Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Slaying the Dragon

Long time readers of this blog might remember that I used to play in a local poker game that I called my international home game. It was populated by people from several countries, some of whom were in the United States for only a relatively short time to get a college degree. For several reasons, I stopped playing in it about a year ago. It ended in April and never returned.

David, one of the regulars from the old home game, began a new home game in his apartment this year. This Tuesday night game has been held three times so far, and I have been at all of them. Last night was the third. At least night's game, I was finally able to get some revenge on a player that seemed to own me for some time.

Joe had always been perhaps the most aggressive player of the old home game. I have seen Joe take some horrible beats, but he always seemed to catch a card at the right time, too. During a spell of several weeks when I was card dead, Joe just rolled over me. It seemed like the hands I won from him were few and far between. Until last night.

I was the third player to arrive and seated myself in the number five seat at the nine-seat table. I often like seat five so that I can easily see the flop, turn and river cards. Joe was the fourth person to come and put his things at seat one and even sat down there. However, he got up and said that he decided to sit in seat seven instead. And just like that, Joe had position on me. I could have changed my seat, but I didn't want to look like a wuss to get position on him. And ... I just had a feeling that I would pwn him that night.

Big hand #1 came early in the session. I had bought in for $100 ($.50/$1, $1 max rake) and was dealt one of my lucky hands: pocket 6's. People were folding and I raised to $3. Joe came along. We were heads up. The flop brought a beautiful 6. Shazam! I raised $3 and Joe bumped it up to $10. I raised to $23 and Joe went all in. I, of course, called. We agreed to run it twice. The results: quad 6's and a 6's full of 4's boat. Can you say double up? Joe didn't show his hand. He rebought for $100.

A short time later I was dealt A-10 sooted and raised to $3. Joe raised to $13. I knew that Joe was capable of raising with almost anything and was pretty sure he was just trying to make me fold, so I called. We were heads up again. The flop: A-8-10! I threw out a $15 bet and Joe went all in. Of course, I called again. We ran it twice and I won both with two pair -- Aces and 10's. And again I did not see what Joe had, but I did see another $100 stack of redbirds coming my way!

I ramped up my aggression against Joe later on, which was pretty interesting. He joked about my taking his chips, but I knew he was really hoping to get some back. After all, in his mind they were really his chips, right?

As the evening went on, I took a few bad beats and basically played even-steven poker for the rest of the night. I was happy to have made a nice profit, and it was especially sweet to have gotten my profit via Joe. I am sure that he will be looking for me next time. And I will be there waiting.


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Funny how he took seat 7, instead of seat 6 which would be right next to you. Guess he was trying to look casual about it.

Good job.

6:32 PM  
Blogger angerisagift said...


8:42 PM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...


9:04 PM  
Blogger angerisagift said...

how much r the massages

10:39 PM  
Anonymous NumbBono said...

So this is a home game, with what I presume are friends, or at least people who are somewhat familiar with each other, and there's a rake?

Does the rake go towards beer/snacks, or is it just some pocket money for the host?

8:54 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@MOJO -- I think you are correct, sir.

@Numb -- I know the guy hosting and Joe. The others are part of a group who play several home games a week. This is the only one I play. Rake goes to pay dealer (very nice not having to rotate it around the table) and house. Players generally tip $.50 to dealer per winning hand. Beer, soda, water, candy, chips, snacks, and usually one heavier food item (pizza, Chinese food) are "free" due to the rake. Games are played in nice poker tables.

I would be interested in opinions on this set up. Seems fair to me, but first time I have played a home game with rake.

Game is generally pretty aggressive. Atmosphere has been pretty good. Guys take their beats pretty well. Players are usually decent.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Zoddiac said...

Just curious on the "running it twice" during home games... Do you split the 2 runs 50/50? Would you run twice only after the flop, or pre-flop all-in?

Thanks, I usually only play home tournaments, so this is unfamilar.

11:09 AM  
Blogger angerisagift said...

i think the setup is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! the rake seems to b used for stuff that benefits the players

11:45 AM  
Blogger ~Coach said...

Having the food available and a dealer, I wouldn't mind the rake. Having learned to play in Vegas before playing in home games, I find the passing around the cards/shuffling/dealing while trying to play to be a distraction. Great job Lightning!

11:57 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@Unknown -- when one or more players are all in, we let the players decide how many times to run it from that point, which could be pre-flop or after the flop. Most times it is run twice If both pplayers can't agree, it is run once. In my old home game some people ran it three times, but that hasn't happened yet in the new home game. And yes -- the two runs are split 50/50.

I really like running it twice, especially since it is a home game and, in theory, you don't want people to get too pissed off from a bad beat.

@anger & ~Coach -- the dealers have been professional dealers and are quite good. The food and drink part is great. I have no idea how much the house and the dealer make, but I feel like I have gotten my money's worth.

The games I used to host were -EV for me because they were geared toward friendly games. I sprung for beer (even though most players also brought their own) and light snacks. No rake. If I had ever wanted contributions, players would have given them freely.

12:17 PM  

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