In the Summer of 2005, I sat in Otis' G-Vegas home at the final table of the Brad-O-Ween tournament. Down to four handed, I picked up AT from UTG, raised 3x and was called by the BB only. The flop came Txx and the BB checked. I went AI and was called immediately by Team Scott Smith and his KK. Fortunately for me, I hit a third T on the river and survived while Team Scott had to move his full attention to his sippy cup full of wine (yes, an actual sippy cup).
Fast forward to Day One of 2008. Sitting in Bad Blood's kitchen, I got KK UTG and raised 3x to 900. I got one caller from a player I had played only two pots of significance with so far. On one, I check raised a T high flop with my 77 and got him to fold JJ face up. On the second, I raised the standard with AKc, checked a 7QQ flop, checked a K on the turn, and bet pot on the river blank. He called and mucked with a "I let you get there," which leads me to believe he was in th 55-88 range. HE had also been in a hand with Falstaff where he pushed his 88 pre-flop where John had already raised with AA. The information I had there was that he was capable of laying down a hand to aggression but that he didn't mind pushing all his chips in as the aggressor if he thought he had any edge at all. Of course, he was a home game regular with John and he may have been acting on some information he thought he had gleaned in their games together. Probably needs to revise that entry.
Back to me. Holding my KK, which I had raised to 900 with blinds of 150/300, I got called and saw a flop of T82 rainbow. The tournament was in the middle stages and the blinds were starting to become substantial for those of us who had not been doubling through. I bet 2000 into the 2250 pot and was raised AI for an additional 2925. I actually thought before calling even though the odds were so high because I'm a thinker. It's what I do. I would have folded with almost 10 BBs left in my stack if I had any reasonable notion I was behind. There still would have been time to double/double into an above average stack if I decided not to play that hand. Even though I was getting about 2.5:1 on the call, if I was behind, I was way behind. Against AA, TT, 88, 22, I would have been drawing to two outs. Against any other hand, I was way ahead. J9 is the only hand that would have more than three outs twice which is good mojo for my KK. In that situation, it is useless to try to figure out what your opponent is holding. The only thing to do is to try to figure out if they are holding one of the bastard hands that drop your outs to two. I move quickly in my thoughts to minimize talking myself into doing something stupid so I quickly dismissed AA (would have re-raised pre-flop), TT, 88, and 22 (would have just called the flop bet as there was no rational draw on the board). So, what did he have? It doesn't matter. I determined I was a huge favorite and put the rest of my stack in.
The drive home went surprisingly fast.
Back in the neighborhood, I hit Lizard's Thicket for the traditional New Year's Day meal of collards, black-eyed peas, and pork chop (It is actually supposed to be hog jowls but my Dad is the only one left that will still eat them). It was good.
Oh yeah, poker sucked last year. Well, it sucked in the virtual world and it sucked in Vegas. In Myrtle Beach and Columbia it went pretty well. I really want to play more live this year. The G-Vegas scene has died. We have the casino boat for four hours at a time and West Virginia is not that far away. Vegas always beckons. Anyone else get the Rio offer of 4 free nights in March, April, and May? Damn, dirty temptress. My only goal last year was to still be playing come December 31. Mission accomplished but there is an empty feeling. I played distracted every time I logged in. If it's not live, I just don't take it seriously enough and it cost me. Either I regain that focus or I drop to even fewer events online and pick the guitar back up.
Happy New Year.