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 . . .