Poker and Oblivion

It's been quite a while since I posted anything poker related so I thought I would take a minute to recount the story of my visit this past weekend to Harrah's (or Harrah's Harrahs as my group calls it, but that's another story).

First off, this won't be a bad beat story even though I've been known to tell a few.  But, it's not about a great session either.  In fact, it was a busto session.  The story, though, is about the 2 seat.

I arrived at Harrah's at about 4pm on Sunday and they were just opening a new $1/$2 No Limit table so I sat right down.  Within the first 6 hands I watched the guy in the 2 seat call every single bet he faced and get felted for $200.  Within another 3 orbits I saw the exact same thing again.  He never folded once.  He won about 2 hands.  He was busted when he shipped it with one-pair-no-kicker against 2 pair.  Unfortunately for me and the rest of the table, he chose not to reload again.

Taking his place was a young kid with a haircut that I guess is in style these days and a Hollister t-shirt.  He couldn't be worse than the last guy, right?  He wasn't.  As a table we played for a couple of hours with nothing really out of the ordinary happening.  The guy in the 3 seat was being pretty aggressive, but with $1 and $2 blinds and no starting hands, I didn't really feel the need to take a stand.  Instead, I thought I'd wait for a hand and chip up.

The 3 seat opened under the gun for $10.  This was his fourth opening raise within the last ten hands, so it was no surprise that a couple of middle position players called.  As the 10-seat, I looked down at on the button.  I decided to call and play it cautiously.  The BB (Hollister) called as well and we took a flop 5 ways.

OK, I'm starting to like my hand even though it's possible I'm out-kicked.  Hollister checks to the pre-flop raiser.  The 3-seat puts out a rather weak $15 continuation bet into a pot that's already at $50.  Both of the middle position players flat call.  I might make a raise here with a mediocre hand, but I think there's a good chance my A8 is good and this is a totally non-threatening board with multiple players putting money into the pot.  I don't want to lose any customers so I flat call from the button.  The BB closes the action with a call and we get the turn.

Jackpot.  The nuts.  Surprisingly, Hollister leads out for $10.  WTF?  $10?  There's $125 in the pot and he bets $10?  Oh hells, yes.  That's either a strong Ace he's trying to get some more value out of or a really weak Ace and he's hoping to control the bet size.

The 3 seat raises to $30.  Both middle position players insta-muck to the raise.  I'm definitely just calling here.  I'm hoping I can get the kid to put in another $20 before I get some more money from the 3-seat on the river.  Instead, Hollister snap-shoves for $152 total.  The 3-seat tanks and folds.  I can't call fast enough.

Hollister shows for a flopped full house that is now dead to a chop.  He doesn't seem to pay any attention when I table A8 and get ready to drag the roughly $450 pot.  The river...

Hollister audibly groans!  He thinks he's just been counterfeited by the river.  He doesn't even realize he just hit a 2-outer to keep his stack.  The guy in the 5 seat explains it to him.  He doesn't seem to understand.

I guess it could technically be a bad beat, but what struck me more than my atrocious luck on the river was the reaction of the 2-seat.  He was genuinely oblivious.  I should have been stacking his money, but instead he would continue to play.  And he would keep playing longer than me.

Some time later I flopped an open-ended straight flush draw against what I was pretty certain was an overpair.  I called a flop and turn bet and then made top pair (Jacks) on the river forcing me to payoff the value bet from KK.  My stack was now in pretty bad shape.  I had about $70 on the table and another $200 in my pocket, but I didn't feel like reloading.

By this time, Hollister had moved to the 5 seat.  Just in time for my last hand.  It went something like this...

The 4-seat (Some LAG) limped UTG.  Hollister called.  The 7-seat (a solid player) limped.  I came along from the cutoff with KdQd.  Both blinds called/checked and away we went.

The flop:

The LAG in the 4 seat bets $10.  Hollister and the 7-seat call.  I've got just one option.  Ship it for $65.  LAG doesn't think long before calling.  Hollister calls.  And then the 7-seat drops the hammer.  $165 to go!  The LAG calls off his last $80 or so and Hollister pushes in a stack of reds with an okie-dokie easiness.  Clearly KQ is no good and I know I'm headed for the exit unless I can improve.  The turn:

Hollister checks.  7-seat bets $150.  The kid wastes no time calling again, leaving himself about $23 behind.  The river

Hollister shrieks with joy and tables !  The dealer asks him if he'd like to bet and reminds him to protect his hand.  He pushes in his last $23.  The 7-seat mucks!  I fold as well and disgustedly, the LAG flips his cards into the muck!  I guess they both had AK.  Again, though, it was the kid's reaction that surprised me the most.  When the 3rd heart hit pairing the board, he was certain that his flush was good.  It never crossed his mind that with all that action someone could have had TT, JJ, QQ.  What's more surprising was that he was right.

I hope he's there the next time I play.

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