As I had said, I had a very crappy week at the tables. On Saturday, I started what I hope is a new trend back to continued success.
It started with placing first in a SnG in the morning. I was able to double through early on when I re-raised it up with the Hilton Sisters. The player on my right raised it to 3xs the BB. I kicked it up to 250. One guy called while the original raiser folded. Flop came 9 high. My opponent suddenly went all in. Right away I had to think of what he was holding. If he had AA or KK, he would have pushed pre-flop. I am pretty certain of that. And with the way some clowns play on the net, he could have easily called with any pair this early in the tourney and hit his set. I called figuring that he didn't hit the set. If he had, he wouldn't have pushed. This overbet was the attempt to scare me away. He showed J J and was shown the door.
Needless to say, with a chip lead that early, it allows you to be aggressive and stay aggressive as long as you don't make the stupid plays. But of course, I made some stupid plays and gave a good number of those chips back. But I was also playing some hands extremely well too. Like limping in with Presto and catching the set on the flop. Rarely do I slow play trips. I this case though, I had the lowest possible set and was curiously to see if the other guy who was being very aggressive, would stay that way. Yep, he was. He bet it out. I just called. Turn was the case 5. But this time he checked. Crap. I checked behind him. On the river, I bet it out. Crappily, he folded. Apparently he was just on a steal. But quads are nice.
I proceed to play a lot of mediocre hands and keep betting out just about any hand. Second pair, bet. Top pair, bet. Draws, bet. Nothing, bet. It gets to be very effective because when you catch a hand, they don't believe you. Kinda like playing K 10. Flop come J 10 3. I bet it out for about half the pot. One caller. Turn is a K. I bet again, just to get re-raised all in. Huh? He pushed with a pair of jacks.
People fall out left and right and next thing I know, I am in the money and have a commanding chip lead. The third place player does battle with the second and get bounced. I catch A A and make a ridiculously high bet trying to make it look like a total steal. Caught that move on tv. My opponent called and I start the weekend right. There is more poker to be played later at the bar.
The game at the bar is somewhat of a crap shoot. We have 8 people paying 20 bones a piece. Out of this group, there is me and 1 other guy who play on a regular basis. The others like to play. But they have no clue about betting, pot odds, or quality cards. They also like to bet on absolutely nothing. Take for example Brian. There are 2 Kings on the board and he thinks he is going to bluff John (a very conservative player who won't bet or call if he has nothing). Brian pushes all in with A high. If he had raised pre-flop with his A Q, John probably would have folded his K 3 offsuit. There is K who will stay in pots with any two pair, though someone is sure to have a set. He plays good at times, but doesn't know when to lay a hand down. Bob was a new guy I had no clue about but noticed he played just about every hand. He seemed to lose interest in the game as well.
I started out pretty strong catching a pair of 9s to start. With blinds just 1/2, I pop it up to 10 and get 4 callers. Flop comes 10 high and I bet out to see everyone fold. Next hand, I fill up a straight from the big blind. I have a nice start. John is also running well to. As I mentioned before, he busted out Brian, and then he took out another guy. He has a huge chip lead. I am in a distant second.
I try to take out Bob by limping in with 10 7 spades. Flop came 8 9 spades and 2 hearts. I am looking pretty good here. Bob bets out 20 and I call. Turn is the 4 of spades. I have my flush and am still drawing to a straight flush. Bob bet out 50. I figure it is a good place to push and do so. He immediately calls. Uh-oh. I right away realize he has the flush as well, but does he have me beat? Yep. And I am drawing dead when he shows J 6 spades. Both cards I would need to fill my straight flush! Crap! That hurt, but I was still ok.
Until I made a call I usually don't. I hate to call all in bets when I have just a draw. I rather push and make them react. But when Randy pushed all in and I have the nut flush draw, I called a bet that wasn't going to be good for me. I would have about 40 some left. I didn't hit my flush and looked like I was on the brink of going out in 5th.
But as I said, quads are the easy way to make some money. UTG, I push with 8 8. Two callers. Flop comes 8 6 5. I have my set, but the straight possibility is out there. The turn gives a 7 and I think I am screwed. Someone must have a straight. They aren't betting on each other so that is a good sign. The case 8 hits the river. Quads again and I triple up.
This is where experience pays off. I take my time and start raising the pot with any quality starting hand, and mucking everything else. I am stealing blinds and getting people to fold their crappy hands. 3rd place is going to pay the entry fee back. This is where is got ugly. John proceeds to dump his chips to Bob. All on suckouts and he goes out in 5th. Bob is gone in 4th when he bluffs one too many times to Randy.
I pull a nice Hellmuth move when I raise the pot with Q Q. Randy calls to see a flop come Q high. He pushes. I can't get my chips in fast enough. I knock out Randy and kick Ernie an extra 10 bucks to finish the game because some entertainment was showing up soon.
Experience paid off. The bad beats will happen but you have to get past that. I could have just pushed on anything when I was down but I was going to go out on a good hand no matter what. Thankfully, I took it all. It always feels good beating the players you know you should beat.