My return to the Big Game

Had a 4.5 hour session at the Big Game again that was profitable.  Many of the same characters were there, including Scruffy the poker machine.  The man will push $100 at a pot and you often don’t really know if he’s got something or not.  More often than not, people fold, and that’s how Scruffy ends up with a $1,500 stack of chips.  I learned that Scruffy actually felted out that night and had to rebuy, which is surprising.  He must have read someone very incorrectly.

I played the $1/$2 no limit hold’em table last night with Matt from the Factory as my guest.  Scruffy played the $2/$5, a game where I’m not really comfortable.  For the first hour there were only 6 people, half of which wanted to play $2/$5, so we all played $1/$2 until more players showed up.  The $2/$5 guys have no regard for money, and at one point this cocky kid who looks just like Jonathan Schwartz (CEO of Sun Microsystems) tried to bluff me out of a pot when I had the best hand.  I raised him about $50 and he looked at me and said, "Are you playing $1/$2 or $2/$5 later?"  "$1/$2" I answered. 

"Well then I’d better win money from you now", he said, and called my bet.  We showed down our hands and I raked the big pot, but I have to confess I was a little shaken.  It was a completely cocky thing to say that to me and then get beat.  Taking his money was a sufficient comeback.  I didn’t need to say a word.

I played a low-variance style all night, of course.  I kept myself out of any difficult decisions, playing with big bets when I had the best hand, and saw very few showdowns.  Sadly, few people ended up with good hands when I made my hands, so I didn’t really make much money.  Only once did I see that situation when I held Nine-eight and another player held Three-Four.  The flop came Five-Six-Seven and we both put our money in.

But frankly that’s a beginner mistake, and the guy that made that mistake won’t make it again for a long time, since he remembers the glee with which I stacked his chips.

Three times that evening (practically in a row!) I was dealt King-Queen to excellent results.  Once I called a loose raiser and saw a flop of King Queen Seven.  The raiser bet like he had Ace-King, though he only had Ace-Jack.  I re-raised for $100 and took down a $180 pot.  Another time I limped in early position with King-Queen to see an Ace-King-King flop with two flush cards on the board.

A player with an Ace and a crappy kicker bet $60 and I re-raised another $100+ and he laid it down.

The third time I was dealt King-Queen I saw a flop of Ten-Nine-Three with two spades.  A maniac who was really drunk and temporarily sitting on a $1,000 in chips bet $25 strongly into a $10 pot.  I thought I had the best hand, but I really didn’t want to gamble on the simple turn of a card or two, so I laid it down.  It was a good laydown, he held Queen-Jack of spades, and had a lot of potential draws to great hands that would have beat me.

I remember holding my cards and mucking them while saying, "I’m not going to intentionally run my variance up that high today."  Everyone laughed, but it’s true, I can’t see the sense in doing that when I’m only $2 into the pot and I don’t know for sure where I stand in the hand.

I finally left after 1:30am and headed home with almost two hundred dollars of profit stowed in my wallet.   Matt stayed for a long time after I left since he’s a bachelor.  I spoke to him the next day and he told me that most of the drunk’s $1,000 stack ended up in his pocket once they were heads up.

I suspect he’ll be going back.

Since I’m starting to see a lot of the same players, I’m beginning to wonder how the financial dynamics of this community will work.  Will these people all run out of money and start going somewhere else?  Will I be left playing 2/5 games over my comfort zone because all of the 1/2 players busted out?  Will there always be a supply of these players?  Am I patient enough to wait to play one hand all night andtake someone’s $300 stack and then go home?  How long can I go before I take a truly awful beat?  (One might argue my $300 pot was a bad beat, but I would say it was bad play)

I’m fascinated and pleased.