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Anatomy of a Perfect Table (AC Trip Report Pt. 4)

I sit down in the 8s, which was just occupied by a guy looking all of 14 years old, who had run the table for the last hour in an ass whooping tutorial. Robbie Hole is sitting comfortably in the 3s. His stack is significant, especially since he bought in at $80, practically the $60 minimum. The players at the table are varied, but they all seem soft enough.

My number one competition, as I could see it, was on my immediate right, just where I wanted him. I buddy up with him, because he's nearby and I like to keep my competition close. His name is Dan. He is a 30-ish white male, who, by chip stack and general demeanor, I can immediately tell is a good player. He is in decent shape. He doesn't wear sunglasses, but has a ball cap on.

The players to my left change several times, but for the majority of the evening the 9s was Mike, a nice goatee sporting guy. We spent an hour and a half in each other's company, the whole time with me chatting away with whoever will listen. Mike just sat back. He didn't crack a smile. He didn't do much of anything. Then I mention a hammer flop, and I hear, "Heh, the hammer." I turn, "Wait, you know the hammer?" "Yep." "You read blogs?" "I read Dr. Pauly before." "Good stuff." After that he warmed up. He was, from my estimation, one of the nicer guys at the table, and we got along well. I did take him for one sweet pot though. I held AQo, and this was a limping table. I was in CO and by the time it got to me, there were 6 players limping in. I decided, on a hunch, to just check. If I hit my Ace or top-pair of Queens, I'll try to make something happen. Otherwise, I'll get out for cheap. Mike limps on the button. The flop is A76, and it checks to me. I decide it's time to bet and make an approximate pot-sized bet to $15. Mike calls, but everyone else folds. The turn pairs the 6 from the flop, and I decide to continue leading out, with a $25 bet. He reluctantly calls. The river is a 9, making a possible straight. I consider my options, and bet $50. It's a large bet, irregardless of the pot. He calls with a lower kicker. That is why I limped pre-flop. I wanted the lower kicker to feel comfortable. He looks at me: "I was worried about that, but I thought you'd raise preflop if you had it." "That's why I didn't raise preflop." "Nice hand." It was.

To his left was a rotating cast in the 10s. This included the bald black guy who was willing to push people off of hands. He was also willing to call preflop with J6s facing a $20 bet. As he put it, "it was only $20, so why not." The dude was made for table games, not poker, but I wasn't going to discourage him. I ended up busting him. I held 38s. In fact, a lot of my big wins came with low gap suited cards. Preflop I limp, as I am able to do at this passive table. The flop is 3x8c9c. I bet $20, recalling his "it's only $20" comment. He pushes. I call. He has K8, and shakes my hand after I busted him. Earlier in the night I was three-handed with him and an old white guy in the 6s. I held 5h6h. I bet preflop to $12 and they don't hesitate to call. The flop is Ah7hX. I have a flush draw, but decide to pretend that I have an Ace. I bet $15, and black guy calls. The old white guy waits for a while and calls as well. I fear that someone else is drawing to a stronger flush, but I'm still not sure. If the flush comes, I'll be cautious. The turn is a blank, and I bet $35. Black guy calls, and old white guy stares for a while. He eventually mucks, with a resigned air about him. The river is a 5d. I have a pair of 5s. I check. The black guy checks. He has Jh8h. I win the hand with 5s. The old white guy complains about folding two pair. He's lying.

The black guy was eventually replaced by a young kid, looking all of 12. He had blong curly hair, and the face of an angel. He also had the look of fear in his eyes, as though he was sitting at a table with a pack of wild dogs instead of harmless sharks like me. He folds and folds and folds, all the while watching me bet and bet and bet, not necessarily at him, but I was fairly active at the table. Finally I have my opportunity and bust him too. I have AKo, and I raise to $12 in the CO. Only angel boy calls me. The flop is Ace high, and he pushes all-in. I call. He shows AQ. It was that easy. I knew where I was the entire time. He goes home now. His replacement is an Indian kid. I pretty much don't get too involved with him. He does rather suck though.

That was my side of the table. The middle seats were first filled with old white guys, and later younger white guys who were trying to prove their chops. They had the look of fear in their eyes though. If I can give any advice about live NL cash games, it is this: don't show fear. Never. Ever.

On the other side of the table was Hole's side. To his right, in the 2s was a young guy who seemed like he could be our buddy. In fact, he was. I didn't get into many hands with him. I noticed him looking at me a couple of times and then whispering to Hole. I asked Hole what it was about. They were discussing my "serious" face. HAHAHA! I guess I do have it, but most of the time, you get my unserious face at the table. Whatever the case, the guy showed respoect, and it was returned in kind. To his right in the 1s was sleeping beauty. He had a stack about 700-800 deep, the chipleader for most of the time, until I took over. He was also falling asleep between hands. I didn't notice this for a long while though, mostly because he was tight as a GCox.

I wish I could go through all of the characters with you, but I simply cannot. Most were nameless, faceless donators that sat down and got their clocks cleaned. I made a sweet bluff with 47s against a solid older white guy. The flop had 2 diamonds, and he bet out. I called with an open ended straight draw. But I wasn't playing the straight draw. I was playing to steal. The turn was a third diamond, and I check it to him. He checks. The river is a four, and I decide to act. I bet $25. It isn't a significant amount. The pot has at least $30 and probably $40 in it. I fear that he will call. But he sees the pattern. Call on a draw. Hit the draw and try to slowplay. Get no action so make a tempting bet on the river. He's a smart player. Conservative too. I know that. He knows it too and folds. I show my cards face up. The table is under my control.

Now, let me explain what I mean by "under my control". Hole and I were across the table from one another. We'd yell back and forth when we wanted to chat, but mostly, he stuck to his side and I stuck to mine. We both were aggressors at the table, and he had an image as "reckless" according to the 7s (I asked as I sat down). I had the image as a steady attacker. But, all the while, I'm yucking it up. I'm joking with the dealers. Tipping because of their nice earings. Setting up the dealer button and making a game, "If you can deal a card so that it lands under the dealer button (raised on its end) without knocking it over, you get $2." It lightens the mood and makes the dealer gamble. It's a sideshow. Or, Hole and I start Roshamboing from across the table after no one else will take my offer up. I win $4 in Roshambo, after dropping the Rock 5 times in a row. Rob dropped it four times, tying the entire way, before jumping to the Scissors.

And that was it. Witty banter. Joking around. Acting like I'm just playing a fun game with my buds. Meanwhile, Rob and I are in 50% or more of the pots, and usually are the aggressor. They think that he is a maniac and that I am overly aggressive. According to Rob, I didn't lose a single showdown. I can't remember any either. I can only remember folding to a re-raise on one occassion. Otherwise, I was betting, and winning.

I sat down at the perfect table with short of $200. I left with $997. My stack steadily grew, as I learned my opponent's rhythms and then set my own to exploit. A lot of my wins came from Hole, actually. For instance, in one hand, my 7d8d hit a Kc8c8x flop. Rob bets $25 and I call. Everyone else had folded. The turn is another club and he checks to me. I bet $25 and he calls. The river is a blank and I bet $25 again. He calls. He has a King, and loses. This would happen whenever he got a big stack. I made probably $200 off of him at least. Luckily for him, I only took his profit (he eventually left up $86), and was able to profit off of the other players before I brought the pain.

We weren't into colluding, and so these hands against each other helped a lot. The table was joking about how Rob and I were buddies but going toe to toe. I joked once, "Rob, if you win this hand, you aren't staying in my hotel room." Someone later said, "You are really taking it to your friend." My reply: "There are no friends at this table." We even joked about how I was going to take all of his money and still make him pay for the room. I wanted people to think (and know) that we weren't colluding. We didn't need to. But showing all that Jordan-Rob action helped loosen things up.

Rob later told me that before I sat down, the table was silent. After 5 minutes, it was like Mardi Gras. I loved it. Every last second.

I wish I could do it more justice. Everything came together at once. I didn't get sucked out on once. I made good plays thanks to my passive table. I was able to control the action and convince players to make bad plays. In the end, it was all profitable poker. From a low point of $130, I made up my $170 in losses with an additional $600. Added to my wins at Showboat, I was up $656 on the trip.

While all of this is going on, Marc loses $50 at 1-5 spread stud, so he decides to switch to NLHE. I stop by his table and am amazed at the site. Through the course of the evening, his stack continues to grow at an amazing rate. Meanwhile, his opponents are drooling idiots, just one chromosome short of a pack. I swear, it was like the shortbus broke down next to his table, and all of the special riders sat down to kill some time. As a result, where I won $600 at the Trop, Marc had to win over $700. Dick! At least I was up more than him for the whole trip. Bottom line was, all of us played well, and all of us had a profitable trip on poker alone.

That night, I layed in bed talking to Rob about our game. We talked about table image, and how each of us on the trip played our own roles. We discussed table games too, and next time, if we are sans chicks, we are going to have a new all-poker rule (with $100 toward Roulette as the only caveat).

Because AC isn't a place to gamble. It's a place to play poker and win some money. This trip, it was truly effortless. I can't wait for next time.

posted by Jordan @ 2:58 PM,


At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nice report, yo. Congrats on the big score!

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hellz yeah.

That was sweeeet.

Nice job J.

At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on your blog... Very good stuff so far. I'll definitely be reading up from time to time.

You made no mention of the back to back quads (or was there one hand between them), or the quad tens on the board?

Take care,

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet the wife already has your money spent. haha

At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey. It's the same Mike that was sitting on my left. As often happens, I drink a decent amount while I play. Not enough to get hammered, pardon the pun, but enough to loosen up. That combined by my naturally shitty memory makes certain things slip by.

I actually saw 7 (7!!!) quads within 24 hours. I mentioned the one flopped by Rob. We also saw a board hit quad 10s, and back to back quads at the Trop table. Overall, it was insane.

Live poker is so rigged.

At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrote so much, that I'll be reading/reviewing it over the next few days.

Observing seven quads in one day is insane!

At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7 Quads in 24 hours = Live poker is rigged!

Seeing someone as tight as GCox = Priceless!

Thanks bro, and very nice write-up!



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