Monday, September 26, 2005

Back in the Saddle

E-dub is in from out of town for a few days - and now that his wife has flown home to San Diego, we had a chance to play some cards tonight.

We were playing live, 1-2NL, and I was foolish enough to let E-dub have position on me. Fortunately, his limit hold'em theoretical expertise wilted in the face of live game pressure from the ruthless Kid Dynamite. I was up a few hundred when our must move table consolidated with the main table.

I won a few nice pots from Ivan: in the first I found A-J of diamonds on the button and raised to $17 after 6 limpers. I got 4 callers, and Ivan bet out the Ace high flop (A-8-9 rainbow). I raised his $20 feeler to $60, and then bet $75 on the turn. When a ten came on the river, I checked behind him and showed down a winner.

Next, I played A-7 of hearts for $10 from the BB, and led $35 into the 6-way field on an A-T-x flop (two clubs). Only Ivan called, and the offsuit 7 on the turn gave me confidence - I bet $75 after Ivan checked to me, not realizing that if he called he'd only have about $17 left. The river was a 3rd club, and Ivan checked to me again. I put him all in, and showed that I'd sucked out on his A-8.

Ivan rebought a fresh rack, and we quickly played this deciding pot:

Greg, who had been moving all-in in an attempt to play off his short stack, moved all-in from MP for $51. I called quickly with A-Q of hearts. Ivan called, and one limper called - I was in position.

flop: K-T-8, with the T-8 of hearts. I have an overcard, a gutshot, and the nut flush draw - there is about $205 in the pot.

Ivan checks, EP checks, and I bet $200. Ivan calls rather quickly, and the EP player folds.

The turn is an offsuit 3, and Ivan moves in for his last $235. I'm getting 3.5-1, and I call. Scott now pipes in "I mucked K-J of hearts." Uh oh... Matt burns and turns the river:

4 of hearts! as E-dub pumps his fist quietly with a "YES!" (he'd looked at my cards preflop).

As Ivan turns his T-8 on the felt, I'm spiking the nuts with authority.

E-dub later asked "what did Greg have that hand?"

"I don't know - I guess he couldn't beat the nuts," I replied.

Me and E-dub have discussed this hand at length - specifically - my flop bet when I had the option to take a free card - considering that I had no fold equity against the all-in player. It's an interesting hand for sure. I felt that I was a favorite against Greg, but I didn't want to give Ivan and the EP player a free card. E-dub counters that a different way to look at it was that I would be TAKING a free card, and he's right, but I felt my hand was so strong, I didn't need to take a free card. Alas, had I known Ivan had flopped bottom two pair, a flop check is automatic.

Aside from poker, I have some burning questions and random observations from this week's NFL slate:

1) Why wasn't the Jets-Jags game broadcast in High Definition? Anyone?

2) Philly kicker David Akers was hurt in last week's game. They had a linebacker kick an extra point. How is it that Andy Reid doesn't seem to realize he's still hurt until this week's OPENING FUCKING KICKOFF (at which point Akers crumples to the ground)?!?!?! Akers is then put in the position to play hero by hobbling on late in the game to kick the game winning FG, further injuring his already shredded hamstring on his plant leg.

3) The Patriots played the second half like they can repeat as World Champions. Despite a rash of injuries, Brady finally woke up from his 6 quarter slump, and looked masterful handing Ben Roethlisberger his first regular season defeat. The unheralded play of the game was the always brilliant Bill Belichik completely out-coaching Bill Cowher on the last play of the game: the Pats are lining up for a 43 yard field goal, and they have no timeouts. On third down, the Pats take a little time sending out the FG unit, as time ticks off the clock Cowher, now thinking that the Pats might not have enough time to get the play off apparently, decides NOT to stop the clock to give his team a chance to launch a miracle play - hoping instead that N.E. will run out of time. Of course, Vinatieri calmly steps up and nails the game winner with 1 second on the clock, and Pittsburgh is left holding their peckers.

until next time,

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