Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

Folding and Pushing with AQ

First Sit-N-Go of the day, my usual $1 single table NL affair and I only make 5th place. I put this squarely down to the play of AQ, I held it twice and lost a huge amount of money each time, firstly indirectly by folding the best hand, and then later on directly by pushing all-in into kings.

Here, with AQ in early position I decided to simply call the big blind, as it was the first level and I judged it to be too early to push the action with a potentially dominated hand. Theres one more caller behind me and then a large raise to around 12xBB and I fold without hesitation.

This is pretty standard for me, being so early, however I’m realizing I’m loosing money in situations like this, more so with AJ, but still, if I’m loosing money with AQ its something I should address.

My first thought of improvement comes from the fact that when I limp in with AQ, I’m often happy to call a modest raise, maybe not here being at the very first level and being in early position, but otherwise it wouldn’t be too far fetched for me to call a 3 or 4xBB raise with AQ. Now, as we all know you need a stronger hand to call a raise with then you do to open with a raise, so by reversing that argument, if I’m willing to call a modest raise with AQ I should be willing to open with a modest raise with AQ suited or unsuited (I’ll always raise with AQs).

Now, the blinds are up to 75/150. I’m in the big blind facing a minimum raise from the button and I re-raise all-in.

My thoughts on the hand where pretty simple here, I could have called, but didn’t want to be forced off my hand on the flop and be left with only around enough for 6 orbits, and with the blinds up in two minutes I wouldn’t evenĀ  have that. I’m also aware that I haven’t played a hand for a long time, and certainly haven’t raised or re-raised, and at the same time may of the players had started to open with modest raises pre-flop often with mediocre hands. So I could either have the best hand or could benefit from my tight image and get a middle pair to fold, it felt like a good spot to push, so I did.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victory to End The Day

After a short rest from the previous game, I sat down again and managed to take 1st place. At the start my aim was to complete three more tournaments before 4am (when my poker day officially ends) which would put my frequent player points total up to 300. After the first game however I realized I’m a little too tired to sit in any more, and I’m trying to avoid playing when I’m not “in the zone” for a game, so I’m calling it a day.

Here’s a selection of hands from the tournament :

I wouldn’t usually call the blinds with a such a low suited ace, especially when its folded to me in this case, but being in the SB I decided to call for a change.

On the flop I missed my flush draw, but picked up an inside straight draw and checked, as It was too early to represent this flop, and I was sure he wouldn’t buy that I hit it anyway. Happily he checked behind me and I got to see the turn. The turn wasn’t a bad card for me, but I didn’t want to bet here so I checked, and would have folded to a bet, but again it was checked behind and I got to see the river.

The river completed my draw, but could have also made a flush, so I check, happy to pickup the blinds. Villain makes a bet for the minimum and I call for 1/2 the pot.

I seldom play JT off suite but was fortunate (or unfortunate lol) enough to see a free flop from the BB with it here. More good / bad luck came when I made two pair. Theres always a danger with hands like JT that anyone who can pay you off is highly likely to be drawing at least, here was no different.

On the flop, its limped in and I quickly raise to charge any draws, I get one fold and two callers. The flop brings a queen and I know my great hand is no longer good and check, fold without dwelling on it.

With AJs in the CO I raised it up to 4xBB and the button called. The flop totally missed me and I check instead of make a c-bet, villain leads out with the minimum. With such a weak bet it threw me for a moment and I put him to the test and push all-in, he’s got me beat with TP, holding K9, but I hit an ace on the turn to double up.

Confession time, I had started to wonder around the web at this point, so my concentration wasn’t at its best which probably had an influence on my play and even more so, I was focussed heavily on trying to get 3 more games in today and picking up those frequent player points for my bonus which lead me to make an unusual play.

I got a grip of myself after this lucky break and avoided my open web pages to focus on the game at hand.

I raised a little more then usual here with queens as I was UTG and wanted to deter the player on my left from making a loose call with a mediocre ace or king. I’m obviously hoping the short stack is going to call, and I get my wish, but I also get a call from my immediate left who I tried to price out.

On the flop I felt my queens where likely good, and if they weren’t I hoped I had some outs with my suited queen so I push all-in. I guess I could have tried to play this cheap here, as if villains got the ace or king of clubs he’s certainly calling, but may not lead out if I check, whats your thoughts on this?

After the game, I can’t say why I chose to only check with my kings here, perhaps trying to keep the pot cheap to tempt the short stack. The flop presented a threat from a flush, but with no ace I felt good about my kings and lead out with a bet around the size of the pot, I get one caller. With a blank on the turn I make an aggressive bet and pick up a nice pot.

Here I find KQ with one limper in front and raise to 5xBB, the player on my left, who seems quite fond of calling my pre-flop raises calls. The flop is a blank, so I make an aggressive bet of half my opponents stack and pick up the pot.

The following are two key hands during heads-up, most of the heads-up hands before these where one of us picking up small pots pre-flop or on the flop :

Here I make my standard 4xBB pre-flop raise and my opponent calls. I keep up my aggression When I make bottom pair on the flop with a big bet, hoping to get a fold from any A high or under pair to the king, villain calls, likely aware that I have been making lots of continuation bets on the flop if I’ve hit or not. The turn doesn’t complete any flush draw and better yet, gives me aces up, now I’m hoping he called my c-bet with AQ or AJ and will pay me off.

For the final hand I hold AT and think about playing it soft for a moment, then I kick myself as this is way too weak a hand to slow play here, so I raise to 4xBB as usual, my opponent calls. On the flop I make 2nd pair and am very aware that if he holds a King I’m dead, as where now very even, but after some thought decide to push all-in, he calls immediately and shows AQ, my AT holds up and I take 1st place.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , | Leave a comment

An early finish when AK off, beats my own AK off!

My first Sit-N-Go of the day and I’m playing my part, watching the game, (well between reading a post by Gobbs on Annie Duke’s PPA testimony) and making notes on the action and such, when I find AK, and hit TPTK only to be beat on the river by the same hand.

Here’s the fatal blow with my take on it, and a few hands showing my re-build and eventual elimination afterwards.

So I’m UTG with AK and raise to 4xBB. For a moment I was tempted to raise more as the table had shown itself to be a little loose, but being so early felt a 4xBB raise was sufficient. I hit TPTK on the flop, but there are two cards to a flush on the board so I raise the pot to deter any flush chasers whilst still leaving plenty behind if a flush card comes on the turn and I am forced to drop it.

I am quickly re-raised the minimum, and my thoughts move from villain holding a flush draw to an high ace, and I re-raise all-in, he calls and turns over AK off suite, but with a club. I hope to avoid a club on the turn, but don’t get my wish and runner, runner club completes is flush to decimate my stack.

on a higher table perhaps I should have played it slower, as AKs was free rolling against me, but at these levels I think its right to not dwell on that, as he is highly likely to play AQ, AJ the same, and many micro limit players are capable of re-raising with KQs on the flop here.

Soon after that blow I find pocket 3’s and check from the BB, aware I could have pushed here, but elected to take a peek at the flop first. I get a bit of lucky and flop a set, so push all-in, I get one caller who called with A high and I double up.

With only eight times the big blind and holding A8 I elect to push all-in here without much thought, I’m called by QJ and double up again.

Same story, I couldn’t hold back here with A9s so push all-in, this time everyone folds and I take the blinds.

Here I’m dealt 52 off suite, not a hand to get excited about, but I’m allowed in for free from the BB. The only debate I see about the hand is on the turn where I make an open ended straight draw, I contemplated pushing all-in here, but decided against as anyone who hit was highly likely to call me anyway, and felt I could still do damage with what chips I had left in case I missed.

Normally even being short stacked I would happily drop K9 off suite, but here the blinds where up in 2 minutes, and by that time most of these players will call my push with a very wide range of hands, added to that the table folded around to me it seemed like the right time to make a move and push all-in. Not my day though, both blinds call and the same villain who almost felted me with AK deals the final blow with his pocket aces and I’m out in 7th.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , | Leave a comment