The Cards Spoke

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Hdouble breaks B&M losing streak with $200 win

After 2 straight losing sessions at Hollywood Park, I sat down at the $6.12 table hungry for a win. Perfect timing—I walked right into the big blind…But before I start, you need a little background. This is real California no fold ‘em hold ‘em, even at the $6.12 level. Depending on the table, usually there are 4-8 players seeing the flop, and you’ll often see 5 players going to the river because the pots are so big. These wild games have been killing me—if you get caught chasing draws all night, and none of them hit, you’re in big trouble. Anyway, I was relieved when only 3 players limped in, and figured that I was probably the favorite with Ato in the Big Blind. When an ace hit the flop, I bet out and everyone immediately mucked their hands. What??? They folded??? I must be in the wrong place. All 3 players, and not one of them had an ace! Amazing. I happily stacked the small pile of chips, realizing that the wild players must not come out on Wednesday nights. I play much better in tighter games, since it is much easier to put people on hands. It’s also a lot less frustrating, because your good hands have more than a 30% chance of winning… in the no fold em games, it’s more like video poker—you’re in there to hit a couple big hands, but your top pair hands that are good in normal games are not gonna hold up. Back to the game—so a good start—a sane table and a nice little pot won from the BB.

A note about table image—I play pretty tight (very tight compared to most players there), and I guess I look somewhat intelligent, so if people give any respect to tight player raises, they will usually fold when I raise. However, I was surprised that the entire field folded to my raise on the flop…

A few hands later I pick up 99 in early position. The table is pretty tight so I decide to raise, trying to make the overcards fold. 2 callers. Flop comes JJ8 rainbow, and I reluctantly bet out. Both players muck, and I rake in my second pot. You have to understand that at HP, you expect to run into the nuts—since usually there are 7 or 8 players seeing the flop, the winning hand is usually pretty close to the nuts, so when 2 cards of a rank hit, you usually assume someone’s got the third. When this bet succeeded, I really felt that this table was “sane” and I could have some control over it.

A couple orbits later I pick up JT diamonds in early position, and limp in… 4 or 5 players call and the big blind raises, so I happily call. Flop comes two beautiful diamonds, Ad 4c 7d, so I check, rather than ram and jam, so the preflop raiser can’t reraise and knock people out. All 5 players call, which makes me think my diamonds may be dead… the turn comes 10c, giving me a couple more outs… everybody checks to preflop raiser, who bets again, and all except one player calls. The dealer burns and turns—a 10 on the river! I walked into trips, and I bet out to the groans of the other players. Unless someone’s got AT I’m good, and I get 2 callers who grumble when they see my hand. A guy across the table happily shows me his 98 of diamonds and says he is glad the flush didn’t hit. I guess I’m lucky today…

Meanwhile a horrible loose aggressive player sits down at the table—I have played with this guy a few times recently, and he seems to think we are friends… He’s kind of a swarthy version of Kermit the frog, with a pretty hard accent… not sure where he’s from. Anyway, this guy constantly berates the dealers, and I usually can’t help laughing at his under-his-breath remarks about the dealer. But he’s across the table this time so I can’t hear anything… anyway, we’ve got a young dealer who looks pretty smart, and is doing a good job… I’m trying to watch the Marlins blow the game when I hear the following exchange:
Dealer: “Excuse me sir, what are you doing with your hand?”
Kermit: “whhhat? Nothing?”
Dealer: “Oh, I could have sworn you were giving me the finger.”
Kermit: “whhatt? Why would I do that? What did you do to me that I give you finger?”
Dealer: (silence)
I threw the dealer a $2 chip after I stopped laughing, and he gave a little wry smile.

Well this journal entry is getting long and I should probably start work, so I’ll have to give a quick summary of the other hands I can remember:

--K6s, 2 spades and 6c on flop, bet out, 2 others call, river spade, beat guy with 2 pair

--K7c in BB, king flops, I lead out (3 players) and player to left raises... I reraise, he folds, lady calls me to river with QQ. This was probably my best play of the night… I figured my tight table image would at least cause the guy to thing about folding to my reraise (I put him on a King), and he did fold. After I showed my K7, he said “Nice reraise, I had K4”. I was psyched that I actually made a good (somewhat non-straightforward) play

And the last hand of the night:
22 SB, call, 6 players in, flop Ah 2h 5s, I bet flop, everyone folds but BB calls, turn J, river 5h, one caller all the way, I rake in a big pot.

Now for the bad:
--K8o in the big blind, one limper, flop comes A88… guy bets, I call, waiting to checkraise on the turn. He bets the turn all in for 5 chips… I call, river comes K, I turn over and say “sorry man,” he turns over A8! Wow! He says “sorry for what? Haha!”
--I also overplayed 77 and 88. I need to be more conservative with these hands. One time flop came 9 high, I lead out from early position, two callers… I lead out again on the turn (mistake) when a 10 comes, and both call. I check the river, and fold to some guys bet, who had two pair, and the other guy had J9 or something. The other hand was nearly identical. So I threw away $50 or so on these 2 hands…

Summary: All in all a pretty good performance. I caught some good cards, and for the first time, I rammed and jammed when I should with draws, and caught 2 of them. I overplayed 3 or 4 hands, but besides that I don’t think I made any mistakes.

My wife’s family is coming in from Sweden for the next 2 weeks, so I probably won’t be playing any poker in that time. But we’ll see…

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