Thursday, September 12, 2013

PFP Session #21 - Holy Shit I Can See This Guy's Cards!

Earlier this week I'd been playing $15/$30 at The Oaks for about 3 hours and was up around $400 when a new player sat down on my right. He bought in for $1,000 and I could see he had another two grand at least in his roll. He was a well dressed man in his 50's.

He started losing right away, not playing all that poorly, but in a slightly loose very straightforward way. When he had about $600 in front of him he put his chips into 3 stacks of 20 and a dozen of stacks of 5 chips. I noticed right away that all of a sudden I could see his card when the peeled them up to look at them because his chip stack was no longer blocking my view. Most players bend up the corner of the cards and shield them with their hands, but he was bending up the short edge of the cards parallel to the edge of the table and we were in seats 6 (me) and 5 (him) which is a part of the table without much curvature.

There have been times in the past when I've played against people who haven't been great at protecting their cards. Usually it's been a case of being able to see one of an opponents cards every couple of hands which doesn't help all that much. There are so many times where one of you have garbage or your opponent does and/or the other players spoil the party.

Not this time! This was 9 out of 10 hands I could see both cards (the difference between one and both cards is astronomical - knowing for certain that an opponent missed completely is very powerful), for a while we were playing 6 handed and this guy was playing fairly loose. There were 5 big hands where this came into play.

Big Hand #1. The Villain raised AK off suit, both red, under the gun and I three bet him with 22. This was a risk. If anyone else came in I could be in a tough spot, but heads up I had a hand where I could beat him if neither of us improved, and get away without losing a single chip if he hit. Happily everyone folded and the flop came down Q 9 7 with two hearts. He checked I bet and he called. The turn was the 10 of hearts. I was all set to fire again when he bet into me! WHOA! Normally this would be an instafold, but I knew I had him so even though I had shit, I raised him. He called. The river came out an ace! ACK! We both checked, he showed his hand and I threw mine in face down.

Big Hand #2. The Villain raised with AJ after a couple of limpers and I called with A7 of hearts on the button. Why would I call him when I was dominated? I decided the value of acting behind him knowing what he has was worth so much that I should get in there anytime I had anything at all playable, even if I was dominated. The flop came down 7 high! Ah ha! The Villain bet, I popped it, we lost everyone else and he called. The turn was a K which might have slowed me down normally, but not this time. I bet and he called. The river was an ace and he fired out! Bang! I hit him with a raise again and he called.

Big hand #3. Everyone folded to The Villain who raised from the button with 44 and I had J2 in the small blind. I called as did the big blind. The flop came down Q 9 7 and I check raised him, thinking that he wouldn't call me all the way down with an under pair. The turn was a K and he mucked after I bet. This was a hand I never would have played or won, without seeing his cards.

Big Hand #4. The Villain raised with KJ of clubs and I called with KT of diamonds in the small blind. I don't know if folding because I'm dominated or three betting to isolate would have been better. I think calling is probably the worst of the three, but these are not considerations I have run across many times, and in the heat of the moment I called. The big blind folded anyway and the flop came down ace high. I check raised, fully expecting to drag the pot immediately, but my opponent called. The turn was a small card and I bet out. He raised me! WHOA! I have never been so surprised to be raised in my life. I feel like I almost said "WHAT THE FUCK!" out loud. I knew he was on a pure bluff, but at the same time he had me beat!!! The only thing to do was three bet and hope that I didn't get hero called down by a better king high! Happily after he thought for a second he mucked it.

By this time I think he noticed that I'd been doing some funky shit. Not mentioned here are a few other hands where he hit and not only did I not give him good action, he got zero action. It's not often that you see a guy three bet, check the flop heads up and then fold the turn, but I did that at least once. I could feel his frustration.


Big Hand #5. On this hand he had 88 and I three bet him with A9. By the end of the hand there was a K two Q's and a J on the board and he called me all the way down. I decided it was time to pump the brakes a little.

There were other hands with a varying number of other players involved that I've forgotten where I was able to save $15 here or $30 there when he hit big. "Oh you've got the ace of spades? I guess I won't draw to a king high spade draw. Is that a set? No reason to do anything with this top pair I have"

This went on for 2+ hours! The whole time I was thinking "I'm never leaving this game. Never. If this guy stays I'll play straight through until morning and all the next day." Eventually he moved to a different seat and the party was over.

 I didn't see his hand every time because 5 or 6 time I forgot to look! It's just not a habit  look over at your opponent's cards as the cards were coming out. It also took a great deal more mental energy to keep track of what he had - suit and rank of two cards - and what I had and still play at normal speed.

Did anyone else notice me looking? I don't think so, as I had sunglasses on the whole time and was carful to look with my eyes not my head.

The bad news is I lost a little during that 2 hours ACK! I missed a bunch of big draws and otherwise had some neutral to poor results against the other players.

The good news is I played for another 30 minutes after he moved and ran hot! Hot Hot Hot! I had 99 in a pot that was 7 way for two bets preflop and hit a 9 on the flop and made quads on the river!. Since I'd been doing some goofy shit for the past few hours I did not get credit for a made hand. It was 3 bets on the flop 5 way, 2 bets on the turn 4 way and 1 bet on the river 3 way. That hand put me up $600 and after 5 and a half hours I was ready to pack it in.

I almost left right then, but I was still stacking chips from that pot and decided to toss out the big blind and play one more round. After folding a few hand I picked up 87 of spades, flopped a flush draw, pushed it, hit it, and got paid. That put me up to +$900.

On my last hand before leaving I picked up AA and The Villain picked up something. We went to war, I won, and a few other people got dragged down with him. That pot put me up $1,251 on the night and back in black for The Project.

I'm too fucking tired to write about it, but I can also tell you that today I played Session #22 - The Final Session in Project Flying Panther - and won another $460!

HUZZAH!

After 78 hours I booked a $1,369 win for The Project. Backers look out for an e-mail from me this weekend and I'll share some final thoughts and some stats in one more post on Sunday.

Fly Panther Fly!

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