Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

Slow Playing Aces, Too Cute For a $1 Sit-N-Go…

In another single table $1 Sit-N-Go, its 5 handed and I find pocket aces in late position. With a fold in front, I decide to limp in, rather then make my standard raise. On the flop I start to regret it, as there’s both flush and straight potential out there, and my opponents love to chase a flush. I lead out with a pot size bet and get called.

It felt like he was drawing here, so when the 3rd flush card falls on the turn, I regret being cute, but with so much at stake and with the ace of diamonds in my hand in case he has made his hand I push all-in. Villain takes a long time to think about it and eventually calls with 98, 2nd pair and a gut shot, with not one diamond.

To my horror he makes it on the river and I’m out in 5th. If he turned over a flush, nice hand, wish I’d raised, etc… but to chase that, with not one diamond… was I being too cute here, or just one of those things we don’t like to talk about?

This was a bit of a cooler, so instead of diving straight into another couple of sit-n-go’s I’m giving myself a quick break to re-compose myself before I dig in again. I’m aiming to get 10 have these completed before 4am, two tabling, but I’ll be happy with 8 if I can finish in profit. I’m getting awfully worried by the amount of 5th place finishes I’ve had since yesterday, but can’t see much wrong with how I’ve been playing.

If tonight finishes on a similar note to last night, I think, if only for psychological reasons, I’m going to have to slow down a bit, just to steady myself and will probably try and stick with playing the games one at a time for awhile, though that will be hard, now that I’ve gotten used to doing two at a time.


January 23, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Few Key Hands

Okay, I admit it, my last session wasn’t actually my last session, I did one more. Two tabling the $1 Sit-N-Go’s again.

Here’s a few key hands :

Here I held AQ on the button and raised it up to 5xBB. I get two callers, and I totally miss the flop, but both players check, so I check behind, and its checked all the way to showdown. Theres a few draws out there, and either one of them could hit a pair by the river, should I have made a c-bet on the flop, its a move I rarely do with an un-paired hand this early. Assuming I do, and the turn doesn’t seem to complete any obvious draws, do I fire again or look to check it down?

In the Big Blind, I’m allowed to see a free flop with J3 and hit two pair. Being an un-raised pot someone could be drawing to a straight with the 23, so I lead out with a bet of around 2/3’s the pot. I get re-raised a little more, and feel he’s raising me with TP and a decent kicker, thinking I’m trying to buy the pot, as opposed him making a set with 22 or 33, so I double his re-raise, hoping he’ll call.

The turn brings a scary card, adding a flush draw to the mix, so I go all-in and villain calls to show an over pair,two kings. I was surprised at how strong he was, and felt a little sorry for him at first, but then realized he’ tried to get cute by limping in with his monster, so it was his own undoing here.

This hand affected me more then it should have done, and left me annoyed for the next two or three hands, despite that fact I was only a slight favorite anyway.

The tables 5 handed, and I’m on the button with TT. I raise to 4xBB and get instantly re-raised all-in by one of the bigger stacks. My first thought was to push and roll the dice, and in the hands that followed I wish I did, but instead I took my time and reasoned that he has never made a play like this before, each time he had a hand he would open with a standard raise or re-raise, not push all-in, it could have been a bluff, but it felt more likely he was strong. I pictured aces and fold, for him to show AJ.

With the blinds worth fighting for, and having folded most of my recent hands, I decided to open with a raise with 88 rather then limp in. The short stack quickly re-raised all-in, and there was a call behind. Initially I was tempted to fold, but then realize its only a little more to call and getting a great prize to call and flop my set, so I call.

Here, its 4 handed and I have AQ in the big blind. The small blind raises to around half my stack and I decide to push. I’ve seen him make several big raises pre-flop like this, but only one went to showdown where he held AJ, I reason theres enough hands I’m ahead of to push back, and I was guaranteed 3rd place money (I think?) as a fall back.

Whats your views on this, was I too hasty to push, I don’t like flat calling for 1/2 my stack, so I guess the question is, should I have folded, let the short stack get knocked out and wait for a better spot?

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Multiple-tabling, whilst on a bad run?

Too quick to judge, maybe, but after one long session, cashing in only two out of my eight games, suggests I’m on a bad run, especially considering some of the hands. AK and KK both run into aces, my TT gets out flopped by 77, and my AQ gets out flopped by AJ…. I could go on, but you get the idea.

So, I’ve come to thinking, should I be multi-tabling the Sit-N-Go’s whilst I appear to be on a bad run?

The statistical approach, at least from what I understand of it, suggests that I should, as everything evens out in the end, and the more hands I play the sooner I’ll get through the bad run. Then there’s the psychological approach that suggest you should stop and take a break, because a bad run can affect your play, and put you on tilt.

Well I’m certainly not on tilt, not during the session anyway. Though I must admit to feeling a bit down about it afterwards, more so the final two games, where it was yet more of the same that I had experienced during the start of the session.

I’m pondering with the idea that I should slow down, and only play a single table…. (yes its a recurring theme for tonight / today) instead of 2 tabling them, as I feel like I’m on a bad run, and that way I’ll loose less, or actually lose money more slowly… but I can’t help reverting back to the statistical approach and I agree with it, as long as I’m not on tilt, and letting previous games affect the current session I should keep playing, and keep multi-tabling, if that’s what makes me happy, shouldn’t I?

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding leaks in my sit-n-go play by multi-tabling

I’ve just completed another two-table session on the $1 Sit-N-Go’s, and have realized that multi-tabling them, even only two at a time, can help me pick up some areas I’m not confident in, because its blatantly obvious when I’m stuck on the one table for more then a few moments, with the other buzzing for attention, that I don’t automatically know how to handle the situation I’m in.

I know I’m getting better at it though, as I managed to make a few reads on some of my opponents in this final session of the day, despite sharing my time between both tables.

However, since there are areas of my game, that I’m not too confident in at the moment, I think I should stick to single tabling them until I build up some confidence in those areas. I think I’ve said that before, but I’ve really gotten hooked on two tabling these now, and find it far more enjoying, I will have to discipline myself to stick to the one table for awhile, despite benefiting from earning the frequent player points twice as fast for my bonus.

Here’s a few key hands from this final 2 table session :

In middle position I pick up 99 and call the big blind. The 8 high flop gives me an over pair and theres a bet and a call in front, so I raise to 5xBB to see where I’m at and to charge any draws to make their hand. The limper calls, everyone else folds.

The turn brings an ace and this time villain leads out for 2xBB. I don’t have much information on him prior to this, but with him calling my bet on the flop I felt he was either drawing or was trying to pick up the pot with an high card like a weak king or ace. If he held top pair, I would expect him to bet more on the flop, and check the turn. By leading out here how he does, It makes me feel he made his hand, if he was drawing I would also expect him to check here.

I fold, so I didn’t get to see his hand, but I didn’t want to risk any more on this hand so early. If I called his bet here, I would either get lucky and get a free river card or more likely face a larger bet without me improving.

I had previously noticed that if onckie had a strong hand he would simply push all-in. A check here either indicated something suspicious, or that he had nothing. On the turn he makes a very aggressive re-raise, and its clear not with the best hand. I made note that a large bet such as this could be a bluff, but an all-in from him means, he’s ever got the best hand or thinks he has.

Here I find JJ in late position. Its 5 handed and I’m 4th in chips. Needing to pick up some chips to be within a chance of the money, I make my standard raise instead of limping in, I get one caller from the big blind. On the flop my hand doesn’t look so strong, but I make a strong continuation bet anyway to continue my show of strength and pick up the pot.

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Multi-Tabling Sit-N-Go Tournaments

I’ve attempted this a couple times, but never with much success. I always feel like I’m missing out on pots, because I’m distracted or not able to focus on previous action as I otherwise would (or at least should).

However I have tried it again tonight, again without success of a financial sense, but loosing to aces twice in a row is anther topic (one I forced myself not to write!), but I have found an alternative method that I find easier and less distracting, which will hopefully yield results for me sooner or later.

Previously when multi-tabling, as I have done with cash games I have reduced the size of each tournament window, so that I can get all the games in view without having to move them around on the same screen. I have managed to play 3 or 4 cash games at the same time in this manner, but have only tried with 2 tables at once with the Sit-N-Go’s and even found this distracting.

My solution, I realized tonight, was simply to keep both tournaments close to full screen, and have one in front of the other, where I could click between each one between hands to observe the action at each table, without being distracted by the action at the other table. The Poker Stars client software would even bring the tournament window, requiring action from me, to the front, so I never missed my turn.

I have found this method far easier, and I am now much more likely to be willing to play multiple Sit-N-Go’s at the same time.

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My First Ever Straight Flush!

Just finished the 4th game of the day, and its been one of those rare games where you get a kaleidoscope of great hands coming your way in a very peculiar fashion. For instance, I found pocket queens immediately followed by pocket jacks, and then much later on found pocket jacks immediately followed by pocket queens!

Thats not the best bit of course, I actually made my first ever straight flush. I was so shocked, I checked the board about twenty times before committing my stack, and it still took a few moments to sink in as the pot was pushed to me. Imagine how devastated I would be, if I was busted by a higher one, it doesn’t bare thinking about lol

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment