Tonight I went out to bar poker. There were about 25 players, we start with 1,000 in chips. It’s funny how being in a different venue messes me up. I screwed up the chips a couple times, and at least twice thought I was raising big when I was only min-raising. It didn’t help that I was squeezed up against the wall between two enormous guys.
Key Hand 1 (which is also the first hand of the night): I have pocket queens under the gun. I raise of course. Two callers. The flop is J-x-x. I raise again. The guy across the table goes all-in. It’s not much of a decision, of course I call. He has pocket jacks. But the turn is a Queen! Hey, how about that! I double up and he leaves, no doubt muttering about newbie idiots who overplay their hands. I felt like Darvin Moon.
Key Hand 2: I have A-J. I raise for the hell of it. I get min raised by the small blind, I call. The flop is A-J-x. He puts in a sizeable bet. I call. The next card is a Jack. He goes all in. Of course I call. My full house vs… vs… what does he have? He doesn’t even show them. He just admits that he was trying to represent the exact hand I had and quietly leaves.
I’m feeling pretty good. But then…
Key Hand 3: I have A-2 of spades. A nice calling hand, especially from the big blind. There is a raise and a caller, with the short-stacked caller going all-in. Eh, it’s worth seeing a flop. Maybe I’ll bluff ’em out later. The turn is 8-7-4. Two of them are spades. I have no hand, but a draw to the nut flush. I don’t want to play against the other player, I want to isolate on the all-in. I think she has nothing. There’s about 2,000 in the pot. I put in 600. The first raiser goes all in. Darn, I think to myself, 600 wasn’t nearly enough to force him out. It’s another 970 to me. I have about a ~36% chance of hitting my flush. It costs 970 to win ~4,200. It’s an easy call. He has an 8. I do not get my spade. His 8 holds up. Darn it! Stupid pot odds! I am knocked back to about 1,000, and the blinds are at 40-80.
Key Hand 4: The blinds are at 100-200. I have 1,400. With two limpers, my big blind is A-K. I should have gone all-in right there, but instead I put in a 600 raise. The short stack calls me all-in. The other guy instacalls also. The flop is 9-7-2. Again, it’s an obvious play, I go all-in with my last 800. I am called. He has 7-6. 7-6!? Needless to say, his 7 holds up. I am knocked out. What the hell is the guy doing calling a preflop raise with 7-6? And then calling an all-in bet again with only middle pair? I leave, steaming.
Tonight: $0 (It’s a free game.)
Update: I take back my anger about Key Hand 4. (1) I definitely should have gone all in. Pre flop, he had to call 600 into a pot of ~1,800. Post-flop he had to call 800 into a pot of over 3,000 when he had a pair. Both are defensible. In addition, because I was short stack, he had to think there was a good chance I had nothing. I wouldn’t have played it the way he did, I would have let the two short stacks knock each other out, but his play wasn’t crazy. Dang, I wish I had gone all-in preflop!!