I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! This was the worst Thanksgiving that I can remember. We spent the day, cooped up in the house; my wife was sick and I had a two-year old running around that I had to keep up w/. I did make a little online for Turkey day while my son was napping, but nothing significant. I’m not depressed about it being the worst Thanksgiving or anything, but it was the first time that I wasn’t w/ my family and friends on this much beloved holiday.
Friday was much more rewarding! My wife’s stomach bug was gone and we loaded up and drove an hour to her sister’s house. We helped her move for a few hours then I caught a ride w/ my cousin over to my favorite card room, the Horseshoe- Bossier City
for some Live $1/3NL action!
OUT OF THE BLOCKS FAST!
Once again, I won the first hand that I played (this is always a good sign in my book.) It wasn’t the first hand dealt to me, but the first hand that I put money into the pot with. I won a small hand w/ K-Qo on a Q high board against a black kid named Bundee (as in Al Bundee.) He had been talking a lot when he had strong hands and he was talking during this hand so I never raised him since I only had TPGK. Turns out he had a worse kicker and I missed a lot of equity in the hand. He was in lots of pots though and I really thought that I’d get another shot at him overvaluing his hand. Things ran well and I quickly picked up a good stack.
Soon enough I tied into Bundee again, this time w/ QQ on the button in a pot where everyone had limped in. The $1/3 game works out well for me since I can make my standard 4x+1 BB per limper raise that I normally make online. It never worked the same for $1/2; the SPR’s were always screwed up and I always felt like I was playing w/ a short-stack. Of course, back then I didn’t know why I felt this way, but now that I understand SPRs it makes plenty of sense. Here’s the cliff notes from PNL, SPR= Stack to Pot Ratio. You buyin for $200 at a $1/2 game and the normal pfr is $12, w/ one caller this leaves an SPR of ~8. At $1/3NL, you buyin for $300 and make the same raise to $12 and you now have an SPR of ~12. You’ll have to read the book for further understanding.
Okay, I’ve got QQ on the button and make it $25 to go with a >$500 stack. There are three callers, one of which is Bundee who is still >100BBs deep. The 9 seat is an old man who doesn’t play all that well and calls way too often. He’ll raise pf w/ AA but not AK or QQ. I’m in the 2 seat so I can’t really see around the dealer to get his stack size and I’m not sure who the other caller was as he quickly folded on the flop of 8-6-6r to Bundee’s $25 donk bet. The 9 seat called the $25 and I made it $100 to go and got called in both spots! OH BOY! (Pot = ~$410)
The turn was another 8 and both players checked to me again and I decided that I may want to try some sort of pot control just incase one of them just filled up. For some reason the old man in the 9 seat thought the hand was over and he turned up his pocket 7s. The river spiked a Q for me and when both players checked again, I made it $200 to go and Bundee quickly jumped into this boiling pot w/ his remaining $183. I assume the old man folded to this action because the dealer swept his cards into the muck. I turned over my Qs full and scooped a $775 pot. Within the first 3 hours of being there, I was sitting north of a $650 profit and changed gears to an ultra-tight mode for a while to help protect my win.
There was a TAG regular in the 1 seat on my right, and since I recognized him and he could tell that I knew what I was doing we started talking and having a good time. We talked about our opponent’s tendencies, mistakes and tells, and also discussed the change in the game dynamic that the HSBC’s stake change to $1/3NL from $1/2 NL had brought about. I want to mention a hand because it sets up the next that I want to talk about. “Ace” in the one seat, ended up winning his first pot after having sat there for 2 hours. He had limped from EP w/ A
and I had folded behind him w/ A-10o. He won the pot uncontested when an Ace fell on the flop. I made mention to him after the hand was over that I had folded A-10. And he asked if I had tightened up trying to protect my win. We talked about this briefly and he knew that I wasn’t getting involved w/o a premium hand for a while.
Within 20 minutes, Ace raises to $13 from EP and I look down at a pair of Snowmen (8-8) and elect to do some set mining since if I miss it will only cost me $13 and I can win a big hand if I hit. There are several callers to help bloat the pot pf and the flop comes J
. Yahtzee! Middle set! Let’s go! Ace leads out for $40, I make it $90 to go and the 3 seat pushes all in for $148 total. It folds around to Ace who just calls, which really surprises me. He knows that I’m rocking it up, why would he call my raise and a reraise behind me? I thought at least 20 seconds about laying down my hand, but who can lay down middle set here? Ace has about another $90 behind him, so I don’t feel that exposed in the hand incase he has top set. If he doesn’t and the 3 seat has the flopped str8, I’ve got a good draw for the board pairing to catch me up with a possible side pot from Ace ta boot. Would Ace call here w/ overpairs? I don’t think that he would, especially after the conversation that we had had about the A-10 hand. Against my better judgment, I called the additional $58. The turn was a brick and Ace pushed his remaining $88 into the pot. @%#$&%$#%^$#%$!!!!! There’s no way I can lay down my hand now getting 6.5 to 1 w/ middle set. I call again and sure enough Ace has the set of Jacks, the board pairs on the river (not an 8 obv) and Ace scoops the near $700 pot.
EXERCISING THE STOP-LOSS
I had set my stop-loss at $700 and this pot brought me down to $625. So I quickly got up, grabbed a rack and made a B-line for the cage to cash in my $325 win
before I hit full monkey tilt. The weather was quite frigid for north Louisiana, but I went out in the cold anyway to sit on a bench and call up my good buddy BJJIII
for some emotional reinforcement. He quickly reminded me that I had just cashed out a winner while he was busy keeping Harper at home (Mr. Mom! LOL.). I didn’t feel so bad anymore and I don’t even know if I would have tilted, but who needs the added risk from that situation? This was the first time that I had acted on a stop-loss and I felt quite proud of myself for having the fortitude to follow through with it. Yeah for poker discipline!
After a walk around the 2nd floor craps and blackjack tables, I walked the High Roller area on the 3rd floor then headed back down to the cardroom on the 1st floor to see if my cousin wanted to grab something to eat. It was around 5pm and I was starving! Luckily, he hit a set and a str8 while I was cooling off and he had gotten back to even, so he entertained the idea of grabbing some grub. (He hates to get up when he’s down.)
The HSBC buffet isn’t near as big as the Beau Rivage's
or even it’s counter-part the Horseshoe- Tunica
, but the service was awesome and the food was great! Just an FYI, Doyle Brunson considers the buffet at the HS-T to be the best buffet in the world. On Friday nights the HS-BC has a seafood buffet, which is incredible. I’m more of a buffalo wings kind of guy and if you ever want to surprise me, that’s the meal to bring. Being raised in the great state of Louisiana, spicy food is what I crave! I still give it an A for being one of the best buffets that I have partaken of, the Chinese food was exceptionally good!
DIDN'T MISS A BEAT
Immediately upon sitting down, I’m dealt Q
in the CO and limp in behind several limpers. The flop is K
, the SB leads for $10 into the $12 pot, there is a call ahead of me and I call behind. The turn is a 9
to give me the nutz and the SB leads for $15 into the $42 pot. The BB makes it $45 to go and I smooth call hoping to keep the SB in the hand. Unfortunately, he folds. The river is a brick (5
) and the BB makes it $40 to go and I raise him up to $100, which he instantly calls (Grrr! I left money on the table!) He doesn’t show and I rake in a $180 profit from my 1st hand back from the break. I love playing poker w/ other people’s money!
TABLE CHANGE PLEASE!?!
Not long after this a guy in his early 30s sits down and immediately raises his 1st 3 out of 4 hands. My cousin recognizes him from previous sessions as a good and aggressive player. I take the hint and scout out a soft seat one table over and make the change. This table seems to be filled w/ people who are laughing and enjoying themselves and my visual clues lead me to believe that most are playing poker because it’s fun and that they don’t need no stinkin’ books to tell them how to play poker! Good thing for me that I was right!
There is one good player at this table in the 1 seat. He’s young and plays a lot of hands, but his pfr is usually small (as in min raises.) He does raise big w/ big hands, but otherwise he’s just min-raising pf fairly often. He picks up a lot of orphan pots and no one is standing up to him. He’s about $700 deep when I sit down w/ $600.
Mostly, I’m raising pf and taking down w/ Cbets, which is quite rare at live games, but things continue to run very well for me. I limp-rr pocket Kings UTG+1 for a decent win AI pf vs. A
. That guy reloaded for $100 at least 4x at our table, I should have chased him around the room when he took a table transfer. I actually got into a super +EV situation vs. the 1 seat when I had AA vs. his QQ. The board was 6
and we checked the turn and river. That was a huge missed opportunity, though I did win about $100 in the hand. I bet some combo draws and made some loose moves to keep my image loose. I showed down my favorite hand 6
after taking the pot w/ a Cbet. I got a lot of funny looks for raising it UTG. =)
The faces changed out a bit and I’m up another $600 for this second session of the night. A redneck sits down to my immediate left; he’s in the 8 seat. His type is the kind that is aggressive all of the time and is too proud to learn how to play well. He’s not betting very big except for on a few occasions and he is chasing and hitting draws to win some very big pots. He’s dodging well when others are strong, but his small-string of wins are just a mirage and a lucky run. He bullies most of the table around, hits 2 OESD’s to swell his head and his stack. I start chatting it up w/ him and find that he is exactly how I thought he would be. He pushes me off a TPWK hand once, then I countered him a round later w/ a total bluff. He was buying my black chips off of me because he thought they were cool. He let himself get a little short stacked in the red chips department and I used that against him. In a BVB situation, I open-limped the SB and he raised me. I called and we saw a ragged flop. I could tell that he didn’t hit any of it, and I floated his Cbet OOP. I led the turn brick for $20, he had 3 red chips in front of him and he commented on not wanting to break his black chip down. I obliged him and pulled back one red chip so that he wouldn’t have to break his black chip on this street knowing that I’d fire the river and force him to break it or fold. Sure enough, the river bricked and I led for $25, he squeezed that black chip then threw his cards face up into the muck. A-10o, which completely had my A-4o crushed. I looked at him and said, “You know the difference between me and you? I can play well after the flop.” He laughed and we resumed our normal banter.
One round later I’m on the button and open raise to $12 w/ Aces and the redneck, of course, defends his SB, the BB folds. He’s ~$250 deep at this point. The flop is 6
and I Cbet for $25 and he calls. The turn is the 7
completing the FD and the many SD’s that were out. He checks again, I push $60 into the pot and he check-raises me all in! I checked my Aces and the Ace
is indeed in my hand. I think about it a second and decide that I can’t fold this hand to his guy. I’ve got outs if he has me beat at this point, but I really don’t think that he’s got me beat here. It’s around $150 for me to call and I bite the bullet and do it. He turns over J
for a pair of 6s. He should have left w/ his 2 black chips a long time ago.
YOU PLAY ON THE INTERNETS?
I’m now >$1k deep and feel like a juggernaut! The redneck is replace by a young guy who hits 2 pair on his first 3 hands to run his $200 up into a sizable stack. I ask him if he plays on the internet and he comments that he doesn’t since everyone just pushes all in all of the time. I probe a little further and he admits that he has only played fun money online! Yippee for me, I love live poka!!
I did get to bet a black chip in this session and get paid off w/ the nutz! The new kid above limps from MP right behind me. I have the 10
and am deep enough to play any hand I want to and not have to worry about losing much. I’ve got ironclad reads on the whole table and feel in control of this tiny universe. The flop is Q
and I led out for $15 when it checks to me. The new kid calls along w/ a guy in the 4 seat who called preflop almost every hand; he’d then call the flop then fold to the turn bet w/o fail. (I love live poka!) The turn brings my money card, the J
, the 4 seat checks and I bet $40, which the new kid calls and you guessed it, the 4 seat folds. The river is a brick and I look at my loose $5 chips, not enough there to make the bet I want to make, I have 3 stacks of 40 deep reds, but they’re stacked up w/ the paint lined up w/ one another and I’d hate to break ‘em down, so I toss a black chip into the pot which gets called. Woo Hoo! Nutz buddy! He comments that he didn’t think people bet their draws all that often. “Well, I’m not your avg bear!” He showed J
and said that the turn card was the perfect card for him to lose a lot of chips. I don't know why he called w/ a lonely pair of 7s there.
The Stack is >$1,400 deep at this point, which, if you want a mental picture is 4 stacks of 40 tall reds w/ 6 black chips on the top. Holla!! It’s big enough that people are stopping to ask me what I’m going to do w/ all that money. Christmas, man! Christmas!
The game breaks soon as I’ve got all the money wrapped up into neatly aligned stacks w/ 2 black chips straddling 2 red stacks each 3x. I’m only playing w/ the loose red and white chips that I can never seem to get rid of, and no one there was aggressive enough to start bullying me beyond this tiny stack of loose chips. Did I mention that I love live poka! I cashed out my $1,205 win instead of transferring to a new table. I sat around another hour or so waiting for my cousin to get back to even (which he never did.) We left the casino w/ me dragging him out at 4:30 in the a.m. I rolled into the house at 6:15. $1,530 settles a lot of anger about why I was out so late. Thank goodness for the big wins!