Things have been going alright the last week and a half in the Commerce 20. The games are typically excellent, but I've been surprised at how few of them there have been. Yesterday, for example, there were only two games for most of the day, and with a must move system in place this basically means that you have no choice where you play at all. Eventually they started a 3rd game, which did at least mean I could move between two tables if I wanted to, but this is still nothing like what I expected. It hasn't mattered much, however, since I'm yet to find a game that has made me uncomfortable. And it's been kind of nice not to worry about changing tables, since doing so efficiently is often difficult (giving up even 3 or 4 free hands could offset two hours of gained expected value very easily).
My results through 7 days have been positive and encouraging. I have played something like 40 hours and am up something like 3 racks total, which comes out to very close to $40/hour, which is the whole point (obviously I know this result says nothing about how I actually rate in the game, but it's comforting to me to be winning at all). I'm learning how to play in the games, which basically means I'm figuring out what pet lines players seem to take in certain situations. There is more donking with top pair than I'm used do, and out of tempo checks (donk checks, if you will) seem to be more honest than I'm used to (what I mean here is that the player really is checking because he doesn't want to get raised, not because he wants to check/raise you). Lots of players still make expert slow play with the nuts, so much so that their flop raising ranges become extremely weak (if you take "the sets" out of a flop 3-betting range it becomes unbelievably weaker against most hands), and in general it's not like I'm on another planet. So all in all I'd say things are good. Briefly, a hand:
My game is one of those games that I used to rate as not very good but more and more am thinking might be a perfect specimen. It's not very loose, which is what I typically look for in good games, but it's also extremely passive. This makes it very easy to play in, meaning you can sit there for 6 hours and feel like you played every hand well because passive players just don't put you in difficult spots. Which is nice. I've been running into monsters though, which is unfortunately. The blinds keep getting chopped or stolen without a fight, yet the last 3 times I've raised in late position I've run into two sets and two more pairs. Not fun. So my image is poor, I look like a laggy young kid raising with terrible hands when in fact I'm really just running into big ones. So anyway....4 people limp in (the game wasn't THAT tight) and the small blind completes. He is probably the worst player at the table and is stuck some large number of racks. He's actually commented that he can't seem to buy chips fast enough. I raise with pocket 9s from the big blind and get the customary scolding from the rest of the table. "You sure?" and "He never learns" and so on. Everybody calls and we take the flop with $240 in the pot:
That's a nice flop right there. I even have the 9d (not that it matters much in a 6 way pot). The SB checks and I bet. Two players call, two fold (promising) and the SB check/raises. I peer over at his stack and note that it only has 8 more chips in it. This doesn't change my action, but does make me happier about the one I've chosen, which is to 3 bet immediately and get rid of the players behind me. I only have a pair of nines....On this board they are almost guaranteed to have 3 or 4 outs (either a gutshot or an over card) unless they have like exactly 94 or something. Amazingly both players fold and the SB predictably 4 bets his last 4 chips into the pot. I call and ask him "what am I trying to beat?" and he just says "What do you have, aces, kings, or queens?" I respond "something like that" and we watch the dealer burn the last two streets in the now $440 pot.
2 - K
He triumphantly rolls K8o and I muck my hand. Somebody invokes IWTSTH and I am duly scolded for raising pocket 9s with so many players in the pot. Didn't I see that I had no chance to win? I'm running bad, why would I do that?
For the record I built a $440 pot, using only $120 of my own money, and was about a 4:1 favorite to drag it when bets stopped going in.