Monday, March 03, 2008

These Ancient Minutes in the Cuckoo's Mouth

By Pauly
New York City

I've had mixed results at the tables since I returned from Europe. I played cash games with impressive results. However, I played poorly in tournaments and SNGs. The SNG slump is demoralizing. I only cashed in four out of the last 15 or so SNGs.

There was something about the bleak Scandinavian winter that made me play better. Or maybe it was the fact that I was so bored that I had nothing else to do but get wasted, drink Carlsberg tallboys, watch ski jumping, and play online poker.

Over the last few days, I switched back and forth between limit and NL cash games with a couple of PLO sessions in there as well to quell the inner action junkie monkey. I even had a couple of hit and run sessions at 10/20 limit on Poker Stars. I've found a groove playing 1/2 and 2/4 PLO, along with 2/4 NL. We're talking Bootsy Collins kind of groovy, where I made sensational reads and hit a couple of flops and felt like I was in total control of almost every situation in front of me.

I issued the bad beat of the week at a 2/4 NL table when I outflopped Aces with Kings in a backwoods Forrest Gump of a hand to felt one angry mofo. I knew karma was ready to rear its ugly head at the SNG tables, where bad beats where raining out of the sky like fire and brimstone erupting from the heavens on Judgment Day.

Here's a couple of interesting hands from a PLO cash game. I only consider them interesting because, I actually took notes on them and took the time to write them down. I rarely do that these days. There was a time, before I even knew about PokerTracker, where I wrote down (by hand) every hand that I played. Ah, the old days on Party Poker and Empire. I miss those juicy days when logging onto Party Poker was like walking up to an ATM machine.

Anyway, here are two random PLO hands that I have notes on...

I called a raise in position with Qd-8c-7h-6c. Three players. The flop was 7s-5c-4c. I flopped a straight and a gut-shot straight flush draw. I bet the pot and got one caller. The turn was the Jc. I made a not-so great flush. I bet 2/3 the pot and put my opponent all in. He called with Qh-Jh-8s-5s or two pair. The river was the Jd. I lost to a full house.

I lost another hand when I whiffed on the river. The board was Jc-10d-8c-Jd. I got it all in with Ac-Ad-Qc-2d. I had a Broadway gut-shot draw and two flush draws. My opponent had flopped a straight. I didn't make my draw and lost a 1.5 buy-ins on that hand.

I took a break from sports betting. Five days off. Since I left Las Vegas, I'm stuck like $350. That's mostly juice. A good run in the NBA was negated by a messy run in college hoops. I had a bad weekend which is not good news as we come down the stretch of the college hoops schedule. The March Madness brackets get released in two weeks.

* * * * *

I played in Miami Don's Big Game. He had a good turn out with 105 runners. The top 18 were paid with $1.9K going to first place. Not too shabby.

My starting table included weak_player, garthmeister, Maudie, LAprivileges, Schaubs, scurvydog, and Poker_Bully1. I began the tournament listening to some Beatles... particularly selections from Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Peppers.

Action was very tame. Thirty minutes in, I dropped the hammer. Shortly after that, Hunts Vegas busted out first, followed by Landow.

I turned a straight against Schaubs and jumped up to 7.5K. That put me in 12th out of 100 players.

Then I took a hit and lost 40% of my stack to Maudie. I raised with 9c-9h from middle position. JL514 and Maudie called. The flop was 8c-3c-2h. I bet 1,400. JL514 folded. Maudie raised all in for 3,050. I tanked and called at the last minute. She showed Ac-Qc for the nut flush draw and two overcards. The turn was a blank and the river was the 5c.

Rivered by Aunt Maudie! What the fuck? She crippled me and I slipped to 3.3K. I was 88th out of 98 remaining players. At the end of the first break, I was 87th out of 96 with a shade over 3K. Columbo was the chiplead with 25K.

Shortly after the break, my table was broken and I was moved to a new table with actyper, hoyazo, RajunRhino, HAGBARD_III, peacecorn, Drizztdj, chitwood, and dnasty13. I switched music... and went with some Ornette Coleman. I was 77th with 87 remaining.

I folded a couple of junk hands, until I finally saw a pair. I was getting short just under 3K. I found 6s-6c in the small blind. Hagbard_III raised to 800 from the cutoff. I called from the small blind. The flop was 7s-6h-4s. I flopped my set and checked. He bet 1,400. I check-raised all in for 2,150. He called and showed 9d-9h. The turn was the 8c and the river was the 10s. Runner-runner straight. Out in 86th place.

Man, that was quick.

I returned to the cash games with bittersweet memories of my brief encounter with a Scandinavian winter.

* * * * *

If you are bored, here are some random links to videos and pictures of my recent travels...
Almost Hole in One (You Tube)
Flying in New Zealand (You Tube)
Copenhagen photo gallery (Flickr)
Amsterdam IV photo gallery (Flickr)
New Zealand photo gallery (Flickr)

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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