Halifax Gentlemen's Poker Association

"We're as honest as gambling men can be."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Game Report 26/09/06

Location: Dr. Smiley's Poker Emporium
Attendance: Smiley, Neil, Miller, Drake, Dirty, Alex, Speedbag, Marchant, Brian (friend of Dirty)

A motley crue assembled in the confines of Smiley's apartment for some cards. The evening was marked by it's general tone of everyone doing pretty well at some point, as well as some really great hands being beaten by even better hands.

Early rounds of Hold 'Em didn't see a huge change in chips, although Eric did temporarily build a nice stack. Alex played a little more aggresively than usual and it paid dividends. Drake's normal defensive style belied the massive hangover that added to his usual cheery mood. A substantial intake of marijuana held Neil, Dirty, Speedbag and Smiley to try and piece together what was going on. Brian seemed bemused by our style of play and quickly squandered his original buy-in before adjourning to the nearby couch to begin a three hour nap.

Not surprisingly, the chips began to dance when Omaha came around. Drake memorably nailed quad Aces but only had $3.60 to triple up on. Alex built a decent sized stack while Eric and Neil both saw their stacks bleed out. Dirty hit a pair of nice hands to bankroll future endeavours, and Smiley shielded his chips so much with his hands that I have no idea how well he was doing. Speedbag held on as long as he could but was finally busted out for the night along the way.

With Eric and Neil both into their second buyins, some Guts and more Hold 'Em was played. Emboldened by the increased number of chips on the table, a few large hands were won by differing people, but without Bob and Chris around to bully the table, Alex decided to guard his stack. Despite some valiant efforts, it wasn't long before Drake was forced out and Neil and Eric were both sent back into their wallets, along with Smiley.

Some Seven Card stud once again realloted many of the chips to new owners, and the playing field was pretty level for most of the night. Around this time Marchant arrived and plunked himself into the mix with aplomb, perhaps knowing it was his last dance with the HGPA before heading to Calgary.

Heading into crazy games, Alex drove Speedbag and Drake home while some Federation Day, Pregnant Cows, eBay, Garbage Day and Montezuma's Revenge were played. The latter saw the pot steadily grow to upwards of $18, thanks in no small part to Dirty hitting trips twice in a row, dwarfing Eric's straight to the ace and Neil's straight to the king. Neil hit quad 10s in a game of Choose your Own Adventure, but couldn't get anyone to bite. Some Dirty Mexican Whore saw Marchant eat up two Queens and make a bizzare call despite being beaten on board. Dirty took down a huge Pregnant Cows pot with five aces, and Alex soon also matched the feat with a similar hand. Marchant exacted some revenge with some classic use of the Man with the Axe in Slaughterhouse, reducing Alex's surefire five aces to a mere two pair. Neil nailed a nice five 10s hand to draw close to even, while Eric struggled to keep afloat. After a fairly tame GangWar, the game was called around 1:30 with some tense card cutting to divvy up the change.

Big Winner: Alex, with +$45 on the night

Big Loser: Eric, with -$40 overall

Spare Some Change?: Neil brought $60 in fives and we still didn't have enough change.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame: No Bob apparently means No Baseball, as we didn't play any this week

Hey DJ: The strange confluence of MP3s and Rogers Blue Jay's Baseball blaring in the room didn't do anyone any favours when trying to concentrate

When You're Smiling: Smiley literally had a shit-eating grin on his face the entire night.

The Name Game: "The Bamboozler", given by Neil to Speedbag's new bamboo & coconut bong

Quote of the Night: "Don't let him finish, or else he'll become impervious to our attacks." - Drake, commenting on Eric's idiosyncratic aligning of his chips in the tray

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Game Report 19/09/06

Location: Allan Street Poker Syndicate
Attendance: Neil, Drake, Miller, Chris, Cracker, Alex, Speedbag, Marchant

A band of six began the night around 10 p.m. and immediately settled into quick rounds of Hold 'Em and Omaha. Cracker was all in around Hand #3, continuing the HGPA tradition of early fireworks. Neil took a big hand off Cracker before fading to the background till much later in the night. Miller hit some nice hands early and often, a theme that would dominate much of the evening.

Omaha had it's usual effect on games, as a lot of chips were passed around from one player to another. Alex employed his famed pre-flop scare tactics, and Drake played his hands cautiously. Chris made several big moves that had his stack shrinking and bulging like a pendulum. Cracker's fortunes last week were not evident this week as he was soon into a second and then third buy-in.

The numbers allowed several hands of Stud and variants to be played, with only a few large pots to speak of. One particularly disasterous hand saw Eric claim a massive pot after several people went all in, pushing Miller to Big Stack for the rest of the night. Drake's cautious play saw him with a large pile of red chips, but they slowly dwindled over the course of the evening.

Speedbag and Marchant showed up around 11 p.m., and rounds of Hold 'Em and Omaha were again afoot. Cracker busted out for a third time, and he was done for the night. Chris' once large stack fled him, and Neil was forced into a third buy-in. Alex played his few remaining chips cautiously, as Marchant failed to find the mark on a couple of hands. Speedbag's $10 buyin didn't last him too long, and soon he and Drake were both busted out. Marchant was cleaned out by Eric, who at this point was holding well over 2/3 of the total money on the table, and a break was called before Crazy Games.

Federation Day, some other Crazy Federation Day, Witchhunt, Garbage Day, Pregnant Cows, "Federomaha" (Federation Day + Omaha) and "Cattle Rancher" (Pregnant Cows + Omaha) were all played, with a lot of money being tossed around the table. Drake and Marchant's rebuy for Crazy Games did not last long, while Neil doubled up a couple of times to come out of the hole for the night. Eric wisely did not risk his daunting pile of black chips, and Alex just tried to stay afloat against many larger stacks. Neil took a nice $25 pot off Chris, hamstringing him for the rest of the night. After an absurd "K-Q-J-10-9 straight flush losing to not one but TWO Royal Flushes" event saw Neil and Eric take what was left of Chris' stack in Cattle Rancher, the game was called at a reasonable 12:55 a.m. with only three people left in the money.

Big Winner: Eric, with a respectable +$100 for the night.

Big Loser: Cracker, back to form with -$30.

Lucky Duck Award: Eric hit a cartoonish amount of his straight draws, resulting in many large pots heading his way.

And The Grammy Goes To ... : George Clinton, which Alex described as "the best poker music we've ever had".

Going Deep: Speedbag actually saw the button pass him a few times before busting out.

Baseball & Bob: Without Bob around, nobody had to endure a game of Baseball all night. Yay!

Omaha Oops Moment: Marchant calling a big pot thinking he had the A-high straight, only to realize after the chips hit the pot the old "have to use two cards" rule.

Insanely Bad Call of the Night: Neil spending $10 trying to bluff someone out of a Stud pot while two other people who were beating him on board were already all in.

Confidence Man: Eric made several decent sized calls without even looking at his cards - since he was too busy counting and meticulously organizing his many chips, it didn't seem to faze him.

Casting Call: With EBOC gone and Jerod MIA, a collective realization that we are in need of a shaggy, long-haired stoner, preferably resembling a hobbit or woodsman. Apply within.

New Catchphrase?: "Suck on that, bitches." - Uttered by Cracker after a rare win.

Quote of the Night: "The pot's working." - Everyone in unison, moments after Neil had again inexplicably misdealt several cards, and a reference to when he had said the same thing post-smoke-up on the front porch while trying to explain his irrational behaviour and forgetful nature.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Game Report 12/08/06

Location: Allan Street Poker Syndicate
Attendance: Neil, Bob, Drake, Alex, Miller, Smiley, Dirty, Cracker, Chris, Marchant (is this how you spell his name?)

A larger than expected turnout once again descended on Allan Street to throw some cards. The volume of players reduced the volume of cards played, but all told fun times had by all.

An initial round of Texas Hold 'Em saw the HGPA waiting a full three hands before the premiere All In call and subsequent bust out, quite a change from the blistering pace set in recent weeks. As is his nature, Bob built a large chip stack early after busting a couple of people out, and infamously vowed to "fold the rest of the night". Dirty also amassed a large stack after a couple of big wins, while Eric and Alex struggled to find the cards. Marchant and Neil played cautious, barely seeing a turn for a long while. Smiley saw his stack fluctuate thanks to bad luck on the draws, and Drake played his usual cautious style, picking his spots and guarding his buy-in.

Cracker soon arrived with much needed tonic for Neil's gin, and alarmed many onlookers with actual thought-out play, resulting in several large takedowns. Chris arrived not long after and began a series of aggresive bets that saw his stack grow and shrink with each hand. Omaha had its typical stupefying effect on the stacks as people eagerly tossed in blinds to see the flops - a series of pre-flop raises soon took hold, shaking out people less confident in their hands. Bob's large stack shrank somewhat as reckless play was rewarded with good rivers. Drake took down a couple of large hands, as did Marchant. Eric was into his third rebuy when Neil took a large pot down thanks to a rivered Ace. Alex used some decent leverage to win a couple of pots unchallenged, as Smiley and Dirty saw their chips slowly drain away.

Cracker's unusually smart play paid dividends as he cashed out around midnight up some money. Another half-hour of Omaha and Texas Hold 'em saw Dirty and Smiley go belly up, while Eric began to turn his fortunes around. Bob's once proud stack dwindled and Drake built up a nice wall. Chris had the last of his stack taken out on an all in by Neil, leaving a band of six to tackle Crazy Games around 12:30 a.m.

Sneaky Peeky, Garbage Day, Pregnant Cows, Baseball, Federation Day, Slaughterhouse and Witchhunt all made showings with the expected insane results. Marchant almost won a game of Baseball with a pair of 5s, which was kind of insane. Alex managed to grab a nice pot off Neil heads-up by correctly accusing him of being a witch, a first for the game. Eric scored a pair of large pots to cash out up over $60, completing an impressive comeback. Bob soon busted out totally after The Man With The Axe slaughtered some cows, and after Neil drew three consecutive wild cards to hit five Aces over Drake's four Ks, Neil found himself holding a large percentage of the night's chips. With only three players left and two of them short-stacked, Alex and Marchant agreed to cash out and the night drew to a close.

Big Winner: Neil with an unexpected +$100 off a single $10 buy-in. (Trivia: Neil has been either Big Winner or Big Loser for a HGPA record five consecutive weeks now - what a glory hog.)

Big Loser: Not really sure there was one - several people lost $20, I think. Someone please clarify.

Comeback Kid: Eric heroically turned a -$30 into a +$61 thanks to some amazing pots and cardplay in the latter stages of the game

Doppleganger Alert: Cracker played his cards correctly the entire night and actually won some chips. Clearly the real Cracker is locked in a basement somewhere.

Bad Bluffs: Alex got caught on a pair of massive full-out have nothing bluffs, which proved costly in terms of chips.

Strange Fact: Not a single game of Guts was played all night. Hmm.

Bad Beat of the Night: Eric's full house getting schooled by Dirty's slightly better full house in a big score in Omaha.

River King: Neil's all-in bluff actually paying out after rivering an Ace to give him top two pair.

You're The One With The Gambling Problem, Sir!: Drake lost an extra $5 ($1.5 million dollars in Drake money) to Neil playing heads-up Blackjack at 4 a.m. That's on top of the $20 he borrowed from Neil in the first place.

Someone's Been Reading Poker Jargon: Chris using "all day" like a pro to descrive the current total posted bet. Subsequently used to describe almost everything that was happening. ("Drake is beating people at Street Fighter all day", "Neil's all day consumption of gin is pretty impressive", etc etc)

Quote of the Night: "Ngggh za raaan naaaar da flumman unnnnn, narma mmma nominon zzaaaaaa . . ." - A yawning Bob chiming in on something related to something, as not a single person had any idea what he was saying.

Honorable Mention: "I just want to warn you all, I have a really good hand here." - Dirty, warning us all he had a really good hand before taking Eric to the cleaners with a full house.

Other Honorable Mention: "This is the best possible Omaha hand ever, suckers." - Bob, curiously dubbing his 9-9-4-4 the best possible hand to have pre-flop in a game of Omaha. He then backed this claim up by totally cleaning two players out on the ensuing 9-9-9-6-6 full house.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Game Report 9/6/06

Location: Allan Street Poker Syndicate
Attendance: Neil, Chris, Drake, Bob, Miller, Marsh (aka, Smiley)

I have to level with you all - I was seriously drunk/stoned last night and I am having great diffuculty recalling what the fuck actually happened. So you will have to just live with what I can remember.

A small but determined band of merry men joined card battle in the confines of Neil's living room (early tense switch, yes). While short on numbers, the limited presence allowed for many different games to be played early and often.

Early rounds of Hold 'Em and Omaha saw Chris lose a couple of buy-ins rather quickly as Bob built a fairly nice stack. Drake played his lone $10 investment protectively, and Smiley made a few early moves that didn't work out so well. Miller's fortunes were up and down, and Neil was forced into an early rebuy but levelled off nicely.

Chris continued a string of bad luck/bad calls as Bob's stack continued to grow handsomely. Stud games saw Smiley turn his first rebuy into a fairly nice chuck of change off a couple of big hands, and Miller started to steady himself after a series of rebuys. Drake took Chris and Neil to school with a massive Omaha hand to the tune of $40 or so, which turned Drake into big stack all of a sudden. Bob's luck started to run out (likely linked to his heroic intake of beer) and soon he was running short. Neil was scrambling to recover his losses and began to bleed chips onto the table, while Chris saw his fifth buy-in sucked out of his grasp.

Heading into Crazy Games, Chris was talked back into the game for $20, a move that would later pay dividends. Federation Day, Choose Your Own Adventure, The Four Whores, Garbage Day, Rain Main, Pregnant Cows, Slaughterhouse, The Curse of Ricardo Monteban and a new game called Witch Hunt all made showings. Omaha variation s of several Crazy Games made them even crazier than before, which was thrilling and insane all at the same time.

Drake sucked sizable hands out of both Bob and Miller, eventually resulting in Bob totally busting out. Neil was cleaned out for the third time and was forced into a rebuy for the crazy games. Smiley was cautious with his stack, as he was unfamiliar with some of the games and seemed content to hang onto most of his chips. Chris shrewdly parlayed his latest $20 investment into $40, reducing the sting of an otherwise poor night. Drake hauled in a few more hands till Neil was again cleaned out for the fourth time. With the night drawing to a close around 2:30 a.m., a few card cuts and some discussion over the pot being $5 light (I wasn't in charge of the money or chips, for the record), the games drew to a close.

Big Winner: Drake, with +$55 off a single $10 buyin.

Big Loser: Neil with -$40 (I'm always Big Something, it seems)

Gutsy Move of the Night: Chris laying down another $20 after already being $50 in the hole, and recouping enough to only end up -$30 for the night

Big Hand: Drake's Jacks Over full house cleaning this shit out of Chris and Neil in a $40+ hand of Omaha.

Worst Idea of the Night: Drake convincing Neil to order massively large donairs at 3:20 a.m., which literally made them both lose their fucking minds and shaved several years off their respective lifespands

Science Content: A well-known side effect of alcohol is lowering inhibitions. Areas of the brain responsible for planning and motor learning are dulled. A related effect, caused by even low levels of alcohol, is the tendency for people to become more animated in speech and movement. This is due to increased metabolism in areas of the brain associated with movement, such as the nigrostriatal pathway. This causes reward systems in the brain to become more active, and combined with reduced understanding of the consequences of their behavior, can induce people to behave in an uncharacteristically loud and cheerful manner. Also, if you are Bob, getting hammered leads to you making insane calls and losing all your money.

Quote of the Night: "That's why I'm all about boning chick's minds ... subliminally!" - uttered by Bob during some Dry Ice induced rant about mentally controlling women or something, I was too drunk to recall properly.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Common Poker Jargon (Part II)

Second of series of posts defining some poker jargon that regularly does, or should, show up at H.G.P.A. events. These are terms in addition to the basic glossary available on Neil's HGPA site. A related series of H.G.P.A.-coined jargon may follow.

throwing a party: A player who is playing like a fool and gambling all of their money away is said to be throwing a party.

I'm going to miss Eboc--that guy always threw a party later in the night.

Not like Cal.

Oh, yeah. His party goes to eleven.

stuck: Having lost money. I'm stuck $300 right now.

Bob ended the night up $50, and Drake broke even. I think Neil was stuck his rent.

speeding: To play very loose with no identifiable pattern, or to bluff frequently. Also known as speeding around.

Man, Neil was really speeding last night.

I know! I hate it when I can't tell if he's being crazy, or if he actually has the hand.

river rat: A player whose hand was dominated from the start, but improves his hand on the river to win the pot.

I had that straight from the flop, but then Bob went all river rat on me with a runner-runner flush draw.

post oak bluff: To bluff by making a small bet, when you want the other players to think that your small bet is a "here kitty kitty" bet from a strong hand. You want the other players to think you are trying to trap them, so they will fold.

Every now and then I change up my position play with a post oak bluff. Once the table is trained for position play, it can be especially effective.