Falstaff in Hotlanta
Fortunately for the ATL, it was more wet than hot this week. Falstaff let us know he was coming to town and I suggested that we meet at the sports bar next to his hotel for some bar league poker. The ever slimming Falstaff and I met up last night for dinner, good conversation and then free the game.
The tournament had 5 full tables and I got us seats at the same table so we could tag team the locals, LOL. My night started off pretty well when I had pocket 7s in the BB and 2 callers in front of me so I check. The flop is Jack high with a 7, so per Phil Laak, I bet my monster (the guy even commented "Uh oh, he's doing math"). I wanted to look like I hit the Jack and hopefully an Ace with good kicker will hang in for another card. The cutoff raises me and somewhere in the mix, the previous caller drops out. Other than pocket Jacks, the board looks pretty safe so I call instead of shoving. The last 7 shows up on the turn and now I can check. The other dude pushes in the rest of his stack and I call to double up. DQB! Man, I hope I’m remembering this right, but Falstaff might have taken notes and can correct my errors. This is an interesting thing about these kind of hands. I don’t know if this is how I actually played it or it was the other way I was thinking of playing it. Weird huh? Either way, the other guy was felted.
We managed to stay out of each other’s way, mainly because our games were very much apart last night. I was playing like a tight nit and he played a great aggressive game. I finally had to gamble with him and I doubled up with KQ against his mid pair to bring me back in the game. As I mentioned, we were using different playing styles. One hand in particular, I know he would have done differently than the way I played it. We are 5 or 6 handed and I have AK spades (the prettiest card in the deck) and I raise 3X from first position. The next guy goes all in and the big blind calls and leaves some behind. I have them both covered, but I'm pretty sure I’m up against a pair and a strong Ace. Do I push, call, or fold? I know the BB isn’t going to fold so one of my outs is gone and if I call and lose it all, I’m crippled. I did the complete wuss move and folded. Falstaff said he would “go big, or go home.” As the board played out, I would have lost the main pot to the pocket pair of the shortest stack, but would have taken the remainder of the big blinds chips with my better kicker. I don’t think I would have recovered much more than I had to commit to calling the shorty, but I gave the table a good bead on my tightness. Nothing much happened for me card wise and I didn’t last too much longer after this as my tens in the big blind lost the race against a suited big slick that raised in first position.
Enough about my wonderful play, let’s talk about the man of the night. Falstaff was able to chip up early due to his timely aggression and good cards. It was a good thing too, because he survived a huge blow after a preflop all-in when his pocket Kings were crushed by the 8 tits (QQQQ / DQB!) of his opponent. Thankfully the other guy didn't "RainKhan" dance for us. Falstaff played well, got some chips back and made it to the final table. When he got there, it was school time for the kiddies. He was occasionally folding, but usually raising or punishing the limpers with aggression. He said we was getting good cards and would show every now and then, but I’m sure he just had the table figured out and none of the other players were able to step up to challenge him. His large chip stack helped him survive another loss while he was holding the Brokeback Bitches (KK) against pocket Aces. After this setback, he didn’t let up and was able to hang in there and take first place. First was good for a gift card and most likely an entry to the final tournament. Who knows, maybe that will warrant another trip down I-85 for him in the future.
*Update* I forgot about the heated discussion at the final table when the shorty went all-in and was called by 2 other players. After the flop was dealt, one of the guys goes all-in as well and the third guy reluctlantly folds. The flop pusher flips over pocket 7s for trips on the flop, but the original shorty had pocket 8s and also flopped a set. The guy that got pushed out said "don't throw a ten out there" and of course it comes on the turn and he would have hit his straight if it had been checked down like he was trying to do. Of the 10 people playing / watching, only 2 disagreed that checking it down was the better move. Of course 1 of the 2 was the trip 7s guy and another regular that was being a bit of an ass. Come to think of it, he was that way when I used to play there a couple of years ago. What do you guys think is the right move there?
Most of you know this already, but he’s a really nice guy and it was great to hang with him for the evening. I’m bummed I won’t be able to enjoy his hard work for the Winter Event, but I’m sure you will all have a blast. I’m really ready for someone to organize a Greenville or ATL gathering next Spring, HINT HINT G-Vegas crew.