With the KQh in my hand, I rivered my first live Royal Flush tonight, and I got paid. The crowd went wild. But the pot was small in comparison of things to come.
There was some discussion at R’s before we started to play. Since there were twelve of us, some people thought we should do a tourney. I was not in that camp. Others were apathetic, and I successfully bent their ears. We played two tables of six. I love me a cash game.
The RF was not my first big hand of the evening. Despite dropping half of my buy-in right off the bat chasing open-enders, second-best flush and the like, I went on to make a nice profit on a Q high flush, my Jacks held up in the SB, and, I was soon up a good $40 over my initial $80 buy-in (.50/1.00).
Lin raises to $3 from UTG +1. Fuck Phil calls from the SB. I find Kings in the BB and pop it to $16. You would think that would narrow the field, but both players call. Both players are calling stations preflop, and both will play almost any hand, making ranges hard to figure. Even though both will see a flop at almost any cost, but FP is a much more sophisticated player than Lin. If Lin had Aces, he would have re-popped me preflop. The flop comes T 8 7 rainbow. Either one could very well have a set. Yet, FP will also play connectors, J9 suited and the like for any price if we’re deep. And we were, at least for this game, at 60+ BBs.
FP will let you do the betting for him. I felt I was restricted with the one pair, and played accordingly weak-tight by not making it too expensive to continue. Not that betting big would have helped. Last time we played FP, defended his blind (67 off) and snapped my Aces on the Button. I didn’t want a repeat performance, and by the river (I had them both covered), FP was acting like he had it by going all in with his remaining $32 in a $100 pot. Lin had pittance left but I couldn’t call FP’s bet with just the pair. Lin had QQ, FP had a smaller pair and straight draw. I was beside myself.*
It took me a while to regain my composure. Lin was sitting over there grinning like a Cheshire, and FP (back in for $80) was sulking. Even though I was again below my buy-in, I sat determined.
The game is dealer’s choice, and after a couple orbits of J4 off and the like in NL Hold ‘em, when it came to my deal again, I decided to shift the odds to my favor with some NL Omaha hi. It limped around to me with 7d7h8s9h. To make a long story short, a flop of 568 did the trick and I bet the pot. Two callers, Lin and FP again. I had FP all-in on the turn (T), Lin folded, the river was a J, and FP failed to improve on his set of eights. I was now over where I was before the Kings debacle.
AQ pre from the Button brought me more good fortune with two pair, Kings were good to go against a shortie with Jacks all-in, and I left a hundred up. New Year’s Day R is having an all-day game with both tourneys and cash games. I’ll be playing with other people’s money.
* I spoke to Phil about the hand later. I asked him his rationale for taking me off of the best hand when it was clear he was behind both Lin and I, and it was equally clear that Lin wasn’t folding. His response was “I had to do something, and I thought you might have AK.” I’m going to be thinking about this hand for some time to come, for within it lies answers to how I might improve my game, and further disguise it at the same time.