Coming off my last session at The Oaks on Wednesday, I rolled in on Friday full of confidence and ready to go. After about an hour of uneventful low stakes Omaha, I made my way to the $15/$30 game, slammed ten $100 bills on the table, and said "Who want's some bitches!? Come and get it!" while pounding my chest. Ok, maybe it was more a silent placing of ten $100's and a quiet chair scootch up to the table.
I got put to the test right away. On my second hand, I got dealt KQ and put in a raise. The player in the big blind has been there every time I've played $15/$30 during Project Flying Panther and he's sort of been my nemesis. He's a generally solid player, but he tends to over do it on the deceptive plays - lots of slow plays, check raises and seemingly random bets out of no where. He's giving up a lot of value, but it makes him tough to read. He's also hit a disproportionate number of times against me.
After my raise with KQ, both blinds called and the flop came down Q 5 2, three different suits. They both checked, I bet, the small blind folded and my nemesis check raised. "Ah ha!" I thought, "I bet he has a worse queen or is on a bluff. I'll just call and raise him on the turn." I was almost 100% sure I had the best hand here. The only hands that could beat me were AA, KK, QQ, AQ, (those would all have 3 bet preflop), Q2, Q5, 52 (all would have folded preflop - maybe Q5 suited would call) and 55 or 22 (captain slow play would have waited for the turn to raise with these). Against everything else I'm way ahead.
The turn was a 3 and my nemesis checked. This seemed very strange, but checking back was not an option, so I slid 6 chips in to the pot. My nemesis, quickly raised. Panther what!? Despite the analysis I went through on the flop, I felt like I was beat here. This would be a very, very strange line for a bluff. In the end I decided that against a tricky opponent it was better to err on the side of calling down, so I called the turn raise and a bet on the river. My nemesis rolled over A4 which was air on the flop and made a straight on the turn. GRRRRR!
I got KQ again on the next hand and lost that one too. I quickly found myself down $250. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I was going to play for close to 5 hours and that the cars should all even out.
It did not even out; it took a massive turbo in the right direction. I raised QJ, flopped a Q and rivered a J against two players who called all the way. I got AA in a 5 way pot where everyone put in 4 bets preflop, the flop came king high, and the turn and river were both total bricks. I flopped a small set in a multi way pot. I made another two pair that held up. That all went down in about 45 minutes and I found myself up $600.
Then came the queen hand of the session (In bike racing the 'Queen Stage' is the most prestegious stage, so I think of the biggest hand of the day as the queen hand sometimes - it's dorky). By this time there were two guys who were losing their ass, who both bought in for another $1,000, ordered double shots of scotch and announced they were going to go apeshit.
Shortly after that I got dealt KK, there was a raise and a retaise (from one of the drinkers) and I capped it. We took the flop 5 way and it came down K 8 3 (ZING!). There was a bet, a raise and a reraise before the action got to me! WHAT!? I am not used to having top set on a dry board and facing a bet, raise and reraise in front of me so I wasn't exactly sure what to do. I had about 2 seconds to decide before I gave off information so I opted to just call.
We took the turn 4 way and a J came out. The drinker to my right bet, I raised, and the drinker to my left called. The river was an 8 making me a full house and they both called me, with the drinker on my right rolling over pocket aces before throwing them into the muck. After that hand I was up $1,100 on the session.
I got KK again on the very next hand and lost at show down and then the wheels came off the bus.
This old man on my right went on an absolute tear. He won at least 10 pots in about 30 minutes, including 5 straights (4 of which were gut shots hit on the turn or the river), a couple of full houses and some two pair hands. I got the full force of this rush when my KK, AA, TT and KQ that hit top pair all got chopped down.
On one of those hands, the flop was T 8 4, the turn was a 5 and the river was a J. The old man turned over 67 and said "I had it all the way." Normally I don't say much at the table and I never criticize other players, but I couldn't stop myself. "No you didn't, you hit a gut shot on the turn! You had 7 high on the flop!" The rest of the table joined me in what was actually a pretty warm chuckle.
After the old man was through with me I was winning $300 on the day, but another 45 minutes of sour cards and no pots got me all the way back down to even. There is never a good time for an $1,100 downswing, but having it happen when you're up $1,100 is a pretty good time for it.
But wait! There's more! I got AA again and JJ, and AK and won small pots with all three putting me up $300 with about 30 minutes left to go in my planned session time. Then I picked up AJ, raised, got three bet, and hit a gut shot on the turn to make a straight against AQ.
Winning $500 as the blinds came around I thought about picking up 15 minutes early, but I'd walked in the door planning to play until a set time and I decided to stick it out for one more round.
In the big blind I got dealt, Q7 of spades and the flop came with a queen and two spades. I missed the flush, but the turn was a 7 and the river was a queen. A few hands later I picked up QT of hearts, raised it, got three bet and the flop came down K J 5 with two hearts. I played it very fast, got tons of action, turned an A making me a straight against AK and I took down a nice pot.
When I racked up my chips I was ahead $1,014 for the night. BOOM!!! My $10,000 starting bankroll is at $12,631.