Three Crazy $20/$40 Hands

October 28, 2017

So my goal with these session blogs is to do a couple of week and last night I didn’t take any notes for my $20/$40 limit hold em session at Fortune, but there were three hands that I don’t need any help remembering and really feel the need to share:

Hand #1

Hi jack opens, a player I don’t have a ton of experience with but I imagine is quite good three bets on the button, the small blind calls and I have KK in the big blind. I decide to just flat. As I said, I don’t have much history with the button, but I know he’s astute and I feel like capping it here out of the big blind will really tip my hand strength. 

The flop spoils my dastardly plans by bringing an Ace, as well as a 6 and a 2 and two spades. I check to the cutoff and he leads right out; the button calls, small blind calls and I call, holding the King of spades in my hand. 

The turn pairs the Ace, which is a pretty good card for me, but I’m still playing defense and check it to the cutoff and he fires another bet and now the button springs to life with a raise.

The small blind folds and I go deep into the tank. I felt like I’m supposed to fold here. I really can’t imagine what hands the button is flatting, with two players behind him, on the flop that have me beat. Surely, he would be raising an Ace on the flop. The cutoff can definitely have an Ace, however. 

I wanted to fold, but I could feel something telling me I would regret it and, in the past, when these “easy” folding spots have come up and something doesn’t feel right, my instincts have almost always been correct. Unfortunately, I have made about 5-6 folds in substantial pots that I would have won and I almost always had this feeling beforehand. Like, folding seems standard, but something is off. It’s my instincts telling me: “DON’T DO IT!

This time I decided to make the tough call and slid the $80 cold into the pot. I believe the cutoff folded and then the river bricked out and the action went check-check and I won the pot.

Hand #2

This is an insane hand. It’s especially crazy because I had logged a total of less than one hour lifetime with the villain in question to this point. I also rarely consciously use physical tells to make my poker decisions. Every once in a while they may factor in, but most of that is so subconscious that I’m not even aware of it. But I had noticed something about this player that I couldn’t help but inventory. He was a confident dude, to the point where I felt like he was bordering on cocky, but more importantly, he practically dripped with hubris when he was betting the best hand. 

So when he raised my big blind and I defended with the K3 of diamonds heads up, I checked it over to him on the 752 rainbow flop and I couldn’t help but notice that when he bet, that glaring cockiness was missing.

Time to execute: I check-raised. 

He called and I led into him on the 9 of hearts turn, which opened up a backdoor heart draw. My read was really being challenged when he decided to raise me. Again, his strength wasn’t convincing, but I had King high with literally no draw. I felt like I should probably just fold and give it up, but what’s the point of picking up these tells if you aren’t going to utilize the information? I really believed what I detected was true, so I went ahead and three bet him. He called pretty quickly.  Shit.

The river was a 2 of hearts, completing the backdoor flush and pairing the board. There was a chance that he rivered a flush and I felt like he would never ever fold a better hand than me at this point, so I just checked it over to him. Would I call a bet here? Absolutely. Sure, it may feel like a torch, but I’ve come too far now. I didn’t have to call though because he checked behind.

I announced, “King high.”

He waited me out, so I said, “is it good?”

He asked, “King high flush?”

I said, “no. King high.”

I tabled it and…

…he mucked!

Don’t try this at home, kids.

Hand #3

I have moved back to the third $20/$40 game at this point and I am playing four-handed near the end of my session when this hand comes up. 

 The button opens, a really bad player in in the small blind calls, and I defend with A7 offsuit. 

 The flop comes 752 with two hearts (I have the Ace of hearts) and the small blind leads out. Obviously, I have an easy raise here, but I also have a massive amount of intel on the small blind at this point.

 In the past, I’ve seen him donk the flop with top pair hands and quality draws – this will be important later.

 So I raise and now the button three bets it and we both call. 

 The turn card is a beautiful Ace of spades and we check to the button; he bets, the small blind calls, I check-raise, and they both call. 

 The river is a 6 and now the small blind leads out. Okay, now I’m officially perplexed. My first instinct is to call. When I’ve seen the small blind lead out on the big bet streets he has been pretty nutted, so flatting and trying to get an overcall from the button made a lot of sense to me – it may save me a bet or two when I’m no good and it will probably win me the same amount when I have the best hand. 

 But then I really started thinking about it and realized that his most likely drawing hand was 43 and that hand made a straight on the turn and all he did was call twice then. 

So I raised. I didn’t think about it long enough. 

The button folded and then the small blind three bet me. I mean, this is basically a fold now. I think if I thought longer about the river and realized that this player can actually show up with a hand as bad as 66 here or that he may have started with 98 of hearts, I would have determined that calling was my best line. 

He didn’t have either of those hands. I reluctantly made the call and he showed 98 offsuit. Ouch. 

 I had never seen him bet the flop with a draw that weak, so I wasn’t even considering the 98, but for whatever reason I overlooked the fact that he could have 98 of hearts and because of that I cost myself an extra $80.

On the bright side, it was a pretty amazing session for me considering I spent about 8 of my 9.5 hours in very bad, super nitty lineups. I ran pretty good in one of the worst $20/$40 games I’ve ever played in – so bad, I would probably play something else if I didn’t get off to such a hot start. Plus, for whatever reason, I have a tendency to get unwarranted action even from normally tight players. All in all, I was pretty happy to book a +$1445 win under these conditions.

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