If you've never seen an episode of Hee Haw, either live (cause you're old) or on TV reruns, then you won't get this. But last night was right after central casting of the Hee Haw TV show. We had Roy Clark, Buck Owens, and even Grandpa Jones. Plus a few Hew Haw Hotties thrown in for good measure.
In other words, I played in a donkey fest to end all donkey fests last night. 26 people, three tables, and a headache in the first 20 minutes trying to figure out what the **** was going on.
I figured out very early that if I was going to survive this game, I was going to have to be the ultimate example of the patient poker player I preach about. I folded top pair many times where I would have made moves in the past. I did this when the board was developing in such a way that I knew people would chase after it. And if I didn't fold, I at least checked it down and took what was in the pot if I won, or lost a small pot if my fears played out as predicted.
Early on, a couple of hands changed my night in a very good way. I had been up a bit, down a bit, and overall around even when I looked down to A-K. A couple of limpers, and then a raise, so I shoved all in. One caller turned over Q-Q. My race was won when an Ace hit the turn, and I doubled up.
A few hands later the same guy raised preflop, and I looked down to those Queens. I reraised triple his bet, announcing "I have a great hand". He flat called. Now, a little note: When that happens, they have A-K or a medium pair. In this case, I was certain it was A-K. Flop came 2-6-9, he checked, and I shoved all in. He thought for awhile, which again said "A-K", and I was certain he'd fold. But he called, and two nothings on the turn and river later, he was gone and I was sitting strong for the first time of the night.
At the table up to two tables, I was still fairly strong in chips. Nowhere near the chip leader (AdamD), but not hurting at all. In other words, I was right in my comfort zone. No need to bluff (and honestly, in this game, bluffing was stupid because nobody folded), no need to play bad cards. Basically, I had too many chips to be desparate, and not enough chips to be a bully.
One hand did change the course of the table. Adam raised preflop, and everyone folded around to Grandpa Jones, who thought about what to do forever. He was counting out chips, putting them back, and overall didn't seem to know what he was going to do. Adam asked if he was raising, and he said "I'm trying to count it out". Finally he said "Oh heck, I'm all in".
I folded, and Adam thought awhile himself before finally calling. Adam turned over K-Q, and Grandpa Jones turned over the A-8 of clubs. Now, on the surface, the A-8 is donkey play beyond comprehension. But if you run the numbers, A-8 is 60% to win over K-Q...so...
So, I guess what I'm asking...When you read this Adam, could you tell us what you were thinking when you made the all in call on that hand?
Anyway, Grandpa Jones won the hand, by pairing the 8, and he was suddenly a monster stack.
At the final table, Granda Pa Jones was still the clear chip leader, and a friend of mine, Kyle, was a strong second. I was again in the middle, so again, in my comfort zone.
And here are a few key hands at the final table:
1. I am the big blind at 1600 chips. One player goes all in for 2750. Everyone folds to me, and I look down at J-5. Now, to be perfectly honest: I should not have looked. 2750 from him, 1600 from me, 800 from the small blind....pot is 5150 and it costs me 1150 to call. 4.5 to 1 to call, he's 2 to 1 to win (66% to 33%) with any random two cards, as long as he doesn't have A-A, K-K, Q-Q, or J-J. It is an instant call.
Flop, 2-5-8. I'm winning.
Turn, A. I'm losing.
River, J. I win.
He was mad at the call, but if he understood poker as well as he understood how to dress up like a cowboy...he would have known why I did it.
2. Tiny stack moves all in preflop. Second tiny stack calls. I have A-5 of hearts in the big blind, with a small amount to call, so I do. They each have a pocket pair (5-5 and 10-10), but a river Ace sends them both packing.
3. With three players left, Grandpa Jones is the leader, and I'm right behind him, and Kyle is short stacked in 3rd. Kyle moves all in, and I look at my first card...6. I'm ready to fold and fight another day, but I look at the second card...6. Not a great call, because I know I'm either against two over cards or an over pair, but if I fold a pocket pair against a short stack, what will I play? So I call.
First card off the deck is a third 6, and the final two is set. Me and Granda Pa Jones. I haven't challenged him all game, becuase he wouldn't fold to anything. I look at the chip stacks, and I realize we are almost dead even.
So I figure....I KNOW I can outplay this guy for top money. But....this guys isn't outplayable. He might call my all in Aces with 2-7, flop 2-7 and take top money.
So, I decide to offer up a full chop, and take home over nine times my original buy in, happily.
Winning is winning, and I call this one a win. To even get to the final table against this crew was amazing for everyone involved. And to have friends like Kyle and Jonesy cash with me, even better.
Then off to Waffle House for a late night celebration with Jonesy, and we're ready to go again tonight.