Tonight was the most fun, and also the most frustrating, night of poker I’ve had since my arrival in South Florida. After a huge lunch of garlic crabs with the ‘rents at the most wonderful Rustic Inn restaurant (visit next time you’re down here), I trudged over to the Hollywood Hard Rock to play in their new poker room. Poker has been down here for a while, but since the new table games got here (Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai-Gow, Three Card Poker and Let It Ride), the poker room has been moved to another area outside. I kind of like it. There’s 22 tables in the main area and a side room with another 9 or so. Plus, there’s a staircase upstairs to an area that overlooks the main floor, and they have another 15 or so tables up there for tournaments. The concentration of poker players is no longer diluted by passerbys from the main casino, since it’s a separate area, so it feels much more like a den of thieves. Plus, the massage girls are Shweeeet! Ahem… Where was I?
I sat down at the 1-2 NLHE table with my $100 buyin (maximum allowed by law) and proceeded to grind it out to a $50 profit. I took a hit when I called a multi-way pot with a flush draw that missed but managed to triple up through a guy with a lucky hit.
I had been making excellent reads all night (a few of those later), when I got lucky in a big way. I had KQo in early position and limped along with a few other folks. The flop was KK4 with two clubs. I flopped a monster but wanted to build a pot so I checked in early position hoping someone would bet and build a pot. Someone did indeed bet $6 and two other people called. I decided to let one card peel off and called. The turn was the 6s, putting two flush draws on board. This time, a guy behind me bet $12 and I decided to shut it down with a raise to $50. One short stack shoved all in and the guy who made the $12 raise also moved all in! He had $65 more and I called before I really knew how much it was. I asked him, “6’s full?”. He nodded and turned over the bad news. The short stack turned over KT. I wasn’t drawing dead though. I could chop with a 4 on the river or scoop with a Queen. Wouldn’t you know it, the Queen came, giving me the unlikely position of being the one to suck out with 2 outs! Wow! I was now up about $200 over my original buyin and managed to add another $120 in profit when I had 33 and was the 5th caller to a $10 PF raise. The flop was T32. The original raiser shoved for $90 into the $50 pot with AA and I called with my set. The river was a 3 (DQB!). The quads were good enough for a free $75 entry to a satellite tourney which I wouldn’t be able to attend, but I managed to sell it to a guy playing in a tourney upstairs for $50. Hey, free money. So those quads made me good mobneys.
At this point, I was up nearly $330 and it was closing in on midnight. I wanted to leave at midnight but a few new players sat down and I made the very very wrong decision of playing ‘just a few more hands’. Long story short, it was 2:30a when I found myself digging out my 3rd buyin after losing everything I had.
What can I say? I’d been running good and making good reads and then two aggro guys sat down on either side of me and had their way with me like the big guys in prison who school the white-collar criminal who’s in for a weekend. (OZ flashback). My best read of the night was when I had KQ in early position and the flop was QJx. I led out $10, got raised to $20 and a smooth call behind. I let it go AT THAT POINT. Tough laydown but the smooth-call scared me. They both went all in on the brick turn and it was AQ vs. QJ. I gave up 3rd best and was happy for it. My worst reads came against one of the two aggro guys (out of position on me no less) who just killed me. I ended up giving my entire $300 profit to him.
The worst two hands against him were:
I have Ad3d and call a PF raise to $20 because 3 other people are in. Flop is Qc2d5d. Guy on my right shoves for $90 and I call, getting 2-1. I have the gutshot straight draw and the nut flush draw. He shows AQo. Can’t blame him for doing what he did. I hit a 3 on the turn, giving me even more outs. I have 14 outs to either win or chop but the river is a brick and I double the guy up.
I have 8c4c in the BB and call a small PF raise from the other aggro guy, only because he had been raising nearly everything on principle. Flop is 985. It checks around and the turn is a 4, giving me two pair. I think I’m good here but only call a 15 bet from the guy to my right. We’re heads up when a 6 hits the river. A 7 makes a straight but I don’t put him on a gutshot that he bet out. He reaches for $40 and I read it as a steal. I call and he shows J7. It makes more sense now. It was a double-gutshot he had on the turn and the semi-bluff totally worked. Incidentally, it was offsuit and drove me insane.
So, the long and short of it is I gave up all my profit and two buyins. The second buyin was brutal too. I had 2s4s and I called a PF raise out of the BB because three other people were in. I was a short stack with $46 behind and decided to push if I hit anything on the flop. The flop was Js3c7s. I push with the flush draw and get a call from the original raiser who has AJ. Turn is a J. River is the Ace of spades! I let out a joyous yelp and start to reveal my cards when I realize…he has a boat. Runner Runner boat to counterfeit my flush. Ouch.
This story has a happy ending though. My last hand of the night, I have KsTs and call a PF raise to $10 with $95 behind. Flop is 6c7s8s. I lead out with $10 with my gutshot, two overs and a flush draw. I get one call and a raise to $30 from a smoking hot girl who’s practically poured into her dress. She was there with her husband, otherwise there would have been more flirting from the table, but she knew how to play. When she raised, I assumed she had with the flopped straight or two pair, so I thought my flush draw and gutshot were still good. I got a smooth call from a new player who was drunk and I called. One other player called. Turn was the Js. W00t! I made the second nut flush. I went to bet it but hesitated slightly. Was someone in with the nut draw? I checked with chips in my hand and the hottie woman bet out $50. The drunk guy called with $18 behind (?!?!) and I shoved. The woman let out a sigh and called and so did the drunk guy, for less. I showed my hand, the woman showed 95 for the flopped straight (drawing dead) and the drunk guy showed A6o (Thanks for the donation donkey). I tripled up and finished the night up $100 if you include the $50 I got from the tourney buyin certificate and the $26 I paid for the 10 minute massage that I paid in chips to Stephanie, the really hot massage girl.
Oh what a night!