Sunday, January 06, 2008


After a pretty wild week of starting hole cards, I had an uneventful session tonight with very little opportunity . It fascinates me mathematically to sit through an entire evening without ever holding a single pocket pair. I only held suited connectors once.

Yet this was a good session. I didn't go broke trying to force something to happen. I was content.

My only two attempts in the first hour were twice losing pots with ace 10. You know times are hard when these hands suddenly look like monsters.

In the second hour I finally won my first pot of the night. This got me back up to even. An endorsement for patience if you will.

What felt good about this hand was calling someone down with only ace high because I genuinely thought he missed and was trying to buy the pot. It's so rare that I make that call with ace high.

Yet things went dry again and I bled for another hour. This time I fell down around 50 bucks, where I would hover around for most of the evening and early morning.

Every orbit or two I'd find a hand to raise preflop. Usually when I bet at the flop everyone would fold. That's how I survived.

I took a break and considered going home down 52. Come back and try again tomorrow. But in the previous orbit a loose player had just sat down to my left. He's rarely folds and has made multiple river reraises. I want to give myself a chance to play a pot with him.

On the hand I return I buy the button for 7 bucks and pick up 4 5 suited. Flop is Ace jack 5. We check it around. Turn is a 4. I bet 25 and get called by the guy to my left. He has jack 10. I guess he figures I don't have an ace since I would have bet flop. He gets rewarded for misreading my strength when a 10 comes on the river to give him the better two pair.

I probably should have done my typical weak "check call" here but for some reason I couldn't stop myself from leading out for 30 bucks.

He raises me to 80 and I have to be beat. However this was already the 3rd time he had hung around and made a river reraise, so I was damn curious to take a look at what kinds of cards was he doing this with.

Is he the kind of guy who lets me bet his hands for him? Did he have me beat the whole time or is he a chaser who just got lucky? So I overpaid 50 bucks to get this answer and was happy to see him show the jack 10. This kind of player is much easier for me to make money from than someone who was ahead and letting me bet his hand for him.

This result dropped me to minus 160 on the night and once again I was tempted to leave. I still had 240 on the table and if I lost that (to drop the full 400) I would be mildly disappointed. It would feel like I somehow lost self control and didn't get out of there in time. Whereas a 160 loss seems insignificant in the big picture.

I quickly reviewed my session. Hmmm. I'm certainly playing tight poker. I just got sucked out on. Calling the 50 raise on the river wasn't a good play but as long as I'm not on tilt, lets stay.

I fold 3,8 suited the next hand from the button in an unrairsed pot in an attempt to prove to myself that I'm not on tilt.

The hand after this I pick up 10, jack in the cutoff seat. Tilt or not, I'm seeing this flop for 5 bucks. Loose guy behind me makes it 20. Two people call the 15 more. So do I.

Flop comes 7,10,jack. Two spades. I check to preflop raiser. He bets 30ish. Woman calls behind him. I have 220 in front of me. There's around 140 out there.

I push. What else can I do with my stack size? And as long as no one is sitting on 8,9, I don't mind hearing the words I call.

Loose guy folds and tells me he had 9,10. Woman folds and tells me she had king, queen.

Loose guy asks what I had. I say a jack. He smiles.

This hand got me back up to 355.

A few hands later I raise to 15 and flop top pair. I get called down this same loose player to my left who holds an unpaired ace queen. This time he doesn't hit either on the river and I win a nice sized pot.

This hand put me up 72 dollars on the night and I finally got the hell out of the Bellagio. Grateful to not have had a bad session on a night when neither the cards nor the opportunities were plentiful.

Now that feels lucky.

No comments: