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After golfing in Angel's Camp on Saturday, I decided to check in on the JR NL game that has started recently. I rolled in at about 6:00 to find 3 Nl games and 4 3/6 games in progress with wating lists for both. I'm about 10 back on the nL list so I ran over to the buffet to put down some dinner before I got started. Had dinner and got seated shortly thereafter.

As Kid's breif report suggested, the game is largely populated with rounder wanna-bes, barely old enough to drive. Some were not awful, most just loved the action. I got seated way in the back at the table that still doesn't have a an auto shuffler. With noone that I recognize at the table I sit down and go to work on my reads.

As often happens (and I find this fascinating), the table divides into 2 camps, based on either end. Last night was no different. To my right was the "action" camp and to my left (I was in seat 6 of 10) was "we're gonna make you guys pay for your mistakes" camp. 3 of the guys to my left knew each other (the Posse) and were decent players. The guy to my immediate left "Shaky" was also a decent player. The Left side never really got out of line, playing mostly good cards and picking their spots, largely making good decisions. On the right were mostly splashy guys calling and raising with a lot of crap. At one point it got so obvious that the Left was being patient, that the Right didn't even wait for our end to act when we were in a hand - they were basically playing their own private game for much of the first couple hours.

Immediately to my right is this kid "Expert" (I'll probably use the word "kid"a lot - sorry) who's very much a LAG - saw 19 of 20 flops, raised about 12 of them PF. As I sat down, he starts running over the table quickly buiilding about $150 into $500+. Som of it with good cards, some of it with blind luck. And boy, was he an expert - he knew all the angles and was impressing the table (not) by calling out everyone's hand when he was dualing with him. He was making lots of bad plays despite his constant table coaching and getting rewarded. Expert would be the one who set my pace for most of the night - I was lucky to have position on him.

As I was settling in, Expert was raping Shaky with some suckout beats. There was a little rivalry settling in between these 2 guys as Shaky was vowing under his breath to get even with the "suck out king". He was genuinly surprised when Expert didn't catch a 3 outer in a showdown with someone else. I must admit that I was a bit surprised myself.

I was running very cold, which didn't help me to slay the dragons on my right. Usually when I run cold and am forced to either go broke playing crap or be patient waiting for ammo (and I'm sure you all know which way I leaned) you get little action when I do get something to bet. This was largely true, but not as bad as usual. I was running so cold that most of the flops I was able to see were from a few blinds that managed to not get raised and most of my pot drags were with relatively crappy cards.

I landed a ~$50 pot with K7 when I flopped trip 7s and managed to c/r the turn for a few bets. No showdown. A few orbits later I managed to get Ak on the button and reraised Expert. We were head's up and flop came an ugly double coordinated T98 all black. Expert's "favorite hand" is JT. He checked to the "big pocket pair" and I knew I wanted no part of this game, so I checked through. (he had too many chips to lay down his hand.) Turn brought a Q (or 7) and he fired. I just threw my hand away and he indeed showed JT. This hand put me behind a little, but no worries - I had a pretty good feel for the table and just sat back and waited for the right time.

I managed to receive a limp on the BB with 22 and flopped a set. It was actually even an uncoordinated flop for a change so i was able to let someone get a few bets in the pot before I took over the hand. I c/r all-in the turn and got one of the action guys to squirt in his diapers before throwing his hand away. No showdown. I managed to drag a few other little pots as the night went on, but I may have played 5 hours without showing a hand! If had a little more faith that the fools on the right would lay down hands, I could have started splashing a bit, but I had no such faith. My modest profit bled back down to around even.

Expert had begun to bleed - mostly to his action buddies, but a little to the guys on my left. His constant raising with "9 high" was catching up to him. I finally got my chance to knock the little shit down a notch. He fired a $10 raise and I pumped it to $30 with AA. The rest of the table ran for the hills and he called. the flop came 9 high and he checked it to me. I shoved my last ~$60 and he paused for one click and said "Fuck it" and shoved his arm forward with plenty of chips to cover my bet. I jump the gun by about a half-second and flip up my hand.

Expert peeks over and said "I never said I was going to call".

WTF? "Bullshit, your motion and words implied a call" and the rest of the table agreed.

"I don't care, I'm not calling." The dealer was waffling like a whimpering little sissy and was afraid to enforce his action (Expert is a regular)

"Listen you little shit if you can sleep tonight, the $60 doesn't matter to me. But you're trying to shoot an angle and you know it. You were gonna call. Put your chips in the pot and be a man about it."

"No."

The dealer finally called the floor and he enforced the action. I must have stayed calmer than I felt becauss someone commented on how I "kept my cool" during the whole "incedent". Hagar? Keeping his cool? Hmmmm. His TP no good and I finally had to show a hand. First hand I showed in 5 hours and it's AA. How's that for table image?

A few hands later, I got another BB limp with 55. The flop came Q5Q. I check and it checks around. Bummer. There's a flush draw on the board and I'm just hoping it will hit on the turn. Turn is an 8. I fire $10 at the pot and get raised by one of "good guys" from the Posse to $35. He's called by a newbe (fresh to this table and to Holdem in general - had no business playin NL). I shoved ~$150. The guy to my left squirmed and called time. He took forever but finally laid down. Newbe also squirmed but finally put his last $50 in to find that his draw to the J5 flush was dead. The Posse guy was celebrating his "great laydown" (Q9). Expert was getting off on my great flop like he'd never seen anyone flop a boat before.

I continued to run generally cold, not getting much to play most of the night. Luckily. most of the time I got involved, my hands held up. I played very defensivley all night. I limped with TT and JJ and folded to overcard bets on the flop. It was just that kind of night. The only suck out I experienced was when i did get "out of line" when I raised with TT on the button and was limp raised by Newbe. I just didn't put him on a bigger pair so I called his $40. He only had KQ so it was a coin flip. He just kept picking up outs as the board progressed Axx,J and he spiked a Q on the river. "Nice hand". A new guy had moved into my left and he was giving me the "what do you mean 'nice hand', that was awful play..." spiel in my ear. I just shrugged and said, "that's poker". I really wasn't upset, a little disapointed, sure, but it really didn't bother me. I really don't mind the once in a while suckout - that IS part of the game.

I mananaged to watch Expert turn his once $500 into felt (I rarely get to witness the LAG self distruction mode that I know always happens) but I got to watch the show last night. I must say he really took it well, but I just don't understand the mentality. Guess I never will.

About 1:00, a new player approached the table ready for the shootout. As I saw him coming, I pictured him in Cowboy boots, spurs a jingling and 6 guns at the ready. He was actually wearing sneakers and shorts, but the hat and shades were gleaming in the high noon sun and ready. He sat down to my right, shoved the shades on and crouched down and peeked around the table as if to size it up. I started snickering because this guy was just a 3D portrait of a Rounder in training. I fully expected him to be Expert's replacement for action, but he was actually very tight (or was geting cards so bad that even he couldn't play them). He did have the annoying habit of waiting until it's his turn to look at his cards. I just don't buy that tactic as useful and believe it does nothing but slow down the game. Oh well, polish your image bud.

The table had been playing reasonably "normal" since Expert left. Some raising, some calling some fishing, nothing out of line. But, the players were still dropping off. Somewhere around 1:30 our table is reduced to 6 players. there's people on the list, but the casino loud speaker system is drowned out by the loud, awful band so the brush can't get the players upstairs. I just didn't want to play 6 handed so I took a little break while they filled the table.

They finally managed to get the table filled and I got back into it. the cards ciontinued to be cold, but I caught a couple more nice pots around 2:30 to put me up to near $300 for the night. With the exception of one of the Posse still in action, the table had completely turned over and only a few guys left with chips. I'm not quite sure where all the money went, but I think the rake and tips were winning last night. The table was full of fresh plaers and I wasn't up for building a whole new set of reads. I pulled out at 3:15 with a tidy $170 profit. Considering I probably saw frwer than 30 flops in 8+ hours, I have to consider that a successful night.

They had broken down one of the 3/6 tables, but there were still 3 NL games running (even if they had trouble keeping our's full) and 3 3/6 games going when I left. Looking forward to checking this game out more regularly.
 

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Nice recap. I've always enjoyed the play there. Loose and 18 y/o'ish.

One thing caught my eye:
Considering I probably saw fewer than 30 flops in 8+ hours, I have to consider that a successful night.
30 flops in 8 hours is 3.75 flops an hour.
In theory, that's about .5 flops an orbit.
Now, I know I'm taking a long shot when I say I play a pretty tight game and see very few flops... OK, not really..... I like to see a lot of flops. That that rate, it's cheep to see a lot of flops. If I hit something, I play it. If I don't, it costs me the minimal to get in and see a flop with a marginal hand.

Don't take this the wrong way, but have you ever considered losening up and seeing a few more flops?

You know now the type of players down there and it's not unheard of to hear the dealer shove a pot to "pair of 9's Queen kicker".

None the less, you did take out a couple of racks from the place.

I'm writting this from a constructive and friendly view.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Don't take this the wrong way, but have you ever considered losening up and seeing a few more flops?
I would have loved to see a lot more flops. But, 1, my cards were real ugly (lots of 93, Q2, J6 type of crap) and 2, there was nothing cheap about this game. There was maybe 1 of 20 flops viewable without a raise and these kids weren't just raising. $15-$25 raises to steal $3-$7 pots. And with the nut to my right, the other borderline maniacs would jump on his raises and juice the pot even more. It was rediculous. I was actually glad my cards weren't too tempting and thee were only 2 or 3 pots I would have taken had I called a few of the raises that I didn't. I'm sure my tightness (in this situation) was profitable. There was exactly one time I scolded myself for playing a little too much "by the book", when I laid down KJo from an early raiser and I would have flopped 2 pair. I can live with that.

You know now the type of players down there and it's not unheard of to hear the dealer shove a pot to "pair of 9's Queen kicker".
There was plenty of that. The worst I saw was towards the end of the night. This older Asian guy (OAG) sat down and started splashing pretty bad, seeing every flop and betting aggressively right from the start. After he threw away the extra rack he won in the first 2 hands, he in for his second buy. 2 buddies joined us and were both raising very aggressively before the flop.

Buddy1: Raise to $10
OAG: Call
Buddy2: Raise to $20
B1: Raise to $40
OAG: Call
B2: All-in (about $80)....

(right about here the New Kid to my right (sunglasses/hat - the "Gunslinger" that I described in my first post) whispers: "I smell AA vs KK." Me: "Yeah, but what in the world does OAG have?" Shrug....)

B1: all-in (about $110)
OAG: Call


New Kid called it. B1 had AA, B2 had KK, OAG? Q8s. Amazing.

(The poor kid who had KK, caught 99 a few hands later only to run into AA again. He was done for the night.)
 

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I would have loved to see a lot more flops. But, 1, my cards were real ugly (lots of 93, Q2, J6 type of crap) and 2, there was nothing cheap about this game. There was maybe 1 of 20 flops viewable without a raise and these kids weren't just raising. $15-$25 raises to steal $3-$7 pots.
Understood about getting crap like that. By no means should you ever be playing that stuff, even for $2. I found myself limping in with marginal hands late postion for the $2, stuff like K7s or small connecters (78o sometimes)... pretty loose, but the blind structure here affords that type of play.

Interesting how much the game can change in 1 night! I was there on Friday afternoon/night playing the same $1/2 NL game, and the environment was almost completely different for most of the night. Of course, there were some big pre-flop raises and the sort, but for well over half of the hands I was in and didn't raise pre-flop, I was able to limp for either the $2 bet or occassionally $5 when someone raised it behind me (stupid to raise $3, really, most people are going to call you... there's better ways to build a pot, and with 5 callers behind you you're going to get probably TOO much action).

Great recap, though, Hagar. Mine night there was a little better; however, almost all of my profit came from when my TT went up against 99 and we both hit sets on the flop (9T2). That was a $300 pot there.

An interesting (and funny) note to my night was as they were starting the 2nd NL table, while we were gathering and picking seats, there were actually a couple kids with brochures on how to play... then the dealer came and looked at the brochures and decided to give a quick run-down on how NL Hold em works!!!! I had to step away from the table to not offend anyone with my uncontrollable laughter!

Ahh... good times. Overall, a decent place to be. Good action, so if you're getting at least some playable cards, most of your raises will be called down... Hell, I flopped QUADS (limped with 88, flop comes 8K8), and still got action from 2 players until the river. The blind structure is low enough that you will get lots of people attempting to limp with almost anything for $2... so if you've got a monster hand, you really need to pump it up ($15 or more in my experience) to get out all the crap that you don't want to see take down your KK or AA. Some action is good, 7 callers when you have a big pair is not.

-David "the kid"
 

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You comment on a $25 bet into a $7 pot explains a lot. I' ve been on those same tables while at Jackson. I just think, (with that) you can see more flops that normal due to the (general) lack of experience at the table. However not when you have junk and someone is firing a huge oversized bet into the pot.
 
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