Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cash Game Conundrum

One of my recent posts was all about hating on the live cash game. 

Yesterday, Fike sent out his usual weekly cash game invite and I soooooo wanted to tell him to go eff himself and his home game;  I didn't, but I wanted to.  I didn't rush my reply.  I kept telling myself that I had no business playing that game and I should just flush a couple buyins down the toilet and call it even.

I don't know what possessed me but, sometime in the afternoon, I sent him an email that said I might make it to the game.  I'm such a pussy.

I had several errands to run on the way.  One more was added when I got the text telling me I could stop by the bowling alley to pick up the prize money from the summer league.  Good thing it was on the way to Fike's house AND now I had found money to blow at the game.  [sarcasm warning] Wooot me! [/sarcasm warning]

I ended up arriving late and getting one of the worst seats in the house for watching the ESPN broadcast of the WSOP 40K event.  I didn't notice at the time but there was already one rebuy in the 20 minutes before I got there.  Fike also had to rebuy not long after I got there.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned what an action game this is.

One of the worst players was on my left - he's a total calling station and, for a while there, a total luckbox.  He was forever out running me after all 5 cards were out.  The previous game he started to get punished for his bad habits of chasing weak flush draws and other bad play.  He must have spewed 3 buyins last time and was on track for the same last night.

I picked up a couple small pots but mostly tried to fold those bad cards that are so tempting to play when the guy next to you is playing stuff like T4sooooooted.  I managed to flop a set on an all spade board.  I raised Fike's bet knowing he didn't have the flush but might have the As.  He, of course, called hoping to hit as he's done in the past but notspade hit on the turn.  I went all in and he insta-folded.

When Fike is down to a short stack he starts shipping it with all kinds of hands.  Pretty much any A, any small suited connectors.  He got caught with a 56hh hand and had to rebuy.  If Fike has had to rebuy and he's down during the last hour of play all hell breaks loose.  He starts raising a lot and shipping when he hits anything hoping to get called by a marginal hand because people think of him as a loose player.  Last night was no exception.

Fike shipped a 125bb stack on a KTh6h board after Gunn bet into him.  Gunn practically insta-called him with AK.  Fike is stunned that he's called and shows Jh9h that doesn't improve.  Gunn has enough experience with Fike to know that he often plays recklessly when he's behind for the night, especially the later it gets.  There was some argument about who was the favorite on the flop and Fike even went so far as to get out his netbook and load up the hands into a odds calculator.  He swore that he was the favorite but he was a slight dog. 

Next thing I know Fike is playing on Full Tilt trying to win back some of his losses.  He ends up losing a buying with top pair vs. a flopped set.  Guess it just wasn't his night.

After another rebuy by Fike and some spewage on his part he's down to about 25bb in chips that he ships in ahead of me.  I look down and AJo and I'm sure that I'm ahead of his range and I have the chips to spew should I lose this hand so I call.  Little did I know that the calling station behind me would also call.  Sigh.

The board comes out 89x.  I check.  CS checks.  Turn is a T giving me an oesd and two overs so I bet 20bb.  CS decides to ship for another 12bb.  I'm priced in and have to call.  No hands are shown but I see Fike's cards hit the muck as he peeked ahead and knew the river was an A; he figure one of us was bound to have an ace.  He was right.  Turns out my rivered ace was good and I scoop the sidepot and main pot for a profit of about 100bb. 

Most of the time I just spew off the better part of my original buyin when I play Fike's game.  There was one night when I lost QQ<KK for almost a whole buying after losing a buyin before than - by far my worst night.  My biggest complaint about this game is that the stakes are low enough to be mostly meaningless to the players and they make bad plays because the $ is insignificant and/or they are just plain bad players (mostly not the case).

I have had the worst time getting traction in that game as I don't have this need to "go big".  It seems that these guys often play for stacks especially later in the night and it's often a 60/40 type of race. 

Last night's buyin+ profit was ego boosting for sure.  I desperately needed to book a win in that game or I was going to give it up because the morale beating I was taking was becoming too much.  The annoying thing is that I had to take such a risk with the A and the J and suck out on the river to win the hand. 

Is it just me or does everybody's good night usually come down to one or two big hands?  Does anybody actually grind out a profit a little at a time?  Do you go for the BIG one even if the chances are just 50/50 ish?  Isn't that supposed to be the beauty of cash game: that you can rebuy at any time, you are supposed to take the risks with only a marginal/slim lead?   Is poker really about taking coin flips all night long? 

1 comment:

  1. I feel like most of my cash game sessions are small pot, small pot, small pot, with the occasional big pot mixed in for good measure. Of course, table dynamics factor into that to a huge extent. I used to play a very high variance game (I was hyper uber psycho aggro), but it was hard to maintain traction / book consistent profits.