Monday, May 5, 2008

I Tapped the Glass...

Current Balance: $1021

So I went to my friend's Monday night summer series tonight, despite the fact I will not be around to participate in the main event. I can say now, won't be going back. At my first table, we had an absolute blast. We were all playing very respectfully, cracking jokes, and just having a grand ole time. Unfortunately, our table was the first to break and we were divided between the remaining two tables. The chip leader at my table is unanimously considered the worst player in the game, but he is also a ridiculous lucksack. He would call 3-bets all in with hands like QJ and just hit hit hit. On a board of 955Q5 (no flush possibilities), the small blind made a smallish bet on the river in a FIVE way pot. This dumbass thinks for a minute and says, "I don't believe you have anything", before calling and showing J4.

Hate to break it to you sir, but even if you don't think he has anything, neither do you. You have J high. Not to mention the fact that you limped in middle position at a full table with J 4 suited. Can we also return to the fact that there were five players in this hand? Why, on God's green earth, would this player bluff from the small blind with four players to act behind him?

The thing is, being a friendly game, there are several godawful players in the game. There always are. So I should be nice and keep my mouth shut, right? Well, here's my problem: This guy constantly drones on and on about how he knows how people play and how he reads people so well and, my god, he may as well be Daniel Negreanu for all the masterful poker play embedded into his very soul.

And the second thing is this: I have worked my ass off for nearly two years now establishing a reputation amongst these players of being solid and tight, like borderline Nitzilla tight. I bluff once every 200 hands or so. I have never, ever check raised bluffed in these games and anyone with half a brain ought to realize that when I bet, I have something. But, tonight, like Saturday, like the three tournaments before that, I have found myself in situations in which the entire table, myself included, sit there with our jaws agape at what these people call me with. I am often critical and reflective of my own play and, after reviewing each of the hands with myself and others, I can't think of any other way to play them.

Here is how I went out tonight:
Blinds 75/150
I am under the gun with AJ. I don't really love raising UTG with AJ at a 10 handed table, especially with the calling stations I endure in these games, so I elect to limp. The pot is 5-way leading to the flop, which is AdQc3d. Since it hasn't been raised, my only real concern here is if someone has A3 or A4, but I figure I will find out on the flop where I am at because, with all the draws, two pair is prolly going to put in a raise here. There is 750 in the pot, so I lead out for 500. Dumbass calls instantly behind me, everyone else folds. I have narrowed down my range of hands on him to a weak ace or a diamond draw. Even though he is stupid, everyone in that game knows on an A high board, when I bet out, 98.8% of the time I have an Ace, and half of the remaining time I have a set. He knows this. We have played together so many times there is no way he CAN'T know this. Turn is a non-diamond 4, I throw in 800, he insta moves all in.

Now I am in a bind. If my weak ace theory is correct, he could have A4, but I just have such a difficult time believing he would call in that situation knowing he absolutely had to be crushed. I only have 2000 chips behind me and the blinds have just gone up. I think the hand over in my head and I begin to convince myself that he, as he has done numerous times before, is overvaluing a mid-range ace like A7-A10. Moreover, there is the, "don't want to lose to a girl" factor that would prompt him to shove here to try to induce a fold. I ultimately conclude I have too much invested not to call , but before I make a decision I say, "I really don't believe that you are actually stupid enough to call me with A4. You know better. You can't be that stupid. And if you aren't that stupid, I don't see how I don't have you right here so I call." Then, the man tables....

4 fucking 4

I realize how mean it is to berate someone, but I just can't help myself. Because, I mean, my God, he doesn't even have the four of diamonds in his hand and he immediately calls a bet from UTG from not only the tightest person at the table, but the tightest person in the tournament. And I just wonder why I bother establishing a table image that 87% of the people I play with are too ignorant to pay attention to. And I wonder when, if ever, I will have the bankroll to play in a game in which the majority of people DO pay attention to table image than don't. $1/$2 at the baot is a hit or miss crowd and I can't conceive of a point where I will be fiscally capable of playing $2/$5 so it becomes disheartening. Because I want so very badly to play in a game where I can hone my skills and get better, but I keep getting stuck in these situations where I have to dumb down my play and my thinking and it isn't helping me grow and develop as a player one lick.

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