Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Poker for fun and profit

Last night I had dinner with two out-of-town friends, Jennifer Newell (aka WriterJen, previously written about here) and Jason Simon (aka Genomeboy, previously written about here). We ate at Burger Bar in Mandalay Place. I've been there a couple of times before, but this time had something different: "The Hawaiian," which is a marinated/grilled chicken breast sandwich with bacon and pineapple. Yummy!

From there, Jason and I went to the Aria poker room. We had to wait nearly an hour to get seats in a $1/3 game because of the long waiting lists. Jason jumped into a $2/5 game while we were waiting, and promptly lost $300 in one hand, all in pre-flop, when his A-K got four-flushed by another A-K. Sick.

But soon we were at the same $1/3 game. I left up $255 less than an hour later, all my profit coming in two hands. In the first I made the nut flush on the river (thanks, of course, to crubs), beating a flopped two pair. In the second, I got tricky with just 5-4 offsuit against the raise of a tight, solid player on my immediate right. The flop was A-9-4. I called his flop bet partly as a float (in case he had kings or queens, hated the ace, and would check the turn to me), partly hoping to hit trips or two pair. When the turn brought a second 9, he bet again, and I raised, figuring that he would put me on a hand like 8-9 or 9-10. He agonized for quite a while, but finally folded. Stole one!

I might have left about then anyway, but I was enticed away by several Tweets announcing that a cluster of poker media people had opened an alcohol-fueled $2/4 mixed game at Binion's. They included Pauly, Change100, KevMath, AlCantHang, and Kara Scott, plus PokerVixen, whom I've met on a few previous occasions. That just sounded like altogether too much fun to pass up.

The game only survived about 90 minutes after I arrived (most of the others having reporting jobs to perform in the morning), but it was a blast while it lasted. Highlights included:
  • Kevmath open-raising from under the gun in 2-7 triple-draw, then drawing five cards.
  • Al becoming the first person I've ever seen spill a capped bottle of water across a poker table.
  • Vixen making a #1 in 2-7 and revealing her hand one street too early--which was seen by everybody at the table except Pauly, her lone remaining opponent in the hand, who continued to try to beat her.
  • Bluffing Al off of a queen low in razz when I had secretly triple-paired, and showing the burn--shortly after we had talked about how fun it was to bluff in razz.
I lost only $3 in the game, and got 50 times that much enjoyment value out of it.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Great update. Just a question when playing with a friend like that, do you have any qualms about walking away if you hit your win threshold (assuming that was the reason?) Just curious to your thoughts with that.

My sympathy to Jason for the four to the flush suck out. I had that recently where I had pocket kings and the king of spades that got trumped by the ace in an a/k hand. Runner, runner after getting it all in on the flop.