I took a month off to decompress, and have been enjoying my time away from the tables. I’ve been working on a lot of other projects with the time this has freed up, and making the most of it. It’s been good to get away from the game.
I decided to watch some tables last night, and found a 4-seat, 100/200 NLHE table. I was thinking about maybe sitting in for a few hands, but someone else beat me to the empty chair. They sat in, played exactly one hand, won a nice pot, and left. I decided that was my sign, so I sat down.
No rust, and no tilt, I’m fresh and ready to play. I buy in at 40,000, the max for the table, and one player has about 50k, one has about 25k, and one player has around 1500. The player with 1500 loses the last of his chips pretty soon after I come in, leaves, and is replaced by a new player. My cards are nothing special, but I do end up picking up a small pot with some suited rags that make a flush, and after a few orbits I’m up +3000.
The player who was up around 50k when I sat down is the one losing the most to me, and they decide to cut their losses and go, or maybe they’d just been at the table long enough. The rest of the table vacates and I’m left up +3k-4k or so with no one left to play. I think, well, it didn’t last long, but at least I won a hand or two. I sit out, go to the bathroom, and come back, and there’s a new player sitting. I sit back down and the dealer starts a hand, but he’s away, and times out so I end up taking one blind from him. Quickly, though, the table fills back up, and the player to my left ends up getting me again and again on hands where I’m beat but the bets are sized just right to keep me in, and I end up dropping about 6k or so over the next 10-15 minutes, maybe. The pots are tiny, and not worth folding with marginal holdings that I don’t expect to win very often, but might. This time they don’t. That new player to my left gets his fill and leaves, and is replaced by a new player.
Finally I run into a hot string. I get KK, flop comes 788, giving me two pair, KK88, but then the turn fills me up KKK88, river’s a 9, my opponent calls with 66 improving from two pair to an almost-straight, and I win a good pot of 4180 chips with it. It’s the biggest pot to come in a while, it’s been really hard to get anyone to put much in the middle when I have anything. I’d had KK once prior at this table and couldn’t get anyone to call me at 3BB to open, so the mood here is really tight. Anyway, that pot puts me right back up to breakeven.
Things start to loosen up a bit, I take a QJs hand against the new player to my left, and flop into Broadway, bet it for three streets of value, and get called by top pair, A4s, who pays off nicely to the tune of 28.5k. Now the table’s feeling different, bets are getting called, and it looks like I can build a real pot.
I get pocket Aces, raise them, and then check-raise a flop and my opponent folds, and I win a tiny pot with them. But just a few hands later, I get pocket Aces second time, and this time it goes all in the middle. I open preflop from the button to 450 and get a call from the player to my left. Flop is A83, rainbow, and I have top set. V checks it to me and I min-bet, and get a call. Good. I’m hoping he’s got the last Ace and won’t fold it, and I’ll get him to call three streets again.
I go half-pot on the Turn, which is the 4s, and he calls again. Pot is now up to 2660. River is a 6s, the board is Ad8c3h4s6s, I have top set, the board’s not paired, and there’s no flush, so I’m and feeling reasonably good about it, but I don’t much like the 6 coming on the river because it introduces straights for 75 and 52. But both of those are hands I would not expect V to be holding in this spot, I’m still hoping that he has top pair, and it’ll be enough to get him to call a pot size river bet. I put it in, and V shoves, about 5x pot. I’m not expecting it, and it puts me off.
Decision time. Do I really think he’s got that straight? I consider, if he had 75s, it would have been a bad play to continue past the flop without a flush draw or at least some part of the flop. 52s, even less likely. If he shows either of those hands, hoo boy that’s going to steam me up. I consider, maybe he has A6 and improved to two pair on the river? Or maybe 66?
Whatever, I’m only beat by 75 or 52 here, and I don’t see how he could have either of those; I call.
V shows 88, for flopped middle set, he slow played it and got beat by the effective nuts. Very good hand for me, I pull in a pot of 50k and double up from my starting stack to 80k.
The player to my left leaves the table having busted, and the rest of the players at the table quickly follow, but are replaced just as quickly. I continue playing but nothing consequential goes down for many orbits, and my stack remains a little over 80k. Finally, I end up checking J3o from the BB into a 3-way flop, 4JJ, giving me top trips. I check-call to the river, the board runs out 4sJsJd9cQc. This new player to my left bets into me for three streets, and then shoves the river.
I consider calling again, but this time I lay it down. I have JJJQ9, despite my hand being J3 I have a pretty reasonably good board kicker that I might chop against some Jacks; maybe I should have called. But I figure the following hands all could have me: 44, 99, QQ, J9, QJ, KT, T8, and even JT, KJ, or AJ. That’s a few too many reasonable combos that V could be holding for me to call a huge overbet on the river, so I let it go and V gets the pot, which is just 2000.
V doesn’t show their hand, so might well possibly have bluffed me off of it. V left the table after that hand, and I decided to close for the night too.
Did I make a good fold here? I don’t know; if I had some hand history on this player and knew how they play, I could say more definitely, but I think it was better to play safe rather than risk 25k to find out.
What do you think?