Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Team7Deuce Trip to the Bike

Last Friday, we made a decision as a group to play at the Bike the day after Christmas, because so many of us had the day off. And lets face it, in Los Angeles, the best tournament for our tastes is one without Add-on’s or Re-buy’s (which just have a tendency to make play stupid), and a relatively lower buy in. Considering the fact that we’re all really amateurs at Pablosplace, we don’t want to drop the entire bank roll on an entry fee. The Bike offers a daily noon’er at their location in Bell Gardens, and for only $40, offers the opportunity to play real poker.

You begin with $2000 starting chips, and a blind structure that increases every 20 minutes, starting at 25/25. It’s a nice tournament with decent turnouts of about 150 per tourney. Yesterdays was a really good tournament as 264 entries saw their way to the felt.

We brought 6 Team7Deuce members to the tables at the Bike as Amber and Chris were the first to arrive. Jordan, Tim, and I drove down together, and with about 15 minutes to spare, Robert made his entry into the tournament. Better late than never I guess.

Tim and I were actually seated at the same table for the majority of the tournament, and were later joined at the table by Robert prior to the first break. I went on a ridiculously sick cold run of cards to begin the tourney, with my best starting hand prior to the break being Q-9. It was that good. Regardless, I still made it through the break, but with a short stack of only $1150. Chris was the first of our group to hit the rail, followed shortly by Amber, and then by Jordan. All were prior to the first break. Tim had chipped up to about $4900 or so, and Robert was pretty healthy with around $3500. I only had one opportunity to raise with 7-2, but it was suited. Thankfully, I got no callers, and I showed my glorious hands, much to the amusement of everyone at the table.

After the break, it was more of the same cold play for me. I just couldn’t catch anything paired, suited, or connected. It was ugly. Tim and Robert lost a few pots, and subsequently, a large part of both of their stacks. Finally, Robert succumbed and it was just Tim and I left.

My chip stack had dwindled to a measly $325 chips, and I finally got it all in with the Blinds at $100/$200 and a $25 ante. Seemed as good of a time as any to throw out a Hail Mary. So, with a pre-flop raise to $700, I made my stab with 6-4os, and nobody called. Heads up, my opponent turned K-J, and I at least had two live cards. The flop helped neither of us, but the turn produced a 6, and the river blanked, giving me some life. A few hands later, I’d get it all in again pre-flop with K-J of spades. I had action from 2 players this time, and it created a small side pot. Only one spade fell on the flop, and a bet out lost one of my opponents. I tabled my KJ, and my opponent tabled pocket 9’s. The turn and river produced running spades and my flush took another pot, tripling my stack, and for the first time, producing a positive chip stack. Our table broke shortly there after, and Tim went to another table to bad results. He had said that he got it in with a flush draw with K-10 suited, but ended up losing to pocket Q’s.

My run lasted quite a while as I started playing some pretty good poker. Tight, but good. I eventually ended up chipping up to about 11k, where I hovered until my exit. With 29 players left, we went to hand for hand action, as the intent was to pay 27 players. When Mr. Bubble boy left, a proposition to pay 28 places was agreed upon by all players, and play resumed.

On the second hand, I found myself with pocket Q’s from the small blind. As action found its way to me via everyone folding, I made it 4,000 to go with only the big blind to act (blinds were at 600/1200 with 200 ante). The big blind thought for a long while, and finally made the call. The flop produced A-K-3, and I wasted no time moving all in for my last 6400. The big blind thought for a long time. Stacked out his chips to make the call, and realized that he’d only have only 1500 behind him if he made the call. He placed his chips back down and picked up his cards. Then someone called the clock on him. He finally picked his chips back up and made the call with K-Qos. I was pretty much toast, and the turn and river were meaningless, ending my day in 28th place.

A somewhat disappointing cash for me if that’s possible. But at least it was a cash nonetheless. I made $15 for my play of 4 hours, but at least it was the right direction.

For right now, I think that we should be good to go for Friday night again. Great job by everyone who came. It’s always a blast to get out and play with you guys. Until next time. Cheers, P

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The White Elephant Game

The second edition of the Pablosplace White Elephant Game was a ton of fun. And while Andrew finished the game with all of the chips, and Chris played himself into a runner up finish, that story, and all the poker stories really paled in comparison to the gifts that were exchanged.

In winning, Andrew ended up stealing from me (a present that I had stolen from Jordan) a deck of Star Wars playing cards.

In second, Chris ended up with a glass cup that lights up on the bottom. Perfect for drinking beer, and signaling planes on dark, cloudy nights.

In third, Tim ended up with a DVD, though I don’t remember what movie it was. I ended up with Top Ramen, Robert ended up with a hodge-podge of items from different venues that Andrew has been at in his various exploits with work. The crew has been to some really cool places, but I think that the best value was the mini Vodka bottles inside.

Jordan ended up with a miniature wagon, perfect for placing dolls in (as my kids would discover the day after). Amber ended up with a toy gun that shoots foam darts. And Jay ended up with my second favorite gift, a plastic Viking hat with horns coming out of either side. Tre Chic!

But the best gift of the night really came on the first bust out. First timer Amy came to play and learned for the most part on the fly, and ended up unwrapping a larger gift. It was almost immediately recognized by Robert, and then Jordan, Andrew and I caught on from last year. Fighting through our tears of laughter for about 15 minutes (probably not an exaggeration) we watch Amy unwrap the White Fur Coat that Tim had won at last years White Elephant game. If you’d have been here, you too would be in stitches.

Thanks to everyone who came and played. I’m happy to report that we now have our first Team7Deuce pictures taken with us as a group and with our shirts. I’ll see about how I can get them onto the site. Many thanks to Jay for bringing his camera and shooting so many great pictures.

For next week, we talked about playing at a Casino on the day after Christmas. The $40 nooner at the Bike is always a great tourney. We’ll make a decision on that one a little later in the week though.

Until next time, cheers, P

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just another Friday Night

Friday night at pablosplace saw 5 regulars to the felt, and action was jovial as always at the home game. Andrew, Tim, Amber, Chris and I all enjoyed a festive game, which started a little later than usual as I had a work function to attend, and couldn’t make it home till 9.

Play started out pretty good for me as I took a few decent pots, and chipped up to about 180. And then, I just went card dead for about 2 hours. It was sick how bad my cards were. But not as bad as the unfortunate cards for Andrew, who was the first bust of the night. But a quick re-buy, and he was back in business.

Amber would be the next exit, followed by Chris, and we went three handed with me being the shortest stack. Things kind of turned the corner a little bit as I got an extremely lucky suck out against Tim.

We took a flop of Ah-Kh-6s, and I got it all in after Tim made an initial bet. He thought about it a while and made the call with As-7h. I tabled K-Q with no flush draw at all. A 9h fell on the turn leaving me with even fewer outs, but I got lucky with the Qc on the river to bail me out, and double me to about 160 again.

Tim and I again went at it heads up, but this time, I had the chip advantage, which proved to be bad for Tim. He moved with K-10 when a K hit the flop, but I had him when I called with K-Q. The turn and river were no help, and Tim was eliminated in 3rd.

Andrew and I went heads up for about 20 hands before the swing hand took place. After I made a pre-flop raise, Andrew got it all in, and I made the call. Andrew tabled pocket 6’s, and I tabled a better pair with pocket 9’s. The nine’s held and I crippled Andrew down to only 40. The very next hand, he moved it all in with pocket 2’s, and I made the call with A-Q. When the Q hit the flop, that pretty much sealed the deal. And Ace fell on the turn giving me two pair, and the river was irrelevant.

It was some really good action and some really friendly banter. I can’t wait till next Friday for the annual Pablosplace White Elephant game. Make sure that you’re here. You don’t want to miss it.

We stink up the joint

Because Tim had the day off, we decided to hit the nooner down at the Bicycle casino in Bell Gardens. The Bike is the unofficial/likely destination of Seven Deuce Day, and their nooner is a favorite of all of us. It sports a $40 buy in, with no add-ons and no re-buys. Classic, sit down and play poker with $2000 starting tournament chips, and 20 minute levels. Blinds start at 25/25, and then work their way up from there.

On the way in, it was Tim, Jordan, and I from Team7Deuce, and Phat joined in the fun as well meeting us there. Our standard $5 last longer bet went into play for the three of us, and we all sat at different tables. In the end, there were 156 entries into the tournament.

There were 4 hands worth talking about for me. The first one that I was involved in was just a good laydown. From 2nd position, a player makes a raise to 175 with blinds still at 25/25. Sitting directly to the players left, I look down at pocket J’s, and make a call. That call was also made by both the small and big blinds. The four of us took a flop of 6-6-7, and action checked back to me. I made it 300, and got a quick thought, and then a check raise from the small blind to 900. The big blind called, and the guy to my right went into the tank before letting go of what he said later was Aces. I thought for a little bit but decided that I was too far behind someone, and also let it go. Little did I know that I actually had the worst hand of the four. The Aces had me, and an all-in and call on the turn card of 3, showed the small blind with pocket Q’s, and the big blind tabled pocket 7’s for the made full house. I felt fortunate that this hand only cost me 25% of my stack. It could’ve been much worse.

I then had to make another lay down at 50/100 action, as three players (including me) took a flop after a pre-flop raise (again from the player to my immediate right) to 300. The board came out 10-J-Q, and the pre-flop raiser made it another 900 to go. I laid down pocket 9’s wisely, as the other player committed his last 400 chips, only to see that his pair of J’s was way behind pocket K’s. Another good get away.

I was definitely short stacked as action went to 75/150, and made a 400 bet into the pot, and got two callers. I got it all in on a board of Ac-10h-8h holding Kh-Jh. I got one caller who tabled A-Jos, and no hearts, so my flush draw gave me life. The turn of 9h gave me the made flush, and I nearly tippled up to almost 4k. But it would only last another 2 hands.

From under the gun, I looked down at A-Kos, and made it 400 to go. I got a re-raise to 900 from three seats over, and action folded back to me. We saw a flop of K-4-4. Out of position, I checked to see if he’d bet it, but he checked as well. A harmless 7 fell on the turn, and I led out with 1200. The guy thought a bit (an Oscar nominated performance) and then raise all-in. I made the call and showed how far behind I was when the other guy table pocket K’s, and had me drawing dead. I exited in about 110th place, a very crumby performance.

But the news wasn’t all bleak for me, as both Jordan and Tim had gotten it all in prior to my exit with unsuccessful results as well, so I ended up winning the last longer bet, and pablosplace poker action for Friday night for free.

Can’t wait for the next Team7Deuce event.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Annual Pablosplace White Elephant Game

So clear your calendar for Friday night, December 19th, when we'll convene for the annual gift exchange - poker style.

Last years was a tremendous success with about a dozen players bringing gifts. The idea is, you bring a wrapped present with a maximum of a $5 value on the present. The present represents your buy-in to the home game. The first player who busts, opens one of the wrapped presents. Once a present has been opened, play continues. The second player to bust has the option of either 1) Stealing a previously opened present, or 2) opening a new unwrapped present. And so play goes forward until all the presents have been opened.

A few rules;

1: No direct steal back. (ex. busted player 2 steals busted player 1's present. Player 1 cannot immediately take back the present.)
2: An item may not be stolen more than 3 times in an evening (with one exception - see rule 3)
3: The winner of the night (the last player remaining) has the option of opening a present, and then stealing any present that they wish, regardless of the number of prior steals of that present.

Again, the fun commences at Pablosplace on Friday Night, December 19th at 8:00 PM. I hope to see you all here. Cheers, P

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Twitter Poker Tour - Tourney #3

A special thanks to all the guys from the Twitter Poker Tour. It's fun watching something grow.

I played in the third edition of the TPT tonight, and busted just moments ago. 24 players entered the No Limit Hold Em' tournament hosted on, with a $5.00+.50 buy in.

It was a rough start for me with my first decent hand being dealt pocket K's, and making a pre-flop raise. I got one caller and took a flop of A-brick-brick. Action was checked to me, and I bet about 60% of the pot, and got a call. The turn and river both bricked, and we both checked it down, my opponent with A-Q (a hand that I would later hate more).

I was able to take down a few more small pots and work my way from about $600 chips to slightly over $1000, but it all came undone to A-Qos again. The money went all in pre-flop, and I held pocket 5's. But, the flop produced a Q, and I couldn't catch up, busted in 16th out of 24 players.

For a full recap, and to find the winner of the tournament, you can go to, or you can click on the gadget on the right under my twitter column. I'm looking forward to TPT4, and donating another $5 to the pot.

Cheers, P