Friday, April 8, 2016

Beware the Ides of March... into April?

I thought I was happy the month of March was over.  I played 7 sessions and had my first losing month since June of 2015.  I guess I shouldn't complain; it's bound to happen that I'll run bad over an "extended" period of time - and by extended, I mean 5 out of 7 losing sessions with 4 in a row.  I was very happy to break that aforementioned 4 session loser on the 1st of April, when I settled for a modest 1/2 buy in plus up.  It served to restore a bit of my confidence in my game, but I wasn't feeling 100% healed.  Stuff was still going south on my at a rapid rate, though I did not feel like my play was suffering.  Worst part was I had a killer start to the year, but March pretty much undid all the winning - my hourly rate dropped to below 1/2 levels!  I know... I know...  sample size - 21 total sessions is too small of a sample size to really make judgements and get upset.

Needless to say, I played last night and felt like April had become more of the same that I've come to expect from my sessions lately.  The night started off well enough; I spiked an open-ender with the "Grump" - 2 4ss (his favorite hand).  Mind you, I've never won with that  hand - but I called a SB $15 raise while in position with 5 other callers to see a flop of 3 5 T (one spade, rainbow).  The original raiser had $50-60 left and open shoved the flop.  I was the only caller and saw a spade on the turn and a 6 on the river for the nice, early $160 winner.  I chipped up little by little on my way to +$300 before the doomswitch got turned on.

Note: Skip to below if you don't want to read about whining and bad beats

I went on to flop a set of Aces on an all hearts board only to be shown a JT flush by the river (-$300).  I 3bet to $55 with JJ and flopped mid set only to be shown a 46hh flush on the river (he had $~200 to start the hand, called one bet and then called the 3bet LOL... -$200).  I flopped a 53 flush only to be shown a 95 flopped flush (-$100).  I flopped top 2 pair (T8) only to be 4 straighted on the river (-$65).  I flopped top 2 pair (QT) again only to be flushed on the river (-$65).

Note:  End of whining and bad beats

Despite my string of nauseously poor luck, I found myself out no more than $200 on the night and continually working my way back into the game.  As you can probably gather above, the table was juicy and primed for the pumping if only I could get my hands to hold up.  There were a few guys on total tilt, with the key player sitting on a peak of around $1700.  I could only watch it dwindle away drip drip drip when I finally caught a hand at around 2:30AM:

As I said, I'm no more than in for $200, so in this hand, I'm sitting on approx. $400.  Facing a mid position raise to $15, I look down at 55 on the BTN and opt to just call.  I actually consider 3betting here, but figure with position, sitting on a decent stack, and the looseness of the table, if I hit I can really get paid without giving the strength of my hand away pre-flop.  The player mentioned above is now sitting on around $1100 and is involved in the hand, as are around 5 others.

Flop comes 5 6 Qr, and action checks to villain.  Before we get into it, I want to provide a bit of background on our villain.  He's very active, frequently continuing with hands where he's clearly beat, only to have sucked out continually on the river... and get okay value.  A few examples are calling a turn $75 bet on a 7 A x x board with K7, betting $150 on the river when he hits his K and getting paid.  He'll call $75 on a turn bet with $60 behind when he hits his flush.  You know the type.  He's a middle-aged Asian dude who likes to gamble gabol!  He obviously will not lay down a draw... like EVER.  Finally, I'm seething from this guy - he's the most rude, inconsiderate and questionable rule breaker I've seen in a LONG time.  He'll talk about the hand whether he's involved or not - for example, he bet into a small flopped set and got raised, and starts talking about hands that he puts the raiser on while other players are still involved.  He'll regularly fold out of turn.  He'll act inappropriately like laughing at other players, berating them, slamming his hand down when he folded a flop that he would have hit.  This guy's a regular, and has clearly been warned for his behavior before, but the dealers nor the floor have taken any action against him.  In other words, he couldn't give two craps about the hand or the game if he's not involved.  In one word, he was an asshole - I almost felt sorry for him because I thought he may be on the spectrum (that's how poorly behaved he was).

Anywho, back to my flopped bottom set.  His pattern du jour is to bet smallish (~$15 into $60) with probing bets on hands that he has some equity, but continually will bet 2 or 3 streets as a bluff when other players just call his bets.  Contrary to prior action, this time he bet $47, a large bet for him to be bluffing or drawing.  Another player calls his largish bet and action folds to me.  Around $75 + $47 + $47 in the pot and I'm sitting on $385.  I read his hand as clearly - NOT A BLUFF.  I don't think I want the mid position player just calling - and I'm not sure where I'm at with our villain; he's betting so often that he's very difficult to read.  In fact, with our villain, I've opted to take a straight forward play-my-cards-face-up approach with him, because he's paying off so often and/or bluffing so often that I get more value because he so infrequently likes to fold.  Therefore, I decide I will raise large - and spike $175 into the $~170 pot.  He thinks for a few seconds and calls.  Our monkey-in-the-middle player folds.  Turn is a 3 completing the rainbow.  He checks to be again - actually I bet out of turn but realize that I incorrectly did so - and he check / calls my shove of $210 after some deliberation.  I don't remember the river, but he shows down KQo and I scoop a nice and much needed double up to end my night to the decent positive.  After a whipsaw night, I'm pleased with the results.


  1. Wow -- and I thought it was just me the past two weekends, losing flopped set of Jacks to flopped set of Aces, losing flopped set to straight flush draw (all in on the flop) that hit on the turn, losing to quads, losing a flopped full house when a villain hits a bigger full house on the turn, losing a flopped set to a flopped straight ...

    Why do we play this game? I don't remember EVER having two such horrible weekends of poker back-to-back.

    1. Just gotta sit tight and wait for it to happen. A set is bound to turn into a boat that will hold up eventually... Are you going to be in Vegas for the WSOP?

  2. Nope. Sorry for not returning your message. Busy week. I am tentatively going to Las Vegas May 8-13.

  3. Glad to hear you had a great session. Good villain reading.


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