Friday, December 02, 2005

Sometimes You're the Windshield...

Sometimes you're the bug...

My Friday afternoon session started much the way my Monday evening session ended: continuing my illustrious streak of "consecutive sessions getting stacked with A-Q."

1-2NL Hold'em, I have about $480. I raise to $15 after one limper, I'm in early position with A-Q offsuit. This game is playing very big at the moment. I'm called 3 times.

Flop: Q-T-6 all clubs. I have the ace of clubs: top pair, top kicker, nut re-draw.

I bet $50, prepared to take it to the felt. Kenny, a loose-aggressive regular sitting on a stack of about $3500 ($500 max buy-in: he's been tearing up the table) calls, all others fold.

The turn is an offsuit jack. I check, Kenny bets $100, and I come over the top all-in for about $100 more: a pot-sized check-raise. Kenny instacalls, and I shake my head as I turn my cards faceup and quietly ask the dealer for another club. The river is another offsuit jack, and I'm pushing my stack to Kenny before he shows me the K-9 of clubs. I feel fine about the way I played this hand, an I rebuy for $500 more. My main problem now is that I have no more money in my pocket. Oh - and I'm stuck $500.

Still, it's Friday afternoon, I'm satisfied with my play on the hand, and I concentrate on what E-dub and I discussed after Monday's debacle: I will NOT tilt. I am focusing on making optimal plays, and find K-Q suited on the button. After two limpers, I raise to $15, and Asian Paul (loose-aggressive player) calls, as does Albert (also loose aggressive). I have about $500, Paul has me covered, Albert is short stacked.

The flop is 6-6-K rainbow. Paul bets $30. I know I'm either way behind or way ahead, so I just call. Raising doesn't help here, as I think Paul will smooth call with a king or a 6, will probably NOT play back at me with a 6, but MAY play back at me with a weaker king.

Turn: Q, which I realize doesn't really change the situation, except it gives me additional outs if he has a 6. Paul bets $50, I call.

River: offsuit 8. Paul bets $125. I shake my head, but cannot fold here against this player. I call and he tables 6-7. Paul made a great river bet - he's capable of playing a rag-king the same way.

I'm bemoaning my bad fortune, but still entirely focused on playing the shit out of my remaining $250. I find A-K UTG and raise to $15. There's one caller, and Albert moves all-in for $78. I come over the top all-in, the caller folds, and I take back my raise. Albert turns over pocket kings, and I'm looking skyward asking "Why Me?" His hand holds up.

I'm down to $135 when I hit the inflection point: I limp with presto: 5-5, and Jerry limps behind me. Chris raises to $35, which Kenny calls, as does Frank. Now, it's back to me, and I have $135 in chips. I'm trying to decipher Chris's $35 raise: If he has A-K, and I move all-in, he will protect me by coming over the top all-in for his $290 stack. I think for a while, and realize it's more likely he has a medium or big pair than A-K. I now consider folding, but given likely 5 way action, I call, as does Jerry.

I'm staring at Chris as the flop comes. He says "You're first - you have to look at the board." I don't flinch, and check in the dark, never taking my eyes off him. Jerry checks. Chris looks at the board and checks. Kenny bets $100. I look down at:

T-5-4 rainbow. I call all-in for my last $100. Jerry folds and Chris comes over the top all-in for $170 more. Kenny mucks 2-2, and I turn over my set. Chris has an underset of fours! The turn brings a deuce that wouldn't have helped Kenny, and the river is a 7. I more than triple up.

I have about $420 in my stack when I play my final hand:

4 limpers to me, and I check my K-J in the BB.

flop; 5-7-J, two clubs. Will, with $120 in the small blind, bets out $20. I get a vibe of strength from Will and decide I'm not going to call here: raise or fold, and I don't like folding. I raise to $60, and decide I'm not going to put another dollar into this pot if Will raises me.

Frank suddenly comes to life and cold calls in middle position. I now realize that my raise is a dogshit play, because Will only has $120 in chips, and CANNOT call me. He has to raise me all-in with either two-pair OR a flush draw, and I"ll have to call another $60...

Will cold calls! Now Will is out of my mind, and I'm focusing on Frank.

The turn is an offsuit 5 and Will checks to me. There's $200 in the pot, and I put Frank on a flush draw: he's that kind of guy. I bet $200. Frank pauses. He asks how much I have left: $166 more. He says "Make it $366 then." Will calls, and it's back to me.

Holy fuck. What have I done. I am TOTALLY drawing slim to dead. Would Frank really try to run me off my hand with a flush draw? No way... but wait - what about a seven and a flush draw (the jack of clubs is on the board)? What about a weaker jack? I take a LONG time. I ask the dealer to pull the chips in, pull Frank's raise in, and make the side pot. I'm trying to do math, and somehow come up with "I'm getting HUGE odds," when, in reality, they're about 5-1. I ask him: "You're full?" He shrugs, "I don't know." He crosses his arms. He stares at me.

Hmmm... "You have 5-7" I tell him. He looks at me with no reaction, quiet. I'm looking at my final $166, saying to myself, "You can still play these remaining chips. You are drawing dead." But the consideration that I almost certainly have two sweet jack outs left, and that Frank may possibly be bluffing weighs to a call. As I'm about to call, I'm looking at the board, and someone says "There's so much money in there." I instantly look up and say "Who said that?" If it was Frank, i'm mucking faster than I could get stacked with A-Q (that's wicked fast!). Paul says "I did." And I call quickly.

The dealer burns and turns the river... jaaaaaaccccccck. I am so happy to have sucked out that I actually FORGET to yell "PASS THE SUGAR!" as I forcefully slam my K-J faceup on the table. Frank stands up - he looks at my hand - he shakes his head - and he mucks his 5-7.

PASS THE SUGAR bitch. From -$850 to -$3. I hope this was an inflection point.

Until next time,

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