Monday, January 21, 2008

River Bluff with no Chips

I went to Vegas last week for a business conference and decided to play some poker while I was there. Like I mentioned in my previous blog that I have been a student of the game for about 5 years and I even played professionally for about 3 years.

I ate lunch at the Bellagio buffet and decided to sit in the 10/20 NL hold em game, full. Everyone had about 2-10K in front of them except for this guy in a coyboy hat who had about 25K in front of him. I sat in seat 4, which is my favorite seat and played a good session. I bought in 5K and told myself not to get into any major pots until couple rounds of watching how these guys play but like always I couldn’t control myself from raising with a 10 7 of hearts. The big stack looked me up from the button and re-raised me preflop and I called. Flop comes 79J with two clubs on the flop. I checked and he bet out 3/4 of pot and I called. Turn came 4 clubs and I check and he bet out 2/5 of the pot and I called not sure of where he was. River came a meaningless 2 of heart and I checked and he over bet the pot on the river. I wasn’t sure what was happening, on the turn but I just had a weird feeling he was making a move thinking that I was some kind of amateur tourist that he can bully around. He seemed like a table bully and I wanted to show these guys that I can make calls with the best hand even if it was 3rd pair. Letting them know that I wont be bluffed and called. Funny thing was he showed me AQ of clubs, nut flush. I got up and felt stupid and took a walk away from the table.

I felt really stupid but I gave him props for playing it well by over betting the pot on the river. If he made any type of bet other than an over bet on the river, even if the 8 came making me the straight, I could have probably gotten away from the hand.

I come back to the table and buy in another 5K and have about $8,200 in front of me. Played a good aggressive but tight 4 hr session and this amateur tourist comes and sits down to my right buying in 20K. Fortunately I accumulated my chips to about 16K and had an aggressive image on the table. Players knew that I wanted to play for big pots and that I am capable of making huge bluffs. That was the image I had but not really the style that I was playing. I called under the gun with 34 of clubs and the guy on my left raises it to $110 preflop and there were 4 other callers including the amateur who sat on my very right. I reraise huge trying to let people know that I limped in with a huge hand under the gun. Everyone folds except for the amateur who was called the initial raise of $110 on his big blind. He gave me an “ I wont be pushed around look” and called my reraise of $950 preflop thinking that I could easily be on a steal or a squeeze play. Don’t get me wrong this guy knows what he is doing but everyone at the table knows that he’s the softest player on the table. Flop comes 7clubs 8clubs 2 diamond. He bets out pot, which was $2,700. When he called preflop I didn’t put him on a small pocket pair but two over cards so I factored out a set. I didn’t think he would bet out with a flush draw because he looked like he was going to take the pot on the flop if no high cards came out, putting me on AK. I decided to raise him back with my 34 of clubs and made it $7,500. He thought about it for the longest time and called. Turn came A of spade and he checked. I went all in for the remaining of my chips which was a little over 7K and he went inside the tank. He didn’t look at me at all but was just staring at the pot. I knew he was on a horrible draw and he knew he could only hit his draw to win the pot. There were about 18K in the pot and his exact words were “ I gamble!”

I felt sick to my stomach holding the 34 of clubs but knew I had tremendous outs when he showed me 9 10 of hearts but I didn’t open up my hand yet. He was chasing an open ended straight draw all the way down, that was sick! Before the river came I said “are you kidding me, you called me with 10 high” and right before I could even think about asking the dealer to run it couple times the dealer threw down a river card an A of heart. I was looking at him the entire time but caught the A of heart in the corner of my eyes. (This is one of the best benefits of having small slanted Asian eyes. This and sleeping during lectures and not getting caught cheating on a test) I didn’t turn my head and kept looking at him and said “You wana chop the pot?” He looked at me with excitement and said what? I said, “I didn’t see the river card but I don’t want a bad beat for my entire bankroll, do you want to chop the pot?” He was confused and this was when I made my final bluff, “alright forget it this is my last time before I look a the river card, do you wana chop?’ and he said ok and I showed my 34 of clubs and we chopped the pot. It would have been a $33,000 pot if I would have hit any clubs, any 3 and 4, any 5 but unfortunately I couldn’t win the entire pot. But I feel I made the best river bluff of my life without any chips.

I felt so good about the way I had played that exact hand. I think I ‘ve played preflop well, flop good, turn excellent but river perfect to the dime without having any chips. Right after this hand I picked up my chips and went to club Pure to celebrate my crazy poker sessions with my friends.

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