Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I played a 7-hour session Sunday night.  There were definitely some memorable hands.

I spent the first hour totally card dead.  So I tried to make something happen.  In the cut-off I had King-Jack offsuit.  I thought about raising but just limped in with about three others.  The flop totally missed me and it was Ace high.  It checked to me so I bet out $7 trying to steal the small pot.  An Asian woman was the only caller.  We both checked a blank turn, and she checked the blank river.  The board was dry, so I decided to put out some money and try to steal again.  I bet $25, a bit more than the pot.  She thought for awhile and called.  I was caught in the bluff and she flipped over Ace-6 offsuit.    She didn’t really have any draws, she flopped top pair. lousy kicker.  It surprised me that she called with such a weak kicker, but she did and took down the pot. 

I raised with Ace-Queen off and only had one caller.  The flop was 10-10-9.  The other player checked and I put out a c-bet of $12.  He smooth called.  He checked the blank turn and I considered firing another barrel, but decided to save my money.  He finally bet the river and I thought for about one second about coming over the top in a bold bluff.  I decided to muck instead.  Good choice.  He turned over flopped quad 10’s.  Sure glad I didn’t try to get too cute there.

I won a few small pots so I must have had most of my $200 starting stack when the first significant hand happened.   In the small blind I looked down at pocket Aces.  After a limp or two, a guy raised to $7 and another guy called.  So when it got to me, I made it $30.  The limpers and the preflop raiser folded, but the guy who initially called the raise to $7 called again.  So the two of us saw the flop, which was a very lovely Ace-5-5.

Now Aces full is a hand I’ll slow play.  I checked.  To my delight, my opponent bet out $50.  I guess I should have just called but I went ahead and put out $100, a min raise.  I expected him to put the rest of his chips in if he didn’t fold.  So I was surprised that he just called.  He had less than $100 left.

The turn was a blank and I announced all in. I was pretty sure he would feel committed there and sure enough, he put the rest of his chips in, a bit less than my stack.  Another blank on the river and I showed my rockets.  He looked ill and turned over one card.  It was a 5.

WTF?  What was his other card?  It sure as hell wasn’t another 5.  I mean, what hand could he have there with a 5 that was worth calling a raise and then a $30 three-bet preflop?  Beats me.  But I was glad to take his chips.  Sadly, he didn’t re-buy.

So that hand was the “Good” of this post’s title.

I had around $370 in front of me when the next significant hand occurred.  I was on the button with pocket 9’s.  There were a few limpers and I considered raising but just limped in.  The blinds came along and, in an unraised pot, we saw Ace-King-9, two spades.  Pretty scary board for my bottom set.

So one player led out for $10 and then a second player raised to $30.  Interesting.  Since no one had raised pre, it was hard to believe my set wasn’t the best hand at the moment.  Had anyone limped in with AA or KK?  I couldn’t convince myself that was very likely. 

I assumed one of them had an Ace and maybe one of them had a pair and a draw.  I was sure my 9’s were good but there was no way I could consider slow playing it from there.   I made it $90.  The original bettor folded and the guy who made it $30 called.

A third spade hit the turn and he shoved.  It was something like $100.  Even with the spade, I wasn’t about to fold.  Not for the size of the pot and the amount I had to call.  So call I did.

He started turning over his hand as the dealer was putting out the river card.  First I saw his hand.  It was Ace-King of clubs.  Then I heard him let out a cheer.  He had seen the river card a nano-second before I did (because I was looking at his hand first).  It was a god-damned Ace.

Shit.  He had flopped top two and got it all in when he was behind.  He had a four-outer on the river and he hit it.

That hurt.  I was one card away from now having a huge stack of chips in front of me.  Instead, he sucked out on me, and I was now in the red for the session.

He said that he thought I had a set of 9’s when I raised him on the flop.  But I guess he wasn’t convinced enough to fold, huh?

I was surprised at one thing though.  He had Ace-King suited and didn’t raise preflop.  That was curious.  It wouldn’t have made any difference in how the hand played out, but it was interesting.  A little bit later the same guy raised preflop with Ace-King off suit (and hit another boat!).   I said, “Ace-King is good for you tonight.”  I saw him raise with weaker hands later as well.  But that one time with Ace-King of clubs, he didn’t raise.  And now I had doubled him up.

That was the “Bad” of this post’s title.

I guess I had about $180-$190 when I got pocket Aces again.  I was in middle position.  The guy in front of me made it $6.  I bumped it to $18.  Another guy made if $50.  OK, this was about to get interesting.

It folded back to the original raiser, who had a slightly bigger stack than I did.  I wondered if he was going to re-raise.  I thought he was considering it.  But he just called.

I started counting out chips for my own raise.  When I realized how big the pot already was, it didn’t make sense to me to do anything other than shove.  So I announced “all in.”

The original raiser was on the other side of the dealer from me (I was in seat 1, he was in seat 9).  He stood up and asked how much I was playing.  It was an inappropriate question.  First of all, the action wasn’t on him, it was on the guy who had made it $50.  And second, it wasn’t a matter of how much I was playing, it was a matter of how much I was betting, because I had no money behind….it was all in the pot.

But that gave the guy whose action it was some information.  As he said later, he knew from that that the guy was almost sure to call my bet.   He agonized over it for some time.  It was clearly a hard decision for him.  He was shorter stacked than the other two of us.  He had less than $100 left after putting in the $50.  Finally, after quite awhile, he announced, “Call.”

By this time the guy in Seat 9 had had time to count my bet for himself.  And he wasted no time in calling too.

We didn’t show.  I was pretty sure I didn’t want to see a face card on the board.  There was one, it was a Jack.  The other two cards were low.  So was the turn.  So was the river.  I think the river paired one of the previous low cards.  We all showed our cards.  Since Seat 9 hadn’t expressed delight at seeing the Jack, he tabled what I expected.  The dreaded pocket Kings. I looked to my left and saw what the short-stacked had tabled.  Yeah.  It was the dreaded pocket Queens.

So it was one of those hands.  You know.  Aces vs. Kings vs. Queens.  And my Aces held.  Wow.  Recall I wrote about a hand like this before, here.  In that case, like this one, the short-stack had the Queens.  But in that story, a Queen hit, diminishing my take, although I did win a very big side pot.  This time, I dodged all the bullets and won it all.

The guy with the Kings, who had been playing for longer than I had (which was many hours at this point) just picked up the remainder of the chips and took off.  The guy with the Queens rebought.  He said that he knew he was behind but felt he “had” to call there.  I agreed with him.  With his stack, it was the right play.  Maybe if he had as much as one of the other stacks, it would have made sense to lay it down.  But it was the right move for him.  Lucky for me, he didn’t get lucky.  As he said, if he hit it, it was a triple up for him. 

Suddenly I was up over $300.  I played a few more hours and my profits did drop below $300 for awhile.  Then, as I was about to call it a night, I had some garbage hand in the big blind, called a flop bet when I hit middle pair, then lucked out and caught trips on the turn.  That pot allowed me to leave a bit over $300 than I when I started.  I was pretty happy about that.

Oh….so you want to know why that Aces vs. Kings vs. Queens hand qualifies as “ugly,” huh? Well, it sure as hell was ugly for the guy with the pocket Queens.  And it was really, really ugly for the guy with pocket Kings.

But you know, for me, it was freaking gorgeous.


  1. I'm waiting for the story about the guy who couldn't lose with #thedreadedpocketkings, especially when he flopped a set with them against

    1. All in good time, my lucky friend. All in good time.

  2. I thought this post was going to be about me, you and VJ ... in that order.

  3. everyone knows AA>KK>QQ. "even lightning is smarter than that". lol.

  4. Nothing beats VJ, "even lightning is smarter than that".

    1. Heh heh....I wonder who "Anony" is.....Lightning's brother, perhaps?