Taking It Down!!
Before I start this post I wanted to give a special thanks to Charles Star…read on.
First, I want to point out that there is a new Rooster Of The Week picture and boy is he a beauty. The Pure Red Velcro is one of my favorites!! The PRV is a beautiful Rooster with the most beautiful feathers and is a rather friendly Rooster. If any one would like to get some of these for their farm, ranch or home please let me know.
Now back to poker:
I won the 70 person free-roll last night, which paid out a 42-inch plasma TV!!! This club got new ownership so they had a free-roll to let people know about the club and that they were back in business under new ownership…grand prize: 42-inch plasma.
As aforementioned, I don’t think this victory would not have been possible without the help of Charles Star. The man was a stud in keeping the chip counts while the dealers continued to mess up the counting and he coached me on breaks on how things were looking. Charles ran into a big hand earlier in the night and was busted in 11th spot but took the time to stay and sweat me and to lend advice until the end; I owe you dinner, man.
As most of you know or have read, I am a feel player…sort of like Scotty Nguyen and Phil Ivey…cough!cough! No, but in all seriousness, I’m not good at calculating pots odd quickly and seeing how much I would get for my money. To be honest, there are times when I can’t even read the board correctly. I play tight so that helps with those feels for the most part, so most of the calls I make are solid calls going in.
Sidenote: right now I wish I had Pauly’s skills to remember hands and to type them down and how they played out. I know Charlie probably remembers more of how the hands played out than I do…so excuse the mistakes but I will try my best.
Tournament starts and cards are in the air…I silently think…I’m glad the NYC blogger crew played poker all night last night…Derek was beat and didn’t come in, F-Train looked tired and Pauly was sick. So off the bat I have to think that I’m o.k. Charles did o.k. so that’s that.
Some guy who draws to the flush and hits it on the river busts out F-Train. Oh, F-Trains name is David.
I win a few pots here and there and slowly build my stack. Jacks are the hot hand at my table and they get broken three times…note to self, stay away from jacks.
Looking around the room I take note that the girls working here are hot.
Cards are dealt and look down and see AA in the small blind. I raise just enough to keep the big blind in. Not sure if this was the right move but he calls. Flop is rags and I push and he folds. I just want to stack up chips and I’m not risking anything. Only Aces I got all night so I figured I would talk about them.
On the button Q-10 of diamonds…I call. Flop comes up three diamond cards. I hit my flush and think for a quick second and bet the pot. Guy goes all in over the top and I call and win the pot.
I’m moved when it’s down to the final table…yes, I just went from six tables to one table…what can I say, you don’t want filler anyways. O.K. here is some filler; I broke one guy when my king hit the flop.
Oh, one last thing…at a Russian card room one should know going in that most people here speak Russian. It didn’t bother me much but when hands are being played and Russian is being spoken it was a bit distracting. But it’s their club so I understand; they can speak what the fuck they want!
Big hand: JJ in middle position. I push and get called by two guys. I feel I’m in trouble for some reason…remember JJ from above. I look at Charles and he assures me it’s a good call as I’m up against A-K and 3-3. Three hits on the flop and I’m hurt a bit but still in the hunt. I won a nice side-pot from the A-K on this…we had the 3-3- covered. It took these guys like 10 minutes (I kid you not) to count out the chips correctly, which helped me cool down a bit. Charles continues to tell me that I played it right…I agree but only half-heartedly, I feel I should have laid it down but after further review I feel good about the call.
Down to four players and this is where it gets…well…I hate to say this because the guys I was playing against were really nice, but it got really shady here. The guys were all friends and all Russian. So I was carrying the banner for my Mexican people and I was up against the big bear (that was Russia’s mascot, right?). So these guys aren’t playing against one another hard at all…they are just checking to one another all the way down. One guy folded when the small blind filled. In other words, he didn’t even want to see the flop for free!!! These were just two of the wrong things done. Then one guy had three of his buddies looking at his cards the whole time…it pissed me off to be honest. When they seen that I was finally fed up they played against one another a bit harder but still half-heartedly.
What to do in this situation? Well remember in Rocky #20 or something like that…where the Russian guy (Drago) tells the Italian Stallion…I must break you! I was like Stallion when I said, GO FOR IT!
Then a crucial hand after one Russian guy gives his chips to his friend going all in with crap…cough!cough! I figure it’s good to get one of them out so now we are down to three and Charles tells me I’m sitting pretty to pick good hands but loosen up a bit. Then I remember it’s three handed and that I should loosen up. I make a mistake and get too loose and push with Q-8 soooted…I get called by Russian (o.k. they both are Russian) and he turns A-10…I hit an 8 on the flop but he hits an A…I’m a dirty-dog here…I decide I’m going to put my fishing pole in the water and see what I can grab…turn nothing…can I get grab a Q…YES! Ask me if I felt bad about this??? I didn't feel bad at all.
Down to two players. This is interesting here. I remember watching Doyle v. Lee Watkinson at the final table at the Legends of Poker. I remember both players putting in a raise every single time they were on the button. I sit and think for a second as to why they do this and I see it forces the other player to show his hand. If he calls, he’s rather weak but has an o.k. hand to call. If he comes over the top he probably is strong. This is the basic concept, with all the little things in between. I use this strategy and it pays off as the guy almost blinds himself out of the tournament…In the end I get delt 6-6 and he pushes and I call…I hit the full house on the river…Joaquin wins!
In closing, once again, I would like to thank Charles (http://www.rickblaine.com)…you without a doubt were one reason I didn’t get ripped off on my chips and also your words of encouragement helped tons. Also, I wanted to thank all the bloggers who have helped me improve my game. I have been reading tons of The Cards Speak as of late and thanks for the posts…keep them coming. Also, Bill Rini…brother man…writing you that email the other day and reading your reply helped me out…thanks! Iggy for posting so much poker stuff and I’ve taken bits to improve my game…thanks!