Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Hand for the 4th of July

Went to Charles Town on the Fourth to check out the new poker room.  It was . . . a new poker room . . . Yes, they added 20+ new tables which should eliviate the typical massive waitlist.  Although, when I arrived at noon, I still had to wait over an hour.  You see, in addition to new tables, you need dealers.  A fact apparently lost on the poker room staff at The Chuck.  Indeed, there were at least 7 tables empty in the new room, and 20 or so emply tables in the old room.    Yet, there were 52 on the $1/2 list, 22 on the $2/5 list, and another 20 or so on the $3/6 limit list.  Frustrating to say the least.

As for the room itself . . . it's a poker room.  I mean, after seeing the room the Golden Nugget built at the Marina in AC, and after playing at Revel, it's hard to get excited about what Charles Town did.  The new[er] room at Del Park is far, far nicer . . . Hell, even the poker "space" at Sands Bethlehem feels nicer.  But, if the room eventually results in a reasonable wait time, I'll start heading back to WVA for cash games.

Had an interesting hand during the session.  By way of background, there were two massive stacks at the table when I sat down.  Both around a grand.  And, both players were absolute maniacs, who had apparently been trading chips for hours.  On one hand, Maniac 1 called Maniac 2's preflop three bet to $30.  He then called a $50 flop bet on a dry board.  The turn was an apparent blank, but put up a second heart.  Maniac 2 bets $125 and Maniac 1 calls.  River is a heart.  Maniac 2 bets $200 and Maniac 1 min-raises to $400.  Maniac 2 calls.  Maniac 1 tables AT hearts.  Yeah, he had Ace high - and was in on the hand for $205 -- until he caught runner runner for nut flush.  Um.  OK.

So, about an hour into the session, I'm sitting on about $305 and in early position.  I look down at 99 and make a standard Charles Town raise to $10.  Maniac 1 calls in middle position along with the Button. 

Flop is J 7 2 rainbow.  I lead for $17 and get called in both spots.

Turn is a 2.  I lead for $65.  Maniac calls and Button folds.

River blanks.  I have just over $200 behind. 

Now, frankly, I have no idea where maniac is.  He could have a J . . . he could have 7 . . . he could have A-high.  I have no idea.  What I am fairly certain of, however, is that if I check and give up the lead, maniac is going to fire a HUGE bet here.  I decide the best approach is to put up a "blocker" and I bet out $75.  If I'm repopped, I'll fold and still be sitting on $125.  I mean, I don't want to get stacked with pocket 99's for f*cks sake . . .

I bet out $75 . . . Maniac calls . . . I table . . . he mucks . . .  I breathe again . . .

I'd love to hear how others play this hand against this type of villain.

P.S. I overheard Maniac telling his end of the table after the hand: "I put him on AQ . . ."




  1. "Now, frankly, I have no idea where maniac is."

    This, is course, is why maniacs are so hard to play when there are overcards on the flop. Seems to me like you did a good job in the hand.

  2. Nice river value; I'm more likely check / calling there. I would give villain a chance to bluff at it - particularly because you're at Ctown where no one is ever folding top pair. I doubt that villain's bet will be as high as $75, FWIW.

    On another note, it seems like a high price (~$175 for the hand) to pay when villain can easily hold a Jack on the flop. A $75 "blocker bet" appears to be more of a value bet than a blocker. If you get raised there, you're looking at $125 into a $350 pot; a VERY tough laydown.

  3. TPM . . . thing is, I was fairly certain this particular villain was INDEED going to overbet the river. He had been doing it consistantly. I expected him to put max pressure on me by either shoving the river or otherwise betting $150 or so . . . (the turn bet was $65, by way of reference . . .). Otherwise, against a normal opponent, I take a check-call line here. I was not value betting my 99 in that spot . . .

    By the way, did you make out out there over the holiday?

  4. I think you played it well - I can't believe that he didn't either shove or fold based on your description of him... Cheers to his call though... :)

  5. Yeah; I made it out a BUNCH of times this past 7 days. I went on Thursday, Friday, Sunday [day], and Tuesday night. I'm going to try to get there either Saturday [night] or Sunday. Shoot me an email if you'd like to meet up.

  6. FWIW, for the blocker bet, I think you're pretty committed if he comes over the top for the last $125, but if you take the check / call line, you give him a chance to bluff at it, which, from the description, seems to be a much more likely scenario. Shoving / $150 the river is one helluva bluff that has to work a TON of the time for villain, but your description has him doing this a ton with air / goods. He's much less likely to have goods if he's a maniac as you describe.

    In other words, I get what you're saying about the blocking bet, but with a maniac, the best way to beat him is to give him rope. In this case, you threw him a lifesaver which he could have folded the $75 bet, realizing a raise all in is fairly hopeless.

    Then again, it worked - so what do I know? :-)

  7. TPM - points taken. Thanks for the thoughts on the hand. I may try and get out there a day this weekend as well.

  8. This is well played solely based on your read of the guy. You risked a lot of money on a lousy pair of nine's but it paid off because you knew your villain, making it a risk worth taking.

    Thus, well played, sir.