Friction and Trials: Sweet Variance

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”
–Chinese Proverb
I saw it all this week. Ups and downs, bad beats and suckouts, hot cards cold cards: just another day at Hollywood Park.
I’m still recovering from the week, and am way too tired to post detailed accounts of my adventures. Instead, I’ve cut out the boring stuff and given you only the highlights. If anybody want’s to hear specifics, I’ll be happy to expand in the next post, just post a comment with your request.
Here are my top eight (my lucky number) happenings in my extended HP play for the last 3 days:
8. Playing at a super-loose table with a Fossilman look-alike who had around $3K in $2 chips (that’s 1500 chips for those of you who don’t want to do the math) in front of him. He refused to color-change his chips, and had built a 3-layer fortress that he could barely get his arms around. When I told him he looked like Fossilman, this dialogue ensued:
me: “you look like greg raymer”
fossilman look alike: blank stare
me: “you know, fossilman?”
fossilman look alike: blank stare
me: “the guy who won the world series?”
fossilman look alike: blank stare
The guy was one of the best loose-game players I can remember watching, and knew exactly when to value bet his second pair (against most of these players it wasn’t hard to figure out). It just goes to show you, if the cards are kind to you in a no fold-em game, you can build your own pyramid.
7. Watching the $6-12 table next to mine hit a $12K bad beat jackpot when quad aces beat aces full of fives (three aces on the board). No, I wasn’t jealous. If only I’d gotten a table change a couple hours earlier.
6. Flopping a jack high flush in a monster pot in $6-12 limit, and getting raised in two places. The turn came another club, and I thought my hand was dead, but for some reason a woman with a queen high flush turned over her hand on the turn and saved me a few bets. The woman to my right turned over a baby flush. So the three of us had flopped a flush, and then the TENTH club came on the turn. Can you say “action flop”?
5. Playing $200 NL with a couple hockey pros (yet to be identified) who were practicing for their home game (I’m guessing the buy in there was probably something like $10K). My favorite conversation of the week:
(Big screen TV cuts to Negreanu on Fox Sport’s Poker. Of course he’s wearing a leafs jersey)
Hockey Pro 1: (nudges buddy) “Hey check out the guy with the leafs jersey!”
Hockey Pro 2: “hehehe…”
Me: “Yeah that guy is like the best Canadian poker player.”
Hockey Pro 1: “Freakin Canadians…”
4. Watching Sean run up his stack in $100 NL after losing a big pot on Wednesday to book a nice win. He didn’t lose a big pot on Saturday and ended up QUINTUPLING up.
3. Bad beats galore at a table with a woman who called 90% of the hands all the way to the showdown. She rivered me twice with two-outers in big pots, and runner-runnered me two more times: example– I catch two pair with my big slick with an AK8 rainbow flop, and she calls 2 bets on the flop and one on the turn to catch her runner runner straight with 52o. No she wasn’t in the big blind. Oh the humanity!
2. Getting crushed at my first shot at $15-30, mostly thanks to cold cards. Lowlight: losing a $600 pot on the river when the board paired and my flush was cracked by a boat. Winning hand? 10-4 offsuit in a raised pot. Ye gads.
1. Another $1100 night, this time at $200 NL. Quote of the night, after my pocket 9s flopped A A 9, and I waited to the river to push all in, to get called by AQ. Actual quote by the guy who lost the pot: “Can you sign my issue of Cardplayer so I can say I played with you when you’re on TV?” I thought he was kidding until he handed me a copy.
Can’t wait to see what next week holds. Here’s the final tally… note that the variance is through the roof for the limit games. Maybe I should stick to NL:

Date Game Hrs $ Won Win Rate
7/18/2004 $6-12 1 $220.00 $220.00
7/21/2004 $6-12 7 $1,100.00 $157.14
7/21/2004 Tourney 2 -$80.00 -$40.00
7/22/2004 $100 NL 4 $350.00 $87.50
7/22/2004 $15-30 3 -$750.00 -$250.00
7/24/2004 $200 NL 5 $1,100.00 $210.00
7/25/2004 $6-12 7 -$600.00 -$85.71
7/25/2004 $100 NL 2 $200.00 $100.00
7/25/2004 $200 NL 4 -$100.00 -$25.00
Total 35 $1,440.00 $41.14

Note that my NL stats are much better than my high variance limit stats, mainly because I didn’t get sucked out on one single time. My hands held up all week, which is why you see such big numbers (although any time I was betting hard I was almost always at least a 70% favorite).
NL Totals: 15 hours, $1550 win.
My limit totals were skewed by losing a $600 pot to an 11 outer, but I’m happy to get my money in when I’m a 76% favorite. I also had more than my fair share of river bad beats in last night’s insane $6-12 game, but hey, dat’s poker
Limit totals: 20 hours, $110 loss.
Maybe I should think about playing more NL.
Thanks for reading, and for all you new readers (or anybody for that matter), please support HDouble by signing up at Empire poker using this link and bonus code “HDOUBLE”. You get a nice little bonus, and so do I, and PartyPoker players are encouraged to switch over (everything but the multitable tournaments are identical, except Empire’s sea blue interface is a lot more soothing than Party’s fiery red).

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