Wednesday, March 03, 2004

NYC Home Game... Pauly Storms Back!
"Sittin' plush with a royal flush. Aces back to back."
- Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter, Ramble on Rose
I stuck to the basics and followed through on my specific game plan. The result: a $210 win. Yep, I walked away the big winner on Monday, enacted a little revenge on Swish, and stopped the serious bleeding in my game.

The players:
Seat 1: Swish
Seat 2: Sam (Rick's brother)
Seat 3: Signor Ferrari
Seat 4: Coach
Seat 5: Christian
Seat 6: Rick Blaine
Seat 7: Pauly
Trash talking started as early as last Wednesday and carried on through the weekend. Swish was quoted in an email as saying, "Rick is going down." I of course offered up "Swish is going down," and Rick added his two cents, "Everyone's going down."

What happened? I can't recall the run I had because nothing really sticks out other than I made the correct calls all night. When I got good hands, I won with them. I folded to better hands and aggressively bet my marginal hands when I made the others for nothing. I made bluffs at the perfect times. And, one thing was for sure, I always called rounds of Hold'em when it was my turn to deal.

A reduction in Omaha games helped out. I realized that I played too many hands in Omaha and often had to quarter the pots. We played only one round all night and Anaconda was the second most frequently called game, followed by Seven-card Stud and Stud hi/lo. I think Ferrari called Anaconda almost every time it was his turn to deal.

8:31pm EST... Up $34 after winning the first hand of Anaconda (of many I might add). I made a wicked play from the button playing Hold'em. 10-4 suited was either going to break me or pay off bigtime. I raised pre-flop, got all the limpers to call. A 10 on the flop for top pair was nice. I caught a flush on the river and took down a big pot. I love stacking up chips slowly after big pots.

9:30pm EST... Down $1.50. No big deal.

10:36pm EST... I checked my chips and I had lost $45. Sam beat my flush with a straight flush playing Seven-card Stud (deuces wild). Rick had a crazy hand in Anaconda when he was dealt four 6s. Alas, I played fairly tight, but aggressive in the first two hours. I wasn't concerned just yet being down $45.

11:33pm EST... Haley sent me a text message:
How much cash have u won so far?
I responded:
Pauly's up $140
I had a nice stack of $5 and $10 green and blue chips that I didn't touch the rest of the night. I jammed the pots with a fullhouse in Anaconda and had the balls to stay in against Rick's possible higher fullboat. I kept betting and he folded on 4th street. Swish called Follow the Queen and I was going to avoid that at all costs. I told myself, "No more wild games," and was prepared to fold. That was, until I saw my hand: Q-Q/4. Ok Queens and the card that follows the Queen are wild. I had three of a kind... at the minimum. I slowplayed and just called a $2 bet. On 4th street, Christian got a Queen, which meant that the card I got dealt would be a wild card... as long as another Queen didn't come out. Since I already had two of them, I liked my chances. I got a 6 for Q-Q/4-6. Every 6 was now wild. I had Four 4s. Nice. I just called to Coach's bet, who showed x-x/Jc-10c. Yikes! The possible straight flush was a concern and when he bet $5, I had to suspect he had the other Queen or a 6. On fifth street: Q-Q/4-6-Ah. I had 4 aces, but Coach caught either an 8 or 9 of clubs to make his straight flush possibility very strong. At this point, it was just Swish, Coach and myself in the pot. Coach bet $5 and I called. When I caught a Kh on sixth street, I raised Coach. He re-raised and I just called. Of course, Swish was calling us down and was drawing dead. My hand could have been anything, but it was obvious that Coach had the straight flush. But I had the royal flush. The nuts were mine! I caught a Jh on seventh street. Meaningless because my Ah-Kh-Q-Q-6 was good enough. (Side note: I had the Qh as well.) I took $80 from Coach and that's how I went up $140.

I went heads-up with Rick a couple of times in Hold'em. All victorious. My 9-10s cracked his pocket Aces. I kept raising Rick after a flop of 8-9-10 and his attempts to re-raise did not deter me. When a Queen fell on the turn, he checked, I bet, and he flipped over his aces and with a dejected sigh said, "You got me." Ouch. Sorry, Rick! A few hands later, my J-2 suited beat out his A-10 when I sucked out a J on the river. A-10-J-x-J to win with my set over his two pairs.

12:32am EST... Four of us stayed: Ferrari, Rick, Swish and myself. We graduated to $4-8 Hold'em (normally it's $2-4) and I made a nice run to be up almost $300.

Then on the last hand of the night, I lost a huge pot to Swish in another game of Anaconda. Visit Ugarte's Poker Grovel for Rick's post on what went down. Here's a bit of what Rick wrote:
It was one of the most enjoyable hands I've ever watched at Signor Ferarri's home game -- Not least because I wasn't in it....

Now, it is helpful to understand here that although Pauly's been playing pretty tight, he's also run some monster bluffs, and called in the face of absurdly high cards to prevail over equally bold (but less successful) bluffs, inclluding a hugely expensive one by yours truly. Swish, on the other hand, has developed a table image of being willing to see almost anything to the river, and has an erstwhile tell that may or may not be reliable anymore.
My four 3s were no match for his four 4s. That stung. I should had know he had four of a kind, when he confidently dug into his wallet and threw $40 in cash in there to cover my bets, but Siwsh is the type of guy who could have anything... which meant I was going to call him. But it wasn't too bad to lose that pot, because I still went home up $210. Ferrari played much stronger than his performance from the week before. Much like me, he lost a lot of his winnings late in the night and still managed to kick out a nice win.

The final totals:
Pauly +210
Ferrari +207
Christian -140
Rick -19.50
Sam -27.50
Coach -97
Swish -123
And a parting note... I hope Ugarte shows up soon! He found my site and introduced me to Ferrari's home game. I've only played with him (briefly) the first night and eager to see what his groveling is all about!

Tomorrow: My Foxwoods trip report. Stay tuned.

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