Thursday, May 18, 2006

Quick Hit at Casino AZ

So I had a couple of hours to kill before a 5:30 PM business event in North Scottsdale. I did not feel like working and I couldn't go home, so I went to the casino.

I was seated in a very loose passive 4-8 game and sat in the 3 seat. After folding the first 9 or 10 hands I had reads on at least half the table. There were 4 players that were willing to play any two and call all draws to the river. There was an old lady in seat 8 who would only raise if her hand was unbeatable. I saw her call down with 3 of a kind, twice without raising. I also overheard her saying something about never raising with QQ or KK because an Ace always hits the flop. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Now I only have about 90 minutes so I am looking to make a decent score. Under the gun, I limp with Ace-8 of hearts. Normally I muck this, but I am not afraid of a raise here. After putting my $4 in, the dealer reminds me it's a kill pot. Oh! I put in the other $4. Every other player at the table calls!. I guess we all have odds to chase now.

The flop is As - 8s - Th. A great but vulnerable hand with this many players. The small blind was a younger guy who I had not seen get out of line yet, led out for 8. The BB called. I raise trying to force some guys out. I get a loose call from one guy who is now all in and another call. The blinds also call. The turn is a Jh. Ok that made an inside straight or the weaker straight. However it gives me a nut flush draw.

The small blind leads out again. Now I am thinking he may have a set. The table has been really passive. He has bet into me twice. I don't think he is bluffing, but he may not realize how strong my hand is. The big blind folds, I just call. The all in guy is still paying attention and the last loose guy calls.

The river is a black 2. Now the small blind checks. Ok there's no full house and I don't think he would give up on his set now. He must have top pair. I value bet and get a call from the guy behind me and the small blind. My hand is good as they turn over AK and AQ. The all in guy mucked.

I think my profit was over $120 in the hand. That was an awful lot of chips to stack for the next 3 or 4 hands.

Now that I think about it, I probably should have raised the turn when the flush draw came. I'm pretty sure I had enough equity in the pot to do it. Plus it might have convinced the last guy to fold, although I doubt it.

I should have just got up right there. But of course I had an hour left to kill.

I think I actually played very well for the remaining hour, but I lost most of my gains until I left with a $47 profit. I made some good decisions on the river and saved some bets. Here are some of the interesting hands.

The younger guy in the 1 seat raised under the gun. 2 seat folds and I look at TT. I think about reraising here, but I dread having a bunch of players call 3 bets behind me. I folded. The big blind was the only other caller. The flop came out Ace-Queen-Queen. The BB checked and UTG followed through with a bet and won the pot. He actually showed his cards and had 99.

So the question in hindsight is, should I have reraised? I am definitely sure that I could not call a bet or a raise on that flop. Was my position bad enough, that a fold was the right play?

Later I play Jack 10 off on the big blind for one bet. I think there are 5 people in the pot. The flop is Jack-2-2. I lead out hoping everyone folds. Instead I get 3 other callers. There is no flush draw out there and no possible straight draw. So there's a good chance someone has the 2. The turn is another 2. Maybe there isn't another two in someones hand?? I bet this time and only get one more caller. This guy is very loose and could be calling with a smaller pocket pair.
For some reason, my gut tells me to check the river which was an 8. So he announces, "I think you're bluffing so I'm gonna bet".

I think about it for a little bit. Then I ask him, "How much do you think I'm bluffing? Would you call a raise?" He doesn't give a straight answer but he looks like he is trying to goad me into raising. I just call and he turns over the 4th 2 for 4 of a kind. At least I lost the minimum.

Overall it was nice to book a win in a live game. Now I'm jonesing for another trip to Vegas. Maybe in June.

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