Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Back in Town

Had a smooth flight back from NZ. Got to see three good movies:

- "The Illusionist"
- "Water"
- "The Last King of Scotland"

And got to sleep well enough so that I felt like a 2 hour ride up Tunnel Road and along the ridge in the sunny but cold Bay Area weather.

Got up my gumption to play my first poker game at the Oaks. Studied up to make sure I knew the rules and then sat down to my first $3/$6 game with a $40 buy-in. Lost that in less than half an hour with no won pots and found myself reaching for another $30 -- Grrrr. Kept getting uninteresting cards but stayed patient and then won the three biggest pots (and no others) over the next hour. Took a drubbing on flopping a straight where I held a suite A,2 and the common cards were 3,4,5. Didn't think anyone would have stayed in pre-flop with a 2,6....and even thought it was unlikely that someone would have stayed in with a 5,6 -- but sure enough, the latter situation did occur. Fortunately, I backed off my hand before getting too much money in the pot.

But then cleaned up on the next hand. I had pocket jacks and the flop came up with all single cards lower than my jacks. So I pushed the betting. A two on the board paired, which made me a little nervous as that meant someone could have a set...but it would be unlikely for anyone to have hung around with such a lame hand pre-flop. No straights or flushes were possible....and then the last card came up -- a third jack, giving me jack's over twos -- the nuts unless someone had stayed in with pocked twos and now had four of a king. Fortunately, someone else had pocket sevens and had made a full house himself (but lower than mine) and kept pushing the betting as well. Thus I clobbered him and won the biggest pot of the night. Right after that hand, I was dealt pocket tens, and looked at common cards of J, 9,8,7 giving me an inside straight. I was betting against someone who had pocket 9s and thus had made trips. He was non to happy when he asked at the show down if I had the 10 for the inside straight, and I replied -- "I've got two" and raked another good pot.

Final results was that I banked $305, less my original stake of $70 for a $235 profit over two hours of play.

Whew -- glad to get this first game behind me as I was a bit terrified of sitting down at a table with nine other regulars and screwing up the rules. Went fine though. Interesting to see other betting styles. I had the two loose player directly to my right -- one winning and the other losing. Dunno if that helped or hurt me....I think the former. They played some bluffs. I never did....but people didn't back off of me....probably because this wasn't no limit (bets of $3/$6 only....with three raises before post are capped).

I think other folks were playing more pots than myself, and were trying to bluff. I couldn't see the value in that as there were usually 4+ players in every pot....so my guess was that someone had to have something all the time. I almost always had to go the showdown to win my big hands -- with one exception.

I didn't make any big mistakes. However, one doesn't learn by winning..... Could be a lucky first night out.

Net result: $+235.


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