Monday, October 12, 2015

What a Difference a Day Makes - A Record Breaking Cash Game Session

Coming into Thursday night I'd played 5 sessions since my last post booking 3 wins for about $900 in profit.

About 10 minutes after I got to the Oaks Club they started a new $2/$3/$5 no limit hold'em game and I bought in for the $500 maximum.

On the first hand I got dealt AQ in the big blind and when the action got to me there had been a raise to $25 and three callers. I made it $125 to go, the raiser folded, as did the first caller, but the second caller to my surprise went all in for $300. Given the action most of the time I'd expect him to have a pocket pair in the 77-TT range against which I'd be about 45% to win and I only needed to risk another $175 to win the $475 already in the pot. Sadly the board ran out all garbage and I lost to AK.

I pulled out another three hundred dollar bills and bought back up to the max. On the 2nd hand I got dealt a few players called $5 and I threw in another $2 to call out of the small blind with 86. The flop came down 7 6 5 giving me middle pair and an open ended straight draw. I bet out $20, got two callers and then someone moved all in for $175. I had about a 33% chance to make the straight and just over 50% chance to make two pair or better. There was $235 in the pot and I had to call another $155. This was a close decision. If I was up against 98 or even 87 I was totally cooked and even against something like 76 or 55 I wasn't getting the right price. But I decided to go for it. The turn and river were both bricks and I lost to 75. Ugh.

The rest of the night went similarly and after a little less than three hours I left a $1,415 loser. About 1 time in 20 I'll have a loss of that size at $2/$3/$5 and it always sucks. I went home had a glass of wine and went to bed early...

(beep, beep, beep...beep, beep, beep...beep, beep, beep). That's the noise I heard outside my bedroom window at 4 in the morning. It was loud enough to wake me up, but I felt like it could have been going on for a while. (beep...beep...beep) I tried to go back to sleep. I failed. I looked out the window and didn't see anything, but it sounded like it could be far away. (beep...beep...beep). I heard one of my neighbors go outside to investigate and I silently cursed him for the intrusion that was surely his fault. (beep...beep...beep) After 15 minutes I decided there was no way I was getting back to sleep and went out to make sure it wasn't something in my backyard.

Since it was 4 a.m. I strolled out there in my boxer briefs and discovered to my horror that the sound was coming from my garage! We're remodeling the first floor of our house so our garage is packed floor to ceiling with furniture and boxes to go along with the normal random garage junk. In my partially asleep state I struggled to find the light and when I found it I wasn't sure if it was smokey or my eyes were cloudy with sleep. (BEEP BEEP BEEP) The sounds was emanating from deep in the room and panic rose inside me as I realized that I was the dick neighbor producing loud beeps at 4 a.m.

I climbed over my dining room table and cracked my head on the garage door opener. Shit! Could the garage door opener be beeping? I unplugged it and nothing happend. I couldn't quite pinpoint where the noise was coming from and I was staring at a set of boxes that looked similar in size to where the ark ended up at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie. I went back to the other side of the room and cracked my head again on the garage door opener. SHIT! I realised that there was no course of action other than to start opening boxes. 10 minutes later on the bottom of a stack in the center of the room I found a smoke detector that was going off. I have no idea why it was going off. There was no smoke in there and it was in a closed box. I cracked my head on the garage door opener one more time for good measure while climbing out of the room and spent the next hour thinking about carbon monoxide and garage fires before finally falling back asleep.

Thursday was a stinking pile of beaver shit, but Friday dawned a new day!

When I counted my money I discovered an extra hundred meaning I'd only lost $1,315 the night before.

I made my way back to the Oaks Friday night, again they started a new table of $2/$3/$5 shortly after I arrived and again I bought in for $500.

In the first four hours I had 5 hands come up where I flopped a flush draw and every time I ended up playing a $1,000 pot. I love pushing my draws hard and I'm used to taking down a lot of pots in those spots when everyone folds. But this time someone had the goods every time and either shoved on me or called my all in shove. Luckily I made 4 of the 5 draws and found myself about $1,900 ahead!

My regular readers will know that a $2,000 win at $2/$3/$5 has been something like the 4 minute mile for me. I've gotten to +$1,900 a few times this year but couldn't seem to crack $2,000.

About this time I got dealt KK and raised to $25. After a few calls the small blind made it $125 to go. This guy was a tight player who had been pretty conservative and seemed a little inexperienced. I was almost positive he had a big hand. I considered just calling and giving the others a chance to put in another $100, but I decided my best bet would be to hopefully get it all in against Mr. $125. I made it $300 to go, everyone else folded and Mr. $125 called. I silently called for no ace and the flop came out Q 5 4. My opponent checked, I put him all in for another $300 and after about 20 seconds he reluctantly called. The turn was a king! Zing! The river was an 8 and I took down the $1,300 pot.

Now I was $2,500+ to the good. I sent my wife this picture and told her I was about to head home.

That's 540 five dollar chips, 5 hundreds and 22 ones (I was actually in for $570 after a small rebuy in the early stages of the session). When you consider that 5 of those stacks of yellow is the most you're legally allowed to buy in for in this game, it's not easy to end up with 6X that amount in front of you.

She said "Holy smokes! You sure this isn't a day to really milk it?" As I was reading that text I got KK again and stacked someone for $250. I decided maybe I should stay.

Then I really, really, really got put to the test. I was in seat 4 and there was a guy in seat 10 who had close to $2,000 in front of him (I'll call him Mr. Patient). We'd been crushing everyone else all night and had both sent a few people packing.

Mr. Patient likes to talk all the time about how his strategy is to be patient. He is good at waiting for a good hand, but when he gets one he isn't afraid to get it all in, often make huge overbets or calling down no matter what.

On the hand in question seat 3 opened for $25, I called with QJ of clubs, seat 5 called and seat 8 called. The action got around to Mr. Patient who was in the small blind and he made it $125 to go. Mr. Patient I knew would not raise in this spot without a big hand and just about all he could have was the pairs JJ-AA, or AK. That's a hand range that crushes QJ suited, and I would normally never put in another $100 preflop when I knew I was behind. But I thought if I called the guys behind me might also call too and more importantly Mr. Patient still had a huge stack in front of him and if I hit the flop hard getting his whole stack was a possibility. I called as did seat 5 and seat 8.

The flop came down Q 6 5 with two clubs giving me top pair and a flush draw. This was a fantastic flop for me as I maybe could have the best hand and had 14 cards that could come on the turn or the river that would make me two pair or better. To my delight Mr. Patient checked and at that point I put him squarely on AK. I bet out $300 into the $425 pot content to tangle with the other two guys in the pot. Seat 5 went all in for $375 and seat 8 went all in for another $8. Then to my shock and horror Mr. Patient went all in for $1,775!

At that point I figured Mr. Patient had AA, seat 5 could have had 55 or 66, some hand with a Q in it, a flush draw or 87 and seat 8 could have anything. There was about $500 in the main pot that in order to win I'd need to beat all three of them. If I called there would be another $1,100 in the first side pot that would be up for grabs between Mr. Patient, seat 5 and I. And there would be a second side pot with $2,800 - $1,400 from Mr. Patient and the same from me - that would be just between the two of us. This was a really convoluted situation.

In the end I went with the simple analysis - I had to put in another $1,475 with a chance to win ~$2,900 that was already in the pot meaning I was getting about 2 to 1 with a 50% chance I'd make two pair or better. I called.

By this point people from other games had gathered around the table and when I called there was a big "Ohhhhhhhhhhh!" from the small crowd. There was more money in that one pot than in all of the stacks at the three surrounding smaller stakes tables.

When the cards got turned up Mr. Patient had QQ! AHHHHHH! Then seat 5 showed A8 of clubs! AHHHHHHH! Now I was drawing dead for the main pot and the first side pot and only had about a 20% chance of winning the big second side pot. Mr. Patient started saying "pair the board, pair the board" over and over. The turn was the 4 of diamonds. "Pair the board, pair the board." I tried not to think about how much money I'd have left after I lost this pot. The river was...the 2 of clubs! The smallest, most lowly card in the deck! The card that people ask for most on the river when they just want nothing to change so their hand will hold up. I stood up and said "YES!" with a small fist pump. I only won the side pot, but it was big enough that I netted $900 on the hand and that 2 of clubs was worth $2,800 to me. Seat 5 won the $1,600 in the main and first side pot, and Mr. Patient walked off to I'm sure tell everyone who would listen that he lost a $4,400 pot with top set against two flush draws.

The next day my wife and I went out and bought a big ass sectional couch with a big ass ottoman that has big ass storage inside and paid for the insurance against damage and it was almost exactly $2,800. I may or may not call that couch the deuce of clubs.

Now I getting close to $4,000 to the good.

Then I saw a flop with 97, flopped a straight draw on a Q 8 6 flop, check raised the flop, missed on the turn, bet the turn anyway, hit the straight on the river, bet the river and got called. " were drawing the whole time!?" my opponent said. Actually I was semi-bluffing, but I didn't clarify and just said "Yep!"

3 or 4 hands later I got dealt 77 and called a raise to $25 from a guy I'll call Mr. Loose. Mr. Loose was one of the key reasons I was still there. He played a ton of hands and was fairly aggressive, but I had a good read on him and I knew if I could make a big hand against him I'd have a good chance to get his stack. Two other players called the $25 and I thought "If I make a set and win a big pot the whole table is going to go from jealous of my stack to just wanting to flat out punch me in the face."

Sure enough, I flopped a set! The flop came down Q T 7 and as expected Mr. Loose bet out $80. I just called and another player called behind. The turn was another T making me a full house. Now Mr. Loose checked. I decided to bet small and make it look like I was trying to bluff at it. I bet out $100 into the $340 pot. The other guy in the pot had about $250 left and Mr. Loose was sitting on about $600 more. After about 20 seconds the other guy called and Mr. Loose immediately went all in! Part of me wanted to just snap call, stand up and shout "AH HA! I KNEW I'D GET YOU! TASTE DEFEAT AT THE HANDS OF MY MIGHTY FULL HOUSE!" But there was still a chance to pick up an extra $150 from the other guy so I stalled for 30 seconds as if I wasn't sure. After I called the other guy reluctantly put in his last $150. The river was a 6 and Mr. Loose showed KK! BOOM!

After not winning $2,000 in a session all year I won $3,100 in about 90 minutes after already being up $2,600. I played a few more hand but at that point the table was so decimated there wasn't much money left to be won. I packed it in and won $5,748 on the night!

Here's what my chip stacked looked like pretty close to the end.

That's 940 five dollar chips, 15 hundreds and about 15 ones. I've had more money in front of me before (not a lot more), but never so many actual chips. Pretty sweet!

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