I Hit The Wrong Button
Hit the Wednesday live game with Kat and Guin last night. Didn't last too long in the tourney, but I liked my play. I upped the aggressiveness a bit, but not enough to kill me on stupidity. Didn't get much in the way of hands, and at the end I raised all-in pre-flop with QJc in LP with two limpers ahead of me. Turns out one of them was limping with ladies... that did it for me. I regret nothing, I had to make a move before my stack was too small to be intimidating, and there was already one or two players who were developing bully-size stacks at the table.
So, with me out, a cash table was able to be started. I sat down and quickly took control. We were 5 or 6-handed, which is ideal for me. I also happened to be the only one who went for the max buy-in ($200, 1/2 NLHE). Beat up on a few guys when I had solid hands. Stole one okay pot from the short-stack... and when we moved to the main room about 20min in, I had almost doubled my starting stack.
We sat down at the new table, and I kept the pressure on while the numbers (and cards) were in my favour. Took down a huge pot when I had the nut straight and the calling station across the table couldn't figure it out (solid player actually, more on him later). Sucked out on one poor guy when his slow-played trips ran into my rivered full boat (he got sucked out of the tournament, and after I took all his chips here, he bought back in to get sucked out on again... then he left.) Then I took out the guy who knocked me out of the tournament. I flopped top pair (9's), and turned the set. I put out decent-sized (but not scary) bets that he kept calling, until he tried to bluff on the river with an all-in that I insta-called. His missed straight draw obviously wasn't enough. I told him that's what happens when you knock me out. (It's been a couple days of revenge play for me).
So at this point I'm up $360 in the cash game, and it's still early. The table is filling up though, so I tighten up a bit. I'm still willing to pay nominal amounts to see the flop if I have a hand I like, but I'm not chasing nearly as much. Not too long after comes my favourite hand of the night. Kat and Guin had sat down next to me by this point, and the mood at the table was good (or maybe I was just seeing the world through rose-coloured chips). I see 23s in my hand, and end up seeing the flop (honestly can't remember if I limped, raised, or called a small raise). Flop comes Ts-3d-xs. I bet, and get a call. Kd falls on the turn, check, check. Tc on the river, I check, and then get raised $17 (let's call it about 1/3 of the pot). I go into the tank. Board has two Tens, a King, and two failed flush draws on it. I have another 3 in my hand. I finally decide the guy is stealing after his flush failed and call. He flips over an A-high spade draw, and I take it down with my 3's. The stack was nice to get, but the respect the call got was better. Helped change my "lucky guy on the river" image I'd somehow received (from 2 rivered wins on hands that were decent to begin with).
I suppose I should also mention this hand against Guin. I'm sitting two down from him, and have QsJc in EP. I put out a small raise, and he raises bigger. I'm the only caller. I give him a wave. Flop comes TcQcKc. Uh-oh Guin, someone has an open-ended Straight/Royal Flush draw and middle-pair. I check, as does he. 9c comes on the turn and I somehow manage to keep a straight face. I check, as does he. 7s on the river, and I ask him how his Ac is doing. I bet a decent, but not scary, bet, and he quickly folds. I show my Jc... and then the Q just cuz.
After that, not much in the way of hands. I got weaker as the night went on. Par example (French for "for example"): I get AKs in the BB, raise all the limpers and get 4 callers. Flops missed me (let's call it 3-5-7). It checks all around, Q on the turn. Checks to the guy behind me who puts in a small bet. I'm the only caller. River is junk. Bet of $14. Not a big bet really, but I stop to think for awhile anyway. I stare at the board, and figure there's no way he has 64 to fill out the straight... I also don't think he has the Q. I put him on the 5, or MAYBE the 7, but can't discount the possibility of a missed draw of some sort. My stack is still the biggest, $14 won't make much of a dent, and I want to know, so I call. Sure enough, he flips over 45o (why he called the initial raise I don't know). So at least I know my read was right. In hindsight, I should have raised him big. I had an image of either a solid player or a riverstar, depending who was doing the thinking, and he had a low pair and a failed straight. A re-raise to $50 would have probably have been enough to win it... don't know why I didn't take the stab.
Now we go back to that guy I called a calling station earlier. He's been there every time I have, and I can safely assume he's a regular. He loves to play his draws, and he'll bet big at anything scary on the board if he senses weakness. He seems to have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to big hands that are in the middle though (ie.- two pair, sets, non-painted straights, etc.). He also likes to slowplay his big hands, unless he's challenged. In fact, I had a discussion about him with another player earlier in the night as we watched him win with Aces full of Kings. He's got an interesting image at the table... he's got respect, but not "respect" (ie.- people know he's good, but they also play him as a bluffer).
I committed the cardinal sin of poker when I was against him. I overplayed top pair. Which is something I almost NEVER do... but I'd gone and gotten cocky (Kat says I was smug when she sat down... I was just having fun... here, 15 min before I was calling it a night, I got smug). I have KTo in my hand, small raise pre-flop with some limpers behind. This gets 4 calls. Flop comes 8-K-4. I bet $15, and our good friend "calls because it's cheap". This set off some distant alarm bells in my head... but I put him on a K, unsure about his kicker. 4 on the turn... and I check, as does he. Bells still going, I'm still thinking K, but am wary of the 4... not sure if the check was a tactic or because he thought *I* had the set. I believe the flop may have filled out a flush draw, but it was runner-runner if it did, so I know he doesn't have it. I bet $20, and he thinks briefly and re-raises another $50. Damn. I open the door of the tank and stroll on in. I have top pair, with at best an okay kicker. The guy I'm playing against could have just about anything. I stare at the board... and think he maybe has the 4. MAYBE K4... but I highly doubt the flush. The thought crosses my mind "I shouldn't call this." Which of course gets that devil on my shoulder going "call! you're unbeatable! he's got K-CRAP!" I should listen to myself, and not my devil. I idiotically call... and he flips over pocket 8's for the full boat I didn't see coming. So that's around $100 I didn't really want anyway.. yah, that's it.
Squat for the next few hands and the button lands in front of me, signalling my last hand for the night. (which should have been one orbit earlier, when I was richer). AJo in front of me. I raise, get some calls, and the flop comes T-K-x. Checks around to me and I check with the comment of "I'll let everyone get a free card." J on the turn, checks around to me again, and I bet out $20 and say "but only once." Everyone folds and I take down a medium-sized pot to end my night up $105 on the cash game... or $65 overall for the night... amazing how quickly I donked off that huge stack. I imagine I also tipped around $50 to the dealers throughout the night, so that's got to be good for my karma, right?
Regardless, it was the most fun I've had at this game so far... obviously, and it looks like my roll is continuing. Almost a shame I'm not playing tonight. I was seriously tempted to walk away after 30 min of playing, and again after an hour, so as to keep my winnings... but I was just short of covering all my losses at the club and wanted to get that done. I should learn not to set goals in poker... I never reach them :). Still, walking out ahead, even if it was $260 or so below my high of the night, is a good feeling.
I get the feeling my list of poker sites is going to grow soon. Currently I'm on Stars and Full Contact Poker regularly, with an account on Absolute that I used to bonus whore. I've got a $50 free, no strings attached offer for another site, and Full Tilt seems to be the place to be these days. With the Tanner Evers Tournament coming up next week on Tilt, and the Mookie moving there, it seems like a good time to join. Coincidentally enough, I started playing real money online poker for a charity tournament. Guess I could TRY for the bonus-whoring method while I'm at it, but FT's requirements seem a bit stiff.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I Hit The Wrong Button
Posted by Astin at 9:44 AM