Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

A Wonderful Tournament, and Big Praise for AK

I’ve just finished a very refreshing NL Hold’em Sit-N-Go, it could easily be the best I have ever had, if not thee best certainly the best I have had for many many months, and I can’t praise AK enough, it easily deserves to be anyones favorite hand!

I built up a big stack pretty early with my first AK, and several re-appearances later maintained me in good position, until I was in the money. In fact I think I made the money with only taking down 3 pots, all with AK. This is exactly what I needed, just as I’m beginning to question my play with it, and to try and rid some doubts about how I’ve been handling it in the early stages.

This Sit-N-Go more then anything else, confirms my suspicions that I have become too weak with AK in the early stages of the Sit-N-Go’s, seeing so many people call your bets or even re-raise you with AQ or AJ has really re-newed my enthusiasm for AK, and I hope to see plenty more of it in the near future 🙂

I’ll post a few key hands from this wonderful tournament bellow, but first here’s a link to a Home Poker Tourney discussion I started on AQ and AK strategy before I sat down at the tournament.

AQ and AK Strategy

The 3rd hand of the tournament and I find AK in the button, I increase my standard raise to take account of all the limper’s and take down the pot without a fight.

The 2nd appearance of AK finds me UTG and I open with a 4xBB raise, both the button and SB call. I hit top pair, but with two suited cards, I can’t slow down and bet the pot, the SB calls. The flops a blank, so I push all-in and he calls, to show AJ, here I think I would still push even if a heart fell with the ace of hearts in my hand.

Much later on, with the table now 4 handed, I find AK again and open with a 4xBB raise, getting quickly re-raised by a short stack push. This guy’s pushed back enough recently and gone all-in a few times, that I can’t credit him for waiting for aces, or even kings and anything else I’m not far behind if he’s holding a pair, so I call, to find he pushed back with AJ.

Its now 3 handed, and I find 44 in the SB and call, the BB checks. I hit my set on the flop and check, the BB checks behind. The turn presents a risk of flush, so I lead out with a pot sized bet, and the BB calls. I made a huge mistake on the river here by not making a value bet.

Its now heads-up, where I get lucky and take a huge lead over my opponent. I’m in the BB and the SB raised the minimum. His raising range here is probably pretty wide, knowing I’m a tight player and have mostly been folding, is mistake of course was not raising enough. I call with 87s.

I’m fortunate enough to flop the nut straight and when my opponent leads out, I make a large re-raise, hoping he’ll push back thinking I’m bluffing or making a play. He takes the bait and moves all-in, and I call.

In the BB, I find KJs and the re-raise the SB’s standard minimum raise to defend my blind, and he pushed back all-in. I thought about this for a moment, and make what is probably a loose call, by pushing back he’s telling me he’s got a real hand, and I probably should have laid this down, but with the chance to end the match, I call and am relieved to find I have him dominated, but the river keeps him a live a little while longer.

This is by far the biggest mistake of the match for me. the SB makes is ussual and freqent minimum raise to pick up my blind and I deffend with a re-raise, a little larger then last time. I’ve folded enough of my blinds to his raises, for a large re-raise here to be profitable with a wide range of hands. Problem was he re-raises me back, and without thinking too much I push all-in.

My thoughts on the push where, that he’s picked up that I will defend without a great hand, so he’s felt a re-raise would get me off my hand, in hindsight his re-raise was for too weak for that type of play, and he was likely trying to get me to push back at him, and I oblige him. He calls my all-in re-raise with AKs and I’m in terrible shape, but get lucky and re-take the chip lead.

For the final hand I hold 76s and call the SB’s standard raise. On the flop, I hit a double belly buster / open ended straight draw, and could have easily re-raised his bet, but I elect to call instead. On the turn I make my hand, and my opponent moves all-in, likely to represent what I’m holding and I call, taking 1st place.

It really was a great tournament, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

January 25, 2008 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 even  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

Up and Down

Its been an up and down session today, cashed, then failed to cash in some Sit-N-Go’s, then made a profit from a cash game, then failed to cash in some more Sit-N-Go’s.

I let my emotions get the better of me in one Sit-N-Go, costing me a place in the money,  but  otherwise I think I played well, calling it a day now though, as I’m a little tired.

May not get any games done over the next two days, but I still have a bonus to earn so if I get the opportunity then I’ll sit in a couple of Sit-N-Go’s.

Merry Christmas xxx

December 24, 2007 Posted by | NL Cash Games, Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Very Very Pissed Off!

I am very very pissed off right now, I have just lost a huge pot with a set of queens when the river gave the winner a set of kings, added to this I have lost my last two Sit-N-Go’s by being river’ed its been a terrible night and I am fucking sick of loosing countless favorable situations!

Here’s my pain in full pictorial form :

This may have been avoided by a straight push all-in, I’m boggled as much as you are why I didn’t, but the result is still has unpleasant.

This fucking idiot called my all-in push on the turn, where he had only a 15% chance of winning, as he says “he had to take a look”.

I’ve still only played very few NL cash games, but this is twice my set has lost to a higher set made on the river, I am more then a little pissed off about it, I’m like the new fucking Mike Matusow or something!

According to Poker Stove, I was a 88% favorite to win the hand on the flop, and a 96% favorite to win on the turn.

EDIT : I continue some good play on a new table, and regain a chunk of my loss from the set vs set hand and pick up 2 FPP’s, but I’m still really disappointed about not taking that pot down.

December 23, 2007 Posted by | NL Cash Games, Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New High!

After taking 1st in another Sit-N-Go, I have now got my bankroll up to its highest point $83+ 🙂

This was my favorite hand of the match, and took quite a bit of work and patience to setup (believe it or not), so I’m very pleased to pull it off.,13290.0.html

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Finally after 4 1/2 hours of play and sitting at 3 tables at the same time, I turn it around and leave without a loss.

What an experience…

December 20, 2007 Posted by | NL Cash Games | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Turn

I’m sat in a cash game, and flop a set. I’m re-raised, but I don’t credit him for the straight, probably as this is an aggressive cash game, and I wanted a change from playing tight and conservative like I start off in tournaments. Anyway he does hold the straight, but I flop quads on the turn 🙂

December 12, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Scheduled Tournament

I’ve just completed my first Scheduled (non-freeroll) tournament on Poker Stars. I couldn’t login here immediately afterwards so I posted the details on the HPT forums.

Here’s the link to the thread :

First Scheduled Tournament

December 5, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Today’s Session

Its been another bumpy session today although much better then yesterday, the highlight early on was 3rd in an 18 player Sit-N-Go, I should have come second at least, but I made a bad call against an opponent who was going all-in almost constantly, and if I’m honest with myself I tilted, got angry and did something stupid just to stand up to the jerk.

Things got worse later, Sat down at another 18 player Sit-N-Go and was out in 17th, same reckless behavior I’ve seen all day both on the Sit-N-Go’s and on the freeroll’s and I couldn’t take it, just threw all my money away, it was totally stupid. Sat down at another and didn’t do much better, I was really annoyed with myself because I ruined my record of cashing in every 18 player tournament I’ve sat down at before these losses coming 1st, 4th and 2nd.

I was determined to finish on a high though, and controlled my emotions, despite loosing some big pots pretty early, mostly down to leading into a pot pre-flop with hands like QQ or AJ, and then having to drop them to a vilains all-in on the flop, but bit by bit and with a bit of luck on my side at a few key rivers I rebuilt and managed to finish 2nd.

I still haven’t reached my bankroll’s high point yet, but I’m well on my way to passing it, and its comforting to know that buy using some basic bankroll management I can loose game after game, after game and still be ahead of my deposit amount and then come back and increase my bankroll yet further.

The switch from cash games to Sit-N-Go tournaments in the micro limits has proved successful to this point, and I’m looking forward to building my bankroll enough so I can move up to the $5 Sit-N-Go’s for the first time.

I’ve also been thinking about giving PL Sit-N-Go’s a try as I am really sick of facing an almost constant barrage of all-in’s from my weaker crazier opponents both early and late on in the tournaments. I haven’t found a structure I’m happy with on Poker Stars yet though, all the PL Sit-N-Go’s seem to be 45 player based or are classed as turbo. I’m not sure what the difference is between regular and turbo Sit-N-Go’s but so far it has been enough to put me off.

October 31, 2007 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lucky Game

I’ve just taken 1st in another 9 person sit-n-go and I have no doubt this has been my luckiest poker game yet.

I joked jestingly in chat that someone rivered me twice, and then I do the same thing, beat someone on the river twice, each time I hit my set on the river. I even managed to crack aces.

When I got my head in the game instead of fiddling with bits and pieces on my desktop I did make some good reads, and if by skill, luck or mystical force when I sensed someone was weak, they often where, giving me a commanding chip lead as we became 3 handed. My opponents battled it out and me and the survivor became heads-up, where my pair came on top of a busted flush draw giving me the win and another bit of profit for my bankroll.

October 26, 2007 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | Leave a comment