Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

Mishandling a flopped set on a draw heavy board…?

Just sat down in another sit-n-go, and I’m on the felt after the first hand, I think this is the fist time every I’ve been felted on the first hand in one of these, and it feels shit.

The very first hand, I find 44 and call the BB. I was tempted to fold here, has I feel I’m often too willing to try and flop a set with small pairs early on in the sit-n-go’s, but being on the button I decide to call.

The flop is the worst I could ask for, giving me a set, whilst offering a flush draw and 3 cards to a straight. Its more likely my opponents are drawing here, then they have a made hand, and even if one of them did flop a straight I still have outs to beat them, so I make a pot sized raise hoping to take the pot down here. Instead I get two callers. The turn doesn’t bring any relief and piles on more pressure, I elect to lead out with a large bet, and get one call and one fold.

The river is a nightmare and completes four cards to a flush, to make things worse my opponent pushes all-in. I don’t rush to the decision, and eventual call to find he made a flush on the river.

Here’s what went from my mind at the time. If he’s got the flush I’m out of the tournament, obviously, and with four to a flush there was a reasonable chance he back doored a flush here, this was looking like a fold. However, I had put almost half my stack on the line here, and with a precedent in folding in these spots in that past, I would expect to not make the money without picking up a hand sooner then I would usually need with only $870 left if I fold. I was beginning to steel feel like folding was the best play, because if I did it a hand before the blinds reached 25/50, I’ll still have a shot at the money.

What changed my mind though was the action of the hand, I begun to feel like he was trying to pick up a got shot, and missed, and a push on the end was a defiant steel attempt. I’ve seen this pattern enough, and felt sure enough in my read that a call here was correct.

In hindsight, I could have handled this better :

Firstly, I had a strong hand, but on this board it was very vulnerable. In this instance I took a protective line and tried to make draws pay. At this limit though, and maybe higher too, I feel now this was a mistake on this board. If someone had flopped a straight and intended to slow play it I was drawing thin so should have kept the pot cheap. Also if someone was on a straight draw or especially a flush draw, very few of my opponents would fold, even if I pushed all my chips in. So playing it cheap allows me to avoid committing half of my stack into a situation where I could be beat on the turn, if the turn was blank I could then raise out any draws.


http://www.pokerhand.org/?2024365

Here’s a link to the Home Porker Tourney thread I created on the play of the hand :

Mishandling a flopped set

January 31, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Heads-Up Madness

Couldn’t sleep, so I decide to sit in another heads-up sit-n-go. I fold my first hand, and the next two hands end up all-in, each time its a split pot. I look for reasons to fold, but this guy is going all-in over and over, and I can’t keep folding hands like KJ against him, so I call, only for a split pot, the next hand the same a split pot. Then I call his all-in with ATs, he shows KJ off suite, but makes his flush on the river to bust me.

I was steaming, not because of the hand, but because he sat in a heads-up match just to throw all is money in and gamble, and the prick forced me to do the same. I would like to wish something horrible to happen to him, but I wont…

Here’s my big mistake, I immediately sign up for another hoping it isn’t more of the same, it isn’t, but as good as, with my opponent willing to get all the money in on the 3rd hand in, I make a couple of calls with dominated hands, only to survive by miracle split pots, until my stack is decimated. Next hand I find 65s and flop a straight, my opponent puts me all-in with his pocket tens, and goes on to fill up on the river.

Determined to not blow off another stack, and take a legitimate win back, I sign up for another. Again though its not long before where all-in pre-flop, I re-raised with AQ and he pushes all-in, no way I can fold this heads-up, he turns over AK and I wish I had, until the river where I hit my 3 outer.

Obviously I’m very happy to steel a win with my AQ on the final (yes final!) match of the night, but its clear these heads-up NL matches are going to be a huge test to my tilt control, and maybe that’s a good thing, especially if I want to learn to play PLO :p

After tonight’s episode though, I’m not willing to commit as much money to these as I would have liked, and besides the high volatility of dodging constant all-in’s pre-flop, I’m not improving my game at all, by simply pushing and folding, there pointless. I’m a sucker for punishment though, so I’ll probably do one or two a week and hope to pick a time when there not filling up by complete morons.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PLO Hi

After watching Mike Matusow among other pros on Full Tilt last night playing Pot Limit Omaha cash games, I decided I’ll finally sit in a play money game and get a feel for it myself. Its been a game I’ve wanted to learn to play for ages, just never gotten around to it, until now.

The only table available was a 25/50, I would have preferred something lower, but even with only 4k in play money, I regular sit in the 1k/2k limit razz games, and didn’t expect this to be any different and at first it wasn’t. Only played a few hands and quickly doubled up, then it all went pair shaped and I was quickly felted. I would start of with solid drawing hands or strong hands, such [7s 8s 9hTc] or [AAKJ], but would either end up with little more then a weak pair with my draws or have my premium pairs beat, by a strange two pair or straight, which I suppose is understandable giving the wide range of possible holdings in the game.

The really frustrating thing was, I just couldn’t get a fold, the guy on my immediate left would call almost any bet, with almost any hand it seemed, are more often then not come up smelling of roses, I was obviously missing something (besides the board, lol) so I’m going to try and learn some basic hand selection criteria for the game and see how I do with that.

A quick search on Google found this article which may be of use :

http://www.pokerlistings.com/pot-limit-omaha

Yep, a quick skim read was enough to win back all of my play money roll, plus a nice bonus within 5 minutes or so, on a much lower limit game.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heads-Up Sit ‘N Go

Just finished my first NL Heads-Up Sit-N-Go, and managed to take first in around 7 minutes. The win covers my loss on the regular sit-n-go earlier, where I failed to cash, gave me an extra frequent player point for the day, and also gave me the pleasure of winning the first one of these I’ve sat in, which is always nice, so I’m feeling a bit better about my day now 🙂

I’m still feeling pretty rough though, so I’m not going to push my luck and sit in another game tonight, least I don’t think I will. Sometimes no matter how crap I feel I just can’t ignore the urge to play.

I think it will be prudent of me to include a few of these in my daily schedule of games, especially whilst I am working on my bonus, because they are completed far quicker then the regular sit-n-go’s and will help me earn the frequent player points quicker.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today’s Poker

Haven’t been feeling too well over the last couple of days, so consequently haven’t gotten much poker in, and I’m feeling a little down about that.

Had a nice 5k starting stacks, 3 handed home game, which I won, but got lucky in doing so. Heads-up, I made a bad read and moved all-in to protect my hand I felt was good, eventually my opponent folds the better hand. Later on, the pots getting big and I push, with a small pair and a flush and straight draw, eventually my opponent calls with two overs and the nut flush draw, I mange to dodge his outs and take an astonishing lead. We later found out my edge was only around 2%, I felt my flush draw was good at the time, but my opponent was drawing to the same flush with his ATs, so I lost many of my outs there, and only just held on. Surprisingly he managed to double up several times before I managed to knock him out and eventually take the win.

Online hasn’t been as good, only just completed my first sit-n-go of the day, where I was knocked out in 4th, when my KT push runs into the chip leaders AK. I’m hoping to get in another game tonight, but I’m going to relax a while first to see if I can start to feel a bit better first.

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Home Poker, Tournaments and Freerolls | , , , , | Leave a comment

Varriance

The hand says it all :

http://www.pokerhand.org/?2008778

Here’s my HPT post on the hand :

http://forums.homepokertourney.com/index.php/topic,14008.0.html

January 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Notes Mean Profit in Cash Games

I’ve just sat in a 1c/2c NL game for awhile, and am totally amazed at how beneficial careful observation of your opponents and quality notes can be. I’m not new to note taking obviously, I used to do it in play money sit-n-go’s, but here in the cash games, if you carefully watch your opponents and take notes on there actions, they practically tell you what they have.

This is far more profitable here, then in the sit-n-go’s and I’m ashamed I’ve never paid much attention in previous cash sessions. Its totally changed my perspective on the profitability of these full ring 1c/2c tables for me. Previously I wouldn’t bother with them unless I found a table full of maniacs with plenty of cash, so I could wait out for a good spot and double up, now though, I think I should be able to make less stressful cash bit by bit.

Here’s a few hands :

The first hand I take beyond the flop is 97s, a trashy hand I would never play in a sit-n-go, well usually never :p . Here though the table felt right to try and hit a nicely hidden straight and take down a big pot. I’ve missed on the flop, and have to restrain myself from making a play straight away when they both check to me. The turns another story though, as it gives me both an inside straight and a flush draw, so I lead out. Miss both draws, but with the board pairing I try and buy the pot, and lead out again. After much thought I get called down by A high, AK.

So I lost the pot, but gained a valuable piece of information, this guy didn’t like to drop a hand, and even more important he will call the BB pre-flop with AK, and not make a continuation bet if he missed.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?2003364

Around 12 hands later I picked up KK, and open with a raise from MP. I get one caller. I’ve seen this guy pick up lots of pots, by making a 10c bet on nearly every flop he’s involved with, here though he checks it to me, so I over bet the pot trying to sell a bluff, and he calls.

The 9’s a safe card for me here, but its a nice card to check back on to make it look like I was bluffing on the flop. With the T on the river, I grit my teeth, hoping I didn’t let him make a straight, and re-raise him just enough that he might call if he had something else.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?2003383

Here, I find KQ and see a free flop from the BB. I miss the flop, but against these guys I know I can’t represent anything, so I check. The turn makes my hand, giving me a pair of queens, but brings the threat of a diamond flush. A player I’ve been watching closely leads out for the minimum, and now I know he’s got the Q, I could easily raise here, but with 3 cards to a flush, and my bluffing image, decide its better to see the river first, as the guy in MP would likely call if he had a diamond draw.

On the river, I dodge the flush, and the weak player opens for the minimum again, I quickly re-raise him and he calls, showing Q8. Only issue here was should I have raised more on the river?

http://www.pokerhand.org/?2003412

Sorry, I don’t think I did a very good job of illustrating my point, but its nearly 7am, I’m tired, and get bored quickly trying to find hands I wasn’t involved in lol

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Listenning to My Instincts, Again!

Busted twice in one night, because I didn’t listen to my instincts, time to call it a day, before I throw away all of my recent hard work. Not a bad play on my part this time, but I knew I was beat and let it cost me my seat anyway.

Two things made me push back, knowing he’d do the same thing with QQ, and maybe even AT, and the fact that he very recently did the same thing when he made bottom set, and I got stubborn and wanted to look him up. It was stupid, despite how much I invested in this hand, I should have gotten away with my seat intact, instead I heard that little voice that said I was beat, he’s made a set, and I ignored it.

It takes a few realizations like that for the lesson to sink in with me sometimes, as long as I don’t make the same mistake tomorrow, I’m happy. Making the same mistake twice in one night at least lets it hammer home.

Here’s the hand :

http://www.pokerhand.org/?2002676

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Tournaments and Freerolls | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Perils of Playing on Instict

I’ve been feeling good, 4 straight cashes, including two 1st places, has helped boost my confidence, then a bad read sends me out in 6th, it could have gone either way, but deep down I know I wasn’t focussed as much in this game as I should have been.

Note to self, don’t read, comment on blogs whilst playing online poker!

Here’s the hand, his bet on the turn, screamed weakness, and lots of times it is weakness, but here it wasn’t, I took a shot and it backfired, but if I had my head-in the game, it wouldn’t have cost me my seat, its a situation I should have gotten away from, but didn’t, it will remind me to stay focussed in future.

Here, I obviously wasn’t trying to represent I’ve made a set of Kings, I took too long to think about it, and he wouldn’t buy it anyway, he just felt weak, but looking back at things like how fast he called my 4xBB raise pre-flop, and how he checked the flop, which seemed odd, as he’s the guy whow will almost always lead out here, but I filtered all that out, and didn’t listen to what was important, why is he playing so obviously weak! Also noting A2 was way ahead of me, I made a stupid play and was doomed to go broke.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?2002323

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Tournaments and Freerolls | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Made 3rd Place on 4% of My Dealt Hands

Just finished another pleasant Sit-N-Go on Poker Stars. I only made 3rd place, but achieved that by only playing 4% of my dealt hands, and that was including the blinds, it was a good experience for me, as lately I’ve probably been playing too many vulnerable hands as the blinds increase, because I’m worried that I need to take a pot. Goes to show that with loose aggressive players knocking each other out, you can afford to wait for a real hand, even when the blinds are stepping up and then punish them.

Here’s the key hands :

UTG, I found AKs and raised to 6xBB pre-flop, more then I would usually, because the table had show itself to call down with a wide range of hands, and I wanted to avoid any suited junk calling to hit two pair, etc. Its folded around to a loose player, who I had seen call a 5xBB raise with 45s, and then the short stack on the button, re-raises all-in for just a little more. We both call.

On the flop, I couldn’t risk having the loose player hang around to spike a pair, so I moved all-in, if he had the Q, I could still get lucky and win, the loose player folds, and its a race between me and the button who shows JJ.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996862

Having only played the one hand so far, I opened with a raise with AJs, hoping the player in the BB, who seemed to play with his ego, rather then his cards would give it up. My hand was strong enough for him to call, but I didn’t want to face a re-raise from him.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996900

The action was now 3 handed, and I found 99 in the small blind. I needed to raise, and a limp, re-raise was pointless because it would only invite a call from the BB, a standard raise would also attract company, so I moved all-in.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996910

This was my final hand, where I held J9 and with an M of less them 4 I moved all-in. I could have folded here, but knew as soon as my stack drops bellow $1k, this guy will call me with just about anything if I push, so felt it was now or never and moved all-in. I felt good about the hand, being only a 6:5 dog, but missed my outs this time and finished in 3rd place.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996845

Surprisingly, besides the occasional free flop from the BB, those where the only hands I played the entire match.

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment