Saturday, June 24, 2006

My big night at Turning Stone 5-5; or, all the money I made from people not named Roman

I love playing live No Limit. LOVE it. Online is easier to access for me, but live is so much fun and so engaging that I would do it over online any day if I had a consistent access to a good game.

I play a pretty loose cash game; I try to see lots of flops, especially with position and speculative hands, hands people can't put me on. I especially do this at the beginning of a capped game because I'm trying to double and get deep enough so that I can use my skill advantage on later streets as well as make real money when my hands hit.
This results in a swingy return; on an average night I can expect a small profit, but on a big night when I'm running well I can make a ton. This was one of those nights.

The game is 5-5 NLH with a 500 max buyin. I of course buyin for the maximum and routinely top off after I call and miss a flop.
First big hand: I didn't top before this so I have about 475. Two or three limpers to me and I'm in the cutoff and limp with 5c3c. Button folds, small blind checks, and big blind makes it 15. The limpers call, and this is beautiful: I still have position and now the pot is building for when I hit my hand. I call.
The small blind then reraises to 60. Uh-oh.
I think he has a big hand-- aces or kings-- but he made the fatal mistake of not raising enough to drive people out. The big blind calls, one limper folds, the other calls, and now I'm looking at putting in 45 more into a pot of 210, which is easily justifiable especially since I have a little over 400 behind and I know I'm getting the implied odds if I hit.
I call.
The flop is 6c 5h 2c.
Small blind goes all-in, others fold. I know what he has and I call instantly because I am a favorite over aces (17 outs if he doesn't have the ace of clubs; 16 if he does). He turns over aces with no Ac. I hit another 5 on the turn. He's surprisingly cordial about it; he's like "Well played, I would have done the same thing in your spot."

The next guy wasn't.
Ever meet a player who thinks he's technically perfect but really just plays weakly and allows you to hit hands? The guy who insists there's a Right Way and a Wrong Way to play, and if you play the Wrong Way you're an idiot fish? One of these guys sat on my left with 500.
Several limpers come in, and I check my small blind with 7h3h. The Technician raises to 15. This is going to drive nobody out at 5-5 (I would have made it 40 in his spot with anything I wanted to raise). Everyone calls, and what the hell, so do I.
Flop is AQ5 two hearts.
I check and he bets 15 again. Everyone folds, and even though my flush draw is trashy, I'm sure HE doesn't have one, and I'm getting something like 6:1 immediate odds to call, so I do.
Turn is another 5. Check, he bets 25.
Again, I'm getting better than 4:1 and I might even get paid off more if I hit. I call.
River is another heart. I fire 100 into him. He looks really frustrated, thinks about it, sighs, and finally puts in his money and turns over AQ. I show my flush and scoop in the pot. He is not happy, and I can tell. He grumbles a little, and he might be tilting or looking to get me back.
Not long afterward, I'm in the cutoff with 53o. Normally I toss it, but I have a lot of money in front of me and good position on 3 or 4 limpers, so I call to see how it develops. He calls behind and the blinds check.

The flop is Ks6s4x. I have one spade but it's not really relevant. Everyone checks to me and I bet 15, partially to see if anyone else is interested in the pot, and partially to get more money in if I do hit. He raises to 45. Everyone folds. I'm still getting a decent price, and I know he's looking to take something from me, so I call, thinking I definitely have good implied odds against this guy.
Turn is an ace. I check, he bets 40. I'm getting close to 4:1, and this guy will pay me. I call.
River is a 7 and I fire 100. He just flies off the handle and shoves his chips in-- about 200 more. I call immediately and table the straight. He shows A3o and gets up, telling me I'm a terrible player and I make the worst calls he's ever seen.
My initial reaction is verbal defense, which I wish I hadn't done. I wanted to think of something to say to get him to stick around. The best I ended up coming up with when I saw him later was "If I'm so bad, come back around, and you'll probably get it back." I talked it over with one of my friends the other day and he said something like "Yeah, I like to gamble, sorry I got lucky," would have been better, and I agree.
I don't think it would have mattered, though. Guy was a pill anyway.

Last hand isn't as interesting, but it was still a massive pot. UTG with two queens I open to 20. Guy in L/MP (two or three off the button) makes it 50 with about 525 behind. Everyone passes, and I can't fold my queens yet, so I call.
Flop is Q82. I lead 50 (and I probably should have led more). He makes it 150, and I think for a few seconds and call, hoping he figures me for AQ (and FWIW I might well dump AQ preflop in this spot-- reverse implied odds and all.
Turn is a 7. I check, he bets 250, and I checkraise all in. The trap is set, and he knows, but it's too late. He groans and says "I think you have me, but I have to call," and puts in his last 375, turning over two kings. River bricks and I scoop the pot in.

I ended up leaving the table with about $2200. All in all it was a hell of a night and a great example of why I play my loose-aggressive style: People often don't know what I have, and when I hit big hands, people pay them off because they're usually well-concealed and I don't try to slowplay them.

Out for now. More later, perhaps on Turning Stone, perhaps on some online hands.


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