Posts Tagged ‘poker sessions’


Marathon Monday: An Ugly Losing Session

November 14, 2017

Since I’ve started making regular blog posts I haven’t been doing much losing which has been pretty nice. I know it’s been overdue. And even though the end of this session doesn’t look horrible, it was actually quite brutal.

I got off to a pretty good start. After 3-4 hours, I was up around $500 total and I was getting really strong preflop holdings. I already had AA, KK, QQ, and JJ multiple times each and I did pretty good with them except the one time my KK ran into AA.

I had another hand where I raised in LP with AT with the T of diamonds and decided to peel one when I got donked into on the J32 two diamond flop with one caller in between. The turn was the 7 of diamonds and I overcalled another bet. The river was the K of diamonds and now the caller in between leads out? I call, the other player folds, and I beat his set of threes. Eh. I wonder. Peeling this flop with the A of diamonds might make sense, but the T of diamonds might be too optimistic. Or maybe folding getting 10-1 is too weak? I don’t know. A spot worth examining more. That line with a set though? LOLOLOL.

An All-Time Classic – Super Torch

This is another hand that occurred during the first few hours of the day and, oh boy, was it a true gem. The action folds around to the button – a player that has become a recent regular and has a rather insane and unorthodox style that frequently includes absurd aggression as you’ll see. In this hand, he open-limps the button, I look down at A4 of diamonds in the small blind and raise it. The big blind – a player I would describe as overly aggressive and borderline maniacal – three bets it, and now the button turns his open-limp on the button monster into a 4-betting hand. Okay.

Andrew Neeme would probably describe the flop as “favorable:” 532 rainbow. The flop is capped and I put in zero of the bets or raises. I just knew these guys were going to go off and I wouldn’t have to reveal my hand strength until the turn.

The turn completes the rainbow with a Ten, the big blind bets and the button comes forward with two stacks of 8 chips lined up about to raise and then decides at the last second, right before the betting line, to just call. Technically, with a forward motion rule at this casino, one could enforce a raise here, but that’s definitely not my style. I enforce it the old fashioned way – by making it two bets myself. They both call.

The river is an 8. I bet, the big blind calls, and now the button raises! I am not afraid of the nuts here, so I have an easy raise, except the button only has three chips left after making it two bets. Obviously it is better for me to just call and let the big blind put in eight more chips than it is for me to raise him out of the pot, so I just call. And since I’m sitting in seat 9 and the button is in seat 8 and the big blind probably can’t hear me from seat 1, I quietly tell the button I still have him beat, so that my sudden passivity doesn’t make him think he’s won the pot. The big blind calls and I fast roll my straight. It’s good.

For whatever reason, the button decides to table his hand and shows… 82 of clubs.

Now go back and read that hand again. Enjoy!

$499 Jackpot! Club Straight Flush

As I’ve noted before, the reason Mondays are so popular now is because every jackpot that is not a Royal Flush is worth $499. On this hand, the cutoff open-limps and I look down at 54 of clubs on the button. I call? I raise?

Three players to the 732 flop with the 7 and 3 of clubs. There’s some action and we see the 6 of clubs on the turn – straight flush! Jackpot!

All of this is true… except one thing:

I folded before the flop.

I think one could argue that I could play this hand in this spot, but it’s really an unattractive situation. If I do play, I’m going to be raising to isolate the limper and use my position to try and win the pot, regardless of whether I hit the board or not. There are a lot of hands I’d do this with – 5 high is typically not one of them. The jackpot overlay isn’t enough to sway my decision. I wouldn’t even think about playing hands like 52s or 84s here and I don’t think 54s is doing much better.

Interestingly enough, the limper ended up winning this pot with 52 suited and that makes her an absolute prime candidate to isolate on the button with any reasonable holding. If I had seen this showdown before this situation arose, I may have won an extra $500 yesterday.

AK Is The Nuts, Right?

A player opens, I three bet with AK and we head to a flop with 4 or 5 players. It’s a pretty one: AK3! I bet and one or two players call.

The turn is a Q and now the original preflop raiser check-raises me. Interesting. I feel like he rarely has JT here. He strikes me as the kind of player that would typically limp JT suited. So he’s repping AQ, KQ, or QQ – and maaaaaaybe AK. I feel like he would bet or raise the flop with AQ or AK, so I’m somewhat discounting those hands. So this is an exercise in hand-reading and recognizing available combos. There are only three combos of QQ. There are four combos of AK, six combos of AQ, and six combos of KQ. Out of his most likely hands (and there could be some spazzy AJ or QT type stuff too, though unlikely) only three out of 19 possible combos beat me. Even if we add in four combos of JT suited, that’s 7 combos out of 23 possible and we are still doing very well against his range. Using hand-reading, I’d say his most likely hands are QQ and KQ and going off his preflop flat call of my 3-bet and check-call on the flop, I’d lean towards KQ – and there are twice as many combos of that hand as there are of QQ anyway. So I think this is a pretty easy 3-bet all things considered.

I raise and he calls and now I feel better about my hand.

The river is a blank, I bet again, he calls, and I lose to QQ.

A Painful Fold

In this hand, there’s a button straddle, the small blind calls, and I just call with A8 suited in the big blind. I think in this situation, I prefer to encourage other people to enter the pot rather than try (usually unsuccessfully) and isolate from one of the worst positions with the whole field left to act behind me and the button basically never folding. I think the small blind calling with help create a multiway pot as well. The under the gun player three bets, another player calls, a maniac calls, and the button, small blind and myself all call.

The flop is K86 with two diamonds. This pot is large and I have enough of this board that I want to create the best chance for me to win the pot. I think that’s by donking into the preflop raiser and hoping he will force the rest of the field to call two bets cold. So I bet, but he just calls, so do two other players and the button raises. If I can get heads up here, I think it drastically improves my winning chances, so I three bet in the hopes of narrowing the field. It doesn’t go well: the PFR and maniac stay in and the button caps it. We all call.

The turn is a 4 and everybody checks. My hand seems better now.

The river is a 7 and it checks to the maniac. He bets and the button calls. Hmmmm. I had the button on a draw when he checked back the turn after capping the flop, but this call is perplexing. This is one of those spots where it’s okay to take some extra time and really think it through. The maniac can literally have anything and if the button didn’t call, this would be a snap for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about it long enough and I made a hasty fold. The maniac shows A6o and the button shows J6 of diamonds before tossing his hand in the muck. In retrospect, the button’s hand made perfect sense and if I really thought about it, I think I can recognize that he flopped a diamond draw that paired at some point. It’s possible he could have 64dd, 76dd, or 74dd – all of which made two pair – but the rest of his flush draw hands end up with one pair only – and he would certainly bet the turn with 64dd. UGH.

The rest of my session was a rollercoaster of variance that ended with a plummet. I went from +$500 early in the day, to close to even, back to +$250, close to even, back to +$500 and then at 10.5 hours into the session, I was stuck for the first time all day after my AQ ran into AA on an A high flop in a capped preflop pot. It never got better for me after that hand as I was whiffing flops and draws pretty much every time I got involved.

And suddenly I felt really exhausted. I had been up since 7:15 AM, it was midnight, and I had been playing for around 12 hours. This was no different from last week except that I was now running absolutely terrible and it my alertness and focus was rapidly disappearing. I had been taking breaks every 90 minutes all day long and for the last 3 or 4 hours I hadn’t gotten up to clear my head and it occurred to me that my A-game was gone, the variance was taking a toll on me, and it was time to go home. I picked up at my lowest point of the day and booked a $303 loss. All in all, an incredibly disappointing session that could have been much better if I had played a 54 of clubs or called with that A8 and a reminder to keep taking those breaks and not get complacent deep into my sessions.


$8/$16 LHE @ Palace: I’m Blessed!

October 23, 2017

Or least that’s what I’ve been told recently. But I’ll get to that later.

First, I’ve decided to continue with my idea to write about my sessions. I enjoy writing about poker, probably more than anything, plus I think taking notes during my sessions helps keep me accountable.

Secondly, I think I finally figured out how to rate music on my blog. I will be unveiling my new method this weekend.

Thirdly, I have a lot of T.V. shows I’ve watched recently that I haven’t talked about yet. I will try to do that this week.

Lastly, I didn’t write any notes while I was in Reno for the Run It Up series, but hopefully I’ll post a trip report sooner rather than later.

Okay, so on to my $8/$16 session at the Palace today. I mean, it started off innocently enough. Actually it started off in $6/$12 Omaha 8/B, but I didn’t stay there too long and quickly took my $29 profit to the $8/$16 game. I actually really enjoy playing Omaha and it’s a nice change of pace, but it’s hard to justify playing in a split pot game at lower stakes when the all the quads on the PSJ board are $499, the Spade Royal is over $33,000 and two other Royals are $6000. It’s not like I play for jackpots, but at those numbers, I just have to play in the Hold Em game.

Like I said, my session didn’t start off well and after an hour I was down about $200 overall and it was mostly because of this hand:

Button straddles, I three bet TT from the small blind, everybody folds and I’m heads up with the button. The flop comes down 752 rainbow and I check because the button likes to bluff and will probably put me on overcards. He does bet and I check-call, planning to raise the turn. The turn is a Jack and I execute my plan and the button just calls my check-raise. The river is a blank and I go for some thin value because I expect him to be a little confused and pay off light and he raises me? Now I’m confused – and I don’t fold when I’m confused, so I call and he shows me a set of Jacks!

I continued to trend down when I opened the AJ off from early position and got called by a somewhat tight and passive player on the KK5 flop. The turn was a 3 and we both checked and I paired my Ace on the river. I don’t think betting is wrong here – he has a small pair or medium pair often enough to justify a value bet, but bet-calling the river was a mistake and he showed me KQ after I paid his raise off. This is definitely a player I can reliably bet-fold the river to.

Next, I opened with AA and got three callers and was check-raised by the big blind on the JJ2 flop. I know this player is capable of trying to run me off an ace high hand and he’s also capable of having a Jack here, so I decided to turn my hand into a bluff catcher and just call down, like I would with AK. The turn was a blank and I called another bet. I would bet the river if he checked to me, but it paired the 2 and he fired again. I called and he showed AQ high.

At this point, I was trending back up and I was talking to the dealer in the box about how my buddy said I’m “blessed” while we were down in Reno, indicating that I really have nothing to complain about when it comes to poker. I hate losing, especially in tournaments, and it’s natural to feel bummed out when you bust events, but looking at what I’ve done over the past couple years it was hard to argue with him. Variance has really been on my side lately. I’ve been cruising at an ROI of 331% since November 2015 in live tournaments. That’s insane!

So as we were talking about being “blessed”, the dealer (a friend of mine) was saying how it’s true and that I never seem to miss a flop in limit Hold Em either. On cue, I’m dealt the TT in the big blind, raise five limpers, and get the T32 with two spades flop. As if that’s not sexy enough, I’m heads up on the turn with a player that has an Overs button (Overs buttons increase the betting to $12/$24 when those players are heads up) and he raises when the 8 of diamonds hits. I three bet and he calls. This is a pretty tight player, so when he raises the turn and a brick hits the river, I think there’s some merit to trying to check-raise again. We know where 75% of the tens are and I would expect him to have at least two pair when he raises me on the turn, so he seems heavily weighted towards sets of 2s, 3s, or 8s. So if the river bricks out, it’s really hard to imagine him checking those hands behind. But the river was a 6 of spades and I thought he would check that card back a lot, even when he had sets, so I bet and got paid off.

I was up $60 overall after a couple hours, but the run good was activated now. I raised the small blind with QJ of diamonds, bet the AJ5 one diamond flop, check-called the 5d turn and check-raised the Kd river. Then I limped along on the button with 98hh and stabbed at the A63 one heart flop, got one straggler, fired the 3h turn, and then raised the river when he led on the Jh. That one got him talking to himself!

Then I started flopping sets all over the place. I flopped sets of 8s and 6s for massive pots. I flopped a set of fours that won a good pot. I had 44 on an A52x3 run out. All in pots that were raised before the flop. I triple barreled with AdQc on the J42dd8dQ board and my rivered pair was good. Then I got the AAxA board with AQ and this was actually a weird one. I had raised before the flop and then I bet the flop and turn and my opponent raised me on the turn and then folded when I three bet? I mean, that is just comedy. What hand is he trying to represent? What is he trying to get me to fold? I guess he’s bluffing there, but what a crazy board to try and bluff a preflop raiser on.

All in all, it was a great session that started off slowly before I started running so hot half the table was mumbling to themselves. Normally, I’d never leave when I’m running this good and playing well on top of it, but I haven’t seen my wife in ten days and wanted to make sure I was home before she got off work, so we could at least spend a little time together before she went to bed. So I booked a hefty $1120 win for the day and called it an early night.

Welcome back to Gotham, TDK!