Monday, August 14, 2017

The ongoing saga of pocket Kings, or "Is it wrong to set mine?" -- oh yeah, and an angle shoot (sorta)!

I am still befuddled that my Kings never hold up.  Over the past 8-10 months, it seems as though every time I am dealt KK, I have no problem getting my money in WAY good, only to have my opponent win the pot once all cards are dealt.  I don't get it; whether I'm a 90% favorite or "as little" as a 75% favorite, my Kings simply do not hold'em.  During my most recent session, instead of getting all in only to be sucked out on, I paid off -- and paid off size-ably.

Some background, first.  I got in a rare Friday night session.  I've been vacationing recently, 2 and a half weeks in Israel with my wife's extended family (15 of us in total) traveling throughout the countryside.  Then, we had a week of work before last week journeying off to Playa del Carmen along the Mayan Riviera off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  Although there have been some problems with a few resorts using spiked alcohol, the resort we stayed in only offers top shelf alcohol and very high end food.  If any of my readers are interested in a 5 star vacation, I highly recommend El Dorado Royale, where we stayed (it was our 3rd or 4th time staying at the series of properties).  I digress; we got back late Thursday night and I was set for a Friday session.

I was seated fairly quickly; there was a "long-ish" waitlist for both the 1/3 and 2/5 games, but I saw a few empty spots sprinkled throughout the room on the 1/3 tables.  The floor was being fairly inefficient in announcing the open seating, so I asked for permission to find a seat and sit down.  The floor granted me the privilege and I found a decent looking 1/3 table, letting them know to take me off the list.  At my table were a list of characters: a 60 -ish gentleman who I nicknamed "nuts," because he was only showing down the nuts and only raising PF with the nuts.  His bet sizing was terrible, so I felt it was only a matter of time before his AA or KK gets cracked by draws or otherwise.  There was another competent player, who I'll nickname "angle" for reasons evident later in this post.  Another player, "red" was a red-headed guy who was fairly competent, and then there was a pretender who thought he was a pro but I thought was suspect because I caught him numerous times limping where he should have thrown in a standard raise, and played far too timidly to appear to turn a regular profit.

I quickly opened my range, realizing that the table was on the tight side; they were mostly the type who would limp in and try to see flops for cheap.  If I raised (my standard raise is typically $15 + ~$3 per limper), the players would fold and I'd see and instant profit for no sweat.  In a more rare case where someone was emboldened to call, I'd simply cbet a K high flop with my missed AQ, or cbet a 2 8 6 board with my pocket 5's to take down a decent pot.  These players started the night playing tight.

Red started establishing himself as a bit of a station; he seemed to commit that if he limped, he was calling a reasonable raise to see a flop.  That reasonable raise consisted of some logical amount between $15 and $25.  At the time of this hand, I'm sitting on around $500 and he has me covered.  I look down at KK and after one limper, I raise to $17.  It folds around to Red who calls, and everyone else folds.  Heads up, we see a 2 9 Qhhh flop.  I do not hold the Kh.  Out of position, I cbet $35 which he flats.  The turn is an offsuit 5 or something, and I lead for $75.  He flats once again.  The river is an offsuit Ace, which I'm very unhappy about.  I check to him, and he thinks for a bit before betting $100.  Given the odds I'm getting here, $100 into a $220+ pot, I begrudgingly call... especially when he seemed to size up and think about why I would check an Ace river before deciding to bet and potentially represent an Ah flush draw.  I think I gave away my hand on the river by not making a blocking bet, but I think my blocking bet is going to be around $75-100, the same it costs to call his bet.  Anyway, I call and am shown T2hh for a flopped ten high flush.  Good game for a first in call of $17.

I reload $100 and wait.  I'm playing from behind most of the rest of the night when I limp my Q9 in late position after a host of limpers.  The flop comes 7 8 T, rainbow.  Decent flop, with a draw and redraw to the nuttiest of nuts.  Angle is out of position to me and bets $15 -- I'm one of 2-3 callers for my open ender.  Turn fills me in with a 6 and he bets large this time: $65 or so.  A heart draw is also put out there as the 6 and 8(?) are now hearts).  I'm left as the only caller.  I consider a raise, but figure it's very obvious with the 4 straight.  The river is a 2 (can't remember whether it was a heart) and he stacks chips ($105 to be exact) in his hand and starts to move them forward and over the line.  He holds them there for a second without releasing and I toss in a chip for the call after believing he has bet (forward motion and over the line).  He sees my somewhat snap call and then starts claiming he did not bet.  The dealer, who is a competent dealer, tells me the rule at MGM: forward motion with a carve out is considered a bet.  He did not release, therefore it is not a bet.  I did not get all upset, did not throw my drink, did not start yelling or causing a ruckus.  I was visibly unhappy, and definitely had a few unpleasant words to the tune of, "whatever, you have to look at yourself in the mirror every day.  If you're comfortable, good for you."  That was the end of it; he had an obnoxious comment back, but a few hands later racked up and left.  Ho hum; lesson learned.  I'm going to have to be more obnoxious in the future when calling with the 2nd nuts and truly wait patiently, and ask "is that a bet?" before making a call.  Again, lesson learned.

The final hand of the night involves Red.  He's got rolled up Aces.  He raises to $10.  Mid position re-re-raises to $25, reopening the betting.  Player to my right calls, I call with 88, player to my left calls.  Back to Red.  I 4bets to $135.  I have $500 effective.  Original 3bettor ships for $129.  Player to my right calls.  I think for a bit, but I believe this to be an unprofitable call, as I'm folding all non-8 boards.  Player to my left thinks for a long time before calling.  Flop comes 8 6 2hh and I'm not too happy.  Red bets $125 and gets 1 caller.  He checks the non heart turn and bets $125 on the river to get a fold.  He shows (obviously, given the action) AA and scoops a nice pot.  It shoulda been me...  I should have gotten revenge for his earlier T2hh bullshit.

Despite the crap above, I turn a decent profit.  It should have been a bigger night, but I'll take what I got.


  1. howd 2 2 of hearts get into the deck for the flop to be 29Q and him to have 10 2?

    1. Thanks for pointing that out; I guess I didn't have it perfect from memory. Perhaps it was a 3 or 4?

  2. Koala and I would be happy to show you and Rob how to win with K-K. Actually, I have been pretty fortunate to win most hands with that recently. That being said -- I trust that you were playing at one of the casinos proximate to your home? It sure seems like, from what you and PPP write, that those games are incredibly loose, making for either great sessions or ones where you want to tear out all your hair.

    1. Yeah lightning; it's a roller coaster usually. Fortunately more ups than downs, but still very unstable and variance-ridden... Next time I see you, you'll have to give me some lessons on playing the 'ole KK!

  3. I was going to comment how unfortunate your session was until the last sentence where you state you made a profit! Well done


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