pair and that would actually put me behind, but I didn't believe that's what he was holding. I really thought he might be on Ax and that would make me about a 3-to-1 favorite.
So why would he push all-in, I asked myself. Easy, he figured there's no way I'd call. He figured there's no way I'd risk going out the first hand in the second straight game.
And I suppose, if I were smart, I should have laid it down. After all, I could beat these guys if I played my game. I would be down to just 700T, but I've come back from worse. No mater what he's holding, he's got outs, and that puts my tournament at risk.
That last paragraph didn't go through my head before I called him. He flipped over KTo making me a 2-to-1 favorite. The T on the flop put me way behind and I never improved. I was out... on the first hand... again. I didn't volunteer to deal.
Thankfully, the second game moved about as fast as the first, and we managed to squeeze in a third game with 8 players.
I folded the first hand and went on to win it. That gave me a $30 profit for the night. I suppose I would have been in great shape to win either of the first two games, had my better hand held up, but that's poker. I want those guys making those plays against me every time, right?
Or was I stupid to risk all my chips on the first hand of a tournament?