Sunday, December 16, 2007

Poker Content, Iraq Style!

I haven't posted about poker in a while, so it's about time. As you may remember, we play poker here every Wednesday and Saturday night. We are not allowed to play for money, so at first glance this may not seem as interesting as a big cash game, but you'd be underestimating the competitiveness of soldiers.

I have developed the perfect table image, but I think I ruined it last night with this hand. Everyone has been commenting at how much I bluff in the beginning of games. They are mistaking bluffing for tight aggressive play, which is exactly what I want them to think. They play classic home-game poker, which means almost everyone limps in on every hand. What they don't see is that I play only one or two hands per orbit, and sometimes I've folded 10 hands or more in a row. With our blind structure you can't wait too long, but I'm way ahead on the Big Board of 1 st and 2nd place finishes, so I must be doing something right.

Anyway, much like a home game, a raise can mean anything, but a re-raise is something to pay attention to, especially when you know who is doing the re-raising. I look down at pocket Queens under the gun and raise to 3.5 times the big blind which is a huge raise in this game. I see weak player number one contemplating a call, when I say, "What are you doing? You don't want a lot of people in this hand. You should re-raise!" He stops for a second and says, "Okay. Re-raise!" He doubles my raise. Beware the min raise!

Now LAG in the next position (whose nickname is Hot Nuts) goes "All-in!" He could have any two cards at this point. He just hates when someone raises before it gets to him. I'm liking my chances at this point. But wait! The chaplain, sitting to my immediate right goes, "Okay, I'm all in, too." She such a nice girl, but so horrible at poker that you just can't believe. Her nickname is Queen High, because she won two tournaments with that same hand. She never goes all-in or re-raises without the nuts.

Well, shoot! What am I supposed to do with my Queens now, dammit? They hit the muck so fast it would make your head spin. Well, they should have hit the muck, but instead, I showed them to Ken Alphabet, which meant I had to show my laydown to everyone else, too.

Three all-ins:
Germ (the min re-raiser) – Pocket Aces
Hot Nuts – Ace 8 off-suit (?!)
Chaplain (AKA Queen High) – Pocket Kings

The Aces won the hand. My queens would have been junk. I'd like to say I went on to win it all after my great laydown, but I'd be lying. Still, it was one of the biggest preflop laydowns I've ever made. I just need to control my ego to the point where I don't need to show everyone. No need giving them additional information, right?

Of course, I'm giving it to you for free.

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