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Friday Afternoon.

I rolled out of bed Friday morning and wrote my blog about the past night’s uneventful play. I headed over to the room and decided I would play between 5 and 7 hours depending on table conditions.

I was happy to see early on that I had landed at a fairly loose, fairly fishy table. I saw a pretty hilarious hand in my first orbit, that really highlights how unbelievably terrible people are at poker.

Fast forward to the turn, and there’s heads up action on a 45K8 board with two diamonds and two spades. Seat 3 bets $40 into about a $40 pot, and Seat 8 moves all in for $260 more, $340 total. Seat 3, faced with a $260 bet into a $120 pot goes into the tank. Seat 8 shows him his hand while he’s deliberating.

That’s right, Seat 8 moved in for a large overbet and then showed his opponent his hand while he was deliberating. I had to double check and rub my eyes to make sure that I saw what I thought I was seeing but sure enough, Seat 8 held 67 offsuit for the nuts. Wtf? Who makes the nuts, moves all in big and then shows their opponent their hand? As if the hand wasn’t funny enough…Seat 3 tanks for another full minute or more, even though he’s seen his opponent has the nuts. He admits he has a flush draw and finally folds, and then immediately regrets his decision and bemoans the fact that he “didn’t have the guts” to call (despite the fact that he was facing a bet more than twice the size of the pot with one to come).

This of course, is exactly what Seat 8 wanted…and if that wasn’t funny enough, no one at the table thought anything odd had happened. In fact, several people congratulated Seat 8 on his advanced play saying stuff like: “That was so smart.” “Don’t want to let anyone draw at you!” and “Very nice play.”

People fundamentally misunderstand the game so badly sometimes it’s scary.

At any rate, needless to say the game was good.

It started out fairly annoying though, as I flopped two sets and lost to rivered flushes both times. I was content that I lost the minimum both times, and in one case I bet the flop, bet the turn, and then check folded the river. My opponent showed me the rivered nut flush so I guess I played the hand about as well as I could (short of the obv advanced play of moving all in on the turn and showing him a set so he stopped drawing).

My biggest pot of the night came soon after that. I try to be pretty cognizant of my table image at all times, and when the table started playing really loose and crazy I had a stretch of about an hour where I was really, really, really card dead. I’m a fairly loose player in general, but even I don’t get involved with an endless string of J3′s  and 94′s.

The table was noticing (and several people commented) that I had been playing tight and started ribbing me good-naturedly about it. I decided it would be a pretty good time to pull a preflop squeeze with air. Before a good spot came up though, I looked down at two red queens, and EP raised to $20 (he was a pretty crazy player who never folded and his range was ridic wide).

In this case I actually had too strong a hand to 3bet, if that makes any sense. I was pretty certain that if I reraised to $65-70, everyone would put me on aces or kings (because everyone loves to think they’re making good reads) since I’d been so quiet. That would stop me from getting action from hands I wanted action from and allow my opponents to play fairly well against me after the flop. If I wanted to run a big bluff I could do it with 36, but here I had queens and didn’t want to kill my action. I decided to flatcall, understanding that my hand would be way underrepresented, which could get me good value later on in the hand. Also, if an A or K flopped I would be able to get away fairly cheap.

I flat with queens fairly frequently in general, but this time I had a specific reason (and paradoxically, that reason was that I had been playing tight).

At any rate, 6 (!) people called the $20 raise (decidedly not what I had in mind) and we took the flop of 458 rainbow. The original raiser bet out $35, got one caller (a pretty loose passive player) and it was on me. Folding was obviously out of the question. If I called, I think I would encourage others to call behind me with any piece, and I’d really be flying blind on the turn. Although the idea of “raising for information” is generally a really bad justification for a play, I decided to raise it up. For one thing, it would give me a lot of information (I know I just said that was bad but shut up), as anyone with a set or straight or two pair would be pretty much forced to declare their hand on the flop. Also of course, I figured to be ahead of both players’ ranges, so I was raising for value. Finally, since I had position on both opponents, it would allow me to control the size of the pot later on in the hand if I thinned the field to only one or two opponents whom I had position on.

At the same time, if someone did have a set or a straight or two pair (a very real possibility) I would lose the hand. Thus, I wanted to make a rather small raise that would allow me to get off the hand cheaply if it became clear I was beat, but still extract value, thin the field, control pot etc. etc. I chose to raise just $50 more to $85 total (the type of laughably small raise you can get away with live but would never try online).

Everyone folded around to the original raiser who called. I expected his range to still be pretty wide, and definitely to consist of pairs smaller than mine. I would expect him to raise most of the time (but not always) if he had me beat. Then the passive player called my raise as well, which was far more troubling. Because of his style, I thought it was very possible that he might have a weak two pair or even a set, and was waiting for either a safe card or to make a big move on the turn.

The turn came a 3, making the board 3458 full rainbow. Original raiser insta-checked and I definitely thought he was fairly weak, and the passive player thought and checked. I decided that I probably had the best hand, but there was still a chance that passive was trapping with a monster, waiting to checkraise both of us big on the turn. As I probably wasn’t getting 3 streets of value from anything, I decided to check the turn and valuebet a safe river. If Passive did have me beat, then HE would vb the river and I could call. I figured this line probably protected me the most when I was beat and allowed me to extract as much or more when I was ahead, so I thought and checked behind on the turn.

The river was a fairly ugly 6, making the final board 34568. It was possible that one of my opponents had a 7 which would now give them the winning straight, but they both checked fairly quickly. Unfortunately, the fact that there was 4  to a straight now on board was probably going to stop me from getting action. I couldn’t really think of any way they could call with anything I beat, and I didn’t want to valuetown myself against two pair or a set that was scared of the straight. Also, obviously, I would be in a gross spot if I got raised, and didn’t want to turn my hand into a bluff, so I chickened out and checked. The preflop raiser insta tabled A10 for no pair no draw. Lord knows what he was doing.

I said “I can beat that.” and Passive looked ready to fold his hand. I tabled my queens and he mucked, giving me a sizable pot. I honestly have no clue what he had, but wish I had made a better read (I thought he was strong) and bet the turn. All in all though, I’m pretty happy with my decisions in the hand, even though I played it very unconventionally.

That dug me out of the hole caused by the sets<flushes hands, but I lost a few more small and medium pots with whiffed set mines and the like. As my session ended I got three streets of value with a flush and as the 5 hour mark arrived I decided to rack up. At the window I learned that I raked in a whopping $21 all told on the session. Not exactly what I was looking for but hey, it’s better than being stuck!

Unbelievably, I didn’t hit the bad beat jackpot the entire time I played Thursday or Friday. God I run so bad.


Hours: 5

Results: +$21.

Whatever. I’ll take it. I’m not quite sure as to the plan for next week, but I’ll definitely be down for a day or two (and maybe three or four). Until then…