Sunday, January 09, 2005

Fantasy Football and Poker

Last night was our Fantasy Football Party. I came in 3rd place this year because I drafted Peyton Manning and Curtis Martin. I basically made my money back and drank for free at the party.

It was a given that a poker game was going to be played at this party since none of the wives or girlfriends were invited. Somehow the guys have the idea that playing Pot Limit Hold'em or No Limit Hold'em is to their advantage because they can discourage those crazy draws that beat them in limit hold'em. I hope they keep believing that. None of them have any idea what the odds are to draw to a straight or flush and they do not know how much to bet to make it a mistake for someone to draw to the straight or flush. We decide to play Pot Limit Hold'em with $1 and $2 blinds and a $40 buy in.

Here is a brief summary of my reads on my friends:

Jon - probably knows more than any of my other friends because he has read at least one book on poker. He is a talker in that he trys to throw you off reading his hand by making comments about it. Usually he has a classic tell in that he acts strong when he's weak.

Rob - The tightest player of the bunch. Plays straight forward poker. Was the first to notice that I mix up my play with my friends because everyone thinks I play supertight.

Carlo - Has no idea what he's doing. Will stay in to the end if he has any chance of getting a hand or hits any part of the flop.

Chris - Pretty tight player. No idea about position. Will only stay in with top pair or better. He never raises unless he has an unbeatable hand. Be worried if he calls a big bet.

Bill - Understands how to play tight, but gets bored easily. He will tend to blow off his chips late when it's close to him going home. He wants to win big or go home broke.

On to some specific hands last night.

I had 2-3 in the big blind. There were 4 callers before the flop. The flop had a 3 and a couple of medium cards. It was checked all around. The turn had an another 3. There were two of the same suit on the board and there was a straight possibility out there as well. I bet the pot and Carlo and Jon took their time trying to decide whether to call. They both did so now the pot is huge. The river is a blank and I move all in. They both fold and curse that they missed their straight and flush draws. Bill tells me I made a bad bet. Again proving that no one in this game knows the concept of pot odds. Since I am among friends I decide to teach and tell Bill that the odds of making that straight are 5-1 and that I will make that bet every time if I know that's what my opponent has.

Another had I am dealt K-8 of hearts on the button. I limp in with about 5 other players. The flop is A hearts, A diamonds, 10 hearts. The small blind (Mike) bets $4 and there are three other callers. I decide against raising because I want to be deceptive. I just call. I think the pot was about $32. I was already up a good amount so I could afford to make a big bet if I had to. The turn was the Jack of Hearts giving me the nut flush. Mike bet again, this time $15. This scared out the other guys except for me. I am a little worried about a full house since Mike has not really been that aggressive before. I just call. I now have an the Ace flush with a Royal Flush draw. Well wouldn't you know it, the Queen of Hearts came on the river giving me the Royal Flush. My first one ever! I have checked in different places and it is somewhere between 60,000 and 120,000 to one in hitting that hand. Anyway Mike checks because it's obvious now that he is afraid of the flush. I try to come up with an amount that he will call. I bet $15 and he ponders for a while and he calls. I rake in a $92 pot and nobody at the table can believe they are seeing a Royal Flush. Poor Mike had 3 Aces.

At one point in the night I had over $200 in front of me after starting with $40. I ended the night up $115. I am so glad my friends like Pot Limit.


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