Friday, November 18, 2005

Goodnight Columbo

Or more to the point, Good night for the Columbos. Mrs Columbo decided on a whim to download absolute poker and based on free roll rumors. To test the software, she shunned her family and entered a 2000 person freeroll. The result? I had to make my own dinner and she took FIRST. Vegas beware!

Then, a friend came in from out of town. He is a big card player, but does not play online. He HAD to play in the casino. So, for the FIRST time, I went to MotorCity Casino to play cards. I WANTED to play Omaha, but they only had Hold Em this evening. G opted for the no max buy in table. Me? I waited for the 50/200 buy in. Good call, as G busted out of his bankroll before I got my seat!!

Its a 1/2/2 blind structure where the button pays $1 and both blinds $2. Plus the $6 per half hour table fee. I fold the first 30 hands, so I bled off $25 bucks before I got my biggest hand of the night KJo. I had PAID ATENTION though. I had a good read on EVERYONE, including what I call the PAIN POINT. The pain point is the pre-flop raise that gets the junk to fold without wasting a single chip. I noticed that a raise to $7 accomplished the same as a raise as high as $12 or $15. So I raised it up to $7 from EP. There were 2 callers. The flop is J93 rainbow and I check. The button, who played "crane" style, bets out $20. (Crane style is someone who sticks there neck out for pots, but withdrawls when someone plays back at them, thinking they are beat.) He was very consistent with his pattern. When I raise it to $40, he thinks and thinks. But he was a young kid and I expected I could not lose either way here. I think he had QJ, but he put me on KK because it was the first hand I played all night. He folded. (hopefully he folded AJ). He asked me what I had and I did not tell him. He tried to act like it did not bother him, but it did.

I am even, and on comes the return of El-Foldo. I get to see a flop with ATs (my best hand of the evening? or KJo?) and fold to action by two post flop. Then, on the button, for some inexplicable reason, its limped around to me. I get to play on the button for $1 more?! Ok, any two cards then I guess. I am playing J4o.

The flop is T44. The BB bets $10 and only I call. The turn is an Ace. He checks, I bet $20 and he calls. (big pot for a me, a guy playing only his second turn card of the evening.) The river is a blank undercard and the BB checks again. The pot is big enough to try and get a good value bet in. But I don't like to showdown if I can avoid it, so I bet $50 expecting him to fold. Instead he check-raises me another $50. I stop for a split second to process the following information:

1. He is a decent player, but has pushed 2 hands on the river and gotten the opponent to fold. He also seems to undervalue kickers as evidenced by the Ax hands he has played.
2. It makes no sense to me to check-raise, what is in effect now, only 1/4 of the pot. He would have to have a boat to justify that.
3. He would have had to make the boat on the river, based on my read of his play. If not, his raise was donkey-ish.

In the end (which was 1 second), I decided that I believed he had a 4 with a bad kicker and put me on AT due to my tight image. He forgot I was able to play for HALF a limp.

After I say call and push the stack in, he looks at me as if to rub it in and says, "I have the 4". I don't even wait for him to show after he says that. I simply flip over my J4. The dealer says, "Trip fours with a pretty good kicker". I did not even have to look up, I knew he was mucking his cards.

THREE hours at the casino, played THREE hands to the TURN or farther, and had an ROI of 50%. Ugly? Who else can say they played cards for 3 hours, never had a starting hand better than KJo, and left a winner?

Survival first, the profits will come. Of course, I lost $9 ealier in the day playing low limit RAZZ, but let's not talk about that.

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