Yesterday I rolled up to Bay 101 around 1:15 pm and promptly got a seat in a 6/12 game (there is often open seating in that game at this time of day). After exactly 4 minutes I was called for the 20/40 game, and was seated with "MegaFish", a quiet Indian gentleman who is just absolutely awful at Texas Hold 'Em. He does stuff like putting in 6 bets on the flop with an over pair (of 6s mind you...the board was 244) against a prop player who 3-bet preflop. 6 bets here is a little much, just trust me.
Anyway, I play for about 30 minutes with MegaFish and he's just launching his money into the pot left and right. He kills a rack while I'm there, buys another, asks for a table change, then looses another rack, then just walks away. I am sad to see him go, but also am up almost 600 bucks in 30 minutes cause I flopped a few good hands, so I can't much complain. MegaFish paid me off once on all three streets on a board of AK4-T-3 when I had 3-bet him preflop with AK. What did he have, you ask? KJ. That's not what I'd call a "good" pay off.
So I play for 15 more minutes then realize something....MegaFish didn't leave the casino. He's at the 40/80 table! And there are open seats! "Lock it up!!!!!". This is my moment, my shot, my one opportunity. I play off my blinds at the 20 game, take a deep breath, and schlep my chips over to the 40/80 game where I get a seat just two to the left of MegaFish (being on his left is good. He enters many, many pots, and if I'm on his left I have position on him 8/9ths of the time).
The first few orbits are pretty unsuccessful. If anything I find the game to be more passive than I'm used to (typically a 40/80 would be more aggressive than 20/40), and I proceed to air ball 3 planned check/raises. I also play a hand very passively against an 80/160 player who is slumming it when I defend my big blind against his early position raise. I have AJo and the flop comes AKJ with two diamonds. This flop is not nearly as good as it looks, because if I get much action here I'm probably behind. I check/raise him on the flop anyway and he just calls. The turn is another jack and I lead into him with my "bottom full house". He raises me. I tank for a minute and decide he has one of the following hands:
AA - 1 available
KK - 3 available
AK - 6 available
AQ - 8 available
AJ - 2 available
So I'm splitting against 2 combos, a head of 14 and only behind 4. However, if I 3-bet this turn he's probably going to play almost perfectly against me (I think he probably thinks I'm scared money, as he knows I don't play 40 usually). I elect not to raise and call only. The river is a brick and he beats me into the pot with a bet (before I can even check). So I just call, and he shows me AQ and MHIG. I may have missed a bet, but it's possible he'd have folded to a turn 3-bet (i almost certainly would have against me).
By this point MegaFish has been moved to the main game and I'm about even (unlike the 20/40 games, where you can table change whenever you want, the 40/80 games are strung together in a "must move" format. When a seat in the Main Game opens, a player is moved to it from the Must Move Game, and that seat is filled from the wait list). I am 3 spots behind him and decide to wait it out. Nothing interesting happens (other than the aforementioned missing of check/raises), and eventually I get to the main game.
Then the world ends.
MegaFish is 2 seats to my left, which is not ideal. It's a Main Game so very few seat changes open up, and basically I'm stuck where I am. No big deal. I play a few pots and am generally holding my own. There is one other bad player at the table, and one prop that I'm not very afraid of and have played a lot. Things are going OK, and MegaFish is still playing horribly. By this point I have been called for 20/40 two more times (I listed myself so I could eventually move back down), but "rolled it" (put my name on the bottom of the list each time). I am called a 3rd time, just as I've posted my big blind, and again decide to roll it.
I find AQ off and raise one limper. The aggressive asian lady on my left 3-bets, and MegaFish calls 3 cold to the chin like it ain't no thang. We see a flop 4 or 5 handed (I honestly don't remember) and the board is:
This is it. I'm gonna win this pot and call it a successful shot. I bet, 3 players call, including MegaFish.
3 two spades now
I bet, preflop raiser again calls, and mega fish calls, 4th player drops.
I bet, preflop raiser folds, MegaFish calls all in for his last 3 chips and rolls A4 both spades for the nut flush. On the flop he had...air. Nothing. Bubkus. He was drawing at either running fours or running spades. He drags the 12+ big bet pot (12*80 = $960) and I am devastated.
Two hands later....
There is a raise and some callers and I opt to fold K2 off from the big blind. It's a trouble hand, and really shouldn't be played even getting 9:1 preflop. Some would argue you can play any two cards here, but K2 is the type of hand where you have horrific RIO problems. Anyway I watch the flop come down Q22 and am about ready to end it all.
Three hands later.
The dealer pitches me my second card and it hits me squarely in the knuckle and flips right over, face up. In this situation the dealer will simply deal me an extra card after he finishes dealing and collect my card and use it as "the burn" card. This way the same flop comes down as if he had not dealt and the hand is minimally affected (if two cards are exposed it's a misdeal). Anyway, he pitches me a second card and...
An early position player raises. I look down to find a pair of ladies in the hole and of course make it 3 bets. MegaFish takes 3 to the chin once more (to give you an idea of how bad this is, I have NEVER done it. There, I said it), and the old tighty white guy in the big blind caps it (crap). We all call the cap (that's all we can do) and the flop comes 9-high. I bet, MegaFish raises me (awesome) everyone else folds (super awesome) and I 3-bet him. He calls. The turn is a blank and I bet and he calls. He raises me when a Ten comes off on the river and proudly displays T9o for the winning hand.
My stack, just moments ago in fine shape, contains only 600 of my original 2100 dollars. I am called for 20/40 and say "lock it up", ducking my tail between my legs.
I play 2 hours of 20/40 and recoup a large portion of my losses by winning another 653 dollars. For the day, despite the devastation at 40/80, I leave only stuck 250 dollars. I have made it my goal to play as much poker with MegaFish as humanly possible in the next two days. Also, I'm no longer scared of the 40 game, as even the "good" players were making many mistakes that I could identify. I think I'm ready for it, but need a few days to get my confidence back.