Sunday, July 19, 2015

Project 10K Session #2 - The Minus $900 Anti Power Hour

I was back in action at $2/$3/$5 at the Oaks Club on Friday night and was involved in a large number of hands where I had tough decisions.

Actually for the first 90 minutes I had zero tough decisions and amazingly I was between -$25 and +$100 for a 60+ hand stretch. Then I had a rough downswing.

On the first hand of note I had QQ and raised one limper to $25 from the cutoff. The button called as did the limper and the flop came down K J 5. I bet out $50 and just the button called. The turn was a blank and it went check, check. The river was another blank and I decided to check again. I was either beat, against a jack that maybe could call a small bet or against a hand that might bluff, but couldn't call a bet so checking was the clear play. My opponent bet out $75 and I insta-called. She had AK. I felt fortunate only losing $150 with QQ vs AK with a K on the flop. We could have gotten it all in preflop and I would have been out $500.

A few hands later 6 of us saw a flop for $5 each. I had 65 and the flop came down A 8 7 giving me an open ended straight draw. I checked, one opponent bet out $25, I raised it to $75 and he called. The turn was a blank and I made a mistake - I checked. I was kind of expecting to win the pot on the flop with my check raise and when we got to the turn and I missed I was kind of hoping my opponent would check behind me. If I bet out $125-150 I could maybe unload an Ax type of hand and instead I think I gave that exact hand confidence. I check called $100 on the turn (which is also suspect), missed the river and check folded to another bet of $100.

Those hands both sucked but I go majorly squashed on the next one. I had 85 of clubs on the button and 7 of us saw the flop for $5. The flop came down 8 6 5 with two spades making me two pair on a draw heavy board. The big blind bet out $15 and after 3 people called I raised it to $75. Then to my surprise the big blind went all in for $370! I took a second to think it over. I was totally screwed against 86 or a set, but given that I had an 8 and a 5 both were a little less likely than normal (blockers!). It could be an over pair like 99, but anything much bigger would have raised preflop. It could be an ace high flush draw? A7 of spades would make sense. 87 would make sense. A pair and a flush draw might shove here. In the end I decided that I didn't think a set would be likely to bet out and would be much more likely to go for a check raise. On the other hand a big draw would be likely to bet out and make a huge all in. It was just such a draw heavy board. I called and lost to 74 - a flopped straight. BAH!

I found myself in another tough spot a bit later. I had 7 5 with the 7 of hearts in the big blind. 6 of us saw a flop for $10 and after a 8d 5h 3h flop the guy just to my left bet out $40. The button called, I called with my pair of fives and the turn was the 4 of hearts. I checked, the guy to my left checked and now the button bet out $100. I was really torn here. I just wasn't buying that the button had made a flush. He just kind of grabbed a stack of $100 and put it out there without much thought. Those bets of $100 are lazy bets - they're often not well thought out. If he'd carefully cut out $85 or $115 I would have read it a little differently. I had a lot going on with my hand. I had a pair, I had a gut shot straight draw, a shitty flush draw, a 1 card out to a straight flush, and some chance that I had the best hand. But still calling $100 when two players have put it aggressive action on a scary board is usually not smart. Fuck these tough decisions! In the end I called and we lost the third player in the pot. The river was a q of hearts making my shitty flush. Now that I'd sort of gotten there I had to get to showdown. I check called $100 and lost to AQ with the ace of hearts. 

Thinking back on that last one, I'm not sure I win the pot even if neither of us improved, I might be faced with a $200 bet on the river if it's a brick. I may have needed a 5, 6 or 7 to win that one.

Those hands all happened over the course of an hour and I was losing $900+ at one point. "Fuck all this losing!" I thought to myself.

Then things turned around a little bit. I three bet a guy with A5, bet the flop and shoved all in on the turn and got him to fold QQ on a J high board. I was shocked that he was so strong! I turned a set and picked up $200. Someone raised to $100 against 5 players who were in for $10 each, I read it as a steal, made it $400 to go with 77 and picked up $150 without a fight.

I went up and down a little, but after 6 hours of play I was stuck about $650. I decided to play one more round and then rack up.

In that final round I got dealt Q9 off suit on the button and 6 of us saw a flop for $10. The under the gun player bet out $45 on a 9 7 2 flop and I just called. The turn was a 7 and I called $100. The river was a Q and I called $150. My opponent said "Good call. I missed my straight draw." and I took down a nice pot. Hooray!

On the the next hand 5 of us saw a flop for $25 and I had 75 of clubs.The flop was K Q J with two spades and I was all set to fold when it got checked around. The turn was a 5 and everyone checked to me. I still had the button behind me, but I figured if he had anything at all he'd have bet the flop and if these guys were all going to play weak as shit I figured I'd take a shot at them. I bet $75 and only the button called. I was hoping maybe he had a small flush draw or a bare T or something, he'd miss and my 5 would hold up. I was really praying for miracles. The river was the 7 of spades completing the flush draw, but also making me two pair, We both checked and he showed AK! It was a miracle! If he three bet preflop, or bet the flop or I decided to check the turn I would not have made it to showdown.

A couple of hands later I called a raise with AT suited. The flop came down Q J 9 giving me an open ended straight draw and two of us called a half pot sized bet from the preflop raiser. I was thinking to myself "How sweet would it be if a K came on the turn and someone else had a T. I'd be sure to get their whole stack. Give me a king! Give me a king! King, king, king!" The turn was a king! And the first guy to act shoved for $275! He said "Do you have the nuts?" and I said "Yep!"

After that run of sweetness I walked out the door +$104 on the night. My $10,000 bankroll is at $9,609 after 10 hours or Project 10K.

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