Spent the last two nights at Foxwoods and won slightly more than a month’s rent. Without further ado, here are some hands that you get when you are… Running Like Jesus. Tyler Mathers is: Running Like Jesus. Rated PG-13. (non-poker fans, you’ll only enjoy hand #3, if any).
HAND #1 — I am in middle position with QJ and call, as do two other players. The guy in the big blind looks at his cards, starts to reach for more chips, but then just says “check.” The flop comes:… and I silently say “boo-yaah” under my breath. It’s checked to me. I check. Some guy bets $12, and the BIG stack at the table — a guy who played every hand — called. I was planning on check-raising, obviously, but the big blind beat me to it. I don’t know how much he raised to — it may have been $50 — because as soon as his chips were in the middle, I immediately pushed in and said “three-oh-six” (three nice tidy stacks of red with a small red-and white hat). First better folds; big stack actually thinks for a while before folding; big blind insta-calls (he had maybe $100-150 more) and turns over… AA. Wow. Turn and river blank, and I show my hand. Big stack tells me he would have caught his flush on the river. When I tell him he would have been insane to call, he says, “I would have been gambling.” Thank God some people occasionally have the sense to fold. All it takes, apparently, is a bet of 153 blinds.
HAND #2 — Villain in this hand is the same guy from above (poor bastard). I have J-4 of hearts in the small blind, and there are no raisers. Flop comes 10-high, with two hearts. I bet out $7 and villain raises to $17. What happens next couldn’t be scripted any more perfectly. My heart hits the turn, I bet $30, he calls. The river is a blank, I bet $50, he calls. When told this story, Justin (who was also down there, but at another table) said “what a gang-raping.”
HAND #3 — I am dealt QQ in middle position, raise to $20, and get two callers, one behind me and one in front of me. Again, you couldn’t script what happens any better. The flop comes Q-Q-7 and I jizz in my pants. All three of us check the flop and I am praying for an ace or king or something good to hit the board… which it does in the form of a King, which also puts two hearts on the board. Now the guy in front of me — who is just god-awful — bets out ninety bucks into a pot of sixty (!). Now comes the most important part of this hand — the acting. When I’m involved in a pot I generally pull my hat down and kind of bury my face in my hands, so I just looked down at my chips and “thought” for a while. Then I looked back down at my cards, fought off the urge to re-jizz, slowly counted out the chips, and put them in the middle. This idiot had another $100 left, which I was pretty sure I was going to get on the river, but I really wanted to get some chips from the other guy, who was also pretty bad but had over $500. Alas, he folded. The river card was another 7, and sure enough, the god-awful guy moved all-in. When I turned over my hand I got a “wow” from the dealer. Five minutes later, on my way to the bathroom, I had the following conversation with Justin:
ME: I just flopped quad queens and had a guy bet his stack into me.
JD: Stop it.
HAND #4 — Now we are several hours later, and my stack has gone from roughly $1040 to around $825 or so. A man — we will call him the Maniac — has just sat down at the table, three seats to my right, and bought a ridiculous $1200 of chips. Since you can only buy in for $300 at this table, he puts $900 of green $25 chips in his pockets (!). I soon learn why. A few hands later, he raises to $6, I look down at KK, and raise to $22. One dude calls, and this Maniac re-raises to $75. This is my least favorite situation, and one I frequently misplay — holding KK and facing an opponent who is just shoveling chips in the pot. I think long and hard — so long, in fact, that one of the players called the clock on me — and call. Well the third guy in the hand re-raises for his whole stack (like $140) and then the Maniac instantly shoves in for roughly $300, at which point I fold (I could have folded face up but didn’t; the dealer threw them in the muck before I could reach out and grab them). Well, Maniac flips over… 10-10. Unreal. And I saved myself over $200 because sure enough a 10 came on the flop. So as the Maniac is stacking his chips, I am (a) clapping because of the money I saved and (b) semi-berating the Maniac for playing 10-10 so aggressively. He says words to the effect of “I’m the Phil Ivey of this table.”
HAND #5 — This is maybe five or six hands later. Maniac again raises to $6, I look down at JJ and raise to $22. Again, one other caller plus the Maniac. Flop is 9-6-3 rainbow, I bet $40, third guy folds, maniac calls. Turn is an offsuit 5, I bet $75 and the Maniac check-raises me for another $150. He has about $150 behind that, so I am now facing a decision that, if I call and am wrong, will cost me just about all the money I’ve won over the previous ten hours. But the decision-making process here ends up being relatively simple (for me). This asshole bought in for $1200. He bangs 10-10 pre-flop. He’s seen me fold kings. He thinks of himself as Phil Ivey. All this is happening in a dozen hands at a seven-handed table (a nanosecond in poker). And he is here to run over the table, come hell or high water. So instead of asking myself “what does he have?” I basically just say “it doesn’t matter what he has. Fuck this guy,” and call. Well I breathe a huge sigh of relief when the river is a Jack, he bets the rest, and I call. He says “nines,” which I at first take to mean he has nines in his hand, so I say “I rivered you” and show him my cards. He calmly folds face-down. And, feeling sheepish about such a sick suck-out, tell him, “I wasn’t folding to you again, period.” In retrospect, though, I’m pretty sure (as are Justin and Freddy, another dude who stayed with us) that this Lunatic had A-9 or something and was trying to get me to fold again. When he said “nines,” he was declaring his best five-card hand. (If he did have a set of nines, there would have been — guaranteed — a lot of complaining, and he definitely would have shown his cards).
Running Like Jesus, playing for a limited time.