Blog from E. Mark, the "e- Shark"

3pips   NO "FREE" LUNCH TODAY (1/18/11)

No "Free" Lunch Today

I'm headed to lunch, which will cost about $25. With have half an hour to kill, I sit down at a short-handed $1/2 no-limit table. After 25 minutes, I'm up $67.

Usually, I'd raise to about $12, hoping to invite some company. But this time I decide to take down the $3 in blinds by raising big, to $25. That'll cover most of my lunch tip, I think to myself.

The little blind pauses, then goes all-in for $80. It's $55 for me to call, which I do.

Turns out he has pocket 10s. He wins our coin flip, when I don't improve.

Instead of winning my lunch and then some, I leave with a small loss.

Frustrating! Well, that's the way it goes sometimes.  Lady luck laughs. We've all been there.

-E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross

3pips   TABLE IMAGE? YES! OR IS IT KARMA? (1/13/11)

Table image? YES! Or is it karma?

So, I know I've seen plenty. Still..... these two hands from a $4/8 limit Hold'em session, at a table with real nice folks, really stand out.

To my right is Flo, a lovely senior from Baton Rouge and previously New Orleans. Her full name is Flo Rida - pronounced that way, like the rapper.  [I guess she's grown tired of people calling her 'Florida,' in her 86 years.]

She limps into a pot and I limp behind her on the button, with King 10.

I flop Broadway with no obvious draws to worry about.

When Flo bets into me, I simply call. Lots of callers behind. When the turn opens a second heart, I raise Flo's bet while showing her my cards and how she's likely drawing dead (I'm right -- she's on a mid-kicker Ace hand). Everyone folds and I drag the pot. Did I cost myself profit? Likely. Still, I didn't want to take any more of Flo's small stack.

Karma part:

Several hands later, I raised the flop on a Queen-high board with two spades. I had middle pair. When the turn - a third spade - double paired me, I fired again. My heads-up opponent folded, showing me a SET of Queens.

What are the chances?

Good goes around and comes around!

- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross

3pips   SHOW ME A WINNER, PLEASE (12/28/10)

 Show Me A Winner, Please

Sometimes, it's hard to see it coming.

I'm watching a pretty aggressive, shorthanded Borgata $40/$80 limit Hold'em table with four players.

The action is folded to the blinds. The little blind completes and the big blind checks her option.
The flop comes 3, 9, 10 rainbow and the little blind checks, then calls the big blind's $40 bet.

The turn brings another 10. Now the little blind bets and the woman in the big blind calls $80. When an ace hits the river, both players check.

Getting tired of waiting, the dealer says, "Somebody show me a winner."

Both players hesitate, and finally the little blind opens pocket Aces. He's sheepish about his overly cute play, having played his monster hand of Aces full of 10s to nearly no action.

Who could see that coming?

- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross

3pips   WORST BAD-BEAT STORY EVER! (12/21/10)

 Worst Bad-Beat Story Ever!

Wait long enough and everything happens.

I'm dealt into a $20/$40 limit Hold'em hand in the Borgata this past weekend and fold rags pre-flop.

It's an uneventful hand, a couple bets and calls, a medium-sized pot.  Then it goes wild at the river when the dealer opens a 5 that pairs the board and creates a flush possibility.  Because it's heads-up by this point, there's no cap on the number of $40 raises. It goes 9 bets! Most I've ever seen on a single card.

When the players open their hands, the first shows pocket fives for four-of-a-kind.

Amazingly, he's lost! The winning player opens a suited Ace-4 and has a steel wheel (A2345), a straight flush in hearts.

The Borgata poker room has a bad beat jackpot -- it's just over $38K when this hand plays. Everyone dealt into a qualifying hand stands to make thousands. The bad-beat loser makes the most, then the winner, followed by the table's other players.

So, why no celebrating? What's the problem?

The $20/$40 limit game at Borgata doesn't play in the bad beat. There are about 80 tables going (most $1/2 and $2/5 no-limit), and we're at the ONLY table in the room not playing for the prize. Ouch!

Painful for us, but way more so to Mr. Quad Fives. He loses 9 bets on the river and doesn't hit the buy-a-car size prize pool. Now that's a bad beat!

- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross 

3pips   THE SHIRT OFF HIS BACK (11/10/10)

 The Shirt Off His Back

 So clothes make, or at least often say something significant about, the player.
Rumpled-up threads and it's 10AM, guy's been up all night.
Cheap utilitarian sunglasses, dark ones, maybe he's a player.
Oakleys? Jesus Ferguson wanna be.....
But how 'bout this one: I'm at a small limit game with a pink-shirted young athletic guy on my left. His loyalty card says 'Matthew.'  He's otherwise well dressed, boat shoes, designer cap.
So, I take a shot: ''The shirt means something to you?'
Yes.
He teaches math in a small South Jersey rural middle school, and coaches the cross country team. How small? The runners often race older students. The teams are mismatched.  The class-designed shirt he's got on is part of a worthy esprit de corps campaign. They're raising funds for breast cancer. So far, more than $1500 has been raised.

Now, it's a bit more.....
I bought the shirt off his back! First time for everything.
My read on Matt, nice guy. You can and often do meet them at the card table. 

- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross

3pips   THAT DOG CAN HUNT (10/21/10)

That Dog Can Hunt

Okay, so this is more of a traditional posting - but with a twist at the end.

I'm watching my friend John play a deep-stacked $1 / $2 dollars no-limit table at the Borgata. Sitting early position, John raises to $6. Three people call behind.

The flop comes 7, 7, King with two hearts and John bets another $25. Continuation bet? Anyway, after a fold, a mid table player and the cutoff player call.

The turn brings the 3 of clubs. John bets another $55 and gets two calls.

The river's the 5 of hearts, the flush-draw got made.  John checks and the mid table player ships it. All-in, $525! The cutoff player, after thinking, goes all-in calling.

John insta-calls, as he opens his hand. He had flopped Sevens-full-of-Kings, playing a suited 7-King. Grumbling, the mid table player open-mucked the nut-flush.  The cutoff player said; 'Nice-hand, I had a lower flush.

As he started stacking the chips (about $2000), John turned to me and while pointing at his cards, says: 'that dog can hunt.'

We've all seen it, in no-limit, some very odd hands can drag monster pots.

Also, remember that line about the dog; have fun with it some time.

- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross

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