Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Two Hands From The Big Game

The G-Vegas Big Game began where it left off.  During only 4 sessions there in 2005, I managed a small profit.  I’m sure my table image was rock-ish, at least to those who were paying attention.  I was hoping to play more during the forthcoming year, so I made a point to get there on its first installment in aught six.

The first interesting hand for me came during a NLO8 hand.  Yes, that’s “N,” not “P.”  G-Vegas likes its gambool and pot-limit apparently doesn’t cut it.  Regardless, I’m dealt A28K rainbow and see the flop for $5.  When the flop comes 467, my first thoughts are “jackpot.”  An EP limper bets $15 into the pot and I’m all too happy to call.  G-Rob, in LP, raises $30 to $45 and a warning flag in my head is raised ever so slightly.  That same flag begins waiving frantically when the initial EP bettor goes over the top all-in for about $80 more.

I have the nut low, but no high draw.  So here’s my thinking:  Right now I could very well be playing for only a quarter of the pot.  In fact, it may be 1/6th the pot based on the action.  I have no high hand draw AND my nut low is subject to counterfeiting, albeit the chances are small.  So I fold.  Yes, that’s right, I folded the nut low on the flop.  Even though there were four players in the pot and only G-Rob had a stack that covered me, I still folded.  Good thing too, since G-Rob came over the top all-in too.  He indeed had A2, but with the nut flush draw.  He hit and scooped.  My fold easily saved me $100+.

Hand number two was really interesting too.  I’m dealt A3 of hearts and raise to 3xBB to $15.  G-Rob on the button calls as does one other player.  The flop is a scary, coordinated A23.  Of spades.  I flopped top two-pair on a scary board, but still had to represent my hand.  I bet out $30 and only G-Rob smooth called.  The turn was a 9.  Of spades.  Things just got even more interesting.

Here’s a peek inside my thought process for how I was going to play this hand.  Remember that G-Rob just scooped an enormous NLO8 hand.  He probably had $600 in front of him at the time and it was easy to see him regain his comfort level at the table.  He’s ran bad at TheRick’s in the past, but with 3x his buy-in in front of him, I felt that he felt he could play his normally aggressive game, especially during a NL hold ‘em hand.

I bet $30 on the turn, which screamed “I do not have a flush.”  Why would I bet this amount?  Because I was confident G-Rob would see this as an opportunity.  Not especially confident, but just a little bit.  He raised me to $80.  Before I called, I put him on a big Ace.  He smoothed called my pre-flop raise, so I know he has a hand.  I call at this point thinking that there’s a decent chance his other card is not a spade.  The river is an offsuit Jack.  I’m not too pleased, because that card could just as easily given G-Rob a higher two-pair than mine.

I check the river to see what G-Rob will bet.  He easily has me covered and I most certainly could not call an all-in bet from him.  He bets $70 into a $250+ pot.  I still feel I have to call because I’m confident he’s holding an Ace, I’m confident he’s willing to bluff at the flush and there’s a decent chance his other card is neither a spade nor matching a card on the board for a higher two-pair.  I call.

G-Rob shows AQ.  Q of clubs.  My read was correct and I pulled in a decent pot.  Many of the players couldn’t believe I called the hand.  I certainly was not 100% sure my read was right, but I was going with it, especially on the river given the pot odds at the time.

Even though he lost that pot to me, G-Rob and I cashed out a collective $800+ in profit for the night, both playing decent poker.  I’ll happily book my $450 win in hopes that it’s a sign of better things to come for 2006.

No comments: