Greg Poker 12/12/16

So I went up to HH again tonight. It was a weird session. I played for about 9 hours and had long stretches of time where I would get just 2-X. I would sit there and fold and not play a hand for 30 minutes or more. Then it would be interrupted with either a nice rush or a couple hands just good enough to lose some money. There was a guy in the 7 seat who paid more attention to watching videos on his phone than the game, but he was always ready when he was his action. He played 75% of the hands and he was an absolute card rack. I wanted to play against him because he had all the money, but at the same time, he was catching every single card he needed. On to the session:

For the first 45 minutes I played a couple hands and just folded. It was the start of the river of trash I was dealt most of the night. I lost a couple small pots and was down $75 early. Things weren't going well at all. Then I won a couple small pots to get back to even. I hovered there for a while until I was dealt 5-5 in the small blind. There was a loose-aggressive player in the ten seat who was throwing chips around. I watched him go from $25 to $300 in one orbit then lost back down to $40 then back up and so on. Well, he and a few other players limped in and I called as well, just wanting to see a cheap flop. It came As-Qs-5d. That board is too connected for me to allow a free card to come down, so I make a pot sized bet of $15. The luck box in seat 7 called and seat 10 made it $30. I didn't see a reason to play it slow from here so I look to raise. The luck box could literally have anything and seat 10 probably has an ace. Since he limped preflop I figure he has something like A-10 or maybe A-J. A flush draw is just as likely though. I finally decide on making it $80 to go. Luck box insta-mucks and seat ten calls quickly. He has about 50 behind. I thought that amount would be enough to make him bet the rest of his stack, but oh well. Its going in no matter what card hits the turn. 2s hits. I wasn't happy to see a third spade, but I'm not folding for his last $50. I put him all-in and he insta-calls. The river is a red three. I show my set and he grimaces and mucks. He goes to the cage to re-buy and the guy next to him said he had A-J. 

After that I lost a couple hands with top pair when I was out kicked both times, but they were relatively small pots. I was in the blinds and just check called to smallish bets. Since they were unraised pots, I only lost around $70 total.Then I went on a little rush. I won a small pot when I made my gut-shot on the turn and picked it up to a raise on the turn. The very next hand I followed some limpers with 10-9 off. I was just playing my rush when the flop comes 7-6-3 rainbow. It checks around. Turn is an 8 that puts the second spade on board! Yatzee!! Black guy with dreads who was in the small blind opens for $10. Luck box made it $20 to go. There is one caller then it folds to me. While I am thinking, the button raises out of turn to $75. Well, this is an interesting development. I don't want to just call in case she changes her action, besides, it would look fishy. She obviously likes her hand, so I make it $75 to go in front of her. I really thought she was folding after that. I mean, that has to scream monster.She insta-shoves for around $120. Dreads over shoves for around $150. I insta-call. The river is another 6 and my heart goes into de-fib. I'm looking for a crash cart and paddles as I turn over my nut straight. I am shocked when they both muck! I rake a HUGE pot and toss the dealer two red chips. 

Next I lose a decent pot to the luck box when he gets running trips to beat my top pair. Then I get Q-9 off on the button and limp along in a multi-way pot. The flop comes 10s-9s-8h. An old guy in the blinds leads for $10, and old guy in seat 4 calls. I decide to peel one off after the guy between us calls. Its the four of us on the turn when the Js hits! While I like making my straight, I'm not crazy about the third spade. Old guy in seat 4 beats $15. I'm not sure what to make of this. He was constantly firing at pots. He could have anything from a naked ace of spades, to a set, to a flush. The guy between us calls the $15. I decide I want to find out right now if my straight is good or not. I don't want to just call here and have to face a tough choice on the river. I make it $50 to go. Seat 4 and the guy between us both call. I am now 95% done with this hand. The river bricks and seat 4 fires right out with $100. No hesitation at all. Seat 5 tanks briefly and folds. I go back over the hand. I want to make this call. However, I just cannot put him on anything but a flush and probably the nut flush too boot. I muck and he tells me he had the ace high flush. Seat 4 claims he laid down a queen high flush. Just for a little back story, seat 5 had been playing many hands and often slow played sets or two pair. But I thought his over call was the naked ace of spades. I am just happy that I found out what I needed to know with a relatively low cost on the turn. I would have been hard pressed to fold on the river to that $100 bet otherwise. 

Shortly after that seat 5 limps UTG and I make it $15 to go with tens. Its three of us on the flop of As-9c-3c. He checks and I c-bet $20. Seat 5 is the only caller. I hit gin with a 10d on the turn. Seat 5 checks again. I want to price out a flush draw and make it look like I'm trying to push out a weak ace. I bet $65. He goes in the tank. Then he counts out the call. He goes back in the tank. At this point I'm pretty sure that he isn't faking this decision and think he has a medium ace. Maybe even a flush draw. He finally folds.While I'm happy to scoop the pot, I can't help but still think that I bet too much. But the fact that he had to tank for as long as he did makes me think it was pretty close to the perfect amount. I didn't necessarily scare away my customer, but I didn't let him outdraw me cheap either.   

The table tightens down as the night gets late (I played until 2:15 am). My stack took two small hits with A-K, but I got away from it on the flop fairly cheaply when I missed. My last score of the night is when I call a early position raise in the small blind with tens. I flop a set on a Jc-10s-3c board. I check to the raiser who bets about half his remaining stack, about $30 and when it folds to me I raise him all-in. He calls, I river a boat and he shows aces after I show him the bad news.

Overall, it was a tough session. There were a few tough players on my table and the cards weren't always going my way. I feel like I was able to maximize all my monster hands, although I didn't always minimize my losses when I could have. But I was still able to walk out up $215, so I am very happy with the results. That means that I am now up almost $800 over the past 6 days. Not too shabby if I say so myself!


Sweet Sweet Side Action

Best turnout we've had for a long time. 12 Showed up so we started with 2 six-handed tables. It's a loud, rowdy group that doesn't believe in table etiquette... "who has the bigger spade?", "Oh a full house out there now...". But, it's not my game so I just abide.
About the second hand of the night and I've got ATo on the button. UTG player (Let's call him "Don") is a reliable maniac and opens for 4x. Folds to me. I call. 
Flop : Ad Jd Tc
Don is pretty easy to read usually and he leads out for a decent sized bet. This usally means he has nothing because he almost always tries to check raise if the flop hits him hard. I call to let him bluff the turn.
Turn : 4c
He checks... I bet. He snap calls.
River :  2c
He puts out a big bet. I figure he has AK AQ JT or nothing here a lot so I think about it briefly and call. He shows me AJ and I've lost half my stack. This is where his maniac image definitely pays off because he’s just as likely to have 67 there.
Two hands later and I've got 22 in the BB. Don min-raises from the cutoff. Button calls. SB calls. I call.
Flop : Kh 8d 2h
Yahtzee. SB checks. I don't want to risk a check around so I lead for about 1/3 pot. Don min-raises. Button folds. SB folds. I 3-bet. He insta-shoves. I call and show my 22. He shows KK... and the guy in the SB reaches into the muck and shows me the last 2. Re-buy Table 2.
With the new stack I took down a couple pots with selective aggression and had chipped up a decent amount. A little later and "Marco" is basically all-in from the BB. I'm on the button with KdTc and $20 bounty on the line. Don opens UTG for a min-raise and I call. Marco is all-in for less.
Flop : Kc Jd 8d
Don checks. I bet into the (basically) dry side pot. Don calls.
Turn : Qd
Don makes a fairly big bet and I call.
River : 6d
Don moves all-in and has me covered. He can definitely have the Ad here and fumbled his way into the nut flush. But, I don't see how I can fold given the size of the pot and his potential for big bluffs so I call. If he’s got it I just take my medicine and head home. No 3 re-buys for this kid.
He shows KsJs and I drag a huge pot (and Marco's bounty). The irony is that I probably let it go check-check on the river because that's more likely how he'd play the Ad. So he could have saved his stack. But he still had about 20% of a starting stack and played it back up before we ran into each other again.
I've got Jc7c in the BB. "Carla" (UTG) makes it 2x and (of course) Don calls. SB calls. I call and we take a flop.
7d 8c 2d
SB checks, I check. Carla min bets (she has a habit of min-betting all 3 streets with anything less than the nuts). Don calls. SB folds. I call.
Turn : 9h
I check. Carla min bets. Don min-raises. I call. Carla calls.
River : 10c .... wheeeeee
I lead for half the pot. Carla insta-mucks. Don insta-shoves. I snap-call and he shows me 8s9s. No good and re-buy is over. New guy to the game (Alan) says, “Did you not see the straight out there” and gets a glare from Don. Seat open Table 2.
I had a good stack when we combined tables and didn't play a lot of interesting hands. I did knock out a short stack for another bounty but I was pretty card dead for a long stretch. We were paying 4 spots and I'd managed a good stack (probably 2nd or 3rd) into 5-handed. But as they do, blinds were getting big in the home tourney and it was forcing the action.
With blinds at $1000/$2000 I've got QQ. UTG folds. I make it $4000 (leaving about $19000 behind). Button folds. SB folds. BB (Mack) shoves his $15000. I don't hesitate to call. He's got Ad7s and here we go.
Flop : 6 8 T
Well, that could have been worse.
Turn : 4
OK. OK. Enough.
River : 9
I'm crippled and manage to get it in with K5 against KQ and, miraculously, not get there. Good night, nurse. Second bubble in a row.
One interesting thing did happen. "Gary" (regular $2/$5 player) opens UTG for 3x. Folds to "Brad" (the host) on the button… Brad agonizes and folds but keeps his cards close because he wants to show the hero fold. SB folds. I fold and Gary starts dragging the blinds. Brad is patting himself on the back for his tough laydown saying he’s got respect for Gary and knows he had it. Brad shows the 88 he mucked from the button; which I almost certainly would have 3-bet and then folded if I’d been 4-bet. Gary turns over one card, the Ten of Clubs.
Brad : “Pocket Tens. Good fold. Good fold.”
Gary : “Maybe”
Brad : “I know it was tens. I would have been dead. Good fold.”
Me : “meh. probably Ace-Ten”
Brad : “No way”
Me : “Ok”
Brad “Wanna bet $20 on the side?”
I said that’s up to Gary if he wants to show the other card. He says if we bet it he’ll turn it up. I clarify… 
“so you’ve got 3 tens and I’ve got the rest of the deck?”
Brad : “Yeah”
Me : { puts $20 on the table }
Gary turns over the Ace of Clubs.
Sweet sweet side action.

Run Good Tsunami

A slightly edited version of the email I sent my buddy Greg after a crazy day at poker room last week.

A crazy night indeed. I went to play the $70 donkament only to discover that they weren’t running it (and hadn’t updated their calendar) but were instead running a $1000/hr high-hand bonus because it was MLK day. I’m pretty sure that was his dream.

I got into a $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'Em game with the max buy-in ($200). I posted in from middle position. It was playing pretty limpy as you might expect with everyone fishing for a high-hand. Within a few hands I looked at

from under the gun. I made it $8 to go and got 3 callers including the big blind.


Wowza! I’m thinking I probably continuation bet in that spot with one A about 60% of the time and with KK-99 about 80% of the time. So while I'm doing all this thinking and figure I’m going to c-bet so as not to look too suspicious... the big blind leads out for $12. I flat call and everyone else folds. He checks the turn

and I check behind to give him a chance to bluff the river. But, he checks instead

Here I didn’t know the policy for this card room on high hand as to whether or not it had to be played to showdown to win (it doesn’t I later learned) so I checked behind (he wasn’t calling anything anyway). I posted the high hand (AAAA8) with about 35min left in the hour. Somehow I faded a straight flush for that whole time and collected a cool $1000. By that time my the dealers had pushed so I went and found the guy who dealt it and gave him a tip.

There were a couple other interesting hands. There was a guy who joined and sat in the 1 seat who clearly had done something cosmically wrong… we’ll just call him “Hipster”. Hipster opens $15 from UTG+1. Two players call before the action gets to me in middle position. I’ve got  and decided to come along. One more call in late position so we’re 5 to the flop and already have a nice pot. 


Gin! Hipster leads for $23. One guy folds and another just “okie-dokie” calls. I make it $55. Late position guy folds. Hipster seems genuinely pained and finds a call. Okie-Dokie calls leaving himself only about $20 behind. 


The action checks to me. I make it $93 (what the hipster has left in his stack). He looks like I kicked his dog but finally makes a crying call. Okie-Dokie guy can’t get his last $20 in fast enough. For the side pot ($146) I show my flopped boat and the original raiser showed  and buys another $100. The dealer pushes me the side pot and I’m ready to collect the main when Mr. Okie Dokie rolls over  for flopped quads! At least the side pot keeps me afloat so I basically broke even… and broke the spirit of Seat 1.

By this point the high hand bonus was over and we’re back to $50/hr so it doesn’t really alter play at all. I end up calling pre-flop from middle position with  in a 5-way hand and flopping

Holy cow! Checks to me. I figure I stand to make more playing the hand than shipping it here to show high-hand and protect my weak kicker (that is actually allowed in this room) so I check. Button leads for $10. Folds to me. I call. 


I check him some rope but he doesn’t take the bait. 


and even my high-hand is safe! I bet $25 and he insta-mucks. But, I show the high hand of 77776 and fade a better hand for a full 45min to collect another $50 bonus.

While I’m waiting out my Quad-7s high hand, Seat 1 (the same hipster whose KK I busted) opens for $12. Again a couple calls including me with . Sometimes I might raise with 99 to see if I can take it down, but I didn’t figure it would work against him here so I didn't want to make the pot any bigger and have to make a tough decision on the flop.


Hipster leads for $25. I call figuring I’ve got the overpair and he might shut it down after getting called. Button calls. 

Turn !!

It’s a run good tsunami! Hipster bets $40. I make it $100 (again just enough to cover him). Button calls (for less). Hipster calls. No more action. Button shows ? Seriously?


I show the 99 and Seat 1 rolls over  and excuses himself from the table… probably looking for a bridge.

I should have bought a lottery ticket. Cashed out up ~$1350 for the night.

Vegas, Baby

I'm supposed to hate Vegas. I mean if you dissect it, I hate most of it's individual pieces. It's loud; I hate that. It's bright; hate it. It's over-the-top; yep, hate that, too. It's fake; It's a city built in a place there shouldn't even be a city. Everything about this town is fake from the facades to the boobs.

The view from my bathtub (see "over-the-top")

Yet, I just can't bring myself to hat it at all. In fact, I love this city. Maybe it's the fact that at any hour of the day you've got a variety of poker room choices. Maybe because it's a tourist-centered hospitality city. Service workers here do go out of their way to make you feel taken care of.

Or maybe it's just because they'll sell you a "roady" at the airport bar.

"You want one to go?"

"You want one to go?"

Yeah. I love this town.

Venetian canals in a desert. Sure, why not.

Venetian canals in a desert. Sure, why not.