Now that’s more like it!

I finally got in a nice long session tonight. I played four tables most of the time (there were no 30/60 or 10/20 tables, so I was on all the 15/30 tables and one 5/10). I earned 1,000 FPPs and $2,500 or so. It would be much simpler if it always went like this. There is an odd poker phenomenon that happens to me from time to time.  I was totally in “the zone.”  I felt like I knew when I was beat and when I could bluff and when I should call down. Most of it is stuff I always know, but I can’t always put it together when I need it. It is a combination of mental focus, good mood and good results, I think. No matter how well you usually play, somehow when you are running well it is easier to make those thin bets and tough calldowns. I even lost a couple of rough set over sets and suckouts, but I was so confident in my feel that I was rolling over everyone.

I even smacked my primary nemesis around some tonight.  He has pretty much killed me in pots where we are both involved, but I also think I’ve picked up a pretty reliable timing tell on him today. I’ll have to watch him, but it has been 100% accurate since I picked up on it.  I really enjoy playing against the regulars and figuring out how to adapt to them.  I’m actually playing as passive post-flop as I ever have in my life because these guys are so aggro, you often don’t need to push.

Here was the biggest hand of the session:

PokerStars 15/30 Hold’em (6 handed) Poker Stars Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)

Preflop: Hero is Button with :2h, :2c.
2 folds, CO raises, Hero 3-bets, 1 fold, BB caps, CO calls, Hero calls.

This is one of those situations that get me in trouble. I’m trying to isolate CO, who is the perfect combination of too loose pre-flop and too weak post-flop, when BB wakes up with a real hand. He is never capping here without a big, big hand. Let’s say AA-QQ and AK.

Flop: (12.66 SB) :4h, :2s, :Tc (3 players)
BB checks, CO checks, Hero bets, BB raises, CO folds, Hero 3-bets, BB caps, Hero calls.

Touchdown! It checks to me and BB check-raises. I seriously doubt he has TT and he won’t put me on that strong of a hand, in part because I am playing it fast here. The check-raise is good for me, because he can cap and lead the turn.

Turn: (10.33 BB) :Qh (2 players)
BB bets, Hero raises, BB 3-bets, Hero caps, BB calls.

His three bet starts to make me nervous about QQ, but I’m not slowing down with a set that easily.

River: (18.33 BB) :8d (2 players)
BB bets, Hero calls.

The lead bet after I capped finally slows me down. Perhaps I should have stuck with the old school approach of bombing like mad with a set. I just can’t believe he’d go that crazy with an overpair and there is no credible two pair combo he could have. He’s not a regular at this game and I don’t think he would be happy if he became one.

Final Pot: 20.33 BB
Results in white below:
BB has Ah Ad (one pair, aces).
Hero has 2h 2c (three of a kind, twos).
Outcome: Hero wins 20.33 BB.

No surprise to the wise readers, but I was a bit shocked.

I somewhat botched this hand because I had a lot of action going on at the same time, but I’m pleased with the last decision.

PokerStars 15/30 Hold’em (9 handed) Poker Stars Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)

Preflop: Hero is MP1 with :Td, :Kc.
2 folds, Hero raises, 1 fold, MP3 calls, 2 folds, SB calls, 1 fold.

This is one of those ideas that seemed clever at the time.  The blinds were both quite tight (especially the BB) so I decided to raise a borderline hand from poor position.  Mistake #1.

Flop: (7 SB) :Ad, :Ah, :Ts (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, MP3 checks.

Honestly, I forgot that I raised preflop because there were too many hands going off at once.  I thought that MP3 raised initially.  Mistake #2

Turn: (3.50 BB) :5d (3 players)
SB bets, Hero calls, MP3 calls.

The bet from the SB could be a couple of different things.  He easily could have an Ace and he was hoping to check-raise the flop.  My thinking at the time was that I didn’t want to get sandwiched.  However, in hindsight, I think I probably would have been better off to raise.  If I get three bet, I know I’m dead and can fold.  MP3 will probably drop off and I can reevaluate on the river.  Mistake #3.

River: (6.50 BB) :5s (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, MP3 raises, SB folds, Hero calls.

When SB checked, I actually thought I had to have the best hand.  I figured I could bet and get a call from a King.  I planned to bet/fold, since I figured a raise meant a boat.  If the board was KKT55, you could bet and get calls from Aces all the time, so this is a similar situation.  After he raised, some alarm went off in my head.  I can’t believe he plays an Ace that way and a five makes no sense at all.  I puzzle for a while and finally clicked call.

Final Pot: 10.50 BB
Results in white below:
Hero has Td Kc (two pair, aces and tens).
MP3 has Qh Kh (two pair, aces and fives).
Outcome: Hero wins 10.50 BB.

All those mistakes were canceled out by one good decision.  The funny thing is that I decided to call mostly because of my note which says “plays AK unimproved like the nuts on the flop.”  I figured a guy capable of that is also capable of getting tricky here.

By Nsidestrate

I'm a hard-core limit ring game poker player who is becoming a degenerate sports bettor. I'm sure it will all make more sense if you read on.