Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sweet Revenge

A couple of months ago a friend of mine found himself on business in San Diego. I decided to fly down and join him for a few days, him tooling away on whatever it is he works on during the day and me playing at Ocean's 11 in Oceanside. Well, that trip didn't go so well. I don't want to...well, OK, I'll go to the tape:

8-Dec 8/16 Limit Ocean's 11 -122
8-Dec 20/40 Limit Ocean's 11 -1473
9-Dec 20/40 Limit Ocean's 11 177
9-Dec 8/16 Limit Ocean's 11 -214
9-Dec 20/40 Limit Ocean's 11 -55
10-Dec 4/8 Limit Ocean's 11 -20
10-Dec 8/16 Limit Ocean's 11 73
10-Dec 4/8 Omaha Ocean's 11 -33
10-Dec 20/40 Limit Ocean's 11 -197
10-Dec 40/80 Limit Ocean's 11 -374

Basically, I took a $2000 dollar loss playing with a bunch of donkeys over the course of 3 days, as low as 4/8 and as high as 40/80. Why am I bringing this up, you ask?

I again find myself in sunny San Diego, with more experience under my belt and a hankering for revenge (again also because a good friend is here on business). I arrived yesterday morning and made a bee line for Oceanside, a fat clip of 100s in my pocket and revenge on my mind. I showed up around 2pm, and was seated in a new must move 20/40 at 3:15 (the availability of games in San Jose really is preposterous). The game was awesome, but I still managed to lose some money in the first 75 minutes. Then my prayers were answered, as Ocean's 11 called down the 40 list. Stuck a paltry 250, I chose a random seat and promptly draw the big blind first. Nobody raises, and I behold the 82o, which I elect to check.


I bet, and get two callers.


Ouch. Not great. I bet, and get two more callers. And, drum roll please.....


I check and fold to a bet from the UTG player. This could be a long day.

In my 3rd hand, from the button, I have occasion to 3-bet AQ of clubs and see a flop about 3 handed. This hand is boring because I flop a gut shot, call one bet, then am forced to lay down on the turn, only to watch a river Ten give my now folded hand the nuts. More misery ensues, as I flop a flush draw and miss, then see a flop of JTT with AJ...only problem is the other guy has JT (that was actually pretty cheap, as he made expert slow play and raised the turn, at which point I exited stage right like the ninja that I am).

So I call for more chips, and take stock of the situation. I'm in $3300 already for the day, and only have about $1800 in front of me. Really, not a good start at all, as I've been playing for less than 2 hours. Then I take a look around me and pause for a minute to evaluate each player at the table. I had been so concerned with my chips and playing my hands that I hadn't really taken the time to process the reads I'd developed over my first 15 hands. Then the next hand drove home what I was dealing with.

UTG calls, MP calls, and Seat 5 raises it up. Two more cold calls, then "Robert Paulson" 3-bangs the SB on my immediate right. It occurs to me that this guy has been raising a ton, and I watch this hand intently....I fold the BB, and every body else calls, for a 6 handed 3-bet pot:

Jc 5s 6h

Robert Paulson bets, and it's capped by the time it gets back to him. He calls, and 4 players see the turn


This time Paulson checks and calls only one bet for the right to see the river, 4 handed. The pot is huge....21 big bets.


Paulson donks!!! Two other players fold, but the previous aggressor calls. Paulson rolls...A9. Of clubs. And it's good....To recap....3-bets from the small blind in a 6 handed pot, 4 bets on the flop where he has....Ace high....back door clubs....and...nothing else. Then another call on the turn with...complete air. Then a donk into 3 opponents on the river. I bunker down, and my fortunes turn on the following sequence of hands:

Paulson raises the SB again. I have K9o and make the call (honestly I could 3-bet him if everyone else would fold. He's literally playing about 90/70/3) and we see a flop 5 ways.


In my memory of this hand I hold the King of clubs. This may or may not have been true, but anyway, I call a bet at 13:1 from "Grumpy" in seat 5 (so named because, well, he was grumpy, and he was a dwarf). Remaining in the hand are Robert Paulson and "UTG Old White Dude".


Ah ha, victory is mine! Paulson checks, I check, UTG Old White Dude checks, and Grumpy bets. Paulson folds (probably because he possesses only a 6-high runner runner straight draw) and I raise. UTG Old White Dude now goes into the tank and eventually calls, and Grumpy actually comments that he must be on a club draw. I kinda think that might be bullshit, because in a game this wild and crazy a club draw would be a turbo call, but whatever. It's the most likely thing....


Shit, clubs got there. I check, and UTG Old White Dude bets in rhythm. Grumpy folds angrily, and I call. UTG Old White Dude says "Nice call, I missed" and tables QT for....Queen high. I roll my pair of kings triumphantly, and Grumpy looks like he's gonna be sick. He claims two pair...The player next to him confirms....I set to stackin'. To recap, I was drawing dead on the turn in a 13 big bet pot and proceeded to scoop it.

A few hands later I raise As Kc on the button and see a flop like 6 ways (at one point in this game I noted that 7 consecutive hands went off 5 or more handed for at least 2 bets) of:

8c 6c 4s

Someone donks (in this game, there was no check/raising, as it was just expected that the preflop raiser would raise with why not bet-3-bet), and I just call on the button, along with a few others.


Huh, now I have a 4-flush to the king. I call again.


3 players check to me. I bet. One player calls, and MHIG.

The very next hand I call 55 in the cutoff, only to see the aforementioned Old White Dude raise on the button next to me. Everyone calls (7 ways this time) and the flop peels off ever so gently


(You know how the dealer deals off three cards in a pile, then picks them up and flips them over in a stack so you can only see one card first, then spreads them? Well there is nothing more beautiful than seeing that first card spike your set)


I have flopped a boat. What to do what to do....I quickly remember that the pot is already massive (7 big bets) and that I can't possibly risk the button checking behind. So when the first 5 players check to me, I donk for two reasons. One, I just stated. The other is that while my hand is awesome, anybody with a pocket pair above 5s has 4 outs (the two kings, and the two cards that spike his set). While its pretty unlikely that anybody in this game would ever elect to limp with a pocket pair of any size, it's possible. Hopefully I'll just get raised by a King and get to go batshit crazy right here, right now. Old White Guy pops it, and...everybody else folds. Alas....I 3-bet and he calls me down, showing Aces.

Shortly there after I 3-bet Grumpy with pocket jacks in the big blind. He caps it, and we see a flop of:


There are, again, 6 people in there, for 4 bets. I check, and it checks past Grumpy, and for a minute I panic. Bah! Panic? Never fear.....the high jack bets, and Paulson check/raises from the small blind. I 3-bet. Grumpy takes 3 to the face, and the other two both call. The turn and river stay below paint (4 and T I think). Score another one for the good guys.

A few hands later I 3-bet Grumpy again. And again we're 5 ways....That's what I have to stress here. Every single pot in this game was massive, preflop. 10 bets minimum, often 20, were going in before the flop even saw the light of day. It was like I was in a drunken 6/12 game on Friday night at Artichoke Joes. Anyway:


And Grumpy raises me. Somehow everyone else folds, and I call, planning to call down or maybe donk the river because like I said the pot's freaking huge. But wait, there's more!


Guess what hand I have. I check/raise him ("Pocket Jacks again?" he asks) and fill up on the river 7. He calls me down, and I drag another with my Jacks full.

At this point I pause to take stock of my stack. I've basically spent the last 90 minutes adding chips to it, with virtually nothing going wrong (sure, I lost to T2ss with my 99 on a board of 563ss-7h-Td with Paulson putting in action on every street, but I hardly noticed). I've been folding marginal hand preflop (suited connectors and the like, stuff you have to see the flop for cheap with, then manage to draw for cheap with, only to maybe win on the river...ain't nothin' cheap in this game) and have been running good in that department as well (once I flopped an open ended straight flush draw, except my hand was in the muck. Missed everything). I count it up, and realize that I have $7,200 on the table. After a few minutes of reflection, I decide that:

1. This is the loosest, most action packed game I have ever played in, at any level.

2. It is not worth staying another 2 hours, with an expectation of only ~$200-$300, to try to win more, when I could easily drop most of what I'd won. Poker players often talk about crossing the "threshhold of pain", past which further losses don't sting any more. I had passed this boundary the other way. Winning more wasn't gonna make me any happier than the clam I was currently emulating.

So I racked up and went back to the hotel, clicking my heals on the way out the door. Life is, at present, beautiful.


Wacky said...

Nice score Jesse. Wish I could have been there to get a piece of the action, but alas I am sick.

jesse8888 said...

Does freaking everybody read this thing? Wow. I'm gonna be there tomorrow. Drop me a line if you want to meet up.

Wacky said...

Probably not, I'm getting over being sick and I need to go into the office and catch up from being sick the past two days.

Wacky said...

By the way, I take offense at you calling all my fellow poker players at Oceans-11 donkeys. Don't let the cat out of the bag at how soft our games are. I don't want them to get tougher.

Yodaman said...

This was a 40 game? lol