I'm pretty fortunate to live Ten minutes from one of NorCal's best and biggest cardrooms in One direction and Ten minutes from a very large and nice Native American owned casino in another direction. I've been playing pretty regularly in the $1/$2 NLH games at the cardroom. Last night (Saturday night/Sunday very early morning) I chose the $1/$3 NLH game at the casino. At the cardroom I usually buy in for $150-$200. Last night I bought in for $300. I had to wait Forty-Forty-Five minutes before getting seated but I arrived at about Ten PM and the place was packed.
When I did get into my game the action was great with the game seeming to be softer than the cardroom games I've been playing in. After almost Three hours I had run my stack up from the initial $300 to $1,018 when I played the following hand. My basic strategy is two-fold, I'm trying to get as much of the money in pre-flop with premium hands because the action is so good and conversely when I'm in position with speculative hands that could blossom I look to see the flop as cheaply as possible.
9 handed in the HJ I am dealt 4h-4s. UTG straddles for $6. Second MP open raises for $30. This is a pretty normal opening sequence for this room, this table and these players. I flat for $30. I realize this call is loose but I expect Two or Three guys to come in behind me and that if I can hit my set that someone maybe a couple of someones will pay me off. The CO calls. The BTN calls. SB folds. BB calls. UTG calls.
Six of us go to the flop with$181 in the middle. The flop is Ts-6c-4d. Great for me and someone maybe more than someone probably caught some of this just by virtue of how many players are in the hand. The BB checks. UTG checks. The MP open raiser bets out $75. I should mention here that the BB had $844 at the start of this hand. UTG had $1,317. The MP open raiser started with $415. I had $1,018. The CO had $217 and the BTN had $316. I smooth flat the MP opener. The CO folds. The BTN goes in the tank and calls. The BB snap folds. UTG calls. We go to the turn with Four players still in and now $481 in the middle. The turn is Ks. UTG checks the turn. MP checks behind UTG. I make it $250. The BTN folds. UTG flats the $250. MP shove-calls for $310. I call the $60 and so does UTG. There are still Three of us in this hand and now we have $1,411 in the pot. One player (MP) is all in for $415 total. I still have $603 back and UTG has me covered with $902 back. UTG was at the table when I arrived. He is basically LAG getting involved in lots of hands but showing down enough high value hands to make the other players pump their brakes when he comes hard. The UTG player seems to specialize in getting into hands and playing along calmly for a street or two and then suddenly and swiftly putting his opponent(s) to a very tough decision/test. The MP player got to the table about half an hour behind me. He can be aggressive but mostly my impression is that he is a rock. UTG probably has something at least halfway decent. It could be a Q-J, Two spades and a flush draw or a pair from A-A to 7-7 as well as, Two high cards from A-K down to J-T. I really think the MP player has a high pair like Aces, Kings that turned into a set or A-K. Anything else other than a pair of lower cards that turned into a set on the flop is unlikely. I don't see the guy in MP hanging in and putting in a bet of $75 against as many opponents as were left if all he had was air. In fact I found it doubtful if he stayed in the hand with a top pair hand only considering the number of players in the hand and the sizing of the bets.
Was my play correct here? What about my bet of $250 on the turn? I don't think anyone can really question the $60 call when MP shoves behind my $250 bet. I have tried to describe pretty carefully just how I was thinking about this hand during the time it was being played even to the point of taking notes during the hand because I knew that I would be writing it up for you guys. Thank you gentlemen again, I am really enjoying this process of analytical reflection. As usual I will post the finish of the hand in a couple of days.