After getting my ass beat at Bay 101 on Tuesday I wasn't sure what to play when I walked through the door at The Oaks on Thursday. I felt like it might make sense to play $6/$12 for a week or two and books some wins to get back on track. After my 2 hours at the $2/$3/$5 game in my previous session the idea of playing some no limit sounded like fun. And of course I've been doing well at the Oaks' $15/$30 game recently and I didn't think one bad session, no matter how bad, should throw me off from what has otherwise been working.
When I took a look at the $15/$30 it was an easy decision - only one semi tough player that I knew was in the game along with a few known soft spots, a couple of players who were new to me and one or two OK players. When they called my name I bought in for $1,000 and tried to focus on taking my time and making the best possible decision at opportunity.
I had two interesting hands come up over the course of the night where I wasn't really sure what to do. In the first hand I had K8 off in the big blind. With a few limpers the button raised to $30, I called along with the small blind and we took the flop 6 handed.
The flop came down K J 8 with two hearts making me two pair. Even though this was a pretty big pot and I might be able to check raise the button and thin the field, I figured it was better to fire out. This would prevent any chance of a free turn card for my opponents and probably no one would put my on a big hand. I bet $15 and got three callers before the button raised. I three bet it and four of us saw the turn.
The turn came down an off suit ten. Ugh. At least it wasn't a heart or a jack which would have meant certain doom, but now there were a few more hands that could beat me and a ton of danger cards could come on the river. I decided to be conservative and checked. When it got to the button he bet out. Part of me feels like I should have popped it here to punish the draws, but I didn't feel confident that I had the best hand, so I just called and we took the river 4 way.
A total brick came on the end and I checked again still unsure if I had the best hand. The button bet again and I was the only caller, He rolled over AA and I took down a nice pot. I won the pot, but I don't know if I should have bet the turn, check raised the turn, bet the river (that would have been an ultra confusing line for my opponents), or check raised the river. I'm still thinking about it...
A little while after that hand I was dealt AA and it held up. With those hands combined I was about $500 to the good and feeling fantastic. The World Series was on, there weren't any total dirt-bags at my table, and I was really in the mood to be playing.
Later in the session the second tricky hand came up. I raised from early position with KJ of diamonds and got called by a late position player, the small blind and the big blind. The flop came down J 5 3 with two clubs and the small blind bet out. Feeling no need to be tricky I raised. The other player called two cold and the small blind three bet it. I didn't love getting three bet but the small blind was a wacky player so I wasn't going anywhere and the other player came along too. The turn was a red 2, the small blind bet out and I raised it again planning to check the river if I got called and fold to a 3 bet. I was also hoping to unload the other player, but he called two bets cold - which I thought almost certainly meant a flush draw - and the small blind just called as well.
The river was the 10 of clubs completing the flush draw. After the small blind and I checked, the other player fired out immediately. Drat! I was looking at a pot with $480 in it only needing to call $30 to potentially win it. But I was also almost positive that I was behind. I couldn't think of a hand that could call two cold on the flop and two cold on the turn that I could beat. But I was getting 16 to 1 on a call so even if I was 90% sure I was toast I had to call. If I was 95% sure I couldn't win I should fold.
But then the small blind called in front of me. I was 50/50 on whether I had her beat so needing to have the best hand vs two opponents I quickly folded. When the cards got turned over the other player had AQ both black, but upon closer inspection only one was a club! Then the small blind showed J9! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Son of a bitch!
My first thought was that this was a hopeless bluff that had no chance of working against two players. But it almost worked so I think it was a good play. Calling the flop and turn were shitty plays made by a shitty player, but it was good bet on the river...made by a shitty player. Shit! This is one where I know folding was right, but it still didn't feel good losing that pot. Double shit!
Happily I had what felt like a pretty average run of cards the rest of the night and ended up booking a $450 win over the course of a 4 hour session.
I'll be back at the tables on Saturday night hoping for a run of 17 full houses.