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19 hour poker session

so after a slow start on a somewhat nitty table, i got moved to a total action table where (on 1/2) the average stack was about $700, the largest stack was about $3000 at his peak and after the first mark left, he totally became the mark - he ended up donking about $1200 to me in the last hour of my session in two hands, and then donked off his remaining $500 to another guy in a single hand.

The guy was seated immediately to my right and his name was Andrew. a pretty drunk regular who was a loudmouth in a funny way kept on calling him Drake because of his resemblance to this guy:

Andrew was very friendly and when i first sat at the table he was playing incredibly solid LAGgy poker. He chatted with me and a few other people around me a bunch, and he was in control of a lot of hands - he played over 50% of his hands and PFRed about 85%ish of the time when he was in a hand. His token raise was to $7 but sometimes he would raise anywhere between $10 and $25. This loosened people's calling ranges since there was so much money on the table, and he knew how to pick his battles post flop. He amassed huge chips on some big hands and wasn't really losing for the first three hours or so of me sitting next to him.

There was some point when he was talking about tilting, and he made some side comment about how his profit would be a lot higher if he didn't make stupid mistakes due to tilt, admitting that he tilts easily. i thought that sounded odd based on how he had been playing and interacting with people - i figured that he was over-exaggerating, particularly since he was so introspective about it; everyone tilts every once in a while, gets caught up in a bad few hands where poor decisions are made. That's when you take a walk or consciously mentally reset or something. </p>

Then Andrew played a hand with me where i raised him when he tried to check-raise bluff me. I PFR'ed with 22 and i flopped a set. He checked, i bet out about 2/3rds pot, and he raised me $200. I had about $600 siting in front of me, and i went all-in. He folded (about two hours later he admitted he had total air), and because of that hand, his whole aura completely shifted, which was odd to me because at that point he was sitting with a $3000ish stack and had just won a $500+ pot, and it's not like his move was a bad one, he just misjudged the strength of my hand.

But yeah, he totally tilted.

for the next half hour or so, he started PFRing about 95% of the time, anywhere between $15 and $30. as opposed to his previous play where he could get away from hands if he missed his flop or saw he was clearly beat, he started making loose calls and occasionally loose raises on the flop that would get him in trouble on later streets.

but more than that, he stopped talking. almost completely. if he were a cartoon, steam would be visible as a slow simmer over his head.

after about a half hour or maybe more, he ended up felting the other mark on the table for a pot over $1000, and he was more back to his normal self. But then later, he started losing again - not huge pots, but he kept on trickling from his aggression not hitting, and i could sense the frustration and how it was affecting his play.

Fast forward a bit and he and i got heads up in a hand again. I was under the gun and had AA, raised to $12. There was maybe one caller before him in the bb. Board comes out 235 rainbow. I bet out $35, folds around to him, he raises and makes it #75. I call. Turn comes out a 2. He bets out $100. I'm not sure where to place him - he's been a tricky player. Calling would have left me with about $500 at that point. I didn't feel the need to try to push my hand if he happen to wake up to 46. I called the $100 and then looked straight at him - he liked looking at people to get reads on them. I looked at him so he would have to do something before I could react to the river. He bet out $100 i think even before the river card came out, but it could have been after it fell. I asked him, "did the river come out?" and he said yes, and that it was a 2. I looked at the 2 and decided that it was much more likely that he either had a busted straight draw and/or the made straight that just got counterfeited than he had pocket 3s or pocket 5s - but that was still enough of a possibility that i didn't want to bet my stack on it, so i just called and flipped over my AA. He gave a small grimace and turned over 45.

But the big hand i played against him was when he was in tilt mode again with a stack of about $1500, and he was raising and calling big PF bets pretty liberally. Someone prior to me had PFR to $10 which he called. I looked down at my hand and saw JJ and raised to $40. It folds around to Andrew and he calls.

The board flops QdJx4d. He checks to me. I bet out $75. He thinks for a bit and min-raises me to $150.

At the beginning of my hand, i had about $850. He did not have QQ because he would have four bet preflop easily. For some reason i didn't peg him on a flush draw in this hand either - he either had bottom set or JQ or maybe even KQ. So the question was, "how can i get him to put the rest of his stack in?" On the hand i described above where i flopped a set of 2s, he was able to fold to my all-in bet after his $200 raise. Granted, he had complete air - but i didn't want to spook him by going all-in with so little in the pot, but i didn't want to just flat call in case the turn came a scare card like a diamond that could slow him down (granted, he could have sped up there and put the theoretical tough decision on me). I was ready to commit my stack right then and there, so after a bunch of deliberating and an attempt at some subtle "i'm not sure if this is the right move" body language, i raised an additional $200 on top. Andrew immediately said, "all-in" and i immediately said, "call" and flipped my pocket Jacks over. He gave a look and before the cards came out said, "i'm pretty much dead" which in retrospect makes me think he had QJ or J4. The turn came 3d and the river was some sort of blank, maybe a 7. He mucked his hand without showing and i raked in a $1750 pot.

After losing that $1750 pot to me he was left with about $500, and he basically donked that off two hands later to one of the better poker player regulars at Harrah's who ended up taking the $1000ish pot down with Ace high. It was no surprise that after Andrew left, about four of the other people, myself included, got up and left within the next fifteen minutes.

Early losses in my session and generally making no traction on recovery for a while made it so that my hourly rate wasn't as much as i would have liked (a little under $50/hr), but it was still a decent profit of about $900 for the session, and it put me back in profit for 2013 after suffering a stupid and gruesome loss about a month ago, so i'm not really complaining. I think i played solid poker - Andrew made me play more passive than i would have liked, a revert to old habits from when my play was much more meek and stupid, but overall i was pretty happy with most of the decisions i made, and any of my occasional slip ups felt pretty small.

Still, it hasn't been the greatest year for me in poker thus far - i recognize this as being my own doing because for a while i was going wildly crazy aggressive at times when i wouldn't have the stack to support it, and i've had to consciously rein in and mix up my play in a way almost opposite of how i used to play. I'm glad that i recognize it and am monitoring that more regularly - i think it will make for a decent second half of 2013 if i can master the right balance, but we'll see how the cards fall and how i react to them.

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March 2017