Monday, April 14, 2014

"This Guy Must Be Very Special For You to be 4-Betting JJ"

This is about another great cash session at BSC.  It was the Wednesday before the second weekend of March Madness.  Soon after I took my seat, a couple of Euros showed up.  Scandinavian, I think.  One of them looked familiar, I think I’d played with him a few nights earlier.  He hadn’t made much an impression.  But his buddy—well, I’d never seen him before—but he made an impression on me instantly.  He was an absolutely maniac.  Raised most pots preflop, big raises too.

I remember an early hand he had which definitely caught my attention.  He had raised pre and had a couple of callers, including his non-aggro Euro buddy.  The flop was Ace-Ace-Ace.  Maniac led out, his buddy called, everyone else folded.  There was a 7 on the turn, and Maniac led out again, his buddy called.  The river was another 7, putting a boat on the board.  He led out again and this time, his buddy shoved in response.

Maniac agonized for some time and kept repeating that he had a good hand.  Finally he called.  He flipped over pocket 9’s.  Of course his buddy had the case Ace, and an offsuit 3 to go with it.  Maniac was not happy, but he immediately rebought.

It wasn’t his night and he went through a couple of buy-ins before I got to mix it up with him.  With his style of play it was pretty easy for him to go through chips.  But his big raises were costing me chips as I couldn’t catch anything.

And then in middle position, I had pocket Jacks.  I made it $10. It folded to the Euro Maniac in the big blind who made it $20, and then folded back to me.

The min-raise confused me.  If he was going to three-bet, I would have expected a bigger raise.  Did he have Aces or Kings?  I thought the small bet was an invitation for me to call.

But then…well, he was such a maniac, I couldn’t get rid of the feeling he was three-betting light.  I figured my Jacks were ahead of at least 75% of range.  Honestly.  I rejected just calling.  I figured I’d repop it and see how he responded.  I don’t think anyone had ever four-bet against him at the table before.

I thought I could probably fold if he came back over the top.  I remembered what happened when I played Jacks aggressively in the story here.  But I was going to keep my options open.  I settled on a $35 bet so I could get away from it cheap if I had to.

He thought about it a bit, which was a good sign.  He asked for a count of my bet.  Finally, he called.

The flop was 9-8-3, two hearts.  I did have the Jack of hearts.  He checked, I bet $50.  He check-shoved.

His shove was about $150.  My stack, including the $50 I’d already bet, was also about $150.  So the SPR there made it an easy call, although the check-raise did give me pause.  He could easily have played pocket 9’s or pocket 8’s that way.  But no, I have to play the percentages.  Besides, he’s a Maniac.  He might have pocket deuces.

He immediately flipped over his cards.  He had 10-9 of hearts.  So top pair and the flush-draw (and a back-door straight flush draw).  I don’t think I showed my hand.  The turn card was a black 7, giving him an open-ended straight draw too.  But the river card was the absolutely gorgeous Queen of spades.  He’d missed.  My jacks were good.

It turned out we both had exactly $146.  Odd that we had exactly the same amount.  So it was a very nice double up for me. 

That had worked out so perfectly that I had to text my pal Abe about it.  He wasn’t in the poker room yet and I wasn’t sure he was coming.  My text to him read, “Just 4-bet an Aggro Euro with JJ and he doubled me up.”

He replied, “This guy must be very special for you to be four betting JJ.”

I responded “Google ‘maniac’ and you’ll see his picture.”

He was shaking his head, calling me lucky.  “How could I be so unlucky to miss everything?”  He rebought.  I’m not sure if it was then or after he lost his next buy-in (not to me, alas) when he came back from the casher saying he was down to his last buy-in--$200.  He said he didn’t have his credit card and couldn’t get any more cash this evening.  At one point, playing against someone else, he actually was debating whether to call a bet or not and I heard him say, “I want to call but I can’t.  This is my last buy-in.  If I lose it I’m done for the night.”

Someone suggested that he could borrow some money from his buddy, who had lots of chips in front of him.  “No, no, he won’t lend me money.  But he should let me play with his chips.  He’s a bad player.”  Ahem.

I won a medium size pot with Ace-Queen when a queen hit.  Then it was back to mix it up with the Euro Aggro one more time.

He led out for $9, had a few callers and so I called with Ace-8 of hearts. Five of us in the hand.  The flop was King high, all hearts.  Maniac checked, as did everyone until it got to me.  I bet, $40 I believe.  Sounds too high?  Yeah, probably was.  But honestly, I really thought the Euro would call if he even had the tiniest piece of the board.

It folded back to him and he didn’t call.  No, he shoved.  He had most of his last $200 buy-in.  I had him covered—thanks to him.  Of course, I snap called with the nuts.  He said, “I’ve got a flush.”  Oh my.  Those were exactly the words I wanted to hear.  He flipped over 10-7 hearts (that’s a good hand to raise in early position with, right?).  I flipped over my hand and he saw that he was drawing dead.

I took the last of his chips and he had no choice but to get up and leave the table.  He came over in front of me and told me again how lucky I was.  I said nothing.  If I’m stacking a guy’s chips, I’m more than happy to take any abuse he wants to give me.

I won a couple of more small pots, then lost some chips raising with pocket Queens and folding when a tight player bet an Ace-high flop.  When I cashed out, I had a nice triple up--$400 profit.  Almost all of it thanks to the Euro Aggro.  Nice to meet you sir and have a pleasant stay and a nice trip back to Norway (or wherever). 

Sometimes in poker and in life, you really are in the right place at the right time.

Note:  Anyone in the San Diego area:  There's a charity poker tournament, "All in for a Good Cause" on May 10, benefiting Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  You can find the details here.


  1. I call guys like him the candy man, and you know what happens when the candy man comes to town.

    1. the dentist starts looking at the new 2015 LEXUS and BMWs

    2. @MOJO....thanks. You gave me an idea for the next time I run into a "Candy Man."

      @anger....Yes indeed!

  2. good move. not responding to his yr lucky comment. like u said u won that is enuff. classy move. only time , i respond back is if it has been a couple hands and the player is still bitching or whining about the hand. also,great pic. like ppl say on thechive ."find her" lol

    1. Thanks. It's not "yoga pants" but I figured you'd like the pic.

    2. true. lol. thechive had some SWEET yoga pics today

    3. Funny that anger had already checked out thechive's yoga pants photos today. Rob, are you about 92% hitting flush draws currently when you start with 2 suited cards? :)

    4. Yes, but I'm trying to get that closer to 100%. Should really improve my win rate.