Thursday, August 27, 2015

Maybe I Should Play 4-3 More Often

This session goes back to the first few days of my summer trip—to when Lightning had just arrived in town.  Of course he’s written about this session already—back about an eon ago—and you can find that here.  As he mentioned, we didn’t really get into any hands together the whole time he was in town.  This was not an accident.  As I reported here, Lightning is a bad player—you know, he plays Queen-10, the evil hand (© Coach)—and honestly, I’m not a good enough player to know how to play against bad players.  I can’t play against good players either.  I need to play against extremely mediocre players to have a chance to win.  Therefore, whenever he was in a hand, a pretty much insta-folded.  I only folded Aces once and Kings three times preflop in order to avoid facing the challenge of facing his mighty Queen-10.

The session for me started before he showed up. It was my usual 1/2 game, $200 buy-in.  I hadn’t played a hand for an orbit or two when I was dealt pocket Queens under-the-gun.  I open to $8 and had four callers.  The flop was 9-7-3 two hearts. My ladies were both black.  I bet $30 and a woman made it $90.  One guy called and another guy tanked and finally folded.  What th-?  Since I was new to the game and had no read on anyone, I was thinking my Queens were no good.  I decided to play it chicken safe and folded.  I doubted both of them had the draw and it was hard to believe anyone was raising me with just top pair if top pair was 9’s.  So I figured the lady had a set.  But when it went to showdown—and I didn’t record any of the betting action after I surrendered—the lady showed 7-3 for two pair.  Pretty hard to put someone on two pair with that board.  In her defense, her 7-3 was soooooted.

A bit later I was served the dreaded pocket Kings. I raised to $8, one caller.  Bet $12, then $20 on blank boards.  I didn’t bet the river and my Kings were somehow good.  Dodged a bullet there.

I lost some money calling a guy down with Ace-rag from the big blind.  I caught an Ace on the flop, but he had two pair on the turn and that cost me some chips.

Soon after that, Lightning showed up and we enjoyed a nice dinner at the sports bar right next to the poker room.  I’m sure we didn’t talk about anyone you know.

Back from dinner, we got into the same game and were able to chat.

Had pocket Queens again and called $12 from the small blind.  It was three-ways.  I checked/called $20 on a low flop.  Another low card hit and I check/called $35.  It was still three ways.  The river looked harmless but fearing a bigger pocket pair, I checked.  No one bet this time and I showed my Queens; the others folded without showing.

Very next hand, in the big blind I called $12 with Ace-Jack of clubs. Three of us saw a flop of Queen-10-9 rainbow.  I decided to call $20 with my gutshot.  It was now heads up.  The King of hearts on the turn gave me the nuts but put a second heart on the board.  He bet $25 and I made it $75.  He took some time but finally folded.

There was an aggro at the table, raising a lot of course and in middle position he raised to $12.  I was on the button with 4-3 of hearts and decided to call.  It was calculated based on the guy being an aggro.  There were three or four of us.  The flop had one heart and a 3, the other two cards were mediumish.  The aggro bet out $20.  I decided to call.  All I had was bottom pair with a back-door baby flush draw, but I figured he was likely betting with air and so it was basically a float.  Besides, the Ed Miller strategy I (sometimes) try to follow calls for a lot of calling on the flop even when you don’t catch anything.  It was now heads up.

The turn was a total blank, and not a heart, and I probably would have been done with the hand had he bet.  But he checked and I checked behind.  The river was another 3.  This time he bet $40 and I called.  Yeah, I should have raised.  This is another example of how I don’t get enough value for my good hands.  Trying (unsuccessfully, so far) to work on that.  But on my last trip to town (or maybe it was the previous one), I had a bunch of sets that lost to straights and flushes, and a couple of times bet the river only to be raised and regretted it.  I was going around telling myself, “Don’t bet the river unless you have the stone-cold nuts,” which of course, is not the right lesson to learn.

Anyway he flipped over pocket Kings.  The best part of winning that pot was the look on the guy’s face when I turned over my hand.  You could tell that he could not believe I had 4-3.—or that I called his flop bet with just bottom pair and absolutely no kicker.  Especially because he’d been playing with me long enough to see how tight I was playing.  It was a great moment.



Last hand of note, I had pocket 10’s in the big blind.  I just checked—don’t like raising a hand like that when I’m out of position.  Five of us saw a flop of 10-9-9.  Yahtzee!  I checked and called $5 from the aggro.  It was heads up.  The turn was a blanked and I checked again, and he bet $15 which I called.  I should have either bet myself or check-raised there, but I was hoping I could make more money by slow playing it.  The river was harmless looking and I had a decision to make—check or bet.  I was really sure he’d bet so I checked.  He did bet--$40.  I thought for awhile and decided to make it just $90.  Surely he’d call $50 more?  But no, after tanking he folded, showing a 9.  Really?  Wow.

Anyway, the real highlight of the evening was meeting Mr. Subliminal.  This was something Lightning arranged.  He emerged from his cardboard box to just say hi, he didn’t play.  I’m thinking he hadn’t begged enough quarters for a buy-in yet.  He seems like an awful nice guy for someone living in a box.  He told me that he really liked my blog was impressed that I find these stories and tell them in such an fascinating way that I get so much material out of them. He said he could tell me stories from his life that I could turn into epic posts whereas they’d be three lines if he wrote them up.  At least, I think that was a compliment.

I left a bit after the midnight drawing (missed) up around $100 between the two sessions.  Any session where I both win with pocket Kings and crack someone else’s Kings is a good one.



Note:  The pic immediately above has nothing to do with this post, it is a special treat for long-time reader and occasional guest-blogger, VegasDWP.  He will surely understand the significance.  The rest of you may understand if you follow both of us on Twitter.  The first pic in this post is the one that actually relates to this particular post.

10 comments:

  1. Your posts are much more interesting when I am included in your stories. Just sayin' ...

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    1. That is a minority held opinion.

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  2. I haven't noticed anyone winning money in your blog lately with the evil hand (just saying)... :) You should have told your friend about your 'dreaded pocket kings' theory after cracking them with 4 3... :D

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    1. Thanks, Coach. I don't think the guy was in any mood to hear me tell him about what a bad hand KK was at the moment.

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  3. It was nice meeting you as well, and I remember the T99 hand.

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    1. Thank you, sir. Glad you got to enjoy the flopped boat in person.

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  4. Well, now I have to totally reconsider my stance against "big guns"...

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    1. Ha ha. Boobs trump pretty much everything, right?

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  5. I've never been called mediocre, but is better than poor !

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    1. Touchy, aren't we Ben?

      To be fair, I did say "EXTREMELY mediocre." :)

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