Sunday, February 28, 2016

Project Manhattan Session #7 - Just a Little Patience

As I drove to the Oaks yesterday, the Guns and Roses song Patience came on as I was driving over the bridge to leave Bay Farm Island. I had my windows rolled down with the warm air of the early evening was gently blowing through as I took a quick look out over the bay towards San Francisco and the sunset. I wish I could bottle that feeling of total calm and general pleasantness.

For the next few hours a lot of patience was required at the table. I discovered a few months back that you could call in advance for the $2/$3/$5 game and put your name on the board. This has been a huge boon as I'm normally at the top of the list by the time I arrive and don't have to spend 30 minutes to an hour waiting or playing smaller stakes. When I rolled in there was only one game going, and sure enough I was first. But no one was getting up!

Finally after 45 minutes they called my name and I sat down at table #2 in what was a shitty game by Friday night standards. 10 minutes later they called out 10 names to start a new game. I looked at the cast of characters sitting down at table #9, saw that it was a bunch of stooges and quickly put my name up for a change to that game.

While I waited, not a God damn thing happened for me at table #2. After an hour I'd won no pots and I was only losing $75. It was fold city!

On my first hand of note, I called a raise to $25 with KJ of clubs on the button. We took the flop 3 way and the board came down K 8 4 rainbow. The preflop raiser bet out $50 and I just called. Unfortunately I felt like it was totally obvious what I had. There were no draws out there and after calling the raise preflop I pretty much had to have Kx, 88 or 44, but with Kx making up most of my range. We went to the turn heads up. The turn card was a 5 and the preflop raiser checked. I figured there was a 90% chance I was going to bet and win on the turn, but checking didn't make any sense. I cut out three stacks of five $5 chips and pushed them into the pot. My opponent quickly check raised me to $175! What the?! I figured he probably had AA and after a short pause I mucked. He flashed AK and said "King queen?" to me. "Something like that." I replied. Drat!

90 minutes after sitting down I was still waiting to move to table #9, when they started another $2/$3/$5 on table #8 with even more stooges. Get me out of this game where people are betting the flop and then check raising one pair on the turn! Luckily one of the stooges was so stoogy that he wanted to play on table #2 and we switched.

I was in seat #9 and in seat #10 was a guy wearing sunglasses with headphones on. He looked like he was trying to look like a really baller poker player. The only problem was he bought in for $100 and had no clue. He was a real spot.

I got into it with The Spot after he'd doubled up to $200 or so. I had JT of hearts and came in for a raise to $20. The Spot called. The flop came down Q94 with one heart and I bet out $30. The Spot called again. The turn was another 4, I bet $55. The Spot called yet again. At that point I figured he was calling me down with a Q and I decided I wasn't going to fire another barrel on the river. I hit a T on the end and checked it figuring he'd check back something like KQ or QJ. He did check, but instead of Qx he rolled over 66 which was just a lowly pair of sixes. I showed my JT and he jumped out of his chair like it was the worst beat he'd ever gotten. What are you so upset about? You can't beat third pair you spot!

On the other side of the table were two guys I'll call Mr. Quiet and Mr. Loud. Mr. Quiet is a roughly 65 year old fellow who never says a word. Mr. Loud is a mid twenties guy with baggy clothes, tilted hat and lots of tattoos who is constantly talking. Some people who talk all the time are real dick heads, but this guy is very charming and funny.

 On the first hand I got into it with them, The Spot and Mr. Quiet called $5, Mr. Loud made it $15 to go, I called with 86 in the big blind and we saw the flop 4 way. The flop came down 9 8 5 with two clubs and The Spot and I called a $20 bet from Mr. Loud. The turn was the J of clubs bringing in the front door flush draw. I had the 8 of clubs in my hand to go along with my pair and gut shot and I thought it was certainly possible these guys didn't have squat. I bet out $60 into the $120 pot. The Spot folded and Mr. Loud pumped it to $155. I made an easy fold and he showed 76 of clubs! What a flop for that hand!

I got into it again with The Spot a bit later. There was a $10 straddle out and I got dealt KJ of clubs. As soon as the guy to my right folded I went for my chips to put in a raise, but before I had a chance to do anything, The Spot called $10 on the button out of turn. The dealer immediately stopped him and let him know that I hadn't acted. "I couldn't see his cards" spouted The Spot in regards to my clearly visible cards right in front of my stack that had not been touched. The Spot slurped his $10 back into his stack and I raised to $35. Now The Spot tanked. After 30 seconds he moved all in for $90. "Well, I guess this is happening to me now." I thought. I called primed with the knowledge that 1) I absolutely without a shadow of a doubt had the best hand 2) I had zero percent chance to win this pot. The Spot flashed me the 97 of hearts and I showed him that yes, I was in fact raising a hand that had a card higher than 9 in it. The flop came down K 7 6 with one heart and I figured I'd be losing to the running hearts, but it was the 7 on the turn that got me. "YUUUUGH!" spouted The Spot on the turn, a behavior that normally calls out to the poker gods to stick it to you on the river. But alas the power of the goofy, brain dead shit The Spot was doing on this hand was insurmountable. In explanation to me the Spot spouted "I only did it because I have to leave soon." "You will be leaving soon because unless you have $5,000 with you, you're going to be broke in less time that it takes to watch an episode of Charles in Charge you Spot!" is what I was thinking.

He blew off his stack to Mr. Loud 2 hands later and left.

At this point I was losing about $500 on the night, but things turned around.

After the Spot's departure, Mr. Quiet raised to $20, Mr. Loud called and I raised it to $60 with JJ out of the big blind. The flop came down T 5 4 with two diamonds and I bet $125. Mr. Quiet went all in for $90 with what turned out to be K9 of diamonds and Mr. Loud folded 33 face up. The turn and river were both black aces and I won a nice pot.

Mr. Quiet bought back in for $400, much of which would come to me.

A few hands later five of us saw a flop for $5 and I bet out $15 with 76 on a 877 board. Only Mr. Quiet called. The turn was a total bingo - a six! I checked and Mr. Quiet quickly bet out $25. I check raised him to $75 and he stopped to think. "What were you thinking check raising, you goof?" I asked myself. The last thing I wanted was to blow him off a draw that might come in and if he had an 8 there was some chance he might call a turn and river bet, but no way he was calling a turn check raise. I would have been better off betting out and I thought I'd lost him. But happily he called. The river was a J and I was hoping he might have T9, but when I bet $110, he instantly mucked.

A little later I raised to $20 with AT and Mr. Quiet made it $45 to go. I've played with him a half dozen times and I don't think I've ever seen him three bet anyone. I felt pretty sure he had a big pair. Then another player cold called the $45. I felt like he had a big pair too, but I was suited and it was only another $25 to go so I called. I went to the flop hoping I didn't get a ten high flop. I wanted to flop the nuts or just totally miss. I got a ten high flop - T 7 4. I checked and to my surprise Mr. Quiet checked it along. The other guy bet out $45 and all of a sudden I thought I might be good. A bet of $45 into $135 is pretty weak and he only had about $175 behind so it wasn't a big risk to put him to the test. I decided to go for it and made it $200 to go. Mr. Quiet mucked and after some deep thought the other guy folded as well.

On my last hand of note Mr. Quiet called $5 before the flop and when it got to me I made it $25 to go with AK. One other player called and Mr. Quiet shoved on me for $125. I figured he was getting fed up with me pounding him, but that he probably still had a pair. Whatever he had I sure a shit wasn't folding AK preflop for $100 getting 1.75 to 1. I made it $300 to blow the other buy off the hand and the board ran out Q 3 4 5 5. The was a terrible run out. I couldn't beat a pair or some other likely hands like AQ or KQ or QJ. Can this guy really have AJ or some other bullshit? Turns out he could. I don't know what he had, but he didn't show and I took down the pot.

I won $210 on the night over 4 hours which felt pretty sweet given how slow the night started. After 26.5 hours I'm ahead $2,280 for the project.

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