Take the money & run.

I told myself that I would leave by 11pm and it was getting about that time. I was stuck about $100, or half a buy-in, which I figured wasn’t that bad for my first time at a poker table in about a year. The button came to me and I started thinking that this might be my last orbit.

As was the norm for the table, just about everybody called. When it finally came round to me I saw AJs. Knowing that I probably couldn’t get more than 50% of them to fold even if I raised 5x, I just called. I was also tired and feeling a bit like my attempts at ‘selective aggression’ had turned out to be more like ‘blind aggression when I get a halfway decent hand’. Meh.

I hit a Jack on the flop and bet the pot when it was checked around to me. There were two diamonds and I wasn’t giving anyone a free card or the odds to call. Of course the guy to my left called. The turn was a third Jack and I again bet out when it was checked to me. W00T! The guy called and then I noticed that the Jack was a diamond, making it three diamonds on the board. Not so w00t…

And then, a miracle happened. The river was an Ace. Full house! This time the guy to my right didn’t check but went all-in. I knew in a second that he had the flush and I had him beat, so I instacalled. He turned over his 78s for the flush, and I tossed down my AJ with a sigh of relief. A chorus of ‘Ooooh’s went around the table, and I somewhat guiltily swept the pot. I just hadn’t seen that third diamond…

A couple of hands later I gathered up my chips and started to leave the table. “Are you going?” the guy said, somewhat disappointedly. “Yeah…” I felt like apologising. Sorry – I’ve gotten back the money I lost to you earlier in the evening and I am making a swift retreat. You take comfort in knowing you’re a better poker player than I am, and I’ll take comfort in my $35 profit for the evening. Thank you for playing. Please come again.

Tonight was about shaking off the cobwebs and getting back into it. It wasn’t too unsuccessful – I did a couple of strong plays early on, and then lucked myself out of a hole. I don’t think I could have asked for anything else. Except maybe some better cards…

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