Sunday, October 29, 2017

Crazy Game of Poker

Fall is settling in around Washington DC and the MGM National Harbor conservatory has a new theme on display.

I played a short session recently and it didn't go well.  I lost most of my stack in a pot where I thought the outcome would be a chop.  My A-A-5-5-Q was no match for A-A-Q-Q-8.  I played it bad and we all know that playing for a chop is a foolish goal.

This weekend I got a chance to redeem myself.  I was seated right away.  I took seat 4 since it was the only one open.  I had to double check that the game was $1/$3 because there were plenty of big stacks.  The player in seat 5 left shortly after my arrival so I scooted over to get a bit more legroom.

For the first 45 minutes the game was nothing special.  I was up $45 and sitting on $245.  Everything changed when a Middle Eastern guy sat down in seat 4 and bought in for $500.  Let's call him Amir.

The button was in seat 3 and the dealer asked Amir, "Do you want to wait one hand and play for free or play now and pay $4?"  Without hesitation Amir said, "I'll play now."  That was the first sign that he was not your regular poker player.

On that hand, seat 8 opened to $15, seat 2 made it $45, and Amir called immediately.  Seat 8 also called.  All the money went in on the flop of 3-2-5 and the pot ballooned to over a $1000!  Seat 8 had over cards A-Q (and a gutshot draw), seat 2 was in the lead with 9-9, and Amir held J-8.  Here is how the board ran out.  Seat 8 rebought.  

Amir was friendly and talkative.  He said he got lucky but that he was there to have fun and play.  After winning that pot, he started raising every hand pre-flop to $20 unless he was in the BB or SB.  Many times he didn't even look at his cards pre-flop.  He would just say to the table he was raising blind.

He bet pre-flop without looking at his cards.  The flop was 3-6-7.  He bet or called each street and at the end showed 5-6 for the win.  He also won with J-5 that turned into a full house.  His 10-4 became trip tens on the flop and won another pot.  His stack was above $1700 in less than 30 minutes from the time he sat down!

Here I was, sitting to the left of the most active player who had a huge stack and would open any two.  I told myself to buckle-up because this was going to be a wild game.

Seat 8 was Amir's biggest nemesis.  He bet and Amir called without hesitation.  The flop was 9-6-Q and seat 8 bet and Amir called again.  The turn was a 6 and seat 8 bet $150 and Amir called.  The river was a 9 and Amir bet $200.  Seat 8 wasn't happy then reluctantly called.  Amir showed 2-9 and scooped another huge pot!  Seat 8 darted to the ATM so he could rebuy again.  At this point, Amir was up to $2,200!

Then he went up against seat 6 who had J-J.  Amir won the pot holding 2-8 when the board ran out:

His stack went from $500 to $2,700 in less than 90 minutes.  But then his luck started to turn.  He bet blind and called a raise from the guy in seat 8.  The flop was K-10-2 and he called.  Seat 8 bet the 8 on the turn and Amir called.  On the river, Amir led out for $100 and seat 8 made it $355.  Amir called holding 10-x.

I got a chance to get in the mix.  I called $25 with 6-6 pre-flop after Amir bet.  Seat 7 also called and we saw a flop of Q-K-3.  Amir tapped the table once, I tapped right behind him, and seat 7 quickly checked as well.  But as the dealer was flipping over the turn card, Amir said, "Wait, I want to bet."  The turn was 6.  Apparently he didn't know that tapping the table was considered a check.  The dealer took the time and explained to him the rule.  He bet $40, I called, and seat 7 folded.  The river was another 3.  He bet $60 and I made it $170.  Unfortunately, he folded.

In the big blind with K-6, I saw the flop with seat 2, Amir, and seat 6.  The flop was K-6-8.  Amir lead out for $25, I called, seat 6 folded, and seat 2 called.  The turn was 3 and Amir bet $25 again.  I called and seat 2 made it $60.  Amir called and I took some time to decide what to do.  The board was getting sticky with two flush draws.  I doubt seat 2 had a set.  Most likely he had a king.  Not wanting to give any more cards for cheap, I moved all-in for $337.  Seat 2 took a while and said that I probably had a set and folded.  Amir folded as well.

In the last hand I was involved in, I had 9-8.  The flop was J-8-5.  On the flop, Amir bet $20 and I called.  The turn was 8 and he bet $20 again.  I raised to $50 and he called.  The river was K and he bet $20.  I raised to $80 and he called with J-x.  That got me over $800 and I cashed out an orbit later.

As for Amir, when I picked up, his stack had dwindled down to $300.  From $500 to almost $3,000 and then down to $300 in two hours, it was a crazy game of poker.