I assume that most of my loyal readers memorize everyone one of my blog posts. You do do that, right? But for the one or two of you who don’t, I will refer you back to the post here from last December. Now that post was about a session from a year earlier. And in it, I mentioned that I had then recently discovered a number of “nice” sessions from that time period that I had never written up for you and hoped to present to you in the future. Well, the future is now—at least for one more of them.
There were a couple of reasons for me to go back and grab a report from the not so recent past. For one thing, with my trips to Vegas having been reduced both in frequency and in length, I’m running out of recent material. But also, I was getting tired of writing up losing sessions as I have mostly done lately. I remembered that I had some old sessions that I thought were worthy of blogging about, and that most likely meant they were winning sessions.
And then I started to wonder if maybe I could learn something reviewing a report on a old session. Clearly my results lately have been disappointing, to say the least. I’ve been getting some great feedback from you guys on where I need to improve (so many areas!). And I also got one comment that I wasn’t playing the way I used to. Maybe I could find something important from an old session that would make me go, “Damn, why don’t I do that anymore?” So I was digging for information that maybe could help more as much as anything.
Reviewing this session I’m writing up, which took place around Christmas time in 2014, I don’t think I found anything that will help. Except that just revisiting (and then reporting on) a session where I had a nice win might help me with my confidence a bit (possibly) and at least will be more fun to write about. So here we go….
The first hand I made note of was against a guy with a big stack who I said (in my voice notes) looked familiar. Based on the description I had for him, I think I now know who this player is, a player who became an MGM regular I ran into a lot during the heyday of the MGM Invitational. (freeroll). I dunno how many times I mentioned him by “name” but I did call him “Dave” when I needed him to have a name. So let’s assume this was that Dave.
In this hand, I had Jack-10 in the big blind. No raise. The flop was Queen-9-x. I checked, Dave made a small bet. Another player called, as did I. The turn was a King, and there were now two cards of the same suit each on the board (and I had no cards in either suit). I checked. I wish I had explained to myself in my notes why I checked there with the nuts, but I didn’t. It’s possible that I was, by this time, pretty sure that Dave would bet. But it remains a mystery. Dave did fire, a bet of $27. The next guy called. With two flush draws out there, I check-raised to $100 (guess I started the hand near my original buy-in of $200, and as I indicated, Dave had me covered). Dave then shoved, the other guy folded, and I snap called. Dave had Jack-10 too, but his was suited in one of the suits on the board. So he had a freeroll. Either he hits his flush and takes the whole pot, or he misses and we chop with the same straight.
Lucky for me, he missed his flush, and we chopped it. Phew. But Dave did ask the guy who folded if he would have called if he only called my $100 instead of shoving? He said he would not have.
I raised to $8 with pocket 7’s and got only one call, the guy on my immediate left. The flop was 7-4-2, rainbow. I checked, as did he. The turn was a Jack, no flush possible. I bet $10 and got a call. The river was a 7. I bet $30 but didn’t get a call. It’s tough to get paid for quads.
A few hands later I raised to $8 with pocket Jacks. Same guy was the only caller. The flop was Jack-4-2 (too bad no one was playing the Grump on either of these hands). I checked, as did he (guess I was more into slow-playing sets back then). A 9 on the turn and I bet $10, he called. Another 9 on the river, I bet $25. No call.
From the small blind, I completed with Jack-8. The flop was 9-7-3. I called a $5 bet. There were still three of us left. A 10 on the turn filled in my gut-shot. I led out for $25 and got a call. The river was a blank and I didn’t get a call to my $40 bet.
After winning a small pot with Ace-Queen (raise and a c-bet on an Ace-high board), I looked down at pocket Aces. I opened to $8 and then someone three-bet to $21. It folded back to me, I bet $48. He called, it was heads up. Harmless looking board of 8-7-2. I bet $75 and he folded after tanking for a bit. He showed two Queens.
With pocket Queens myself, I called $10, it was three-ways. The flop was King-Jack-5, I called $30, the last guy shoved for $67. The original raiser called, but I folded. Probably shouldn’t have called the $30. The shover showed King-Jack, which looked real good when a Jack hit the river. The original raiser never showed.
With the dreaded pocket Kings, I opened to $8, only one caller, a guy who was a bit of a Crazian. The flop was Queen-high, I bet $12, he made it $40. Hmm. I thought he could easily do that with just a Queen. I called. We both checked a blank turn. Interesting. The river paired a 7. He bet $60. I tanked. I almost folded. But I had a hard time believing the second 7 helped him and if he was that strong without it, why didn’t he bet the turn? I decided I had to call. As soon as I put my chips out, he folded instantly without me even having to show. Guess he didn’t even have a Queen!
Wouldn’t you know it, not very many hands later, I got Kings again. After a couple of limpers, I made it $12, two callers. The flop was King-6-5, two diamonds (no diamonds for me). I bet $25 and got a call. The turn was another 5. Nice. This time I checked behind the other guy. Hmm….does it make sense to check there if the other player has already checked? Well, I figured he would likely bet something on the river, based on his play thus far. Sure enough, on a meaningless river, he led out for $25. I put out $65 which put him all in, and he did call. He didn’t just muck (without showing) when he saw my boat—he left the poker room.
Now if you’re one of those wondering how it is I would take so long to write up a session where I had pocket Kings twice (within a very short time frame) and won with them both times (including a flopped set and a turned boat), you have to get in line behind me. I can’t believe it myself. Should have written this blog post before going to sleep that nite!
There was annoying guy at the table for a brief period. Announced that he had just gotten into town from Oregon. He announced that repeatedly. He mentioned it again when he said he had forgotten the drinks are free in Vegas because they’re not in Oregon. He was one of those guys who just wouldn’t stop talking.
His very first hand, there had been a raise to $10, two callers, and he immediately announced “all-in.” He had bought in for $100. No one called, and he said, “Well, look at what I got on my first hand!” And he showed us his hand. Was it Aces? Kings? Jacks? Nope, he showed us two deuces. He complained that people weren’t calling his wild bets and eventually got a table change.
I only noted one more hand for myself. It was Ace-King, I raised, two callers. No one called my flop bet on a King-high board.
When I cashed out, I was up $380. Oh, for the good ol’ days.