The Poker Meister family had a nice overnight retreat in the Baltimore area with a group of other families from Friday to Saturday night, so what better way to end family night with a poker session at the Horseshoe. My family took 2 cars up, knowing that afterwards, my wife would put the kids to bed & I'd try to make a little extra scratch... Turns out that from where we were, I was about 25 minutes from downtown, the location of the 'Shoe. I arrived uneventfully, found a parking spot fairly quickly, and was seated immediately.
My initial observation was that the table was tight - I considered asking for a table change, but figured I'd give it a few orbits. Turns out that there was an ABC player, a grinder or two, two tourists who were scared of their own shadows, and an extra / actor who played a part in season 5 of The Wire, one of my all-time favorite shows (who was not a very good player). I was up & down most of the night, mostly up about $100 off my initial $300 buy in (1/3 blinds) and only getting involved with hands when I nutted up.
There were 2 hands of note, both involving said actor above:
Multi-way limp, scared player to my left raised to $12 into about 5 players and we all called (I'm holding JTo), seeing a 7 way flop of AdKdQd - mostly BINGO! This is a way-ahead, way-behind situation (I don't hold a diamond). I'm not going to wait for scared player to check through the flop, so I take the lead myself by betting $50 into the $72 - the actor dude calls quickly. Turn is a 5c and he checks to me. I push out a red stack of $100 which is quickly called as well. River is the 3s and it's checked to me. Do I bet here? Am I missing value by checking through? On one hand, this guy calls wide - and is generally a strange player. He stacked off on one of his first hands, has been making questionable plays and seems frequently lost. On the other hand, he's the type that can check / call down a weak flush, not sure of where he is. What kinds of hands can call here? I figure sets (which I doubt he has given the flop texture - A, K, Q. Two pair hands: Ax, primarily, but I have my doubts whether he'd make it this far without a raise or some other aggressive action (i.e. lead turn, etc.). After thinking it over, I opted to check through and am shown AxTd by the actor - a straight flush, second nut flush draw.
Second hand involves a button straddle to $10 ('Shoe has Mississippi straddle rules). Actor to my right calls for $10 after the blinds fold and I look down to see AA. I raise to $40 and get called by a somewhat competent player with a $400 stack. I'm sitting on $500 and the actor has around $200. The actor calls as well and we see a 3 way flop of 2 3 4 rainbow.
There's $130 in the pot and actor checks to me. Now here's an incident where I acted on impulse rather than really think about the situation... I have the best overpair, and this board is really scary to me. I started to carve out $100 and then changed it to $120 prior to pushing it out - in retrospect, what am I fearing here? There aren't too many cards that can call a PF $40 bet and have me challenged - I'm concerned about 22,33,44 and 55,66 for the straight draws. I don't want Ax getting there on a turn 5, but that's somewhat remote. I think I need to check this flop, or better yet, bet around $70-80. I think bombing $120 just kills the hand for all hands that don't have me crushed, plus I'm basically committing stacks with what would likely turn out to be me drawing to 2 Aces and 4 5's. My thinking at the time was they may have overpairs with such a low flop, and may think that they're good here. Combine that with the fishy actor to my right, and my bet was overly optimistic. Either way, decent player folded AK and actor folded in kind.
Playing By the Book, Playing By Feel
1 hour ago