Friday, June 11, 2010

Live poker recap

I was invited to a last minute home game last night.  The stakes were a bit different from our normal home game, which suited me fine - I've been trying to up the stakes for a long time.  We wound up playing $.50 / $1.00 NLHE, with $60 buy ins.  The host, of whom I've written before, is a complete maniac.  He plays on sheer force, overbetting pot at times, simply pushing people around and out of pots - particularly when he has a large stack.  This maniac has no concept of level 2 thinking or above; he simply goes on how his opponents are reacting to his bets.  He is positionally aware, though, making for easy limps and easy folds, realizing that he is raising ATC on the button or CO, but calling behind when out of position.  He has demonstrated a knack for playing all cards from all positions - raised or limped, and relying on the bully aspect in order to force his opponents into submission.

The rest of the table was fairly passive - I saw quite a few limped AK's, and late position AJ's; strange behavior with a maniac at the table.  As is typical, it seemed as though if there was an EP raise and one caller, the rest would call like dominoes - a 5x open would be met with 4-5 callers in a nine-handed game.  However, in realizing the manner of the passive table, I wound up resolving to limp a lot of broadway hands, such as QT, KJ, etc.  Since the table was so passive, I could reasonably check / call down and get odds to do so, if I didn't know where my hand stood at any point.  People were typically betting $3 into $12 pots on the flop, etc.

As is par for the course against maniac, though, I knew it was a matter of time before he and I would clash.  I patiently awaited my turn to get dealt a premium hand, and looked down to see QQ in UTG+1, facing a limped UTG.  I raised to $5 and got 5 callers, including maniac and UTG.  The flop came a fairly harmless 2 5h 9 rainbow, and I led $12 into $~21.  Maniac flatted (in the BB).  The turn card came 6h and maniac led for $50 into $~45.  At this point, I had approximately $80, which put me to the decision of pushing or folding.  I had seen maniac make this aggressive move so often that I believed him to be on a draw most of the time, or with weak holdings.  I decided to push... it wasn't really a huge decision because I could have anticipated this move from maniac.  He called and tables Qh9h, giving him the heart draw plus two 9's.  My hand held and I took a healthy chunk out of maniac's stack.  Given my description of the hand, is this even a question for any of you?  Some of the other players at the table were wowed by my snap shove, but I think he's far more often bluffing / drawing than showing up with a monster there.  Is he really pushing $50 ever, without trying to push me off the hand?  If he's going for value, he's betting $20-30, or he's check / raising me instead of leading so large. 

Anyway, I wound up winning $85 on the night - a pretty decent win for a home game.  I was happy with my play, though I would have been happier had some of my other hands not gotten cracked by shortish stacks (i.e. AA vs. 9h3h on a  XhYh9 board where my opponent would runner runner a full house on me, or QcJc vs KK on a KcTh2c board where the turn was a 2x).

Since it had been awhile since playing live, I sat down with butterflies in my stomach...  I need to get used to playing live, now that Charles Town Races and Slots are opening up 27 poker tables starting July 2nd!  I will have live, legal poker within an hour from my house...  and as the only game "in town," I'd imagine this place will be HOPPING! 


  1. Wha-happened to the layout?

  2. I was frustrated with the lack of resizing - Videos were showing up clipped, etc. This layout has a dynamic resize when you expand / collapse the window.


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