Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

An Impromtu Trip to the Casino

After going to the Dentist today and getting my teeth all drilled up, I decided to reward myself and try to break out of the pain by taking a trip to the casino to play poker. This was only my second foray into casino poker and the first since I read SSHE and started winning online, so I was pretty excited. I'm on break from school this week, so I figured I could play as late as 3 am (that's when the poker room closes) no problem. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

I got there at about 8, and there were only 3 tables going, 2/4, 4/8 and NL. I suck at NL cash games, so that wasn't an option, and 4/8 is a little higher than I'd like to be playing, so I put my name down for 2/4. After waiting at least half an hour and not moving up any higher on the list, I noticed that there was an interest list for 3/6, so I put my name in for that as well, and about 9 o'clock, we managed to get a 3/6 game going.

I started off well, picking up a Big Blind special 2 pair with K6, then another pot with when my AhTh turned a flush and yet another one when I limped on the button with QJ and flopped the nuts; I was also happy with the way I played these hands, getting in check/raises on two of them to make me more money. I was quickly up 70 bucks in the first half hour. I continued playing and picked up a couple pots here and there, but my stack steadily seemed to dwindle for the next couple of hours. The only major mistake I can think of was when I had Q8 in the BB and saw a flop of Q33 for free. The SB bet and I raised (like a donkey) and then it was re-raised behind me. I then proceeded to compound my mistake by calling the re-raise and not folding until the turn. The 3-bettor was playing his first hand at the table and ended up taking down the pot with the Krablar, a hand which he had limped with...unreal. That one cost me 9 bucks for sure. Other than that, I missed a lot of flops and missed some good draws...I hit a couple of flops to take down small pots also.

2 other memorable hands were, when UTG straddled (raised in the dark) and everyone folded to me and I found 66 in the SB...I 3-bet to isoloate against his random hand, then bet a flop off TT7 (I believe) and he folded Q8 face-up. Essentially, I won a coinflip, but I'm proud of the way I played the hand aggressively and took control with my sixes. I think I played it right and I'm glad I had the balls to do so. I also lost a decent sized pot with AsQs...I raised pre-flop and got called in a couple of places, the flop came 2 spades and no Ace or Queen. I bet and got one caller, the turn was a blank for my hand, I bet and got raised (I don't remember the boardvery well, but I think there was a J & a Tl), I was getting about 7-1 and felt obligated to call, even though I though I didn't like it. I had the nut flush draw and a gutshot to the nut straight. I figured my opponent probably already had a made hand, such as a straight or set. The river was a blank and I folded and the guy showed 9s8s which gave him a straight, which he had made on the turn. I think I played the hand ok. I maybe could have checked the turn and I think I still would have been getting odds to call, but wouldn't have had so much invested. As I think about it now, the opponent didn't like to fold, so I don't think my turn bet really had any fold equity and hence wasn't a good one. I think that tends to be a weakness of mine (I keep pounding away with bets, when that's not always the best option).

After the AQ hand, I lost a few more bets here and there, mostly calling with pairs and not hitting sets...I also had JJ and I don't think I played it very well, but I don't remember enough details to discuss it here. At any rate, I got ground down to where I was stuck a few bucks when I picked up Ad9d UTG and limped...I think 2 people called, then it got raised and we ended up going to the flop with at least 5 people for 2 small bets each. I think the flop came 9Tx with 2 spades and no diamonds. We checked it around to the raiser who bet and I called with a presumed five-outer I I know we were heads-up by the river, but I think there was a least one other caller on the flop. The turn was my gin card the Ah (I say my gin card b/c I realize now that not all of my outs were clean...the As for instance could have given someone a flush). I think I gaybet the turn and the original raiser was the only caller and we went heads-up to the river which was the 8c leaving no flush possibilities and me with a solid two-pair. I bet out and he raised...I was completely mystified with the raise and couldn't put him on a hand so I made the crying call and it turned out he had JT suited. A pretty poor raise pre-flop in my opinion, but I think he played it fine from there. I don't really think I did anything wrong either though, I probably could have gotten away from the hand by folding instead of limping pre-flop, but that's about it...maybe if I'd been really paying attention I might have seen the 8 as a scare card and check/called the river, but I really don't see how I could put him on JT since he raised pre-flop and I don't like bet/fold here either, mostly because I felt like I'd started to develop a reputation for being able to make laydowns and this guy seemed like a decent player who could be taking a shot at me...I just don't like the image bet/fold projects, and when I can't put my opponent on a hand that makes sense...I like calling for info if nothing else.

At any rate, I had gone from up $70 to down $30 in the space of about 2.5 hours and I'd been sitting at the table for almost three. I was tired and I hadn't eaten much of anything because of oging to the dentist, so I don't think I was really playing my best poker. I started thinking about leaving even though I had planned on playing til 3. I just didn't feel like I was at my sharpest. However, the game was good and I was stuck, so I decided to stick it out a while longer. A few hands later I was in the SB when the villain from the A9 hand raised from MP and got a couple callers, I thought to myself please let it be Aces one time and looked down to find KK (almost as good), I of course 3-bet and we took a flop 4-handed. The flop came AT6 and I went ahead and bet to try to define my hand. Unfortunately, everybody called and I felt like I had learned nothing, except that it was likely that one of the callers had an Ace, since we were in a raised and re-raised pot. The turn was another 6 and I checked, not even sure if I would call a bet, I was pretty much scared of the Ace and figured I was probably done with the hand. However, it got checked around and the river brought a 4. We checked it around again and as it turned out the best hand out against me was a KT from my old foe and I managed to rake a pot that should probably have been a lot bigger. When I take a step back, I think I definitely should have bet the river. No one showed any strength prior to that, except to call the flop bet and once the turn got checked around I probably should have assumed no one had the Ace. After that pot I was almost exactly even and I really started contemplating leaving. I realized that I hadn't gotten nearly as much value out of my Cowboys as I probably should have and I'd been playing for three hourse, and like I said, probably wasn't at my best. So, I played a few more hands, limping with 88 and having to fold when the flop came all overcards...then standing up a few hands later to cash out for the exact same amount I had bought in for.

How often does a session end exactly even? Not often. Overall, I can find a few spots where I think I may have left money on the table, but all things considered I did ok. I think the next time I play I should make sure I'm not tired and hungry though. These things can definitely effect ones play.


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