Monday, March 26, 2012

Value Betting My Magical Ace

Spent the weekend playing a mix of cash and tournaments at Del Park, and made a quick stop at The Chuck Sunday morning on the way home.  It was not my finest weekend at the tables.  Not by a long shot.

Saturday, I played just over 5 hours of cash, from 11:00 am to 4:00pm.  Battled for 5 hours to keep within reach of my $300 buy-in despite having a rough stretch of cards.  I was forced to fold two turned straights when a bad river card hit and Villain lead out with a strong bet (one hand went to showdown which confirmed I was beat).  I lost a third turned straight when my jack-high (with 89) lost to Q9.  I lost with trips twice, as well.  I was as low as $130 at one point, but managed to bring the stack back to $250 with a bunch of well-timed continuation bets and steals.  I felt like I was playing good poker and, but for an awful run of cards, would have been well in the black.  Then, in a span of three hands, I gave it all away.

HAND 1:  I raise preflop with AQ clubs.  Four callers.  Flop comes down jack high and I float an $18 bet... We go three to the turn, which puts the second club on board.  Pot is around $100.  Under the Gun, who had checked-called the flop, shoves for $78.  Villain 2 calls $78 and has about $35 behind.  There's $260 in the pot.  I'm 18% to hit the river and a call gets me just better than 3 to 1.  No implied odds (Villain's $35 will go in on the river, but that's all that's left).  I fold and show the nut club draw, and tell the dealer, "make it painful." He promptly drops the 5 of clubs and obliges.  Why am i surprised?

HAND 2: My stack is now at about $225.  Next hand, I raise from middle position with 88 and get 5 callers.  Flop is AQ6 and I check fold to a bet and two calls.
HAND 3: Stack is now $215 and I open-raise the very next hand to $12 with 99 and get two callers - the cut off and the small blind.  Flop comes down 798 rainbow.  Big blind leads out for $20.  I re-pop to $85.  Cut off tanks and eventually shoves.  BB folds.  I call $120 more and cut off tables 65 off for the flopped dumb-end of the str8t.  Yep, calls $12 preflop with 65 off.  I could have lived with JT.  I would have taken that beat like a man.  But six-fucken-five-off? 

I snag my last $15 and head for a beer.  Just painful.

Sunday morning, and I decide to stop by Charles Town on my way home.  Rolled in at 11:00am, left at 2:00pm, and won zero hands in between.  Yes . . . I did not win a single hand in three hours. 

I was as card dead as card dead could be . . . a constant barrage of Q4, K3, 95, 82 . . .  I limped a few of my blinds and even then could not connect with the board.  Finally, after an hour or so, I look down at 99 and open-raise to $10.  Two callers and an 8-high flop.  It checks to me and I bet $18.  Two callers.  Um.  OK.  Turn is a 6.  I bet $45.  One caller.  I'm pretty much done with the hand at this point.  River is the A of hearts, putting up the over card and completing the heart draw, and Villain donk bets $85.  Fold.  I think I was beat on the flop. . .

After another hour of folding hands, I get QQ under the gun.  I raise to $12.  After a call, the big blind re-pops to $65.  Really?  Big blind had been playing very, very tight and had not lost a hand since I had been at the table.  I'm sitting on just under $200.  A call out of position seems awful.  A shove seems little better.  AK?  Maybe.  JJ?  Possibly.  In the end, I fold.  Big blind got a call from the cut off and took the pot down when he shoved the Ten-High flop.  I think my fold was good.

My Magical Ace of Clubs.  A while later, I look down at AK-clubs.  "Big slick."  I'm ready to drag in a pot.  I open-raise to $12 from middle position and get two callers.  Flop is A, 3, T . . . I lead out for $15 and get called in both spots.  Turn is the 3 of clubs, giving me "aces-up" and the nut flush draw.  I bet $40.  One call.  River blanks and I value bet my Ace . . . $60 . . . and get the call I desire.  I flip my hand . . . Villain flips T8 for a worse two pair . . .  and dealer pushed him the pot.  Huh?  WTF?  A look back at the board.  The A on the flop is actually a 4.  I had tabled A-high . . . .  I vaguely hear comments from the other end of the table directed at my brilliant "bluff" . . . Although there have been times over the past year or so where I have felt like a somewhat competent poker player, at this moment, I feel like the biggest fish in the room.  Whether it was fatigue or simply impatience borne from three hours without raking a pot, it was time to go.  I grab and pocket my remaining chips and head for the car.  Not my finest moment at the felt .... Fortunately, the weekend is only 5 days away . . .




  1. Misread the board? Been there, done that. On the rare times it happened with me, it was due to fatigue and a sure sign that it was time to go.

    Not much you can do about the 6-5os hand. Some guys play all kinds of crap hands like this in their version of poker bingo. Limping in with almost anything at a passive table, I can understand. Maybe it was a favoritae hand of his?

    Not much you can do when the poker gods are pissing in your beer.

  2. What's interesting about the 56 hand is that the guy seemed to me, up to that point, to be playing solid TAG poker. I thought it was possible he had called with JT, but given the size of the pot, I don't think I'm ever folding top set on that flop in that spot. Not for $120 or so more . . .

  3. I thought the change of pic from Luxor to Bellagio was a nice upgrade....but perhaps it has disgruntled the so called poker gods....should you have chosen a pic of Ceasars Palace instead?

  4. Something to consider! Although, I started the year on an awful run and that was while the Luxor pic was posted . . . Perhaps I'll give it a few more sessions!

  5. Hand 1 was butchered imo but the hh is poorly described - he donk into you? You c/c reverse float? Was it 26J rainbow I.e. No draws? Hate showing ur hand coz illustrates to the players how ur playin ur missed two overs flops.

    2 - Std no value in betting and not cbet turning my hand into a bluff 6way. Nh

    3 - holy shit that's a big raise otf so as played u gotta call the sbs ship but vs his range (facing a donk n huge raise on 789r u gotta hope he's on an underset but more likely st8) it's 1/2nl in single raised pots obv they're gona show up with funky holdings but not folding given the huge raise u made.