Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back to Cash

I played some cash games the past 2 days. Overall I was pretty card dead so really my best achievement was not forcing the action.

I was at a 2/5 table yesterday for 90 minutes with a Dutch guy who was an amazing poker maniac. I've really never seen anything like it. Sure I've seen aggressive play. But this guy put on a clinic. Mainly because he was hitting crazy draws. And when someone plays like a maniac AND hits his draws it's complete chaos for the table.

In just an hour and a half I watched this guy turn 500 bucks into 4000. He kept felting people. They'd have something like pocket jacks. He'd normally have something like 6,8. Over and over again.

Who knows? Maybe I was lucky not to get a hand. Although after watching him play for a little while I was convinced that if I got anything at all I was going to either double up or give him my stack as well.

He was raising to 25 without looking at his cards from early position. He was raising preflop to 55 anytime he was in late position.

Please universe. Just give me 2 playable cards.

I finally got in there against him with king queen off. He raised it to 55 and I called feeling like I definitely had the best hand.

Flop came king high. All 3 cards were diamonds.

I checked to let him bet and he obliged. 50 dollars. I called. Raising is fine here but I don't want to bet and lose him. I want him to keep betting.

I got a bad turn card. A 4th diamond.

I checked again. This time he only bet 35. It almost seemed like a joke bet. It either means he has a flush and doesn't want to lose my action. Or he has nothing at all, is also scared and sort of betting small to see what I do.

This would have been a good spot for me to reraise him and find out. But due to the size difference of our stacks I really didn't want to commit any more of my stack to this hand right now. Not without a diamond.

If I raise him to 135 and he calls, what do I do when I have to act first on the river?

So I just called again.

The river was even worse than the turn. A 5th diamond. It happens so rarely. The board flushing. Why now?

Now the irony here is I would check against this guy in this spot if I held a big diamond so that I'd be giving him a chance to bet. If I lead out with a bet he might fold. But my hand being what it is, I'm only getting called by a better hand. Also what do I do if I bet and he reraises me all in? He was doing that pretty much every hand to all the smaller stacks.

So I check.

In front of him at this point he has around 3k in cash. He picks up all thirty 100 dollar bills and throws them out into the middle the table. He's putting me all in.

If there were 4 diamonds on the board I can actually consider calling this bet. He might be bluffing with nothing. And my pair of kings would probably still be the best hand and I could win the entire pot.

But with 5 diamonds on the board and him all in, if I call and he's bluffing, the best case scenario is we're still chopping the pot. We'd both have flushes. So I'd be calling off my entire stack in an attempt to simply split what's already out there. And of course if he has a diamond, I'd lose everything.

I ask the dealer to count his bills (as a joke) and she actually begins to. But before she gets too far, I toss my cards into the muck. I'm pretty sure he's bluffing. But I'd rather just give up on the 140 bucks I've put out there. Protecting 140 is not not worth losing another 300 or whatever I have left in front of me.

For what it's worth, on the very next hand this Dutch guy does the exact same thing on the river. Once again he tosses out his thick stack of hundreds. This time on an ace high board.

After some deliberation the small stack calls and shows ace king. Dutch guy turns over 6,3 for a runner runner full house. He was definitely setting the table up (in my hand) for doing the same move a second time when he knew he had the nuts and would get called.

It was an really amazing display of poker. He was good enough to get away from cards later in the hand the few times he was behind. But otherwise he just kept up the pressure with his constant betting. It was beautiful to watch.

Unfortunately after 90 minutes he got up and left.

Let the record state that I still hadn't won a single hand yet at this table.

Here I was at the best table I'd even seen. I dream of tables like this. Yet at the same time my seat was one of the coldest I'd ever sat in. Life is funny like that.

After he left I finally got some starting hands but still kept missing flops. Or having the second best hand. By now I've bought in for 900 total having fallen down 400 dollars which really isn't that much at 2/5.

And then finally things turned around. A guy in early position raised to 15. One guy called. I called the additional 10 dollars from the big blind with my 6,9 suited.

Flop comes ace high with a 6. There's also one of my suit. I check. So do the other two guys.

Turn is a second of my suit. The initial raiser bets 30. Middle position guy folds. I call with my flush draw. I also think I might win here if another 6 or 9 comes.

River completes my flush. I check to let him bet. He obliges and shoves 80 bucks out there.

I know I am going to raise. I just want to find the right number. Because I want to get called.

I finally decide the move is to put $210 out there.

It's "only" $130 more for a pot already containing $395.

He calls. The poor guy had pocket aces. He didn't bet the flop because he flopped a set and didn't want to kill his action. So he let me catch up. We sort of both did what we're supposed to do. I guess he could have made a larger bet on the turn to get me to fold but he also doesn't know I actually have a flush draw there. Tough one for him.

I hit this draw but missed a few others. Incredibly I had two straight flush draws within the same hour. One hand was against a lady to my left who miniraised every time she had a big pair. She was real easy to play against.

I'm in there preflop with 5,6 suited. Some guy raised to 15. I called. And she makes it 30. What's so funny to me here is that I'm now forced to put out another 15 to win 75. So it's not like I'm upset by her raise. If anything she's building me a pot if I actually flop anything.

Flop was 4,6,7. And the 4 and 7 were my suit! If she has something like pocket queens then I'm a pretty big favorite here. Over 60%.

If she bet big to protect her hand I'd probably make a big reraise. But she kept firing out 20 dollar bets and so I took the discount and just kept calling.

I counted 20 outs to win the hand. 9 diamonds. 6 non diamond cards that would fill my straight up. Plus 2 sixes for trips and 3 fives for two pair.

I'm not sure I've ever had 20 outs before. It didn't matter though. None of them came.

And then William Rockwell sat down at my table. You may have seen William in ESPN's 2006 coverage of the WSOP Main Event. He's the dude who uses his feet to look at the cards and bet.

He was a really nice guy. And obviously an amazingly strong person. He didn't get much action. Most of the times when he raised everyone got out of the way. They might think they're doing him a favor but I was thinking the poor guy can't get paid off when he actually has something.

Meanwhile I kept fluctuating up and down. Friday the 13th was a night of flushes. It seemed like every pot was won or lost to a flush. I won a couple more with flushes. But then also had two sets go down in flames to flushes. Unlike the other players I charged their draws with pot sized bets. It made no difference. They called and they hit.

One other hand I'll mention.

A bunch of us limp in for 5 bucks. I'm holding pocket 5's. Big blind pushes all in for his last 85. This is usually an easy fold because you figure my best case scenario is racing two big cards. But then I thought some more about it.

My read was that the big blind was making a move with any 2 cards. And if this was true, my 5's are the favorite. I'm not dying to push 80 more bucks out there. But it's 80 to win around 100. And I'm the favorite. So I have to call. And I did.

The big blind had jack 8. That confirmed that I was a 53-47 favorite.

Whether or not an 8 or jack came out is insignificant.

All that mattered was that I laid 80 to win 100 dollars as a 53% favorite.

If I can do that millions of times, no matter how ugly those races look, I will make alot of money.

1 comment:

Check Raise Chin said...

Not to sound insensitive..regarding that Rockwell guy but I gotta say what an amazing feat!