Monday, July 03, 2006

The Legend of the TD Whale

As my regular readers know (hi Mum!), I love me some Triple Draw. I can't explain the fascination, except to lay at it at the feet of Chris Fargis. His great blog, 21 Outs Twice, was the first place I ever noticed the game mentioned. Through reading some of his entries, and looking at some of his hand histories, I became at least conversant with things like "snowing" and "breaking hands".

And I knew I had to play.

Why? I still don't know really. But the game appealed to me strongly. Ultimate Bet was the only place I was aware of that offered it, though some helpful souls pointed out to me some alternatives when UB's offering went down temporarily. After putting it off (after all, I am a Master Procrastinator) I finally loaded for the maxium deposit bonus after signing up for rakeback... and I jumped intot he pool.

Again, let me re-iterate... besides Chris Fargis' blog, and a really really quick skim of the relevan chapter of Super System 2, I was playing. And doing OK. Up a bit, down a bit (the game can be swingy), but a slight upwards trend. And with the bonus and the rakeback working in the background, slight upwards trend was good enough. After all, I was having fun.

The thing about Triple Draw is that not a lot of people play it, really. Definitely not in comparison to other games out there. Want to play $100 NLHE? Just pick one of 10,345,225 tables to choose from. Hell, want to play $200 PLO8? More players than you can poke a stick at!

Triple Draw? Not so much. I put this down to not only being a strange game that not many people play to begin with, but it is a 6-max handed game... so tables can break very quickly.

Given this I have taken to logging onto my laptop and quickly scanning Ulitimate Bet to see if there is a Triple Draw game running in the limits I like. If there isn't I move onto the "always available" options. But if there is, I jump in.

On Saturday afternoon I entered one of my faves, a 180 SnG on Stars. Again, as you can see by the table on the right side bar, I am a big fan of these. I had neglected them for some time (something I do, strangely, from time to time), but had started playing them again. In this particular episode I managed to build quite the stack heading into the break, tripling my initial buy-in. This usually puts me in good position to not only money, but potentially go deep.

And yes, that's just about the time I decided to play complete donktastic poker. I will spare you the details, but lets just say I did not cover myself in glory.

I was devastated. Completely mortified. Not just because I had quickly dumped a formidable stack into the trash, but because I had played so badly. Let's face it, sometimes you play well, and you just get beat. Sometimes you play like a complete lemur, and get treated like a complete lemur should.

Except I really shouldn't make those kind of mistakes anymore. Right?

OK, we all know that I'm still going to make mistakes. But that doesn't make me feel better about it. All of a sudden I realised I was tired, and decided that I would take a nap. A long one.

That is how I emerged from my bed at 8pm or so, feeling refreshed, and ready to look at the virtual felt again. I logged onto my laptop, and is my custom, punched up Ultimate Bet, and looked for a Triple Draw game. I was pleased to discover there was a 1/2 2-7 game going, so I jumped in.

After the first couple of hands, I noticed one player (who I had never seen before) was playing very strangely. After an orbit, I became very excited. It was obvious that I was witnessing a fully fledged... you know, how about a pictorial representation:

I was also excited by the fact that he was sitting in front of $480. On a 1/2 table, this really made him more of a:

Let me explain this guy's play. Every hand, and I mean every hand, he would raise before the first draw. Every street he would raise, and would usually be happy to cap. Every street. So if I held a good starting hand I would ram and jam, ensuring that I was either heads up with Mr Whale, or that I had pumped the pot with a quality hand. On later streets I would only ram and jam if I had made a hand or improved. On the river I would only call if I had something at least OK'ish (if I was heads up), but if I had a good hand it was ram and jam time again.

Honestly, you would think this guy would work it out. Nope. Again and again I was taking him to the well. Sure, he would pick up the pots where he would either get a better hand (painful if he had the wheel), or when I missed, but because he was happy to cap every street when I had a great hand he was being punished. I was extra happy when I picked up the best hand possible (23457) because quite often someone else was along for the ride with me and Mr Whale.


I was busy extolling the virtues of Mr Whale in the girlie chat, and some of my compatriots came along for the ride. At one stage we had myself, Weak Player, Weak's wife and SoxLover all in line for the ATM. As his stack dwindled towards zero I mentioned my fear that he wouldn't reload. SoxLover begged the Rebuy Gods for their blessing. As if on cue another chunk of change was loaded by Mr Whale.


Each time Mr Whale got low we started to being our pleas to the Rebuy Gods, and doing the "Rebuy Dance" (similar to a Rain Dance, except you bounce around waving an empty wallet).

Eventually Mr Whale sat out, and then left us. We were all sad, though we continued to play at the same table. A game's a game, right?

Right. Until I noticed that Mr Whale had moved to a 2/4 A-5 table. Yes, a higher limit. And yes, there were seats open.

Quick as a flash we filled the remaining seats. I won the first hand, and the second hand I made the wheel, the best possible hand in A-5 Triple Draw. As I am ramming and jamming the fish, I notice that Z (one of my compatriots, name changed to protect the guilty) is along for the ride. A bell goes off in my head, and in the girlie chat box I point out to Z that this is A-5 (it can be common for people to not realise when they change tables, kind of like when Razz changes to Stud in HORSE). Z continues to ram and jam along with us anyway, but I manage to scoop at the showdown. In the girlie chat box Z finally realises that is A-5 and laments loudly.

After two hands on 2/4 I am up $100.

Of course I spend the next two hours treading water, but hey, at least I'm working off bonus and earning rakeback, right? Eventually Mr Whale leaves, and we all take deep breaths. Over a period of 5 or 6 hours I have watched Mr Whale dump in the vicinity of $800. We all got a chunk of it, though I walked away $370 richer. Unreal.

So what was up with Mr Whale? At one point, when a complete moron was needling him about his play, he mentioned that he usually played 10/20 Omaha. I could believe that for the disdain he was showing for his money, but I would have thought I would see some changes in his play - some evidence that he was learning the game. I mean, I did notice some minor changes in Mr Whale's play... he wouldn't always cap on very street, but he still did it almost always, which was good enough for me. In the total amount of time he played I can recall him folding his starting hand twice. Twice!

Was he just drunk off his ass? Chasing the thrilll of winning a pot anyway anyhow? The latter might explain why he left the first table to go to a higher limit, upping the stakes and maybe trying to "win his money back"... of course he may have figured that another table would be easier to try and push around. Which would make sense, except he didn't leave the second time we arrive.

I hope to again run into Mr Whale, and I hope he continues to fail how to learn how to play Triple Draw. And least you think it's just a legend, I was playing last night when someone at the table mentioned seeing Mr Whale on a 0.50/1.00 table that morning.

The legend of the TD Whale. Just call me Captain Ahab.


  • Boy that Z guy was a real moron.

    By Blogger SoxLover, at 3:17 PM  

  • Could have been worse. Z could have claimed that Portugal was in South America. Now that is dumb.

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 4:04 PM  

  • Haha! Everybody know Portugal's in Africa.

    By Blogger SoxLover, at 5:52 PM  

  • I wish I was there with you guys. I love easy money. Maybe you'll teach me how to play triple draw sometime ;)

    By Blogger CarmenSinCity, at 11:37 AM  

  • Hey Whalehunter...this is your late reminder to sign up for The Mookie tonight.

    By Blogger mookie99, at 5:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home