This blog will follow my trials and tribulations playing live mid stakes Texas Hold'Em throughout California.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
45 Minutes at Commerce
So I roll up a tad early and get a seat in the third 20/40 game at 12:15. Stan and Josephine, an older married prop couple who've been at this for literally twice as long as I've been alive, are seated in the 7 and 8. Stan is a super nice guy whom I've been playing with over the past few weeks. He's always telling stories, and he's got a few great ones. He was here when Todd Brunson showed up 25 years ago and was playing the 200/400 game, and he's propped all over the city and really there probably isn't a single thing he hasn't seen. Stories about games delicately (and not so delicately) built around live ones, why the rake is so high, you name it he's seen it. He also likes to talk about players who say "The pot's big enough" on the river, and how many bets they miss. All in all a great guy to play with who seems to have decided I am a new shark in town. Anyway....The 6 and 9 seats are open. Obviously I slide into the 6 and Josephine asks me if Im the young man from San Jose. I respond that I am ayoung man from San Jose,but that won't be true for much longer. We smile and she asks if I'm taking the big blind. I do and she gets no cards as he has an out button. "those are my cards, so let's see what you can do with 'em" she says. Stan jokes that "He's not as good a player as you Jo" and she says "Aw that's not what he said before. Said you're an excellent player. A hell of a player". I cringe at the praise and offer my party line "now be careful Jo that's how rumors get started".
In the mean time a red faced Asian man of slight build and middling age (and sole proprietor of 2 Coronas) has opened the button. I call with the A7o and declare "I guess we'll see"
Nothing like an ace hi call down to start your day off right.
That seals the deal. I call once more.
He turbo bets and I turbo call. He shakes his head and says "nice call" an mucks his hand. Stan grins knowingly and after my hand is safely in the muck (I never had to show) I confirm to him "Ace high is hard to make right?". He laughs, knowing his wife mucks that hand on the flop.
So we play a bit more and on my small blind a pot breaks out. The Asian thief from above opens the LJ and is promptly called by Red Sox hat (yes the Bay regular), the CO, and the button. I behold the gem that is 99 and a voice in my head screams "pocket 9s do not play well first to act of 5 in a bloated pot!" I say "yabut pear. i has pear" and 3-bet. Hot and cold equity wise my play is unassailable. I just must play like a ninja post flop and make fewer mistakes than cold call nation has already by putting 3 bets into the pot with whatever dominated hands it is that they have. Jo folds the BB but everyone else calls....8 big bets 5 ways already and I pray to the God of lowball.
For once my prayers are answered. I bet, theif calls and Red Sox hat raises. He usually played the 40 at bay and my read on him is "not super awful". Like I don't have a ton of hours and haven't really played with him since pre GC propping so like Halloween but my thought is that he's not insane. Lol oops. Sick read Jesse, sick read.
Both CO and button call, I 3bet, and everyone calls. We are now 15 big bets in and I has one pear. Of 9s. There are no safe cards in the deck, as I have Red Sox hat on 77-99
7d putting a FD.
I bet because I'm bad at poker. Thief calls and Ref sox takes us upstairs. HJ calls all in for 3 chips, button folds, and I tank fold. He can't expect me to ever fold, so I probably should....thief mucks and the river is dealt.
Red sox hat unveils A5dd. He got there, and I saved $80 because of my horrific fold. The all in player produced only two broadway cards for a busted flush draw. I cringe inside and resolve not to build $700 pots and bet fold in them.
So moving along next orbit I defend A9o against Jo's CO open (she changed seats and Stan left for the lowball...the two of them almost never play in the same game, in fact I think that's why she was sitting out). The flop is AK8r and she checks behind. Alarm bells should be going off, and they are, but I turn a 9. So I bet and she just calls. She raises the river brick and I call cause she COULD just have flopped A8 I guess but no she rolls KK. Not sure if I saved $20 or $60, but eithe way...She's lucky Stan didn't see that one :)
So next orbit it folds to me on the button and I open AJdd. It's really not fair to have a hand that strong on the button but neither is life. The thief (who has changed seats and run out of Corona) defends and the flop is:
He tank calls. I resolve to showdown because he tank called. He has no pair.
I bet planning to call a raise. He insta-raises and I don't flinch. Let's pause to discuss something here. When you semibluff, it's best to have "the draw" on an only semi wet board. On the sloppy wet almost any 2 cards have a gut shot with 2 flush draws board, let's be honest. I'm never folding Ace high. Not to drunk Asian gambler man. Maybe to white nit prop, but definitely not to drunk Asian gambler man. This guy reminds me of Uncle for crying out loud. To the river we go:
Ouch. But at least it's red, and really as I said before there are no safe cards because pretty much any card on that river was going to complete SOME reasonable draw. I call his bet and he instamucka once again. A chuckle escapes Jo's lips.
The very next hand I open KTo in the CO. Asian thief defends his small and the big blind, a player of reasonable skills, calls.
I actually check behind. This is a rare play for me but with aggressive players and a hand that would grudgingly call a c/r I decide to give it a whirl. What the hell.
Well how about that, a double gutter. Thief bets and the big blind folds. I call, considering the merits of a river bluff. There is no need.
He checks, calls my bet and for chips in one smooth motion. All this happened in about 45 minutes and left me up a health 20 big bets. I proceeded to play for another 7 hours and ended up at the best table I've seen in weeks, Jesus seating a pair of Armenian lunatics for 4 hours, and eventually left for the day up 65 bets, or a tad over 5 racks. Yahoo!