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My good friend Gerg (not a misspelling, btw) and I decided to make a run "up the street" to the casino yesterday. This decision was pretty sparatic in nature. So off we go... We arrive to see only 1 hold'em table running in the poker room, which was the standard 1/2 NL. The table seemingly consisted of a couple, sitting side by side and seven locals... With 1 empty seat, right next to the dealer, I reluctantly sit down and buy in, hoping that a second table opens up soon.

I'm not a fan of playing a hand for the entire first rotation. I want cards, but am typically folding most everything, less AA through tens or a decent hand on exactly the button and/or cutoff. So, as fate would have it, I'm shown KQ offsuit in the cutoff. I limp and we're eight handed. Flop comes J-10-7, with the J and 10 being clubbed. BB bets out and there are two raises before it gets around to me. I muck my hand only to catch the straight on the turn. I had told Gerg on the way up that anytime I've ever played a hand off of the BB during the first rotation, I've been stacked... with no exceptions. While disappointing, I think to myself that my money is not going to necessarily come via the cards.

About ten hands into play the second table does in fact open, which I request a table move. I sit down to a seemingly juicy table. Instead of being next to the dealer, I'm just off-center and facing him. To my right sits a local with a very heavy foreign accent, who is surely a regular. To his right, a vietnam vet, and to his right a guy who I am certain is an off-duty police officer (just by looking at him, though I did not ask). To my left was a series of younger guys. I had a good idea that my money was going to come from the guy to my immediate left and from the vet, by just looking at the table, however, I'd adjust this thinking within the ten hand rotation. More on this in just a second.

As fate would have it, however, hand number two brings me rockets. I raise 5x, and get three callers. Pot of $27 the flop comes queen - six - three. The cop bets ten. He's not got much behind the bet, and the guy to my left is already mucking his cards, so I move all-in. The cop calls, turning over queen jack... Speaking of jacks, we turn the corner and a jack comes. River is no help and my stacked streak continues... Rebuy please!

While this was somewhat discouraging, I took some satisfaction in knowing that it was not a full stack for either of us, I was in with the best hand, and the day was still quite young.

Back to my statement about where my money was coming from... I was not sitting down at that table with the warrior mentality. I didn't think it is me vs them. I wanted to play against two to three players on the table - a very specific two to three players, actually. I wanted to know which players were playing shit to raises. I wanted to know which players were chasing more with a gut shot or low pair, ace kicker than they were with second pair. These were my targets. I suspected at least one of the young ones and the vet were just those people. My initial plan is to confirm as to whether or not I am accurate (in whole or in part) and then to figure out how to maximize profit and extract the most from these identified and carefully selected players.

After cold cards and a small flush over flush loss to the vet, I started on a roll. Said young guys to my left were stacked by the vet and by the local with the accent. Two guys my age sat down to my left. They rode in together and were friends. One was cool and talkative, the other was talkative, all be it shit talking though. During his first preflop raise of 3.5 times the BB, and being seven handed on the flop, he proceeded to tell everyone how bad of players they were. When he won the hand by catching his second pair on the river, he cut what I can only describe as a Ric Flair and/or Howard Dean promo, as everyone - including the dealer, is rolling their eyes.

The next hand, he raises up again, this time he's three handed. One guy, to the dealers right ends up all-in. The gentleman to the dealer's left (who seemingly knows what he's doing) calls cleanly, and shit talker also cleanly calls. Flop comes king-x-x. Shittalker continues the bet, talking about the water temp; guy calls. Turn is a blank, and the shit talker fires off the second barrel. Guy calls. River is again a blank and the shit talker checks. The dealer turns quickly and seemingly suggests the guy bet out as she asks for action. He bets out and shit talker folds, disgusted. All-in guy leaves, as the board missed him, and the pot is pushed to the other guy. I was loving this. I slid the dealer an extra tip just for that move.

My first double up comes from the vietnam vet. We end up all-in by the turn and my nines hold. As a sidenote, nines were the nuts all day long. My table targets end up being the Vet, as stated, the shit talker, and anyone to his left, pretty much. This was the "anti-locals" table. Shit talker and the local ended up throwing down in a cross fire. The local ended up stacked four times, though only once by shit talker.

Bit later, I find Paris and Nicki sitting on my lap. Raise to ten, four deep, and one of their friends joins us on the flop. I stack one of the short stacks as a result.

Cowboys vs the local hold a bit later. Fast forwarding here to three hands in particular. Gerg comes over and gives me the "last rotation" look. I end up limping with jack two of hearts UTG+2. Now as a disclaimer... I'm not encouraging play of this hand AT ALL. I had a few factors going for me here. One, I knew the table. They were ALL beginning to believe I was catching cards at will. Thus, I could pretty much limp and less being against AA through 10-10, and/or AK-AJ, I was going to get in for a limp. Additionally, because I had a stack and we were going shortly, I needed to lower my standards a bit and try to milk out some added EV. Eight handed, flop comes King of hearts, Ace of hearts, queen of clubs. Checks all around to the button - an older guy with glasses who does not seem like the preflop raising type (even if I wasn't seemingly catching), bets ten. I call out of position, having nine hearts and three tens to rely on here. We're three handed, pot of roughly 50. Turn is a blank. He again bets ten. A third heart floats down the river comes and I stick out a $25 bet, in which he folds up shop to.

I turn to Gerg and give him the "more than 1 rotation" look. He nods to me, understanding I'm probably going to earn my keep in the next 20 minutes. UTG, I once again see my girls, Paris and Nicki... I'm really hoping they're going to bring friends too. I limp and two others call behind me. The SB bumps the bet to 15, which is about a 2x pot raise. I think and make it $45. He's isolated and out of position with about 80 remaining after the call. Flop comes ace-nine-three. He checks, hands shaking and looking away from me. I check behind. Turn comes a six, totally rainbowed board now. He checks, again hand shaking and looking away. I bet twenty here, figuring I'm either betting twenty on the turn or having to call 80 on the river, because I've shown weakness. Additionally, his posture "could" mean that he's got jacks or kings and is pissed off about the ace. If he calls this or comes over top, he has either an ace or a set of something from the flop. He's a Browns fan, not a bluffer. He calls cleanly. River is a "not queen," and he moves all-in. I fold Paris and Nicki face up. He turns over his top card, which is a nine, confirming my read... Nice laydown Mike!

The final noteworthy hand pits me, in the cutoff with pocket sixes against an early position 5x raiser who has about $80 left in his stack after said raise. Flop comes Queen diamonds, ten diamonds, and four of hearts. He stares hard at the board, then looks at his cards and fires off a twenty dollar bet. I think for a short while and call cleanly. Player on the button and small blind fold. Turn is a third diamond. He moves all-in for roughly $60. My gut tells me he has AK, and they're suited, but not diamonds. I slave over the decision for a short while and tell him that I think he's got AK of hearts, and either I am 100% dead on or I am drawing dead. I believe I am correct, so I call. Frustrated, he flips over AK of hearts and my sixes hold up. Great read, Mike!

Overall, I 3x+'d my money in five hours of work. As I stated, I kept in mind pretty much where my money was going to come from. It's much easier playing against a few than an entire mob.


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