Early in the session, fish doubled me up when I flopped a set vs. his straight draw and turned pair. A little bit later, UrBluffingMe/xxisleroxx and I played a pretty big (stake-wise) hand:
Pre-flop: Hero is BB with Qh Ah
UTG raises to $0.4, 4 folds, Button calls, SB folds, Hero calls.
Flop: 8h 7h Tc ($1.25, 3 players)
Hero checks, UTG bets $1.25, Button folds, Hero raises to $5, UTG raises all-in $18.4, Hero calls all-in $16.66.
Turn: 8s ($24.65, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $38.05)
River: Jc ($24.65, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $38.05)
Final pot: $24.65
UTG shows Kh 9h
Hero shows Qh Ah
We talked briefly about it and I came to the conclusion that the preflop play was a little off (loose raise by him UTG, I should have reraised him) but postflop, I don't see it playing any other way.
So I find some juicy .5/1 tables and sit down at a few of them. I got lucky to avoid a chop in a $200 pot by making my 6 high straight into an 8 high straight vs. my opponents 6 high straight.
Then from there, things went awful. In the next 400 hands, I didn't pick up aces or kings once. Every time I reraised preflop (AK/AQ hands) I would get called, miss the flop entirely, and either lay down the worst hand or get outplayed severely.
Another guy had repeatedly check-raised me in any hand I played with him. I finally trapped him... only to run into his top set. I went from being up a buy in to down one and a half very quickly.
Then something happened. I think a player at one of my tables must have gone on reverse tilt, because he went from being a very loose, moderately aggro player to someone who was literally (for a small time) playing every single pot, and betting the pot every single time it was checked to him. By this time, he was sitting with 4 buy ins behind.
The beginning of his super-maniacal play began with a hand in which I got all in with a gutshot and a flush draw from the blind with J3 of clubs on a KT9 board. He put in the fourth bet with K6. After this was when he began to really gamble.
At this point, another thing he also did was he almost never raised preflop. I had position on him often, so it was usually him limping to me, so I limped behind him with a large percentage of my hands. Pretty much any connected cards, suited aces, and obviously any baby pair were easy limps behind. Fortunately, the rest of the table seemed to understand that if you could get to the flop, you could trap him for a lot of money, so most pots went unraised. At this point, the poker game went from 4 people playing against one another to 3 players racing to outflop one maniac.
I got the first big crack at him.
Pre-flop: (4 players) Hero is SB with T♠ 8♣
UTG calls, Button folds, Hero calls, BB checks
Flop: 3♣ 4♠ 8♥ ($3, 3 players)
Hero checks, BB checks, UTG bets $7.5, Hero raises to $25.5, BB folds, UTG calls.
Turn: 2d ($54, 2 players)Hero bets $54, UTG raises to $216, Hero calls all-in $87.7.
Uncalled bets: $74.3 returned to UTG.
River: 6♠ ($337.4, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $337.4)Results:Final pot: $337.4
UTG shows Q♣J♣.
Hero destroys him with a meager pair of 8's.
That hand felt awesome. My confidence came back with that. I've been having a rough streak the past couple months, but the last time I played I felt like I was playing really, really well despite having only a marginally profitable session. Being stuck earlier was frustrating as hell, but I don't think I was making many atrocious mistakes. Obviously I could've played better, but I definitely feel like I was playing better than my opposition. This hand was one of those situations that vindicated my play and all the hard work I've put into this game. It's really rare that I get my entire stack in without a monster. It feels good to know that I'm not just all brains and no balls.
I got unstuck (and busted this guy) when my pocket queens held up against his 98 on a 975 board. He went from 5 buy ins to broke in less than a half hour.
I ended the day a very small winner. In a week I'll have time to play more. In the meantime, I'll be studying HH's (mine and those on +1/CP), maybe a few SNGs and maybe (finally) sign up for cardrunners.