Two posts in one day may be a bit much but there are a couple of hands from the weekend I've been wanting to write about.
Last week there was a pretty good tournament at the Cash Casino. I didn't play in it because of the bad run I've been on - I didn't feel like putting $800 into a tournament. If I was flush with cash that would have probably had been different. But, a friend of mine was in town to play and of course, during tournament time the cash games are always good so I went down to the Elbow to play $15-30 a few times (Wed, Fri, Sat... I already wrote about Wed).
So Friday I'm playing in $15 and have been playing pretty snug and winning some nice pots. Everything has aligned itself so that I have a pretty snug image since I've been getting an easy distribution of hands (83, 83, 92, AK, 82, etc) so I haven't been in many pots and when I've had to showdown a hand it's always been a pretty good hand. This image set up a nice play for me though.
It's a kill pot, which I've explained in the past, and the killer is two to my right. Everyone folds to him and he checks his option. The next player folds and it's on me in the cut-off. I have Q8o and pop it. Through the night the button has kind of been staying out of my way when I've gotten involved so I thought there was a good chance that he would fold, instead he put his last $55 into the pot and the SB also called. SB is a really good player, but is much too loose pre-flop in my opinion. He is quite agressive post-flop and is also has good imagination. The killer also calls, but he sucks. So we see the flop 4 ways with $15 in the side pot and $235 in the main pot.
The flop is JJ4 rainbow and it's checked to me so I fire a $30 bet. SB check raises pretty fast and the killer folds his hand. What to do? Well, in reality, with my hand and the fact that the side pot was really small and their was no way for me to win the main pot with a bluff I probably should have checked through on the flop and then given up on the turn if I didn't improve. In hindsight, as I write this, that seems like the best move to make. But, I bet, and was faced with a raise by an imaginative player. It felt like he probably didn't have anything and if he did at most he had something like 55 or 66. Now, he may have a Jack, but odds are against. He would play a Jack, or any pair this way (except big pairs) and would also make this check raise with an ace and also with some bluffs. Well, shit... now I don't want to give up getting 3.5-1 in this side pot. I can reraise now, which is what I do a lot of in these spots, but this time I took a different route. I just called his check raise.
The turn was a blank. In reality, I was probably going to bluff raise every card on the turn except for a Q or 8 and possibly a 4 or J, so most of the deck is a blank in my eyes. That was my plan when I called the flop so this card didn't change anything for me and when my opponent bet out $60 I popped him to $120. He thought for a few moments and folded. The button who was all in says, "Well, you must have me beat." "I doubt it," I reply calmly and turn over my Q8. He turns over ATs and wins the main with ace-high. The tricky player I beat was quiet, which is hard for him, and looked very solemn. I have rarely seen someone look so dejected and taken aback and I was giddy with excitement.
Fast forward to Saturday night and I'm in another juicy game but have been card dead for a while when I pick up 45s on the button. Now, this is not a good hand, but I would definitely like to play it in a multi-way pot from the button. Everyone folds to middle position (rare in this game) who raises the pot and this opponent is the same one from the above hand. A late position player cold calls and this guy is the big fish in the game. It folds to me and I kind of say F.it and decide to gambool and call. Now, I give people shit for these momentarily lapses in judgement so it's hypocritical of me to play this hand in this spot for two bets, but I'm ok with being a hypocrite. I freely admit this call is a mistake, so I don't feel bad criticizing my friends for making it. Both blinds call and we see the flop 5 ways.
The flop is A3x (can't remember the last card but it might have been a 9). The blinds check to my buddy who bets and the donkey calls. I'm getting 12-1 with my beautiful gutshot that no one in their right mind will put me on so it's an easy call for me (actually, I call pretty liberally with my gutshots. Some of you have experience with this tendency of mine.) Both blinds fold so we go to the turn three ways.
The turn is a 5 and my buddy bets again and donkey calls again. Now, I have a pair to go along with my gutshot but there is little chance that my pair is good. What the pair does do for me is to make my draw a lot stronger which means I now have a lot more equity in this pot. There is no way for me to fold in this spot so my choices are to call or raise. I insta-raise. My tricky opponent calls my raise with a speech and the donkey deliberates and folds. Having a tight image is nice.
I mentioned my opponents speech. What he was saying was, "I guess I have to pay you off. I guess I have to pay you off." He said a few other things along this line as well, but in reality what he was saying is, "I want to showdown please don't bet." I don't remember what the river was but he checked and I fired out a bet at which point my opponent disgustingly mucked pocket kings face up. Booyaa! I quietly slid my cards face down into the muck and stacked the chips. I expect to play against this opponent many times in the future and it is profitable for me to keep him in the dark.
These type of situations don't come up very often in 10 handed games, but they are very profitable when they do.