Sunday, April 10, 2005

High Stakes Poker

Friday night, Bluto invites me over to his house for a game of poker with five of his coworkers, all engineers, and my brother-in-law. Bluto's never run a game before, but he's stubborn:

Bluto: Game time will start at 7:30PM. I picked up Heineken, Coors Light, and some Lagers. Sodas I have Coke, Diet Coke, and Root Beer. I got some munching foods like pigs in a blanket, skins, mozz sticks, egg rolls, chips, and pretzels. If you want to drink or eat something else, you are SOL, or you can BIY.

The game is no limit Texas hold’em, normal rules will apply. We will be playing with “small & big Blinds” and they will double with every two player that are eliminated from the game. Blinds are used before the cards are dealt and apply two the two players to the left of the dealer. Small blind for the player to the dealers left and the big blind is the person to the left of the small blind. The small blind is half of the minimum bet and the big blind is the minimum bet. After the cards are dealt and looked at, the player to the big blind’s left starts the betting, they can Call, Raise, or Fold. To call, the player must place a bet that is equal to the last bet placed. (For the first player in the round, this would be equal to the minimum bet.) A player may choose to raise their call bet by an additional amount, which the other players will then have to call or re-raise. Then the flop comes and at that point you can check, raise, or fold. These are the basic rules that we will be playing by.

As we all agreed that there are no “cash outs”, if you have to leave for any reason as sad as it will be to see you go you leave with no money and your chips will be divided up with the rest of the players. The buy in is going to be $50.00 for that you will get $2647.00 in chips with the starting minimum bet at $10.00 which means starting “Blinds” are $5.00 and $10.00 dollars, when you run out of chips you are eliminated from the game.

Al: Uh.. If I may humbly suggest something... :-)

If we start with $2647 and have blinds of $5/10, AND don't double the blinds until two people are out, we may be at your house for a few days if we have some tight players at the table. If we have a lot of loose players... then the blinds probably won't even matter. LOL

My suggestion would be to set the blind increases on a timer (can also count the number of hands but that is a pain).

It's your game, your call...

I worked out the blinds that way because of the chip denominations. Since this is the first game we are having we can always change them as the game progresses. There are a few first time players so I want to make sure that we all get a good amount of play before it gets to serious and the action gets crazy, but mainly because of the way the chip denominations are. If the majority of people want to raise the blinds based on time then we will work it out on Friday.

G-man: I want to know why you just didn't give everyone an even number of chips, like $2500

Bluto: That was my plan but based on the number of chips and dividing them up so every one as an even amount that how it works out.

G-man: Ummm, 2647 is not an even number, it's odd. I guess you feel compelled to give out all the chips from your new set.

Little did Bluto's friends know that, like many former sailors, I've had many years experience playing stud poker at twenty thousand leagues under the sea. But I've only played this particular game once before for money, a mere two weeks ago at a firm-sponsored event. I placed third in a field of forty some odd attorneys, so I think that I'm pretty good.

I folded the first three hands, but on the fourth, I held a 5 and 7 of hearts suited, and since the blinds were small, I decided to ante big blind. The whole table joined in for a cheap flop. The flop showed a 6 of hearts, a king of clubs, and an eight of hearts. My brother bet $50, I raised to $200, and Bluto's friend, Nate, raised another $200. Nate apparently is a big-time player. Needless to say, everyone else tossed in their cards, but my brother and I called.

Wouldn't ya know it, on the turn a 4 of hearts appears! The odds of that happening pre-flop are something like 1000 to 1. Next, the same betting ensues, my brother bet $50, I raised to $200, and Bluto's friend, Nate, raised another $200. But this time, my brother calls, and I begin the mental torture -- I pause, then tell my brother that I'm not worried about him, because I know him, but I don't know Nate, or how he plays. Then I look Nate in the eye, and raise $1000. Surprisingly, he calls, right after my brother throws in his hand.

On the river, another king comes up, I bet $200, and Nate raises $200. So I announce that I'm all in. Pandemonium erupts in the room. Nate's coworkers start goading him. Bluto asks to count my chips. After a few moments, Nate calls, and someone is going home not 15 minutes into the game. Little did I know that Nate had a boat, but that didn't help him in this situation. Nate was gracious enough to deal for most of the night.

Little by little, each player was taken down until Al & I remained five hours later. Al probably had more chips than I did, but that didn't last long. An hour before, blinds were doubling up every 15 minutes. By this time, I had learned that Al is really smart, but he's too conservative. He let me steal one too many pots. Plus, I was on fire, pulling ace combos and pocket queen and kings that he couldn't beat, even when he tried to go up against them.

Bluto: Al, G-man's making you his prison wench. He's bitch slapping you around.
Al: He's too aggressive, and I don't have the cards.

After about six hands, Al had to go all in, and lost.

And so, that's how G-man won his first Texas hold'em tournament.