I finally decided to leave my computer for a few days and headed down to Biloxi to play in the World Series of Poker Circuit event held at the IP casino in Biloxi a few weeks ago. If you've never been, the IP itself is a nice casino with several great restaurants. The staff there runs great tourneys as well. Between my several trips there I ended up playing in 4 events total. I unfortunately ended with zero cashes, and two bubble finishes which included playing 11 hours in each tourney just to barely miss the money. I guess thats tourneys for you!
While in Biloxi I also spent some time both at the Beau Rivage and the IP playing in cash games when I wasn't in the tourneys. Unfortunately my results in the cash games were pretty abysmal as well. There were a few interesting hands that came up in the cash games though which I think I'll include. The first hand is from a $2-$5 NL game at the Beau Rivage. Lets set the scene:
It's 2am and the table is playing pretty loose. There is a lot of money on the table with the average stack being about $1000. The player under the gun ($1000 stack) raised to $20, a loose player who had been 3 betting a ton preflop and who I thought was a little too loose, but yet very competent, called right behind him (we'll call him villain from this point forward, and his stack size covered everyone), the button called ($500 stack), and I called from the big blind with A9 of diamonds (I had a $1500 stack). The flop came out K-6-6 with 2 diamonds. I checked, the raiser bet $65, the villain called $65, the button folded and I decided to just call. I thought that the raiser would always c-bet this flop, and the villain could have called with a hand like 77 (remember I said he's competent but too loose, so he knows the guys c-betting his whole range, but also is too loose to realize that there are players to act behind so he could call with a middle pair here). So I could call and either hit my hand, or if the turn checks through I could bet the river repping a hand like KQ or KJ. Anyway, the turn is a 9 giving me a pair. I check again, the raiser checks, and now the villain bets $100. At this point I really don't think the villain has 77 anymore, but something along the lines of KQ. I debated my options, but knew that the aggressive dynaminc between myself and the villain would enable me to get paid off on a diamond river. Not only that, but my immediate odds from the pot were about 4-1, so I clicked call. The preflop raiser folded. This is where it gets interesting. The river comes the 3 of diamonds giving me the nut flush. I know he'll pay me off, but I also know he's capable of laying down if I bet too big. I decided on a half pot bet of $250. The villain immediately raised me $500 more. Of course I hated this since the board is paired, so I began replaying the hand in my mind to help make my decision. Based on the board texture of K-6-6-9-3, folding is out of the question in my opinion here. I rule out KK immediately since he had been 3 betting a ton, I knew he would have 3 bet KK preflop. I gave little credeance to him having 99 here since I had one of them in my hand. I can never put him on 33 because I really felt had he called with 33 he would have checked the turn back. As far as unpaired hands, I really didn't think that he called an under the gun raiser from early position with K6, 69, or 63. I was very close to shoving, but it seemed to me like he loved his hand. Finally it dawned on me that he could have 66 here and flopped quads, albeit unlikely, but thats actually the hand that makes the most sense. Lastly, I weighed the fact that he could be raising a smaller flush for value. Ultimately I decided that he wouldn't call a shove with a smaller flush so I just called the $500 more. The villain proudly displayed the 63 offsuit for the rivered full house. Amazingly I didn't perceive 63 offsuit as part of his ranging in early position after the under the gun player raised! Imagine that, LOL. I hated the end result of this hand but was very happy that I thought the hand out, replayed it in my mind, and came to a logical decision rather than just saying "I've got an Ace high flush, so I definitely call."
The second hand happened at the IP in a $2-$5 NL game. I was killing time while waiting for my Mom to arrive to meet me for dinner, and had bought in for $500. Lets just assume all players at the table covered me in this hand. There is a $10 straddle and a guy in middle position makes it $30. One player calls in front of me and I call $30 on the button with 6-5 of clubs. The straddler who had been hitting every hand and had over $5000 in front of him calls. The flop comes out 664 with 2 hearts. Jackpot! The straddler checks, the raiser bets $100, next player folds, I flat call the $100, and now the straddler folds his hand face up, showing AJ of spades, and comments how he finally missed a flop. The turn card is the Ace of hearts and now the raiser checks to me. I only have $350 left, and thats about what is in the pot. I don't like the heart at all, not because I'm worried about him having hearts as I knew he'd bet if he had a flush, but I thought it would kill my action. Anyway, I just shove in an effort to polarize my hand to flushes, 4's full or nothing (nothing being straight draws like 7-5, etc). The raiser starts asking if I have a flush. After I don't respond he starts saying that he thinks I have a hand like pocket Tens or Nines and am trying to get him to lay down a hand like AK or AQ with no heart. After about a minute he calls and turns over A-K...with no heart. I'm elated as I show my hand, especially knowing that the straddler showed AJ, meaning there is only 1 Ace left in the deck giving him the win, assuming it hadn't already been folded preflop by anyone else. Well, of course it hadn't, because the river peeled off the case Ace, a good ole one outer costing me the over $1000 pot. Luckily I played a bit longer and ended up breaking even that session, but I still have nightmares about those 1 outers with one to come, the absolute worst beat that can happen in Hold Em.
After having a crap week playing live, it was back to the internet for me last week. Luckily I ran well and won back all my losses from playing live the previous week. I even cashed in FTOPS Event #1 finishing 56th out of 4500 players. It was good for 7 times the buy in, but still a long ways away from a score of $150k+, which was the first place prize money. Oh well, maybe one day. I plan on playing online this week and enjoying Thanksgiving with my wife and my parents before heading out to Vegas for a few days with my wife and my Mom. While there I'm planning on playing one or two events at the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Classic. Hopefully I'm just saving my run good for then!
As always, join me on the tables at FeltStars. The games have been great lately and don't seem to be slowing down. The Pro Bounty Challenge is just around the corner and always proves to be a great little tourney with a shot at BIG money if you knock me and my fellow Team FeltStars Pros out of the tourney. Speaking of the Pro Bounty Challenge, last month my Mom finished 2nd in the tourney! She was so happy and I'm so proud of her for getting better. She's doing well for someone who just started playing a few months ago. I always joke with her that she plays more hours in a week than I do (kind of a joke, but possibly the truth!)
Til Next Time....