With nothing to do on Saturday night during my 12 day monthly sojourn to Sydney, I girded my loins and made for Sky City for a night of Online Casino Malaysia.
I arrived about 9:30pm to find the usual waiting list for a table, 40 or so deep for the 1/2 table and 12 deep for the 5/5 game. My plan was to go for the $200 fixed buy in the 5/5 game. Knowing there would be an inevitable wait, I bought a card for the electronic tables, which Star City now have cranked down to $50 buy in and $1/1 blinds.
The idea to offer lower stakes games I think is a good one. It encourages more walk-by punters to get into the game, and for me, if I copped a few bad beats, it meant I wasn’t going to damage my bankroll too much waiting for the live dealer game.
Unfortunately my $50 buy in lasted about ten minutes. Six hands into the table I have A J in the big blind. There is one or two callers, then a raise from mid position to $6. All fold to me, and I decide I have a good enough hand to defend the blind aggressively and make it $15 to go. The raise from mid position did not look strong to me, and I figure it likely I can take down the pot here.
One of the limpers from early position calls – a bit of a surprise, maybe he was slow playing Kings or Aces? The original raiser folds, as thought he might, and two of us see the flop.
The flop is 6 J 4.
I have top pair, top kicker, but I do suspect a slow played monster from my opponent. To find out where I stand I send a feeler bet of $12 his way. He calls. Yep, he has a big one – the only thing that makes sense – limp, flat call a raise and a re-raise, call the flop bet to trap me into betting more on the next street.
The turn is the perfect card for me – a Jack. Ha! Now I know he could not have had trip jacks, and whatever he has, AA, KK or QQ, he is almost dead with one card to come. The trapper has now become the trapped. The rest of my $49 goes into the pot. He calls.
J 4, full house.
He called a raise and a re-raise from early position with J 4. Wow. If I had any idea I was facing such a poker genius I would have ditched my hand for sure. Nice hand Sir.
I was now 5th in the queue for my seat, but looking over the rail, it looked like no one would be moving on those tables for a while, so it was re-buy time for the $50 table.
The tables had filled up a bit more when I go back, and I joined a table that has a group of five or six guys who were all mates. A good thing about the electronic tables is that there is never a queue to join then, and also it is usually possible to exercise some table selection choice, as the floor staff let you take any free seat. What I like about that sort of table with a few mates is that they are often so obsessed with beating each other in pots, they forget about anyone else in the pot while trying to out-bluff each other. Most of the time a decent hand will hold up to wild raises, re-raises and all-ins, the the profit expectation is doubled for the hand and the risk is reduced.
Before too long I had recovered my first buy-in. And not long after that I was up to $180. I thought about picking up, but the night was still young – only about 11pm, and the bunch of mates at the table seemed to have no end to the re-buys they were prepared to make.
For the next hour I was card dead. I made the mistake of becoming impatient and tried to make too much of some speculative hands. Fortunately I was able to let them go when I knew I was beat, but my stack was still down to $110. I thought about cashing in again, it now being 12:30am. $10 wasn’t much to show for an evenings work, but as I am often want to remind beginning players ‘money you don’t lose is the same as money you win’. A break even is far better than a loss for the night.
Doyle Brunson (in either Super System I or II, can’t remember which) talks about ‘rushes’. He says that no matter what the experts say, they do happen, and you have to ‘play the rush’ when it does.
On the button with the whole table limping, I find Q Q. No stuffing around, I raise to $15. The whole table folds. Nice one.
A Q suited comes up a couple of hands later. A preflop raise to $10 gets two callers. Nothing hits on the flop, but a continuation bet of $20 takes the pot. Next is AK UTG, I raise to $10 (the ‘standard raise’ I have now set for the table), two of the ‘mates’ call, and one other ‘walk by’ who I have tagged as a mug punter. The flop is raggy with a King, but two clubs, and my ace is a club. I am first to act and make a continuation bet of $20 – well not really continuation, since I think I am the only one in the hand who knows what that is, it is more of a value bet, since I am almost certainly ahead here.