Monday, March 13, 2006

AC Recap

With Mrs. SoxLover out this week on a trip back home, it was the perfect opportunity to get down to the East Coast's pale imitation of Vegas. (It also a great chance to finally win our family last longer in the weekly WWdN.) I made plans to meet with Garthmeister, the remaining core of what initially would have been a trip with as many as five bloggers.

I was on the fence about coming down Friday or Saturday, with a friend from work having offered to let me crash in his room at the Borgata that he had gotten at a comped $8.90 rate (they love to see his face at the craps tables) so there was no reason to put it off.

But when I got home on Friday evening, I was running out of gas. The big presentation on Thursday I think had taken a lot out of me. The thought of driving 2 and half hours, waiting the obligatory 1 hour at the Borgata poker room and playing late into the night in that state seemed decidedly minus EV. So I bagged it, donked a little off online, read a book and drove down the next morning.

Good move as I arrived at about 2:30 and got to playing a little after 3, more or less rested and ready to play good poker. The list on 1-2 was eons long so I sat at the 2-5 with the intention of moving down when my seat opened up if I did not like my table.

I liked my table, or so I thought. I was only able to recognize one definitely solid player at the table and he was immediately on my right. The rest of the table was populated by calling stations except for one guy who was an aggressive any-twoer (he later proudly showed 6-3 off he had played UTG after limping and calling a substantial reraise, flopping bottom pair that grew into a full house by the river), and he was two to my right.

My strategy was to play tight, but be willing to join the pot with good upside hands if the price was right. It was working as just after Garth had gotten there, I had chipped up to about 1100 from my 500 buyin.

Then came the hand. UTG, I had slick, and I decided I'd like to play it with a small field. So I bet out UTG 25, which was the high end of the table standard 15-25 openers. No luck as I got 1, then 2 then 3 then 4 callers, including the solid guy in the big blind. OK, plan B, if I miss I'm gone, if I hit, I'm playing fast with a paranoia about draws.

Flop is AA9 with two diamonds. Bingo, but what to do about that draw? Solid guy checks to me.

New plan, bet a significant probe on the flop--50--if I get raised go all in, if I get called, drop the hand if the turn is a diamond, bet super large if it's not. 50 yields me two callers, the first of whom is an ├╝ber calling station with about 450 behind after his call and the second of which is the solid player on my right with about 300 more. I've got one on the diamond draw and the other on a weaker ace or maybe, though I hope not, nines.

Turn is an offsuit 10.

Solid guy checks to me and here I go. I make it 300 to go. Calling station, well, calls and the solid guy lays down, later telling me he had the diamonds.

The river comes a deuce of diamonds. Crap, but do I really think the calling station was so bad as to call a pot sized bet with one card to a flush? We'll see. I check and he pushes. Double crap.

I have to call for 150 more, hoping he has a weak ace. He does. Ace nine.

Not sure I see a way out of that hand.

So I was back to square one with just about my buyin. I tried not to tilt and I think was partially successful. I avoided doing anything stupid but I do believe my hand selection loosened. I pretty much flew even except for one hand where I got AK UTG again. I figured I'd try it a different way. This time I limped and was raised by the next player to 25, who had been relatively tight. It folded around to me and I made it 100 to go. He went into the tank and pushed with 200 behind. Crap, not sure what to do here, AA and KK are unlikely because of what I have, but really I can't rule them out because my UTG limp reraise certainly implies a very strong hand (I was not playing that many pots and this guy was not terrible). So I folded, and he showed me his jacks. Okay, he made exactly the right move for what I had, and my fold was actually wrong with what he had, since his slight advantage was more balanced by the chips already in the pot, but I still think this is the right lay down. Can't help but wonder how many times with jacks you'll run into an overpair in that situation.

So session one I ended up stuck about 120, not too bad but it felt worse given how far up I had been.

But Garth was still smarting from his first live stacking so I had a lot less to complain about. We signed up for the dinner break and went for noodles.

Session 2 was very different. First, the table was short handed as 3 stacks hadn't gotten the memo about the dinner break list and were simply posting time dead--the 10th seat was always struggling to be filled as well. It was very tight for the first push, as blinds were chopped at least half a dozen times. When action picked up, it was my kind of table, a good mix of tight-solid and tight-weaks where I was able to become effectively aggressive, stealing some pots and protecting others, as well as getting in the action with good speculative cards. Lots of opportunity for post flop play.

Garth described the characters already, but I'll just say that session went well for me as I avoided ever putting more than 200 in the pot on any bet and chipped up steadily till we got up at 3 with just under 1100.

Most fun hand for me I will relate however was with "Milk and cookies" table captain with about 800. Seven handed, it folded around to him in the cuttoff and he made it 25 to go. I had about 900 at this point and put him on a blind steal and made a loose call in the small blind with QT off. The big blind, who had a pretty short stack of chips) folded.

The flop came ten high two diamonds. I figured myself for the best hand and bet out 60 to claim my pot. He then came back over the top with a min raise to 120.

Hmmm. Mininum raises make baby Jesus weep? But do they mean an overpair? I figured he might have put me on a late resteal and decided to test my theory. I raised him another 100 on top, figuring to be done with the hand if any more chips entered the pot.

He went into the tank for about two minutes and finally folded. I showed him my ten, and he claimed to have had one too, but to have been worried about his kicker. What was it I asked? A queen.

Sweet. A good illustration of how big stack warfare magnifies the value of aggression as his only next step would have been to push. I think this is an example of one of DoubleA's pressure points. And an example of where a minimum raise cost the pot (he goes to 180 or 240 and I think I'm gone).

Anyway, good to have met another blogger face to face and always nice to book a decent win.


At Tue Mar 14, 12:17:00 PM 2006, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

No possible way to get away from the trip A's

At Tue Mar 14, 12:42:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In absolute terms, given that solid guy had the diamonds, you are behind nine hands containing an ace and any two diamonds, for a total of 37. You are ahead of the other 36 hands containing an ace. This makes it a tossup with your hanger-on. Then again, how many of those diamond hands are really in play? You're way ahead of a generic playable range in this situation and you just got unlucky that donkey boy hit the perfect flop with his dominated hand.

At Wed Mar 15, 11:15:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Karol said...

I had a similar trip aces situation in AC a few months back that scars me to this day. I had AQ, raised pre-flop and got 2 callers. Flop was A-A-6. Long story short, someone limped with big slick. Ugly. And nothing you can do about it.

At Thu Mar 16, 07:12:00 AM 2006, Blogger DP said...

There's nothing you could do about the trip A's hand... other than perhaps play it slower and lose less.

At Thu Mar 16, 01:18:00 PM 2006, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

check out the guns on the rooster! whoa.

At Sat Mar 18, 08:17:00 AM 2006, Blogger Kid Dynamite said...

your A-A-9 hand sucks, but there's no way to get away from it.

I'm surprised the guy in your QT hand mucked. In position, to a small re-raise getting good pot odds with many possible scare cards on the turn that could slow you down - min-raise and fold to a small re-raise is weak from him!

ni han sir.


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