Monday, February 23, 2009

Try a little ugliness

I return from my blogging hiatus with a hand that cost me a good chunk of change but made me money in the end. And how does this happen? I was at Dave’s playing $1/$1 HA on Saturday night when I was dealt 6h-7h in MP six-handed. I call the $2 straddle and Eskimo popped it $12 from the small blind. I was his lone caller and we saw a flop of 4-5-x with two hearts, giving me an open-ender and a flush draw. Eskimo led for $20. The moment those four red chips left my hand I knew I had made a mistake. Why am I just calling? Why didn't I push the $140 or so I had left and make him play for a good chunk of his stack?

The turn was a blank and Eskimo bet $38. The moment having passed, I just called ... again. The river was a blank and I folded to his reluctant, final bet. Eskimo showed jacks. I mucked.

Malcolm, sitting to my left, asked, “Six-seven of hearts?” I nodded. “I would have pushed,” Malcolm added. I nodded ... again.

My first instinct to call rather than push was likely guided by the economic reality of the situation. I had already reloaded once and would not be going to an ATM for more cash. I wasn’t ready to go broke. And I did mount a comeback, thanks to a couple of big hands and well-timed bluffs, and finished the session with a small profit.

Interesting side note. I started at a nine-handed $1/1 NL cash table after busting out of the tournament but soon joined a a five-handed HA table. I’m not a big fan of PLO, but I happened to have bought Jeff Hwang’s book that day and had recently logged about 6,000 hands of NLO8 online. But my prime motivation was to get away from a guy at the hold ‘em table who wouldn’t shut the fuck up. Sometimes I have the patience to listen to incessant, inane chatter. That was not one of those nights.

Here's the weird thing: Over the next three hours or so, I failed to win one PLO pot. I was admittedly playing real tight, but I got to see a few flops and got nothing useful. Six-handed, I surely should have saw something that resembled a hand that I could bet (and win) with. (I also failed to win a hand in a couple orbits of NL Pineapple, which strikes me as a goofy game, although not hard to figure out.)

Going in tomorrow to get my left knee replaced. High-anxiety moment. I’ll update after I return home from the hospital.


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