Saturday, May 14, 2005

Another Poker Tale

Harris, Toast and I intended to play some after work golf last night but the weather took a major turn for the worse and ended those thoughts. I was actually scheduled to play in another ball hockey game (the Pandas were victorious on Thursday night, as I finally broke out of my slump with a pair of goals) but the owner of the league overbooked our time slot so the contest was cancelled.

It would have to be another Casino night.

Harris ended up bailing out on us so Toast and I headed down to Niagara Falls ourselves. We eventually ran into a couple of our buddies: Gary (golf buddy) and Dave (co-worker of mine) showed up soon after we arrived.

The table was hot all night: lots of loose action and monster pots. Things really picked up about 20 minutes after we sat down when "The Tourist" himself (see my post from last week) showed up with a couple racks of chips. Both Toast and I had big smiles on our face...we were going to take all of that money!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to play anything. At one point, I went more than two orbits (10 person table) without seeing one flop. The cards were that bad. Through two hours, I hadn't won a single pot and was down about $100.00. Meanwhile, the tourist was just DOMINATING the table. Four leaf clover my butt, this guy is luck personified! Backdoor flushes, gutshot straights, rivered sets: he does it all! After about a half hour, he was up at least $175.00, if not more. He was even smirking at me from across the table!

Oh my. Could I be wrong about this guy? Could he actually be a shark?

Ummm, no. His luck started running out around halfway through the session. His aggression at the table is unbelievable: he will cap betting rounds with gutshot draws and continue to reraise people with nothing but a high card. This isn't No-Limit, remember. We're talking $3/$6, where no one is going to fold if they're already raising bets. His stack started dwindling just as fast as it was accumulating minutes earlier. He eventually became a non-entity at the table with less chips, playing fewer hands and playing a much more passive game.

Meanwhile, I was able to finally take down a pot when I hit trip Kings about two and a half hours into the night. Soon after came the hand of my life:

I'm dealt 10s7s in the SB and get four limpers to me. I decide to call just because it's THIS TABLE. BB calls and we're off.

Flop comes down Jd,10d,9s. Yuck. I've got middle pair and a gutshot straight opportunity and decide to call the three dollar bet from Mr. Tourist himself as do three others. Turn card is 8s.

I've got my straight but all I'm thinking about at this time is that someone has the Queen and I'm dead. The tourist checks, the player in middle position bets out and I decide to call. I've folded made hands before only to get stung (again, see my previous posts) so I once again have a hand I can't get away from. Anyway, I can improve my hand big time if I river another spade. The BB folds and the tourist calls.

River card is 6s. Bingo! I just hit my flush. Tourist now BETS, MP calls. I'm not sold on anyone staying around on a runner/runner flush (I hit it but I already had a made hand on the turn) so I raise. The tourist looks me over and folds and MP calls. I proudly turn over my flush and he mucks his hand.

Toast looks at my hand and says "You have a straight flush man!" Holee sh@t! I didn't even realize it!!! I was so pumped just to hit a SPADE that I didn't even realize that I hit the second rarest hand in poker next to the Royal Flush! Loud cheers from our table for that one, minus a million points to me for not NOTICING WHAT I HAD!!! That is the first straight flush in my poker playing career.

That hand seemed to change my fortunes, as I started getting decent cards the rest of the night and ended up profiting a cool $17.00 overall. Yeah, it's pocket change but to come back from over $100.00 in the hole is hugely satisfying.

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