Making a huge laydown under pressure on the river can make the difference between winning and losing overall at poker. There are times when you have a very strong hand, but you just know that you are beat, and must make the laydown. I made a pretty big laydown a few weeks ago at 2/5NL at the Bellagio. I held the 2nd nutz and was facing an open bet and a reraise before I acted on the river. The Stone Cold Nutz was a Royal Flush. I made the laydown and was right.
The 2/5NL cash game at the Bellagio is as soft as they come. These are simply not good players, and they are way over their head playing 2/5 NL. But variance is huge, and in the four hours I have played there over two sessions I am down a nice amount. In my latest session at Bellagio, I was passing through Vegas, on my way back from vacation. James Woods was playing 5/10 NL a few tables over. He seemed like he was having a blast and talking it up with the table. If I had more cash with me, I would have got on the list for his table. But I did not, so I sat down at 2/5NL. I compare this game to .10/.25c NL cash games online. There are substantial adjustments that need to be made to beat it. These guys are not good enough to fold, so you better have a hand. They also tend to bluff too much, so you call down slim a bit as well. I was running into lots of mid pairs like TT and 99 during this session, and to adjust to the 2/5NL at Bellagio, I was playing them like I would at .10/.25NL. There is no reason to raise these hands preflop at .10/.25NL. You will get too many callers if you make a standard raise, and you will also get called by a player or two if you make an oversized preflop raise. these guys don't fold easy to C-Bets, so you can't push them off very easy postflop if you miss. So the play is to limp or limp/call and play for the implied odds of hitting a set against a bunch of players who know not how to fold post flop. So that's how I was playing my pocket nines and tens. I was limping and limp/calling them in 5 and 6 way pots preflop most of the time. These are huge implied odds, but I was not really getting any love on the flop, so I was bleeding off some chips. So now for the hand in question.
I pick up 99 in the SB and limp to see a five way flop. Flop comes AdKdx. I obviously check with the intention of folding, but it checks around. Turn brings a Qd, and again I obviously check and it checks around again. River drops the Td. I check again, and then check my hole cards. I have the 9d. An aggressive player who I know can bluff, fires $40 into about a $30 pot. I am prepared to call this guy. Then a more solid type player reraises him to $140, and it is on me. I have the 2nd nuts. A Jd makes a Royal Flush for the only possible better hand. The problem here was that it was a 5 way limped pot, that got checked through to the river. There is actually a pretty decent chance that the Jd is out there. The solid player can't have the 9d so that he would need to make this move with the 3rd nutz if he does not have the Jd. The opener could also have it, but I really think the solid player does. I fold. Solid player obviously has to show the table his Royal Flush, so he did. I told him I folded the 2nd Nutz. I would not even list that fold as one of my top ten. Any of you guys make the call there? Push?
I saved some money there, but still had a pretty bad session overall. Bellagio will give me some love at some point I know, and it will make up for these first two poor sessions. The guy with the Royal, hit a Q high straight flush using both card about 1/2 hour later. I need to work more on my card rack abilities, I guess.