No, there's nothing to currently update about the little get-together in Vegas coming up later this week. More an update on the state of the world after the weekend.
Friday night was home game night at Casa de Falstaff, and after dumping my first buy-in quickly I managed to squeak back to a nearly respectable $40 profit after being the victim of the suck-resuck on the following hand.
I'm in the cutoff with 10-6 sooted. Yep, pure trash, but it was getting late and there were a bunch of limpers in the pot, so I jumped in the pool with everybody else. Uncle Phil was on the button and raised, and a couple of us made the call. The flop came down 10-8-7 rainbow, and following my normal strategy of late when I hit a flop with my trashy hands, I went through a checklist in my head.
1) Did it hit me? Yep.
2) Is it likely to have hit my opponents? Not really. Phil raised preflop, so I put him on a range of hands that included big pocket pairs and hands containing two big cards. There are more hands that contain two big cards than there are premium pocket pairs, so I figured it was about 25% that the flop hit him. So three out of four times, I'm ahead here.
3) Will he fold if I bet? Not friggin' likely, since I'm the table maniac, and I get more action than I want. Note to the players in my home game that read here - I raise strongly preflop with about 20 hands. One of them is the Hammer. That means that 5% of the time that I stick a big raise in there preflop, I have the Hammer. 95% of the time I make a big raise (8-10x the big blind) I have a big hand.
4) Will he fold to a check-raise? Maybe. I figure he's either got two overcards to that flop, or an overpair. There are more combos of overcards than there are overpairs, so I think he only has an overpair about 25% of the time. That means that 75% of the time, I'm ahead at this point.
So I check, and Phil leads out for $8 into about a $15 pot. That's a good bet, but it's not big enough or small enough to tell me anything. If anyone calls, I call. If everyone between us folds, I go for the check-raise, represent a set and try to take down the pot right there.
So it folds around to me, and I pop it to $20. Phil looks over at me, and says "I'm all in."
OK, do the math. I have top pair, crap kicker, and an inside straight draw. I'm about 95% sure I'm behind after his raise, so how much more money is it, how much is in the pot, and do I have enough outs to call.
Okay, the raise is $22 more to me. There's about$70 currently in the pot, so it's about 3.5:1 to make the call.
Now I've narrowed his range to Aces, Kings, Queens or Jacks. A set didn't enter the equation because I have one of the tens, and I don't think he raises preflop with eights or sevens.
So there are 2 tens, 3 sixes and 4 nines left that make me a winner. Nine outs twice made me about a 36% chance to win the pot, which is pretty much exactly what I needed to make it the right call.
So I did. And the 9 peels off on the turn, and I turn over to Phil and say "I just cracked you, I have a six." Neither of us have revealed our hands yet. Phil says "Unless I put a Jack down there, showing Queens."
And he does. And he re-sucks, hitting his four-outer to scoop a monster pot and take most of my night's profit. It also puts Phil back to nearly even for the night.
So yes, the best hand won. And yes, it was a suckout. I did have to hit one of my nine outs to take the lead in the hand, and he came back with one of his four outs to win. That, my friends, is poker. I have to think that we both played that hand post-flop as well as either of us could have played it. We're going to ignore, for the moment, the fact that I called a raise preflop out of position from a tight player with 10-6. Once I had made that error, the rest of the hand played out well by both of us.
Last night Skoon hosted a home game, and I busted out of the tourney early when I got called down on a scary board by bottom pair and crippled, then started up the cash game by gifting my stack to Nate.
As did Nathan the Younger.
As did Brian.
Nate got on a roll early and stacked everyone, before cooling off and giving it all back with interest later. I managed to eke out a win in that game as well by hitting a streak of hot cards, raising 10xBB 4-5 hands in a row, and finding Brian willing to play with me on what turned out to be his last hand.
In his defense, there's not really a defense against a loose-aggressive player who is catching a string of good starting hands. Their preflop range is so wide to begin with, it really does become hard to tell what they're opening for a raise with, especially when the raise is the same amount for 4 hands running.
That's why I did it that way.
I picked up JJ in early position, and made it $5 to go. Brian called, and everyone else folded. Now I'm giving up position to a good player with one of my least favorite hands in poker. If there's no Jack on the flop I make one C-bet and I'm done with the hand. His range of calling me preflop is almost as wide as my range of raising hands (actually probably a little wider, since he was on my left).
Jack in the door. Queen-high flop. Two spades.
I bet another $5.
Not a spade on the turn, I bet another $5.
Queen on the river. Can I get him to raise me if I make a weakish river bet? I've put him on either a Queen or a spade draw, and if he's got a Queen, no way he puts me on Jacks and I might be able to stack him. If he's on spades, I'm not getting any more money out of him anyway, but if I bet and he folds I gain information and don't have to show my hand, thus winning the information battle as well as the pot.
I bet $10.
Brian goes all-in. I insta-call. He tables Q-10 for trips and is done for the night. There really wasn't much escaping the hand for him, because sets are gold, but I also think I played it about as well as I could have, which felt good for a change.
I think my game is in decent shape, and I'm looking forward to playing against unfamiliar styles this weekend. Not to mention the partying!