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playing poker and teaching science: Mixed results
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Mixed results

A poster on an Indiana poker site has been trying to get a Tuesday evening home game started for several weeks and finally had the first game last night. There were eight players ranging in age from about 20 to 45 or so and we played a $40 buy-in NLHE tournament (paying the top two) which lasted about 1 ½ hours and then played $3/$6 limit HE for another 2 ½ hours.

The structure seemed to move pretty fast for my taste, starting with 6000 in chips and blinds at 100/200, with the blinds increasing every 10 minutes. I think I played pretty well although I didn’t finish in the money, busting out when I flopped a set of jacks against a set of aces.

I moved all-in under the gun plus one with JJ and got called by the short stack. This didn’t bother me because I had him more than covered, but the big blind also called. The short stack had KK and the big blind had AA! Three pocket pairs in an eight-handed game! The flop brought my lovely jack, but also an ace and I was out.

My best play of the night in the tournament came when I limped in with 55 and then called a minimum raise to go heads up. The flop came K62 with two diamonds. The BB bet the minimum and I called. The turn brought another diamond and I started counting my chips without even looking at the BB player. He checked and I moved all in. He “went into the tank” and then folded Big Slick face up saying, “Nice flush.”

You gotta love the power of the all-in!

Sidenote: The player that won the tournament didn’t stay to play $3/$6….that’s just rude! He wasn’t a very good player and caught some very lucky hands to win so I wanted a crack at some of my $40!

So I stared the $3/$6 game down $40. I bought in for $80 and it looked like it might be a wild game when seven players limped in the very first hand, but things settled down after that with usually four players in and only a maximum of three players seeing the turn after that.

I played top hands but also had a pretty good read on the other players and was able to take a few pots by betting ace high when it was obvious that the flop missed everyone.

I also had some good luck out of the big blind, just calling twice with small unsuited cards and flopping two pair and then being dealt QQ in an unraised pot, raising all but one caller away, and getting a small rainbow flop to take another big blind special.

I was also able to play on the image that I was going to win all my big blinds, limping in with 83 unsuited, betting when the 8 hit the flop AS THE BOTTOM PAIR, and having everyone fold saying, “He did it again.”

Good times!

I ended the evening up $71 in the $3/$6 game which is about 8 big bets per hour and after subtracting my loss in the tourney left with $31 in my pocket. I also had a lot of fun and found a new home game.

Thanks for reading.

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