Friday, May 20, 2016

Saturday's session recap - dealing with bullies and measured maniacs

As close as I could find to an example of a
Crasian: Jerry Yang
As I was writing my last post, it occurred to me that that I think are innocuous to me may be of interest to my readers.  This post is fairly independent of the hands identified in that post, but they come from a prior session.

Let me set up the table for you:

On my left, I have what I would call a "measured maniac," and for the purposes of this entry, we'll call him "Crasian #1."  He is the Crasian type who spots weakness and/or weak/tight play and jumps on it.  He'll raise random average hands (i.e. K4hh, A5o, etc.), but he'll also raise air when he feels that he'll be able to take down pots without a fight.
  • I complete my SB and he raises to $100 with 3 limpers (including me).  All fold and he scoops.
  • He straddled for $6 UTG and I complete my BB option with A2o - just me and the BTN.  He raises to $70 with KQo and the BTN ($22 behind) calls.  I fold.  BTN shows QJo and he scoops.
  • I'd seen him raise flush draws continually, usually getting paid when he hit, and usually getting folds when he missed.
  • He pushed me off a hand where I flopped bottom pair and a straight draw with 4c2c on a 2 3h5h board when he turned 8h - action went he bet $20 flop (I'm the only caller and consider shoving $200+ effective or at the minimum raising).  Turn 7h - he bets $70 and I fold, thinking my open ender is only good to 6 outs now, if I'm not already behind -- he shows me the K8hh that he raised to $10 in early position and priced me out of the hand on the turn...
Other  player sits across from us, also a Crasian, so forth named "Crasian #2."  Not as measured as the one to my left; he's less patient and more maniacal.  As one would expect from that kind of play, he went busto fairly quickly, but not before this fine gem when Crasian #1 raised to $20 with KK in the BB and got limp / shoved on for $120 by Crasian #2 with A8ss PF - A on the flop, A on the turn sealed it for Crasian #2.

Anyway, at this point, Crasian #1 is aware that I'm an okay player; he probably views me as weak / tight, as I've limped into a host of pots and folded to his raises each time.  He's straddling my BB (which is fine by me, since he's UTG when he does it).  I think he's somewhat targeting me, but we have a good rapport between the two of us.  In this particular hand, I straddle the BTN for $6 and he immediately throws out $20 as a blind raise in the SB.  LOL.  It folds around to Crasian #2 who limp / calls for $20.  It continues to fold around to my option on the BTN.  I am aware of my weak / tight image and look down at A6o.  $43 in the middle, I decide to jack it up with what very likely is the best hand: $71 to go.  Crasian #1 thinks for a long time before folding.  Crasian #2 insta-mucks and says "your Ace-King is good, sir!"  Read confirmed; they believe I'm only raising premo's.

I didn't get the chance to toy with Crasian #2 since he busted shortly afterwards, but Crasian #1 moved seats across the table a bit later when the following came up:

3 open limps and I'm on the BB with 88: I open to $20 and Crasian #1 is the only caller.  I hate the flop: A Q 7, two tone.  I check and Crasian checks.  Turn is an offsuit 3.  I opt to bet $45, realizing that Crasian #1 is afraid of my slow played Aces, etc., and therefore did not want to bet into what could be perceived as a weakness flop check.  He just calls my out of position delayed cbet.  River is a 5 and I decide to check / call a bet if there is one.  I've gotten decent value for a middling pair, if I am indeed ahead.  FWIW, I'm calling all reasonable river bets from him (save for a shove; we're around $500 deep).  He checks and waits for me to show - I show and he mucks.  If he bets flop, I likely fold to the 2 overcards and think nothing more of the hand.

The purpose of sharing these hands is to make a point of how to deal with table maniacs and watch game flow.  A bully will bully until he becomes afraid of his opponent, or at the very least, wary of capabilities.  If you make him or her think you're capable of something, or put the thought in their head, they'll start making decisions that they wouldn't ordinarily make against other players.  You want this - you want to get them off their usual game.  Game flow -wise, watch for tilt.  Crasian #1 is tilty because he loses with KK vs. a junk Ace.  He's calling wide and a bit steamed.  Press your advantage, read him for upset and loosening up, or tightening up trying to get back to even.  Be aware of your own image, and what you project to him.  If you project tight / weak, then raise more frequently... even 3bet more frequently, since he'll respect your bets more frequently than another maniac.  Put the pressure back on him; don't become a calling station unless you're trapping.  If you're calling, you better be prepared to call down, otherwise you're burning money while also emboldening your maniac opponent.

In the end, I can't say for certain whether I won the money war between Maniac #1 and myself (although I'm pretty certain I walked away ahead).  However, I know by the middle of the session that he stopped targeting me, moved away from me (table-wise) and definitely respected [if not feared] my play.  He stopped trying to walk all over me when I started playing back at him.  If you find yourself in a similar spot, where you have a tight image, start exploiting it!  Raise on the turn, raise on the flop!  You'll get respect and folds from a player such as this...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Optimal play, misreads and the rare trifecta (continued)

This post is a continuation of my last post.  To recap, I played Thursday night, winning a mini bad beat jackpot, Friday afternoon, sharing a mini bad beat jackpot, and finally playing on Saturday, detailed below:

Saturday's session was more of an impromptu dalliance with the pokers.  Mrs. Meister and I usually have plans Friday and Saturday nights, but this was one of the rare occasions when we had nothing planned at all.  After eating family dinner and getting all the weekend errands and chores completed, I had time to get in a decent session.  The wife was exhausted, so why not?

On the way up, I got bad beat-ed by the State of Maryland, receiving a speeding ticket - gotta pay my taxes and share the wealth...  I was upset, but determined not to let this affect my play, and I think I contained it pretty well.  I may need representation...  though my understanding is that there's a certain lawyer available for hire - who has offered representation to TBC?  I'll want a better hourly rate than what was offered to Tony!

Side note: The Horseshoe is running a promotion for Baltimore Orioles home games, where when they score runs, a random seat is drawn for varying amounts of money depending on the runs scored.  Also, when an Oriole hits a home run, a random seat is drawn for varying amounts of money depending on how many runs were scored on the home run.  For what it's worth, a grand slam is worth $1000.

Upon sitting (actually I don't even think I had taken my seat yet) at my table at the poker room, the Orioles were rallying, having runners on all bases; i.e. bases loaded.  I can't say I know who was batting, but the Orioles hit a home run: a grand slam home run!  Well, I started asking the table at large if they were interested in sharing action on the seat drawing; i.e. if we all can agree, if one of us is drawn, all of us share an equal amount of the $1000.  I was able to get 5 out of the 6 players at my table to agree, so we were set for a $200 chop if one of us was called, with a grumpier older gentleman (a regular) sitting it out.  Another player joined our table shortly before the drawing and wanted in on the partnership: 6 of 7 in on the deal.  I guess peer pressure got the better of the old guy, 'cause he succumbed on his own volition and opted in: 7 of 7 in on the deal.  If our table is drawn, we all win!  Well guess what happened?  Yup!  Table 960, my table, was drawn!  Without even waiting for the seat number, we're all jumping up and down like we hit the lottery.  The rest of the room sat kinda stunned; why would we all be so happy before they even drew a seat?  Needless to say, old man was picked as the winner (Murphy's Law, thank you very much) and he paid us out $140, keeping $160 for himself (I worked that deal out for him 'cause he did the "hard work").  He was very upset that he agreed last minute...  bitter old guy!  +1 Peer pressure, 0 Old guys!  Third "leg" of the trifecta complete: Meister :$440, House: $-440!

Now for 2 quick hand histories from Saturday night:

  1. I'm dealt Js5s in the BB.  There's a host of limpers (3 to be exact) and the BTN raises to $10 (LOL!).  I call out of sheer curiosity, fully expecting the 3 limpers to come along.  To my surprise, they all fold (WTF?).

    We see a flop of J J 8.  I check to the raiser who checks through.

    Turn is a 3 putting a flush draw out (not spades).  I lead for $20 and the BTN raises to $50.  I call.

    River is an offsuit 5.  I check to the raiser who puts out $65 with around $110 behind.  I obviously knew I had a Jack, but was not thinking about my kicker; all I was concerned about was that I was outkicked, without realizing that the 5 paired my kicker giving me a rivered boat!  UG FACEPALM.  I quickly threw out the "call" red bird and was shown QJo for the better kicker.  I started to muck my hand, thinking I was beat.  When I'm beat, I'll often take a second look at my cards and the board - it's something I learned to do after watching Phil Ivey muck a winner during the WSOP.  I took a look and realized that I have a full house for the better hand!  Rookie rookie rookie mistake - I should be stacking all of her chips by raising all in but since I just called, at least I didn't fold it and forfeit the hand...  As soon as I realized my error, I flipped my hand and apologized for the perceived slow roll; I guess I got what I deserved for playing crap cards for a cheap raise...
  2. 6 limpers, and I'm dealt 2s4s - "The Grump" in the BB.  I check my option and we see an A J 6 monotone, spades board.

    6 players and I know I'm getting at least one caller with an Ace, but I'm sure someone has to have a spade -- if not a Ks!  Therefore, I lead for nearly full pot: $15, not worried about lack of action.  I get one caller, a guy who clearly fancies himself "pro," wearing a hat and headphones.  My plan for this hand is to bet twice and check all rivers, giving Mr. Pro a chance to swipe at the pot, while I plan on folding all spades on the turn or river.  If Mr. Pro flopped a better flush, so be it; I'm going to pot control the river, but I don't want to go broke with my baby flush on a limped pot.

    Turn is a J, pairing the board.  I lead for $40, pressing, feeling like Mr. Pro is not going anywhere.  He snaps it off, instantly.  I'm not thrilled with the paired board, but I think if he turned a full house or has a better flush, I'd have heard about it with a raise on the flop or turn.  Maybe he's not raising the turn in position, with a boat, but certainly better flushes are trying to get more money in.

    River is an offsuit 8 and I think about checking or betting.  As per my plan for the hand, I opt to check - a check / call is in order; I don't want to face a raise on the river to decide for stacks.  I also want to give him a chance to bluff at the hand with the Ks if that's what he's after.  My plan is executed to precision, because he does indeed bet: $50.  It's a small "What would you do?" moment; do you check / raise in this spot or just call?  I think just calling is the optimal play; you catch all bluffs, catch all "value" betting Aces, and limit your downside against boats and better flushes.  I simply don't think there's a ton of value in raising here, and there aren't a lot of hands that can withstand a river check / raise.  Moreover, the ranges are wide open here since it's a limped pot, so there's always the likelihood of a better flush (I have the nut low flush) or a turned boat.  Therefore, I just call.

    My opponent shows QsJx for trip Jacks - one of the hands I think could have withstood a check/raise on the river.  I'm still comfortable with the just call since that's such a small part of his range, along with KsJx.  I scoop FTW.

I wish I could say I'm "poker-ed out," but I only want to play more...  Chips were for sale after all, far below its book value!  I was getting value both on- and off- the table.  Save for a speeding ticket (this is an official plea for PPP's help), it was a great poker weekend!

Side note - a little Karmic value: I realized while playing on Saturday that I never tipped the dealer who dealt out the bad beat.  By the time I was paid out for the bad beat, the dealer had moved on to the next table.  This is on my mind as I'm driving up to the casino, so I asked around only to find out that the casino does not track that type of data.  I asked a few of the dealers who were working that day, and was eventually able to figure out who it was.  Lo and behold, I asked the dealer who I suspected it was and he said "I don't know."  It was weird; he was clearly being evasive and coy with me.  After insisting and asking very precisely: "Just say yes or no, did you deal me the bad beat on Thursday," he finally admitted to it.  I gave him the tip I owed him and started asking why he wouldn't outright admit whether he was involved.  He said the casino has a policy to not answer whether they received a tip - and that my question put him in an awkward position.  Upon talking with him a bit more, I came to find out that he dealt 3 high hand / bad beats that day, where none of the winners tipped him.  At least I could give back a little for my share of the beats and buy back a little Karma...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Optimal play, misreads and the rare trifecta

I have a lot to cover since my last post from my regular Thursday night session.  I had the rare opportunity to play 3 sessions in a row during this past week / weekend.  I played the regular Thursday session, as described above, I played on Friday during the day (got a free Kindle eReader which I'm donating to my religious organization for a raffle event) and culminated my streak in a Saturday night bender!  Lest you think that the "rare trifecta" as described in the title of the post is the 3-in-a-row session, it is not.  Do not jump to conclusions.  The rare trifecta I am alluding to is far more rare than back-to-back-to-back play.  I could do that in Vegas, or I could do that during an extended vacation.  The trifecta I speak of is likely far more uncommon than any of my readers have experienced...  keep reading:

To set the story up, recall that Thursday's session had me winning a mini bad beat.  You likely already have the details on that session, as posted in the recap; if not, refer back to the link provided in the first paragraph.  Let's move on to Friday's session, though.  I don't have any hand recaps to detail during my Friday session, though I do have an interesting story which plays into the trifecta as the second "leg."  I'd been towards the end of a middling session where I was bouncing back and forth between up $100 and up $150 when a new guy - youngish, appeared to be a grinder - sits down.  In conversation, I came to find out he plays regularly at Maryland Live! and was checking out the 'Shoe.  A few orbits into his session, he gets involved in a raised pot.  I wasn't paying close attention to the events of the hand; it was fairly mundane given the action until the river:

Flop was A A Q (checked through I think), turn was a blank (checked again, or maybe a little bet), and the river was a King.  Somehow, (raise, re-raise, shove - maybe?) the two players (the original PF raiser and the young grinder) get it all in by the river (around $300 effective), and the grinder is shown AK for Aces full of Kings for the nuts and the scoop.

I'd been watching the grinder since he sat down, and had determined (in all of 30 minutes) that he was likely a solid player, maybe a bit ABC, but solid nevertheless).  I did not peg him for the type to be shoving / calling light, and was likely smart enough to call or fold trips to the significant river action.  Therefore, I determined from the play that he likely had a boat.  There were a few boats that he could hold: Queens full (a bad beat worth $400), blanks full (worthless), Kings full or Aces full of blanks (a bad beat worth $750), or Aces full of Queens (a bad beat worth $2500!!!!).  The most likely candidates given the up front action (i.e. he called a raise; no 3bet) was he had either Aces full of Queens or Aces full of blanks.  Moreover, the grinder looked forlorn, as if someone just told him his baby was ugly and he knew it was the truth...  I'm sure we all know the look, as we've all been on both ends of the bad beat.  Anyway, he's staring at his cards, trying to will himself to muck his hand, but is pausing ever so long.

Side note: There is a strict "one player to a hand" policy adhered to at the 'Shoe, and most casinos I've ever played.  Furthermore, I can't recall a single event where I've ever gotten involved in a hand where I'm not an active participant.

With the above disclaimer, I went against the rules and decided to get involved with the hand.  I sized up the situation (remember that he's coming from Live! and not familiar with the 'Shoe's rules and bad beats).  I said to him, "Do you have a boat?  There's a bad beat jackpot if you have a full house!"  His reaction gave away his hand - he did indeed have a full house.  I said, "Show your hand!  If you have Aces full, you won a lot of money!  Show your hand!"  Reluctantly, the grinder revealed his hand: AQo.  Bad beat declared, floor came over and promptly paid out the $2500 top prize for the mini bad beat!  He gave the dealer a tip of $100, and shipped me $100!  Second leg of the trifecta complete!  For those keeping score at home, Meister: $300, House: $-300!

This is turning into an epic post, so I will break it up into two parts.  Stay tuned for the third "leg" of the trifecta!

Friday, May 13, 2016

A good beat, a bad beat & a little Zeebo Theorem

I rarely call when I'm beat.  That's the way I've been since I started playing 6 years ago.  I like to be correct, and hate burning money, so my preferences fall strongly in line with my overall life outlook.  Sometimes, however, logic gets the better of me.  This time, at least, logic didn't cost me too much money.  Let me explain:

First, a bit of background.  This had been a mostly sideways session.  I'm sitting on about $110 above my original buy in, $410 total (or thereabout).  I'd seen some very poor play from my table mates, but since earlier in the session, my table had tightened up quite a bit.  One hand that particularly pissed me off was when a short stack called my $12 raise with 9d5d with $32 behind as first in, (I had AQo in the SB), saw a 7 5 4 flop and jammed.  I called after all folded around ($60 in the pot), and did not improve.  That set him on a heater from $48 --> $500 by the end of the night.  Total fish that got lucky!  I guess if it happens to him, it can happen to anyone.  It was that kind of table, though... and up & down night.  Now back to the title and point of the post; the setup:

EP raises to $10 and it gets called in around 4 spots when action turns to me with JThh in the SB.  I of course call (again, sitting on $410) and we see a decent flop: JsTcQc.  Not thrilled, as my 2 pair are behind a lot, but the hand has some potential.  I check to the raiser, who in turn checks... in fact, the whole damn table checks around!  Interesting...

Turn kills my hand a bit more: Kd.  Great - 4 straight out there, and undoubtedly, someone has an Ace.  Original raiser [finally] leads for $15 and gets called in all 4 spots; I come along, getting odds to boat my 2 pair.  I remember thinking at the time, though: "I'm beat here - he has KK, KJ."  I can't raise because I'm only getting called by better hands.  I just come along for the ride by calling.

River is where it gets interesting: Jc.  Scared of the prior thought: original raiser has KJ, KK, I once again check.  He carves out $60.  It folds around to the button (terrible player) who just calls.  Action to me.  I say to my neighbor before I even see the bet: "I'm beat here," and show my JThh.  He's surprised.  I think for a bit, wanting to fold, but logically am unable to do so.  In other words, I Zeebo'd myself.  How can I fold for $60 when I'm going to be good some percentage of the time?!?!?!?!?  Well, I call and wait for my opponent to flip his hand.  He's hesitating for a bit so I decide to show, hoping that given the delay, my hand is good.  Nope!  He shows K9cc for the flopped straight, rivered straight flush!  FWIW, the button claimed Axcc for the turned straight / rivered nut flush (like I said, terrible player; how does she let the hand continue on the turn without a raise).

I honestly did not put him on a straight flush, even though I thought I was beat...  It was a good misread, though...  saved me a bit of money.  After pausing for a little, I started piecing the hand back together and realized that I hit a mini bad beat!  Horseshoe pays $200 for Jacks full getting beaten!  Technically, I won $125 on the hand!  A good beat, a bad beat, and Zeebo, all in one!

Side note: After the hand, my opponent was so tilted that I didn't raise there - how could I just call?!!?!?!?!?  How did I not ship him all of my chips!?!?!?!??!  I had a small heater after dropping my profit down to $35 on the night after that hand - walked away up $200+ not including the bad beat.  Ship it!

Update: One interesting note for the session was that on my very last hand last night, as with my prior session, here, I was dealt AA.   This is becoming a pattern.  Moreover, I open to $15 and get raised to $40 by a short stack!  Folds around to me and I raise to $100, which more or less covers him.  He calls and we both have AA!  Runout is 3 diamonds by the turn (my opponent holds the Ad), but the river is clean and we wind up losing a few $$$ each...  Oh well...

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Belated Mother's Day and Big Macs

Yes, I went up to play on Mother's Day.  I have my reasons or excuses...  Let me explain first, lest you judge me:

It all started because the Horseshoe was giving away a nice personal blender and my kids wanted it.  In addition, Horseshoe was offering me money in free promotional chips, so while I planned on being there anyway, I may as well get that reward.  Finally, I planned on hosting my brother-in-law, his wife & kids, as well as my in-laws, to a nice Mother's Day dinner.  I don't know how to cook (nor do I care to even try), so what should I plan?  BBQ, of course!  The final part of my plan was to take some of the $400+ in comp rewards that I've accumulated from my play at the Horseshoe since I rarely use the money, and pick up a little Guy Fieri's BBQ catering while I'm up there.  I got a few pounds of pulled chicken and pit beef - and it was great!

Well, while I'm all the way up in Baltimore, I may as well get a little play in, no?  It would be a waste to drive all the way up there only to turn around and go home!  I decided to play for an hour and a half... no one would notice, would they?  (Side note: of course my wife noticed.  She let me hear about it, no doubt!)  It was an interesting session, if, for nothing else, the craziness of the seat to my right.

So as you may or may not be already aware, I'm the talkative guy at the table.  If I'm winning, if I've had caffeine or sugar, or if I'm bored, I start up conversations.  Seldom are the conversations about poker, but most are about inane things - [basic] economics, cars, sports, etc.  People are usually interested in those things, and it helps me pass the time when I'm card dead (which is my real angle for doing it).  When I got to the poker room, there was a 10 minute wait - management decided to open a new table.  I immediately got dealt high card and was awarded the button.  (The process for opening new tables is the dealer will deal out cards corresponding to the amount of players at the table.  High card takes the button, and in the event of ties, first high card clockwise from the dealer wins.)  I'm already ahead in my short session!  Free poker for 8 hands!

As we're getting settled in as a table, adjusting to each other's tendencies, etc., I start developing an aggressive image for anyone who's paying attention.  After folding the first 2 hands, I flop a set on a PF raised pot with 4's on an all spade, Ten high board.  5 ways, I donk bet for $50 and take it down without a fight.  The PF raiser was an older black man with whom I had played previously, so I imagined he would not auto- cbet into that many players without an overpair, but was capable of PF raising a reasonable range including broadway.  My thinking was that I don't want to let my opponents see a turn card and catch up for free.

A few hands later, another opponent raises to $10 and we see a 4 way flop of 2 T Q, 2 spades, except this time with 78ss.  PF raiser checks to me and I lead for $22.  Older man from prior hand flats and turn is a 3(?) of spades.  I bet $40 and he fiddles with his chips as if he's going to raise, though eventually folds.  Bummer.

The payer in the seat to my right finally sits down after "forgetting" where he was seated.  I welcome him to the table and he looks me in the face and says: "Who the F* are you?"  I'm taken aback, but say "Welcome to the table, sir."  He's bought in for $100.  He turns about to be a bit of an a-hole, chips up to $170 in about 2 orbits, gets up & leaves to another table.  I know exactly what he's doing - going south; pocketing the $70 and starting at a new table for $100.  I don't even have to look.  Low and behold, I turn around, and there he is at the table behind me with $100.  The rule at the Horseshoe is that you cannot "go south."  Now ordinarily, I would not care about what other players around me are doing.  In the direct sense, I am not affected by the action at another table, nor do I work at the poker room and enforce the rules.  I will, of course, bring rule-breakers to light to the management when it directly affects me, but I will also occasionally call out egregious offenders of the going south rule when I've seen them do it as a habit.  This guy, though, is a dick.  I presume he also know the rules, since I saw him playing with his iPhone, tracking his poker play through the Poker Income app (and he had numerous logged sessions).  I let the management know about the issue - and the rule-breaker is quickly brought to justice...  my table genuinely applauds me, as the guy was a dick to everyone there.

Next guy who takes the seat arrives as I'm talking with the guy to my left about the Big Mac Index.  Now I've played with this new guy before, not too many times, but I definitely remember he's a loose, bad player.  While we're mid-conversation (the guy had also folded), I look up to see action has completely stopped on the new player.  The dealer points out that action is on him, and he says - I kid you not: "I'm waiting until The Poker Meister is done with his conversation.  I want to hear what he's saying, because everything he's saying is absolutely wrong.  It couldn't be more wrong."  This guy just. sat. down.  I stop my talking immediately because I, as well as the whole table, would like to move the game along.  He finally folds.  I continue my conversation.  At the earliest opportunity, he chimes in and "corrects me" by using a different country as an example of how the Big Mac Index works, rather than the broader "Europe" that I used...  Claims he's spent 2 years in a higher degree program, and "he knows."  The whole table, including my conversation mate, are trying hard to stifle laughter, as they realize "isn't that what the Poker Meister just said?"  Anyway, dick #2 proceeds to donk off $300 in $100 buy in increments in the span of 20 minutes.  I got none of it, but was quite amused - clearly he didn't master probability nor game theory within his 2 years of higher education...

I digress, though.  Final notable hand of the day:  I steal from the cutoff raising A8o to $12.  SB & BB call - SB is the older black man from above who's now re-bought and is sitting on around $200.  Flop comes J 8 6 rainbow.  Checks to me and I lead for $20.  SB calls, BB folds.  Turn is an offsuit A, completing the rainbow.  Checks, I lead for $35 and SB calls.  River is a 6.  I lead for $40 hoping to get a little more value out of my Aces up, pretty certain SB would call down with a 6.  SB tanks.  SB says to me: "Either you got an Ace or you got nothing..."  This could not be closer to the truth.  I tell him exactly that: "Sir, you are 100% correct."  He's surprised when I respond, and confused.  I clarify that he's 100% correct; I have an Ace or I have nothing.  This tanks him even further.  He finally folds, and says he had nothing, but thought that his nothing beats my nothing - he was considering calling.  I made the correct read; put him on KQ, QT, perhaps a gutter and remotely a Jx hand.  I wanted him to look my up light, but in the end, he nor I could talk himself into calling...  Oh well - a lot to write about a one and a half hour session...

Friday, May 6, 2016

How to not play Aces

I can't really complain about the session I had last night.  I had a lot of suckouts against me, but also got good value for the hands I was dealt and generally played well up until the very last hand of the night.

In my ~8 hour session, I got my AA cracked by KTss when I opened to $16 from the SB against a single limper.  Flop comes K 4 2 - 2 spades.  I bet, he raises / I shove he calls off for $126 total and spikes a King on the turn.  A bit later, I'm dealt QQ, raise to $25 in the SB, get a loose player to limp / shove $65 from the CO and I snap him off.  I'm up against AT - Ace on the turn and I'm now 0 fer 2 with my premiums.

Finally, the last hand of the night.  I'll set the stage.  I'm in the UTG sitting on $625 and all I want to do is go home.  I'm tired at this point, and am done playing around.  I open to $25 from UTG.  UTG+1, a very tight, unimaginative, ABC player who overalues overpairs 3bets to $65.  He has me covered.  Folds around to same player from above that spiked the Ace - he shoves for less - ~$52.  Action to me.  I think for a good while - I distinctly put my opponent on KK and absolutely nothing else.  What to do?  The normal play is to raise to $160 or so...  I think this may have been the second best option, but I have to choose this option if I want to get full stacks in.  The good play here is to just call his raise and mask my hand strength - and check / raise or check / call a non-King (or non-Queen but I'm 99.99% sure it's KK here) flop.  The worst option is to open shove the $600.  Well, as you can probably guess, I open shoved.  I didn't want to deal with a flop / turn / river decision and I was tired.  I know... no excuse for the play, but still, this was my thinking coupled with being sick of the suckouts (which is an even poorer excuse since I know my opponent's cards and I should be folding to a K board).  Well, he thought for what seemed like 5 minutes before finally folding KK and I scooped against my suckout buddy's KTo who couldn't spike 2 of his 5 outs or so.  My honest thinking was that my opponent could never fold KK and would likely happily get KK in PF...  Oh well...  still a good session, though coulda shoulda woulda...

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