Today is tomorrow so we pick up the story with me driving my car in the direction of Sunset. But I get to thinking about how much I despise the structure of the game and decide I want to play at Red Rock. Being a Station property my time there will be added to the hours I've already accumulated at Sunset and GVR so I pull over, go to my favorites on my Garmin GPS and find Red Rock. 15 seconds later my directions are mapped out and I'm on my way. the trip took about 25 minutes which is not bad at all since I am used to the hour commute from my home town in Jersey to A.C. It actually reminded me a lot of the rides I used to make to A.C. in that I had ample time to reiterate to myself what topics I wanted to focus on today. each night before I go to bed I read and study. right now I am rehashing Gary Carson's "The Complete Book of Hold'em Poker" and I am also studying the lectures of Mike Caro found on his website, Mike Caro's University of Poker, Gaming, & Life (www.poker1.com.)
Here are some of the notes I scribbled down and took with me so that I could peek at them periodically while playing to remind myself to stay focused:
1. pay attention to tendencies of players after the flop.
2. keep counting the pot to determine pot odds. compare odds to how opponents are playing, especially when there is a showdown and the cards have been revealed.
3. watch how opponents breath during critical portions of hands.
4. watch hands when someone bets, look for something unnatural or out of the ordinary
5. look for acting jobs.
6. look for opportunities to change seats to get position on certain players or change games if more than one game is going and the other game appears to be more appealing.
OK, so you can start to sense that I am serious about this poker stuff. and it's a good thing because I had a great table today full of different types of players that really tested my abilities for the first time in about a week (the GVR game was about the same as today's.) I started off by folding all of my hands for the first orbit. It's amazing how much one orbit can tell you about the players. so on the second orbit I pick up QQ in middle position and a kid in the 2 hole raised. he had raised a couple pots in the first orbit and I got the sense he didn't fully understand hand values. I reraised to isolate but the calling station in the big blind decided her hand was worth two more bets. World Poker Tour kid smoothe called me and we had three to the flop where I spiked top set (nice!!) the kid checked to me and I bet out, asian calling station lady calls me, and WPT kid comes along as well. a K comes on the turn and again it is checked to me. I bet out and the calling station calls, and surpising the kid folds (must have been JJ or or something to that effect that he was holding.) a blank comes on the river and I fire one last time and, you guessed it, the calling station called. she proudly turns over her pair of kings with a 7 kicker with no match of suits and I shrug and show her my three prom dates and she looked surprised. I guess she is used to drawing out on players that 3 bet her preflop??? so, the rest of the time she was there I would look to isolate her in middle position after she had limped in and it was folded around to me. If I had a medium strength hand I would raise. I had a very tight/aggressive style that was getting too much respect at the table so I figured I would take advantage of it. I raised preflop sometime before this hand and got no callers so I decided to show my two Kings. I figured I would exploit the ultra solid image that the cards were giving me so that I could steal later which I did on a couple occasions where I would raise from middle position, miss the flop, and paint would come on the turn and I would fire again and take it down. I'm a much better player with this image than when I pick up a lot of playable hands early, lose with them, and look like a loose/aggressive player. I have not managed to make that table image work for me yet. Going into the second hour I was up about $60 and got two of the more aggressive players at the table to give me $40 each from their stacks. On one hand, I had AJs and the flop came down A-A-6. I played it fast hoping that my opponent who had been raising every flop bet would go ahead and play back at me. he did and I reraised hoping he had a weak A. he called and I bet the turn when I Q fell and again he called. a blank fell on the river and I checked it to him because he looked like he was itching to bet and I started to get the sinking feeling he might have a bigger A (after all he was aware of my tight/aggressive table image.) I also thought he was capable of bluffing when I showed weakness. He fired, I called, and he said "you got me." that I did, and a nice pot as well. the last significant hand came when a young gun who had been raising his button about 50% of the time when it was limped around to him raised in just such a spot. Only I was one of the limpers with KQo. there were two callers in front of me and I had been raising quite a few pots so I decided to change gears and just call to see what developed. everyone called the raise and we went 4 to the flop which came King high. it was checked around to me and I rapped the table as well knowing full well the young gun would fire (probably with nothing but position) and I would check raise him and whoever else decided to call his bet. only one player called and then I raised. to my surprise he re-raised and the guy between us dumped his hand. I thought about it for a moment and then decided to smoothe call. now I wasn't sure if I was best. Maybe he had raised for value with a small pair and hit a set. An Ace fell on the turn which I didn't like too much and the young gun surprised me again by taking a free card. the river was harmless and I checked again. I figured either the A beat me, he outflopped me, or I was ahead and I was going to induce a bluff out of him. He was a pretty smart player though and knew that my check raise on the flop was not just air. He checked behind me and said I missed. I showed him the KQ and took down a healthy pot. Evidently he had picked up a flush draw on the flop and had raised with suited connectors. I gotta say, I liked his style. he was unpredictable and aggressive. I would have never three bet with a flush draw on the flop though I might have raised with suited connectors now and then on the button. He disguised his draw so well that I would not have been able to put him on it should it have hit. The free card he took on the turn in retrospect was the key peice of info I misinterpretted. Here's to you young gun, you taught me something knew today and I am greatly appreciative.
Here are the figures for the past two days. Let's hope things are on the up and up:
(5/19 - Sunset Station)
Hours Played this session: 3.75
$ Per Hour: -$5.87
Month to Date: -$138
Year to Date: -$138
Hourly Rate Year to Date: -$4.76
Total Bankroll: $479
(5/20 - Red Rock)
Hours Played This Session: 2
$ Per Hour: $60.50
Month to Date: -$17
Year to Date: -$17
Hourly Rate Year to Date: -$0.55
Total Bankroll: $600