$20/$40 Session Report: November 3rd

November 5, 2017

Actually most of my interesting hands happened while I was playing in the $1/$3 No Limit game at Fortune while waiting for a $20/$40 seat. I almost never play $8/$16 at Fortune and I guess my theory is that I’d rather warm up in games I don’t get much playing time in, like NLHE or Limit Omaha.

The Accidental Min-Raise

My first fun hand happens early in the session. The $1/$3 game has a max buy in of $300, so I always sit down with four $25 chips, $180 in $5 chips, and $20 in $1 chips – plus $500 in my pocket to add on and reload as I dip below the table max.

The player to my direct right makes it $16 to go and I have 77 next to act. This is an annoyingly large open-raise but we are deep enough (barely!) that I can call and try to set mine or simply play a good hand in position. So I call… or I think I do. I mentioned my buy in method because instead of calling with three $5 red chips and a blue one, I accidentally throw in a green $25 chip and three blue $1 chips. Whoops. I am now committed to a minimum raise to $29 because I put in multiple chips and over half the raise size.

I reacted pretty genuinely to my mistake, but the no limit players have basically no history with me so I wouldn’t blame any of them for thinking I could be running an angle here (i.e. pretending like I accidentally raised when I have a hand like AA). However, if I were the original raiser I would give serious consideration to four-betting my entire range here and expecting to get a lot of folds. He just calls though, which I thought was kind of surprising.

The flop comes out 944 with two diamonds and he leads out $35 and I almost have to stifle a laugh. Oh, now you want to be aggressive? I think it’s safe to assume my hand is always good here and I’ve debated with a friend about the merits of raising on the flop in this spot because there are a number of turn cards that we won’t love and I’d like to deny equity to those hands. On the other hand, we are in a tough spot if he goes for the hammer with a flush draw and we don’t really mind him betting the worst hand either. So I call.

The turn is a 5 of spades, opening up a backdoor flush draw, and he bets $52 rather quickly and nonchalantly. Another easy call for me, but I make it look like I’m thinking about it.

The river bricks out and he checks and it’s hard to imagine what hands I would get value from by betting, so I check back and he shows AK of spades. I said earlier that I would consider four betting his entire range in his spot preflop, but trying to get all the money in with AK suited is a slam dunk! A honest mistake from me and a really weird line from my opponent here.

Another Profitable Mistake

By this time, I’ve come to realize that the villain in the previous hand is very aggressive preflop, probably opening or raising over 30% of his hands. That makes his flat call with the AK suited even stranger. Well, in this hand, he decides to open-limp on the button. I’ve seen him do some limping, which is atypical for him, but the button open-limp is a new one.

I call with J2 of diamonds from the small blind and the big blind checks his option. The flop is A92 with two spades and one diamond. There is basically no money in the pot and my hand is pretty piddly but I think a $5 bet should take the pot down very often here, so I toss a red chip out. The big blind folds and the button almost immediately makes it $17. I have basically zero respect for this raise, so I call and I’m probably going to try and win the pot unless a spade comes.

The turn is the 3 of diamonds, which gives me a flush draw in addition to my pair. I check it and he bets $25. I still think he is weak here and now I have a lot of equity so I check-raise to $70 and he thinks for quite some time before eventually folding AQ face up! I actually said “wow” in genuine shock because that was not a hand I was trying to get him to fold because I didn’t think it was possible he could be that strong.

I have to wonder why an overly aggressive player would choose to open-limp with AQ on the button. Isn’t it to set a trap? Well, I fell right into it and then he decided to just be like “naw, you have this one.” I guess he had no idea what I thought of his image.

I Get Stacked By A Shocking Hand

I open to $10 from early position with AJ of clubs and only the big blind defends. The flop comes 732 with two clubs and he checks it over to me. I think this is a good flop to consider checking with in order to balance my checking back range, but a) I’m a part-time player in this game, b) I don’t think this opponent is really thinking about ranges, and c) I want to build a pot against weak players. So I bet $10 and he check-raises me to $25. He started the hand with about $215 and you really have to wonder what kind of hands he would check-raise on this flop. The only hands I’m in bad shape against are the sets and he doesn’t appear strong at all to me. I decide that I am willing to play for all the money if he wants to, so I stick in a commitment raise to $85, which is roughly 40% of the remaining stacks. The only appropriate response to my raise is all in or fold, so obviously this guy calls. *face palm*

The turn is a brick, like an 8 or something, and he stuffs his remaining $121 in the pot and I snap call, annoyed. I’ll be even more irritated in a second, but first I want to look at the math here. I committed myself to getting all the chips in on the flop, but he thwarted that plan by just calling and letting a turn roll off with money behind. So after his all in and subtracting for the rake ($6), there is now $306 in the pot and it costs me $121 to call. I’m getting a little over 2.5 to 1 to call, so I need to win about 28.5% of the time to make calling profitable. I think it’s safe to assume all my flush outs are clean, but I’m going to make a flush less than 20% of the time on the river. If one of my overcards is live I’m still a little short, but if they are both live, I have an easy call. Plus there is some remote chance that I have the best hand. He could be doing this with a naked flush draw himself, or even a combo draw like 54 of clubs. With my perceived outs alone, it’s a pretty close call, but when you add in the chances of having the best hand, I just have to go with it.

Well, I do call. The river is a 2 and he shows…

AK offsuit.


Okay, so I didn’t exactly get stacked, but I doubled him up with most of my stack and I really have no idea how he got all the chips in after the flop but… maybe I should’ve balanced that checking range!

Image For The Max

This hand happens shortly after that last one and I try to isolate one limper by making it $10 to go on the button with 54 of spades. Both blinds and the limper call, which is not very ideal considering I have 5 high and I think my credibility is low at the moment.

What is ideal is a T55 flop. Everybody checks to me and I bet $15 and one of the blinds snap calls, practically salivating from the mouth at the thought of picking off my upcoming barrels.

The turn is a 2 and I bet $35 into $64 and again he calls quickly.

The river is a Q and he checks again. There is now $134 in the pot, I have $234 behind and he has me covered. I’m thinking long and hard about my bet size because I was going to size large on the river but I’m a little concerned that the Q might kill my action a little because it creates a lot of chops and brings an overcard to the obvious pair of tens my opponent has. However, while I’m thinking this over, he says “Oh come on, you know you can only bet if you have a 5” and I really felt like that was my cue to go for it all. I shove and he SNAP CALLS! Gotta love it. Bet almost 2x pot on the river and he gives it zero thought. Wow!

I finished my 82 minute $1/$3 session up $183 despite being down a full buy in at one point. I’ll take it!

$20/$40 Snooze Fest

Goodness the $20/$40 games at Fortune have been bad the last two times I’ve played. I have now logged 15.75 hours over my last two $20/$40 sessions and I would say I’ve been in a good game for less than two of those hours. Both times I’ve played I didn’t find my way to a good game until the very end of my session when I was practically ready to go.

On the plus side, I love to terrorize nits. If nobody wants to play hands, then I’m just going to play them all and they’re either going to let me win $30-$50 every hand or they’re going to have to get out of their comfort zones. Usually tables will get tired of this and I can back off as they start playing looser and fail to adjust to my change of pace.

But I have been in some seriously nitty lineups. Like, to the point where I was comfortably raising hands like K8 suited and QT offsuit from under the gun. In the later positions, I was frequently raising and betting until they made me look at my hands.

I admittedly ran very good when they did play back at me. I raised dark on the button and got called by the small blind and three bet by the big blind then flopped trip threes with A3 offsuit. I raised dark from the cutoff and the button three bet me and I flopped quads with K2 suited. I opened with 55 and both blinds raised me and I flopped a set of 5s! Pretty lucky… and it really makes the table feel handcuffed when you are steamrolling them and then flopping huge when they do fight back.

I ended up leaving that horrible game up about $800, which is no small accomplishment when no one is putting money in the pot.

Naturally, I started to run like crap when I got in a good game. The first hand I played, I turned the nuts with JT suited in a massive pot and lost to a rivered flush, a solid $700 swing in the wrong direction. I also got really card dead and then whiffed the flop whenever I did find a hand to play.

All in all, I finished up a disappointing $241 in the $20/$40 game and booked a $424 win for the day.

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