Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Project 10K Session #1 - The Minus $1,000 Anti-Power Hour

I have a new project in the works that I'm calling "Project 10K" (I was on the fence about calling it Project Gutsy Lobster, but decided to keep it simple). I've put together a $10,000 bankroll to play $2/$3/$5 and I'm going to try to book 100 hours at the tables by October 31st. My first session was yesterday and it was a struggle.

I have not been properly bankrolled for these stakes lately so I felt a little more relaxed sitting down this time knowing I have plenty of cash in reserve and thinking about this in a longer term way. Unfortunately I had 5 hands go against me in the first hour.

In the first I had KQ, raised to $20 and got two callers. On a K T 8 flop I bet out $40 and the player to my left who is a total goof went all in for $225. I thought he might do that with any K, T or draw and would just call with anything that had me beat so I snap called. Turns out he had T8. The turn was a A of hearts putting 3 hearts out there and I had the K of hearts so I had 9 outs to the nuts, 3 more to make a straight and 7 more to make a bigger two pair, but the river was a brick and $285 disappeared from my stack.

A few minutes later I got T8 suited on the button and 6 of us saw the flop for $5. The flop was K J 9 and the cutoff bet out $20. I called and the turn came out a 9. I didn't make my straight, but this was a great card for me. If the cutoff had a K or a J I might be able to blow them off their hand. She bet out $40 and I put her all in for $160. She couldn't get her chips in fast enough and I knew I was in trouble. I missed the straight and she took it down with T9. That was another $185 down the drain.

A little later I had a red QT in the big blind and the flop came down Q high, all clubs. 4 of us were in for $10 preflop, I bet out $30 and got one caller. I figured a big part of his range was a flush draw, but I also thought he could have me beat and I was planning to check the turn. But then a T came making me two pair and I had to fire again. I bet out $110 thinking to make a draw pay big to get there. My opponent just called. The river was a brick and I checked. He only had about $125 left and I thought there was a chance that a busted draw might take a shot at it. Sure enough he pushed it all in. With over with $450 in the pot and only $125 to call with my top two I wasn't going anywhere. Sadly my opponent had flopped a flush with KT of clubs and I'd blown off another $270.

I had a couple of other hands where I lost a little over $100 in pretty standard ways, and didn't have anything go my way. Before I knew it I was stuck $1,000 an hour into the session! BAH! I tried to play these hands back in my mind and really think if I could have done anything different, and looking back now I feel OK about them, but it's hard not to doubt your play when you get it in bad 3 times.

I spent the next 2 hours folding garbage, but then had two more hands of note come up.

On the first I called a raise to $20 out of the small blind with AT of diamonds. We took the flop 4 way and it came out A 7 5 all spades. I checked, the big blind fired out $65, the original raiser folded and the button called. I wasn't really sure where I stood at this point. It was likely I was up against one other ace and one big spade, but I wasn't sure who had what or if my ace was any good. I decided folding would be too weak so I called as well. The turn was the 2 of spades and I gave up on the hand planing to check fold.

But it got checked around. Maybe no one has a spade? The river was a red J and I fired out $120 thinking it would be hard to call with no spade. To my amazement the big blind said "Maaaaaan, God damn it!" and flipped over the 93 of spades! There was still another player in the hand so it was not cool of him to show his hand, but I figured once he showed it, he wasn't calling. He bitched for about 15 seconds to the dealer and players at other tables and everyone at our table about his horrible luck and then folded. The button folded A5 (two pair!) face up and I took down the pot with the worst hand. Boo-ya!

A little later I got dealt TT, raised to $25 and got two callers. The flop came down A T 3! Bingo! Normally I like to bet big hands early so I can build a big pot, but in this instance the small blind looked like he was going to bet out and then checked. That looked like a weak ace to me and I figured if I checked once I could convince him I had a hand like QQ or JJ. When it got to me I checked. The turn was a 7 of hearts putting two hearts on board and like clockwork my opponent bet out $50.

From across the table I can tell you how many chips are in a stack that's 45 or 50 chips high plus or minus 1. This guy had put out two neat stacks of 5, but I meekly asked "How much is it?" as though I couldn't tell in a tenth of second that it was $50 and as if that piece of information mattered to my decision. I just called and the river was the 3 of hearts. This made me a full house, but I was worried the third heart might kill my action. My opponent messed with his chips like he was going to bet $100 or shove for $225, but then he checked. Trying to make a bet that a bare ace could call, I slid out $75 chips.

After a slight delay there was a very satisfying sequence that took about 1.5 seconds. My opponent moved all in, I called, he proudly showed 65 of hearts (a flush), and I crushed his hopes a dreams with my full house. The boom, boom, boom, boom of the shove, call, he shows, I show was so satisfying! I'm glad I checked that flop.

After 4 hours I started to feel really tired and left a $495 loser on the day. Not the best way to start out my 100 hours, but after that first -$1,000 hour I'm glad I didn't book a huge loss. I'm back in action hoping to put in 5-6 hours on Friday.

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