Sunday, December 23, 2007


Every year's the same. I plan to buy all these cool, imaginative presents online, but before I know it, it's Christmas Eve and I'm racking my brains trying to think what my friends and family won't have to feign elation (bless them) upon opening. Socks, CDs, DVDs aren't much good in the Beagle household, has to be something imaginative otherwise it'll look like you haven't put the effort in. As for book tokens and that old "now you can decide which one you want" excuse - crikey, just give 'em the money! Gosh, when did the standard get so high?

At least I don't have to purchase stocking fillers anymore. For a few years, we had this zany idea that each family member would have a stocking and everyone would buy two presents to go in each one. How my parents got their foot into that door, I'll never know, but I'm glad it's a thing of the past, as it was a pain in the ass and just led to more trapsing around a crowd-infested shopping mall. Thank God for last minute trips to John Lewis!

So, after just five hours sleep and a miserable day in Birmingham city centre searching in vain for something 'original', I didn't particularly feel like playing poker. However, with my parents likely to slap me across the chops with a wet kipper if I play on Christmas Eve, and Dana likewise on the 25th, I thought I'd get my head straight and squeeze in a couple of hours.

Not much really to report, except that those initial couple of hours turned into four with the ol' blonde account yoyo-ing up and down for ages like a squash ball on a bungee. I did play some truly bizzare players, and ones in which you can't help but ask yourself, "Are they real?".

One guy was a calling station if you bet, and a betting machine if you checked. He seemed to do this whatever his cards, and his bets were never the pot. In the end, it was simply a case of waiting for a hand and betting each street, and trying to avoid calling each street with marginal hands. This went on for a while, but he didn't change his game. It would have been a masterstroke if he suddenly started to utilise his image and altered his game as I would have been tied up in knots. This is often a great way to tilt someone, because they never know what you have and will stay in the game because of your previously fishy play.

To give you one example of a hand, I raised it up to $20 pre-flop with As-Ks and he called from the button. I checked the Ah-Td-3d Flop hoping that he'd bet out, as he so often did and I could call it down, but he checked behind me. I then bet $36 on the 6s Turn, and then $100 on the 2s River, knowing that he'd call with any pair, and maybe even just King high. He called and showed 3s-2h. Grr! In the past, this would have pissed me off no end, and I may have became impatient and started raising unnecessarily and calling the streets down with hands like second pair.

Fortunately, I didn't do this, and he wasn't a cute enough player to make the change to his game to catch me off guard, so I ended up cleaning him out. It had become so predictable, and so mechanical, that I even opened up another table to multi-table heads-up for the first time ever. Incredibly, the second player was almost as bad, except that instead of being a calling station, he was a folding station and I was just able to batter him down without him ever really grabbing his balls and playing back at me.

In the end, I finished just over $500 up. As you can see from the size of my biggest pot, it really was a matter of grinding away patiently, whether it be slowly chipping away at the folding station by betting at every opportunity or taking multiple pots off the first guy by just betting every street when I found a hand. A true grindathon, but I was glad I managed to keep at it as it wasn't a quick process, and there were times when my hands were rivered, which resulted in my desperately trying to control my frustration.

At one point, my mother called me down for tea with the family, but I was tied against another calling station (although not quite as bad) and didn't want to give him up as he still had $300 on the table and it felt like free money. I initially said that I'd be down in five, but that five minutes soon passes. I didn't want to throw him back in the sea, so I rang the house phone from my mobile and asked my mom, who had been slaving over a hot stove, a very awkward question: " Will it keep?" We've all been there, haven't we?... I need help!

biggest pot won: $176.00
biggest pot lost: $156.00
time at the table: 4hrs 25mins

profit = $451.86
blonde poker account = $2,512.26
$2,487.74 to go before the tax man goes away.


At 5:02 AM, Blogger Michael said...

"Will it keep?"....

I'm sure the dog was happy!


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