Horseshoe, Bossier City, LA
One thing that I am starting to realize in live play is that table selection is vastly more important than it is for online play. Equally important is being able to change gears to the needed style for the table. Walking into the Shoe this Saturday, I was feeling great about my game and well rested. Upon being seated I immediately recognized one young player as a very tough and aggressive opponent that I had played with before. He already had a deep stack and was pushing the pace at the table. To his left was another aggressive player, but I had never played with him before. It seemed that one of them was raising pre-flop on 2 out of 3 hands, and I’m not talking about $6 or $8 raises, it was costing $17 to see a flop whether they were in position or in the blinds. The rest of the players looked decent, and there didn’t seem to be a really soft spot anywhere. I decided to play some locked down poker until a good opportunity presented itself, or a weakness became apparent.
When I say locked down poker, I meant locked down poker. I was playing 5 to 10% of my hands. I was card dead except for one suited big slick, a low pocket pair and a few suited connectors that I was able to see the flop with. I was playing so tight and my cards were so bad that every time I raised pre-flop, everyone folded to me. One time, I raised with Q-4o from the button into 4 limpers just to steal the limps and loosen up my image. The young LAG had folded the hand and walked away from the table and I saw this as a great opportunity. Sure enough, everyone gave me tons of respect and folded their hands to my raise of $15. I’d been sitting at this table for about 3 hours when this happened and not too long after it I was able to see a flop with the Doyle Brunson hand 10-2o from the big blind. The flop just looked ripe for the picking, but it was a multiway pot and I was out of position. When the table checked around I decided to bluff at any safe looking card. The turn didn’t disappoint me, it was an off suit deuce. I made a pot sized bet of $10 and got called by the button player to my right. He appeared to be on a draw, so once again I decided to bet any safe card that might fall off. The river was an absolute blank (for me and any draws), so I fired another $15 out and the button folded. Sometimes it pays to have a mega-tight image!!!
Not long later, the young LAG knocked the player to his left out and within an hour racked his chips and made a table change. I moved into his seat for a better table position, and luckily the table made a change to a new cast over the course of an hour and the dynamics were more to my liking. The mood lightened up, people were limping into every pot and it was everyone’s Saturday night home game. I didn’t take the TAG route pre-flop in this situation. I played more loose-passive pre-flop and TAG post-flop. There was another young LAG to my right, but it was easy to discern that he was a tournament player and lacked the skill and aggression to dominate this loose-passive table. I let this young guy from Dallas do most of the raising and pot building, I just wanted to see a flop and then out maneuver these guys. There was an Asian guy who seemed decent and then a bunch of old country men who wanted to see a flop with whatever. The one guy in hand 2, seemed to chase draws with no regard for pot odds or over-bets or whatever, I mean, he was the 2 -3 guy mentioned in that hand.
I'd bled down to $130 and had just decided to reload another $100. (Boy am I glad that I did this, as you’ll soon see.) I'm in for $400 at this point. I've been card dead for the 5 hours that I had been here.
Most of table limps around to me and I limp Q 9 on the button.
Table checks around and I am happy to check behind them in this spot to take off a free card.
SB bets $22, BB calls $22, UTG+1 folds, MP2 calls $22, CO folds, Hero raises to $70, SB calls $48, BB calls $48, MP3 folds.
2 checks, Hero bets $100, SB calls $100, BB folds
Hero shows the nutz!!!!!!
SB show 10
Hero wins $438.00
NICE SLOWPLAY, BOSS!!!!!
About 10 minutes later
The Asian man at the table is on monkey tilt after his K-K gets run down by 2
on a 3-3-4 flop.
Hero is dealt 6
in the CO
UTG+1 calls $2, MP1 calls $2, MP3 (Asian guy) raises to $12, Hero calls $12, button folds, SB calls $11, 2 folds, MP1 calls $10.
2 checks, Asian guy bets $25, Hero calls $25, SB calls $25, MP1 folds.
2 checks, Hero bets $50, SB calls $50, Asian guy raises to $133 and is All in, Hero calls $83, SB calls $83.
SB checks, Hero checks
Asian guy shows K
for a pair of Kings
Hero shows 6
for a set of 6s
Hero wins $517.00
I didn't move all in on the river because I felt that the SB was on a draw and wouldn't call me anyway. He didn't have much behind regardless.
Villain (an intelligent looking black man) just sat down in the Asian guys vacant seat, so I don't know him and he doesn't know me. Everyone else knows that I am LP/A at this weak cash table (because LAG or TAG is just spinning your wheels.) I'm now the deepest stack at the table after winning those 2 huge pots, villain has ~$200.
Hero is dealt K
on the button.
4 players limp, Hero calls $2, SB calls $1, BB checks
Flop = A
Everyone checks to me, Hero bets $10, 5 folds, CO (black man) calls $10
CO checks, Hero bets $25, CO raises to $75, Hero???
I feel like my flop and turn bets were good, I definitely know where my hand stands at this point. I don't see checking behind w/ 2 pair on the turn. Villain likely has the str8, but I have 9 flush outs + 4 Full house outs, I can't see laying this down here, ever. Villain could also check behind on the river for an easy showdown.
Hero calls $50
CO moves AI for $120, Hero folds.
The principle of keeping your stack full came in very good use during this session. Without that $100 rebuy in there just before those 2 big hands hit, my win would have been significantly shorter. Just to clarify for the readers who are trying to learn something from my blog, if you feel that you are a good player in the game that you are in, you should always try to keep your stack full. If you are at a skill disadvantage to the rest of the table, then keeping a shorter stack is better as it will limit your losses and limit many of the tougher decisions post-flop as all of your chips will be in the middle well before the river gets there... usually.
Just to point out how bad my hands were for this session, I had AKs 3x, AA, KK, QQ, JJ and 10-10 0x, AQ 0x, AJo 1x. Overall for the day, the cards were really dry and I only solidly hit the flop about 5 times, 2 of these made the difference in the whole trip though, along with the change in the table dynamics.
Total trip profit/(loss) = +$350 in 5.5 hours. IT WAS A GOOT DAY!!!!!