Today I lost money playing Texas Hold 'Em poker. This is notable only because it had not happened in approximately 17 days. I could say that the heater is over, except that I only lost 25 dollars, so honestly who would I be kidding? Two orbits before I left, I reached the UTG+1 position with a stack of 1001 dollars and was planning to leave if I didn't play a hand. I did however play and lose a small pot, so I played two more orbits, lost all the way down to stuck 350, but had an Ace-King take down a big one right before I left to reach the -25 number.
Today's session did provide lot's of blog material, so without further adieu, here we go. My first interesting hand was a blind steal gone wrong. In it I folded the turn when I could have had as many as 13 outs (open-ended with a pair), but alternatively was drawing dead or close to it against many hands. If I had it to do over, I'd call the turn and fold the river UI.
Today I saw some of the worst play I can remember in my games. Perhaps I'm just getting better and noticing awful play, but I find it hard to believe I could have ever missed these shenanigans. First:
The Absurdly Passive
1. Player limps. Maniac raises. I 3-bet pocket jacks in the small blind. Player calls, maniac caps. Someone else is in the pot too....flop comes down A97. I check and call one bet from the maniac and there are 3 of us left. Turn is an 8. Wow, I say, I have to call another bet. But it checks through. River is like a 4 and I value bet. Player calls, and maniac calls. I roll my Jacks like they're the nuts. Player shows pocket kings, and then the supposed maniac rolls AQ to drag the pot. To recap, the player's line pocket kings was:
Preflop: Call, call, call
2. Same player limps in. Maniac calls, some other people call, I don't really remember, and I raise pocket 9s. Like four of us to the flop or something, and the cards come off JQ8. I bet and get raised by this player. I call (I have a gut shot). The turn and river are both below 8, and neither puts a flush on board. The player checks both big streets and rolls AQ for "a freaking monster".
3. I open raise AJ from UTG+1. Next guy in flats it, and so do like 4 other people. The flop is King high, I bet and get raised by him. He gets me heads up, and I for some reason decide to peel one (perhaps it's cause I'm getting 15:1). Darn, it's a Jack. I check and call one bet. River is a brick and he checks behind, then fast rolls Aces. I laugh out loud, realize I'm being a jerk, and say something about "way to suck everyone else in". Flatting two bets with aces in early position is probably the stupidest thing you could do preflop, particularly at a table with a known maniac left to act. Next....
Rusty Devastates Me, but does so in a nice way
So I mentioned Rusty a few posts ago, regarding the Wine Table. He's the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet, but just not so good at the pokers. He was back tonight, and played these three hands against me:
1. I 3-bet the maniac (he's not really a maniac....just a preflop maniac...I suppose I should explain about him. He played at the table with me for 5 hours and probably drank 8 beers. He sings, dances, and does ridiculous things like declaring a raise with "I have decided that, upon inspecting my cards, I shall increase the wager to two times the minimum". He also had 4.5 racks in front of him at one point. Tough game) with AKo. Rusty calls in position, and the maniac calls. The flop comes down A67 with two hearts. I bet, Rusty calls (the Maniac folds at some point...flop or turn, it doesn't really matter). The turn brings the Ace of Hearts and I bet. Rusty calls again. Note that I have trip aces with a black king as a kicker. The river is a 4th heart, and I bet. Rusty turbo raises, and I expose my hand to him and ask if he has the Queen of hearts. He is so nice that he shows me his hand, Queen-Jack off, with the Queen of hearts. Replay that hand once in your mind, and tell me just exactly what he was intending when he called that flop bet.
2. I get a free play in the big blind with pocket 5s. The flop comes off 236 and I bet. Rusty calls from his UTG position. Turn is an Ace and I bet again. He again just calls. River is an Ace and check. He bets and I fold. He shows me A5. He had a 3 outter and he hit two of them.
3. I have changed seats and now have direct position on Rusty. He limps in and I raise red Queens. The flop comes 523 rainbow and he bets. I raise, and the 2 or 3 other people that were in the pot for some reason clear out. The turn is a 4 and Rusty just bets out. Doesn't even bother to check/raise me or anything. Just bets out. I show him my hand as I fold it and he shows me again the monstrous A5 off. Next:
I Develop a Case of Floppy Nut-Itus.
The maniac open raises and two people cold call his bet. I have 98 of hearts one off the button and pull out my "one cold-call per 6 hours" card (as suggested by SSHE). The hand goes off 6 ways (both blinds call) and I flop the stone-cold nuts (T76 with two spades). An older white man in the small blind donks, some people call, I raise, he 3s, I cap, and we're still at least 4 and I think actually 5 handed. The turn is a sexy Ace of redness and I still have all the symptoms of a full-blown case of Floppy Nut-Itus. It's about to check to me when the loose-passive who can't read hands worth a damn donks right into me. I turbo raise and the old white gentleman actually says "Why would you bet into him like that?" while cold-calling my raise. He then declares "Pair the board". The maniac calls (lol, flush draw) and the donker calls. The river is a Queen (blessedly red) and I bet once more, collecting a call from the old man (Ten-Seven) and the donker (Ace-Seven). I drag the pot, two racks worth of chips, and am still stacking as I play my next two hands. Then:
I check/raise Ed off the freaking table
Ed is a nice kid. Seldom tilts, doesn't berate bad players, and in general plays pretty darn well. At a table full of him, I wouldn't bother to sit down. I'd also venture to say that I've only been to Bay 101 once or twice in the last two months and not seen him. He's there...every...single...day. So anyway, on to the hand in which I basically owned his soul. Ed is 3 seats to my left and has been basically minding his own business (I played all 9.25 hours today at the same table) for the last two orbits since he got into the game. I've been picking up decent cards and to him it probably looks like I'm lagging it up a bit. So I open-raise Ace-Jack off from 4 seats off the button, the next two fold, and Ed....drastically and obviously looks left. He looks left so obviously at the remaining players that my gaze must follow. And what do I see? 3 guys (the button, small and big blind) with their cards in their hands, telegraphing folds. Ed 3-bets. The riff-raff all folds and I almost cap it...instead, I just call and say "Ed, don't make it so obvious you need them all to fold."
The flop comes down 834 with two spades (and I don't have even a 3rd). In other words, I flop complete air. I check, Ed bets, and I formulate my plan. You see, it's pretty obvious Ed is weak. He wouldn't have looked left so much if he had a real 3-betting hand; namely, a decent pocket pair or a better ace than me. Sure he could have like 7s or 6s or something, or maybe even 9s or tens, but I doubt it. I think he has squat. I call, planning to bust a move on the turn which is:
834-3 three spades now.
Blarg. I'd have preferred a non-spade, as now he'll be able to call my check/raise with more hands in his range. Nevertheless, my read is still that I have the best hand, so I must continue. I check. Ed thinks, and for a second I think he might not bet. In fact, I'm almost sure he's going to che...but no, Ed bets. I check/raise in rhythm and Ed goes into the tank. He thinks for long enough that I'm sure he doesn't have the ace of spades. Then he thinks for long enough that I know he doesn't even have a spade. He finally does call though, and I'm a bit concerned.....maybe that pocket 6s thought was right after all.
Yikes. If I was right about Ed having a weak ace, he just caught up. I check, and so does he. I roll my Ace-Jack like it's the nuts, and he rolls...Ace-Seven. Of diamonds. He gives me a funny look and I merely shrug in return. The dealer chops up the pot, and Ed doesn't pay his blinds again. 5 hands later he racks up, walks to the corner of the room and eats his dinner, returning to the 20/40 game 2 hours later as I'm racking up my own chips. Then:
I simply play good
A maniac (a different one this time...this guy is a true blue betting and bluffing machine) open raises in the cutoff. He could have damn near any two cards, and I turbo-call him with J8 off. The flop peels off:
QJ5 and I check/raise him. This is standard play in a blind-steal situation. The pot is being contested only two handed, and any pair is a very strong holding. He only calls my check/raise, and the turn brings a Ten. I am about to bet, but then have a moment of clarity. Against a normal player, I should bet, making sure he folds his naked Ace or King which now has a bunch of outs (or at least pays to draw with it). Against this guy....I check. He can't have my jack beat, as he'd have 3-bet the flop if that were the case. He bets, and I call. The river is some very low card, and I again check with what I'm certain is the best hand. He again bets, and I beat him into the pot with a call. He tosses the dealer his cards, face down and says "nice call". I win the pot uncontested. Finally:
I make a royal flush
The hand wasn't even that interesting. I completed the small blind with the Ten of spades and 6 of clubs in my hand. We saw a flop 6 ways of KQJ all spades, and I checked and called the bet of one player. On the turn, however, the Ace of spades rolled off the deck. I checked, and my opponent checked it right back. The river was the Queen of diamonds, so I felt a glimmer of hope for some action. I bet, and he just called, and I got to declare "Royal Flush!" and turn over my hand. It was great fun, even it was just a 6 big bet pot (fully two of which were mine).
And finally, for posterity....Here are some pictures taken at the table yesterday by Hammerin' Hank. Note that my brass rat is prominently displayed, and that I have over 2800 dollars in chips in front of me :)