Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Kings, Then Aces

This past Saturday I played in Ventura and actually had a nice session, short but profitable. I was playing 1/2—which has a $50 min/ $100 max buy-in.  And at least for a week I can't complain about being card-dead.

I was still playing my first orbit when I was dealt the dreaded pocket Kings. So I figured that naturally I'd be down a buy-in before I'd warmed up the chair.  There was a $4 straddle (UTG) so I made it $12 and got a couple of callers. The flop came 10-9-5, rainbow.  I bet $20 and one of the two tanked, but neither called.  Winning!

In the cut-off with King-7 of spades, I limped in behind a bunch of limpers.  Not a hand I normally play, but I decided to play a few more speculative hands this time.  Five of us saw a flop of 9-6-5, two spades.  Someone led out for $7, a lady shoved her last $10, I called and another player called, the first guy added $3 to make the call as well.  The turn was a red 8, giving me a straight while still having the second nut flush draw.  So I led out for about $25 but no one called, I was heads up against the all-in.  The river was a blank—no flush—and the lady didn't show when I flipped over my 7.

I opened to $8 with Ace-Jack of hearts.  The big blind three-bet me to $25.  The guy was new to the table and I somehow got the vibe that he was trying to steal it.  So I called.  The flop was Ace-Queen-10, giving me not only top pair but a gut-shot to Broadway.  He  checked so I bet $30.  He open folded pocket Kings!  Well, my read was certainly wrong there. But I was happy to take the pot.

The very next hand I got a couple of Aces, I opened to $8 and had two callers.  The flop was Ace-10-4, two clubs.  I did have the Ace of clubs.  Never sure what to do there.  A lot of people would slow play it, even with the two clubs.  But I think you want to start building the pot, no?  It's pretty likely no one has anything to call with though.  I decided to make a smallish bet of $12 and to my surprise, they both called.  I guess at least one of them had a flush draw. The turn was the 7 of hearts and this time I put out $20 (which, now that I think of it, was way too small).  The first guy called instantly but the other guy went into the tank.  I had seen him bust out earlier but he rebought for $100 and then had won a big hand.  Our stacks were similar.  He thought and thought and finally folded, saying, "This is a sick fold."

The river was a red Jack and I put out $40.  The guy didn't have much more than that and I assumed he would either fold his busted flush draw or shove since he wouldn't have much left if he just called.  But no, he did in fact just call.  I showed my Aces and he mucked, but the happiest guy at the table was the guy who folded on the turn.  He said he had Ace-Jack and if he had made the call he would have given me all of his chips when the Jack hit the river.  Damn.  I guess I should have bet smaller, not bigger (that's results-oriented thinking and I don't mean it).

Then the deck turned cold for me and I was mostly just watching.  I was ready to leave, but made a last minute decision to play one more orbit.  A guy opened to $5 (a common opening raise in this game) and I called in late position with Ace-Queen off. Six of us saw a flop of Ace-Ace-6, rainbow.  The preflop raiser checked, but a lady bet $10 in front of me.  Hmmm….This lady had been at the table for a few orbits and I couldn't recall her playing a hand.  She was, well, a "mature" woman and certainly fit the stereotype of a nit.  I proceeded with caution. I thought she wouldn't bet that flop without a big hand.  Maybe she had a weaker Ace than mine, but I also thought it was very possible she had Ace-King.  I wouldn't expect this woman to three-bet with it preflop.  A pair of 6's and thus a flopped boat was not out of the question either.  I just called, and it was heads up.  The turn was a blank and this time she bet $20, I called.  There was another blank on the river and this time she hesitated and only bet $10.  That confused me.  Why bet so little there?  I was still thinking she was the nit of all nits and that just maybe she was trying to get me to raise her when she had a monster.  I took the coward's way out and just called.  She turned over pocket Queens!  Wow, I never would have put her on that, betting into two Aces on the board. But I wasn't surprised that she hadn't three-bet with them preflop.  Anyway it was another nice pot, my last one of the session.

After another orbit I racked up and cashed out $315.  So a $215 profit. Pretty good for that game.

Note, the pic below has nothing to do with this post.  But the NFL season did start the same weekend this session took place so it is not quite a total non sequitur. I think most of you will like it even if you're not a Packers fan.

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