Saturday, July 25, 2015

Project 10K Session #4 - What do I need to call a $500 dark shove?

I had lunch recently with my friend E.B. who has been playing a lot of $2/$3/$5 at the Oaks and he told me a story recently about playing with this dude who had gone all in without looking at his cards either pre-flop or on the flop for sizeable amounts. I encountered someone who I suspect was the same guy on Friday.

He was an asian guy probably in his 60's and he played fairly normally for a while - I'll call him Mr. X to liven things up!. Then he lost a big hand, bought in for $100 and shoved it all in preflop without looking at this cards. This is not something that is not all that uncommon. $100 is the minimum buy in and every couple of sessions I see someone announce they're going in dark the next hand and then they do.

With that $100 out the window Mr. X put five $100 bills on the table, got dealt the next hand, and shoved them in to the middle. I wasn't sure if he was going all in or not, but the chip runner got there just about that time, and sure enough the $500 in chips went in to the pot before he'd looked at his cards!

I looked down at 87 of spades which is an above average hand when it comes to playing a normal hand as it's a hand that will either win big pots or lose small ones, but it's actually an underdog to a random two card hand (I think J7 is the middle of the road). I folded and it went all the way around to the big blind who did something I have never seen before (keep in mind the ten's of thousands of hours I've played poker when I say that). Wait for it...are you ready? He showed AK and folded! WHAT!? I have never seen anyone ever fold AK to a dark raise before. It's bonkers. He had about $500 in front of him after buying in for $200 and said he didn't want to risk all of his money on one hand. I made a mental note to hit him with big raises until he was broke.

So Mr. X took down that one. On the next one I've forgotten exactly what happened, but I think he made it to the flop and then bet $500 and won.

On the hand after that he put out $10 to straddle under the gun. When it got to me I looked down at KJ of spades and thought "Well, this is plenty good to get it in for $500." I'd been watching Mr. X as the cards came out to see if he was going to look or not and he didn't. I made it $40 to go and when it got to him he paused. I think my table image was so strong at that point that even the nutso crazy guy was hesitant to tangle with me.

Mr. X took a visit to no man's land and made it $140 to go. With zero hesitation I put $600 out there to put him all in. At that point he decided to look at his cards and let out an anguished sigh. But after one more sigh, he called me. I'll leave you in suspense while I tell you about the rest of the night!

I got off to a good start with some well timed bluffs. I won 5 small to medium pots in the first 90 minutes and 4 of them were bluffs. It was simple stuff like call the flop with bottom pair and then when the flush draw gets there bet big, or three bet someone lite and bet big on the flop or bet the turn and river after a check, check flop. That got me about $200 to the good.

I had a nice hand with AA where I just called a raise to $25 and took a flop 4 way. Previously, I'd three bet the guy who raised twice and once he'd folded preflop and the other time he'd check folded on the flop when I rattled my chips so I figured I'd take a risk and just call. The flop came down T T 6, no flush draws. There were two checks to me and one player behind. I decided that if I was up against a T I'd lose less by checking and if I was up against anything else I was so far ahead that I didn't mind giving a free card. The turn was a Q which was a great card and the original raiser bet $65. I called and the river was a 4. He bet $140 and I thought "Well shit! That looks like a ten." But with the way I played it I figured KQ or AQ might just be over confident here. I called and beat Q7! I took some risk here, but if I three bet preflop I think I only win $34 on the hand. If I bet the flop I win $70 on the hand. Instead I won $275. I'm not going to start smooth calling the AA everytime, but it worked perfectly here.

A little later I made a big laydown. I called a button raise to $25 out of the big blind with A7 suited and took the flop 3 way. It came down A A 4 and it checked around. Normally you'd expect the pre-flop raiser to bet here whether they have it or not and I figured maybe he was just giving up or maybe he had a pair and was worried about an A. The turn was a Q and the other player in the hand looked like he was going to bet, so I checked again and sure enough he fired out $40. Now the preflop raiser made it $100 to go! ACK! If he did have an ace, he'd almost certainly have a bigger kicker and there was a chance he'd checked QQ and hit or had 44 and flopped a monster. Either way a raise to $100 there was begging for a call and I dumped it.

Fast forward a bit and I got dealt T9 of diamonds and 6 of us saw a flop for $5. The flop came down J J 8 with one diamond and two hearts giving me and open ended straight draw. Mr. X was in this one and this was before his $500 dark shoves. He checked and this guy who was in the midst of a total melt down bet out $25. I called and Mr. X called. The turn was a black 2 and they both checked to me. I figured this was a good time to represent a J that was nervous about the draws. I bet out $110. Mr. X called and Mr. Meltdown folded. When Mr. Meltdown folded Mr. X looked and him and said "You folded?" I didn't know what to make of that, but I was 95% sure Mr. X was on a draw and my plan was to check behind if I hit 9 ot a T, and to bet again if anything else except a heart came out. The river was the other black 2 and Mr. X checked to me again.

I bet out $155 and he said a heavily accented "SHIT!" and flipped 88 face up in front of him! "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God he flopped a full house!" I thought. I was so sure I was just going to blow a draw away here that I am surprised my eyes didn't shoot out of my head and roll across the table. Also what's up with all of these fucking guys showing me their made hands when I'm bluffing at them? I don't see them doing that to anyone else. Anyway I'm trying not to panic when this guy walking past looks at the situation and says "Shit or get off the pot!" Mr. X mucked his cards about a second later. Then the walking by guy said "I would have called." Ha ha! I wanted to kiss that guy. Not every day someone flops a full house and you get to bluff them off it!

Now that I've made you sweat, let's get back to Mr. X calling my big raise when I had KJ of spades! We've got about $1,100 in the pot and the flop came out T 6 5 with one spade. This seemed below average. The turn was a Q of spades giving me a shit ton of outs if I was behind and the river was a J. I turned over my hand first and said "I have a J." Mr. X picked up his cards and I thought "Oh no, oh no, oh no, he's turning them over. He's not just firing them into the muck! Why is he doing that?!!! This is bad!" He showed 87 and I looked at the board and his hand and the board and counted 5 6 7 8....10? That's nothing! BOO-YA! Ship it!

The rest of the night pales in comparison to those hands. Some were good and some were bad, but I ended up winning $970 on the night. My $10,000 starting bankroll is at $9,860 after 21 hours of play.

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