An interesting, yet profitable, night at the baize

Last Friday night was a good one for me.  4 of us played in the first of the regularly scheduled Movers and Shakers tourneys that are in PokerStars Home Games tab and I took the prize money.  An hour later the knockout tournament started and only 3 showed up to play, but with an entry fee of $13.50, that meant $30 to the eventual winner and a $2.50 bounty on each player.  I weaved my magic ;-) and claimed all 3 bounty’s as well as the purse.  That resulted in a $57.50 payout for the night; after expenses (entry fees) I was left with a $38.50 nett profit.  Not enough to make a living off but enough to make it a worthwhile alternative to twiddling my thumbs on a Friday night.

Alas, Monday night was a different story.  Tahu showed up, Olly did too but he didn’t realise he had to register with Home Games first and was still hanging around waiting for an invite half an hour after the game had finished, and Big Jase was busy being industrious with Farmville.  To make things worse, I got called away from the computer just as the game was about to start.  Mandi played the first 10 minutes on my behalf, and going by her description of the hands she played, I probably would have played them the same way she did, but the fact is when I came back my chip stack was close to $300 and Tahu’s was about $2700.  I managed to stretch it out a bit but was never able to get back on an even footing (he’s to good to allow that) so it was virtually inevitable that he eventually won.

Tonight I had a wee tiki tour around the other PokerStars Home Games clubs and ended up joining 2 of them.  Both have close to 300 members so consistent turnouts are more likely.  I’m still waiting for acceptance/confirmation to On The Mac, it seeems to be Australian based with a large number of regularly scheduled tournaments.

The other club is called High Hand Jackpot and it only has ring games.  This would normally not appeal to me BUT the thing that makes this club different is:

  • if you win a hand with 4 of a kind or better, they credit your account with $20.
  • if you were dealt in on a hand where someone else wins with quads or better (even if you fold pre-flop), they credit your account with $10.

There are some conditions but nothing exceptional:

  • winning hand must go to showdown
  • winning hand must feature both hole cards
  • no collusion to play hands soft

I spoke with the host of this club.  It’s being done as a promotion so it will probably only be there for a few weeks.  Once a week they run a search program for all the club games that have featured wins with quads or better.  They check the details and all payouts are made on Tuesday.  I sat at the first table to play with $8, blinds were 5c/10c.

After close to an hour of play the player to my left had pocket 9’s.  There was a 9 in the flop and a 9 on the turn and at the showdown he revealed his quads.  The problem is that he never bet post-flop.  He won 48c from that hand, but under normal circumstances most people would have bet following the flop to represent the set of 9’s, then after the turn even if they decided to slow play the hand they would have bet after the river especially considering he was positioned on the button.  I don’t believe they’ll pay out for that one ‘cos he definitely soft played the hand to make sure it went to the showdown.  If they do, I’ll get $10 even though I folded pre-flop.

Close to an hour later, and my stack was dwindling, I had $2.91 remaining.  I had JK so I decided to play.  From the small blind with 1 caller I raised to 50c.  Big Blind and early caller both called. Flop was 6 A 6.  3 checks.  Turn was Q, I check, Big Blind bet 50c, the other guy folds, I’m left wondering did he slow play the flop or has he just paired the Queen.  My straight draw urges me to call.  The River is a K.  I’m paired and I’m tired, I make the decision without hesitation.  If he has paired his Q I’m a winner, If he has paired his A or tripped his 6, then it’s bedtime anyways.  ALL IN.  He calls instantly and reveals his hole cards, 6 6.  So he takes the pot $6.32 minus rake plus he gets to look forward to an extra $20 next Tuesday and I, and everyone else seated at the table, get to look forward to $10 next Tuesday (and depending on how strict the hosts are I may even get $10 for the other one)

…so I sat down with $8, left with nothing, but I still made a profit!

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