Thursday, January 31, 2013

Short Trip Report from San Diego - Palomar Card Club

I went downtown to eat with my coworkers last night and found myself 10 minutes away from the Palomar Card Club.  I figured I'd try to get a little poker variety while I'm here, and was kinda nervous when I drove by and saw what basically amounted to a Starbucks-sized "club."  Parking was fairly easy, but I was nervous from the cast of characters hanging outside on the street, taking a break from the non-smoking rules of the club inside.  Nevertheless, I persevered against my initial judgement, parked and went inside.

There were around 7-8 tables total, of which 6 were in action.  There was a constant buzz as well; somewhat noisy with no discernible background music.  I felt like this place was right out of an underground poker club, except this place was fully licensed and legal.  Going up to the brush desk, I was surprised to find that they hold their chips in an unlocked, seemingly insecure cabinet.  The brush was able to ship me my $300 buy in (same stakes as the Oceans Eleven Casino, 2/3), and I was seated almost immediately.

I sat down, and like Oceans Eleven, I wasn't required to post.  I started to settle in, watching players, looking for ideas as to how they play, etc. but before long, I was told to move to another table - i.e. the "must move" feature, which I don't believe I've ever experienced.  I'm not quite sure the logic behind a must move, but I didn't have to re-post blinds or anything, so it was okay by me.  Unfortunately, though, I was moved over to a table with better players, where I really needed to think about things rather than autopilot my way through the donks.  Make no mistake; these players were no Tom Dwan or Phil Galfond...  but they certainly new how to run a bluff and were aware that aggression is key.

Third or fourth hand, I wake up to QQ in the BB and watch 3 or 4 overcallers calling a mid position $12 raise.  I 3bet it to $45 (which in retrospect, should have been more) and a supposed loose player and an unknown call.  (I was told the loose player was loose / aggro by a player to my left who had apparently had a lot of history with him.)  Flop [natch] comes A K 3 rainbow.  I [stupidly] lead out for $45 and get raised by aggro to $140 ($300 effective, FWIW).  Folds to me and I think through the situation...  I truly truly contemplate a shove / call but can't bring myself to actually execute...  I fold and he flips J 7 hh for the bluff.  DAMNIT!  I knew his story didn't make sense.  Welcome to aggro poker :-).

Here was my thought process:  I 3bet PF and he's flatted 2 raises.  If he's aggro he's almost definitely raising pocket pairs and certainly good Aces.  He's calling down all his other weak Aces, wanting a cheap showdown.  He *HAS* to be concerned with AK, AA, KK, all within my 3bet range.  Granted there are some bluffs in there, but  is really trying to raise me off my bluffs (unless he has a bluff himself)?  Lesson learned...  against this player, take your time and think through the situation.

I would get a few chances to extract some money from him; he would frequently raise his BB and aggress his way into a non-showdown win, but whenever he'd get his money in, he always had "some" equity.  I stacked him once when he called a 3bet (again I'm OOP) to $45 and I held AQss - flop of Q Ts 3s.  Checked the flop, check / jammed the turn and stacked his KTo (nice call of a 3bet), but broke even on the pot because a short stack degen had essentially called all-in PF and turned a guttter KJ straight.  (I would also later nut on him with with a QT straight vs. his supposed set ($10 raise PF, check flop... $290 all in on the turn with the turned straight FTW & $300+ winnings).

EDIT:  I want to include a comment made below in response to a question about the QQ 3bet hand and how it plays into the hand above.  In the QQ hand, I thought about it after the hand... and I realized I made the "classic" "same bet" tell, where I bet the same bet on the flop as I had PF.  This is usually a weakness tell that more astute players know.  After 3-4 hands, I'm not very accurate at sizing up this guy's game, so I choose the default fold, unwilling to stack off with what could very easily be an A or K.  Noted.  It would play into the AQ hand, though, which I failed to fully describe until being reminded of it from the below comments.

So the action went like this: 3bet to $45 and 2 callers, the KJ turned straight guy with an effective stack of ~80 and my nemesis.  I check the flop, looking to induce his bet which he doesn't bite.  Then, I decide to cbet the "same bet" on the turn as a delayed cbet... the turn was an offsuit 9, if I recall correctly.  As if scripted, he immediately raised me to ~$140, putting shorty all in.  I contemplated for a few seconds, sizing him up and announced all in myself.  He insta-called, believing me to be bluffing / hoping for his gutter Jack / over King / trip Ten to hit.  I believe he's drawing WAY thin (as was the gutter boy) because I'm 4 flushing and I don't think any of them had spades in their hand.

The crux here, though, is that I was able to use a false tell to induce action and stack someone (although the resultant pot was *A LOT* lighter than it should have been due to the short dick winning the main pot).

The only hand that "bothered" me on the night was where I jammed my TPTK AcTx against his 98 two pair on a T 9 8 cc board and I went runner runner QQ for the better two pair.  As I said, he's wont to raise BB and he did so with 98hh PF after a few limps (he raised to $15).  My plan was to limp raise but I don't remember why I abandoned that plan...  Anyway, I feel like I'm pretty good jamming TPTK against this type of player because he has so many draws that he's calling where I'm on the good end statistically - he had snapped off with mid pair and no re-draw earlier, and I had seen him play up & down poker...  Egg on my face, but happy to sweep up the winnings for a decent winning session.

I don't know that I'd go back to Palomar Club, because it felt very much like a home game where everyone knew everyone by name.  However, it was fun to get back into the "home game" scene for a respite from the casino scene.  It's always also nice to get a decent win :-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Short trip report from San Diego - Oceans Eleven Casino

This post will read more like a stream of conciousness because I'm sitting in meetings and only have a few minutes to bang this out.

I only had around 2 hours of play time before I got tired and packed up to head back to the hotel.  However, those were 2 nicely profitable hours.  I was able to steal at will, constantly raising the BTN / CO and getting little to no resistance.  I played 2/3 $300 and doubled through on a flush over flush (I nutted, he had the KQ high flush).  It was an interesting hand because I was able to check / raise 2 streets...  despite, I took home nearly a buy in during those 2 hours.

These players are *AWFUL*. The guy in the seat 1 would call call call only to suckout and get lucky on *MULTIPLE* occasions.  I saw him call a shove with a non-nut flush draw vs. another player's set of Aces.  He flatted my $20 open in position against my AA and we saw a flop of Q T 9 rainbow.  I lead $35 into the $40 pot and his hands started shaking.  He carved out the $35 then took a long time before fumbling with his chips and adding up a raise of $80-90 on top... it didn't even matter; my read was so strong on his hand that I insta-mucked the minute he started fumbling.  Of course, he flipped QT for flopped 2 pair...  nice $35 for the trouble :-).  The table was wowed by my insta-muck, but I *KNEW* it -  and it was nice to be reassured when he flipped his 2 cards to show the 2 pair.

As I was saying, these players were weak / passive.  There were few exceptions, but for the most part, I steam rolled this table and felt damn good about it.  I was the cocky ass a the table and no one could do anything about it :-).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

All work & no play makes me a dull boy... greets from Charleston, SC

Note: Poker content in the second section.

So I'm having a bit of poker withdrawal.  I wasn't able to get seat time in last week, save for the Tuesday after we got back from the cruise.  I'm not going to be able to get any seat time this week.  After work, I'm huddled in the corner of my room, shivering, in the fetal position from lack of pokerage.  Not really.  But it makes for a good story, no?

Actually, Charleston turns out to be quite a pleasant city.  It has a small feel to it; very quaint and rustic.  I've kinda taken a liking to it - though I can't get over the odor that seems to permeate the area.  It almost smells like a sawmill; I suspect that's because this is considered low country and the smells roll in from the marshes?  Perhaps I'm wrong - maybe I should check the internet?

Ok - back from a simple search of "Why does Charleston smell" results in the fact that there's a paper mill in town...  wow; I really nailed the smell!

Anyway, the women are absolutely gorgeous here - and they're all friendly!  Too bad I'm a married man.  The food is *EXCELLENT*.  The buildings are all old school; typical southern like one would expect when visiting the south.  I'm having fun here, catching up with colleagues who I haven't seen in such a long time (it's been a year and a half since I've supported the particular meetings that I'm supporting today).

Online poker update

At any rate, I've been doing a bit of online play lately.  I've been playing on a place called Seals With Clubs.  For those that don't know, you can grind for Bitcoins, which while not readily available to convert into hard currency, are at least something "meaningful."  That is to say that people treat these bitcoins seriously; you don't see players donking off as they usually would with 72s in a PokerStars play money situation because... "they were sooooooted."  When suckouts invariably happen, people are genuinely upset in the chat box.

The way works for me is they run hourly freerolls for 50 chips (each chips = 1/1000 of a bitcoin).  I was able to win the very first freeroll I played, and tried unsuccessfully for a few more 50 chip wins.  Finally, I said screw it and started playing 1/2 -200 with my meager roll.  The min buy in of 40 chips allowed me entry.  I was able to turn that into a full 200 coin buy in that same day, and haven't looked back since.  I'm up to 2400 chips (2.4 bitcoins) at this point; it's been a month or so since I started.  FWIW, the USD equivalent for 1 BTC is around $14.  Additionally, they allow multi-tabling (I'm up to 2 HUD-less tables at this point) and offer a tiered rakeback program.  All in all, it seems very generous and easy to get started with the sole risk being time.

Note that does not have a downloaded client; it runs in flash through your web browser.  Therefore, I don't believe you can run a HUD to track hand histories / player tendencies.  I've found that with recent my live experience, I'm much better suited now to playing an online game sans PT3 / HEM (though I would love to get back into tracking players / fish). has been rolling out mobile software as well - I got involved with their pilot program for software on the Android tablet which works well so far.  The best part about the whole thing is that bitcoins (BTC) are not regulated by the government, and thus cannot be shut down by the DOJ.  It's a very small site currently, but at least it's better than nothing and it seems to be growing.

It should also be noted that I have not yet cashed out anything, so I caveat your play with an "at your own risk" warning.  However, so far, so good.  I'm enjoying being back online.  Come & join me!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Soliciting poker in the Charleston, SC or San Diego, CA?

I'll be traveling for work during the greater part of the next 2 weeks.  Next week, I'll be in Charleston, SC.  I don't believe they have live poker there, but I may be amiss.  Do any of my readers have any suggestions?

The following week, I'll be in Rancho Bernardo, CA (near San Diego).  I know that I can drive up to LA for the Bike / Commerce / Hustler Club / Hollywood / etc.  Is there anything in the local area worthy of a visit?  I've been to San Diego countless times, though never found a poker room.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Status update & a hand history

My wife & I took our kids on their first cruise this past week.  We went from Miami to the Bahamas.  Fortunately, the kids had a blast (5, 7 & 9) - cruises will likely be the Poker Meister family's vacation of choice going forward.  Better, since cruises leave from Baltimore, we won't have to pay for airfare; cruises seem to be great value for the money.

Onboard, I got to sit in on some of the fishiest games I've ever played.  Either the players were partially retarded or spewtarded.  Numerous times... check that... almost every time - I'd see limp / calls with $12 behind and auto folds to cbets.  Every once in awhile, it's a good feeling to be the HUGE fish in a little pond, as I was far & away the best player at the tables.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to put my skill into quantifiable dollar terms.  The digital PokerPro tables treated me terribly; I would get it all in more than 3 times as a dominating favorite only to be sucked out on.  Notables included: KQo vs. K9o all in PF (I raised and he 3bet all in to not much more; running 4 flush), 33 vs. K6 on a 3 6 8 K board (6 on the riv; checked flop and check / raised AI turn to ~$100 stack), AT vs KTdd on a 2c 5s 7d (aggrodonk called PF $15 raise and shoved $42 into $45 on flop - good call by me) board (diamond turn, K river).  Nevertheless, I persevered for a +break-even 3 nights, happy to escape the clutches of run bad.

Trying to get back in gear, I went out & played a session at Charles Town yesterday, with mixed results.  I had to make my own luck as I simply was not getting the cards.  For the majority of my 3-4 hour session, I was break-even, never swaying more than +-$25.  Towards the end of the session, I limped 32o in mid to late position and saw a 3 way flop where I flopped a J56 under-gutter with 2 hearts and a spade on board.  I lead the flop for $15 into a large-ish field and got 2 callers.  At this point, I was determined to boom or bust and steeled myself to pound away at the pot.  To date, I had never really been to showdown and hardly played any hands.  I figured my reputation, for anyone watching, would precede itself, and I could be given credit fora  two pair / set type hand.  The turn brought a 3s, giving me a bit of equity to the river.  I was fairly sure that the pair of 3's was not the best hand, but continued my story regardless - firing $35 into the $50-ish pot.  1 sticky caller was all who remained to a blank river.  After his check, I shoved my remaining $200+ into his effective $160, repping a two pair / set.  He folded after a few seconds of thought and showed 64ss so I showed my 23 bluff and was done with the session + 1/2 buy in...  Not bad for a completely card dead  / water treading session.

Hand History

From a session ~2 weeks ago at Charles Town:
New player (claims to have just turned 21; his first time casino, playing "pro" poker).  He's on the HJ and opens to $12 (note that whether or not he's a new 21, he handles his chips poorly and is clearly new to poker).  I decide to 3bet him to $40 with QQ on the BB.  My 3bet folds out the limpers and he shoves $200.  The action is on me, so I start to talk...  I ask him what he has and get an answer: he tells me Aces.  I tank and fold.  Comments?

BTW, he showed his Aces.  :-)  Next hand.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

From the timebank; Raising AKo in position at Ctown

The following hand takes place a few weeks ago, where I went on a complete heater at Charles Town and tore up the table:

I'm dealt AKo mid position.  I raise to $14 and get two callers - tight-ish, cute blonde girl mid 20's (SB), and a lagtard (mid position limp / caller).  I think I have both covered; blondie has $78 and lagtard has $~160(?) and I have position on both of them for this hand.

Flop comes down A J T rainbow.  Blondie immediately open shoves $78 into $42 and folds out the lagtard.  I'm facing a $78 call into $42.  Prior hands I've seen her play Aces in continual c/c mode.  She's somewhat passive, but has seen me make a few moves that undoubtedly she didn't understand (i.e. raising draws, check raising air, etc.).  She views me as supremely aggressive and volatile.  Am I making a mistake snapping her off here with TPTK + the draw or should I always be calling all short stacks like this?  She's not a short stack player - she bled her chips down to a shorty.

FWIW, she showed down AJ for flopped Aces up.  I sucked out to the Q on the turn and the hand was over.

I'm not sure I think this is a huge leak either way; perhaps it is due to her passive nature - she could potentially show up with a set of Tens or Jacks - but I really think she wants the pot immediately with any Ace in her hand, not wanting to see the turn K or Q and having to guess the rest of the way out of position.  I feel like folding TPTK with $42 in the middle is just so weak with such a short stack behind.  Clearly, I'm not getting the correct price for the hand she held, but I honestly think there's so many more hands that she shows here where I'm way ahead...

Friday, January 4, 2013

I was the motherf*cker! I F*ed their motherfs for once!

Welcome to the New Year, I guess.  I played my first session last night, and it ended in a bang.  It's rare when I can hit my hands... and also get paid, consistently.  Lately, I've been having these statistical anomalies where I'll sit for hours and go through a streak of 10-15 hands and simply clean up.  Last night was one of those nights.  My mother wasn't f*'ed...  I did the motherf*ing!


I played spot on poker against 8 out of the 9 other players at the table.  The 9th player, natch, was a curmudgeonly white guy (early 60s) who would literally play any two cards to any sized raise and get there by the turn or river (against all comers).  He knew how to call when he was behind and suckout / bet when he was ahead, which was about all he needed.  Throughout the course of the night, in addition to felting me early on for full stacks, he would take in the neighborhood of $2-300 from me.  It was almost like a funnel where I would crush up the table by bluffs and value, and he'd swoop in to take the winnings by storm (me being the donkey I am, was always incredulous when his top pair crap kicker or middle pair no kicker would trip up on the river to my usually overpairs, and I'd sucker pay him off).

Given the background that all 9 players at my table are HUGE fish (not including myself), 8 out of the 9 are weak / tight / passive and the 9th loves to gamble it up and bluff frequently.  My nemisis fits in the former camp of weak / tight, but not entirely passive.  Let's recap the first hand, which I want to take as a learning lesson because I made a HUGE error on the river:

Hand 1: Flush over Flush

I'm dealt 3c5c in mid position facing a host of limpers.  I limp along as I am wont to do with those types of suited gappers.  Finally the BTN decides to raise to $12, and the limpers trickle through with calls (as do I).  We go to the flop ~5 way ($60) and see an Ac 4h Tc flop.

Checks around to the original raiser who leads $20.  The nemesis (SB) and the gambler (BB) call, and I opt to check / raise, intending to take down the pot right then & there.  I c/r to $80 and the original raiser folds.  The nemesis snap calls and the gambler is fraught with emotion.  He hesitantly calls.

Turn shows the Kd.  It checks around to the gambler who deliberates on a bet for a good 25-30 seconds, when I smartly pick up my chips and go into my "intending to bet" pose.  He finally realizes my "intentions" and checks (he had a very poorly played AK) to me.  Not wanting to be all in for the additional $200 behind (because he's absolutely c/ring ai and I don't think I can call), I follow with a check.

River shows the 9c and bingo.  Here's where I go wrong.  My hand is a bluff catcher - nothing more than a bluff catcher - when my nemesis leads for $75.  Pained, gambler calls, and I deliberate whether to raise.  Again, in retrospect, my hand is a bluff catcher I should be calling or folding and never raising, but I somehow convince myself that my nemesis is betting his two pair vs. gambler's two pair and my flush is actually good...  And I'm missing value by not raising.  Needless, I raise $100 on top, get a call from my nemesis (fold from gambler) and effectively stack myself when he shows Kc4c.

However, the rest of the night was not to be in the same direction; I have two additional hands that I will share where I'm proud of the way I played.  They relied on excellent reads of the situation.

Hand 2: Calling KQo to a back-raise

Apparently, the gambler is a little more observant than I gave him credit for.  I typically raise my BTN / CO with a WIDE range, hoping to take the pot of limpers immediately, or take it down with a cbet on the flop.  It's profitable, it works online, and when you don't get a bunch of overcallers, it works live.  However, the gambler caught onto my little scheme and decided to lay in wait and back raise my BTN raise.

Facing 6 (yes 6!!!) limpers, I raised to $20 with KQo from the BTN.  It folds out the SB/BB and 1 early limper.  The gambler, in middle position, decides to back raise me to $45 and that clears out the limpers between us.  We're heads up and I'm facing a call for $25 with a "trouble hand."  I'm not really aware of the earlier observation note at the time, but at that time, he feels like he doesn't have AA, KK because he's always shown in prior hands to open raise without hesitation.  He's never back raised before, and I feel like it's WAY too obvious for him to back raise even JJ+.  I have a K and a Q in my hand as a "blocker" (as all the internet kids say), so the likelihood of him holding QQ / KK is somewhat diminished.  Again, it just seems WAY too obvious for him to back raise those premium hands.  Granted, there is a prior hand earlier in the night where he saw me back raise and go to showdown / win with my AJs to an unsuspecting customer, where I was trying to trap my nemesis and the gambler (who did not oblige but opted to limp / fold instead).

We go to a flop and see Q Q T.  He insta-leads for $60 and I insta-flat.  Can we see "retribution" from last week, where I got sucked out on with AK vs KQ?  This time, though, it's a bit different because we're looking at $~350 effective stacks, and I sensed weakness PF.  So, again, I flat and we go to the turn.

The turn is an A.  I think this card only hurts me.  If he is weak, then he doesn't hold an Ace.  If I read him wrong, then he just filled up on me.  However, he decides on an ill-advised check.  Let's recap: he's effectively led twice now, and has committed $100 to the pot.  He now decides to put on the brakes, even though he's desperately trying to rep AA / KK?  This is not a player who wants to give a free card when he has the nuts and a "fish on the hook."  He'd bet same bet or something similar.  Something doesn't smell right, and I opt to "same bet," - $60.  He, again, ill-advised, decides to check/raise me to $150.  His story has a TON of holes in it, and after thinking about it, I push all in for my remaining $225+.  No snap call = no Aces full.  After a TON of decision for the remaining $75, he folds and I drag a nice pot to push my way back to above even on the heels of the flush over flush disaster.

I would later find out, in talking with him, that he was indeed weak, holding Jx (he said he had a gutshot).  It was a well-thought out hand; creative on his part, but not consistent, and read well on my part.

Hand 3: 87o calling for a gutter with huge implications

Like a broken record, host of limpers, late position raise to $12, 5 callers (miracle of all miracles, nemesis and gambler call as first in), flop of 3 6 T rainbow.  I'm in middle position with 87o, sitting on about $500+.  Nemesis and gambler both have me roughly covered.

We all check the $60 pot to the original raiser who leads for $20... weak sauce. Nemesis (CO) and gambler (BTN) call, and after thinking about it, I call because I have an opportunity to make $300+ on a turn 9 or get away from the hand when I miss.  The original raiser seems very comfortable, leading into 4 callers, so I also figure if worst comes to worst, I'll at least get his $~120 remaining stack.

Turn is [obviously, since I wouldn't be writing this up] a 9, putting a 2 flush clubs on the board.  Check check check and late position / BTN(?) leads for $30 (into $140 lolaments).  Same 2 fish call, and I opt to c/r the nuts to $120.  I want juice in the pot, and I want it now!  Bettor folds, nemesis (damn) folds, and gambler snap calls ($500 here I come...  no club no club no club no pair no pair no pair).

River is an offsuit 2, making the final board read 3 6 T 9 2, rainbow.  Now having been an observant player for most of the night, I know that the gambler loves to gamble.  I also know that he loves to make large bluff bets on any street, and had been able to get many players off the best hands by bluffing 4 straights, etc.  I'd seen him do it multiple times, it was position-based betting, and on one occasion, I couldn't look him up for fear of the 4 other players ahead of me who likely had better hands and could easily be looking him up themselves.  He got away from each of those, winning without showdown and stealing numerous $200+ pots.  Given my information on him, I opt to check to his bluff, figuring that's the only way I'll make money on this pot, given the strength I showed on the turn.

On a board such as this, though, unless you're a somewhat dumb player like my fish is, you have to realize that it's really difficult to show up with a strong hand or bluff on this type of board given:

a.  the amount of players starting the pot (5 players)
b.  the prior action (2 streets of betting with no raises except for my turn c/r which meant business)
c.  whatever "value" hand he has is likely a bluff catch and should be checked behind

Given all of the above, my fish leads for $175 on the river.  I already had a plan in my head as to what I would do when he acts, and went on auto-pilot into my best Emmy performance.  I insta-snap shoved (seriously... his chips hit the line and I shipped so quickly that there was a dust plume behind them) and jumped out of my chair.  Oh yeah... the snap shove was about $400 total...  I started pacing a bit, then sat back down and tried to avoid eye contact, blinking fast and acting a bit squirmy when I felt his gaze upon me.  He took around 2 minutes before I nastily called clock.  When the floor started timing him, it took him about 20 seconds to eek out a "call."  No slowroll; I called out nuts and flipped over the 87 for the monsterpotten. 

I would go on to run through the table, nutting about 4 times, but the above were the notable hands.

Wishing you all run good (just not against me).  And thus completes my start to 2013.

NOTE:  Hands 1 & 3 edited to reflect accurate cards as per recollection.  Hand 1 board 4c -> 4h and Th -> Tc.  Hand 3 board 4 -> 3.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reminded of hookers... an addendum to Rob's recent post

Because Rob's recent post, over at Rob's Vegas and Poker Blog, reminded me of this funny video, I figured I'd post a tribute / addendum to his post:

A few funny extras in addition:

Tales from this past week & a year-end review

Happy New Year everybody!  It's been a while since I've posted an update, so I figured I may as well do a year-end review + status update.  I also have a few hand histories in the pipeline from this past week of poker.

The year in review

I shifted my primary focus from online poker to live poker in 2012.  With Bodog / Bovada abandoning its Maryland player base, coupled with their move towards "anonymous poker," I realized that my interests had waned with regard to grinding 50NL+ at that site or elsewhere.  I simply can't stand the cat & mouse game that we play with the government, minimizing our exposure to bankroll seizure at the whim of the DOJ.  With the "relative" ease of access to live poker (Charles Town is about 45 minutes door-to-door from my house), live poker seems to be more lucrative, despite the immediate access that online provides.  With that logic, 99% of my year with regard to poker has been dedicated to live play.  In fact, I don't think I've had a single cash out during 2012.

My live poker play in 2012 has been a continual upward trend, discounting November where I went on a $1k downtrend.  All said, I ran roughly in-line with my historical trends, adding roughly $1/hr in 2.5x the hours of seat time (I played 275 hours @ 65 sessions).  I expanded my playing repertoire by working on my player reading capabilities, lines, bet sizes, and focusing on taking my time rather that instantly acting / reacting.  All said, even though my year over year results ($$$ / hr) don't clearly prove it, I have become a more solid, well-rounded player.

Tales from Delaware Park

Looking in my logs, I hadn't stepped foot into DP since February.  Since I'd been on a downward slide at Ctown, and I had a whole day to get my poker Jones satiated, I figured I would take the day to drive out to Delaware Park and situate myself there.  It was a nice change of scenery but it would be turn out to be a roller coaster of a session.  I got there (after a TON of traffic) around 12:30.  DP does not make you post when sitting down, and it also has an odd rule where you can't purchase chips under any circumstances from the dealers.  If you want to rebuy or buy in, you have to get the chip runner to get chips for you.  However, cash plays so all is well.  I am seated immediately and ask for $400; $200 on the table and $200 behind to add on as needed (I find this is good practice so that I can top off and keep a full buy in as my stack ebbs early on).  I am in the HJ and see an EP raise and the player to my right 3bet to $24(?).  I look down at AA and decide to 4bet to $60.  I am an unknown and want to establish a reckless and devil-may-care image that I intend to use later.  Original raiser is an older Asian guy who asks how much I have in total (I had nothing on the table as the chip runner had my 4 hundreds).  I reported my $200 and he instantly said "all in."  Gentleman to my right insta-folds and I snap it off.  He shows KK and starts shrieking about the K in the window and telling me "You're dead!" over and over again.  Welcome to over-the-top poker, Delaware, USA.  I couldn't believe it.  Bad enough that I'm running AA < KK on the first hand (guy to my right folded QQ), but I'm being verbally assaulted following the massive suckout afterwards.

6 hands later, I look down at AKs from the BB and 3 bet a late position $15 raise to $40.  Folds around and guy to my right (table captain) is grumbling about me having AA / KK (uncool during the hand).  Regardless, donkey fat middle age guy calls and we see an A T 2 rainbow flop.  Check / check and we see a turn J.  I lead $50 and he flats.  River blank and I bet another $75 where he raises the last ~$20 in his stack (after the PF call he had $140-ish) and I'm shown KQ for the nut straight.  $400 dusted and this session is going about as well as the past month or two in Ctown...

I persevere and after 10 hours of solid poker, show a profit of ~$100.  Feels like a massive winner.

I don't know; reflecting back on the hand described, if he turns the set of Jacks, good game, but am I doing something wrong by stacking off AK in that spot?  I've been questioning it all week, but I think I'm comfortable with it.  He's getting 4-1 implied odds if he hits his flop and stacks me, and given the later play, I know that he's flatting a $50 lead on the flop.  I think I'm comfortable with checking the flop there hoping that he catches up a little.


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