Pete Peters went up to New York for Thanksgiving. I made stops in AC on Wednesday on the drive up, and Saturday on the way back, and put together two strong cash sessions both days:
Borgata (Wednesday night):
Harrah's (Saturday night):
I left New York early Saturday morning to reach AC in time for the nooner at the Nugget -- my favorite tournament in Jersey. $25,000 stacks, 30 minute levels. I built my stack up to $48,000 by the first break, but then caught a run of bad luck, including flopping top-top twice against a villain's set. Five hours in, blinds were $50 / $400 / $800, and I was sitting on $38,000 when this hand occurred:
Villain was new to table. He's an older gentlemen, sitting on $23,000 give or take a few hundred. The action checks around to Villain on the hijack. Villain checks the hole, and starts playing with his $100 and $25 chips. He looks like he's thinking about calling. But, after 30 seconds or so, Villain reaches for two $1000 chips and raises. Action folds to me on the button. I look down at 55. My read is that Villain is not all that strong. Rather than flatting and set mining, I opt to raise. I'm basically planning on making a move, assuming I don't flop a set. I raise to $6,000. Villain just calls. More affirmation in my mind that he's not holding a monster.
[Pot: $13,700] Flop comes down 2h, 6c, 4h. Villain checks. I lead out for $9,300. I have a pair and a gutshot, but really I'm just continuing with my move.
Villain shoves. Oooops.
It's $8,000 more to me, so I begrudgingly call.
Villain flips . . . 99.
I don't improve, and I bust out an orbit later when I shove 99 (ironically) and get called by AK which connects on the flop.
I've given the hand some thought. I really don't understand Villain's play. His line preflop is fine, I guess. But his flop call/shove didn't seem to make sense. He has $18,000 chips left on the flop -- plenty left to fold and live to play another hand. What does Villain think he's ahead of? What's my range? Villain has no history on me. I've three-bet preflop and continued on a fairly coordinated board. I feel like my story checks out: JJ - AA. I also could have taken the same line with AK (maybe AQ, etc.). Basically, there's one or two hands in my range that Villain is ahead of. And, of course, he's ahead of a pure bluff. How does he think his 99 is good?
After the hand, I jokingly said to Villain, "I guess I didn't sell my story well enough, huh?" His response: "Well, it was the best hand I had seen in a while." Um. What? How is that a reason to stack off for your tournament life?
Plenty of times in the past, I've self-destructed 4 or 5 hours into a tournament when the combination of boredom and bad cards had lulled me into making a bad play. However, here, while my move didn't work, I still feel like it was a strong play. Villain's hand (99) is right around where I put him. I thought I could move him off his hand. A day later, I still think my line should have worked. So, I guess my question is this:
Was Villain the idiot or was I?