My stud quest

When the anti-gambling legislation was going through the house a couple of weeks ago, I pulled the majority of my meager bankroll from all the poker sites except for full tilt (I left some in full tilt because they very openly stated that they weren’t going to let this sham legislation put them out of business -which is true for now, but in a few months, who knows). It was actually pretty good timing for me anyway, as I recently started a new job and haven’t been playing a lot anyway. Then there is the horrific run of luck I have been having in Hold Em tournaments -don’t get me started on that.

I recently logged back in to pokerstars to check the results of a tournament that I didn’t play in (and with my work schedule there is really only one blogger tourney that I am home to play in anyway), and found that I had somehow managed to leave $1.36 in my account when I pulled out. So just for fun, I decided to see if I could double that up in a cash game. Of course NLHE was out of the question, as I am simply not a good enough cash player to do well there, even at micro levels, so I sat down to a .04/.08 Stud Hi-Lo table to see how far I could go on a buck and change. After playing for about an hour, I had tripled my initial balance and was sitting on a cool fiver.

I was actually having a lot of fun in this endeavor, as I really only had a buck on the line, so I was more willing to draw than I would have been under normal circumstances. The next day I continued on at the .04/.08 table for another hour or so, and managed to make a couple more bucks (technically, I lost my buy-in once when I failed to give a guy credit for a full house when I was betting hard on a flush. But I rebought and came out a couple bucks ahead for the night). Once I was up to about 7 bucks, I started playing the .10/.20 table -that’s big money! After playing the .10/.20 tables for a while, I managed to get to where I was hovering around 13 bucks for three days or so. It would go up and down, of course, and once got below 9 bucks, but it tended to stay right around 13 for several days. So that’s 10x my initial bankroll (if only it would have been more than a buck).

I tend to play these games when I get home from work. That is about 2am my time, but it is 5am on the east coast, so there are never many tables open. In fact the limits that I am playing are usually dictated by which ones are open at all. Sometimes there aren’t any .10/.20’s open so I have to play the lower limit ones, as there never seem to be any .25/.50 ones open either, and with only ten bucks or so, the .25/.50 would kill me quickly anyway.

Last night (well, early this morning really) when I got home from work, there weren’t any .04/.08 or .10/.20 tables going at all. There was a .25/.50 table running, which I watched for twenty minutes or so while trying to decide whether or not I wanted to take a stab at it with my miniscule bank. After observing two of the larger stacks playing extremely loose the whole time, I finally decided to give it a shot. I bought in for 10 bucks, leaving myself only 3 to start over if I managed to stack myself. But I didn’t stack myself, although I came pretty close to it when I was dealt A23 on the second hand. I bet hard until I found myself at sixth street without another low card dropping and everything else failing to pair. That left me with about 5 bucks, which I would put on the line abour four hands later.

I was dealt 456 diamonds, with the six showing. While I don’t remember the exact betting per round, I do know that I was all in by fifth street, and three other guys were there as well. Fourth street brought me the eight of diamonds, and fifth was an offsuit 7 to give me the straight. That was the point when the last of my money hit the pot. There was only 1 other guy with a possible low, which would have been 8 high as well, but it would have required him to hit well or already have two low cards. One other guy had an open pair of aces, and the third guy was showing all spades. Sixth street paired my 8, and seventh gave me the 7 of diamonds for the straight flush (which was actually my second straight flush in two days. The other one coming in a .04/.08 game, clubs 8-Q). It was extremely fortunate that I hit that card too, as I needed every bit of it to take down the main pot. It turns out that I was the only one with a playable low. The one guy who was in it on a low draw folded on seventh street. The guy who was showing aces had made a boat with aces and 3s, and the other guy had been riding a king high flush since fifth street. Just over 20 bucks slid back over to me on that hand.

Of course I logged in this morning to play a bit more, but back down at the .10/.20 table, and I managed to donk off 4 bucks in about ten minutes, but I am still sitting at 20 bucks. I want to see just how much I can turn that initial 1.36 into. I am going to continue playing the lower level tables until I reach some as yet undetermined amount and then try to move up in stakes as long as I am able to remain profitable. I can usually win 4 or 5 bucks during a winning session at the .10/.20 limits (with about 3 of 5 being winning sessions, the other two usually ending near even or down just a bit -though I do get stacked occasionally), so I figure I should be able to get to fifty within a week or so, at which point I will probably try the .25/.50 limits for a while. Regardless of how much I make, or even if I blank myself, I am having a heck of a lot of fun on that 1.36!

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