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

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

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

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.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996001

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.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996002

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.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996006

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.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996009

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.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996018

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.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996023

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.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996027

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.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1996029

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

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

http://www.pokerhand.org/?1980465

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