As is customary upon my return to Florida, me and dad took a little trip down to the poker room, which as of last year finally has real no limit games for actual money. Hooray for progress! And more importantly, hooray for fish. As usual, the highest game going was 5/10 with a $1k cap. Not super high stakes, but certainly high enough to be worth the trip. So I got on the list for that and the 2/5, hoping to get into the action as soon as possible. The first seat was at a 2/5 table, but I don't recall anything interesting happening aside from losing a flip with JJ against a shortstack's AK, and I was called up to the "big game" soon enough.
Now, there were actually two tables of 5/10 going, which was a good sign that the games were alive and well. Unfortunately my table broke up somewhat quickly after the fish won big pots and left. The only mildly interesting hand at that table was against the self-proclaimed mayor of Bayard, FL. As best I can tell, Bayard encompasses a single intersection on the country highway that leads to the poker room (which was formerly a dog racing track, but they don't actually have races there anymore). Anyhow, the mayor limps in, I raise with KQ, and there are two calls. The flop was AQ5, mayor checks, I bet, and they both fold. As he folds, the mayor shows an ace. I am not accustomed to that kind of respect, but I do enjoy it! Anyhow, our table breaks and we draw for the open seat at the other table. I draw poorly, so I head back to 2/5 to wait for a seat to open up.
My first hand of note at the 2/5 table was exactly the kind of hand I want to have in a good live session: An asian guy raised over limpers to $30 and I called on the button with 86hh. The SB squeezed his stack of about $200 into the middle (d'oh!) and the BB followed right after by shipping his $400 stack over the top. The original raiser didn't take much time to reraise again, covering us all. At this point there was already a mild commotion brewing around the table, as is customary in such live games. Now, perhaps I was just in a gambling mood, and perhaps I had been playing too much PLO lately and overestimated my equity multiway, but I saw fit to go ahead and call off my $500 stack with 8 high. The SB flipped his pocket tens, the BB his pocket queens, and of course the asian had the 'pocket rockets'. Only one dead heart, so I was feeling pretty good about my chances. I kept my hand covered, naturally. The flop came AT7. We have a gutshot! The rest of the table was going on about how sick it was that two of them flopped sets, because it somehow mattered in an AIPF pot. All I was thinking was "9". The turn was nothing less than that beautiful 9, so I offered a modest "bink" to the table and flipped my hand. In retrospect, I should have kept it down until after the river, both for maximum awesomeness and so in case they boated up I could muck it quietly without revealing my ludicrous preflop call. Fortunately, the river was a blank and I dragged the massive pile of red chips (side note: I hate red chips. But I can't complain about stacking up a huge pile of them.). The asian guy was understandably steamed, the rest of the fish at the table were confused and amazed, and the one guy who acted like he knew what he was doing just confirmed that I had made the proper call given the price. Actually, I looked it up on my phone and discovered that I only had about 17% equity, so it was a -EV play. Hopefully the enjoyment yall take from reading it was worth the gamble!
Now, I need to preface the next section of this report with the fact that this particular poker room sometimes runs an hourly "high hand jackpot". I think the prize is $100 and it goes to the player who showed down the highest hand during that hour (and used both of his holecards). Both the "showdown" part and the "both holecards" will come into play. In the first hand, I raised JTcc over a limper, and he was the only caller. The flop came down AhQc8c, and he check-called. The turn was the 9c, naturally, and when he checked I eyed his stack of around $400 and bet again, looking to take it all. Unfortunately, he folded, and when I showed my straight flush the rest of the table berated me for not checking down to guarantee myself the "jackpot". If only he had fewer monies behind I might have done so, but the pro in me simply won't let me in good conscience check down a straight flush.
Soon after, I checked my option with J2o in the straddle. The flop came out JJ9; I led out and got one caller. The turn quadded me up, so I checked and called. The river was an irrelevant 2, I checked again, and he bet perhaps a third of his remaining stack (it wasn't big). I then asked the dealer to confirm that I needed to use both holecards to contend for the jackpot, which he did. So then I placed a stack of big chips out to put the dude all-in, and of course he called. But again I failed to earn the $100 jackpot :(.
Soon after that I was called back up to 5/10, so I racked up my mountains of red and headed over. The game was excellent, featuring a number of atrocious players with healthy stacks. One of the first hands I witnessed went down roughly as follows: straddle to $20, a handful of limpers, button raises to $200. Everyone calls, whether they have a deep stack or not. 5 or 6 ways to the flop, which is 876r. BB ships $850 (with A5o), UTG+1 calls allin for a few hundred (with 52s), MP tanks forever before actually folding, later claiming something like 97, CO calls AI for a few hundred (with 75s), and the button who covers them all makes a crying call with KK. The board runs out 68 and his kings hold up. He lets everyone know how great he is, and how much he deserved to win. They all rebuy and bemoan their bad luck.
The first sizeable hand I got involved with, I completed my BB with 96s in a straddled pot 7-ways. Flop came out T96 with a flush draw, I bet $75 and got several calls. The turn somehow bricked an offsuit 5, I bet $225, and got two more calls. Incredibly, the river was an offsuit 2, I checked to let them bluff, they declined, and I dragged a nice pot.
I misplayed the following hand, at least on the river: I raised AK over limpers, they obviously called. Flop K73 all hearts and only one check-called $125. The turn bricked and he c/c $275, leaving about $720 behind. The river also bricked, and when he checked a third time I tried to squeeze some thin value by representing a barreled NFD bluff. Unfortunately, he checkraised me for less than the minimum, and I reluctantly called getting a great price. He was Asian, after all, and he was the one who got it in with 52s in the stupid multiway hand earlier, so I think he's got some ridiculous bluffs in his range. This time, it was the nuts.
I got it back and then some in the next big hand: In a pot restraddled to $50 (or perhaps it was just a blind raise) by an awesomely bad gambler guy, I picked up AA in the big blind after a call, so I boosted it to $200. Both the restraddler and the "limper" called. The flop came out an unsatisfying JJ6cc, so I checked to the straddler who bet $250. The limper called, and I overcalled. The turn was an offsuit 8, I checked again, and he unsurprisingly shipped. The limper called off a few hundred more without much thought, and I called off the rest of my stack as well. The limper flipped pocket tens, and the straddler revealed his T9cc and muttered that he couldn't possibly miss. He didn't, but he hit the wrong out, the lovely ace of clubs. My boat dragged the nice pot, and left me comfortably ahead on the trip.
Thats about it, poker-wise. I think I pocketed about $1400 or so, so that was nice. One funny thing did happen at the table though, there was a young dude across the table from me in sunglasses for a while who eventually asked if I was from around here (I was) and did I play baseball (I did!). I told him where I played, which rang the bell he was looking for, and it became apparent that we had played together on the same little league team over a decade ago. We caught up a bit, and before leaving I tossed him a business card. At that point he connected Dan the little league teammate with DJ Sensei the guy whose PLO videos he watched on DeucesCracked. Funny how these things work out.