August 15, 2008
The prize was just awarded in the 26th annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for the worst opening sentence to a nonexistent novel. You’ll have to click through to see the winner, but my personal favorite was 3rd place:
"Like a mechanic who forgets to wipe his hands on a shop rag and then goes home, hugs his wife, and gets a grease stain on her favorite sweater -- love touches you, and marks you forever."
-- Beth Fand Incollingo, Haddon Heights, New Jersey
So, I was reading Card Player while waiting for a seat in my new favorite game at the Muckleshoot (1/2 spread limit). If you are wondering where all the bad Party Poker players went, look no further than Auburn, WA. Anyway, in the article there is an online player (FU_15) who was discussing a particular hand. He said he had three pieces of information that he used regularly: starting stack sizes, position and metagame.
I’ve not heard the term metagame before, but I like it. Basically it means – what is your table image? Are you able to talk people into making bad decisions? Have people played with you before and do they think they know your betting patterns?
I’m playing fairly loose, but it’s a very friendly table (Mike Caro says these are the most lucrative), and I’m having a little fun asking trivia questions while not in a hand (bonus question – what is the first thing Rocky says to Adrian after he beats Apollo Creed and calls her up to the ring?), and I’m leading out with prime numbers.
I look down at pocket Aces and ask the table to give me a prime number. The 6 seat says, “17.” “Okay,” I reply. “I bet $17” (remember, this is a ½ game). I get called by the 4 seat and we see a flop of K-Q-6. She checks and I bet $23 (another prime number). She calls. The turn is a blank. I bet $43. She hems and haws a little before folding and I show the table my Aces.
The very next hand I’m dealt pocket Kings. Once again, I ask for a prime number. The 1-seat, a young internet player with little experience in live cash games says, “7.” “Okay, I make it $7.” Four of us see a flop of Q-Q-4. It checks around to me and I bet $23. It’s a good bet – about ¾ of the pot. If someone has the queen I can get away easily. 1-seat gets a little jumpy and says, “How much? $23? Okay, I guess I call.”
I’m now done with this hand. He at least has A-Q, and probably something more like Q-10.
The turn is a King. Angels are now singing all around me.
How do I get value here? I decide to slow play (something I rarely do anymore), and check. He checks behind, but very quickly. Please let him have Aces or K-Q!!!
The river is a blank. I check my cards once again to throw him off a little. Then I ask, “How much will you call?” He laughs and says, “$127.” I reply, “That’s an excellent prime number! Okay. $127!”
To his credit, he didn’t go all-in. He still had $50 behind, but he just called and turned over pocket 4s for the flopped full house. I dragged a nice pot.
Metagame. I’ll have to work on that.