It Was a Crazy Game of Poker
by Andrew Brokos | Published: Feb 09, '13
I arrived at my local card room expecting to play the usual loose-passive $1/$3/$6 game. Instead, there were two full tables of $5/$5 running with a substantial waiting list. I sat for over an hour in a $1/$3 game before a seat in the must-move game opened up. When I went over to claim it, there was the usual round of musical chairs as someone moved into the now-vacant seat for which I was headed, then someone else claimed his seat, etc. Just when things seemed to have settled down and I was about to sit, one of the regulars called out, “Ohh, wait, sorry, do you mind if I take that one? I want to be able to see the Heat game.” I obliged and bought in for $1000.
There were a lot of younger guys I didn’t recognize in the game, and while it was still decent, it was much more aggressive than usual. On my second hand at the table, I overcalled a raise with TT in the SB and flopped AQT. Everyone including the pre-flop raiser checked to an older, heavyset player I also did not recognize, who had me covered by a few hundred dollars. He potted it for 125, I called, and everyone else folded.
The turn was an offsuit 5, I checked and he quickly bet 350. I usually assume that players of his description are nitty when it comes to playing big pots, and that was bad for me. They also tend to overvalue/overprotect hands certain types of non-nut hands, though, and slowplay nutted hands in bad spots. I figured AA was very unlikely for him, and QQ and KJ could surely be in his range for seeing the flop though I wasn’t sure he would play them this way. Then there was AQ, perhaps the most likely candidate, and even AT/QT to consider, though I wasn’t sure which of those would call a raise. I shoved, he called with KJ, and I binked a 5 on the river.
A few hands later, I opened to 25 with AA in early position. I got one call, then one of the young guys three-bet to 125, then the guy who took my seat to watch the game cold 4-bet to 330 out of a stack of 1200. I figured the weakest thing I could do would be to make it 660, which could maybe give impression of leaving myself room to fold to a shove from the 3-better. The 3-better folded, but the 4-better guy shoved so fast I thought he probably had the other two Aces. He showed Ks, and in my first ten minutes at the table I was up more than 400 BBs.
The next few hours were a lot less eventful, and I lost one sizeable pot that was straddled three times, with the final $40 straddler waking up with KK, which was a lot better than my 54s. Eventually I was moved to the main game, where the Heat guy had already been seated. The game didn’t look nearly as good as the must-move, and I was getting tired anyway, so I decided just to play around to my blind and then call it a night.
On my second-to-last hand, the UTG player straddled to $10. I limped next to act with 88, there were a couple more limpers, Miami Heat completed from the BB, and the straddle raised $35 more. That’s unlikely to be a monster, and I should probably just 3-bet now. I wasn’t eager to play a big pot, though, and I also expect my implied odds with a set to be pretty good, so I just called.
Everyone else called back to Heat, who put $500 on top. The straddle tanked a bit before folding, and in that time I realized that I was going to have to shove. Nines or Tens weren’t completely out of the question for him, but his line really made no sense. Not that I was going to look terribly strong, but he might fold to a shove, and even if he didn’t we were probably flipping. I moved in for $1700 more on top of his $535, and he agonized for a bit before correctly deciding he was priced in.
The board ran out KQ7J5, and he showed J9s. I suppose losing a 1000 BB coin flip was an appropriate end to the night. I’m going to an independent regional professional wrestling match tonight, so that should make for an interesting night of a different sort…