Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dover Downs Turn Around

A day after getting stacked at Charles Town, I set out for the Delaware Shore, seeking redemption at Dover Downs.  If the Chuck is the Wild, Wild West, Dover is the place where nuns go to die.  The game is usually filed with locals and quite tight.  Tonight was no exception.  At least six of my nine opponents knew each other on first name basis.  None were particularly good at poker.
Once again, I was card dead for the first hour or so.  A few weak Aces were the best hands I saw, and they all hit the muck.  While I tried to be patient, boredom ultimately set in and I couldn't help myself from making a move:
I limp in with 33 from UTG+1.  One caller - a regular who I've seen at the $2/5 tables from time to time.  We see a 77J  (two hearts) flop.  Reg bets $8 and I call.  Turn is another J.  I check.  Reg bets $20.  I raise to $55.  Reg thinks about it and calls.  River blanks.  I lead for $85.  Reg folds.  
I think I told a decent story on this hand, and figured it would be hard for Reg to call without a jack.  Fortunately, he wasn't living the story I was trying to tell.
An hour or so later, the hand of the night went down:
I'm sitting on $290 and limp call $12 three ways with 88.  The flop comes down 89Q (2 spades).  Big stack -- one of the regulars -- leads the flop for $25.  I call.  Third player calls as well.  Turn is a red 4.  Big stack bets $45.  I raise to $145.  Third person folds.  Big stack shoves . . .
I've got a set.  I've also got $182 in the pot already.  JT flopped it.  QQ has me crushed.  If Big stack is holding one of those two hands, I guess his stack is going to get even bigger.
I snap call.  Big stack flips JT for the flopped str8t.  Ouch . . .
And then the dealer lays out a beautiful red 4 on the river, pairing the board and doubling me up.  I tip the dealer a red bird and stack my chips...
Now, to say Big stack did not take it well is an understatement.  First, after expressing his disbelief multiple times and commenting to his five or six friends that he "can't believe I snapped him in that spot," he says to the dealer, "Marco, if I had won the hand at least I would have tipped you well . . ."  Sort of uncalled for, particularly given my $5 tip.
Then he starts asking me whether I thought about if he might have had JT or a higher set. 
Not through being a dick quite yet, he asks:  "If I had shown you my straight would you still have called?"  Yes, I got lucky.  It happens.  Get over it. 
Could I have folded in that spot?  Sure.  I've folded sets many times before.  But I wasn't folding in that spot --  with $180 or so already invested in the hand, $100 give or take behind, and getting approximately 4-1 on a call.  I can live with my decision. 
For 15 minutes or so after the hand, Big stack continued to bitch, and his friends openly talked about what a "bad call" I had made, and what a luck box I was, right in front of me.  And, just when the talk started to tail off, I won the poker room raffle for a free HP LazerJet printer, leading to more eye rolling over my naked good fortune . . . .  Fun stuff.
I ended up adding another $100 or so to my stack, before walking with a solid $385 profit:

 I left the free printer behind . . .



  1. Nice, you should have given the printer to Big Stack.

  2. Nice story and nice recovery. I get the guy being pissed you hit your hand, but is he really that shocked you didn't fold a set? Very few players ever fold sets. Rightly or wrongly, most players I've ever seen in a 1/2 game are calling his shove there.

    And had you missed, he would have been more than happy to stack your chips and thank you (hopefully silently) for putting all your chips in the pot in what he obviously thought was a bad position for you.

    I like Zin's idea of taking the printer and handing it to the Big Stack as a consolation prize. That would have been so much better than the usual insincere "I'm sorry" which of course in poker language means, "NaNaNaNaNa."

  3. Good to see that things turned around.

  4. Hi P Cube,

    Nice hit n run lucky FISH! Time to go back to the CHUCK and deliver JUSTICE!

    Chuck is wild most of the days and friday's are wilder and weekends are wildest!

    BTW, there is a new poker room manager at CHUCK. I know him, he might bring in a few changes soon. I am interested in the changes for their Tournaments. We will wait n see!

    I am so looking forward to MD Live.


  5. Dudes a fish if he is whining about that hand 15 mins later. Good regs just don't get that worked up over these things especially when he is playing lower.

    Gross spot though but nice bink.

    I won't comment on the AA hand at the Chuck :)

    1. Please do comment! I feel like a played both the AA at Chuck and the 88 at Dover horribly. Both hands, I found myself in a spot on the turn where I felt like I was priced into a call and was forced to get my money in, even though I was quite likely behind or crushed on both hands. I was lucky to walk away 1 and 1.

      Obviously, I was unlucky to be up against flopped straights both times. I tried playing both somewhat fast and aggressive to protect against the draw and ended up hanging myself.

  6. I think the second hand is "fine". It's a cooler on the flop. I like the flop call a lot actually. Turn raise is pretty standard IMO. Once we raise turn we shouldn't be folding getting 4-1; though his shove is virtually never a bluff. Gross spot.

    The AA...ugh. I hate slow playing anything at low levels...just hate it. I raise pre here in spite of our image. I know it sucks to raise to 30-35 and have a villain fold but it really is the right way to play IMO. You get value out of pocket pairs for sure and a lot of random suited broadways will call you in this spot. If I somehow was in this position, I am calling down once this flop comes out. Super connected board and our hand is WAYYYYY under-repped. Let him bluff off his stack or value town himself when he has 99, TT, JJ, etc. But I would almost never be in this spot in a singular raised pot with AA.

    Read the last post I wrote where I talked about: never playing trappy, betting a lot more than we think we should, betting for value whenever we can and generally doing it with BIG bets. This is how we beat low stakes. Value bet the shit out of villains then value bet them some more. Let them make mistakes with their stacks not us.

    Send me a comment on my blog (with your email) and I will get you my Crushing Low Stakes Cash Games slide show that I use with students.

  7. Hi P Cube,

    I agree with Brian as well. The trappy game only works if you expect a raise from loose players after you, at which time you can come over the top and get it to heads-up.

    If you decide to play A's as a weak hand, then continue the same way post flop. When villain bets, you come over the top and he shoves, we should assume we are beat, there is no happy ending to these sequence of events.