Last night I did something I rarely do. I drove downtown to the card room. I needed to occupy my brain to stave off some depression, and I was not thrilled with the idea of a movie. (although I did see WANTED on sunday and liked it.) 50 min-200 max, 2-3 blinds
I sat down and really started the way I usually do... By digging a hole. This is my MO and I have to break it. I folded 88 too soon and then made move with 99.
I called the pre-flop raise of $20 with 99, pretty standard stuff.
Flop is T34 and he again bets $20. I call, expecting to check-raise on the turn and take it.
Turn is a K! Perfect. He checks and I bet $60. He thinks for a while, asks if I hit the King, then calls. He also bets out on the river (I think he had JJ or QQ).
Now later on, after playing with guy for hours, I will know that he wont lay down those hands here. But at the time, seemed like a good place to make a move.
I then get felted with a short stack on 2nd pair (pocky 99 vs pocket JJ on an all baby board).
I rebuy and not 30 minutes later, Utg raises to $20, I make it $35 (note: I do this knowing that some fishtard at the table will say "that's not enough". but of course it is.) with AdKd. Fold around to the button who moves in for 105. UtG folds. So now its $70 to win $160 and there is no way in hell I am folding AKsuited. So I call and he tables JJ and they hold up.
I am down to about $80 in chips (-$320) and really have not won a real pot. I then win a few small pots and get pocket Kings. I take down a nice pot there against a loose caller. About an hour later, I am almost break even. This despite never hitting a set, never making a straight, and making a 5 high flush once (and sadly missed a value bet). I won basically on top pair and pressure on the turn. I did get one guy to lay down AJ with the jack of spades on a 4 spade board because he put me firmly on the Ace of spades and I made a bet. I had 99 with the 9 of spades... "betters are winners."
I was berating myself everytime I made a mistake and it was taking its toll as I made lots of little mistakes. But then, I started to get it together.
I am playing MUCH better now (as I do after I get the first hour out of the way) and have a read on everyone. There is a guy at the back end of the table who LOVES to play Kx. And when he hits the K, he takes down a nice pot vs. things like middle pair and broken draws. (He is the guy who beat my pocket 99 with his pocket JJ way earlier). I make a joke everytime I am in a hand with this guy, "You got Jacks again?"
Its just before 11 and I am up maybe $20 overall and after that big hole, I figured I would leave before my next blind while I was even. Second to last hand, I look down at AA... Despite the obvious nature of this, and despite I played KK from early position this way before and thus this is seemingly obvious, I raise to $20. The King of Kings at the end of the table calls. Everyone else knows better and folds. Heads-up. Flop is K89 rainbow. I make a simple continuation bet of $20 thinking he might call and I'll get some value. He raises to $100.
Now I start to tank. I start thinking "Gus" poker. There is no value in calling here as he will bet every street(?). If I play this pot, I might lose my entire $400 and go home broke. And I feel if I play this pot, all the money needs to go in. There in no other proper way to play this. But I take my time and start thinking instead of just reacting. (Note: this was HARD to do.) I take a deep breath and think about what hands I am SCARED of. I can ONLY come up with K8 or K9. Against OTHER players I would be VERY worried by a set. But against this guy, the King of Kings, I put the time in to KNOW that is what he plays. And he bets his top pair STRONG, just like this time. He has just never had to raise before. So, then I make the move of the day...
I ask him, "King what?".
And here is where an amateur slits his throat. He is subconciously afraid of me drawing out, so he answers. And what an answer...
"King Large" says the King of Kings.
Now I know I have to call. He has something like AK, KQ, KJ, KT and does NOT have two pair!
I say, "I'm sorry, I gotta do this. All-in".
He confidently says "all-in" and I pause. The dealer moved no chips and his bet was never placed.
Instead of showing my cards, I instead said "Say it"
and he repeated "all -in".
Again, since no chips moved, I said "all-in?"
and he said "yes".
Only then, I tabled the Aces and he shows KJo. Two baby cards later and I was up $400 bucks in profit for the evening.
It was weird that when I moved in he said something other than "call". We were heads-up and despite his declaration being clear, I paused and made sure that money went in. I did not want a situation where he somehow tricks me into seeing my AA then folds.
Despite wanting to leave, I stayed one more rotation just for politeness. I won another $100 from very bad play from a couple of new players. Then, I left.
A swing of -$320 to +$500 in 90 minutes. Wow.