Thursday, June 22, 2006

Life in the Land of the Blue Chips

The Land of the Blue ChipsIn my previous post I referred to the “land of the blue chips,” i.e., the low limit tables where we’re mostly playing with the blue one-dollar chips. As anyone who spends any time down here knows, the quality of play varies tremendously. Ultimately (as is true of any limit, I'd venture to say), it all depends on who comes to the table. Some are crafty, clever players. Some seem unsure a full house beats a flush. Not too different from the rest of the world, basically. You got your smarties and your dumdums and then all the rest of us poor lugs in between . . . .

Had an odd run of hands yesterday while limping through a particularly vicious losing session of $1.00/$2.00 limit (full table). A higher than average dose of bizarro, it seemed. The hand of the day undoubtedly came when I called an early raiser with my threes in the cutoff and we ended up heads-up. Flop came 6-2-3 and we capped it. Turn was another 6 and we capped again. River was a third friggin’ 6 and he took it down with 99.

Neither of us played that hand that badly, I’d say (although he might’ve considered slowing down somewhere in there prior to the river). Had some other hands, though, where the play was just strange enough to be memorable. The losses having sapped my strength to write about other things, I thought I’d share three of my favorites. I’m not saying I played these hands perfectly by any means -- indeed, if anyone wants to point out moments where I went wrong (besides the one when I decided to sit down at the table in the first place), please do. Anyhow, here goes:

HAND 1
I’m in the BB with As Kh. Droopy calls from UTG+1. Underpants raises from UTG+2. The table folds back to me and I bump it up hoping to get rid of Droopy. Droopy’s going nowhere, though, and calls. Underpants calls as well, so there are 10 small bets in the pot when the flop comes a raggedy 2c 7s 8c. I make a continuation bet, Droopy calls, and Underpants (the original raiser) raises. I put him on an overpair and call, as does Droopy. The turn brings the 8d, pairing the board. I check to Droopy, thinking he could well have an eight here. Droopy checks, however, and Underpants again bets out. I decide to take the 9-to-1 odds and make the call. The river is the Js. I’m 90% sure I’m beat, but make a crying check-call nonetheless and show my crummy ace high. Underpants turns over his hand and, indeed, I am beat. But not by the hand I thought. What does he have? 2s 8s, of course.

HAND 2
I’m UTG with As Ks and open with a raise. All fold except the button (PourquoiPas) who cold calls and the BB (MoiAussi) who completes. There are six small bets in the pot. Flop comes Ah 8s Td. I bet and both of my opponents call. Turn is the 7c and we replay the same sequence (I bet, both call). River is the 6c and I bet again only to have PourquoiPas raise me and MoiAussi cold call the raise. With better than 13-to-1 I have to call and so I do. We show ’em down. I got my aces. PourquoiPas has 9h 4h for a straight. MoiAussi’s Kd 9s also makes him a straight. They chop the pot.

HAND 3
After watching the UTG (CrazyLarry) call, I call from the cutoff with Qs Jh. The button also calls, the SB folds, and the BB checks. So we’ve got four players seeing a flop that gives me top pair, okay kicker -- 4s Jc Ts. CrazyLarry checks, I bet, the other two players fold, and Larry calls. The pot is a modest six small bets when the turn brings the Ad. CrazyLarry again checks. I pause a beat and decide to bet out, and CrazyLarry once again calls. The river is the innocuous 2h. CrazyLarry checks, I bet, and he surprises me with the check-raise. The ace, maybe? I call. Are my jacks good? Heck no. CrazyLarry has 5h 3d, giving him a wheel.

Nothing funner than runner-runner. (Shamus exhales, shakes head.)

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