Archive for June, 2010

Saucy behaviour

Posted: June 24, 2010 in General

Snake, aka Sauce (his drunken alter-ego) made another appearance at my now regular mid-week Empire poker session last night. True to form he made a dramatic entrance, his bright red England t-shirt only just outshining his beer induced bright red nose, marching up to me to express his love and give me a hug from behind.

Straight out of the ‘Sauce guide to poker ettiquette’, he immediately launched into 100dB praise aimed at the chap with the largest stack, a few seats along from me at the table. ‘Mate, you must be like brilliant at poker or something, no really mate well done.” With his name at the top of the list, he went on to further compliment the randomly poor play of a few hands he barely paid attention to, turning down a seat at a nearby table in favour of joining us “fine gentlemen”. With his reputation as a muppet of the highest calibre firmly established, by 11pm or so the opportunity presented itself for our man to pull-up a seat and a stack.

I think Snake’s approach to poker can best be thought of as solid level 3 TAG. He’s tight aggressive, but aware of his own image and willing to exploit it with well timed balancing plays in position to maximise his EV and keep his opponents off balance. He compliments this with a habit of verbally stroking the level 1 players, encouraging their poor play and sub-optimal lines. I’ve always found it amusing, and despite the fact that some of his comments can frankly be completely ludicrous (“unlucky mate, I was sure you were going to hit that, it felt like it didn’t it” to someone drawing at a gutshot to the ignorent end of a straight), it does seem to work. He does genuinely seem to be able to get away with petting the fish.

Sauce’s approach to poker follows a very similar theme to the above. He persists in the stroking, although admittedly in a drunken mock stage whisper that can be heard by the majority of seats at the table, causing great amusement for those who are aware of what he’s up to. His play however tends to degenerate to level 2 LAG, and this got him into trouble on a few occasions last night, two of which were rather magnificent slowrolls and well worth a write-up.

Slowroll – To wait until the last possible moment to show the winning hand, in an effort to get your opponent to believe he has won the pot when he has not.

At the poker table, a deliberate slowroll would normally be considered poor form, however when performed correctly it can also be a thing of great beauty. I was lucky enough to witness two such moments of artistic flair last night, both induced by Sauce’s own drunken behaviour, and I guess a desire for the opposing players to ‘get even’ in a small way.

Slowroll 1
Sauce and the tightestest player at the table get it all in on a flop of Ad5h5d, Sauce exclaims “come on you diamond!”, and indeed it hits the turn in the form of a six. “Yessss, sorry mate!” he claims flipping up his mid-position 9d4d (level 2 LAG stylee). The other player shrugs at Sauce but looks like he’s still drawing, he’s very focused on the river. A black three, it seems to have blanked out for this tight player, but no – after at least a five second further pause the chap flips up a beautiful As5s for the flopped nuts, and led by me the table breaks into guffaws of laugher at poor Sauce’s dejected look.

Slowroll 2
Sauce and if possible a player drunker and looser than himself get it all in on a turn of JsJhKd 6s. Sauce flips up one card, the jack of diamonds; the drunk flips up the six of hearts. The river blanks again, Sauce turns over his offsuit five, the drunk shows the case jack. Sauce’s bottom lip quivers, hilarity ensues…

Snake pays for his beer

Posted: June 18, 2010 in General

It’s just a usual Thursday night at the Empire, I’m playing off a stack of about £200 with another £200 in my back pocket and a willingness to grab another four should the table dynamics demand it. Receive a text from the Snake – he’s drunk and on his way; this might normally be a ‘yum yum’ moment, but admittedly the boy does play very good quality poker even when sozzled.

I pop him on the list and a few minutes later receive a second text, he’s in the bar, do I want a beer? “I don’t drink and drive I reply, have a lime/soda right here.” I do have the motorbike parked outside, but the drink and drive comment relates more to the poker game.

I play another hand or two when suddenly a gollum-like paw dips into my stack from behind my back to grab a red off the top – “sorry mate, they don’t accept cards, just need this – back in a minute.”, and off he scampers with £5 of my profit in his mitts. He’s back soon after with two bottle of Budvar, both for himself – the cheeky scoundrel!

Two more hands pass while we shoot the breeze, the Snake about 20dB too loud for the table, and I notice people at the other end of the felt are wincing at the random drunken gibberish he’s spouting at top volume. Meanwhile I’m dealt A4o in the big blind, and flash it to my face so he can get a peek and play along. There’s a raise mid-table, and I call behind, five of us to a flop of … A49 rainbow, beauty. I trap-check on this nice dry board, there’s a bet of £15, two callers and when it comes back around I pop it up to £40. The original raiser slips out a £25 black to call, the others fold.

“I can’t believe you got that through, you jammy fucker!”, the Snake suddenly loudly exclaims. The boy’s a genius, and I instantly play along trying to put some genuine sounding annoyance into my voice as I reply “that guy called you twat, can it already.”

The turn is the 3h, putting out a flush draw and a possible straight – so with no more time to dilly dally I spin out £50, trying to make it look like a last desperation bluff at the pot. Seat 4 considers this for all of 15 seconds and shoves. I insta-call and stack his unshown hand for a rather nice £450 pot. Thank you Snake!