« Kevin Ngo

Poker Sess.22 - Fresh State

12 May 2015

Happened to move in right next to a poker room in San Rafael, CA, Pete’s 881 Club I’d been having the urge to reboot the poker. I went to check it out. And it’s solid; there’s no door fee, no rake, tight ship, and they run daily cash games until 2AM. The smallest game is 2/5NL ($500 buy-in). I haven’t had much cash game experience and only played a few sessions of 1/2NL ($200 buy-in), but took a shot. Shook off the rust and headed out. 30-second drive, and a couple of hours later, I ended the session +$165.

Poker Surge

Before that, some commentary on the poker world. I imagine poker will gain some surge of popularity. There are several Twitch channels with prominent players such as Daniel Negreanu or @nanonoko streaming their online sessions (with a delay). Gamers might find that poker is competitively similar to their favorite games such as League of Legends or Starcraft and give it a shot. More good news, California is gaining ground on online poker legislation.

2/5NL Session

Since I probably look 16, I got IDed right as sat. After confirmation, I bought in for $500. I was a new face, so people would prod about information (what I do, where I’m from). I don’t want to give too much away, but I don’t want to be too serious either. “Software. Portland”.

Players were in general pretty loose (more on the passive side) so I started tight-aggressive. Played good hands and pushed them hard. Even though $500 is a bit of money, I wasn’t scared of splashing them around. It’s a game, and those chips transform in Monopoly money or a 90s Zimbabwe dollar. Playing standard had me up $130 within a several hands.

Two tables combined to one, and I looked to continue a run. Unfortunately, my play degraded as I didn’t adjust from 6-handed to full-ring poker.

Bad Call with Overpair

I have TT on the button. First player raises, two callers. I just call with TT since I want to be cautious with an UTG raiser. Blinds call along. Flop comes 256 with a flush draw. Initial raiser bets, a caller, and I 3bet. The SB then check-raises all-in for $190. It folds to me. Kid starts playing with his phone while I contemplate. I thought of his possible holdings (flush draw, set, open-ender, sixes over fives) against my overpair. Though I mistakenly called. Against that range, my hand was mostly likely behind. He flipped two-pair, and it held. I should have probably marked him playing with his phone as a tell that he was comfortable; a bluffer would more likely to freeze up.

I get KK in the next hand, and try to act like I’m tilting with a 3bet. Unfortunately, no callers.

Bad Call with a Bluff Catcher

I make a loose raise in late position with 57s to try to gain back some ground. Three callers. Flop comes QQ3. I cbet as it’d be hard for anything but a Queen to call. One caller so I shut down. Though I make a backdoor flush on a QQ33x board. He bets out small $50 about third-pot, and I made a bad call with the flush. The call on the flop is almost always a Queen (or at least a 3). I’m never ahead here.

I start getting aggressive. Maybe it’s tilt, but it seems when I play in this mode, I take down a lot of pots. I had several hands of raises and cbetting into players.

Flopping Quads

Well, sometimes the gods bail you out of a session. I get KK for the third time in the session, and I 3-bet squeeze a straddled pot. 3 callers! The pot is about $170 to the flop.

The window shows a K. Sweet.

And then another K. Like a dumbass, I lean out of my chair to see if this was actually happening. The odds of flopping quads are 407-to-1. So it checks around to me, the aggressor. I Hollywood, it’s impossible for someone to have caught a piece of the flop so I slowplay. I pick out some chips like I’m going to do a standard cbet, and act like I’m shutting down with a check. I do this a lot in hands when I have air as well, balancing my Oscar-winning acting job.

Someone leads out on the turn rag for $100. I act a bit perplexed, and make a call. Obviously, if he was bluffing, he would know i have something at this point. Everyone else folds.

Opponent checks the river. It’s hard for him to have anything besides a rag pair. I have all the Kings after all. If he boated up, he would have bet out himself. So I make a sucker bet of probably quarter-pot to get a small pair to call, and pot odds nearly force him to call even though I’m obviously strong here.

I take the pot and end the session in the black. The poker journey continues.