Ever have that feeling that the poker game is going to be really fishy just by sitting down? I have yet to decide whether that is really as good as it seems. As much as I want every dolt to try and catch their 3 outer on the river, sometimes it seems they do catch them way too often. I walked away from the table on Friday night wondering whether it was just variance or whether I am just need to learn play low limit better.
I have begun to loathe the low limit casino game. By low limit I mean 2/4 or 3/6. Just by the limit. When you see people limping in with anything, calling the raise with anything or even calling a capped pot just to see a flop, you know that any two cards will suddenly win. That is how is seemed to be at the Menomonee Casino in Keshena. I sat back watching players call down with second or third pair drooling at wanting some of the action. That is until I was sucked out on 3 huge pots.
I also wondered where these people learned to play. Did someone give them "lessons". There seemed to be the same kind of play going on. Not everyone, but the majority of the players seem to play like lemmings. Their cheat sheet looked something like this:
1) Always see a flop. If you have an ace or king, you are way ahead. Any suited cards are good as are any connectors. No matter the cost, you want to see a flop. If the pot is raised, call. You have already committed 3 dollars. Their hand can't be that much better than yours. Beside, you might get lucky on the flop.
2) Unless the flop has totally missed you, you want to see the turn. Seeing the turn is a MUST! Call any bet to see the turn card. It doesn't matter if you need runner runner to win, you need to see the turn.
3) If you improved on the turn, see the river. Call all bets to see the river. So what if you have a gutshot, it could happen.
4) Have the nuts? Don't scare your opponents by raising. Building the pot only makes them fold. Especially on the river. Just call the bet.
That is what I experienced this weekend. Does that not look like a very profitable situation? I thought so until the the suckout killed my Friday night. I made up for it on Saturday but still was down 10 bucks at the poker tables. I can't complain as I had a good time, but I guess I need to change my low limit game. I expected this kind of action and tried to play accordingly. Nothing you can do when the river kills you. I felt my reads were good. I spotted tells on most of the players. You could tell when they were on a draw and when you had the best hand.
On Friday there were 3 pots that killed me. The first is when I raised it up with 9 9. Of course, 7 people see the flop come 3 5 9. I bet it and they all call (see Rule 2). Turn is a 4. Again, I look at the board and think what they could have called with and bet it again. This time, I only have 2 callers. I must be way ahead at this time. River is a 6. I bet and they call me down. The pot is split to to the guy with A 7 and 7 9 on their 7 high straights. What the guy with A 7 was still doing in their, I do not know. I think his hat said it all. Pecker.
He was wearing a hat that said Woodsville Peckers and he was the player you would love to see at your table. He was calling down any pair and any draw. Tonight, he was getting lucky. When I sat down he was about to bust out but then went on his mad rush, hitting many a card on the river to send him a pot. Some young kid with an earring was bleeding chips out nicely. He didn't seem to really have a grasp on the game folding many a time on the river. The Indian in the Old Navy shirt was willing to pay to see cards but never seem to catch anything. The old guy in the coat was a regular contributor. The loud mouth in the black hoodie was interesting. He was talking it up and catching cards. Once I was liquored up I had fun with him. Strangely enough, the guy on my right was the long time friend of a my friend's husband. He wasn't that good. He dutifully followed the stated rules above.
My favorite at the table though had to be the feeble kid with the earring. He was exhibiting the classic tells and seemed to swear by Rule 4. If he hit the flop, his hands instantly went to his chips and he looked down to grab some. I watched him dutifully to see where I was in any hand I was in with him. He yo yoed in chips never really going anywhere.
I won some decent pots but never got anywhere. I was up maybe 30 bucks early when my A J beat A 7. I knew I had the guy all the way as he played his hand a little too confident. I did like his look when he realized he had lost. But that was pretty much how the night went. I would take down decent pots but lose the big ones.
This beat is the one that killed me. I caught J J in the BB and raised it up to see the usual 8 callers. Flop comes 7 5 2 rainbow. I bet it out and have 5 call. I guess some of them forgot about Rule 2. The turn comes A of hearts. Bad card for me. I check it to see if someone caught their ace. Surprisingly it checks around. River seems to be an innocuous 5 of hearts. The possibility of a flush is now out there, but I can't see how anyone would have stayed on to catch runner runner flush. I check it though, just to be safe. It checks around to the guy two spots to my right who bets it out. Just as he does, the dealer stops him. Apparently the quite Asian guy hadn't acted and was now betting. Shit! Some clown caught his flush? The guy who was going to bet, folds. I knew I had him beat and was a bit pissed. He had two lower pair. But did this guy catch his flush? I was willing to pay him off just to see what he played. He turned over K 4 of hearts. WTF? I laughed out loud at his hand. I felt like going all Hellmuth over him (hey, I am one of the few that like Phil and some of his tantrums). He called two bets preflop. He had one overcard on the flop, with a longshot draw. He has a better draw on the turn but had nothing until he hits it on the river. He had no reason to be in there and won. I thought this one over and believe that even if I bet the turn, he wasn't going anywhere. I will chalk that up to a bad beat, with maybe some bad play on myself. Any comments on how you would have played it are appreciated.
I tilted a bit after that. I raised up the next hand with K 9 off and bet the flop of A A 6. Pecker called my flop bet but folded on the turn. I showed the K 9 out of exasperation.
The last hand that got me was when two guys hit their gutshot on the river. I had a higher pair going and knew they were drawing to a straight. I was screwed when the 2 hit on fifth street and it was bet out to me. Both were playing A 5.
After that, I saw nothing and decided at 2 in the morning, it was time to call it quits. I wish I would have stayed as half an hour later, they consolidated tables (only 2 running 3/6 all night) and took the limit to 5/10. I would have like to have played in that game. My friend Randy made over $200 in it.
Instead I walked away wondering if I thought I was overestimating my skill level. I thought about what I could have done differently. I don't know of any hands I could have played that would have paid. Maybe tomorrow I will loosen my starting hands up a bit and see what happens. I think part of what frustrated me was I believe I was a much better player than those at the table, but the results didn't show it. That is how the game goes sometimes but what can you do about it except suck it up?