Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another Run of Luck

I haven't played poker that much since the Week of Triumph, during which, in four games, I garnered a fourth, two seconds and a first-place finish and won something like $240. That was three weeks ago. Last Saturday, though, I got in on what I call the doctor game. Not everyone who plays is a doctor, but there are a lot more doctors in on the action than in my regular game, also known as the stoner game. So I played the doctors on Saturday. After eight hours of struggle, an entire evening of bad cards and many close calls, I actually took first place. That was pretty sweet. I didn't get to bed till 3:00. Well, last night was the stoner game. There are many games during the week - sometimes up to six - but usually, the most people show up on Tuesday. Last night's game drew 16. I had this strong belief that I would do well before play began, but I've had those lots of times. When convinced of my own invincibility, I generally end up going out first. It looked like I was on that same path yesterday evening; I got crappy cards, had no luck and all the flop cards broke away from my hands (for example, when I had high cards in my hand, the flop comes in low and vice-versa). And so it went. When we were playing two tables, I didn't do a lot of betting. I might have taken down two small hands and folded the rest. My cards were very crummy. Once enough people were out, we combined tables. My cards/luck didn't pick up after that, but I was able to bluff my way through a few hands. I had managed to double my original stake of 5,000 chips when the hand of the night came my way. Initially, there was nothing spectacular about it, a queen/ten of diamonds. I limped in as usual - the blinds weren't too high at this point. I had about six opponents. The flop came. There was a jack/nine of diamonds and some inconsequential spade. I had 80% of a straight flush. The hand checked around to Sherry on my right who raised 2,000. I went all in with this straight flush draw, because, why not? Sherry was the chip leader; she could afford it. She called. Everybody else folded, except for John who went all in, too. But he only had a few thousand. Since two of us had all our chips on the table, we flipped cards. John had paired up with the jack on the board. Sherry had pocket aces, the strongest possible starting hand. I had my straight flush/regular flush draw. At this point, I'm running dead last with two more cards coming. The turn card comes. It's a five of diamonds. There's my flush. I took the hand, all of John's chips and most of Sherry's. My luck still lagged for the rest of the night, but I did manage to knock out three more people. I'm not sure how, but it happened. The final three were Jason, Simon and me. Thanks to a lot of folding, I let Jason take out Simon, then we split the pot. He was ahead on chips, so he got his name up on the wall. But hey, $80 for second place isn't bad, especially considering how awful my cards were. I had just three pocket pairs all evening. My secret? Patience. I wait till the right moment, win some chips, then retreat into the background and let the other guys make crazy bets. That has worked well for me. We'll probably play again tomorrow night. We'll see if that strategy holds up then.

And hey, now I can afford to drink at Spur sometime!

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