Road Trip Aftermath, part 1

In my previous post, a road trip was coming soon. It came. It went. I’m back. 

How did it go, you might ask?

I spent last weekend at MGM National Harbor casino, near Washington, DC. For purposes of this post, I’ll refer to my travel companion as “Eric.” The trip was Eric’s idea, making me the wing man. And Eric made omelettes for breakfast on Friday, making me a grateful wing man.

The poker breaks down into four distinct sessions. In two of them, I finished up, but less than a hundred bucks each. Tight, disciplined, mostly boring poker.

In a third session, I spent several hours practicing not tilting. Very early I flopped a set of 7’s, got all-in with a short stack on the turn, and he hit a flush on the river. 

Soon I ran into another flush. Then another. Then a straight.

Breathe! Relax! Play the long game! Be a goldfish!

Later, after much patience, many mindful breaths and a ton of folding, I looked down at KK on the button. With no raises in front of me, I bumped it up. The small blind, also a tight/aggressive player, re-raised.

This was interesting in part because just an orbit earlier I had raised on the SB and he re-raised from the BB position. In that hand, I had AK and he was holding QQ. I contemplated a 4-bet then, but decided to flat instead and ended up winning a modest pot. How would he have responded to my 4-bet with QQ?

Back to the main story, where I have KK on the button. After he re-raised, BB called – the loosest player at the table who hates not seeing a flop. I decided to re-pop it this time. The SB villain tanked a bit, then shoved all-in (and had me covered). BB folded and it’s back to me.

What would you do there? For perspective, I’d already in vested 48 big blinds into the pot and had about 110 big blinds remaining.

All of the players were wearing masks, so getting live tells is even more challenging than normal. I felt a very strong aura however. He seemed very calm, until the server arrived with his hot chocolate as I was studying him for clues. Sweetheart, you’re not helping me!

I’m sorry I cannot come up with the words at this moment to describe the pure agony that goes along with folding KK pre-flop in a no limit hold’em game. Or just thinking about folding KK.

Hell, I’m KKing David!

But this villain doesn’t know that, the dealer doesn’t know that, and @RobVegasPoker will quickly tell you story upon story about Dreaded Pocket Kings.

And perhaps most importantly, #TheyAlwaysHaveIt.

So I folded.

After some cat-and-mouse banter, the villain said to me, “good fold.” I responded that I had a really big hand, to which he said, “it doesn’t matter, that was still a good fold.”

To erase any possible doubt, I told him I had “the second nuts.” And he says, “the first nuts beats the second nuts.”

A minute later I glanced his way when neither of us were in the hand, and he asks me, “you really folded pocket kings?”

That confirmation didn’t stop the downswing. Eventually, the pendulum swung back and I recovered nearly 200 big blinds to end the session close to break even.

A recap of the fourth session and biggest pot of the trip will come in the next post.

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