Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Quickie At The Bellagio

I arrive at the poker room at 3:19 PM and am seated at 3:43 PM.

I had plans to go see Louis CK tonight so I sat down with the expectation of a short session. I wouldn't be there past 5:30.

While waiting to be seated I noticed a familiar looking guy.

I know I know him from somewhere and to be honest it's not a good feeling.

Damn. I don't know exactly who he is but I know I don't like something about him.

A few minutes go by. And then it clicks.

That's the guy who cracked my ace king with ace queen at the final table of a Caesars Palace noon tourney a few months ago. I knew I didn't like that guy.

As for the quick session I only had two hands worth mentioning.

I raise to 15 in early position with ace jack suited. The guy to my left mini-raises me to 30. I call and hope to flop big. Cause who the hell knows what his mini-raise means?

Half the time it's some weak tight player trying to announce he has aces. Other times it's someone building a pot and taking control of the betting while they disguise their small pair or suited connectors.

Thus I'm not sure where I stand when the flop comes Jack high. I think it's good news. I'm ahead unless of course he reraised me preflop with jacks or bigger. Which is entirely possible.

I check to see how big he bets.

He bets 40. I call.

No one lets other people do their betting for them like I do.

A second of my suit comes on the turn. A small safe helpful card. My top pair now has the nut flush draw. Lets party.

I check again and this time he bets 60. Kind of feels more like a semi-bluff than a value bet. I'm still not positive where I stand but I can't call here and smooth call another big river bet.

I reraise to 220. 160 more. If he's got an overpair and calls I figure I still have at least 11 outs on the river.

He asks me to count my chips. I point to the dealer.

After a minute or two he lays down. I'm not sure if I wanted the call here. I figured I was good since he took so long to decide. If he could beat top pair here I think he would call me with no straights or flushes on board.

For what it's worth: a few minutes after the hand he told me he thinks he made a mistake folding.

In the second hand of interest I called a preflop raise to 20 with my 10,jack suited.

Flop was queen, 10, rag giving me middle pair and flush draw with two of my suit.

Guy bets 30. I happily call.

Turn is a 10. Maybe even better for me than hitting a flush. Opponent bets 120 out of the 200 remaining in front of him. I raise his 120 to 240. It doesn't even occur to me that he could fold here and save his last 80. But that's exactly what he does. He folds and says he has ace queen. I don't believe him. Putting the rest of his chips in the middle would be automatic with top pair top kicker getting 420 on your last 80 bucks. His hand was probably something like ace king. But greedy me wants to know if he would have bluffed off the rest of his chips on the river if I had just called the turn instead of reraised.

Today the session was short but I felt good about my folding.

The poker theme for me lately continues to be when to stick around and when to let hands go. I've been playing pretty tight which is also why I've had a few streaks of one or two hours without winning hands. The cards haven't been coming. But I haven't been forcing the action either.

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