Every once in awhile, I'll assert myself as the dominant player at the table. I generally don't like doing that because I don't like being under the microscope by players who can't wait to look me up light. I like to be the guy at the table who's cracking jokes, talking, being generally annoying - but aloof and unsuspecting. I' like to be the "friend" at the table, if that makes any sense.
To the summary - I have a bunch of hands to share, so I'll probably break it up into segments. The night started off pretty quickly when I checked my BB option into a 6-way limp pot with J9hh. I folded probably 2 orbits and was down maybe $10 from my original $200 buy in. The flop came as good as good can get with QhTs2h - I flopped open ended + flush draws. The SB leads for $11 and I take my time in thinking whether I should be raising or just calling. I want people encouraged to enter the pot, but I also want to ensure that my flush draw is good. Obviously, in a limp pot, drawing to the QJ high flush is not necessarily great if there's a Kh & Ah out there in someone's hand (and the KJ is also drawing to the nut straight). I think one or two people called before the uber aggro young gun (buckwheat styled Afro) pumps it up to $41 on the BTN. SB immediately calls and I'm again facing a decision... This is kinda how I hoped it would work out - I'm fairly certain the SB is a donkish player and isn't drawing to the flush, and I'm semi-certain the BTN is aggro-ing it up but has a pair or something. At this point, though, with calling putting 25% of my stack at risk and making the pot uncontainable, I opt to shove the remaining $179. Afro guy fist pump snaps and SB snaps his remaining $100 - I'm in trouble(?). We start talking about the hands and I find out (based on reactions) that I'm ahead of Afro guy and SB flips KQ(? LOL). Turn 6h and I sweat the 2h river but scoop a decent pot to start my night.
The next hand of note (and I literally took notes last night), I think I really played poorly, though with an excuse. I limp JTo in late position and we see a 5 way flop of Ks 9s 3x. It checks to me and I stab at the $10 pot with a $10 bet. Folds around to old nit who's sitting on a mountain of reds - about $800 - who calls. Turn is a golden Qx. He checks and while I'm thinking about how much to bet, touching my chips and cutting some out, he starts to move to fold. I absolutely don't want to price him out, but the move felt very genuine and subconscious. I was going to bet $25, but I opt for $17. He snaps it and we see a river 9x. He again checks to me. Now, I'm good here a HUGE percentage of time. I'm also getting tells from him that say I'm good; he doesn't have a boat here - 99.9% sure. Here's where again, though, I compound my $17 small bet with another small bet. I think against a nit like this who has exhibited calling station tendencies, I need to bet HUGE - as in $50-75+. The pot has $54+5x limps = $~60. If I bet huge, it looks bluffy and he can't lay down. But as I'm carving out, again he moves to the auto fold thing - a "fold hold," if you will. I level my bet down to $30 to try to force a call which he does automatically and he's mystified when I show the straight - he actually took 30 seconds scratching his head about what hand I had.
I would not value own myself again in the night. All the rest of my bets and hands were big and [most were] getting paid.
So I'm in a hand with a local ~30 year old. We've been chatting it up quite a bit. He's in software development, new[ish] father of 2, etc. He's playing a bit drunk - he's had 2-3 Bourbon & Coke(?)s within the past 3 hours on an empty stomach. I can see he's making little biting moves like min raising air. The first time he did it when he sat down was on me. I had missed the flop, thought nothing of the raise of my cbet & folded. I'd now seen him do it a handful of times when we get into the following which may be questionable - but I stand by my decision (FWIW, I also know that he loves to play his button):
I raise 77 in late position to $15 after 2 limpers. I get called in 2 spots - developer dude (on button) & someone else. Flop comes A 6 5 and I figure it's as good an opportunity as any to cbet into 2 players. I cbet $22 into $45 and raises me to $44 (he has about $100 behind). As I'm contemplating my move (most times it's a fold), two things strike me: why is he raising an Ace high board in position, and why is he totally staring me down and facing me up. It was such a classic tell that I thought he was acting strong when he was strong (instead of the classic act strong = weak, act weak = strong). I mean... he was practically in my face, and he was 2 seats away from me! I continued to think about the situation and quickly concluded that he doesn't have an Ace. Then I started talking to him. I told him that I don't have an Ace either... I shoved on him for the remaining $100.
Now he's in a pickle... He starts talking about odds and how he thinks I have nothing, but his nothing may be worse than my nothing... I try my hardest to convince him that I don't have an Ace - I should have shown him I'm on the draw with a 7, but in retrospect, I think he'll read that to be 77 rather than 78. Regardless, after contemplating his "odds," he calls his KTss. The board runs out clean & I scoop.
I imagine I'll get grief from this hand because the claim will be "you have a bluff catcher - do you really want him folding his bluffs there cause the only thing that's calling you is a hand better than you..." I think this was really a player dependent situation. I think he's a bit drunk and with the liquid courage, willing to call a bit lighter than usual. I adequately convinced him that I did not have an Ace. I was 100% convinced that he did not hold an Ace nor a pair. He was talking to me as well and convinced himself (with my help) that I did not have a pair either. On top of that, add the fact that his turn bet is coming no matter what; I'd rather get the money in on the flop when I know I'm good rather than on the turn when any overcard pops and I suddenly pay off bad money. That's probably poor logic as well, though, but just a thought.
The next two hands kinda fit together, so I'll continue my story tomorrow...
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