I put in a long session on Tuesday and started off with a nice push in the right direction with a $154 win in 30 minutes at $6/$12. I then settled in for what ended up being a 7 hour session of $2/$3/$5.
I always buy in for $500 which is the maximum. In fact having a big stack is so important in my opinion that I will buy more chips if I get below $400 (or sometimes $450) so when I win that next pot I'll be on my way to building a big pile.
I got off to a shitty start. I raised to $20 preflop, bet $35 on the flop and $75 on the turn with air only to get shoved on for $200 on the river. It looked like a missed draw bluff, but I didn't have anything at all. Pull out another $100 bill to buy more chips.
Then I made a pair of kings on a king high board against someone with AA. Pull out another $200 to buy more chips.
Then the button raised to $20 and I called with A3 in the big blind. The board ran out A 9 6 2 2 and I called bets of $30, $90 and an all in for $125 on the flop, turn and river. This felt a little suspect, but my opponent was a player I knew a little bit and he's capable of firing all the way through with little or nothing in his hand and I would at least chop against A3-A8 not counting A6. Pull out another $300 for more chips.
That took about 20 minutes for those three to go down, but in the next 20 minutes it turned right around.
The flop came out 5 6 7 when I had 89 and someone went all in. +$180
I raised with KQ, flopped a Q and got called on the flop, but not the turn. +$110
I raised with JJ, flopped a set and got called on the flop, but not the turn. + $120
When I was in Vegas I saw a guy with a shirt that said "Don't Forget Your Balls" and on the next one I did not. The game was playing tight and passive and now that I was sitting on $900 or so and also had some momentum I loosened up the starting hand range a bit.
There was a raise to $15 and one call and I called behind with J8 of clubs. The flop came down 8 6 3, the raiser checked and the guy just to my right looked at me square in the face for 4 seconds from about 18 inches away. Then he bet out $60. This jumped out as weak. A normal bet here would be around $35 and betting more than the pot on the flop is rare. I called with my top pair, The turn paired the 6 and the villain bet $120. I probably should have put him on a 6 and folded because this was a big bet and that would make sense. But I called. The river was a 7 and the villain bet $200. Now, if he didn't have a 6 he should be worried about me having one, and I just couldn't see a set doing what he did on the flop. I suddenly thought "This could be 97 or 75!" I looked at the very nice sized pot, checked to make sure my balls were still there and called. "You're good" he said and rolled over 98. When I showed my hand he said "I hate you." Ha ha!
Now for another episode of Dave blowing someone off a big pocket pair on an A high board. Ever since that fucker at Bay 101 called my $120 bluff into $140 with JJ on an A high board, I'm locked in on how often that type of thing works for me.
This time I called a raise to $15 with 66, there were two calls behind me and the big blind raised to $100. Normally putting in another $85 with a small pair doesn't make sense since most players aren't deep enough. You're 7.5 to 1 against to flop a set and really you want to be able to win at least 10X (15X is the standard rule of thumb) what you're putting in to call if flopping a set is your main hope. But this guy was $1,000 deep, I had him covered and as importantly he was a straightforward player and I had position. I called and everyone else bailed. Before the flop came out he cut out $120 into a stack and after the flop came down A 7 2, he pushed the $120 into the pot. At this point I'm looking at $245 in the middle, plus his $120. My preflop read was that AK was a big part of his range with that bet size, but of course I considered that he might have a big pair below ace. My balls were still present and accounted for and I made it $300 to go. He threw QQ on the table face up and I took it down.
A couple of hours later a big hand came up. The player in seat 5 raised to $30 and got called by seat 6. I was in seat 8 and made it $100 to go with AK. The player in seat 10 went all in for $200. Shit, I hope that's not aces. Then seat 5 went all in for $285! Shit! I hope that's not aces! Then Seat 6 went all in for $200! Shit, that's probably aces. With stacks on stacks of chips out there I wasn't folding AK. I called and the flop came down A 5 2 all clubs. A quick check confirmed I had the K of clubs. The turn was the Q of clubs. A quick check confirmed I had the nuts. The river was a 3. A quick check confirmed I had the mother fucking pot. Turns out seat 10 also had AK, seat 5 had JJ and seat 6 had 55!
Around that time my stack looked like this:
That's what 390 five dollar chips and 82 one dollar chips look like. If you're sitting with three stacks (ie 60 chips or $300) in front of you sitting across from a guy sitting behind those babies, of course you're thinking it's going to take barely a whim for you to find yourself all in.
Towards the end of the session I had one hand end in very unusual heart break. I called a raise to $30 in a five way pot with 65 of spades. The flop came down 5 4 2 with two diamonds. Oddly the first player to act bet out $30 into the $150 pot. The preflop raiser wasn't going to stand for that and made it $130 to go. I didn't have much, just a pair of fives and my balls...OK I had a gut shot too, but it's not easy calling $130 with a player left to act in this spot. I called as did the guy who bet $30. The turn was perfect, a black 3. The first player checked, the next guy looked at his cards, I see that he has QQ, and he goes all in for $200! Thinking the other guy might either get tied to an ace or have a diamond draw, I put him all in for $400 and he folded. So where is the heart break? He's drawing dead right? Well actually he's drawing dead to a chop. A 6 hits the river and we split the pot. Damn it! This is one that doesn't really hurt since I got half the pot, but it would have been $400+ better for me if one of the 41 non six cards out of the 44 remaining cards came out.
I did find myself in a tough spot in my last round of the night. I was in the big blind with J3, got a free look and the flop came down A J 3 making me two pair. I checked and a tight player bet $35 into the $25 pot. Like the hand where the guy stared me down this was weird. I could have raised but just called. The turn was a 6 and I check called $70. Again I could have raised, but now I felt like my opponent liked his hand. The river was an 8 and I check called 100. I was up against AJ! If I did play back I would have been in trouble. Even though I lost I felt good I didn't lose more.
In the end I won $833 at $2/$3/$5 to go along with the $154 from $6/$12 making it a +$987 win on the night! My $10,000 bankroll is now at $14,059 after 69 hours of play.
When I started this project I was thinking a $5,000 win would be a strong result. That's $50 an hour and a 50% return on investment for my backers in 3-4 months. I'm in striking distance with 31 hours left to go.