Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Long Post

So much has happened in the last few days that I'm forcing myself to try and write it all down before the little notes that I've taken on my phone are no longer effective at jogging my memory. The last three days have been very profitable, and would have been more so if I just had entirely avoided the 20/40 tables and stuck to the big games where they respect my raises. In a serious note, I'm a little concerned that I've stopped playing my A game at 20/40 a good portion of the time. I think that perhaps I'm not as interested in the game anymore, or that I've gotten to feeling "entitled" that I should win every time I play without putting forth much effort. This is something I need to address, but not really something that all of you really want to read about. On to the 3-casino lunacy that has been my last 60 hours of life.

Thursday was a Bay 101 day filled with the antics of my buddy Pete. In the morning I first was stuck at the 8/16 table (there was only one 20/40 and I was 4th up. Anticipating a 30 minute wait, I snagged a seat when they opened an 8/16 game). After basically folding every hand for 2 orbits and losing 32 dollars, I moved to the 20/40 game for 45 minutes. Some tilt inducing stuff happened, but I managed to only lose less than 200 dollars before being called for 40/80. I always put my name up for 40/80, but probably play less than half the time. The game has to look good, and I have to be feeling good, etc, etc. There is a rather long list of criteria, all of which were met, so I cozied up to the game, added on like $1300 from my pocket, and promptly got stuck 800 dollars in about 30 minutes. Then I played a couple of hands badly (equity wise, at least) against Chau, the prop player who came in 6th in the Shooting Star for some odd hundreds of thousands of dollars (in both hands I basically raised with a draw, allowing him to 3-bet, getting myself heads up against a far superior hand, but then made my nut hand and took all his money). The game got worse and after about 90 minutes I moved back to 20/40, up over a rack (~$1300), all of it from Chau. When I left he actually did the "try to get the fish to stay come on man it's a good game" act to which I responded "Yup, it's a good game 'cause I'm in it" while racking up.

So now I'm back at 20/40, comfortably up 4 figures for the day. Pete leaves to go back to work, and I continue to play. Nothing really interesting happens, and my stack practically does not fluctuate. I'm pretty much between even and up 500 for over 3 hours. Then Pete returns from a long hard "day" at the office and wanders to the bar, which goes a little like this:

In the words of Pete:

So yesterday I don't feel like working, so I head down to the local cardroom to make some gambool. There's a bit of a wait for 20 and 40, so I go to the bar and order up a glass of whisky. Glass of Booker's, tyvm. Bartender tells me, oh, you get a free chaser here at Bay101. Chaser? I don't need a chaser. She tells me "oh, well you can have anything you want. Juice, BEER, water, soda, whatever." ORLY? I can have some free beer too? "Yes", she says, and points to the tap where they have Fat Tire. Glass of whisky and a free half pint of beer? I'm freerolling at this point!

So I drink my whisky and bring the beer over where I get a seat in the 20 game. First hand I post in cutoff and get dealt A5. Jesse defends his blind and c/c's twice and we chop on a J-8-6-Q-8 rainbow board against his A2o. Niiice...

Playing against Pete is really easy these days, because I've basically removed every line from my arsenel that involves "folding." You see, I simply amble towards show down, at a bare minimum calling every street and only risking a bet or raise if I can comfortably call a raise or re-raise or if I have something like Ten-High that really can't win a show down. You'll note in the hand above that, had I had any stones, I would have simply check/raised Pete on the turn. However, were he to 3-bet, I'd be obliged to call down, since I have Ace-High, which can beat lots of stuff with a queen and jack on board, like King-High for example.

So moving on, Pete is actually kinda drunk at this point but playing alright, and the following cluster fuck of a hand comes up. Again, in the words of Pete:

A few hands later, Jesse mucks in EP, EVERYONE calls to me in SB, I raizeiup with JT, BB mucks, everyone calls. 7 players to the flop of: J85. This looks like a decent flop for me, so I stick out $20 just in case someone nobody has anything. Chuck Thompson raises, Indian guy (Bolly) 3-bets, LAG Asian woman cold-calls, ATC (which is also exactly how he plays) cold-calls, I cap, everyone calls. Well now I reckon this pot is getting kind of big. We're now 5-way for 34 sb. Turn T. Hmm. I guess if I capped the flop, I better bet the turn just in case someone was raising a flush draw (I want to protect my hand you see). Chuck Thompson insta-raises again, Indian guy 3-bets again. Now the Asian LAG woman is thinking, thinking... she says "pot's too big!" and slams down 3 bets. ATC says "crap, this is a big pot but I can't call 3-bets" and mucks. We're now 4-way for a nice little 2 and a half racker (29 bb). I tank. In my inebriated state I'm pretty sure I have a good hand. I think I got at least one pair, right? Well, maybe the river will counterfeit someone's two pair, so I call and Chuck Thompson calls. River 7. I check because the board didn't pair, Chuck checks, Indian guy checks, Asian Lag woman bets triumphantly, I look at my hand and I decide pockets might be good and call, Chuck looks upset and mucks his JT. Indian guy looks at his hand and says "this can't be good" and mucks 55. Asian LAG shows me 96 and beat my big pair. ATC looks astonished and says "How can you call with that, Asian LAG? I had the same hand, but I can't call 3 bets!".

Watching this hand unfold was a thing of beauty (Pete showed it to me on the flop, so I knew exactxly what he had). There was actually some smoke coming out of his ears when it was 3 bets back to him on the turn, which caused me a bit of confusion. Then I realized he wasn't considering a fold....he was considering a cap for value. Had ATC called, I think he might have done it.

Anyway, eventually Pete leaves and as I'm planning my exit strategy, Willy the Whale flounders into the high-limit area. There aren't many players I'll stay an extra few hours for, but this guy makes the list. When he's eventually called I manage to finagle the seat changing at my table such that he's placed on my immediate right, giving me full Jesus seat privleges for the next 2.5 hours, during which I lose about 1000 American Dollars (I should have taken the hint on my very first hand, when my AJ flopped JT2 against Willy's 22). I go home after 9pm, having logged over 10 hours for the day, feeling like crap, but still up a few hundred thanks to my new buddy Chau.

And then there was Friday, one of those days on which I wonder why I ever thought of doing anything other than playing Texas Holdem. The day started innocently enough, with me taking care of some "life details" in the morning. Specifically, I arranged a trip to DC the weekend of May 16th (thanks to my friend Chris having a free plane ticket he needed to book and literally having so much travel on his calendar that he'd rather fly me there with it than go someplace else), and finalized my payments of taxes to "the man." This amounted to making margin calls on most accounts that I have (my pocket wad of 100s, my box at Bay 101, my Full Tilt account, etc, etc) over the past week, culminating in having over 25K in my Bank of America Checking Account, 22K of which now belongs to the executives at AIG.

I arrived at the Oaks at 1pm and was saddened to see that not only would I not make the main 30/60 game, but that the must move game might not even go. How could this be? It was Good Friday! Surely there must be people here to gamble? 30 minutes later we fired up the must move game, and I proceeded to run like the Jesus for the full 6 hours I played in the game, and also witness some of the most God awful limit texas holdem play I have ever seen.

Right out of the shoot I get 66 and raise with it after a limper or two. We see a flop 5 ways of:


The UTG limper donks into me, I raise, one of the blinds calls, and he calls. The turn brings:


And he donks again. LOL ok you has a 5, I get it. I can beat the 5 I raise. The blind folds, and the donker 3-bets me. LOL ok maybe you did not hear me, but I says I can beat the 5 I raise. He calls. The river doesn't save him (since he had only 1 out, this is not surprising) and he mucks his T5 (soooooted!) in disgust.

A few hands later I raise AA and get like 7 callers. I proceed to flop:


And have to bet because well I mean I raised preflop I better bet. Since I have all the cards worth having and for once nobody flopped trips against my big pair, I don't get paid too well on this one. However, I did pocket the 6 big bets preflop, which ain't bad. Shortly thereafter I see a flop from the small blind with 63 soooted and make another full hours (my 3rd in 30 minutes). Then my AA holds up again (this time without the help of a 3rd ace), even though the top board cards pairs on the turn (T73-T). My two opponents put in 3 bets apiece on this flop, yet someone both could only call the turn and muck the river when I bet again. LOL, gutshotaments....

The glory continues on and on. I raise KT of spades, flop a gut shot and, with 10 big bets already in the pot, spike the nuts on the turn. I check/raise 3 people, getting 8 more bets total into the pot, and even get called in two spots on the river, dragging a ho-hum $1200 pot. I crack TT with KK by turning a set. Then the following hand just blows my mind:

Somebody raises, 1500 people call, and I cold-call 77 on the button. The flop comes down:

J84 with a flush draw and it checks to me on the button. 7 Ways. I am in awe of this occurence and decide "What the hell, I bet!". Like everybody calls. So OK, nobody's got a jack. But, honestly, where the hell am I here? The turn is:

J84-5 and no flush yet.

Again, like 5 people check to me, including the preflop raiser. I bet again. If nobody thinks they can win, I might as well try to get them all to fold. This time, only 3 people call. OK, that's too many, right? Surely somebody has an 8 and will call on the river...I wonder if I should bet, maybe he'll fold if he's the guy on my left gee hmm what should I do holy shit that's a 7!


They all check to me again and now I bet confidently. Only one player calls and I table my hand. There is a general look of disapproval as I stack the chips.....

The day was not without WTF moments of failure, however. One gentleman in particular provided a tasty one early in my session. I raise the KK and he 3-bets me. Someone else came along for the ride and I capped it. They both called and the board came out:


I bet and only the 3-better called. The turn was a picturesque:


And I led out again. This time he raised, and seemed a little concerned when I 3-bet before he'd finished getting his 12 chips into the pot. He called undeterred, with only 2 big bets behind, and we saw a river:


I bet, and he raised all in. I spent 10 seconds trying to read the board, figuring out what had happened, and decided he could possibly have played TT this badly so what the hell I call. He rolls KJo and I actually burst out laughing. I feel bad, for a moment, then apologize and tell him nice hand. His idiocy, you see, is about to catch up to him.

I limp behind like 3 other limpers with 75cc and the villain from last hand raises OTB. We see the flop 7 ways:

Kh Qs 4c

Curses, I say! Foiled again. If only I could see one more card...wait, what's that? Everybody checked? All 7 of you? Even you, preflop raiser on the button? One time dealer!!!

Kh Qs 4c - 6c

The astute reader will note that I have "picked up" and "open ended straight flush draw" and can now afford to put practically infinite bets into this pot. Sadly the guy on my immediate right bets, so I can just call, and 3 more people follow suit, including the preflop raiser on the button (who so obviously has like 99-JJ it's astonishing). All that is left now is for me to spike the 8d on the river, giving me the stone cold nuts. I of course bet said nuts whence checked to, and the button donates 60 more dollars to see them. He flashes jacks in disgust and I just smile. That's a 14 big bet pot I had no business winning.

A few hands later the same villain calls me on the flop and turn on a board of:


While I'm holding AK. The river is an 8 and I don't even bother to bet. We chop it up, as he has the same full house as me, although with a little more dubious QJo in the hole. On the flop, while calling my bet, he actually said to another player "Looking good so far" and was dead serious. More bad play ensued from other sources, like when I flopped Jacks and 3s on a board of J43, only to get raised on the river by a flopped set of 4s. The guy literally just called the flop (4 ways) and turn (heads up) in order to wait to raise the river. I couldn't believe it, but again just smiled, making a mental note of the $90 I got to keep.

A few more hands went off without a hitch after two players at the table bought rounds of drinks (first a shot of grey goose, then a double or "cup" of grey goose as round two). I rivered broadway with KQdd and cracked the aforementioned jokers two pair (this was a 3-bet 5 handed pot preflop I think). On my final hand of note for the day I held 33, limped in, and faced a raise from late position. One of the blinds called, and there were 2 other limpers between me and the preflop raiser. I actually said to myself "OK, once you flop the set, just donk, because that guy will raise with overs and you want to trap these other guys in". So then of course the flop came 432 and I donked right away, got raised on a turn K and won another biggish pot. Before losing $150 on my very last hand with AKcc against red aces (capped preflop, one bet on the flop, and then I just folded), my stack looked like this (green chips are $10, whites $100).

I cashed out 6 racks for the day, showing a total win of just a shade under $4000. Basically half of my profits for the entire year, so far, have come on 3 days (yesterday, and the two huge wins I booked at Ocean's 11). This is a little discouraging, but I suppose to be expected.

Today I have only one story worth telling, and I'll make it quick (I lost about 2 racks in the Gardeny City 20/40 game, after being up 1.5 racks 2.5 hours into a 4 hour session...blarg). I walk to the table with my empty seat and BA, a regular, tells me he's going to move into the empty 9 seat and that I'll have his 6 seat. He is currently playing the button and will move next hand. I wait for him to fold, then take his seat and pull out a stack of bills to buy in with. Before I even have chips I am dealt the 65 of clubs....The funny part of this story is that I basically have BA's hand right now. He wasn't dealt in (he is waiting for the button to pass seat 9 so he can come in for free, a practice known as dealing off), and had he not moved I would have waited one more hand to post. In short, he gave me his hand.

I check my option after ever player limps to me. Then the button raises and the small blind 3-bets. Now you'd think maybe somebody would fold, but we're at Garden City, and that's just not an option preflop. All 5 players call, and I call two more bets. In all 8 of us (everyone but the not dealt in BA) see the flop for 3 bets. Daaa rummmm rollllll paaaa lease.....


I flop a flush. Just right out of the shoot, no questions asked, with BA's hand. This isn't a particularly good way to get paid, having 3 clubs on the board instantly, but it'll have to do. I bet every chance I get, my hand holds up, and after the hand my 1000 dollars (which were brought during the hand) have become 1536 dollars. I am happy, but over the next 4 hours and 25 minutes I lose 1400 dollars, which makes me less happy. You can't win 'em all, I suppose, but with just one or two of these 4K days a month, I think I'll win enough of 'em :)

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