October 13, 2005 Was The Day Phil Gordon Busted Me With 83 Offsuit

14 Oct 2005

This weeks installment of the office game was unusual for a number of reasons.

First off, I was actually playing in the weekly office game. Once Hdouble started hosting his Friday night game, I had to a choice to make. With Facty, two kids and a hell of a commute, home time is precious for me and playing cards two nights in a row is not really practical.

Choosing between the office game and the Hdouble game is not really a tough one for me. In one, I get to laugh it up with friends and actually learn something by discussing hands in a casual atmosphere with a number of people whose poker skills I respect. The beer flows, the pizza flows, the jokes flow. To go programmer nerd for a second, its poker++.

The office game is none of these things. It is that new guy in marketing who has never played before but heard once that any two cards can win. Its the guy down the hall that thinks he’s a world class player playing in a championship event. Its rushed and disorganized. Its cramped and chaotic. Its not my thing.

So its no surprise I skip almost all the weekly office games in favor of the friday Hdouble game. In almost 7 months, I’ve played the office game a total of four times and that number includes this weeks game and brings us to the point of this little story.

This week I played in the office game for a few reasons: (1) I’m going to miss the friday game this week. Facty has one of her school/pta/girl scout meetings and i’m on kid duty - (2) The office game was twice (~40) as big as usual (~20) and there was an extra bit of excitement in the air because (3) a special guest was to scheduled to appear - one Mr. Phil Gordon.

Seats were determined and we slammed into four tables. Not only did I draw the same table as Phil but he was two seats to my right. So much for blind play. Furthermore, Hdouble was two to my left and Geek was 3 to my left. Lovely.

On the first hand, Jon, who also plays in our friday game got AA cracked by AT on a flop of TTx. Phil then proceeded to run over the table. A conga line of players made their way to our table to balance the others and were soon bounced out by Gordon, one after the next. He soon had a chip lead that allowed him to raise almost every hand - often blind. On one such occassion, I over called a small raise from the cutoff with KJ that gordon had also called. The flop was Jxx, but the raiser pushed all in and Gordon called before the action got to me. I wimped out and folded, fearing QQ/KK/AJ/a set/etc. Gordon shows 99 and the raiser had nothing. The turn and river didn’t help anyone and I would have been good.

This became the theme for me. Folding made, but vulnerable, hands in the face of Gordon’s (and other’s) aggressiveness. Meanwhile Hdouble was the only one keeping up with Gordon - tripling up with pocket fours and busting two players with flopped quads. Gordon was playing extremely fast against us all except Hdouble, where he slowed down just a bit against the only player he considered a threat.

Tables combined and combined again. We were half way through the field and I’d only stolen a few pots to stay ahead of the blinds. We were at 75/150 and I counted my stack - 1250. Ugh. I was going to have to pick a hand soon. The good news was that if I could find one, i’d certainly get action from gordon, who at this point was raising every pot and calling every push from stacks short and tall. I folded A5o, A4s, QTs, etc. The blinds were coming.

Under the gun I see 66. by far the best hand I’ve seen all night. I push my 1250 in. Its folded to gordon (on the button now as others have filled in spots between us) who says “This is a real tilter hand if I call. Alright, I’ll double you up”. The blinds fold. I turn over the 66 and he does not turn over his cards. Flop is 3xx. Gordon says “Eight or a three!” Turn is a blank. Gordon says “Eight or a three!” River is a 3 and he turns over 83o.

Lots of groaning from the table. Lots of disbelief. I stood up. Gordon was somewhat apologetic about it.

He’d brought some copies of his Expert Insight dvd for everyone playing. I grabbed one and a sharpie and said, “The least you can do after that is sign one of these for me.”

For the crappy-phone-cam impaired, it reads, “Don’t play 8-3 offsuilt”.

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Franklin Henderson