Monday, July 5, 2010

Shock the monkey

Above: A flag flies on the Fourth of July at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica MS.

When I was younger, the Fourth of July was a day to cook out, drink some beer and watch fireworks. I knew it was our country's anniversary, and it had importance, but I don't think I really "got it." Now, I more fully realize its significance. I think it's because I'm getting old. Old farts get conservative and all that.

Besides thinking about our national holiday yesterday, I went to the Horseshoe Casino to play in their Sunday tournament. The buy-in was $110 and 50 runners signed up. I felt good; I was ready to play.

Instead, I busted out early, mainly due to this deal: I limped in with Q-J from early position. The next player raised, two others called, so I did, too. The flop was Q-10-9 rainbow. I checked, the raiser and another checked, and the last-to-act guy made a pot-sized bet. What would you do? I think I should have re-raised to make sure the other two folded and also to find out where I am. Folding would have been okay, too -- I didn't have much invested. Instead, I called.

The turn was a King, giving me a straight on a rainbow board! Yes! I bet two-thirds of the pot and got a call. Hmm. The river was a rag and I checked. The villain bet big. I called and he had A-J for a higher straight. I was ahead on the flop, but gave him a free card. Sure, it was unlucky that it worked out like it did, but I don't like my play.

Because of this, I was short-stacked and pushed with 9-9 (trying to double up and get back in the game), only to run into A-A -- GG me.

Remember when the bridge over the Mississippi River fell in Minneapolis? They say a bridge doesn't just fall down -- any catastrophe takes a series of events. That can be true in poker as well.

Let's look at the series of monkey plays. I limped (not good) with a trouble hand of Q-J. I failed to lead out or check-raise when I hit my hand on the flop. Next, I called a big bet on the river. Could I have played it any worse. Then, on tilt, I made another monkey play and pushed with 9-9! Patience is one of my strong points, but not on monkey day.

Cover me when I run
Cover me through the fire
Something knocked me out' the trees
Now I'm on my knees
Cover me, darling please
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don't you know when you're going to shock the monkey
-- Peter Gabriel

Photos by MOJO and taken yesterday with my P&S.


  1. "Remember when the bridge over the Mississippi River fell in Minneapolis? They say a bridge doesn't just fall down -- it takes a series of events. That's often true in poker as well."

    Mojo - that's a poker pearl right there - we should all be so enlightened. Sorry bout the game.

  2. Conservatives aren't allowed to quote Peter Gabriel.

    Hope you tore up the cash game.

  3. Looks like you went from the White House to the outhouse ... or sumfin like that ...

  4. Limping in early position with Q-J was a terrible mistake. It's an easy fold with a full table.

  5. I blame your $1 warmup! Serves you right!