Monday, April 21, 2014

Quality poker time up in Black Hawk, CO

I know... I know...  Things have been incredibly slow around here for the past couple months - and they've been even slower lately, since I've been so inundated with work.

Quick update on the work front:  Things are going very well.  I love the new role I've taken within the company, but the 10-fold increase in responsibility just leaves me with time to work work work rather than play.  I effectively work from 7:30 to around 5 (boo-hoo, I know), get back to the hotel, go work out, eat dinner, and have time to catch up on work emails that I missed throughout the day / watch a show & go to bed.  The pattern marginally sucks because I'm away from my family and working so much, but it's only another 3 months until I'm back at home and things will revert back to normal - and I actually enjoy doing the work, which makes a world of difference in the happiness scale.  In the meantime, though, I need to learn everything I can in order to successfully migrate my team from CO to Maryland.


Over the weekend, my coworker and I drove up to Black Hawk to play a little poker.  He's a beginner, so we were going over pot odds vs. implied odds vs. real odds and the rule of 2x and 4x for calculating outs, in addition to other poker fundamentals.  I did not play at the same table as him (purposely), so I couldn't really evaluate his play, but I think he enjoyed himself.  I think the conversation on the drive up was eye-opening to him; I doubt he realized that there's so much more to poker than just playing your hands.

Anyway, I wound up spending a solid 7 hours up there - one of my longer sessions on the year.  I was card dead for the majority of the night - I decided to track which hands (folded or un-folded) would have been winners by pulling $1 chips out of my stack and keeping a separate count.  In the 7 hours of play, I wound up with about 15 winning hands.  I suppose I shouldn't do that; it only winds up with negative thoughts going through my head - but oh well.  I maximized most of those 15 hands, because I came out to the positive.  I do have one hand of note to share, and it's a somewhat interesting hand - no doubt controversial:

Ground rule - at Blackhawk, the fixed max bet is $100, so the 1/2 NL game is really a 1/2 $2-$100 spread limit game with uncapped buy in.

I'm sitting on around $350, and villain has me covered easily.  He moved from a 2/5 game - he's a solid, yet unimaginative ABC player.  He's always betting the nuts - or what he perceives as the nuts, and check / calling when he's drawing.  He can fold hands.

I limp UTG+1 with A7cc and the BTN, a tight 60-ish gentleman bumps it to $10 - the BB (villain) calls, I come along, as does one other to my left.  $40 in the pot PF.

Flop comes: 3 4 6 - two spades.  It checks to the original raiser who leads for $15.  BB calls, I call and other dude folds.  $85 in the pot.

Turn is a beautiful off suit 5.  BB immediately loads up for $35 - a "large-ish" bet from him.  I consider raising but I squarely put BB on an 7.  I don't think he ever bluffs in this spot, with 3 way action and him being first to act.  If I raise here, it pushes out the original raiser with near certainty, and sets the hand up for a chop - something I'd rather avoid if possible, since it looks like we're chopping anyway.  Therefore, I call, but to my chagrin, original raiser folds quickly.  $155 in the pot.

River is a very interesting Ks, completing the flush.  Now, I've never raised, never shown any aggression.  To all observers, I could easily be on a flush draw, and I'm keenly aware of this fact.  I look at the villain who immediately checks.  I waste no time in max betting $100, and he thinks and thinks - says to me that he never calls for a chop before mucking his hand.  I show him the 7c which drives him up the wall.

It's cool when a plan comes together!  Anyone else at the table, and that bet is hopeless - "How can I fold my straight!??!?  It was good on the turn, even though the 3flush completed, it's got to be good on the river!!!" but this guy: "I'd rather fold and be wrong than call and be wrong."


  1. I was about to post that you must have a typo because the hand makes no sense as you described it. But then I remembered who I am dealing with. You probably wrote this all exactly as it happened and with exactly what genuinely went through your head at the time.

  2. if u had a8cc (club club) as posted how would a third spade make a flush?

    1. It put a 3flush out there - I did not make the flush, but had the straight - which was most likely a chop with the villain. Instead of taking a chop, I max bet to rep the spade flush.

  3. 346 flop, 5 on the turn and you have A8. How do you have a straight?

    1. Shoot - typo. It was A7. I was writing this late at night - corrected! Thanks!

    2. Except at the end you say you showed him the 8 of clubs, not the 7 of clubs....need to correct that too!

  4. Replies
    1. I played at Ameristar - it seems to be the main place for cash games. This was my third trip up there in about 2 months... so little time these days...

  5. Ahhh ... nice strategy move. Winning by wit is very satisfying.

  6. I actually enjoy doing the work, which makes a world of difference in the happiness scale.

    Absolutely. Oh, and nice job on the deal you related.

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