Sunday, November 30, 2014

Friday night play time!

This is becoming a regular thing: posting after each session...  Based on the volume of posts, it shows how little I get to play these days.  However, I was able to get in a Friday night session, given the holidays & how tired my wife was after all the Thanksgiving events.  She went to bed early, I got to stay out until 3am - sounds like an equitable trade!  Anyway, what started out as a not-so-nice session turned into a decent win for the night:

I was card dead for most of the session, save for my JJ (non-clubs) in the SB.  After about 6 limpers, I bump it to $17 to go - and get called by 2 players - the only good player at the table (yuck) and a terribad player.  Flop comes all clubs: 5 6 8, and I put in $35.  The good player bumps it to $85 and I sit & think.  The pattern at this table was to limp premiums by the bad players (i.e. I saw AA v KK on a limped pot) but this player was a good player...  There isn't much he could be limp / calling with that includes all clubs other than suited connectors, but I doubt he's first in with SC's.  For some reason, I kept on thinking about him showing TT with the Tc, but in retrospect, I didn't consider all the factors above.  The other consideration that came to my mind was a set, but I felt that he would just call to see what happens on the turn - a point I shouldn't discount as heavily as I did.  Regardless, I made the call to see 5 5 for a flopped bottom set, and found myself down a buy in about 2 hours into my session.

I rebought, and slowly bled down another $100 to find myself down $300 for the session before things started to turn around:

I was able to get value twice for a turned two pair - once with A2 on a Q T 2 board.  Limped pot and I'm in the BB, I call a flop bet of $10 as does another player.  Turn is an A, I check and see the original bettor put out $15 on the turn - called by the other player.  I think about blowing up the pot and opt to check / raise on the smaller side to keep them both interested, plus given the concern about earlier limping of big hands, AQ crosses my mind.  I check / raise to $45 and original bettor snaps while the other player folds.  Turn is a blank and I bet $80 or so and he tanks before eventually calling.  He tells me he had two pair as well.

I can't remember the other turned 2 pair hand, but I started with mid pair and made 2 pair on the turn, value betting around $90 by the river and getting paid off.

I do recall one hand that I made a particularly good play: Limped pot and I'm in the BB with T9o.  Flop comes 6 9 T - 2 diamonds.  I lead for $15 into the ~$15 pot, called by the bad player to my left, folds around to the Asian dude wearing a beanie and headphones...  dude could care less about anything but taking money from everyone at the table - showed no interest in any conversation or anything else.  He pops it to $85 and I think & muck.  My thought is that he's been very very very quiet and very very very tight, he's got to show up with a set or flopped straight.  Bad player to my left just calls once again.  At this point, I leave my seat to go talk about the hand with the good player outlined above - we had been fairly chatty since I sat down, and I respected his play.  I whispered what the action was and asked what he would do in my spot...  As I returned to my seat, I told him, "I so want to see this hand go to showdown!"  Turn is a blank and it gets checked to Mr. Cool.  He bombs for $120 with $20 effective behind and bad player again calls.  Before calling though, bad player to my left says - "I'm calling since you want to see this hand to showdown."  River is a J and Mr. Cool bets - and gets snapped for his remaining stack by the guy to my left.  Mr. Cool shows 7 8 for the flopped nuts, and guy to my left shows Qd8d, a gutted straight on the river.  This drives Mr. Cool insane - what a terrible call, that I shouldn't be talking in the hand, etc. etc.  Now, he was right in the fact that I should not have said anything in the hand, but I do not believe my talking influenced any action.  Point made, sir, though.  He didn't let it drop though, so I started needling him quite a bit throughout the rest of the night - pointing out numerous times that the whole table was having a grand 'ole time while he's sitting there with his headphones and couldn't care less about pandering to his "customers."  (I actually didn't say anything like that, but certainly alluded to the fact that everyone except ONE person was having a great time at an epic table.

Anyway, over time, given enough needling, he responded to my jabs by calling me a 5 year old, a bully, and a little bitch.  Me being me, I wouldn't let those comments drop either, and the rest of the table let him hear it too.  As luck would have it, we got into a heads up conflict where I got the better of him:

8d6d in the SB on a limped pot - about 5 ways.  We see a flop of 6xQdTd.  I lead for $15 with my multi-way draw and he flats.  Turn is the Ad and I check my flush, knowing that he's going to look to extract his "revenge."  Without fail, he bets $45 and "I want him to think that I am pondering a call, but all I'm really thinkin' about is Vegas and the fuckin' Mirage."  So I call after my preponderance...  River is a blank and I check once again, full on expecting that sweet sweet revenge bet to come - and it does, without fail, but disappointingly to the amount of $45 again.  I snap raise him as quick as I can to $100 but that stops him dead in his track.  He's too good to call a c/r river, and I'd imagine he was bluffing the turn and river regardless.  So he folds with a very unhappy look on his face, and I put on my shit-eating grin.  Getting the better of a dude like this is fun!  It makes the whole session worthwhile.

By the end of the night, I found myself up $300 instead of in the hole $300, a swing of $600, or 3 buy ins.  The takeaway from the night is this: when you're at a bad table and find yourself in the hole for some money, keep your head up.  Your skill will win out over their poor play - just get the hours in and the rest will take care of itself.  Also, have a point to getting under people's skin.  I was just biding my time for when I could take advantage of the dude's hatred for me...  and I was able to successfully pull it off without forcing anything.  I guess the key is distilled down to one word: patience.


  1. So you influence action, dont admit to it, then act like a jerk to the guy who was in the hand? Sounds about right for you blogger types

    1. I didn't act like a jerk to the guy who was in the hand until after his little tantrum. I didn't affect action; the dude to my left is bad enough to call a multi way on the turn without my statement of wanting to see the hand to showdown.

    2. An so far as the "blogger types," that's a pretty broad brush... I've found the "blogger types" to be decent, quality people. Don't know what your personal experience is...

  2. Nice to see you work in a little quote by Mr. Mike McDermott!

    1. :-) At the time I was making the call, that's exactly the line I was thinking about...

  3. Anonymous (the first one) is right. Blogger types are the worst. They're really just total lowlifes who are totally useless.

    But it's no big deal, nobody reads their crap; no one is interested in their silly stories.

    That said, TPM, after reading this, I think that, if I didn't know you and we weren't--ahem--blogging buddies--I'm not sure I'd like playing with you that much. I really don't like it when I see one player purposely trying to piss another player off (even if that player is not me). I mean, once he made a stink, I get it, but if a guy wants to sit there quietly and not say anything, what's the big deal? That can sometimes be preferable to a guy who can't shut the ef up.

    That said, if a guy really called only because a guy who wasn't in the hand said he wanted to see the hand go to showdown, he's probably too stupid to be playing poker (unless he's at the same table as I am).

    Nice turnaround!

    1. Rob - I get what you're saying, but this guy sits down as a poker pro. I have no problem chastising a poker pro with a dual intent: 1. Get him off his game 2. Get him to move tables. He's taking up space at the table and not contributing anything to the game. Moreover, he certainly was not acting like a poker pro by name calling and whining about the dude's horrible call, etc. I'm not going to harangue a tourist; it's in my and the table's best interest to keep a tourist happy.

      Regardless, chatter is all within the confines of the rules. Granted, talking about the hand while the hand is in play is off limits - a rule that I violated, but needling is not something I do frequently, but I hold off for a purpose. I actually think you would have liked this table Rob - there were a lot of interesting conversations going on (none of which I can remember because to me, they're just mindless chatter that I contribute to but don't really pay attention to).

    2. I love table talk, depending on the topic, that's how I get some of my best blog posts, so that's fine. I just think going out of your way to antagonize someone is a bit extreme. Maybe I had to be there. If a guy is sitting there silently, minding his business and doesn't care to contribute to the conversation, no matter how much fun it is, I don't have a problem with that. Once he starts getting nasty, then all bets are off.

      Also tho, if someone is giving another player a hard time, even if he deserves, it kind of puts a bad mood over the whole table, at least that usually happens in my experience. Suddenly there's a bad vibe and no one is having a good time.

    3. So what actually happened is that I picked on him a bit after he got nasty with me, but the whole table piled on. We moved on from there, but as soon as he opened his mouth to criticize, everyone jumped in on him again. The whole table was jovial.


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