Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Project 10K Session #3 - The Wisdom of Fools

After some rocky results lately I walked into the Oaks Tuesday night ready for some good things to happen to me.

I sat down in a $6/$12 limit game waiting for a seat to open up in the $2/$3/$5 and after about 10 minutes got dealt AA. Hooray aces! I raised a few callers and we took the flop 7 way for $12 each. The flop came down K 4 3 rainbow which looked like a very nice flop for me. I bet out $6 and got 4 callers. On the turn a 2 showed up, I bet $12 and got raised. GAH! In this game a turn raise is almost always two pair or better unless you up against a solid or aggressive player and my opponent was neither. I was getting 12 to 1 on my money to call, so I did, hating it all the while. On the river the king paired, I check called another $12 and lost to A5 who turned a straight. On the turn maybe he could have some awful two pair or KQ or something, but on the river it's lights out for me. I was definitely kicking myself for not folding on the river there.

Shortly after that the guy to my left racked up his chips to move to $15/$30. He wanted to take one more hand on the button before he moved over, but the dealer out of habit saw the racks and dealt past him. "Hey I wanted a hand!" he said. "Oh sorry!" said the dealer. This kind of thing happens with some regularity and we all knew he'd either get two cards off the top or the dealer would collect the cards and deal again. She called over a floor man who told her to continue dealing and give the guy on the button two cards off the top of the deck. Before anyone had acted in front of him he immediately flipped over 23 face up and said "Where did you find these?"

I hate this type of shit. 13 years ago when I was a dealer, players would poke me sometimes and show me their cards before folding (preflop!) in disgust. "I'VE SEEN EVERY POSSIBLE 2 CARD HAND 100,000 TIMES YOU DOOFS! I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU HAVE!" is what I always wanted to say.

Back to the recent past! I picked up the guys cards and flipped them back over and said "Don't do that. Just fold them face down. The hand is still going on. No one cares what you have." What I meant to say was "Why the fuck would you do that? No one give a shit what you have. The hand is still in progress you fucking dick head! It's not all about you, you self centered douche! Just get the fuck out of here before I grab you Irish bouncer style and eject you 75 feet out the front door!"

So here I was, just killing time and I found myself frustrated and worked up over nothing. I've never once - not a single time ever - shown my hand intentionally while there was still a hand in progress and I guess I just have no patience for people who do that type of thing.

I cooled down pretty quickly, but I was stuck $150. There was one open seat in the $15/$30 and I decided to take it. On the first hand I got dealt AT and ended up losing $135 to JJ when the board ran out T high. Boo!

On the next hand I got dealt QT of diamonds. There was a raise and a few callers in front of me and we took the flop 7 way for $30 each. The flop came down Q T 4 with two spades and one diamond. Bingo! Top two!

I was almost sure to have the best hand and some of my opponents probably got some piece of that flop. It got checked to me and I bet. After two calls there was a raise and I three bet it. We took the turn 4 way for $45 each. The turn was a 9 of diamonds which gave me a redraw, but also filled in the obvious straight draw. I bet and we all saw the river for $30 each. It came out a J! AHHHHHHHHH! TOTAL DOOM! Now any K or 8 would make a straight. To my shock it checked around. The first guy turned over J9 for two pair, I rolled over my bigger two pair and the other guys started staring at their cards and the board and back to their cards and back to the board. The both mucked! Ship it!

Now I was up $100 or so and they called me for $2/$3/$5. I was there for 5 hours but most of the action came towards the end.

In the first four hours I made some ~$100 bluffs, most of which worked and some ~$100 calls most of which did not. I did make a one full house and one straight but lost my opposition on the turn both times. The bad outweighed the good and I spent the entire time playing from behind.

I was in for $1,100 sitting on a stack of $800 about 3 hours into my 5 hours when I got dealt KT of spades. I raised to $30 vs two limpers and got called by one player behind me and both limpers. The guy behind me was a guy I'll call Mr. Green because he was wearing a green shirt and because he was clearly inexperienced. He's a key villain of the night.

The flop came down T 7 2 with two clubs and I bet out $90 into the $120 pot. Mr. Green was my only caller. The turn was a 4. I figured Mr. Green for a T, 98 or a flush draw. I didn't think he'd hold back on the flop with a set, wouldn't call preflop with any two pair hand and would have re-raised with any overpair preflop (except maybe JJ). He had $300 left, there was $300 in the pot and I bet out $200. He thought for a moment and then called. The river was a 3 and I figured that if I was beat the last $100 was going in there, if he missed his draw there was no way he was bluffing and there was still a fair chance he had JT or the like. I bet $100 and he just sat there. And sat there. And then he turned over AT face up! And sat there. After two minutes he called, and I lost. Ugh!

Immediately these two other dudes we're like "BRO! What took you so long? How you gonna call two hund'ed on the turn and not call a hund'ed on the river. I mean, shiiiiiiiiiiit." and "I know right? It's like, how you gonna fold ace ten there? You got top pair! Bro, come on, bro." There was discussion of this hand for a solid 5 minutes and how not insta-calling the river was probably the worst thing that anyone had ever seen at a poker table because, come on bro, seriously.

So what happened then? Mr. Green took this wisdom to heart and 2 or 3 hands later spewed off all $800 in his stack in back to back hands of calling down with top pair where it was clear as day that he was toast.

A little later I got into it again with Mr. Green who had pulled out more money. 6 of us saw a flop for $5 and he bet out $20 on a 6 3 2, with two diamonds flop. I was in the small blind with K5 of clubs. I called hoping to hit a 4 or a K or with the plan to bluff if any diamond or card larger than T came out as I figured most of his range was one small pair. Unfortunately the big blind called also which would make a bluff less likely to succeed, but when the Q of diamonds came out I decided to go for it. I bet out $100 and after some thought Mr. Green called. The river was another Q. That looked like another scary card so I decided to go for it and bet out $200. He called and said "If you have a flush you've got me." It turns out that was not true as he had 22 for a full house and didn't realize he could beat a flush! GAH!

I had a brief bright spot when I put someone all in for $270 over a bet of $90 on a J T 9 board. I had 98 and was thinking I had a shot at taking it down without a fight, but I got called, didn't improve and beat what I think was AQ with my one pair of 9's.

Fast forward to the last 20 minutes of my day. I'm losing about $500 or so, get dealt AT and raise to $20. I get 3 callers, the flop comes down A Q 4 with two spades and I bet out $60. The next player to act shoves for $320! The other players fold, it's back to me and I stop to think. There is $460 in the pot and I have to call another $260. I don't know this guy other than he's a 20 something guy with a baseball cap who talks a lot, just came from $1/$1/$2 and bought in for $300 20 minutes ago. I don't think someone would flat call AA or QQ preflop and then do a big shove with two players left to act behind. If it's A4 I would at least have two shots at a Q or a T to win. If it's AJ I could chop with a 4 or if the turn card pairs on the river. I'm cooked against AK or 44. If it's a worse A than AT I'm in great shape. I'll win 2/3 of the time against a flush draw, unless it's KJ or JT in which case it's a little worse, but I'm still a favorite. Is this a 'big bets mean big hands' spot or an 'over bet means a draw' spot? In the end I landed on there was a good enough chance that it was a draw or worse A that I should call. I was cooked by AK.

At that point I decided to play to my blinds and leave. I had a $100 chip in my pocket and threw it on my stack so I had $350 in front of me and was in for $1,200.

On my last hand before the big blind I pick up 66. There is a $10 straddle on the other side of the table and 5 of us call the $10. The straddle raises to $20 which is really weird. We all call and the flop comes down T 7 4.  It gets checked to the straddle who bets $35. This is a really small bet into a $120 pot and feels weak to me. I call. Everyone else folds. The turn is an 8 meaning that now a 9 or a 5 makes me a straight and a 6 makes me a set. I consider betting out but decide to check and see what happens. My opponent bets $60 which again seems small. Thinking I could easily have the best hand and if not 10 outs, I shove my last $300. After 10 seconds my opponent turns over AT faceup! Holy shit, not again! Why do you people keep having AT and making me sweat with the worst hand and big money in the pot!? This time thankfully he let it go.

After that small victory I decided to play one more round. On the very next hand I get dealt Q8 of spades, there is a raise to $20 and 3 callers in front of me so I call. The flop comes down T 9 7 with two diamonds and the preflop raiser goes all in for $100. They villain from the last hand calls and I call with my straight draw thinking it could easily go check check on the turn if a blank shows up. But it's not a blank, it's the J or diamonds! This is a really interesting card as it makes me a Q high straight and I could be up against another 8 with a worst straight or I could be cooked against a flush. I decided to bet $100 and if I got put to the test I thought I might be able to fold depending on how much exactly he made it and the read I got. But he just called. The river was a black 3. I wasn't totally convinced I had the best hand so I bet $100 again. I got called by a worse 8, beat the all in player and took down a nice pot. I definitely missed out on some value here, but was happy to win the pot.

At that point I was only down a couple hundred bucks which was a nice comeback from down $850.

The very next hand I got dealt AK in the small blind. 4 players limped in for $5 and I made it $35 to go. All the limpers and the big blind called meaning we had $180 in the pot. They were all sitting on $300-$500 and I was hoping for a slam dunk flop. Instead I got T 9 8 of spades. I had the K of spades which put me in an awkward spot. Normally I love to semi-bluff for big bets with good draws, but this wasn't the nut draw and I just didn't like my chances of unloading 5 other players on such a wet board.

But it was just too weak to check, so I bet $140. Only Mr. Green called me with about $300 left in his stack. I hate you Mr. Green! Get out of my pot! The turn was a red 2. Shit! I had two options here - shove or check. I thought some hand with the A of spades was a likely holding for him and from past experience I thought there was a 95% chance he was calling no matter what he had. With what I thought was no fold equity I checked. He checked behind. The river was a red 3. Double shit. My options were the same, check or shove. There was $460 in the pot and I figured if I checked I might lose to a hand like A8 with the A of spades of 77 with the 7 of spades or J9 and I could possibly get rid of them with a bet. Also if he did have Ax with no pair he might bet and I'd have a really hard time calling with AK. So I shoved and he snap called me with QJ with the Q of spades. Fudge!

I ended up losing $719 on the night: -$155 at $6/$12, + $265 at $15/$30, -$829 at $2/$3/$5. After 16 hours of play my $10,000 bankroll is at $8,890.

Things are not really going according to plan, thus far, but when I look back at these hands at least I'm playing aggressively. What I'm missing out on this far is the standard hands where I flop something like a pair or two pair and very simply have the best hand and win. That's so much easier than 'I think he'll fold half the time if I shove here and I'm getting 1.5X to 1 on my money so I guess I'll shove.' I've had very few no brainer wins. All I can do is keep on playing my best.

I'm back in action Friday.

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