Sunday, January 22, 2006

Game Report: Big Laz's Homegame 20/1/06

The theme of Friday night could easily have been 'people do the strangest things'.

Which could have been amusing, if not for the fact that on two out of three occasions, the agent of strangeness was me. Twice I contrived to make truly donktastic plays at key moments.

The third occasion was more sinister than comedic.

To set the scene, I was playing for the first time in Big Laz's homegame. Whereas the TPT games tend to have around 6-8 players in a series of SitNGos, Laz had amassed 15 entrants for a 2-table game, including a couple of workmates from Alabama.

His set up is very impressive, with two tables and nice quality chips. My main achievement of the evening was finally mastering riffling 8 chips together.

The hospitality stretched to a sumptuous buffet, which was very well received - a polite euphemism for wolfed down in seconds - and fine whisky was also freely available from out host. I like his style!

In the main event I was going pretty well and had accumulated a fair number of chips.

Having not played a hand in the first few orbits, I ran into a succession of reasonable starting hands. 99, 55, AQs, and the like. Each time I managed to take the pot down pre-flop, or on the flop. So none of my cards were being seen.

The biggest pot came with 55, which Dave defended his big blind against. Calling my pre flop raise, and leading out with a big bet on a Q-high uncoordinated flop.

This sent me into a long dwell, which led to me concluding Dave was betting a queen he didn't have. He's much more likely to check-raise here with the queen.

I was proved right when he couldn't call my all-in bet.

From a position of relative strength, I then crashed out in flames after tangling in spectacularly dumb style with The Tank.

In MP I open raised with ATo, and was smooth called by The Tank. We both saw a flop of KK3 which, to me, looked well worth a sizeable continuation bet.

This was promptly reraised by The Tank, and effectively left me a choice of push or fold.

The obvious conclusion is fold. But I just couldn't see what was beating me. I began to fixate on the feeling that he couldn't possibly reraise here if he had a king.

With position, that would be a bet for the turn.

Equally I couldn't see him having a big pocket pair, since that would be a reraising hand pre-flop. Eventually I concluded my ace high was probably good against some sort of drawing hand.

When I pushed, he certainly looked pretty dismayed, which gave me hope.

Once he'd reluctantly called, and turned over AJs, the folly of my play became apparent. No ten or twice paired board for me, and I was out 7th of 15 in a battle of the kickers.

I won't even begin to list the number of mistakes I made in that hand. Suffice to say, I won't play it that way next time.

If you think that was bad, prepare to be astounded by even worse play in the next game.

After the main event had concluded with a 1,2,3 for Tank, Teacake and Dave, the participants split into two SitNGos.

Again I didn't see a huge number of great hands. Though I did get some chips reraising with QQ pre-flop and getting Teacake to make a disciplined laydown with what he later claimed was KQ.

Leaving him short stacked later proved to be the start if my downfall.

Players were dropping very slowly and the rising blinds meant there were a lot of pre-flop raises to take down the blinds from all positions.

Looking down at the mighty 72, and *thinking* I was open raising, I pushed all-in.

Only to discover Teacake had already pushed with his tiny stack. Crap! I was going to see a showdown.

For this execrable play I can only blame a combination of beer and fatigue. Another lesson relearned - always pay attention at the table. Phil Ivey I am not.

All folded around, and with cards on their backs I found myself up against Q2s. Dominated.

A 7 on the flop gave momentary hope, but a Q on the river brought Teacake back into the game. Which he duly went on to win, as I finished out of the money again.

So, a great venue, a munificent host, good company, and an abysmal performance by me.

If that wasn't odd enough, things were to get even odder as I arrived home at around 4am.

Unusually Mrs Div was waiting for me, and somewhat upset after something she had read on a website she is a member of.

The website is a sort of networking/community site for expectant mothers. Members are assigned to groups according to due date, and can publish diaries and participate in discussions on their forum. It lets women share their pregnancy experiences, as well as the progress of the newborns.

Whilst reading the diary of a new mother, she spotted a strangely familiar picture. A quick check of our records had confirmed to her it was indeed one of the earliest pictures taken of Baby Div - asleep in her Moses basket.

Even stranger, it wasn't one she had posted on the site. So not only was someone passing off our child as theirs, but she couldn't work out where the picture had been acquired.

On checking the site, I agreed with her opinion that it was our picture, and was able to confirm that I had published it on this very blog way back in July last year.

Of all the websites on the net, the imposter had lifted a picture from the site of the husband of one of the potential viewers of her diary.

I don't know what the odds are on that, but suddenly winning Euromillions doesn't seem so infeasible after all!

After a couple of emails/posts to the site in question, the imposter has now been revealed and their diary deleted. Investigations now suggest they were actually running more than one imaginary diary.

That's either someone with a very sick sense of humour, or severe psychological problems!

Which again goes to prove that people do the strangest things - and not just in poker.

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