Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Casino Poker Part 2

Brick Top: Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an 'orrible cunt... me.

In my last post I left the action at about 11pm on the night, and that is when some really big pots started to develop, and the above quote became very relevant.

By now I had maybe just under $200 in front of me, and still on my first buy in. The table is full of new players and calling stations – I couldn’t have asked for a better table to be honest. One of the new players to the table my friend recognised from a now-defunct poker room a year or so ago. This poker room had a good reputation for having decent poker players because it was out of the way and not really a tourist attraction if you know what I mean. So I pencilled him in my mind as a player that would not be as bad as the others, and thought there was plenty of fish for all of us I will stay out of his way if I can.

I had no real big starting hands, so cheap flops were great for me. With 5 runners, I saw a low flop with 2 spades, me holding KsJs in late position, perhaps even on the button. There is a small $10 bet coming from the good player in early position, and 2 other callers. The turn is my money card, the ace of spades. 53s would have hit a straight-flush, but you are going to pay that off I guess in this instance. Good player bets $25 and there are two callers. What to do, what to do? With four runners, I thought about my options which are either call and slow play or raise and try to get some more money in the pot now. The good player bet out $25 into four runners, so it wasn’t an attempt to buy the pot, he has something. Maybe a set? Maybe 2 pair? Maybe a smaller flush? My thought was for him only, and the other guys will probably call if they have any piece of it, may even be drawing dead. If I just call here and then see the board pair on the river, what do I do then? And if he already has the flush with two spades in his hand, perhaps a fourth spade on the river will kill my action. In the end I am 99% sure I am ahead and if anyone is looking for that one out to a straight flush, I reckon they will call any bet for that chance. If the good player is drawing to a full house with trips or two pair, he probably won’t call a bet on the river if it doesn’t come – and I guess I’m screwed if it does but at least I am in late position and can foil a check-raise if that is his intention. So in the end I decided to raise it to $75 to see what happens – it’s already a decent pot anyway. The good player thinks about it and calls, calling station behind him actually folds (probably not even a pair) and the last guy has less than $50 and calls to be all in.

The river neither pairs the board or brings another spade, and I am of course prepared to put all my chips into the pot with the second nuts (to an unlikely straight flush). Good player checks, and I made a value bet of $40 (which into a near $300 pot should scream value bet) and he says he’ll pay me off. He shows the queen high flush and I scoop the pot. He did ask why I made the big bet on the turn, and I just said I thought he’d be more likely to call it then than to call it on the river. I didn’t think he was holding the queen high flush though – if I did, I might have waiting until the river and made even more.

The biggest pot of the night had my buddy involved neck deep. He put in an opening raise of $11 which was his standard, and got called by two players (a real fish and the same calling station from before) and then a new player in the 1 seat re-raised to $45 to be all-in. My buddy looks at that and seems satisfied, and even I’m thinking he should shove here to get heads up – me thinking he obviously has a strong hand. He does just that for another $103 on top of the raise from the short stack. Both the other players called. I get a peak at his cards and he is holding Kings – and I think he’s in real good shape as it is likely he is up against other pockets or an ace in more than one seat. The flop comes down club, club, club. Not good for two red kings. One player bets, the other calls for all of what he has left, and the first better on the flop shows AcKc for the flopped nuts. Player 2 had A3o and called nearly two buy ins pre-flop with that, and the other short stack had Ah8h, which I thought was a little fishy but not half as bad as the other two. A near $500 pot slides the way of one of the fish – and my buddy just could not win a pot against him for the rest of the night, invoking the “nemesis” quote from Snatch from me several times.

We spoke about that hand later, and he knows that both of us would have folded AK there so fast, and we both know there is no way that fish could be talked out of that hand, and the other two were just really silly players that didn’t deserve their chips. The Nemesis now had the chip lead on the table, even covering me by nearly $100 and I was in second. My stack peaked around this time to just over $500.

I misplayed a hand here too, when I held JT and the flop came TTx. I slow played to the turn which was a 5, and got two callers. The river was another 5, and I bet out again. The Nemesis from above raised me to $50, and I figured we were just chopping so I called. He had the 5 and I took the pot. I should have raised there, I gave him too much respect and he would have called a bigger bet without a doubt because he had a full house – never mind that it is obviously beaten. Even though I won the pot that hand cost me over $100 I guess.

By now, a lot of the real fishy players had left after doing their money in and headed home. The table changed again and was a little bit better now but not by much. We had already decided to stand up at 4am but when that came around, my buddy said he had gotten his second wind and he thought the table was particularly juicy right now. At about 10 minutes before our scheduled finish I had exactly $400 left in front of me after going on a cold run and being hit by one particular river which counterfeited my two pair on a hand that I had been betting all the way. I was feeling kinda hungry and was playing uber tight for the last 15 minutes or so because I wanted to cash out at exactly $400 instead of something like $395, so I said I would be more than happy to wait an hour while he scratches his itch. When 4am came around though, I decided to play properly and make the most of the last hour.

All night I had been dealt 63 maybe 4 times and I played them 3 out of those times, without hitting anything. At about 4.15am I had 6d3d and called a small raise to go to a multi way flop that comes – 663. Yeah, not too bad. One guy bets and I just call as everyone folds. Turn was a 9, he bets and I raised, he called. River was an Ace – which I figure was a good card for me. He bets, I raise and he calls. I show my 63 for the flopped full house, and he shows 69 for his turned one. Ouch! That one hurt but there was no way he was folding after the flop. Really though, you get what you deserve when you play crap like 63d to a raise out of position.

I got some chips back in the last hand I won, with my first big pair of the night holding up – KK vs AXc with the second club coming on the turn and thankfully not the river. On the night I had 5 pocket pairs – in order that they happened 55, 55, 99, 33 and then KK. The kings were the only ones to make any money. I had AQ and AK once, and that was about it for the good starting hands.

When 5am rolled around, the table broke and I had just over $300 in front of me. That counts as a good night for me, when you consider all the time charges we had to pay and the over priced drinks we bought on the night, there was probably another $100 spent out of the chips on the table. It was a good night and I left well in front, but the last hour cost me as I should have booked the win and grabbed a bite to eat instead. But anyway, you live and learn from that. I felt like I was in control for the whole night, and when reviewing it realised that I had sat in the same chair without even standing up for 9 hours. Not bad an effort, considering it was all on my original buy in. I still felt though that there was room for improvement and I should have made more chips on the night. A few hands misplayed late that cost me, but all in all a good night of poker for me.

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