Saturday, December 17, 2011

Looked like it was going to be one of those nights in my cash game - playing fine overall but unlucky. AQ became trip aces by the river, someone seemed really interested in building the pot, but I knew he would do so with any ace, so I paid off a pocket deuces underboat. It was the correct play. A limped pot with 89s in late position became trip eights, again stuck with someone with the other eight and a higher kicker. I probably paid one too many streets on that hand. A third hand became trip nines from the big blind with a silly 5 kicker, but the most transparent player at the table bet $10 into a $5 pot and I folded instantly.

So trips were not my friend this evening, and I was down and had to dig into my pocket to top up. The table got shorthanded after TW busted Tony on yet another trips-kicker battle. TW is a player who's all-consumed with whether he's "winning" or "losing" in his session, and his play changes drastically depending on which side of the ledger he's on. If he wins big early, he makes up some excuse to leave early. If he's down, he stays and tries to recoup his losses. On this night, taking Tony's money got him just above even. He very obviously had his stack of chips set up into two piles, his "break even" stack and his "profit" mini-stack. The large "break-even" stack was stashed off to the side, carefully, almost out of reach. He wanted to take that money home.

I raised up a medium ace to $4, a bit more than usual. He called to see a flop, as he will around 40% of the time. He missed and checked. So did I. I checked his stack - he had his entire "profit" stack in his hand, around $7 now after calling my raise.

"Eight bucks" I said, sliding one red and three whites out to the center.

He checked his chips. "Hmmm, that would break into my big stack over here", he said, unaware that I already knew this. I shrugged, pretending I wasn't sure what he was talking about. After another second, he folds his second pair or weak draw, something he normally wouldn't do.

A bit later in the evening, we got into a pot again. This time I had raised up a weak queen-eight suited from late position and again hit nothing. He had a bit larger profit stack this time, so I wasn't going to be able to cut it down with one bet. The flop missed me and we both got to check.

The turn brought a king but also a flush draw for me, and I caught a hint that TW might be interested in that card somehow, but he checked again. I could have taken the free card to hit my flush, especially with his apparent new interest in the pot, but it occurred to me that I had to bet here for two reasons - one to build up the pot if I hit the backdoor flush, and the other to build it up so a river bluff could push him back into his break even stack. I'm not a big river bluffer, but this was a pretty good time to do it. I decided he either had the same flush draw as I did (let's hope not the bigger one), or a king, but with that king could come literally any kicker down to a deuce. So I felt like I could make him fold at least half his kings with a big enough bet, should I miss my flush. I made my bet and he called.

The river card paired the bottom card on the board, a four. No flush for me. Now onto TW - even if he had a kings-up two-pair now, the board provided him no kicker protection. His flush draws missed. I wasn't sure if king-jack/king-queen type hands would fold, but lower ones might. Or maybe they all would, depending on how dead set he was in his need to take home a profit.

TW checked, telling me he didn't like his hand (trips 4s or improbable boats would have surely lead out). I bet $22, a big number that easily cut into his break-even stack. TW didn't look comfortable, but not ready to fold, either. He took an extra second to think it over. Finally, he asked if I would show my cards if he folded. "I normally wouldn't, but yeah, this time I'll show" I said, knowing he wasn't angle-shooting me into seeing how comfortable I was with my hand, he just desperately wanted to see my hand. He folded and I showed, saying "queen high" to rub it in a bit.

TW ended the game one hand later, and got to take home a small profit on the night.

1 comment:

Jen said...

You better hope these guys never read your blogs as you give away so much info.