I suppose the title pretty much says it all. My first hour or so at the table was a pretty good indicator of how my night would end up going. It was especially disappointing because I think the games I played tonight were among the best I’ve ever sat in at the Borgata. There was plenty of alcohol, fast and loose action, blind raises, blind all-in raises, and awful poker left and right. I knew immediately that variance would be high but it was certainly a night where a lot of money could be won.
About 20 minutes after I sit down I raise to 25 with two black aces and get 3 callers. The flop comes relatively safe for me, 225. While my opponents are playing badly and loose, I don’t imagine any of them would have called with a 2 in their hand, so not only did my hand still figure to be the best, but I also would be able to hopefully extract value from lower pocket pairs than mine.
It checked around to me, and I cbet 45, not wanting to bet too big and dissuade 66-jj from calling. It folded around to tightish young kid in the 1 seat who flat called. He had bought in short stacked, and only had another 125 behind after his flop call, which wasn’t even a pot sized bet. I figured he had 88 or 99 or something in that range, and was hoping for no K or A to kill my action. I was fairly sure I would get the rest of his money in since he had so little left. The turn was a 3, which was just fine with me. It didn’t figure to have improved him and shouldn’t scare him away. Before I had a chance to set him all in though, he bet out 50 of his 125ish. Hmmm, I guess he was making some weird blocking bet, but it all amounted to the same thing anyway, considering how short he was, so I moved him in. He snap called and tabled 55 for a flopped full house. Sigh. I missed my 2 outer and was in the hole right off the bat.
The guy to my right was playing really wild. Frequently blind raising to $50, making huge bets and raises with nothing, and obviously getting paid off big when he made a goofy two pair with Q3 or something. I don’t think he folded preflop for hours, and he was hyper aggressive. Being directly to his left was perfect, and I was grateful for my table position. We would soon tangle in a big pot.
I had rebought up to about $500 and I saw a free flop from the big blind with 64 off suit. The flop came 5710 rainbow giving me an open ended straight draw. Crazy guy bet out $20 and I flat called, and surprisingly (for the amount of action at this table) I was the only one to do so. The turn was an 8, which made me a small straight and put a flush draw up. Perfect. Well, actually, a 3 would have made me the nut straight so that would have been perfect… but hey, I take what I can get.
Sure enough, here comes Mr. Crazy, betting $40. I consider just flat calling, but there are lots of bad cards for my hand that can come…both cards that could kill my action or make my hand extremely vulnerable. Not only that, but since Mr. Crazy was so against folding, I decided I wanted to make the pot bigger as soon as possible. I raised $70 more to $110 total.
He thought for a little and said “I’m all in.”
Wow. I didn’t expect that. I was pretty sure I could never ever fold to this guy with a straight, but I decided to take a second to think it over. There are only two hands that beat me, 9J and 69, and neither of them make sense. While Mr. Crazy hates folding, I don’t think he would lead the flop into 7 players with just a gutshot. The fact that he led the flop and the turn makes me think he flopped a pair and perhaps turned two pair, which he thinks is good. I’m almost 100% sure I have the best hand so I call and tell him “I have a straight.”
I can tell from his reaction that it’s good but he doesn’t show his hand so I don’t know what I need to fade (if he’s even drawing live). I sense I don’t want the board to pair, and it doesn’t, but it comes a 6 for a final board of 571086, Mr. Crazy pumps his fist and turns over 109 for a rivered straight. My read was pretty dead on, as he had flopped top pair and turned an open-ender and then bizarrely turned it into a semibluff (although I doubt he knew that his pair could never be good). When the money went in on the turn, he had 7 outs to win the 1k pot…but, as has been happening an awful lot to me lately, he got there.
I was pretty frustrated after getting sucked out on in another huge pot, but tried to shake it off and remind myself that the table was good and I had a long night ahead of me. Unfortunately, the rest of the night was more of the same.
I don’t want this to be one of those blogs where the author whines about bad beats and bemoans his rotten luck constantly. It’s not interesting, and it doesn’t help anyone, so I’ll stop now before I go down that road too far. Suffice it to say that for the rest of the night I continued to run as bad as I ever have. I almost never made a big hand, but when I did it promptly got cracked. It was pretty ugly, but writing bad beat stories is just as boring as hearing them (and reading them) so I’ll spare you the gory details.
I did play one more interesting pot, as it got close to quitting time.
Late in the night, as the table got worse, I decided I was only playing one more orbit (which is a big step for me, as I usually am reluctant to quit when I’m buried). The table was still pretty decent, as almost every hand was still limped 6 or 7 ways preflop and Mr. Crazy was still to my right (although he had calmed down a bit.)
On my second to last hand of the night I looked down at A9 offsuit and limped along with everyone else. For what seemed like the first time all night I flopped something! Not much, but something. The flop was Ac3h4h giving me top pair. I bet $15 and got one caller…you guessed it: Mr. Crazy. He really doesn’t like folding.
I was happy he called in that I was way ahead of his range, but I knew that the hand would be difficult to play against someone so unpredictable, especially considering there were lots of bad cards that could come. The turn was a fairly innocuous 10c, putting a second flush draw up. He checked and I decided to keep valuebetting my hand, knowing he wouldn’t fold any piece. I bet $25 and he raised to $75.
I only had one pair, and against most villains I would strongly consider folding but this guy just played too crazy, he could easily be semibluffing if he picked up a draw or have complete air, as well as goofy two pairs and so on.
I called his raise and the river came the 5c, completing the backdoor flush draw. He quickly bet out $100, and I wondered vaguely what poker God I had offended tonight. I was in a pretty gross river spot, as many draws had gotten there and I only had one pair with a weak kicker (again, I had A9 and the final board was Ac3h4h10c5c). This was one of those times where I took a little while to study my opponent, and I “felt” that he was pretty weak. While my hand was quite vulnerable, I reminded myself to trust my reads, and made the call. He tabled A6 and my hand was good for a decent sized pot.
In retrospect, I don’t know whether he was bluffing or valuebetting, and to be perfectly honest I don’t think he does either. Regardless, I was happy with the pretty big call I had made and my correct read, and also happy to have won my biggest pot of the session (you know it was a bad session when that’s your biggest pot!)
At one point, I had been buried more than $1500, but I racked up stuck only $1251. Losing that much in a session really really hurts, but I’m comforted by the fact that I played well and didn’t tilt at all. I plan on playing another session tomorrow (Friday) although whether I play 2 hours or 8 I haven’t quite decided yet.
As disappointed as I am, I understand that everyone goes through losing streaks and has the occasional bad session. I’m confident in my game and if I ever start fading 7 and 8 outers I might win a lot of money in a hurry.
Hope springs eternal!