This happened yesterday at a casino, playing $3-6 limit Hold’em. Normally I prefer to play no-limit cash games, but I decided to pay at the limit tables for 3 reasons:
- I was up until 2:30 am Saturday night playing in a home game with some ancient buddies, and hadn’t had the best night of sleep.
- Several of my buddies were going to play poker at the casino for their very first time ever, and after Saturday night’s session they clearly weren’t ready for no-limit poker. I wanted to be able to sit with them at the same table and watch them play.
- The max buy-in at the $1-2 tables was $500, making this a very deep stack table. I like to be prepared to buy in at the maximum amount and have 2 buy ins available, and this was too much, especially given #1 above.
So I made a bankroll management decision to play at the limit table.
This casino uses PokerPro electronic poker tables. Each player has a touch screen monitor that shows the cards and decisions that need to be made and there are no live dealers.
For the most part my session was going poorly. The cards weren’t great and I’d already made several bad decisions and bad plays in a generally loose game. On one hand, I read the Villain as hitting a nut straight on the turn that beat my two pair, but decided to call his raise anyway in case I hit a long shot full house, one of the perils of limit poker. In no-limit it would have been an easy fold. Anyway, I missed the river and he bet again. I meant to call despite reading the situation correctly – another bad play – but accidentally pressed the raise button on my monitor and he promptly re-raised and I called that too. Had I gone with my read at the turn, it would have saved me $24. Over and over I tell myself that I have to trust my reads. They are usually right. Despite the lack of sleep, a good read this time, but totally wasted the goodness of it.
Later on comes a hand where I have 8-7 suited on the button, and I call. The flop is K-4-4, with two of my suited cards. Villain checks and calls my $3 bet. The turn is an offsuit 2, and villain checks and calls my $6 bet. Since I have position, I want to try to push him off the pot, and if my flush comes, all the better. The river is a 5 that completes my flush, and now the villain quickly leads out with a $6 bet.
Now I’m wondering if he was drawing to a flush too, as his flush would certainly be higher than mine. One the other hand, I was semi-bluffing a flush draw and my flush came in, so I should raise. On the other hand, there is a pair on the board. Could he have a full house? Naaaah.
I look at my friend Mike at the far end of the table and mutter some inane comment. I stare at the villain. There is no way I’m going to fold, and I still think I’m ahead and should raise. This is limit poker, I’m down quite a bit for the session, and there are only going to so many chances to make it up.
Once again, I have to trust my read, which is that I’m ahead here. Maybe he has a 4 for trips, and is afraid I’ll shut down due to the flush draw.
I glance down at my monitor and see the timer going 2… 1… Shit! I forgot about the timer at these damn PokerPro tables. You get 30 seconds with no warning beeps, and unlike online poker sites, there is no time bank. I scramble to hit the call button. “FOLD.” Too late.
WTF? Did I really just time out with a made flush at the river, at a live casino game? (Yes.)
My best decision of the day was the bankroll management decision to stay away from the no-limit game. That probably saved me a huge bundle.
Year-to-date online results: + $,5,625
Month-to-date online results: + $189