Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Project Phaser: Phase 3.3 (Another Bay 101 $350) Good Reads

I was back at it today at Bay 101 with 10,000 chips and back to the same structure from Monday. As you may recall yesterday's event was billed as the Monster Stack with 25,000 chips! I would call this Monster Bull Shit!

The Monster Stack actually had less play in it than the regular stack. For example, in level 3 today the blinds were 50/100 with a 100 big blind ante, while yesterday level 3 was 200/300 with a 300 ante. A cost of 250 chips a round vs 800 a round (more than 3X as big) and starting stacks of 10K and 25K (2.5X as big). They could start us with a billion chips, but if the blinds are 50,000,000/100,000,000 it's still 100 big blinds. This is actually fake outrage! I'm not upset about it, just thought it was worth noting.

On to today! I had my first hand of note at the 50/100 blinds with a 100 ante level, getting dealt 88 and raising one caller to 400. The caller called my raise to 400 because as they say, haters gonna hate, players gonna play and callers gonna call. The flop came down K 7 2, the villain checked, I bet 700 and he called pretty quickly.

The villain in this hand was a guy I'd played with once or twice before and he's a recreational player who is not very good, but he's absolutely loose and aggressive. He was an early position caller and I didn't think there was much of a chance that he'd just call preflop with a K and if he did I thought he'd check raise it here. I also thought there was a good chance he'd bet out or check raise a flush draw. Discounting those, I put him on something like 76 suited or 97 suited. The turn was a black J, he checked and I checked it back. The river was a really interesting card - the A of hearts - and my opponent fired out 1,500!

You'd think with the front door flush draw getting there and three over cards 88 would be an easy muck, but I stopped to think this through. What's interesting about the A is that when most players raise preflop, bet flop and check turn they have a ton of Ax type of hands in their range of possible hands. Even people who aren't good at hand reading know this. It looks like I should have AQ or AT here. So if this guy did have a K or a J in his hand he's not going to bet that for value when the ace shows up. If he did have a flush draw there is a good chance he'd go for a check raise here. Combine that with the fact that I thought he'd push a draw on the flop if he had one and that puts me back at my original read of him having one small pair. After a short delay I made the call and he turned over 44! Huzzah!

I won a couple of other small pots and got my stack up to about 15K when the next hand came along. A new guy sat down at our table and on his first hand he opened to 375 under the gun at 75/150 blinds.

 I didn't recognize him, but my snap judgement was that he knew what he was doing. He was a 40ish Asian guy with a shitload of tattoos (he had two different sets of 4 letter words on his knuckles with one letter on each finger) and he hand a backpack with him (usually a giveaway for good players - casual players don't bring a backpack, but if you're planning to be there all day and want to be comfortable you bring a lot of shit with you). I looked down at QQ which 97% of the time I'm going to 3 bet, but I just called. Something not totally at my top level of thinking was telling me not to 3 bet it.

I did think, this guy just sat down and usually people want to get settled for a few minutes before they play a hand so this one is not on the fence and since he's under the gun it must be a really strong hand. Even still QQ is the 3rd best possible hand so it's still probably a 3 bet.

Looking back I could make the argument that normally a tight UTG range would be TT+ and AQ+ or AJ suited, but most of those hands make it 450+ in that spot and really it's only KK or AA that would go for the small sizing from up front. Also I could add that early stages are about survival and I should minimize my chance of going broke. But I honestly wasn't thinking any of that at the time.

So I called with my black QQ and the button and big blind also called. The flop came out 866 with two spades and the main villain bet 900 into the 1,800 chip pot. I just called and everyone else folded. The turn was the J of spades and now he checked. I didn't really see a reason to bet here. If he had AA or KK or a big spade he wasn't folding and if he had something like AK, AQ or AJ I think it was worth giving him a free card for the potential to give him a chance to bluff at the river. I checked it back, the river was the 5 of spades and he checked again. Now I came out betting 1,500 which was a small bet hoping to get a crying call from AA or KK or even TT with the T of spades. He looked back at this cards, paused for a moment and made the call. I showed my hand and he turned over KK with the K of spades! Ack! This was not great, but should have been so much worse. If I play it fast I'm going to have a hard time getting away from it on that run out.

On the next hand of note I made it 600 with red 99 at the 100/200 level and only the big blind called me. The flop came down T 8 5 with two diamonds and one spade and to my surprise my opponent led into me for 900. I was thinking this could be a T or a flush draw, but whatever it was betting into the preflop raiser from the big blind on a board like this is odd. I made the call and the turn came out the J of spades making me an open ended straight draw. My opponent bet again, this time for 1,200 and I decided to put the heat on. The only hand that made any sense that was value betting here was JT and everything else was getting a little out of line. I made it 3,500 to go fully expecting to take it down (it's not just the 3,500 here, but knowing that if I really have the goods I'm putting in at least another 5,000 on the river so there is no cheap way to get to showdown), but my opponent quickly called. The river was a disaster, the ace of spades and my opponent fired for 2,000. Now I did not think he was out of line. This sizing looked like a value bet for sure and I figured I'd run into AT or some kind of Tx hand that had two spades in it. I folded and my opponent showed Q4 of spades! Ack! What a goof ball play this guy made. I lost the hand, but felt good about sniffing out the oddness of his line.

So those were my good reads, but in the end I just didn't get anywhere today. I had another hand where I flopped open ended, played it aggressively and missed. That took me down from 6,200 to about 2,900. Then with blinds of 200/300 and a 300 ante I shoved with A8 from the cutoff, the button called me with KK and the board ran out Q J T 7 2.

I didn't hang around to see what the prizes were and don't know exactly where I finished. My $10,000 starting bankroll is now at $10,530. Tomorrow Omaha!

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