Gargoyle Tournament Series, Season 9, Game 4

Was extremely busy last week so didn’t have much opportunity to write. 1 week to go until the next Gargoyle game!

Having done well in game 3, I wanted to continue that trend in game 4. I never really go into a game “guns blazing” but I did take a 5-hour energy drink to try and keep my level of concentration up. I noticed right away that I was having trouble paying attention and generally having a lot of fun because I was talking to all the other players. Uh oh.

Not too many hands out of the ordinary for me in this game. A few hands of note that I’ll get to. The most interesting thing I was paying attention to during this game were verbal poker tells. I’ve been doing some studying on them and it truly is amazing how much information we players give away by what we say at the table.

Most common: Verbally checking instead of tapping the table, especially when the player normally taps the table to check.

First hand of note: I limp in with 4/5s along with 3 other limpers. A player either in late position or in the blinds raises. It’s not an amount I’m happy about, but I’ve vowed never to limp/fold unless there is a significant reason, so I call. Everyone else folds. The flop is 5/low/low, 1 spade. My opponent checks and I get to see the turn for free. The turn is a 9s (I think) and my opponent jams. With the original check on the flop I really don’t put my opponent on anything more than over cards. I paired the board and now have a flush draw. I opt to call for about 50% of my stack. He turns over 10/Js (goodbye flush draw!) for just over cards. The board runs clean and I eliminate him with 4/5s which is probably my loosest call ever.

I think a lot of the other players were VERY surprised at my call, but I’m really happy that my read was right. I’d have preferred that he didn’t have a better flush draw than me, but even still, I’m 2:1 to win. Very interesting hand.

From the big blind I look down at A/Ko and there is only 1 limper. I check. The flop is all low and my opponent leads out. I call. The turn puts a straight draw on the board and my opponent checks. I check. The river completes the straight draw, but still leaves me with nothing. I read my opponent as the weaker part of his range and that he definitely doesn’t have the straight. I over-bet the pot and he exclaims, “Oh my God Patrick, do you have the high or low end of that straight!?” I smirk at him and he folds.

As usual, as the blinds increase it becomes more and more difficult for me to find good situations to play in. I wish I could say that I’m “card dead” but I really feel that I could continue to win here just by playing a little differently. It’s something I’m working on anyway.

Towards the end of my evening, I started being deal lots of small to medium pairs where I faced intense action and had to fold. Many of my opponents were kind enough to show me their over pairs. Still, I end up bleeding a ton of chips away quickly.

I finally end up going all-in with A/7s from the big blind against a middle-position raise. He calls and shows A/A and it’s good night for me in 17th place.

Still seeing a ton of common tells when I’m able to observe the table. I’m also KEENLY aware when I do something that is a tell and try to mentally jot it down so that I can work on it.

On to next month and hopefully there were be a mini-series that Giac is hosting that I can add to my blog.

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