I had the opportunity to play Saturday night, so I jumped on it. Lately, I've been able to get in no less than one session a week, and sometimes 2 sessions during the week. Things are rolling along at the 'Shoe - the players are back, but the room was not full. Baltimore Horseshoe's poker room has approx. 25 permanent tables, and they probably filled around 15 of them, including the remnants of a $350 buy in / $20K guarantee (which they had enough players to cover the guarantee). My buddy Josh was up there playing during the day, while we had family things in the Poker Meister household - soccer for one of my daughters, a weightlifting event for one of our family friends, etc.
By the time I was free to drive up to Baltimore, Josh was on his way home. We were discussing his session and he started talking about some of the players; one particular player was a fish and dumping money by the fist full. He told me the table to look for, and wouldn't you know it - there was immediate seating at the very table. Moreover, it turns out there I sat in his very seat. Armed with information on the key players, I knew this would be a huge jump start to my session - and I wasted no time in getting to work.
The very first hand, I looked down and saw 89o and decided to limp from mid position, along with a host of 3-4 players (including the fish described above - from the BB). Flop comes 3 T J. Looking around the table, it appears there's little interest in the flop, so I lead for $10 into $15. The fish calls as does one other caller. Turn pairs the board with a J and I lead for $30 - I get a fold and the fish calls. River is a 3 and the fish is doing the "fold hold" as I start to carve out chips - I bet $55 and he flashes AK for the missed gutter and mucks.
A. Nice no-raise from the BB.
B. Nice no-bet from the flopped gutter + 2 overs.
C. Nice showing your cards.
According to Josh, this player calls any and all raises - you can value bet the crap outta him. I saw him make all sorts of weird plays - raising Q8s from the BB, throwing in $8-11 raises with 5 limpers, etc. Just comical mistakes that leave me shaking my head. I almost busted him when I 3bet his JJ open to $12 with my KK to $55. He called a Q 3 3 $65 flop bet but folded my $155 turn bet after about 5 minutes of hesitation :-(.
I built up a significant stack throughout the night, busting a different fish when the table started to die down and become a rock garden. I was close to packing it up when a drunk guy (or who I perceived to be drunk) came to the table with $500. I'm sitting on around $800 at the time, FYI. Before even hitting the chair, he threw out 3 red chips to Mississippi straddle to $15 (the rule in the 'Shoe is you can straddle between 2x the BB and 5x the BB). So there he is, first hand, throwing in a straddle for max, and I'm to his right as last to act. I think he had 2 or 3 callers and bumps it to an unreasonable amount - $85 or something. They quickly fold and he scoops up $30 - 45 first hand!
He continues to do this with differing amounts throughout the night, probably raising about 80% of the hands to unreasonable sizing - and words his $500 up to around $700 without going to showdown. The bets would get heavier on the flop and turn, FWIW. I had tried adjusting by limping my premiums and laying in wait for his raises - he disappointed me when I had KK, limped for $3 and he overlimped. Another fish, though, failed to let it go and raised to $18 with his whateverhehad... I trapped one caller in there and pulled the 'ole limp / re raise to $75 (I think if memory serves me...). The drunk realized what happened, and chastised me for laying in wait for him and quickly folds, while the original raiser just calls and the mid caller folds. Of note, this particular fish and I have lots of history. He knows that I'm a value bettor - I value the shit out of my hands, and he's found out the hard way quite a few times in prior sessions as well as this current session. Also of note is the fact that he considers himself "life up" on poker since he's won and been involved in numerous bad beat jackpots - I was a few tables away from him the last time he hit the losing end of one a few weeks back at the 'Shoe for a $~4K payout. Anyway, this guy plays like he doesn't care about the money - he gets off on bluffing pots and stealing, and would rather call a bet and be wrong than fold a pot and be bluffed. All of that said, the flop comes 2 2 5 or some such garbage and he checks to me. I carve out $100 and he raises me all in for $120 more (or something like that). I obviously insta call and flip my KK - the board runs out clean (I don't know what "clean" is in this case, but there were no Aces) and I scoop, bringing my stack up to over $1K.
Meanwhile, my drunk friend to my left is continually aggro'ing it up - and the players are all in fear (including me) with his unreasonable bet sizing. The final hand I'll share is the title of the post, which is where I couldn't pull the trigger:
I'm in the BB with his UTG straddle to $12 - I complete (as did the SB) and the drunk raises to "this much," which is 5 red - $37 total. SB drops and I call with KcQc. Flop is an awesome 8c9dJc and I check. He leads for $30 and I snap, not wanting him to get wind that I caught a monster draw. I feel if I hit the any of my draws I can get paid. Turn is a 3d putting 2 flush draws out and keeping my gutter. He leads for $66 and I call again. The river is a Ks. giving me top pair with QT being the flopped nuts.
Josh and I discussed this hand afterwards - and he suggests that I bet an "anchoring bet;" i.e. $5-$15 so if he raises here, it's in increments of whatever i bet. I think that's a great suggestion for future hands - but in the hand I checked once again to him.
He tells me he's all in for $559. [GULP]. I hadn't seen him *EVER* do this, especially against a player that has him covered. W....T.....F....??!??!?!?!?!?!?
Let's review: I have top pair / good kicker on a draw heavy board with a crazy / erratic player on my left. He's not folding, only betting, and at this point I'm not sure he's truly drunk though he is drinking. Now, I've made hero calls like this before - but not for such a large amount of money.... sure, 1 buy in, 1.5 buy in... at 1/2 - and more times than not, I'm good in those spots. But this is 2 buy ins, more than 2x the pot, and it's at 1/3 for close to $600!!!!
GAWD I WANT TO CALL AND WIN A $1500 POT!!!! So, I started talking with him. Since you can't flip your cards over at the 'Shoe, I verbally told him what I had (mistake on my part, but measured mistake - now he knows he can push me off future hands because the dollar amounts are so big I won't call my top pairs). On the contrary, though, I got the reaction I was looking for. His face completely dropped and then went to a light, confident air. Now, the problem with my read is that he's drunk, and exacerbating the situation, he's gay (I think). His mannerisms are sloppy to begin with, but adding in the effeminate affects confuses me and compounds his "drunk vibe." Tough to describe - but I have to deduct points from the confidence in my read since I'm not sure how drunk he is and what is baseline behavior for a drunk - if he is indeed drunk - or baseline behavior for a gay man with a potential flair for the dramatic. In other words, my read says 100% yes - call - based on body language - and I almost called immediately. Then the other shoe dropped, so to speak... my logical brain kicks in and says "HOLD ON A SECOND POKER MEISTER!!!! WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU DOING??? I KNOW YOU'RE THE ONLY REASON YOU'RE STILL HERE AT THE TABLES AT 1AM ON A SATURDAY IS TO BUST THIS FISH. [Caps off, because 1, I don't refer to myself in third person when thinking, 2, I don't call myself Poker Meister, and 3, I don't think in terms of caps lock] - You're going to call of for DDDDDEEEEEEPPPPPP stacks with a pair of Kings, second best kicker. No 2 pair, no set, no straight, no made hand. There are so many hands that his wild player can show up with which have you beat. What are you doing? Are you seriously going to call here for $600 when you have $130 committed? Aren't there better spots? Yeah - there'll be better spots to get your money in when you're WAY good! Wait for those spots!" After about 5 minutes of thought, I fold - and he flips up 62dd for a turned busted flush draw. I throw up a bit in my mouth.
I couldn't get anything to stick within the next hour, and compounding that misery, the fish bled off all $800 of his stack to the table. Some dumb lady who sat down with $100 in seat 1 lucked her way into a double, then another double, and a final double for $800 from this guy. It killed me to see that - and it killed me to see that I should have been done at 1am after busting the fish for $600!
If there's any light at the end of my friggin Rob-sized post, 'Shoe is giving me a promotional $25 single bet chip each week. I had a nice shiny yellow chip burning a hole in my pocket and I threw it down on Blackjack - one hand - one $25 free bet. No clue what I'm doing. I didn't even know where to put the bet - I had to be helped by a cute chick to my right! I don't think I've played Blackjack since I was 22 which is close to 20 years ago! Anyway, I was dealt AKcc and hit a Blackjack straight away! Got paid $37.50 - tipped the gal the $2.50 pink and walked away with an additional $35. I think that was more exciting getting free money like that than actually winning during the poker session!
K - that's it for this post. It's ridiculously long (that's what she said)!
Monday, May 11, 2015
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