I was back at the Matrix today playing $2/$3/$5 with a $500 max buy in today and got into a few interesting spots.
On the first hand I raised KQ of diamonds to $25 in middle position over a $5 limper, got called by the button and the big blind made it $90 to go. I've played with this guy more than 10 times in the past 6 months and he's somewhere between OK and good. I don't see too many holes in his game other than he calls people down too lite, but I don't ever see him leave with big stacks of chips either. Also he looks like a serial killer.
KQ is a significant underdog to his 3 betting range which is probably TT+ and AQ+, but I was suited, had position and was getting a little better than 2 to 1 pot odds, so I called. The other dude in the pot folded and the flop came down T 8 4 all diamonds giving me a flush. Hooray! It's pretty rare to flop a flush and given that my opponent had a little less than 2X the pot left in his stack there was a decent chance we'd get it all in.
Mr. Serial Killer bet out $95 and I just called hoping he'd go all in on the turn no matter what he had. The turn paired the 4 which I didn't love, but was most likely irrelevant and as expected Mr. Serial Killer moved all in for $307. I snap called and the river was the A of clubs. I was hyper focused on not wanting a 4 or a diamond to come, but I showed my hand first and as Mr. Serial Killer rolled over his hand (showing zero emotion) I knew he had AA before I even saw the fronts of the cards. It turned out he had the ace of diamonds and the ace of spades so I was in fact needing to fade a diamond and a 4 as well as the ace. Stupid ace on the river!
The next hand was even more dramatic. I was in for a total of $800 on the day sitting on a stack of about $850 when two players to my right limped in for $5. I looked down at KJ off and made it $30 to go. The first limper who had a little over $900 in his stack made the call and the other guy folded. This guy was a fortyish Asian guy that I didn't recognize. In the hour or two he'd been at the table he'd been utterly forgettable.
The flop came down KK2 with one spade and Mr. Forgettable checked to me. I bet out $25 which is a really small bet into a roughly $70 pot but I wanted him to come along with pocket pairs or whatever he might have. Betting small like this when you have the goods also allows you to bet small when you don't have shit on similar boards and not give anything away to anyone who happens to be paying attention.
On the turn things got even better as the J of spades rolled off. Now I had the nuts and my opponent was almost certain to be drawing stone cold dead. I figured my best chance to make anything off this hand was the check it back and hope he'd take a shot at it on the river as it wasn't likely that he had a hand that could call another bet. So when Mr. Forgettable checked, I quickly checked behind him.
The river rolled off the A of spades and to my delight, Mr. Forgettable bet out $110. I figured this was probably a bluff, but I was hoping he made a flush. I no longer had the nuts and I couldn't beat AK or AA, but I heavily discounted those hands because my opponent just called preflop initially and then just called my raise. I considered going really big with a raise to $500 thinking that he'd probably never fold a flush here given the turn action, but decided that $310 was a better bet. He paused for about 10 seconds and looked over at my chip stack twice. Then he said "All in." I didn't think too long and called for another $500 or so figuring he probably had either 22 or my turn check convinced him I was weak and he went for the super power bluff. He had AA too! Stupid ace on the river!
It turned out this guy had literally no raising range preflop. He limped in with KK twice and flopped sets both times! He also just called with AK, and every other hand he played. Zero raises or 3 bets preflop in the 6 hours I played with him. It was very odd.
This hand hit me pretty hard. I felt it in my chest. As I was pushing my chips in I had about $10 in $1 chips that I was crushing with a death grip in my left hand and the dealer had to remind me that those went in the pot as well when I called all in. I almost got up and left but I looked down at my phone and saw it was 6:02. It was still rush hour so I decided to stick it out a little longer and pulled out five $100 white chips from my pocket.
I won 2 of the next 5 pots neither of which was that exciting, but I had about $650 in front of me when I looked down a two red kings on the button. Two players limped in front of me and I made it $30 to go. The only caller was the guy just to my right who was a really good looking, sharp dressed dude in his late twenties or early thirties who was working on his laptop in between hands.
The flop came down QT6 all diamonds and Mr. Business checked to me. I bet out $45 and he called me fairly quickly. The turn was the 2 of clubs and I bet out $80 into the $160 pot. Again Mr. Business called. The river was magical - it was the A of diamonds making me the nuts! Even better Mr. Business lead out for $200 into the $320 pot. I had $496 left in my stack so my only move was all in, but I waited for maybe 25 seconds before shoving to make it seem like I wasn't so sure.
When he didn't fold instantly I knew he must have the J of diamonds. My main hope was that he thought I was still steaming from the KJ vs AA hand which had generated heavy discussion at the table. He even said "The only hand you could have with the K of diamonds in it is pocket kings." Eventually he picked up his cards and I saw he had K of clubs and J of diamonds. I thought he was going to toss them into the muck, but he eventually put chips in the pot and I showed him he had the right read but not the sense to trust it. Sweet, sweet ace on the river!
A couple of hands later I picked up AA and won $300 on that hand. It felt like it had been about 45 minutes since my KJ full house disaster, but I looked at my phone at it was 6:17. 15 minutes before I'd been almost ready to leave an $800 loser on the day and now I was up $300. I stayed until 8:45 and left with a $600 win.