Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Project 10K Session #21 - Getting Owned by Mr Action

I got my ass beat on Friday.

I played about 30 minutes of $6/$12 limit Omaha and lost $70 and then dropped another $50 in 30 minutes of $1/$1/$2 in unspectacular fashion.

When I got to $2/$3/$5 I had two problems: the worst run of preflop cards I've had this year and the worst player in the game totally owning me.

I played 4 hours of $2/$3/$5 and got dealt TT twice, losing one and winning one, but no other pocket pairs above 55. I also only got on hand with an ace with a kicker T or higher, it was AQ and I lost with it. On top of that I didn't get a single hand with two suited cards T and above.

How far off from expectation is that? We'll I should expect to get any given pair about once every 6 hours and any given AX once every 3.5 hours and one other two above T suited (without an ace) about every 1.5 hours. So that means I should expect about 6 pairs and to get AT-AK once each, and about 3 other suited broadway hands.

I guess after doing the math that doesn't seem as epicly bad as I thought, but additionally I made no straights, no flushes, no sets, and no full houses.

An interesting thing about this total lack of anything is that it's hard to lose big pots. There was really only one big one I lost and it was my last hand of the night. What does happen is you have to keep adding $100-$200 to your stack over and over and over again.

When I was in there I got totally owned by this one guy who was destined to lose all of his chips. This guy was in about 75% of hands preflop. Pretty much any face card, any suited, or any connected hand, or any whim was good enough for him and he was often calling all action preflop with a suited hand (he called a three bet to $50 cold with J6 suited). He also fired at the flop seemingly at random and proudly showed a lot of bluffs. He was there to gamble and wasn't shy about letting us all know it.

I had 4 hands where I got into it with him in significant ways.

On the first I had Q9 of clubs in the small blind,  Mr. Action raised to $20, and we took the flop 4 way. The flop came down K Q J giving me middle pair. Mr. Action bet $50 and I called him. I figured I could easily have the best hand and if an A, T or 9 came off, I could likely take the pot down with a bet if he didn't have the key straight card. Unfortunately another guy came along with us. The turn was a A which was a great card for my bluff plan so despite the other guy I fired $125. The other guy hemmed and hawed for a bit and then folded. Sadly Mr. Action insta-shoved on me for $200. I folded and he showed KT.

On the second I called a raise out of the big blind with AQ vs another player who made it $25 to go and Mr. Action. The flop came down T 8 4, I checked and Mr. Action bet out $35 into the raiser. The raiser folded and I took one off. I had no idea what he had, but with overs and some backdoor outs and getting a good price it looked like a calling spot. The turn was a J giving me a double gut shot and two overs. I check called $70 which was about half the pot. The river was a Q and I figured I probably had the best of it, but I checked and Mr. Action checked behind. He had J8 and took it down.

On the next hand of note I took a pause from losing to Mr. Action and lost to someone else. 6 of us saw a flop of K 9 5. I had KJ in the big blind and fired out $25. I got one caller who was a loose, straightforward player. The turn was a 4, I bet out $50 and my opponent went all in for $185. Ugh. Normally a flop call and a turn raise from a straightforward player is a hand that can beat one pair. If it wasn't an all in I would have folded for sure. On the other hand I definitely had this guy pegged as a "If I'm going to call the turn I might as well go all in since I'll probably be all in on the river anyway" type of guy. I didn't think he had a better K as he would have raised with AK and probably KQ, I thought there was a chance he could have some random K hand, and if he had two pair involving the 4 I had a lot of outs. I called and he showed K4. Sadly I bricked the river and lost the pot.

Later on I was back to losing to Mr. Action. I straddled for $10 on the button (the Oaks has a Mississippi Straddle which means you can put out twice the big blind in any position and the action starts to your left - after everyone has acted it's back on you and you have the option to raise if it's still $10 to go) and as the cards were being dealt Mr. Action announced he was going to call another $5 without looking at his cards out of the big blind. I was watching him closely and that's exactly what he did. I got dealt T6, no one else called the $10 and when it got to me I just checked it. The flop came down J T 9 and Mr. Action checked to me. My pair of tens figured to be way ahead against a random two so I bet out $15. At that point Mr. Action looked at his cards and raised to $30. This was a really unusual spot as I was betting the flop against a guy who hadn't looked at his cards and he knew I knew he hadn't looked at his cards until after I bet. I would have bet $15 no matter what, so his raise didn't tell me a lot. I didn't like that it was a min raise, but I couldn't fold. The turn was a small card and he bet $30. I called and he bet $30 again after a small river card. I called again and he showed me Q8 - he flopped a straight! GAH!

Fast forward one more round and I'm back on the button and again straddle for $10. Again Mr. Action announces he's going to call dark out of the big blind and does. This time one other player comes along with us and this time I have a much better hand A4 with the A of hearts. I probably should have raised here, but when things aren't going well I don't like to push small edges. The flop was very good for me - J 7 4 all hearts, giving me a pair and the nut flush draw. Like last time it checked to me, I bet out $25, and Mr. Action looked at his cards. "One twenty five" he announced. I was sitting on about $375 which was the perfect shove stack. Against any normal player I just ship it here and don't think twice. It's really tough to call without a made flush against a big all in 3 bet and no one with a made flush would raise it from $25 to $125. Even if I'm up against that rare hand that looks me up I have 9 outs to the nuts and another 5 to make two pair or trips meaning I'm about 50/50 to improve. But I knew he was going to call me and that was a wrinkle that is normally not such a big part of the equation. With very little dead money in the pot I had to figure I was risking $375 to win $435. If all of my outs were good then I was getting the right price. In fact against a hand like Q of hearts J or clubs I'm 49% to win which is plenty good with the $60 in dead money. After a short delay I just couldn't justify doing anything but moving all in. He quickly called and said "Your flush is good." Sadly, the turn and river were both black and I lost to 77. It turned out that we had exactly the same number of chips to the dollar.

After that hand I didn't buy back in and headed straight for the door. In the end I lost $1,660 on the night. My $10,000 bankroll is at $16,193 after 96 hours. One more session to go!

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