The last week has been quite a roller coaster ride for me, mainly because I've been trying to play as much 40/80 and 30/60 as possible, and consequently have been seeing swings a lot bigger than I'm used to. The 14th and 15th saw me post back to back 1500+ losers, basically eliminating that 4 rack winner in the Oaks 30 game from the Friday before. Since then I've been on a winning streak, but many of the days have been very stressful. For example, yesterday I played 5 hours of 20/40, was up about a rack, and then decided to sit in the 40. I quickly won and was up 4 figures for the day, then got demolished and was down more than that much. In the last 45 minutes I went on a winning streak (flopping some sets, turning some flushes, you know the drill) and managed to leave the game up 400 and the casino up 900. These swings aren't completely foreign to me, but they are a lot larger than I'm used to encountering on a regular basis. Eventually I'll get used to them, much like I eventually got used to the fluctuations in 20/40. My fear, however, is that the 20/40 game will become like 6/12, a game I currently no longer have the patience for.
So a lot of interesting hands have gone down since I last posted, and I'll just recite a few, then perhaps ramble on some aesthetic points for a bit. First of all is a hand I played at 40/80 on my birthday (April 15th...talk about running bad from day zero).
The game is full and Anna, a regular player, is in the big blind. She's not too important in the hand, but the one thing that should be noted is that she will basically NEVER fold her blinds. Like, ever. The big blind she won't fold for any number of bets, and the small blind she'll stick for a singale raise pretty much no matter what. So her range here is...wide. I open raise pocket queens from pretty early position and get cold-called by a guy I've never seen before. Anna calls in the big blind and we're off, 3 handed. I see the door card and of course it's an ace....great. The dealer spreads the rest of the flop, however, much to my liking:
Yahoo. It's not K72 with a set of 2s, but it's still bottom set and worthy of launching an all out war. I of course bet, and the guy raises me. Hmmm, OK, you have an ace, maybe even two pair, but whatever, I have bottom set. Anna calls (which, if you see above, is not surprising. She'd take two to the face here with literally any single card above 9 in her hand) and I 3-bet. The guy just calls and Anna calls, and right now really all I'm concerned about is JT (quote a wise man: "Somebody usually has JT").
Anna checks, I bet, and they both call. At this point I can safely eliminate JT and would lay well in excess of 10:1 that I have the best hand. Heck, probably 20:1 or more. My opponents are probably drawing live though, as I put each of them on at least a pair and a gutshot or perhaps two pair.
The mother of all blanks falls and I prepare to stack. Anna checks in disgust and I bet. The guy calls me and Anna folds. I roll my hand in that "surely this is good just push the chips over here dealer thank you very much" way. He looks at my hand, looks at the board, and a rush of relief comes over his face. He rolls...KK. That's right, dude has pocket kings, flopped a set, and raised exactly one time the entire hand, including preflop. I am gobsmacked, watching the sizable (albeit way too unfreakingbelievably small but still sizable) pot get pushed the other way. Then I start to count how much money I saved. There should have been 4 bets preflop, 3 on the flop is about right, I suppose, although you could argue for 4, and then at least 3 on the big streets, maybe even 4. At least $160, maybe as much as $280, of my dollars could have been his. Instead he's just smugly stacking, happy to win any pot at all.
This doesn't really tilt me, because I have the happiness of the saved bets, but the next 30 minutes kind of do. This guy goes on the mother of all heaters. He cracks AK with AQ. He flops sets. He makes a two card straight flush against the ace-high flush. He literally wins 5 pots in a row at one point, and then 3 of the next 6 or so after that. And yet, somehow, he only has about 4.5 racks of chips in front of him at the end of it, mainly because everyone at the table saw him play KK like a complete pussy and nobody, even the resident luny toon, is giving him action. To put it in perspective, when WTK goes on a rush like this (if he ever has), he wins almost every chip on the table. This guy was hardly the big stack!
Another 40/80 hand of interest happened just yesterday. Igor, a regular donation station, open raised the cutoff and Anna, as per usual, called in the small blind. Having Anna on your immediate right is really wonderful, as observant players realize that she's never folding her small blind, so your big blind gets picked on a little less. Also, when there is a raise, you're often looking at a 3 way pot getting 5:1 instead of a standard blind defense. Anyway, I look down and find the Jack Ass (Ace Jack) and make it 3-bets. Both of them call of course and we see a flop of:
T94 with two diamonds
Meh, I can work with this. I even have a diamond. Anna checks, I bet, they both call.
T94-2 with two diamonds and two hearts now
Hmmmm, OK. Anna checks, I fire a second barrel, and they both call again. OK, so at this point one of them probably has a pair, right? They will peel the flop with all kinds of garbage and this board very wet but I mean...somebody has a pair, right?
T94-2-7 and the diamonds get there
Anna bets out. I fold, chuckling. Igor calls. Anna tables J8o for a jack-high straight. Igor, confused, tables 86 of spades for a ten-high straight. Anna drags the pot, and I am just in awe. Anna cold called J8 off in the small blind. In the face of not one but two flush draws, Igor called a bet on the turn with the idiot-end gut shot straight draw. It's hand like this that make me think it might be impossible to barrel too much with ace-high. You're just value betting the best hand so often....
I've realized I don't really feel like writing any more at the moment, so I'll just close with an update on my monthly goals. I've played 112.5 hours so far, and about 1/3rd of them have been above 20/40. I've only taken 3 days off, so I'm averaging only 6.6 hours per day played, which is well below where it needs to be. My monetary results, however, have been good, mostly owed to that $4000 winner at the Oaks. It's pretty hard to have a bad month with a day like that, but stranger things have happened.