On average, when you have a pocket pair, you’ll hit your set on the flop 1 in every 8-1/2 times. I know it usually seems it happens less often than that.
But this night I started out hitting them like it was easiest thing in the world. Didn’t keep up, but it was fun while it lasted.
Early on, I had pocket deuces. I limped in, as did three or four others. The flop was Ace-9-2, rainbow. I called a $10 bet, deciding to slow play it. It was now heads up. A 5 hit the turn; it was the second spade. I called $20. Queen on the river, no flush possible. He bet $30, I made it $90, no call.
I got pocket Aces a couple of times within a very short time. The first time no one called my $14 raise. The second time, a guy raised to $10 in front of me, another player called, I made it $35. Only the original raiser called. The flop was Jack-high, I bet $50 after he checked, and he went into the tank but eventually folded.
I limped in with pocket 3’s, three of saw a flop of 8-3-2, two diamonds. I called $8, taking a chance by slow-playing it. Now it was heads up and a 7 of diamonds was the turn card. This time he only bet $5 and, sensing a trap, I only called. But the river paired the board with an 8. He bet $15, I made it $40 and he folded.
I called a raise to $16 with pocket 10’s. The raiser was kind of a strange player, and I thought. a bad one. He had shown some weird cards he had raised with, sometimes getting lucky, sometimes getting called with a bad bluff. One other player called. The flop was 9-6-4, rainbow. I called $25, it was heads up. We checked the turn, a blank. A Queen hit the river and he bet $40. Sigh. I thought there was a good chance he was full of it. I had to call. He showed 6-4 for two pair. Ugh.
The very next hand, I had pocket 10’s again. The same guy raised to $10, I called as did one other. Flop came Jack-10-5, rainbow. Ho hum, just another set. The guy who had just called led out for $15, the peflop raiser called, as did I. A blank hit the turn, the same guy bet $20, this time the preflop raiser made it $60. So I shoved. But no one called.
Anyone can win with a set, right (though there are plenty of posts on this blog where I lose with them)? But this next hand was more of a challenge. After a bunch of limpers, I raised to $14 with Ace-King offsuit. After one caller, another player shoved for $67. It folded to me. I looked at the other guy’s stack, it was around $40 after his $14 call. So if I called, that would be the last money I would put in the pot. Ordinarily I think I play Ace-King too nitty in cash games. So I thought about and decided to roll the dice a little. I figured what the hell and called. The other guy put all his chips in behind me. We didn’t show. There was a Queen and a 10 on the flop, and a low card. Blanks hit the turn and the river. I had Ace-high. The shorter stack had King-high (his other card was a Jack). The guy who shoved for $67 didn’t show, but he said his highest card was a 9! Ok, that was a nice pot to win without a pair, thanks, guys.
Ordinarily, I would never change tables when I was having a profitable session. But on this night, I couldn’t help it. It was back in the beginning of January, when the temperatures in Vegas were unusually low. The overall temperature inside the MGM poker room was ok, but there was a problem with the table I was at. You see, the once-temporary, now-permanent location of the poker room is right in front of casino’s emergency exits—the fire doors. In fact, there were a few months when the Fire Department ordered the casino to remove a bunch of poker tables, saying it was a fire hazard. For awhile, the room was down to just nine tables.
They eventually figured out a way to add back two tables and still make the Fire Inspector happy. Then they changed Fire Inspectors and the new one allowed them to go back to the 14 tables they had when they first set up shop there (since reduced to 13 when the built a podium in the middle of the room). Anyway, one of the fire door exits leads out into a storage/maintenance/trash area that is outside. What this means is that, periodically, you will see a maintenance person push a cart of garbage or whatever towards that door, open it, and either unload the garbage or get some supplies or whatever. And this could present a problem depending on the outside weather.
So when the weather is exceptional cold, as it was on this night, every time that door is opened, a blast of icy cold air would blow into the casino. Nothing like it being windy when you're indoors. I already mentioned a similar thing happening at a Binion’s tournament I played in (see here). There’s a couple of tables in the back of the room that are too close to that maintenance door when the weather is as cold as it was on this night, and I happened to be at the table very closest to the door.
I almost got up to ask for a table chance right away, but I started winning before I had a chance to. So for a couple of hours I decided to tough it out. But eventually it got to be too much for me and I requested a table near the front. They were able to move me within a few minutes and I left my lucky seat.
At the new table I got pocket 10’s yet again. I called a $7 raise. Five of us saw the flop and there was no set for me this time. I folded to a big flop raise.
I had 8-7 in the big blind. The flop was 8-8-Q, There was a British fellow who was either new to the game or a bad player (or both). He bet all three streets, but I didn’t note the amounts, and I just called each time. The river was another Queen, making me think that the boat I had just gotten was no good. But I called a smallish bet and the Brit showed Ace-King. In other words, nothing.
A similar thing happened next time I was in the big blind. I checked with King-Jack, and the flop was King-Jack-4. I bet but was raised. I just called. We checked the turn and I called a smallish bet on the river. He had a weak King and I took that down.
But I basically lost about $25 total at the new table. Perhaps the cold weather outside that forced me to move cost me some money inside. Still, I was able to cash out up $225 so it wasn’t a bad night.
Oh….and at the new table, I saw something quite interesting, and something that doesn’t have anything to do with poker—or at least had nothing to do with my poker session—so I will save that for another post another time. (Edited to add, and "another time" has come, you can read all about it here).