What can I say? It was an awesome trip, I was reading people really well and the Horseshoe - Bossier City
was up to its usual high standards, I couldn’t have scripted a better weekend. As I look through my notes I feel that I was clicking on all cylinders. I made one really sick call and one really big lay-down—lay-downs aren’t that tough for me, but playing sheriff isn’t my forte.
The ‘Shoe recently replaced some of the pads around their tables and, boy, was that a welcome home for my elbows. The staff was ever knowledgeable as a few situations came up that caused some players to get upset. Which, if someone could clarify for me, I know it isn’t against the rules to turn your hand face up to try to get a read, but is it unethical? I see nothing wrong w/ the play, especially if your opponent is already all in and you are considering a call. I never make the play myself, but I see nothing wrong with it in some isolated spots. In my opinion, it’s an example of Fancy Play Syndrome (FPS) and is often overused. This same player would later complain about getting aces or two pair chased down and eventually showed his hand a few times w/ the best of it to keep his opponent from calling w/ his draw. What a –EV play!!!
Out of the blocks strong!
Walking into the ‘Shoe around 2:30pm, I sat down w/ $200 and never looked back. I flopped a set of 4s from the SB on a 3
board to put me slightly ahead, then never started another hand w/ less than $200. The table was loose passive and didn’t like to call many big bets. They wanted to bet in $7 to $20 increments and control the pot and their stacks. (What a honey hole!!!) Within a few orbits, I picked up 65o in the BB and six of us saw the flop. The flop was Q74 rainbow, the SB and I checked, a MP player (who seemed to be there for the fun of gambling) bet $10, a LP player called, the SB folded and I called hoping to hit my open-ender. It got there w/ the 3
and I checked to bait the weakish player who had the betting initiative. He led for $40 and unfortunately the LP player folded, I elected to smooth call so that I wouldn’t run him out at this time. The river wasn’t a great card for me as it put 4 cards to the str8 on the board, but I fired out $100 on the river 5
and got called regardless by Q7o for the flopped 2 pair. I might have missed some money here but this hand boosted me up close to the big stacks at the table w/ $365.
Not long after this, I looked down at Jacks UTG and just limped in. I hate making a raise and getting called when OOP against 3 or 4 other players who could be playing any two cards (ATC). Six more players, including the blinds, elected to see the flop, which was a good one for my Jacks, but also a tricky one due to the number of draws and made hands possible. A
. With $12 in the pot, I led for $15 to disguise my hand and also give any drawers improper odds to call, between the ace, the hearts and the straight possibilities, I expected lots of action on this hand. Only the player from the hand above called, so I figured him for a draw and trying to get some revenge on me. The T
fell off on the turn, what a beautiful card!!! I fired $25 into the pot and was immediately called. The river was a third T and my hand value immediately shrunk up. I’m sure my face went to total disgust and was reinforced by my checking the Jacks full that I had. The happy gambler shook his head behind me too and said that he didn’t have it. He flipped over the K
for the nut flush—no good, sir!
But you had Top Top!!
Small pocket pairs are some of the easiest hands to play, you either hit a set on the flop or you dump them. From time to time you can pick off some CBs w/ missed over-cards, but most of the time they’re simply a fit or fold hand. When I looked down at a pair of ducks on the button, I was happy to call a $7 PFR w/ them. There were 3 players to the flop of A
. The BB checked, the PFR’r made a CB of $7 and I cranked the bet up to $25 on the button, praying that he had AK and would go broke w/ it. The BB folded and the PFR’r called. The turn was a total brick and the weak tight villain leads into this $70 pot w/ $10. I bump it up to $65 and he reluctantly folds claiming that he had AK. Whoa, whoa, whoa!?!?! What kind of weak tight fish lays that down in that spot! I was dejected that he could fold there. I mean, I can fold there, but what fish makes that fold? What a missed opportunity!
Would the real Slim Shady, please stand up
After the first 2 or 3 hours of just getting into unbelievably awesome +EV situations, I dried up for about an hour or two and didn’t even see a flop in this time period. Fortunately for me, we were joined by a couple of young 20-something guys who looked like they were straight off an international concert tour. One guy looked so much like Eminem aka Marshall Mathers that I had to convince myself a few times that it really wasn’t him. I mean, he had the white due-rag on his head and tattoos halfway down his arms and everything. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t play cards very well and they were sitting down at a table w/ me and about 4 other decent players.
The Eminem look alike, we’ll call him Marshall, was in way too many hands and gambling way too much. His roadie wasn’t in as many hands but would stuff his $100 buy-in into the pot on the flop on several questionable occasions. In fact, after an hour or so of folding, I made a move at a pot from LP and fired a CB into a King high flop. The roadie promptly check-raised me all in FTW. I made sure to point out to the table that the roadie had to have a good hand because I had been playing tight and hadn’t even seen a flop in about an hour. The rest of the table nodded in agreement. This provided a good reinforcement that I was now seen as a squeaky tight player and might get to pull off some moves due to my image.
”I won’t be pushed A-ROUND!!!” - KGB
About an orbit later, I opened a pot w/ a $7 raise UTG w/ J
, this isn’t a long-term +EV play, but my image was right and the table was soft. Five players called to see the flop, so even after that much folding—I was getting no respect!! Or else, they thought I would be on a certain range of hands and were willing to play with me because they knew where I would be card wise. = ) Most probably though, they look down and say, “OOOO, I have 2 face cards, I gotta call with these!!!” Anyway, the pot is $35 when the flop comes K
I obviously flopped the joint, which is goot, but many players get a false sense of security with a flop of this nature. The flush draws will rarely fold on this board despite what you bet, and bad players often call a pfr w/ suited Aces when they overvalue their implied odds w/ the nut flush hands. KQ hands are also very dangerous here as they won’t be folding top two pair and they have 4 outs twice to fill up on you. A set of 9s is a more dangerous possibility than the last hand since this hand has 7 outs going into the turn and 10 outs going to the river to fill up on you.
I knew that I had to proceed cautiously with my vulnerable nut straight, but in this spot, I decided to wield a big stick. Pushing $40 into the pot, I got everyone to fold except the roadie. I ask him how much he has left and he replies that it is $49. The turn is the sickest card in the deck for my hand, the Q
, thus pairing the board and completing the spade draw. I check and the roadie pushes his $49 into the pot. My thought process is, “Why can’t he have more chips here to make this an easy fold? Could that turn have been any worse? What other play could the roadie make here with that short stack? Would he stuff the spade flush or the 2nd nut full house? He’s been stuffing it a lot and this isn’t the first time that he has stuffed on me when I showed weakness….” I snatched the $50 off my stack and evaluated where this call would leave me; I’d still be up, but only like $70 if I lost this hand. Reaching down deep, I found a big set of iron balls and decided to make the call based on the fact that this guy just stuffed his stack in too often and given the pot odds offered, I had reasonable odds of snapping off a bluff. “Do you have the flush?” He shook his head dejectedly and tabled K
leaving him live to 9 outs. The river was red and I raked in a nice pot and felt great about finding a real pair when I needed them. Whew!!!
Fishhooks for fun and profit
Marshall Mathers followed his friend on the bus to Bustoville before too long and they were replaced by a couple of friends who seem fresh off the home game turnip truck. They were 40ish and I would imagine that their home game was a pissing contest of primarily small bluffs and overplayed hands. The 2 thru 6 seats were occupied exclusively by decent players. We’re all watching the loud mouth 8 seat who was playing too many hands and mini-bluffing every time the action got to him w/o a bet.
A hand came up in the loud mouth’s big blind where the 3 seat raised behind some limpers, making it $15 to go. I was in the 5 seat w/ Jacks (which I still feel is the biggest trap hand in the game) and elected to call. The 3 seat was a pretty good player, though he didn’t seem to be overly tricky. He and I had been battling all night for the title of the biggest stack on the table. And he had bluffed me off a hand earlier in the night when I had trips and the river put a 4 str8 on the board. Back to the hand in play: Of course, the big mouth 8 seat called from his BB and the 3 of us saw a J-6-2 rainbow flop. Mr. Loud Mouth lead into the $46 pot w/ his standard $10 donk bet and was promptly raised by the 3 seat to $30. I knew that the LM would call behind if I smooth called and I didn’t want to push him out at this point with a raise. He, of course, called behind and we had a $136 pot going into the turn.
The turn brought a K which I thought would either be really good or really bad depending on what over-pair the 3 seat had. The LM checked, the 3 seat bet out $30 again and I made it $75 to go. This unfortunately got the LM out, but the 3 seat called me which kind of had me worried. When the 2nd King fell off on the river, I felt pretty confident that he didn’t have pocket Kings. He checked to me and I pushed Arr-Inn!!!!!! After counting to 3, I knew that I was goot!! He eventually folded his QQ and I was now sitting on $713 worth of chips, the uncontested Big Stack at the table.
Making the tough laydown
A few hands later, I took another decent pot off the LM w/ pocket Jacks on a 10 high flop. The turn paired the 10, which I still bet and got called on, but the river missed his flush draw and I was sitting north of a $550 profit. I lost a small hand w/ AKo and was dealt AQo on the very next hand. I made the exact same $12 raise behind two limpers and got called by both of them. The 3 seat from earlier has moved into the 1 seat, which was great by me as I then had a better look at him when the flop hits. The 3 seat has been filled by a nice looking woman in her 30s. She hasn’t said much but appears to be playing weak-passive. The flop was a seductively nice A-7-4 rainbow and I fired a small ½ pot bet into them after being checked to. The 1 seat smooth-calls my $20 bet and the new 3 seat folds.
Something about the way that the 1 seat called set my spidey-sense off. Something wasn’t right here and I felt like I was walking into a world of hurt. I decided to just check behind on the turn to try to keep the pot small, induce a bluff and/or avoid a big trap. The turn was another 4 and the 1 seat checked into me again and I followed through with my plan of checking behind. He didn’t seem at all pleased w/ this, and when another 7 fell off on the river he stuffed his remaining $85 into the pot. I have to admit that I hemmed and hawed and tried to get some info out of the villain, but he wasn’t giving up much. I stuck w/ my read that something was wrong here and I laid my AQ down face up and said that I knew he had quads. He obliged and showed pocket 7s for a flopped set, turned full house and rivered quads.
After that masterful lay-down, I felt like a genuine Daniel Negreanu (straight off the T.V.) and my chest was blown out for the next 30 mins. I proceeded to lose w/ aces up shortly thereafter to a flopped boat to this same guy, and eventually decided that my cards had turned. I got up and cashed in a $490 profit on the night.
Red Bull and sleep don’t mix
I went to the hotel room for about 45 min and couldn’t sleep, so I came back down stairs and sweated a buddy who was still playing at 2am. He played a very interesting hand which I’ll relate here. I don’t agree w/ his turn bet, but the subsequent call seemed fine to me given the pot odds being offered.
He had 44 in the SB. It was limped to him and he completed. The BB made a donkey raise to $7 and 5 players called to see the flop. The flop was good and bad news for my friend, 5
. He lead for $40 and got called in 3 spots. The pot = ~$195. The turn was the 7
. My buddy lead here for $100 and the BB pushed for $294 total. The 8 seat called all in for $40 and the button called all in for $220. My friend had everyone covered and about $300 more besides. He was in for $650, but this shouldn’t effect the current situation. He was actually even for the night before this hand started.
In any event, it was $194 for him to call a $849 pot and he turned his cards face up to try to get a read on the BB. He eventually called, getting 4.4 to 1 odds w/ his 10 outs. The BB turned over 7
for two pair and a flush draw, the UTG+1 player turned over K
for a flush draw and the button turned over pocket 6s for the made straight. The river was the 2
; the button won the main pot and my buddy won the side pot.
At this point, the BB goes raving mad that my friend turned his cards face up and called for the floor. That guy cried at the manager’s desk for 45 min that the 4s should have been folded due to them being turned up, he got no sympathy from anyone. This move was definitely not against the rules, but the question was raised about whether or not it was ethical. IMHO this is a non-issue. Poker is a cut-throat game and just because you walk the line doesn’t mean that you are over it. That idiot shouldn’t have made a pot builder raise from the BB and taken his medicine like a man!
I went back to bed about an hour after this and got about 2 hours sleep before my phone rang. I washed up and went back down stairs to see my same friend sitting at the same table that he had been at since about 1:30pm the previous day. He was about even from where I left him the night before. I bought in for $300 and sat down beside him. I won a small pot w/ 2 pair and then got a phone call to head home due to my wife not having a babysitter for the morning.
I was up $35 for the 45 min session, which brought my total up to $525 for the weekend. My bankroll took a big shot in the arm for a 30% increase and I can’t wait to head back into my favorite card-room to take down some more monies!!! I sure wish BJJIII
could have been there, but then again, he would have been the one to flop all those sets and I’d have been sitting on K3o all night…