I got a rough beat tonight. One that I still don't understand. I was into the Hollywood Park $400 buyin $5-10 NLHE game for $800 and had accumulated around $1600 total for a nice $800 profit. I was only 4 hours into the session and the table was absolutely fabulous. I was either 2nd or 3rd in chips, was comfortable with everyone on the table and taking lots of small pots and once in a while dragging a nice big pot. I dragged a $1400 pot with a turned straight when someone could not let go of their two pair. Everything was going good until this ridiculous hand comes up. I am in Middle Position, maybe 2-3 from the button and get AQoff. I raise to $45 after UTG limps. The button, SB, and UTG limper all call. So we go to the flop with about $220 in the middle. It comes out Ah Qd Kh. The small blind leads out for $200. Now, before I continue with the action I'll describe the small blind. He has only been at the table no more than an hour but I had already seen him play enough hands to know he was not good at all. Twice I had seen him slowplay what he thought were big hands (trips and a set) and only meekly bet his good but not great hands such as top pair good kicker in big pots. So for him to come out swinging like this smacked of oddness. I knew he didnt have a set or AK and like I said if he had something like J 10 I think he would have slowplayed it so I immediately put him on a draw. I looked at his stack and he had about $440 left after the $200. After the UTG limper folded I raised to $600 and the button folded and SB called almost instantanously. I was a bit surprised at the speed of it. The turn comes 10c and the river is some offsuit brick like 5c. He turns over Jh 7h. Afterwards, as I am trying to regain a little composure after such an odd call he trys to defend himself to the table by saying he was committed after he put in the $200. He was asking people if they would have done the same, and of course, the people who answered were savvy enough to say "yes" so that he would keep doing it but, of course, they would never make the same play. That knocked me down a bit to a little over $800. From there I composed myself because this was a great table and I would say at least 6 out of the 8 other players were easy targets. So I didn't want to do anything stupid and not take advantage of this. I sat back and limped with Qs once only to reraise one of the guys on tilt to have the other guy on tilt push into me. I called and the Qs held against his 77 or 99 or something. After that I just made a few hands and a few good CBs until 2 more people left. Then we got down to short handeded (sometimes 6,5, or even 4 handed). I was left with such passive players that I just steamrolled them shorthanded for about an hour. Nothing excessive, just picking up unwanted $50 pots and making raises preflop, getting heads up and then CBing and taking it down. Those things add up. I think in the hour of short handed play I made about $400. I didn't lose one single show down hand and I only made a big hand once and the guy folded on the turn. Normally, shorthanded play becomes difficult for me because people become super aggressive (as you should) and really put pressure on you to make hands/calls. Here it was a walk in the park and I was the only one applying pressure.
There weren't too many hands of actual discussion interest as I said, most of the table was easy money and it was just a matter of making a hand at the right time. I did notice quite a bit a of overbetting at a certain time space on this table that I was displeased with. For instance, after one limper 2nd to act would open raise for $75 or after a few limpers someone would make it $100. I am not a big fan of this play because its an action killer. Its one thing if you are in the BB and 7 people limp to you and you make it $100, thats totally reasonable but to open the pot for 7-8XBB in early position doesn't make sense. Lots of people do this and while I like the fact that they are probably not getting any profit off their big hands if indeed these are big hands, I don't like the fact that it makes it that much harder to get big pots with big hands because the preflop action is so stifling. It still baffles me that someone is much more happy with winning $20 with AA or whatever instead of trying to win a big pot by either raising a little more than the pot and playing a flop or limping. This type of strategy is not very exploitable at the $400 game unless there is alot of money on the table but if someone did things like that with big hands in deeper games like the $500 they would get slammed so quickly. I guess that's why some of these people are at the $400 and not higher.