First a bit of whining:
10/20 at Bellagio, I bought in for 2k and I’ve just been moved to the main game and have been playing for about 20 minutes. Under the gun straddles — he’s played a few big pots already and seems to be splashing around some. It’s folded to the hijack, who’s a young, seemingly competent player. He opens to 120. I have TT in the cutoff and I decide to flat. My hand is strong enough to 3bet, but I don’t think I’ll be getting stacks in very good against his range with no history and I want to give the straddle a chance to do something stupid. In fact, he raises to 360 and the cutoff calls. This seems like a good time to ship the rest in. There’s a lot of money in the pot now and I’m still quite likely to have the best hand. The hijack would probably have put in a 4bet with a premium hand since he’d want to build a pot against the fish (they were both deeper), while the fish can have all sorts of garbage. And as it turned out he called it off with J8o. And made two pair, obviously.
A more interesting one:
Also 10/20 at Bellagio. It’s about 4 a.m., I’ve been playing for a long time as the game is very good. I open 97s to 80 in middle position; not my standard, but there were some very weak players in the game and I wanted to play as many hands as possible. I get called by the button and both blinds. The flop is 765r, I have a backdoor flush draw. I cbet 240 into 320. It’s not clear if this is a value bet or a bluff, but I have good equity and winning the pot is likely to become very difficult if I check. The button calls and the blinds fold. The button is a fishy, older Asian guy. The turn is a K, giving me a backdoor flush draw. At this point there’s 800 in the pot and about 2200 back. My standard line here would be to just keep betting, but I had a few reads on this guy: he was playing pretty straightforwardly and his betsizing seemed to be a pretty good indication of how happy he was with his hand: big bet with the nuts, small bet with a weak pair, etc. He also seemed to be betting pretty wide for protection when checked to. So I thought I could check and, depending on his sizing, either check-shove or check-call. I went ahead and checked and he bet 700, which was pretty surprising, but given my read I thought it was likely he had a nutted hand. I didn’t expect him to be folding to a shove with that sizing, but I still have a lot of outs and I expect to get paid off when I hit. Also, if he was somehow going for a weird bluff, I thought he probably wouldn’t have the balls to follow through on the river. I called. The river was an offsuit 9, giving me 2pair, but also completing the 1-card straight draw. At this point the hand started to get really weird. He bet 800 of his remaining 1500. I started fishing for reads (“Why would you bet so small?”), but almost immediately a clueless old guy called time on me. The Asian guy seemed pretty comfortable, and was getting more comfortable the longer I thought, which is usually a pretty good sign of strength. It’s like the polygraph test: everyone is nervous at the beginning, but people who are telling the truth tend to relax over time. I was definitely leaning towards folding, and then it got even weirder, because he revealed one of his cards: a J. Well, that eliminated nutted hands on the turn, so I guess my read was wrong, but at that point I was pretty sure he just had J8 because he was clearly trying to induce a call, so I went ahead and folded anyway. I’m pretty confident in my river fold, but I wish I had played the turn aggressively, either by betting or check-shoving, so I wouldn’t have had to deal with such an awkward spot on the river.
First a bit of whining: