Down and Out (And Then Not) In LA
So I haven't been playing a great deal of poker lately - too many other things that just plain need to get done. I've been missing it, but not so much that I feel compelled to play, which is both a good and bad sign. (It doesn't hurt that I posted big losses my last few sessions - I'll get back on the horse, but some time spent analyzing those sessions would be well-spent.) My poker fix has come from home games, of late, which I'm enjoying more and more. The very first LA blogger game came off swimmingly for me - I doubled up in the cash game thanks to some marginal hands that held up, plus a flopped set that turned into quads. Then came time for a quick ten-person tourney. I was settled in for a tough game, with HDouble on my right and Rini on my left - and the Geek just to Bill's left. Turns out I shouldn't have been worried about them. HDouble's wife doubled up early when she caught a two-outer on the river against Geek's friend Andy, who raised her river bet all-in with second pair. Then she called a good-sized raise out of the blind when I had QQ. The flop came T82 and she bet out; I put her on a bluff or top pair and raised all-in, and she quickly called, showing T9. The river brought another ten and I was bounced from the tourney. Or so I thought. Fhwrdh and factgirl had to jet in order to ensure child security, and Fhwrdh left me in possession of his baby stack - something like 6BB, four-handed, with the blinds at 100-200. HDouble, Rini and HDouble's wife were still alive, with HDouble's wife still in the chip lead - but not by much. I resigned myself to gambling it up and was willing to shove my chips in with just about any ace, but they weren't coming. Thankfully, I was dealt four pocket pairs (33, 77, 88, 99) while we were on the bubble; the first steal I'd made gave me enough chips to hurt anyone who called my all-ins and nobody wanted to take a coinflip with me. I'd chipped up to about T2300 (200-400 blinds) when Rini came over the top of HDouble for the eleventieth time and HDouble finally had a hand to call him with - second pair. Unfortunately for him Rini had flopped top pair and knocked him out. Three-handed I caught a few hands worth a limp, and one connected nicely - 89o on a flop of 67T rainbow. I checked the nuts and HDouble's wife moved all-in with top pair. An 8 on the turn gave her outs to split but the river was no help and I doubled up. A bit later she knocked out Rini on a bad beat (ATs vs KTs, all-in preflop; Rini flopped an ace but she turned a flush) and it was heads-up; she had me outchipped 3 to 1. I stole a big blind when the board came QQ5Q5; when the river came up she'd started mucking her cards so I moved all-in, knowing she couldn't beat the board. Then I check-called all-in from the small blind with 67 on a board of 872; she turned over T2 and didn't improve. Finally I raised 3xBB from the button with K9s and she moved all-in; with the blinds at 500-1000 I'd have called the extra 1500 with any two cards. She turned over T3o; I turned a pair of 9s and hit the K on the river for the win. I'd have felt fucking fantastic about my performance if I weren't playing with someone else's money. But I'm happy to get the experience with a short-stack, because the way I play, I surely do need the practice.