Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vegas Day 2 -- Futile Double Barrel

Monday began like any day in Vegas should -- a venti coffee and some sweet, sweet devils game.  I played an hour and broke even when quad 9's hit on the double, double game for 250 quarters.  Big time.

I looked at my watch. It was still only 7:45.  F*ck you Pacific time!  I went back to my room and decided to go out for a run. After exiting out the front gate of Signature Tower 3, I made my way to LVB and headed south towards Mandalay Bay.  My GPS hit 2 miles just short of the Welcome sign.  I made it to the iconic spot, and then doubled back.  A smooth 4.3 miles before the sun got too hot.

And, from there, it was too the pool.  Despite the Vegas crowds, the private pools at Signature were as quiet as ever:

After some sun and a quick lunch, I bet the Nats/Phils OVER 7.5 for $100 and crushed a bit more VP.  The game did not come through, but the devils game scored:

Early afternoon, I took a seat in the MGM poker room an started grinding.  By early evening, I had built my $200 buying to about $450. Then Rob showed up....

If Rob claimed I brought him good luck Monday night (see comments from last entry), Rob definately did not pay me back. Rather, over the course of the several hours we sat next to each other at Table 8, my stack dwindled until, after hitting the 7 hour mark, I was up a mere $75.   My final hand saw my straight lose to a higher straight on a fairly tricky board.  It was time to call it a night.

Notably, twice during the 7 hours, I double barreled a big ace.  Once with AQ and once with AK.  Both out of position.  Both times, I had raised to $10 or $12 pre flop.  Both times the flop came out all under cards.  I think my bet sizing was strong both times as well.  Yet, on the first hand, Villain called me down confidently and showed no signs of concern.  Thus, I was forced to check the river and promptly mucked as villain started cutting out a large stack of redbirds for a river bet.

The second hand - AQ - occurred hours later. The table had turned over, so no one had seen my first play (assuming anyone at a $1/2 table would even be paying enough attention).  I raised AQ clubs to $12 and got two callers.  The flop was 4 9 J.   I bet $27 into approximately $38.  One guy called.  The turn was a K.  I bet $45 (into $90) and he called.  The river was a Q, actually hitting my hand.  But I checked, and villain checked back, and turned Q9 for two pair.  

All told, I dropped well over $100 barreling those two hands.  I brought up the topic of the 2x with Rob, and he seemed to suggest that the double barrel was largely ineffective.  I on the other hand, sort of thought it was a necessary weapon to have, given that nearly everyone C-bets nowadays and, presumably, expects that everyone else is c-betting.  Thus, for example, assume I call a pre flop raise with a hand like 88 and the flop comes down 36T.  Now, villain bets the flop.  Sure, he could have an over pair.  But, it's also likely he's continuing with a hand like AK.  Therefore, I call with my 8's. Now, if villain gives up control on the turn, I've got some confidence my 88 is OK.  If, however, he barrels the turn, I start feeling a little queazy with my 88.  Also, I know that it I call the turn bet, and if villain does have a made hand, the river is going to get expensive and I'm risking a large portion of my stack with a crapy pair of 8's.  Thus, while folding to a C-bet seems way to weak, calling a turn barrel with that type of hand seems somewhat reckless without a strong read.  And, switching the scenario around, when I'm the guy holding the AK, I sort of figure I'm going to shake out a lot of medium strength hands with that second bullet.  And, I'm also balancing my range a bit when I have QQ+.

Anyway, curious to hear some thoughts on the merits of the double barrel.

And finally, as I'm writing this, I'm getting emails from the office.  Apparently, in my haste to get things done last week before leaving town (a workload that caused me to cancel my Saturday morning fight to Napa, spend the day working, and pay an extra $400 to rearrange flights last minute), I forgot to make a phone call to a client.  Not an urgent matter or a particularly important call, mind you.  Yet, the powers that be figure the appropriate thing to do now is to send me passive aggressive emails, presumably in attempt to ruin my day.   What's 5 days away from the office without just a touch of bull sh*t to remind you what you have to come back to?    


  1. Love the passive/aggressive e-mails line. My thought on the first hand is that the villain hit a ser or two pair (the confidence). On the second, some players seem to hang on for dear life if the flop hits them at all (the 9). I was surpised he didn't bet the two pair. Tough to be sure because we don't know how often you were raising/how you played your other hands, but that's my initial take...

  2. First, as a fellow attorney, I've been in the same situation with you with passive aggressive emails while on vacation. Is it just our lawyers? It's never anything important, but they just have to send you that email while on vacation.

    Second, you need the Double Barrel in your arsenal, but you have to know when to use it. In the cases you gave, it may've been the size of your bets that were ineffective or you tried it against the wrong players (calling stations). Either way, you need it; you just have to use it wisely.

  3. i think your thoughts on double barreling r right on target,counselor. u got to C-bet .imo. u just have to figure out who is the calling station and re-evaluate (is that spelled right) after that. just dont b a robot about. change it up. also, POSITION POSITION POSITION !!!! OK enuff of this b.s. orioles today. and ole miss -10 thursday.did u get any fried oreos/twinkies???? prolly not but i bet u ate some veal or kobe steak,huh.also, r u going to the ARIA to play with that Chang chick???

  4. On the double barrel, doesn't sound like you did anything wrong, just didn't work (my two cents).