Dial M For Murderousness

The first rule of Murderer's Row is, you don't talk about Murderer's Row. The second rule of Murderer's Row is, there are no fucking rules about Murderer's Row. I hadn't played any significant poker since halfway through my Vegas trip, which had me eagerly anticipating the return of hdouble's home game. Since the game as a whole is essentially uncrackable, I look to show up every time as tabula rasa. I measure victories by inches while losses come by the foot. If I'm not on megatilt by the end of the tourney it's a pretty good night. Last night was a pretty good night despite my lackluster tourney showing. I choose to blame the cards. I know, I know, it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools, etc. But when the Hammer is the only tool you've got to work with you've gotta expect some ugly results. Here's an inclusive list of playable hands I was dealt during the tourney: ATo, 6-handed at the starting table. I raise UTG and get one caller. A continuation bet on a Q-high flop takes it down. AKs, 6-handed at the starting table. I raise UTG and get the blinds. T9s at the final table. I am BB and call ephro's MP psych-out raise of some odd number. Flop gives me a 9 against one overcard. I donkishly check-call my way to victory. 44 at the final table, in the last orbit before nearly everyone's in crapshoot mode. I limp, four players see a flop. Flop comes Q62 and it's checked around. Turn is not a 4. I fold to the Junkgrabber's big-stack position bet. That's it. No other pairs. No other unpaired broadway cards. No baby suited connectors. Not one naked ace at the final table. And then The Hand: 27o UTG at the final table. I raise to 3xBB (T450). CoCo shoves all-in from the button for T200-something more. fhwrdh goes into the tank from the BB and I curse my luck. If there's anyone I don't want thinking about a call here it's that fucking guy. The pot is just big enough and our stacks are just close enough (about T2100 each) that if he calls I can't push him off whatever he's holding and if he pushes I won't have odds to call. I mentally project the image of me sticking a shrimp fork through his cards and cheerily toasting them over a fire. When that doesn't work I resign myself to getting out of the way and start thinking about the best way to muck my cards. I settle on an exaggerated "accidental" face-up muck when he says he's going to fold. Except then he doesn't fold. The motherfucker milks it. He is trying to get a tell. He still thinks his hand is good - but he's not sure. Folks, I gotta tell you, I am not a standout player, but there are two things you never want to give me at a poker table - free cards and hope. I redouble my psychic efforts. He says he's going to fold again. There's a stillness in the air. He folds. I put the extra chips into the pot and spike my cards with the kind of triumphant flourish I usually reserve for the NUTS! CoCo goes wild and flips up 66. fwhrdh lets out a strangled cry and retrieves his cards, turning up 88. CoCo is pointing at me and screaming, "I caught you! I caught you!" Ungrateful bastard doesn't realize it's my damn table image that's just saved him from getting all his money in with pair-under-pair. The flop comes 853. Moments later, LAPD is dispatched to investigate reports of a wild animal, possibly a baboon or gorilla, on a rampage in an otherwise quiet Westwood apartment complex. JoeSpeaker has graciously agreed to deal CoCo's fate. I'm looking for a seven, running deuces or running clubs. The turn is an offsuit four, neatly cutting my number of outs from three-point-whatever to an even two - a seven now gives CoCo a straight. "Well, a six..." says Speaker, offhandedly. He's right. I need a six. CoCo has two of them. You know how this ends. Three-time Cover Boy for Bad Beat Magazine, anyone? Unfortunately that's all the luck I had left. I pretty much Broomcorned my way to the bubble just praying for a hand I could play. With the Geekette nursing a short stack one to my left and change100's monster stack two to my left I needed good cards and they weren't coming. I was a solid third place when we were down to the bubble but two short-stack double-ups later I was in just-about-any-two mode. Just-about-any-two for me requires either connected cards or ten-high, unfortunately, and I couldn't even manage that. I folded Q7o in the big blind to fhwrdh's I-tap-you raise; I contemplated for a full minute and just had to lay it down, even though 15% of my chips were already out there. He graciously showed me his aces. An orbit later he pushed again and I had to call with 95s; he had JTo and the ten on the turn sealed my fate. I took a walk. Congrats to change100 for her inevitable win. One of these days, you're not gonna have 30% of the chips in play after three or four orbits, girly. Though it'll probably be the same day Channel 666 is reporting unseasonably low temperatures. Kudos are also due to High Plains Drifter, who made the trip up from the OC and nearly pulled off a miracle comeback in his heads-up match with change100. Welcome to Murderer's Row, bitch. My stint as bubble boy had an unwelcome but positive side effect. When I bubble I start playing like a donkey. When I play like a donkey I start making money. In the post-tourney cash game I turned into the Energizer Donkey - a frighteningly easy thing to do when you're playing Vegas Hold'Em. I made one agonizing all-in river call with second pair against Katkin's busted-flush bluff, which emboldened me enough to later call ephro's river bluff on a KK99x board - he was showing an eight, I was showing a ten. My down card was a queen. Ship it, baby! That's all the crowing I can possibly allow myself for now. Hope to see many of you all at the LA Poker Classic in the coming weeks. I think I might play the kiddie-pool $300 NL tourney, because if nothing else it's an investment in reminding myself why I don't waste money on tourneys. Thanks to my quick and decisive action, I have a piece of Speaker in the $500 NL tourney, which I consider an investment in actually making money. Wish good luck to him and better skills to me.


Blogger High Plains Drifter said...

It was nice to meet all you Murderers.

1/08/2006 01:29:00 AM  

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