Thursday, September 17, 2015

Project 10K Session #22 - Make a Read and Trust It

I was thinking about taking a full week off after my beat down on Friday, but when Tuesday rolled around I was in the mood to play and close out Project 10K.

I got stuck in $1/$1/$2 for a full hour and got off to a shitty start losing $150 to AJ with A9 on a A J 5 9 8 board along with another $75 to KQ with QJ on a dry Q high board.

I was sitting on a stack of $195 when I got dealt KJ of diamonds. There was a $4 straddle and I raised it to $15 to go. The button called me and the big blind who had me covered made it $35 to go. The flop came down T 9 8 with 1 diamond and the small blind moved all in! Ack! With $105 in the pot and $160 left in my stack I was not getting the right price to call if my only outs were straight outs. I was lamenting this fact when I started to think that maybe a K could be good. And then I thought about the backdoor flush possibilities. And then I looked at the $80 the guy behind me looked like he might put in the pot. I rolled that all into a ball, smushed it down into a bitter pill and swallowed it. By that I mean I called, and so did the guy behind me. The turn was a Q! ZING! The river was a T which made me a little nervous, but I ended up beating AJ in the hand of Mr. $80 call and I don't know what from the other guy.

I dribbled back my profits and left the $1/$1/$2 losing $13.

I was part of the group that sat down to start a new $2/$3/$5 and right away I noticed Mr. Action was back! "I SHALL HAVE MY REVENGE!" I cackled silently to myself while I secretly hoped this guy was not my total fucking kryptonite.

I got off to a good start making plays where I made a read and trusted it in semi-dangerous spots.

After we'd played a round or two I got dealt KQ on the button. Both the hijack and cutoff hand limped in for $5 and I made it $25. After the big blind and the hijack called, the cutoff shoved for $160! I stopped to think. There was $235 in the pot and I needed to call another $135 so I was getting pretty good odds. I big pair or AK might call $5 first in, but being the second $5 caller didn't compute with a huge hand. I was 90% sure he had a pair 77-TT or so and if he did I'd be about 45% to win - more than enough when I'm getting a little better than 5 to 3 on my money. If he had a legit limp + all in hand like AK or QQ+ I was totally cooked. I moved all in to blow everyone else out of the pot and the flop came down K high! Bang! And then the board ran out 4 diamonds...but I had the Q of diamonds! BANG BANG! Not sure what my opponent had, but I was a couple hundred to the good. Make a read and trust it.

I had a little win against Mr. Action a few minutes later. He raised to $15 preflop and I called along with a few others. I had 87 of clubs in the big blind and the flop came down 9 9 5 with one club. Mr. Action bet $35 and I was the only caller. The turn was a 5, I bet out $65 and he quickly folded. I'm sure he didn't have anything and it was smallish pot, but just getting one from him with a bluff was good for momentum.

I got KQ again not too long after and again raised to $25. This time I got 2 callers and on a A J 5 board the guy two to my right fired out $25. This was a small bet into $75 and with a gut shot, position and a seemingly unsure opponent I called. The turn was a 4 and he bet $35, another small bet. "This is so weak" I thought. "It sickens me." I didn't think. What I did do was cut out $35, plop it on top of a stack of $100 and push that into the pot. My opponent grunted in dissatisfaction and mucked what I'm sure was a weak ace. Make a read and trust it!

A little later, Mr. Action opened for $15 and I looked down at AK of hearts in the big blind. "Please poker gods let me stick it to him so hard, so very very hard" I thought. I made it $45 to go and as expected he called. The flop came down J 9 3 with two clubs and one diamond. Yuck. What do I do now? There are not many times when checking heads up after 3 betting preflop make sense, but on a draw heavy board against a loose opponent, that is one of the times. I checked and happily he checked back. The turn was the 5 of diamonds and then I made a poor play - I bet $50. $50 is kind of a neither here nor there kind of bet. There is no way that 5 on the turn makes me anything and it looks like a really uncertain bet. If I'm going to bet, I should at least make it $75 and bet enough to get the job done. As I was thinking this exact thing to myself Mr. Action called. The river was the 5 of hearts which paired the 5 and missed the two flush draws.

I thought there was a good chance I had the best hand as Mr. Action would likely have bet any pair on the flop. Maybe he hit running 5's but that wasn't likely. With no reason to bet I checked to him and he grabbed a stack of chips. Then he went back for more. Then he slowly cut them out like he wasn't sure how much to bet, but kept cutting out stacks of $20. When he was done he had 6 little stacks of 4 chips each and said "one twenty." It's easy to think this through and come out on the other side thinking it's probably a bluff, but you feel like a real idiot if you call and lose to one pair of 3s that thought they were bluffing or a full house that was trapping you. "Of course that was a full house you idiot!" You'd think to yourself. But I made a read that it was a bluff and it was time to trust it. I called. "You're good" he said. I waited, thinking "don't show me a pair of 3's you action bastard!" but when he turned over his hand it was K2 of diamonds. Revenge! Trust it!

That was the big hand I got him on, but for the rest of the night I owned him in the small pots. It was like he knew he couldn't bluff me and he just gave up every time I bet. He didn't get a chip from me all night.

I had another big decision come up a little later. Once again I got AK of hearts (this shit is so much easier with good starting cards!) and this time I made it $25 from the cutoff. I was thinking I might end up making $14 on the pot which is what I'd get if everyone folded, but the button, the small blind, the big blind and the one limper all called me! Whoa baby! Now there was $125 out there with three betting rounds left. The flop came down A 8 7 with two clubs and to my surprise the big blind bet out $50. I've played with this guy a few times and I was close to 100% sure he didn't have a set. More likely he had an AT or AJ type of hand and didn't want to give a free card. The limper folded and I decided that I shouldn't mess around on a draw heavy board - I made it $150 to go. The bettor made a small grunt that sounded like unhappy surprise to me. Both the button and the small blind bailed and now the bettor thought for a minute and went all in! It looked like he had about $450 total, and I felt like I'd made it pretty obvious what I had. If I thought he probably had me on AK or AQ I should fold. But I couldn't get past the grunt (there was no way it was a fake grunt to lure me in!). And I also thought this guy might get stubborn with AQ or AJ. At the time I didn't consider 87 which was actually a pretty likely thing for him to have. Pile that all together along with getting roughly 2.5 to 1 on my money and I called fairly quickly. The board ran out brick, brick and I beat K5 of clubs! Get out of there flush draw! Trust that read AK!

All of these $2/$3/$5 hands happened in about an hour and my stack was soon towering over those of my opponents, none of whom had over $500.

I did have one heart breaking hand at about the 2 hour mark. Mr. Action had just tripled up from $135 to $400 after he got it all in against QQ and AK preflop with QT and managed to make a runner, runner straight (I was rooting for him so hard! Take from the others and give to me Mr. Action!). He straddled in middle position, I called $10 with two red fours along with two other players. When it got back to him Mr. Action made it $50 and two of us called, but the third guy went all in for $84 total. Yuck - I did not want to put in $84 preflop with 44! The flop came down 7 5 3 with two diamonds which was a pretty strong flop for 44. The small blind came out betting $75 and Mr. Action mucked. I didn't have any specific read on him (normally a bet of $75 into a pot of $350 is total weakness, but since it was side pot action that made it confusing) and that was a small enough bet that I could call and hope for a 4 or a 6. The turn was another good card the 2 of diamonds and my opponent shoved for about $175. I was all set for him to check and for me to shove so this threw me off.

I guestimated that there was about $600 in the pot by looking at it (there was actually $661) so I was getting a great price, but I had no idea what would make me the best hand. If he didn't have a diamond I was in great shape with 15 outs to a flush or a straight and 2 more maybe outs to a set. If he did have a diamond then I had 6 straight outs and 2 maybe outs which was not the right price. If he had a made flush I was drawing dead. In the end I couldn't get past that last part. I was expecting him to check and I figured that second bet probably meant a made flush. I made an unsure fold and hoped to see a river that didn't help me at all. It was the 8 of hearts which was good. I could breathe easy. Even if I didn't make the right move in theory, in practice I couldn't have won the pot. Then my opponent showed 6 3 off suit both black! "Wait...what?...wait, just wait...what?...Is that 6 3 off suit!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!...and the all in guy can't beat the pair of threes! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
After that I had about an hour of almost nothing happen to me. I just mucked a bunch of garbage mostly and won a $50 pot once or twice.

In the end I booked a win of $734 on the night which brings my total for Project 10K to $6,927 after 100 hours. Be sure to read the final recap post for more final thoughts.

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