Wow am I behind. First, a few random points:
1. I am taking my car to Melody Toyota for service on Friday morning. The $100 bounty on my head if anybody sees me in the 15/30 game at Artichoke Joe's is suspended that day, since it won't be a waste of time, but rather my only option for playing while my car is worked on.
2. The trip report is almost done. I probably only have two more installments.
3. I was in Pennsylvania for a wedding from July15th until July 20th and didn't play any poker for 6 straight days. The wedding was very cool, and I promised the bride that she'd made the blog and that tens of dozens would read about it.
4. My one year anniversary as a pro is August 1st. There might be a party.
I went to Bay 101 yesterday (a practice of mine that is growing more and more rare, as I've rediscovered the wonders of Garden City and am making a point to play in the 30/60 game at the Oaks as much as possible) and for a while it looked like I had finally turned the corner. I got seated at 10:45am and was in a fantastic 20/40 game. Throughout the course of the morning and early afternoon I could do no wrong, flopping pairs and winning large pots with relative ease. After changing to Pete's table mostly for social and anit-boredom reasons, I eventually ran my win up to 4.5 racks, or about 2200 American Dollars. I tweeted about this, and the impending doom switch that was about to ravage me. So let it be written, so let it be done.
At my table is a player I will refer to only as Heineken Man. He played for a bit with Pete and I, then went seemingly busto. After Pete left he came back to the game, apparently for the sole purpose of running like Jesus against me. In was ordering beers as fast as the waitresses could bring them (and I think even got cut off). He was....not good. Here are some choice cuts. The first hand occurred before I had truly grasped the level of his insanity.
I open As Jh in pretty late position. A poster behind me folds, and Heineken Man goes into his customary 4 seconds of deliberation about his cheese ball hand on the button. Dude is slow and drunk, and people who slow the game down cost me money which upsets me. He is about to call but Gino (of loose passive fame) 3 bets out of the small blind all in....out of turn. Heineken Man makes a speech about how he "really hates this crap....do you want me in or do you want me out? I don't know...." and then just calls because as I said before he's a complete idiot. Gino then does in fact 3 bet (big surprise), and some random aggro Asian calls 3 in big blind. I cap for value. All call, with Gino all in for 12 of the 15 small bets in the pot.
I bet and both call. 18 small bets now, Gino all in for 12 of them.
Again the big blind checks and I have a decision to make. The side pot is still small, and I don't have much. Without the 3rd heart I'd certainly check, but now I rate to have a lot more equity and neither of my opponents has shown any strength and it's practically impossible for either to have a pair. So I bet. Heineken Man now raises, and the Asian calls 2 cold. Craptastic indeed. I go into the tank for a second, then suddenly realize "WTF are you thinking about? Call you idiot" and call.
443-6-9 with just the 3 hearts
Heineken Man bets and the Asian mucks. I see little choice but to muck my hand, as the action is clearly telling me I'm crushed. I fold, and Heineken Man says "Phew, give me the side pot, all I've got is this" and rolls the Queen of spades and the Ten of hearts for...queen high, dominated heart draw. Gino drags away 6 of the 14 big bets in the pot, and the Asian guy and I are flabbergasted. Next up....
Someone open raises and Heineken Man makes the call with 86s. I 3-bet because I have Kings in the big blind, and the opener only calls. We see the flop 3 ways:
I lead and the preflop opener just calls. Heineken Manraises. I 3-bet. He caps. The preflop opener is now almost all in. The turn is:
With a flush draw now and I'm not sure what to do. It's hard to believe he has a draw, but he also could have gone batshit with pocket 8s. I check, planning to raise, and the preflop opener flings his last 4 chips into the pot. This baffles Heineken Man, and he goes into a big speech about not knowing what on Earth could make the guy do that. Heineken Man is clearly retarded....this is limit hold em, and there are 22 small bets in the pot. You think that guy is gonna fold? You think he thinks there is a non-zero chance those last 4 chips aren't going in eventually? Yeesh. So Heineken Man just calls and now I'm SOL. The dude is insane and I almost certainly have the best hand, but raising is not allowed. I already checked, and there is only a half bet out there. Bay 101 does not permit a raise. I call meekly.
As the card hits Heineken Man declares "Spike!" and I pull back my fingers and check. He bets and I call. Of course his straight is good.
The next hand brings about a ray of sunshine in my day, and sort of demonstrates the type of shit I am starting to resort to to win pots. I complete the small blind with KJo and we see a flop 5 or 6 ways. The cards come out
442 with a flush draw
I check and it checks all the way around to Ravi, a pretty decent player on the button, who bets. Now most people would look at this spot and say "Well Jesse, you have King high with 3-4 people (you can't even remember how many!) left to act behind you. Mucking is probably a good idea" to which I would respond "WWPD?" Well I don't think Pete would throw this hand into the muck...no no, he certainly would not. I raise. Everyone folds back to Ravi who calls meekly.
I bet. Ravi calls. This is a little concerning, as he was kinda supposed to muck here, but my bet also has some value in it. I start thinking about what the heck I'm gonna do on the river but don't get closed to finished before it arrives:
I opt to check and soul read, but he checks behind. I table my hand and Ravi mucks what he claims was 53. As I'm dragging the pot, Heineken Man asks "Now Jesse, I have a question and answer honestly because if you say yes it's gonna blow my mind. Did you just value bet your King high?" I cannot tell a lie....."Yes sir." He is riotous with laughter.
Next up Heineken Man puts in like 5 bets with the worst hand, then I improve on the river and still lose. The story plays out like so:
Stoney limps UTG. I once watched this guy play in hyper nit mode, failing to 3-bet KK preflop and never entering the pot with less than a god damned monster. Today he's playing a bit looser, but I'm still a little weary of his UTG limp. The problem with dudes like that is that very big hands (like AQ and AK) are sometimes in their range when they limp in early position. Today Stoney is playing more hands and making a flush every 10 to 12 minutes, but still has somehow turned his 3 rack buy in (lol, he is the only human I have ever seen who buys this much) into just 4 racks. Any other player would be up twice that...but not Stoney. Anyway, Heineken Man raises in late position with what HAS to be the worst hand. It folds to me in the big blind and I find KQo. If the limper were anybody but Stoney I'd 3-bet here, but as it is I opt to just call and resolve to check/raise most flops where I end up with 2 over cards. Stoney calls.
K73 rainbow That's right. Rainbow
What a delightful turn of events. I consider donking, but given Heineken Man's propensity to 3 bet bet bluff (so I could cap) I opt for the check um and raise um line. He dutifully bets after Stoney's check, and I dutifully raise. Stoney folds and Heineken Man calls only.
K73-6 with two spades now
I lead and he raises in rhythm, something that struck me as odd. I contemplate a 3-bet, but realize with this guy there isn't much value in it. He's capable of stone cold bluffing here, and if I 3-bet he might fold where as if I just call he'll fire the river and I'll get an extra bet. Plus I mean I do only have that one pair and he could easily have 2. So I call only.
K73-6-K with three spades now
Wow. I check. He bets. I call. He tables T8 of spades for the runner runner. I cringe as the horror of it all. The guy called my flop check/raise with Ten high no draw. Seriously. Then the turn "bailed him out", giving him a solid 12 outs to win (or raising his equity from basically 5% to around 25%). With this gift he opts to raise and run a bluff, lighting a full $20 on fire instantly (his raise has us both put $40 into the pot....75% of that money is mine) and planning to burn $40 on the river 75% of the time. Again, I am annoyed.
And finally, the capstone of the day, the hand that reduced my once proud $2200 win to a $700 one, came just before I left for the day. Before the hand, Stoney and I were chatting (he's a very nice guy, and I'd positioned myself to his immediate right, exactly where you want to sit in relation to the tightest guy at the table) about the fact that every single time I see his cards (he's peeled them back so I could see them twice since I moved over) he has had the Jack of clubs. Once early in the session I had even 3-bet Heineken Man's live straddle (with pocket 2s no less) and Stoney had called 3 cold on the button (which horrified me, and was before I'd realized he was playing looser today). The flop was like KJ8 or something and I just checked and folded. Stoney flashed the JT of clubs. He comments that "yeah, that card's been coming over here a lot". He proceeds to open limp UTG, and Heineken Man raises in late position, and I call in the big blind with 97 of clubs. We see the flop 6 ways, so big pot coming....
Kh 6c 5h
We check it all the way around to Heineken Man who bets. I call, as do Stoney and this guy named Vu, an Asian player who is actually pretty decent. I do a small prayer dance for the 8 of clubs to roll off the deck.
Kh 6c 5h Ac
I said eight of clubs dealer, not ace. Nonetheless this is obviously a good card for me, as I now have a gut shot and a flush draw in an 8 big bet pot. I check, Stoney checks, Vu checks, and Heineken Man acts confused on the button and checks. Huh...free card. That's probably a good thing, as I do have 9-high.
Kh 6c 5h Ac 8c
Better late than never thank you dealer. I donk, and Stoney calls with what I assume is two pair. Vu no raises and Heineken Man mucks his cards with great vigor. I cringe and call basically without thinking, hoping (with a decent change of success) that Vu has either made merely a straight or somehow has one of like 2 or 3 flush combos that I actually beat. Now Stoney goes into the tank and I start to get worried. He's talking and yammering on and finally says "well only the queen or the king of clubs beats me, I guess I call" and I cannot believe what is about to happen. Vu rolls 97 of diamonds for a straight. I roll my 97 of clubs for a small flush (that also made a straight). And Stoney rolls...you guessed it. Jack Ten of clubs. He and I have a good laugh about how on Earth it was he was able to keep a straight face while picking up that hand at the exact same moment I was commenting on the fact that he'd had it so many times. Crazy game.