You can find part 2 here.
Session 3: Caesar's Palace, Dec. 30th 10 PM - 4 AM
I was lucky enough to enjoy a delicious meal with my family at the Mesa Grill, an awesome restaurant right across from the Caesar's poker room. Ironically, I had seen this restaurant many times before, but I didn't make the connection at all until I arrived there with my parents. After a spectacular bone-in ribeye, I was ready to grind.
I ended up staying late because I had an excellent table and a lot of good reads. The general trend was the bad players were sober and the better players were drunk. I had to change tables a couple of times before I found a combination to my liking, but I was able to sit with a pretty consistent group of bad opponents for a few hours before I decided to take off. Unfortunately, the cards weren't really with me, and while I walked away with a win, it was really only through well timed bluffs and thin value. Booking a win in those sessions is really rewarding to me, because I feel like a really earned it, rather than just ending up on the right side of a cooler or getting gifts from terrible players.
So here is an example of the type of spot that saved my session...
Game Description: 1/2, 7 Handed, 345 AM
Hero (500) HJ with As10c. I have been playing tighter than most at the table, but I'm not getting a whole lot of credit. I've been called down pretty light earlier in the session, once correctly by villain.
Villain (600) SB. Villain is in his late fifties. He has been very quiet verbally, but plays a good amount of hands, probably 35-40 percent. I have seen him call down light a lot, so I'd classify him as a station. He has been running pretty hot in terms of running into bluffs with his call downs.
Preflop: I open to 10 which has been a standard sizing for me and fits within the range of the table.
The table was fairly quiet at this point. The main conversationalist had just left after getting coolered. I had made a note to open up, and I would probably open this hand from the HJ 7-handed anyways.
Folds to villain in SB who calls, BB folds.
Flop: (21) 10d 6s 3c
Checks to hero who bets 18.
I bet close to pot because Villain has been calling down light all night and is going to be pretty skeptical of my bet here. I think he definitely calls with some overcards and any pair.
Villain raises to 45.
I read this raise as a 10. I think it could be a bluff, and it could definitely be a set, but I get the sense that this villain will look down at a 10 here and think to raise as a form of calling my bullshit. I don't really like this play by him because a call from me isn't great and a 3-bet is terrible. Still, I think a lot of low-stakes players will make this raise as a protection bet mixed with feelings of punishing me for c-betting.
I don't think there is really another good action here. I'd like to let him keep bluffing if he is bluffing, although I think that is unlikely whether I call or raise. So mainly I don't want to blow him off a 10, and if he does have a set, no reason to put more money in the pot.
Turn (107) Js
Villain bets 50
I don't love this card because I think JT is definitely in villain's range. I also think he could have raised with some AJ or even J9 on the flop. Still, I think villain is betting with enough 10x here to justify a call.
So I called.
River (207) 9c
To me, when villain checks here he is basically flipping his hand over. He has QT, KT, or AT. I could be wrong, but I really don't think this villain is slowing down against me with a two pair or a set. He doesn't seem to have a great idea of relative hand strength, making a cautious 2-pair river check very unlikely.
So, my job here was to figure out the perfect sizing for QT and KT. I decided on 100. I think 100 looks like a bluff to this player so I was confident I would be called. I was worried that if I went bigger that I could fold out some tens. It is a pretty scary runout, and he can't be totally confident I don't have an overpair.
He called, and I was happy. I think I maybe could get more on the river, but I'm not positive. I haven't seen villain call down a huge river bet with just one pair. He has called down with other bluff-catchers, but they were stronger in absolute strength.
One more installment to come! Thanks for reading, and please post any comments!