I got stuck with a table that...well...how do you politely say is NOT designed to be fun. I had Boston John who was taking even longer than usual...how long was he taking? They were done with their third hand at the other table before our table had DEALT the first hand. How is that even possible? Anyway, besides him we had Janet, Norman, and Darrell...and for whatever reason, Janet was cranky with everybody and Norm was nicer than usual. Weird. The new girl did not know how to play and the other new guy (her husband? boyfriend? anyway...) was a strange, strange player. I almost elected not to play since with the last arrival the tables would almost be even without me (6 and 7) and I knew this table would instantly put me on tilt.
I play to have fun with friends and sitting at a smoky table of players that are hard to get along with is not my idea of fun. But I elected to see if I could overcome my tilt to play well.
So John and this other guy promptly get in these huge bluff and rebluff wars. 2 and 3000 chip pots were being taken down with hands as bad as Jack high. Well, Darrell and I were just sitting there with our jaws on the floor and eyebrows on the roof...and waiting to catch any excuse for a hand.
I checked into a hand with an K/J from the big blind. Called off a bunch of chips against crazy guy when he bet on a low board and I had the bachelor hand. Called his turn bet. He checked the river and my King high took it down as I thought it might. Against Boston John and that guy I stayed in against a pre-flop weird raise (blinds 25/50 he would raise to 125, stuff like that...and he was doing it on purpose to screw with us, as he admitted) with a pretty marginal A/7 suited. Stayed with them through the flop and turn bets, rivered a 7 and took down another nice pot.
By this point I had not had a single legit hand but had won 3 or 4 pots with nothing despite heavy betting. I had not raised once at this point. Not pre-flop, not post-flop. In other words, I was playing really, really well, not raising bluffing maniacs, calling with weaker hands than I normally would, and knowing when to fold them.
I think one hand where I nearly doubled up is a good example. Boston John did one of his goofy raises, new guy called, I called with 3/6 diamonds, new girl calls. Flop came with 2 diamonds and a gutshot straight draw. I checked, new girl checked, John raised, new guy re-raised. I had nothing but a 6 high flush draw. I called because I did not believe either had a strong hand. New girl calls behind. John folded. Turn is a blank but a big card, I think a queen. I checked, new girl checked, new guy bet. Pot odds were right for a flush to hit and I genuinely thought I would have the better flush, I called, so did new girl. River was a big diamond. I checked, new girl checked, new guy raised, I called, new girl hesitated, hemmed, hawed...and called. Her I put on the straight. Him I put on a pair. Nope. He had 2 pair. She had the straight. And I raked a huge pot with a 6 high flush.By the time I put out 2 last people at our table (the other one was down to 3) I had about 8 or 9 K. However, Darrell had also accumulated a fair share of our chips. We spread 21K among 5 players. Meanwhile, at the other table, they had accumulated all the chips from that table into just three players hands, so Darrell and I were still about medium on the chip stack despite being far and away the best players at the table that night.
And the game promptly got wilder. Janet was low on chips and playing short-stack, Darrell and I were waiting for hands, and three or four guys were just maniacally raising and re-raising with nothing. It was so bad that at one point 3 people were all in on a board of A/K/J/10/3, 3 clubs....and the winning hand was the paired king. He beat pocket 9s and someone who didn't even have a pair! Darrell and I were just laughing/crying...we had both folded queens for the straight.
Then came I think maybe the second hand all night I was active in and lost. I raised from early position (by now we were down to 5) with A/10. Lance, the big stack, hesitated a long time and then called. He could have something like A/rag, maybe 2 face cards, maybe medium pockets? Flop was ugly for me, a K/J/rag rainbow. I had a gut shot straight draw. He raised. I thought about it for a few seconds. He had been involved in some of those crazy pots, but if he hit the King I was drawing pretty thin. I called. Turn was ragged and he overbet the pot.
Every instinct I had said to call him. I did not think he had even a pair which meant I was probably ahead. BUT...he was also big stack and if I folded now I still had over 8K, plenty to work with and if I called and did not hit the river I could not call him and he would bet big. I did not feel like falling back to 5K. I said, "I think I am being bluffed" and folded, as did he. He claimed to another guy he had the jack. Maybe. Maybe not.
He tried to give all his chips to the old guy to my right. He raised from early position to about 6 times the blind. Old guy re-raises. I look at my 4/5 suited and cry. I would love to have a reasonable hand to call but can't call pre-flop 50% of my stack on a long shot draw no matter how loose they are. New guy folded, I folded, Darrell folded, Janet folded.
Flop came ragged. Lance raised. Old guy re-raised. Lance re-re-raised. Old guy called. Turn put possible straight on the board. Lance checked. Old guy raised. Lance went all-in. Old guy paused, hesitated...and finally called. He had Lance covered by about 1K. They flipped up their cards.
Lance had A/4. No pair. No straight draw. No flush draw. Nothing. (See why I thought I was bluffed off my earlier hand?) And worse...he was winning. Old guy had Q/J suited. But no straight draw. No flush draw. Just 2 big cards.
He did not improve and now Lance had a HUGE chip lead.
Not too long after I limped in with a 4/6 suited from the small blind. Darrell checked it. Flop paired my 4. With a defeated look Janet went all-in for her last 200. Old guy went over the top all-in. I called. Darrell called. Turn was a 6. I checked, Darrell checked. River was a 4. Darrell raised. I went over the top all-in. He folded. I took the other 2 out with my full house.
Now we were down to 3. And Darrell decided he wanted to go. So he just started pushing all-in. Every hand. I told him I could just take his chips off the table. At first he did not get what I was saying. Then he understood, but not before he had doubled up Lance again.
So now Lance had a ridiculous lead, something like 4-1 on me chip wise.
Well, about the second hand I rivered a straight on him that he priced me into calling. He got disgusted and just started shoving all-in pre-flop every hand. Sadly...with his chip lead, if I could not catch a hand, that was some good poker. I could not call it with 2/7, 3/5, 2/6...which is what my first three hands were when he was doing that.
Then I caught K/7 and called. And won. And again with A/6. Paired the 6. Took a slight chip lead. Called with q/j...and his 2/8 paired the lowly 2. Ouch. Next hand his 8/9 took out my K/10.
Looking back, I think I did about all I could. From the time I saw the make-up of the first table I was totally on tilt. I hate playing with sssssssssssssllllllllllllloooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww players...and I would say taking 3 hands to get one hand dealt is pretty slow. I dislike playing with "drunken monkey poker" players...and ended up with 4 at the first table and 5 and the second table.
But I deliberately wanted to see if I could play well on tilt. I intentionally bust out quite frequently because if I am not having fun I don't care. Well, that is the epitome of being on tilt. Playing badly on purpose is still playing badly. Tonight I wanted to play goodly. And I did.
And there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that in a legit game I would have destroyed Lance. Just wait for a semblance of a hand, double up, rinse, repeat. But it wasn't worth my time. I was ready to be done with this group for the year.
Which is too bad. Some of the people are really nice and fun to play with. But my tolerance for some of the others is really slipping and more and more often it just isn't fun. Oh, well. On to the next thing, then.