Friday, July 16, 2010

strap in boys, gonna be a bumpy ride

A record-setting turnout for the Thursday night cash game - 13 players on two tables. Each table featured a couple decent players and the rest with big problems in their game. It was time to win some money.

Or lose some. I raised up pocket queens and got a call. My queens stayed an overpair the whole way, and I bet for value the whole way. My $10 river bet was bumped to $20, and I paid off the little trixter who slowplayed his aces all the way to the end. I handled it well, though, and was pretty proud of own mental state afterward. Still lots of work to be done.

Then came several run-ins with PC. PC doesn't think much about what you have - he doesn't think much about what HE has - he just bets. Preflop is pretty straight-forward, but flop, turn, and river are bets. Sometimes the bet size is ridiculous, like $3 into a $23 pot, sometimes it's more in line, but you can be sure there's a bet in there. He's not afraid to raise up a postflop bet, either.

In my first hand I held AK and raised it up, PC called. I whiffed and c-bet, he raised a low board. I gave it up. Next came pocket nines that got 3 callers. I bet a ten high board and he raised again - I gave it up.

The very next hand I got pocket nines back-to-back. This time only two callers, and this time I hit my set on a dangerous 9TQ board, with two spades. Lots of stuff for people to chase. I checked my stack - $80 at the time (80 big blinds). I wasn't folding. I bet big and both players called.

The turn brought in one of the draws- a spade, and I committed myself. When I got shoved over by my neighbor Kevin I figured it was about 50/50 that he had the flush (he gets it in pretty light), and my fears were realized when he flipped 8T of spades. I considered offering to run the river twice, but Kevin isn't an experienced player and I thought it might cause confusion and slow the game down, so instead I kept my mouth shut and prayed for the board to pair. And.... it did! A queen on the river saves my first buy-in and starts Kevin on the road to monkey tilt.

Then I got back into it with PC - pocket jacks this time. I lead out on a ten high, drawless board, and he raised me. Third time he had raised my flop bet in two hours. The first thing that popped into my head was the slowplayed aces I ran into earlier- had PC replicated that trick against me again? Most likely, I thought - he just felt that I was still full of crap as I often am with my flop continuation betting. It felt like stepping off a ledge, but I re-raised him big with my slight overpair, and he folded. I had won a major battle.

An hour later came a minor battle in the same war. Pocket twos from a blind in a limped pot. Flopped set - small flop and turn bets that were called. River paired the second card on the board - a ten. I felt it likely that one of the two players in the hand held a ten, and one was PC. The other was a player would pay off a large bet with trips. If neither did hold a ten, I felt PC would bet anyway, and I would then checkraise him small and he would either fold nothing or reraise trip tens, at which point I would have to go broke. I checked with this plan in mind, but was foiled when they both checked behind with weak-ass showdown-worthy cards. "I have a full house" was the last thing either one of them expected to hear. I pulled a medium-sized pot, but the bigger damage was to PC - knowing I was ready to sandbag him with a big hand and that his bet/bet/bet style might be his own walk off the plank. I think I slowed him down a bit against me.

Our table combined back to nine players as people went home. My cards were pretty much brutal the rest of the night, and the table dynamic was not set up for stealing, so I hunkered down. There were now TWO bet/bet/bet guys at the table, and a couple call/call/call guys to go with them (one particularly awful guy is both a bet/bet/bet guy AND a call/call/call guy, oh to hit a big hand against him!). I enjoyed my stack until the end of the night, when my old friend pocket jacks popped up again (3 times with jacks, no aces or kings. Thanks a lot). I had to step off the ledge one more time - three streets of value against a decent player who I could not put on a hand as he called me down on a nine-high, drawless board. What the hell? My last bet of the night was $20 into a $50 pot. He thought and thought. Out loud, he said "there's no way that's a bluff. It's too small to be a bluff. It has to be a value bet". He was on the right track, but I still couldn't put him on a hand. My best guess was top pair Ace-nine. This player was stuck over $200 and really could have used this last pot. He wanted it bad. He finally tossed in the 4 red chips but didn't look too happy doing so.

I revealed my cards without saying anything. I figured I was ahead but didn't know to what. His head hung one last time as he flipped over pocket tens. Ugh for him, yay for me.

Monster pull for me- 204 big blind profit. I'm liking our home game more and more.


Memphis MOJO said...

Was the old guy, Mr Something-or-other starts with a P, there?

matt tag said...

Mr. Pietzak was a last minute cancellation due to an illness in the family. All is well and he'll be back taking my money next week.