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December 29, 2004

And now...

Gotta love poker. This is a recount of a game that went down about a week and a half ago at my house. We used… uuuh… monopoly money. Yeah.

The game begins with low limit hold’em - 25 cent max bet - $10 buy in. The chips are dealt out, the cards are shuffled, and we’re off. The first hour goes pretty smoothly, as I take the entire stack of chips from my opponent. A key play was when my opponent flipped the cards too early and I saw that I was beat, but said “Nice!” and bet a huge sum, forcing him out of a pot that he otherwise deserved. I flipped my cards to show the bluff - a future set-up. Having owed him a single dollar from before (for buying lunch), I decided to give it back, so that he could play with it.

Thinking that I would quickly win it back, I begin raising with a medium strength hand - T8 offsuit. My opponent has a jack. By the flop, I managed to come up with a pair of tens - the high pair of the board. So… sensing nothing in my opponent, I challenge him for the rest of his dollar. He accepts, and flips over a J6 offsuit. I was very relieved… but then came the turn — a JACK, one of three of the remaining 45 cards that my opponent would need to win this hand. No help on the river… and suddenly I was up against two whole dollars.

Over the next hour and a half, I slowly lost the $10 back, getting absolutely nothing in terms of cards, until I saw my break. Once again having flopped top pair on the board - a 9, with an ace for a kicker, I sensed the opponent having missed his high card that he bet on before the flop. I shot in a pile of chips - $4 in quarters. My opponent waited… then raised. An obvious bluff I thought, and re-raised all in. He called. He flipped over a TK offsuit. The turn… no help to either player. So it came down to the river - my opponent would need to hit one of his cards to stay in. Well, it came in the form of a ten. Unbelievable? The fun was only about to begin.

So I’m sitting with nothing, thinking that this has gone too far. I buy $24 of chips from the bank, and we agree to change the stakes to no limit. This is where the instincts kicked in. Though losing the first few hands with the now rather big blinds (50 cent/one dollar), I began coming back over about a half hour. Still down about $8 from the original starting point. Then came the key play of the game. After the river came, I was holding pocket ducks, and said “Whadda you got?” trying to draw some emotion and betting from the opponent, hopefully getting a read on him. He paused, then flipped his cards on the table before makign a bet. I was ecstatic - he was holding an ace high! Calmly, I said “You forgot to bet… but now that I know what you got, I bet”, and I reached for my stack to count out $5.50, while making nervous twitches to draw reaction. The pot got big. My opponent looked at the chips I put in, then at my unturned cards, then at me, and realized that this was the same bluff that I had tried a few hours ago! I was hoping for a raise, but didnt expect it - he called. I flipped my deuces and raked in a huge pot. The game ended about twenty minutes later, after about a 40 cent change in either direction, not sure which.

I came out of this game down a dollar and some cents - a very fortunate outcome considering the hands (some of which I mentioned). In fact, since I paid a dollar back during the game, I was down a few cents. What can I say, we’re high rollers. In case you are wondering who the opponent was - well you’ll hear about later.

Well, that’s my first article on the Big Party. Enjoy it and expect more.

Posted by VladiO at December 29, 2004 10:22 PM

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