Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Flopping Flushes

1:41 AM. I leave the house to go play poker. This is probably the latest hour that I've decided to begin a poker session. I mean the earliest.

2:02 AM. Seated at the Venetian.

2:07 AM. I'm next to a Phil Hellmuth wannabe who won't stop talking about how great he is. What makes this extra amusing is we're sitting at 1/2 no limit. He's already told me twice that I'm not one of the best 3 players at the table.

2:08 AM. I raise preflop with suited connectors and make a continuation bet on a king high flop. Everyone folds and Hellmuth tells me I shouldn't bet so quickly because it's obvious I have a big hand. I thank him for the useful tip and muck my cards. Of course it was tempting to show the 6 high. But then he'd be winning the battle of misinformation. Better for him to keep telling me how bad my game is.

3:28 AM. I've been bleeding for the past 80 minutes. Hellmuth is long gone. There's one really loose player who is singlehandedly making this table a worthwhile place to be. I'm showing decent discipline but still losing chips. Down to 107 from my initial 200 buy in.

3:31 AM. Minus 30 with ace queen. Down to 77.

3:33 AM. I raise someone's straddle with ace 10 with the intention of pushing all in on the flop. Everyone folds and my stack inches its way up to 90 dollars. The highlight of this hand was before the straddler folds or calls he looks at me and tells me that I can't get a read on him because he hasn't looked at his cards yet.

Hilarious! Of course my thinking is:

"Why do I need a read on you?

I'm the one who raised.

Lets just wait until you raise me before we start worrying about what my read on you is."

3:37 AM. I win a pot with king 10 on a scary looking king,7,7,9,9 board.

3:39 AM. Bingo. I call 15 bucks preflop with ace 4 suited against two loose players and flop a flush. First guy bets 35. Second guy raises to 100 something. I call all in. First guy folds. The first guy was probably done with the hand once he got called but obviously the raise to 100+ killed any further action. (If I may be greedy for a moment). This hand pumps me up to $302.

3:48 AM. Down to 268. Tough hand. I call 15 bucks four ways with pocket 4's. Guy makes a small bet on a double heart flop. I call. He makes another small bet on the turn and every instinct says flush draw. I want to raise so badly. And someday I will. However these days I find myself playing with players who are so bad I don't need to take this kind of chance. So I fold my 4's and tap the table and tell him nice hand. My kindness is rewarded as he shows his cards. The ace and 5 of hearts for the nut flush draw. So I could have won the pot if I survived an ace, 5, or heart on the river. But that almost feels like too much of a hero call here.

4:01 AM. Up to 550 after I call 15 preflop with 8,10 suited and flop 5,6,7 with two of my suit. A freaking dream. Random guy bets 30. Loose aggressive nemesis bets 60. I smooth call. First guy folds. My flush comes on the turn. Nemesis checks. I push all in for 186. He thinks. He calls. I win. After the hand he says he flopped a straight. Some say he needs to bet more to get rid of me on the flop. Then again I'm not so sure I'm going to fold here with both straight and flush draws. It's the whole reason I'm playing suited (almost) connectors.

4:08 AM. Loose kid buys in again and I call his raise preflop with 4,5 suited. Flop comes king,king,8. For some reason- I laugh to myself. Could be the hour. Could be my hand. I don't know why but I'm cracking up. I notice him notice me laugh. I check. He checks behind me. I can't remember what came on the turn but I bet and he folded. See how easy poker is? You just have to laugh at the flop.

4:11 AM. I fold king queen from the small blind to a raise because the night grew deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression. If you're gonna play the game, you gotta learn to play it right.

4:26 AM. The hand of the night. A grinder type has come to my table. We've been chatting a little bit and I have a decent sense of how he plays. He's seated to my left. It's my big blind. He looks as his cards under the gun and limps in. He tells me he's been playing since noon and this is his last hand of the night. We both have over 500 dollars on the table.

No one raises and I check my jack 8 suited from the big blind. Flop is three clubs. My suit. I've hit another flush. It's just my night. I check. Grinder guy to my left bets 40. Everyone else folds. I call.

Turn is a rag. I check. Grinder starts playing with his chips. This is so freaking exciting. How much will he bet? And how much will I reraise him? My big fear is he has a big club. I can get away from this hand if another club comes on the river. But right now I'm feeling pretty darn good.

He takes 30 seconds or so. And then checks.

River is another non club. The board has not paired. I'm good.

The only question now is how much money can I get out of him? If I thought he'd call a bet for 200 bucks then I'd absolutely do it. But there's not that much out there so I push out 85 bucks. A pot sized bet. Feels reasonable.

He insta-calls and I turn over the jack high flush.

And my grinder friend?

He turns over queen 9 suited for a higher flush.


I thanked him for not going beserk with the betting. I could have really gotten hurt here. He felt the same way and thanked me back. He said he wouldn't have called an all in from me on the river. He pointed out that I wouldn't have called a big bet either. Although to be honest, I'm really not sure what I would have done. I did not put him on a higher flopped flush. So it would have been real hard to get away from this hand. Real hard. Even if my flush was only jack high. Hey I play suited connectors all the time so a jack high flush sometimes looks like a monster to me.

He then got up and left the table. Apologized to me for the hit and run. But I had no problem with it. You can stay as long or short as you want at the poker table. That's the beauty of it.

4:41 AM. I play for two more orbits and then leave. Damn I'm happy I didn't give away my stack on that hand. Losing 127 bucks with a jack high flopped flush was an acceptable loss.

One long game.


Check Raise Chin said...

Great story Rob. Nice playing also. I enjoy the hand recaps bud.

Keep up the good work and good luck next month. Are you planning to play any of the events or you're just going to hit the side games (which probably are more profitable).

Robert said...

I might try a few tourneys but I'm mostly gearing up for the cash games. I've seen some real bad play this week. Coincidentally the weather is up over 100 again. Call me crazy but the hotter it gets outside, the worse people play inside.