Friday, December 30, 2005

Patience is a Virtue

Last night I played 4 1/2 hours of live 1-2NL at the Club.

When I sat down in the must move game, it was utter madness. Ivan, Asian Paul, Frank, Robin and Liquor Billy ensured that each and every pot was raised. Ivan could open a pot for $50 and get 3 callers - the action was insane. I had finally found a table where I was virtually CERTAIN that I'd be looking for a limp-re-raise with a premium hand in early position.

I liquidated a short stack early with QQ, but was rendered a spectator for the next hour as I couldn't find any hands to work with. The texture of the game changed, as Ivan left, Robin and Frank went to the main game, and we got some new players.

To the Felt!

The first interesting hand I played was when I raised to $10 with QsJs after the UTG+1 player limped. I got 4 callers.

Flop: QcTs9s ! I flopped top pair plus an open ended straight flush draw. Rubin, in the BB, announces "I hit that flop hard." Hmmm... So did I... SB bets out $30, Rubin raises to $75, and it's on me. I have about $400, and Rubin has me covered. I re-raised to $175, and everyone folded to Rubin, who called.

When the turn produced a rag 7, Rubin moved all-in, and I called. The river brought another offsuit seven, and my draws had failed to materialize. Rubin had Q-T: flopped top two pair, and I reached for a rebuy.

In retrospect, despite my 18 outs, I didn't play this hand as well as I could have. I don't need to re-raise the flop, as I want action. I'm not going to get a bigger flush draw to fold (and I think a bigger flush draw is unlikely, as the Qs, Js, Ts, and 9s are all accounted for. AsKs is unlikely given the preflop action, which basically leaves Ax suited. If I smooth call Rubin's $75 on the flop, maybe someone comes along, drawing almost dead.

Anyway, I rebound less than 20 minutes later when I call a $20 raise from Prince. I have 88 on the Button, and the SB comes along for a 4-8-J two club flop.

The SB, a calling station, checks, and Prince bets $70. I decide to smooth call, and the SB comes along. The turn is a blank, an offsuit 3, and SB checks again. Prince moves all-in for $115, and I come over the top to price out any potential draws from the SB. SB folds, and my hand holds up - my stack is back to about $750.

Laying down TPTK

After one limper, I raise to $10 in EP with A-J offsuit. 3 people call, and a younger, less experienced player who hasn't really played a pot yet bumps it to $25 from the button. One caller to me, I call, 3 calls behind me. 6-way action.

flop: J-8-2 two spades. I have a bad feeling about this - I got a good flop, but I don't think my hand is good. Fred, the button raiser, only has about $225 in front of him, but I think I'll be playing for all of it if I get involved. UTG checks, I check, and it's checked to Fred who bets $75. I show Prince my hand, commenting that I'm making a sick laydown, and when everyone mucks Fred claims pocket Kings.

An hour later, Fred opens for $15 in EP, and gets called by Rubin and Prince. I'm on the button with Friday in Vegas: JJ. I re-raise to $75, and it's folded back to Fred, who moves all-in for $127 more. Rubin and Prince fold, and it's on me. I talk to Fred: "For real? You have a monster?"

"You can do whatever you like, but if you decide to fold, I'll show you my hand for $10." Fred retorts. "You have Ace-King!" I intone. He shrugs. He's kinda excited - like maybe because this is his big chance to bluff Kid Dynamite again! I tell him "I have jacks," and he flinches so slightly that a lesser caliber warrior may not have noticed it.

"I really don't care what you do," Fred assures me - and he's talking so much I'm getting the vibe that he's NOT huge - maybe A-K, maybe worse.

The table eventually calls the clock on me, and I call. Fred doesn't turn his hand over, which I take to be a good sign.

The flop is 9-7-3, then an 8 on the turn, and another 9 on the river.

"You're not going to like this," Fred assures me, and turns over pocket EIGHTS! Rubin then says "I mucked 8-7!" Aiiyahhh! I made a nice call, and Fred spiked the case eight on me. Nice hand sir.

He says "You really did have jacks!"
"Yes. I told you because you had already moved in - you couldn't act again."
"I thought you were just trying to get a read on me or something," he continues.
"I was. That's why I told you what I had!" Dumbass.

The game has turned somewhat boring and mediocre, but I'm first up for the main game, which consists of English Paul sitting on $2500 in chips, Asian Adam with a similar stack, and Robin & Frank both amply armed and swinging. Charlie is also there, splashing around.

Adam and Robin are both assassins, and if I can get in a pot with one of them, it has the potential to be extremely profitable - or FELTING!

I make it to the main game, and spend 45 minutes folding mediocre hands. Prince crushes Paul in a pot where Prince makes a set of aces vs. Paul's A-J. Then Charlie piles on, calling a huge overbet from paul on a 2-3-4 two heart board: Paul has 3-4, and Charlie has J-5 with the flush draw. An ace on the turn doubles Charlie up, and in 45 minutes, Paul's stack is down to $500.

Frank is still ribbing me for hitting and running when I spiked the brutal K-J two outer on him a few weeks ago, so I've warned him that this will be my last 1/2 hour, and that I can't wait to double through him and then cash out.

The Monster

I finally pick up a big hand: AhKh in MP. 3 limpers to me, and I raise to $20. English Paul, two to my left in the cutoff, makes it $50 to go, and Adam calls in the SB. Charlie, who had limped, calls the $50 as well. I have about $575 to start the hand, and the action is back to me. Fuck it - let's rock. I announce "raise," throw in the $30, and then stack off $225 more in green $25 chips.

Paul beats me into the pot, and Adam calls quickly from the small blind, prompting a chorus of "ooohs" and "aaaahs" from the table. Charlie mucks. Ok - I need help!

The flop is Th6h3d, and Adam checks to me. Clearly, this is a pretty good flop for me, and I move all-in for $313 more. Again, Paul beats me into the pot, and Adam calls quickly! I shake my head - at least I have outs. I stand up and implore Kenny the dealer "COME ON YOU BITCH!"

The turn is an offsuit queen, and suddenly Paul stands up and slams his pocket queens on the table! He's practically reaching for the pot, so I turn my hand over. Everyone is standing now - and Kenny deals the river card... as if in a time-warp..... foooouuuuuuurrrrrr offfffff..... HEARTS!

Everyone erupts, and Paul slams the table, having gone from $2500 to the felt in under an hour. Again, I'm off my game, as I fail to shout PASS THE SUGAR!

Frank immediately starts ribbing me: "Look out - HIT & RUN," but then I get a genuine "Nice hand," from him, Adam, Charlie, Prince and Gil. What did Adam have? J-T! JACK TEN! I told you it could be profitable if I got in a pot with Paul or Adam, never mind both of them.

I played one more hand in the next orbit, when I raised to $15 in EP after one limper, with K-Q. I got 5 callers, and saw a KdTd5s flop.

I bet out $75, and Robin, sitting on about $650, raises to $175. now, Robin has been playing out of his gourd tonight - he's been caught bluffing about 6 times, and not even with anything resembling a hand. In this case, I think I'm leading: I put him on a range of K-J, a weaker king, a diamond draw, K-T, or even K-5 of another suit.

I decide to call, and re-assess on the turn, even though I'm out of position.

The turn brings a rag diamond: not really a good card for me. I prepared to check-fold to a big bet here, but Robin only bets $100 after I check. I have the queen of diamonds, and I'm getting more than 5-1 on this call. Although I may be drawing dead if he's already made an ace high flush, I think a call is in order here.

I call, and the river is another brick. I check again, and Robin thinks for 25 seconds. He's trying to decide if he can get me to muck a better hand I guess, but eventually decides I'm living high on the hog after raking in the previous monster pot: so he turns his K-9 faceup! Ship it! I think this is a pretty interesting hand: very risky no doubt, playing it as I did out of position. I could have re-raised the flop, but by doing so, I have to make a sizable re-raise, and if Robin has woken up with K-T, which is quite feasible, it gets expensive for me in a hurry. I took the inexpensive route, and managed to show down a "reverse implied odds" hand cheaply in a big pot.

Paul is still mumbling about the beat he took with his queens, so I look him right in the eye and I say "You know I was a favorite, right?" "When? When the queen came?" he replies, in his smarmy English accent. "No, on the flop - when all the money went in," and he shuts up. In fact, I have a tiny EV edge preflop, and a sizable EV edge on the flop against the QQ and JT.

At the end of the 1/2 hour, I rack up, and cash out for what is likely the last time in 2005, and my biggest gain at the club all year.

until next time, PASS THE SUGAR!


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