Tuesday, February 10, 2004

NYC Home Game Week 2: Hammer Time!

Ferrari invited me back to his place to sit in with seven other guys for the weekly Monday Night game. The crew consisted of a few lawyers and the other half were professionals of some sort. I was the sole bohemian.

The only lowlight was that Ugarte was unable to play! He was a mysterious MIA! But Rick was there and he brought his younger brother. The line-up...
Seat 1: Sugata
Seat 2: Rick
Seat 3: Om
Seat 4: Ferrari
Seat 5: Joel the banker
Seat 6: "Coach"
Seat 7: Lil Smith (Rick's brother)
Seat 8: Pauly!
Well, the game started out with six people and a $100 buy-in. I told myself two things:
1. I would play tighter in the first few hours.
2. Improve my Omaha game by playing less starting hands.
For the most part, we played a lot of Texas Hold'em. Omaha and Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo seemed to be the other dominating games. I can't recall too much happening to me early in the night. I played very conservative and stayed out of harm's way. I won several smaller pots to break even the first hour, until I took down a nice pot of Texas Hold'em when my A-J saw a nice flop of A-x-J. By 9:30 pm I was up $58.

Then I made a nice run over the next hour. Rick was dealing Seven Card Stud... I think it was just Hi (or at least no low qualified)... (I knew at the time, but I couldn't recall at press time!) It was pretty much heads-up with Rick after fourth street. Here's what happened. I got a pair of Aces!! Yikes. That's one of the best starting hands I had all night. I had a low card (2 or 3) for my door card (AA/3). Rick showed (xx/A) an Ace! Well, I knew he didn't have any other aces underneath, so I was a heavy favorite to win. On fourth street, I got my third ace!!! And Rick got a King. He showed Ace and King (xx/A-K), while I had an Ace and a little card (AA/3-A). I raised and he called. On fifth street, it was another face card for Rick, I started to get worried about having my set of Aces lose to a straight. I checked, Rick bet, and I raised! I couldn't resist the check-raise. If he had the straight he would have gone back over the top of me. A little card fell on sixth street. I bet and he called. I got a random useless card on seventh street and I bet out. He called and I showed him my pocket aces for my three of a kind to beat his two pair! It was at least an $80 pot! and by 10:30 I was well up over $100!

I won another heavy pot. I was dealing and called Seven Card Stud Hi with a $1 ante. Well, I dealt myself rolled up Kings!!! And my third card (door card or the first up card) was a King!! Wow, KK/K. It was pretty much me versus Om on that hand. He had a straight going. I caught an 8 somewhere... and when I dealt the final down card, it was another 8 to give me the full house. Om turned over his straight and I happily flipped over my rolled up Kings with an 8 to make a full house Kings over 8s! Nice. Yeah, I kicked ass playing Seven Card Stud last night... and that was the reason I walked away a big winner.

During Follow the Queen I got two Queens and made a Royal Straight Flush... in the only game we played all night with wild cards!

Pauly Drops the Hammer!

In the little blind, I got the Hammer playing $2-4 Hold'em! With one raise in front of me I could not resist and spalshed the pot as I said, "It's Hammer Time!!" Rick giggled. I called the raise with my 2c-7h. The flop: Ah-Jh-2h. No way!! Everyone checked, and I bet with my pathetic pair of twos and a low flush draw. The turn: 3h. Oh shit! I caught a flush. But someone else has to have a higher heart right? I bet and two called. On the river: 8h. Wow. A flush on the board. I played the 7h for a slightly higher flush. I bet and one person called... (Lil Smith?) had a pair of aces I think. While I stacked up the chips, I half apologized and half gloated over the win, while the MC Hammer theme song jingled around inside my head. I couldn't believe that no one had a heart!!

I won a big Omaha pot when I held 7-8-9-J on the button. I flopped a straight when 4-5-6 hot the board. And I lost a hefty amount when my A-A-3-7 did not hold up when there was no qualifying low hand!

Late Night No Limit Tournament

Ok, so it's after Midnight... four guys left... Om, Ferrari, Rick and myself remained. I suggested that we all put in $20 and play a mini No Limit Hold'em Tournament. Everyone agreed and we got $20 each in chips. The blinds started at 50 cent-$1. I didn't play much the first two rounds, stole some blinds, but nothing too strong came my way aside from 10-10. When Rick got knocked out, I had exactly $20 in chips! Then I went heads-up with Ferrari on one hand. I held A-3 suited. The flop: K-J-J. He bet and I either had to fold or re-raise to go all-in. I needed runner-runner to catch a flush. I made him for an ace or a Q-10 an a draw. Alas, I made the bold move (and my only mistake of the night) and I went all-in because I thought he was trying to steal the pot. Yep, I was screwed Ferrari had a K-4! And he caught a third King on the turn for his full boat! I was out in thrid place! We watched Ferrari take down Om a few hands later when Om went all-in with Q-9 with a flop & turn of: A-Q-x-J. Ferrari had the K-10 for the nut straight! He walked away with $80 more dollars... to go up $141 for the night!

Ok so who was the big winner? Coach looked very strong after coming in late and winning something like four Omaha pots in a row and a tremendous hand in Anaconda. He had towers of chips at his end of the table. Coach walked away with almost $200 and gave me a nice tip in this weekend's Ivy League hoops action (he likes Yale to beat Harvard in Cambridge). Ferrari had around $141. I netted $81... to avenge my $12 loss the previous week. And everyone else was a loser. Rick and his lil brother combined for almost a $300 loss. Sugata and Joel lost $65 and $45. And Om lost just $27. Last week, Rick showed up late and walked away up $200. Coach did the same thing last night. Maybe I should come late next time?

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