I ended up going to a party Friday night so I ended up heading to the Oaks on Saturday afternoon instead of my normal Friday. When I sat down at $2/$3/$5 I saw more new faces than normal and bought in for my usual $500. The first hour and fifteen minutes were totally nuts with 7 big hands.
Hand #1 - I saw a flop for $5 with 87, flopped a straight on an 9 T J two diamond board and found myself facing a bet of $20. I had four players left to act behind me and on many boards with a huge hand I would just call, but not that board - I made it $50 to go. The button was a guy I'll call Mr. H (because his name starts with H!). I've played with him off and on at the Oaks since I first started playing in 2001. He's maybe in his 40's and I think he's from the Philippines originally. He talks a lot and we joke around a lot. I know I give him trouble, and I have good read on him. He shoved for 95 and put the $20 bettor who had $250 left in a tough spot. Eventually he called, I put him all in, and he looked so sad, but called anyway. Mr. H had 72 of diamonds and Mr $20 bet had AQ with the Q of diamonds. The turn was a small diamond making Mr. H a flush, the river was a blank and I won the side pot, but missed out on the $300 main pot. I was 49% to win all of the money when it went in on the flop. This was OK.
Hand #2 - A guy across the table from me raised to 30 and I called in the small blind with AK with the K of spades. The flop came down 8 9 T all spades. Betting out or check calling were both options, but I went for the check raise and took it from $45 to $125. My opponent called. The turn was a red K which was a fantastic card for me as I went from a semi bluff to very likely having the best hand. I shoved all in and my opponent waited for about 90 second before calling off his last $200. The river was a J and my opponent turned over JJ with the J of spades. GAH! I was 38% to win on the flop there and 77% on the turn. This was bad!
Hand #3 - In a preflop limped pot, I bet out $25 on a A 9 2 two club flop with 98 of clubs. The guy just to my right made it $50. He was a young guy who seemed inexperienced and I was 95% sure this was one pair of aces with a weak or medium kicker. Even though I was sure I was behind I felt like I could intimidate him. I decided to put him to the test as I was about 50/50 to make two pair or better and thought I might be able to unload him - I made it $150 to go. He reluctantly called. On the turn I made my flush, put him all in for $100 and he again reluctantly called. He mucked when I showed my hand. This was good!
Hand #4 - I had 54 of clubs in the big blind and called a raise to $15 in a 6 way pot. The flop came down A 4 2 with two hearts giving me a pair and a gut shot. I checked, the player to my left bet $25 which is a really small bet into a $90 pot. Two players called and I called as well. The turn was a 5 making me two pair. Someone could have had a 3 making them a straight, but unless it was A3 it wasn't likely. I bet out $110 thinking I might get called by a heart draw, but would probably unload anyone with an ace. I got 2 callers! Yikes! I was ready to waive the white flag no matter what, but when the river was the 7 of hearts, I knew my goose was cooked. I checked, the player to my left went all in for $50, and the other went all in for $150. They both made flushes and AJ of hearts took it down. This was bad!
Hand #5 - 7 players called $5 preflop before the small blind who raised it to $35. I had A6 of hearts and 5 of us saw the flop. The small blind bet $100 into the $190 pot on a Q J 5 two heart board. Everyone folded to me with one player still left to act behind me. I felt pretty sure this was a legit hand. Players almost never raise out of the sb lite, they don't often bet $100 into 4 opponents without something good, and he only had $125 left so he was probably pot committed. If I put him all in and he called I'd be risking $225 to win $415. If he had a hand like KK I'd be 45% to win so this was the right price. If he had AQ I'd be 36% which would make it about a break even move in the long run. If he had a set I'd be 25% to win and it would be a losing proposition. In the moment the rough math told me I was 2 to 1 against to make my flush and thinking I wasn't quite getting the right price. But there was some small chance he'd fold or I'd get action from the guy behind as well improving my value when I hit. I made it $300, the other player folded and the first guy said "Will you show if I fold?" I was as still as a statue. He said "I have a big hand" and I believed him. I willed him to fold...and he did! Afterward everyone congratulated him on making a great fold. Ha! This was good!
Hand #6 - The key villain in the next two hands was a guy I'll call Mr. W because he smelled like weed when he walked in. He is 40's, thin, small, asian and I knew from playing with him in the past that he is a loose player. I opened for $20 with JJ and got 3 callers including Mr. W. The flop was T 9 2 which looked great to me. I bet $60 into the $80 pot and only Mr. W called. The turn was a 7 and I put him all in for $100. He called and flipped over 8 6 for a straight! Son of a bitch! What a great board for JJ. Oh well.This was bad!
Hand #7 - About 5 minutes later I got myself into a really tough spot with KT of spades. I called Mr. W's raise to $20 in the big blind and we took the flop 4 way. The flop came down 9 6 2 with two spades, I checked, Mr. Big Watch to my left bet $25 and Mr. W made it $90 to go. At this point I was pretty sure he had a pretty solid hand that was likely and overpair or A9, but for some reason I was feeling full of confidence after my A6 of hearts victory and decided to make a play at the pot. He had about $250 left after the $90 which was enough that if I shoved it would put him in a tough spot. But I thought that would look like a draw. I asked myself "how would this guy expect me to play a set?" The answer was I'd just call the $90. So that's what I did, hoping for a spade on the turn, and planning to represent a set if I missed. Mr. Big Watch folded and sadly I got a red 7 on the turn. I could make an argument for checking here and hoping my flop call is scary enough that it would go check check and I'd see a free river. But in the moment I went for it and put him all in for $250. He called right away with JJ, I missed my K and my spades and another big pot went his way. Grrrrr. This was bad!
This is a lot of action for an hour and fifteen minutes! If you add up the 1 OK, two goods and 4 bads I was stuck about $500.
A while later I got into it again with Mr. W who was now sitting of a big pile of chips mostly funded by me. I raised to 25 on the button with 99 and got two callers. The flop came down K 6 2 with two diamonds and I bet $60 after it checked to me. Only Mr. W called. The turn was an 8 and he checked to me again. Against some players I'd check back here, but he'd been calling me super lite thus far so I figured I'd bet again for value - I fired out $120 and again he called. Now I thought maybe he had a king, but probably he hand a flush draw. I figured if I could fade the diamonds I'd be good. The 3 of spades came on the river. This looked like a perfect card. Then Mr. W went all in! WHAT?! I had about $250 left and there was about $680 in the pot. From what I knew of Mr. W I didn't think there was any way he'd just call the turn with a set or two pair, and I didn't think he'd play a K this way either. The key question was, what did the 3 change? The only answer was 54 is now a straight. That was the only big hand that made any sense at all. It had to be 54 of diamonds or a flush draw that missed and was now making a desperate bluff. It was either one or the other. In the end I figured I was going to lose about 2/3 of the time, but was getting good odds to call. I called and lost to 54 of spades. FUUUUUUUCK! I can't believe this guy called $60 into $80 pots twice with just bare gut shots and beat me twice. On the turn he picked up more outs, but I was still sick of it.
At that point I'd lost to a flush draw twice, missed a flush draw twice, lost to a gut shot straight draw twice, made one flush and stolen one with a flush draw. Not a recipe for success.
That brought me down to -$1,000 on the night and I was all the way down to -$1,250 when the next hand came up.
Mr. W came in for a raise to $20, one player called, I called with 88, another two players called and then the action was on Mr. H. He moved all in for $320! The player to my right who is loose and likes to gamble went all in for about $90 total and it was back to me. There was about $500 in the pot and I needed to call another $300. I totally ruled out AA and KK and Mr. H is too smart to just shove with those. It seemed like AK was the most likely possibility. I took my time and considered that it might me JJ or TT, but it could just as easily be 66 or 77. A medium pair was more likely than a small one, but this big shove just screamed AK to me and if it was AK I'd be roughly 55% to win. So I called. If you're going to play, you can't forget your balls! To my utter delight the flop came with an 8 on it and the turn paired the board! Mr. H showed QQ! Yowza! Living up to his name Mr. Loose Gamble showed 75 suited. I got really lucky here as I was only 17% to win when the money went in.
If I lose that pot I'm out the door a $1,600 loser on the night. Instead all of a sudden had a decent stack.
Then I got KK, raised to 25 and got called by Mr. W and one other player. Come on baby! Let me stick it to this guy one time. Calling me down with fucking gut shots all night long. It's revenge time! The flop came down T 8 2 rainbow and I bet $60. Mr W called. A ha! The turn was a king. Top set baby! I bet 125 and Mr. W called again. Double a ha! Please lord give this guy something. The river paired the 8 which was a fantastic card making me a full house and the second nuts. I bet $250 and Mr. W paused to think. I considered the soul crushing possibility that he might have 88, but only because that was the only hand I couldn't beat. After 30 seconds he said "I know I'm beat. I call." I showed him the goods and he said he had an 8, but I'm not sure I belive him. Take that!
A little later I got my gut shot revenge as well. I called $25 preflop with A2 of hearts against 5 opponents. The flop came down A 3 4 with one heart and I called a bet of $60. On the turn I made the wheel when a 5 came and I just called a bet of $100. My opponent checked the river dark, I bet $160 after an 8 came off and beat AK.
Pile all that shit together and I came out a $63 winner on the night after 6 hours of play! My $10,000 bankroll is a $10,710 after 33 hours of play. It feels great to dodge a big loss.
I'm making it a new goal to book a $2,000 win during project 10K. I think keeping that top of mind will keep me there an extra couple of hours when I'm winning which is the time to push it on the session length. Back in action Tuesday.