Both winning big and losing big will keep me awake at night. Last night it was the former. Yet it wasn’t just the win. After all, it came at Poker Academy with no real money at risk. Just time, which is close enough, and close attention, which will result in replaying with eyes closed. That and a nagging sinus thing.
I forced myself to go to bed after the game. I could have written about it then, but like I said, my head. I eventually fell to sleep, resolved to type it out this morning.
“Honey!” I knew the tone and was out of my chair and halfway up the stairs when I heard, “There’s something in the wood stove!” The large fish net did not do the trick. The light coming in through the side door did. I have a lot of practice catching birds bare-handed.
Rising to the occasion even though the head still hurts a bit. Not as bad as when I first set down at the table last night. It was a good table, tough players for the most part, but a couple softer spots that are easy reads found their way to the game. But with my head…
Stan, the #2 player at the site, opens up with a small raise from the Button. I suspect he’s on a steal. I have K 10 suited in the BB and call. A ten comes on the flop with a gutshot Broadway. I check and he bets the pot. I call but I lost control of the betting preflop. The turn gives me a nut flush draw, rinse and repeat. Big pot. The river is a blank and I fold to his jam. He types, “Whew!” Yeah, I knew. Another Tylenol and more Tiger Balm. Get the gut and head working in unison.
Time flies when you’re grinding away. Traction sometimes takes a while. I get back to even, even a little ahead, and the pocket Queens on a paired board with flush potential slows it down. And as the night wears on, there are fewer players, mostly diehards. Still, there is a mark that patience will out.
Two nights in a row I’ve watched this guy. Aggressive, bluffy, calls light. Two nights ago he had position on me. Not last night. Even so, he was catching when my C-bet was no deterrent; yet, I was returning the favor enough that we were swapping chips even-Steven. The difference was that I was not calling light and forced him to lay down top pair a couple times. (He likes to flash, bless his heart.)
The funny thing about winning big is that the excitement of it makes the hands at the time seem of monumental importance. Maybe it’s enough that it was pocket Jacks. The villain limps just like he does most every hand from EP (playing 60% of his hands), I 3-bet it, my buddy who likes to push me off of hands (see QQ above) calls and the villain obliges. The flop comes 6h3c4h. Not pretty but not too dangerous either. The Villain checks, I bet the pot ($60), buddy whiffs and the Villain makes it $180. It think about it a minute. What do I know about this guy? Would he play something like 57s like that? No, he raises with such a hand from EP. I’ve seen it more than once, because, bless his heart, he flashes. He limps with small pairs. Did he set up? His style is not to check-raise. I’ve never seen him do it. If he has any part of the flop, he comes out firing. His check-raise is retaliation for that top pair hand in which I did the very same to him from the SB. (Hey, a set of eights with an LAG yet to act,,,you tell me.) Nah, he’s on a draw. All-in. He has me covered and calls with 5c5d. Turn and river are blanks, TYVM.
Something I’ve learned over the last couple years is when an aggressive player such as the villain misses big, his aggression gets the best of him. That energy has to go somewhere, and if I am lucky, it is toward me. Me with the better hand. I take the rest the very next hand with a Queen high flush. He had Ace high and bluffed the river. Better than him taking out some drywall, I suppose.
I’ve made an enemy for life, and it feels good.