Return of the Grievous River

Last night marked the return to action of the degenerates of the Falstaff home game, albeit not in the Casa de Falstaff. We were at a secret underground bunker (Skoon’s man-cave) rather than my den because Suzy’s been laid up after foot surgery a couple weeks ago. She’s had issues with plantar fasciaitis (sp?) for several years now and had a procedure done where they send shock waves into her heel to break up nodules that have grown into the tendon. She’s healing up nicely and I expect she’ll be able to return to regular housecleaning and lawnmowing duties soon.

But the game coincided with some travel on the part of our merry band of goofballs. Special K is headed off to the desert to do his part making computers safe for democracy again (keep your head down and your butt dry, pal!) and A-List blogger Bobby Bracelet has now relocated to Charlotte, so it was a sendoff game for the K, and a welcome game for the Bracelet, and I’m pretty sure they were both happy with their results on the night.

I built a big stack early by catching cards and playing relatively tight, but the cards I was catching got me into a ton of hands, and the tiny bit of fold equity I had developed vanished before too long. I’ve played so fast and loose in this game for so many years, pretty much all I have to do is look at  flop with chips in my hand and I’ll hear “call” from at least a couple of spots. And I don’t mind that. Most nights. When I’m not getting snapped off.

WARNING – BAD BEAT STORY – if you don’t like them, don’t read. But you’re not getting $1.

So I pick up Aces (for the second time on the night – first time I got the blinds) on the button. I raise from .50 to $4. SB calls, BB pops it to $8. Folds around to me, and I shove (not that impressive, since I only have about $30 more in front of me). SB calls, BB thinks for a while, puts me on the Hammer, calls. I turn over Aces, SB turns over AK, BB shows 88. Flop comes down something like 3-J-9. Turn 7. And you know what the river was right? Since I did put in the disclaimer that it was a bad beat story, it can only be the 10-ball coming from on high to piss me off and send me reaching into my pocket for a 3rd buy-in.

I had pissed away all my profits earlier by catching a set on the river against one of the more aggressive and bluff-happy players at the table, only to find out that he’d turned a bigger set. I hate it when you think you’ve rivered somebody only to find out you were drawing dead on the turn. And I blew the rest of my first buy in playing bad. So after having my aces cracked for my stack I sat out a couple hands, thought it over and remembered something that I read on somebody’s blog a long time ago – my job is to get my money in ahead. That’s all I can do. So I reached in for another buy-in, and reloaded. This was gonna be my last buy-in, since I have long since run out of real bankroll paying for real-world events and now can only grab a little cash when it’s time for a home game.

So then I went on a run, and then I got chirping chips, and then I started to play hands blinds in Omaha, and I got stupid lucky and ended up ahead for the night. But since there was a bad beat story, I figure it’s only right that I relate a couple of winning hands as well. I’d been flopping big hands all night and underplaying them and getting run down because of it all night. Flop two pair, play it too slow and lose to a bigger two pair or flush – that kind of thing. So I decided that the next time I hit a flop hard, I was gonna bet the shit out of it. So I call a preflop raise in late position with 55. Button calls behind me, and three of us see a flop of J-5-x. Original raiser (same guy that turned a set of kings to my rivered set of fives earlier) bet out about a pot-sized bet, and I shoved all in over the top for $106 more. Button thought for a minute and called all in for less. Original raiser thought for a little while and folded. Uncle Phil was the button and turned over his cracked aces, and my set held up. At that point I was about even on the night.

A little while later I called a preflop raise with 87s, and the flop came down 8-J-x. T led out with a bet, and I called, hoping to catch something. Jim the Knife came along as well, and I hit another 8 on the turn. T led again, I called, and Jim stuck around. River was the case 8, and this time I pulled the trigger and raised when T led. Jim thought and thought but finally threw away 99. T thought for a minute and called with her Jack, and I showed my quads to drag a very healthy pot.

I picked up Aces one more time, for three on the night, and won about a $20 pot with them. So for anyone keeping score, that’s Aces for -$50, and 55 for $200. It’s never been said that I play cards well, but I sometimes play bad cards very well. I felt pretty good about last night’s game after I got off tilt for getting my aces snapped off and getting run down for the fourth or fifth time. My reads were usually pretty good, and that’s due in part to spending a couple hours every night playing on Full Tilt. I’ve been doing a bunch of little SNGs and have double my roll to a whopping $100 there. So I’m actually working on my game for the first time in a long time, and I’m seeing some results. Now let’s see if I can go another session without losing everything.

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