Monday, November 4, 2013

Vegas, baby

Survived my first Vegas trip. Got in 3 sessions of poker for around 15 total hours, and net about $650. But I actually should have lost about $100, except for getting pushed a large pot that I later found out I lost...

So I'm in a morning session at the Aria, and my 1-3 table is the usual mix of recreational guys and ladies of varying skill. Seems like a normal table for me to make a couple of bucks, if not for one exception - the player on my immediate right is a competent LAG. He is punishing limpers at what seems a 100% rate. He is squeezing and 3betting more than normal. His cbets are big. He raises cbets with draws. In short, a pretty formidable opponent at a 1-3 table.

Having him on my right is better than on my left, because at least I can know what he's doing before he acts, but having him at the table at all is making it pretty tough to win any money. I am considering a table change when I notice something - when he's not in a hand, he passes the time by firing up his mini iPad and surfing the web. I catch him surfing the 2+2 poker forum more than once.

A solid read - as a reader of the 2+2 forum, I can deduce that he's most likely a student of the game, trying to play well. Maybe I could have deduced this purely from his playing style, but seeing him read 2+2 gave me an idea - maybe he would fold to a bit of pressure from me. I decided that the next hand I received that was playable, I was going to 3bet him and try and get a fold.

That hand came soon enough - he punished a limper for $16, and I checked my cards to find . Not a great hand, but good enough (and an ace blocker!). I made it $45.

My opponent looked at me and thought for a bit. I half-expected a fold, and the other half a 4bet. I was folding to the latter. Instead, he chose neither option and called the $45. I decided this was either AK, AQ, or a middle pair like nines, tens or jacks that were hard to fold preflop. I didn't like my hand against this range.

Until the flop came, that is. It was . I had flopped 2 pair and was ahead of every possible hand I could conceive him carrying.

He checked to me. I knew that I was going to get all his money if he had AK, and probably AQ also. I needed to see if there was a way to get him to stick his stack in with his other hands. Could I fool him into thinking I didn't have an ace myself, and get him to exert his will on me? After a second, I decided a bigger bet might look like jacks, queens, or kings desperately trying to get someone to go away. I settled on a $70 bet into a $90 pot. After only a few seconds, he slid his stack to the middle, carrying the chips along on a sled of $100 bills. I called instantly of course.

I flipped my hand over (I didn't have to), and his eyes got big as to both the weakness of my holding, and the strength of how I hit the flop. He didn't look happy, and he left his cards concealed.

The dealer dealt the turn and river, and then it was my my turn to be unhappy. He dealt a jack, and then another jack. My two pair had become three pair, and my A7 was now losing to AK or AQ.

I looked over at him and said "Ace-king is a winner, I'm counterfeited". He smiled, shook his head, and mucked. I doubled up from $350 to $700. I wondered what the heck he could have had. Clubs? Five-six? Just air, trying to muscle me off whatever he felt I had?

A few hands later, I admitted to him that I 3bet him light because I saw he was reading 2+2, and I was a member myself. We chatted for a bit, and he told me to look up his "trip report" thread, where he documented his sessions and trips to Vegas. I promised to do so.

When I got home, I did look up his trip report thread. He documented his big hand with me, and told the world he had Ace-king! I replied to this thread, and told him if this was true, then he folded the winning hand. He seemed pretty upset in the threads that followed.

I'm not sure how he missed that I got counterfeited, especially with me telling him that ace-king was a winner without me seeing his cards. This seems quite odd to me. I have an alternate theory as to what happened - that theory is that he didn't want to show his 56 or busted draw or whatever he had, so he made up the ace-king holding for the forum, not realizing that this hand was the winning one after the cards ran out. A modern day, poker version of a the old "I caught a fish this big" story.

No matter, either way (at least now). He was a nice guy, certainly a pain-in-neck opponent, and it's great to meet fellow members of the worldwide poker community that you can go back and say "hi" to in the future. And his mistake turned my first Vegas trip into a winner.

Note: even if he DID have Ace-king in that hand, and properly showed it and won that giant pot, I would still feel good overall about getting my money in good (after the tilting irritation of losing the giant pot on a suckout, of course).

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

Sounds like you were playing well. I hope the rest of your trip was just as successful.