Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Full Title Lessons from the Pro's....

"In recent months, many of our players have asked for suggestions on what poker books provide the best insights into the game. Being curious ourselves, we put the question to our pros and the answers we got back included some long-time favorites, along with a few surprises.

While our pros all have poker books that they like, not all of them believe that reading about poker theory is essential to improving their play. In fact, a few of our pros expressed sentiments along these lines:

We're not big fans of poker books. Once you get the basics down, is there something you can read that will drastically change your outlook on poker? Probably not. If there were a secret formula that would guarantee you'd always win, or one certain technique to win the most money, wouldn't everyone be playing that way already? The best teacher is experience. Choose a playing style and game mentality that fits your style, then get out there and actively think about the game. See what works for you and what doesn't. No book will be as effective as your own thought process.

Still, many of our pros do have some suggestions about which titles you might want to add to your personal library.

Chris Ferguson believes David Sklansky's Hold 'em for the Advanced Player and Theory of Poker are perhaps the two best books out there. Both of Doyle Brunson's Super System books, and Mike Caro's Book of Tells have helped his game, too.
Steve Brecher agrees with "Jesus" about Sklansky\'s Theory of Poker for its idea of\r\n the semi-bluff and its analysis of the concept of odds in poker. Sklansky\'s Hold \'em for\r\n the Advanced Player and the rest of the Advanced Player series are also solid reads Brecher also likes Doyle Brunson\'s chapter on No-Limit Hold \'em in his Super System\r\n for its emphasis on the importance of implied odds (although that\'s Sklansky\'s phrase, not\r\n Brunson\'s).
\r\n Erik Seidel notes that he hasn\'t read many of the poker books out there, but his all-time\r\n favorite is The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez.
\r\n Being friendly with Phil Gordon, Perry Friedman has gotten to read an advance copy of Phil\'s\r\n Little Green Book (due out in October), which he thinks provides the best example of\r\n how to teach people to think about the game. He adds that both of Dan Harrington\'s books are\r\n filled with incredible advice for tournament play.",1] );
Steve Brecher agrees with "Jesus" about Sklansky's Theory of Poker for its idea of the semi-bluff and its analysis of the concept of odds in poker. Sklansky's Hold 'em for the Advanced Player and the rest of the Advanced Player series are also solid reads.

Brecher also likes Doyle Brunson's chapter on No-Limit Hold 'em in his Super System for its emphasis on the importance of implied odds (although that's Sklansky's phrase, not Brunson's).

Erik Seidel notes that he hasn't read many of the poker books out there, but his all-time favorite is The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez.

Being friendly with Phil Gordon, Perry Friedman has gotten to read an advance copy of Phil's Little Green Book (due out in October), which he thinks provides the best example of how to teach people to think about the game. He adds that both of Dan Harrington's books are filled with incredible advice for tournament play. When it comes to "non-strategy" books, the pros\' choices are as varied as their playing\r\n styles at the table.
\r\n Howard Lederer says, "I\'ve recently started reading some books on Zen Buddhism. Zen has\r\n always been associated with the fine arts of flower arranging, calligraphy, and tea making.\r\n But there is also quite a tradition of Zen in swordsmanship and archery. Through reading\r\n these books and, in particular, Zen in the Art of Archery, I have a greater\r\n understanding of the process one goes through to master an art form. And poker is most\r\n certainly an art form."
\r\n Other more poker-related titles on our pros\' bookshelves include Positively Fifth\r\n Street by James McManus, The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King by\r\n Michael Craig, and the recently published Tales from the Tiltboys by the Tiltboys.\r\n They\'re also looking forward to reading Nolan Dalla\'s biography of Stu Ungar, One of a\r\n Kind.
\r\n It\'s safe to say that the books listed above will provide you with an eclectic and\r\n comprehensive view of the strategies, techniques, and personality traits that can help you\r\n become a winning player. So enjoy these books, and good luck at the table.
When it comes to "non-strategy" books, the pros' choices are as varied as their playing styles at the table.

Howard Lederer says, "I've recently started reading some books on Zen Buddhism. Zen has always been associated with the fine arts of flower arranging, calligraphy, and tea making. But there is also quite a tradition of Zen in swordsmanship and archery. Through reading these books and, in particular, Zen in the Art of Archery, I have a greater understanding of the process one goes through to master an art form. And poker is most certainly an art form."

Other more poker-related titles on our pros' bookshelves include Positively Fifth Street by James McManus, The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King by Michael Craig, and the recently published Tales from the Tiltboys by the Tiltboys. They're also looking forward to reading Nolan Dalla's biography of Stu Ungar, One of a Kind.

It's safe to say that the books listed above will provide you with an eclectic and comprehensive view of the strategies, techniques, and personality traits that can help you become a winning player. So enjoy these books, and good luck at the table."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Screen shot from winning the 10+1 mutli table over the weekend...

Bad Luck.

So after having a good weekend in poker, my luck seems to have reversed. First, playing in a 10+2 tourny at noble poker, I get aces cracked on the second hand and get knocked out. Given the situation a lot of people would be upset, but Im not really mad, or even shocked, because I have come to expect these things online. Here is the situation...

Blinds 15/30, all about even in chips
Im in the big blind, have two callers and its my turn to act.
I raise to 60, enough to intice one or both of them to throw some money into the pot.
One calls, the other folds..
Ok sidebar here... If you call in mid position for $30, there is only one caller behind you and the big blind raises to $60, the other caller limps up to $60, why would you fold? If your hand was good enough to call the original $30 it should certainly be good enough to call another $30 when there is $165 in the pot. Maybe he thought I was showing aggression, but I hate to think a minimum raise in that spot is showing aggression.
Back to the game.
Flop comes 2s4d8s
Pretty good flop for me, although the vilian could now be on a spade draw.
I lead out with a $180 bet, figuring with that flop to take the pot right there, but avoid a suckout on a spade draw.
Vilian calls.
Ok, no vilian is either on a spade draw, has an over pair, hit a set, has two over cards or has like a8 or k8. All of these are probably possibilities, and maybe even a little worse because after all it is 10+2 poker.
Turn comes Qh.
I lead out with $500 bet, thinking if they were on a spade draw earlier it would be a huge mistake for them to continue to chase, but if they hit the Q they would be ready to make a move now.
Vilian raises all in.
Hmmmm... that is interesting.
All in was another $260, not a huge raise considering with my $500 invested I am stuck calling unless I was bluffing.
Does he know this, or is he just a fish who hit on the queen and thinks they have the best hand.
Lets go back and examine the situation a bit closer, looking at the hands that beat me right now...

Set - This is a possibility. He called a $30 raise and there was a low flop. He could have called a $30 raise in that situation with 22 or 44 or maybe even 88. I think if he was holding 88 he may have raised originally. I know if he was holding QQ he would have raised originally or reraised when I raised. Although, he could have been slow playing, but QQ is not good enough of a hand to slow play from early-mid position. I say that the posibility of him holding a set is about 1-6 , lets round up and say 15%.

Two Pair - This is not a huge possibility. Two be holding two pair he would have to have 8q. I doubt he calls from early position then calls a raise with 24,2q,4q,28,48. If it wasnt $10 poker, i would doubt he called with 8q but you never know. I would give this possibility about 1-20, or 5%.

Top Pair - This is a big possibilty. AQ,KQ,QJ,Q10 would make a rookie or bad player move all in and play they way he has played. I would say this is at least 1-2 or 50%.

Over Pair - This is not a huge possibilty, but he could be holding KK, lets say about 5% (probably less then that)

Poket Pair - Any other poket pair is a very slim possibility but I will say 5% also.

Draw - He could be on two different draws here, or even both. 9s10s would give him a gut shot straight draw and a flush draw. Any two spades would give him a flush draw, 910,36,A3,a5 all give him straight draws. Another possibility is xsQs giving him top pair and a flush draw. Prior to moving all in I would have given this a higher possibility, but I doubt he moves all in with any of those, even though bad players make this mistake too often. I would say this is about 10%.

Bluff - Harringtons law of bluffing says someone is bluffing 10% of the time, so the remaining 10% goes to bluffing.

What are my chances of winning here?
80% of his hands I have beat, 20% I loose to.

I was already going to call before running through that, because its only $10 and enless he was a really bad player the only thing that I would be really worried about is 88 (because of reasoning above).

I call
Vilian shows 8dQc, makes two pair and holds out to win the pot.

Oh well, such is poker.

After looking back at this hand, 8Q should have been as scary to me as 88 was because of the possibility he was a loose player and called with 8Q, then (and was right in his thinking) knew he had the odds to through another $30 in the pot in case he got a good flop (which he did, except I was holding an over pair).

Good Poker Weekend.

All in all, not to bad off a weekend. Friday night went with a friend to a local house tourny. There were about 22-25 people all who were at least decent card players. $30 buy in, top 3 pay out with third getting their money back. First tourny I took the worst position and got knocked out 4th. I wasnt happy about that because when I got down to the final table I had chip lead and let a couple misplayed hands ruin all of my work. Second tourny, again when I got to the final table I was chip lead. Made 1 mistake and lost of bunch of chips and had to play real conservative for a while. Ended up not only getting back in but winning the whole thing. Made about $250 that night. Sat no poker because i had my annual fantasy football draft. Sunday decided to waste some time during the day playing a $10+1 multi at Noble Poker . There were 118 entries, and after 2+ hours I was able to take home the first place prize money of $350. I have a couple of interesting hands to discuss, just dont have time now, maybe later tonight I will post them. But all in all made about $600 this weekend, so it wasnt too bad of a poker weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I've been spammed...

Excuse my ranting here. Can't we have anything on the internet without someone trying to make money off of it. Ok, I know people reading this are going to say "You are one to talk, with your google ads and all...". That is not what I am talking about. Google ads are one thing, they are non-invasive, and I choose for them to be on MY site. What I am ranting about is the spam. I check my blog about once a day (other then my posts) just to see if I have any comments or anything that I should respond to. Tonight, I pull up my blog, and on a post that I made this afternoon I see 5 comments. Wow. 5 Comments in less then 3 hours. That is pretty cool. I pull up my comments and see ads for junk. Come on. Leave us alone. Nobody reading about poker is seriously going to say, Wow an ad for Mesothelioma let me check that out. I know you people are a lot smarter then you are putting yourself on to be, so find a better way to make money. LEAVE US ALONE. I really want to leave comments on. I am going to for the time being, but if I have to deal with 5 junk comments for each new post I make, I will be forced to turn them off. Once again, LEAVE US ALONE.

CardSpeak posted this today, and I thought it was worth passing on for all of you who didnt see it...

Starting Hand Guides

It's been a long time since I've thought much about starting hands, but I came across the starting hand system I used when learning the game (no memorization required!):
Bill Chen's Starting Hand Formula. Note that the creator of the formula is game theory expert Bill Chen, one of the brightest and most underrated minds in Poker.

Check this link out, it is a neat formula...

This weeks learn from the pros tip from Full Tilt Poker By Aaron "GambleAB" Bartley.....

Aaron "GambleAB" Bartley Presents "Holding On To Your Winnings"

One of the most important poker lessons has nothing to do with how to play Aces in late position or how to adjust for the maniac in seat three. It's how to manage your money in a way that will make it grow as quickly as possible with minimal risk.

Some of the most highly skilled players in the game have gone broke (repeatedly) simply because they played too high, too fast, too often. How can we make sure this problem never happens to us? It isn't a matter of smarts, but rather, one of discipline.

The most important step is to be honest with yourself. You should know your relative skill level at all times. Suppose you're a $1/$2 No-Limit Hold 'em player who's had a great night, and you're toying with taking a shot at the $5/$10 game. Your bankroll is up to $1,500, but you would need to bring at least $500 to the table in order to play comfortably at the higher level.

Why would you risk putting a third of your bankroll on the table to play in the $5/$10 game? For starters, your bankroll isn't big enough for the stake; more importantly, you also need to consider that the skill level of the $5/$10 players is greater than the competition you're used to. (That's not always true, of course. There are some very skilled $1/$2 players and some weak $5/$10 players, but it's not unreasonable to assume that the higher-level games are filled with better players.)

This is where self-control comes in. One slip-up can spell disaster for a bankroll, and watching six months of hard work disappear in six hours of foolish play is enough to crush anyone's spirits.

The safest course of action is to continue doing what you're doing. You're beating the $1/$2 game for a tidy profit every week - stay right where you are. Continue proving that you can beat the game. While you're doing that, your bankroll should grow accordingly. Beating a game for six days is proof of very little. Beating the same game for six months is better evidence that you are a winning player.

Start tracking your results. You can buy tracking software or easily create a database of your own. Put in all of your information after each time you play - limits, time at the tables, profits/losses. Go over your information every few weeks, both for your recent play and for your entire poker lifetime. Try to spot bad trends before they get out of hand. If you've been playing well at a certain level over a long period of time, only then should you consider moving up to the next highest level.

Above all, know where your money is at all times and how it is being used. Ask yourself, "Is this too much risk for me considering my current bankroll?" If the answer is yes, do the responsible thing and change tables. Months later, you'll be thankful you did.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Some great advice for beginners from GuinnessAndPoker (Iggy)

Party Poker Blog: "
In my first month of blogging, I posted this:

1) Other players bad play will make me far more money than my fancy or brilliant plays.
2) The guy that leads with a bet on the turn, after not betting previously, often has a big hand.
3) Folding costs me nothing pre-flop. If it's a close decision, I can't go far wrong by folding.

This is cool news from Love and Poker Way Blog

love and casino war poker blog: rock paper scissors: "Due to the recent relocation of an old poker buddy back to Austin, I've found myself playing a lot more rock paper scissors lately. I'm always somewhat surprised at how little penetration RPS has among the other people I play poker with; I think RPS is a game that has a natural appeal to anyone who enjoys poker.

If you share my interest in RPS you may already know that the 2005 RPS championship date has been announced -- October 22nd, 2005 in Toronto."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I am regisitered to recieve pro tips from Full Tilt Poker, here is one I recieved today that I thought was worth posting for newbies.

"I get asked a lot of poker strategy questions, from beginner
to advanced. Some are easy, but some involve the kind of math I can't always do off the top of my head. When that happens, I rely on one of a number of free tools to calculate the probability of winning the hand. Here's an example based on a hand posted on a website I run:Our hero was playing at a small stakes No-Limit table online, with $.25-$.50 blinds. At the start of the hand, he had $44. He was dealt Ad-Td and raised to $2. Both blinds called. The flop was Kd-Jd-2c, giving our hero a royal flush draw. The big blind bet $2, hero raised $2 more, the next player called, and the big blind (with more chips than our hero) re-raised all-in.Should our hero call with his last $38? Let's assume the third player will fold. If our hero were to call and win, he'd be up to $94 (the $18 in the pot, plus his $38 and his opponent's $38). If he wins the hand four times out of 10, on the average he'd have $37.60 after the hand ($94 multiplied by four, and divided by 10). In poker, it's the long run that matters, so he should only call if his probability of winning is greater than 40%. Now he needs to figure out the probability he'd win the hand. The first step is to put his opponent on a range of hands. Sometimes, you can figure out exactly what your opponent must have by the betting or tells. Most of the time, you\'re left to guess a little. In this situation, the other player probably has a very strong hand, but there\'s a chance he\'s bluffing or even semi-bluffing.

Having calculated the probabilities of winning, our hero is now left with the subjective part of the answer, guessing the probabilities of what the other player has. I would guess that it's more than twice as likely that the player has two pair, or A-K, or even some weaker hand than that he has three of a kind. And I would guess that maybe 5% to 10% of the time, Ad-Td is actually ahead. I told our hero that, based on the numbers, I would have called.

Our hero did call, and the other player had K-J, giving our hero a 44% chance of winning the hand. The turn card was the 2d, but the river was a jack and our hero's flush lost to a full house. The river card was a tough break, but playing by the numbers, he still made the right play.It's good to know the numbers, but it's equally important to know how to get them. And if you use the available tools whenever you aren't sure, you'll start to remember them when they come up at the table. In poker, every tool in your toolbox brings you one step closer to mastery of the game."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Just got done with a lucky $ tourny on pokerroom. Made me feel a little better about yesterday, but still making too many stupid mistakes. Got busted 44 out of 1800.

Here is a recap of the hand I got busted on:

I had $80k chips, blinds where $2k,4k about to go up.
Vilian called in first position for $4k, he had about $85k chips.
I was in late position with 10h,10c and raised to $12k.
vilian called.

Flop came Ac7h2d

Vilian checked
I bet $20k
Vilian called after taking a while to think about it

Turn came 8c
Vilian checked
I moved all in for $48k
Vilian thought for a while and called.

Turned over hilton sisters (QQ) and i was all but dead.

River came Ah.

Did I make a mistake here, or was it just my time, that is the question. I need a little time to reflect on it and will post my thoughts later. I think I probably made the right move by putting him on a pocket pair, and thinking big bets with the Ace on the board would scare him. Three pocket pairs (KK,QQ,JJ) beat me even if he doesnt think i have the Ace. So I am looking at A-x which I really didnt think he had, and KK,QQ,JJ that beat me. My mistake probably was pushing hard after he called the 20k. I think the 20k was a good bet, but I probably should have checked it down with him after the first attempt. Personally, I dont think I call the 20k with QQ because I only have 12k invested in the pot and by calling the 20k I am commiting myself to the pot and putting my tourny on whether he has an ace or not. But, he made the right decision in this case, because he is still playing in the tourny and I am writting about it on here.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

How to go from Chip Lead to out in four hands.

Ok, so I am mad. Stupid mistake cost me the tourny today. Here is the situation:

I sit with about $12k in chips. Blinds are 400-800, with 200 ante. I am in big blind. Two seats from me, guy calls for $800. Next to him folds, next to him moves all in for $2200. Two seats from him, guy calls. Folded over to me. Look down at A9 hearts. It cost, $1400 to see the flop, and there is $7400 in the pot. I have one guy left to act before me, and based on his style of play, he was calling the raise. So, implied pot looks like $8800. I call (probably not the best move, but with chips to play with and a big pot brewing this hand could put me in a position to stay out of the way while everyone else knocks each other out). The guy who is left to act calls for another $1400.

So the pot is 10k, with 3 other ppl in the pot one of whom is all in.


First to act with top pair, I take a stab at making it heads up right now and bet $3k at the pot. Probably should have moved all in or made a higher bet.

Guy two seats from me calls the 4k, other active player folds.

It is now a three way pot, with one guy all in.

The guy I am heads up against has $3k left in chips, I have $5800 chips.

Turn is a 10h.

This was a scary card for me, but is the exact position where I made the biggest mistake.
Based on the way the guy two seats from me has been playing, I have him now on two face cards, or ace-x. The two face cards, and x scare me. If x is a J or 6 he has a straight draw, and I am not getting him off of it. If he has jq I am dead. If he has a10 I am all but dead as well.

First to act I check.
He checks as well.

This is a good sign, i know based on his play the 10 scared him as well.

River comes 7c.

Now the board is 2c8d9s10h7c

This is scary.

I check, he moves all in for $3k.

The pot is 19k, 10 in main pot, 9 in side pot.

I have great odds. At least Really Really Good odds. about 6.5-1 odds. these are great odds, and if i win I am sitting on 29 k or 19k if i only get side pot. Problem is this. I have second best pair (with ace kicker) with 1 card to a straight on the board. If I call, I only have $2800 chips left.

What should I do?

I think for a bit, and fold. I cant put my tourny on the line with 1 card to a straight on the board. I just can not make myself do it.

They other two guys flip their cards over, and CRAP.

Vilian had A8 offsuite. All in guy had A6 suited.

My A9 would have held up for the side pot. I should be sitting on $19k chips right now, but I blew it.

Now, trying not to go on tilt with $5800 chips, 200 ante, 400-800 blinds.

I fold two more hands, loosing $400 in ante's, plus a call of $800 on KJ suited and a fold to an all in (turns out he had 10's and I probably should have put my tourny on the line on a race right there to try and double up oh well).

$4400 chips now.

I am under the gun, If I sit through the blinds I wil lbe sitting at $2800.

I look down to 88.

Time to make the move and go all in (hopeing to steal the ante's and blinds and get in a decent holding position for another move).

Guy to my left thinks for a bit, moves all in.

Everyone else folds.

He flips up AhQd.

race time, and I loose

QJ9 flop... need a 10 for a straight, 8 for a set.
A turn, gives him two pair but really doesnt improve him. Still need a 10 or an 8.
2 river, and I am done.

That my friend is how to go from chip lead to busted out in 15th place in a few hands.

Try to not repeat my mistake :)

Friday, August 12, 2005

The monthly poker tourny at the fire house is tomorrow, and this month I have my eyes set on winning. Previous times I have gone I have done decent, but I am tired of that,time to win. I have been playing online a little more this week trying to hone my skills before the tourny and come up with a couple good ways that should help me tomorrow. First, playing low limit play money tournys. What?!?!? That is right, $100+10 PLAY money tourny's on PokerRoom. This prepares you to play against two types of players, 1) the fish who will play anything, 2) the bully who thinks they can win by throwing a lot of money around. This is a safe (read: free) way to practice against these types of players. Honestly, in a poker tourny such as a monthly home tournament, you can expect 1/3 (maybe more depending on how new the tourny is and what type of audience it has) to be of this type. That is huge. So if you start at a table of 10, 3 will fall into this category. You need to know how to play them. And, I don't just mean the player ultra conservative against them and push hard when you hit strategy. This works well for a while, however you need to remember the other 6 people at the table are watching you do this and probably 3 of them have the ability to take advantage of this. These games give you practice playing against them. If you can be dropped in a pool full of fish at 2, and start service sushi by 2:30 then you are ready to take on the 1/3 of your table who will play horrible. The next thing is limit heads up. I stayed cheap so I could stay on the level of players that would be at this tourny. When I say level, I mean someone who has been playing for a little while and has a good grasp of the game, but doesn't understand more advanced concepts like pot odds, implied odds, EV, ect. I would say 50% of a tournament crowd will fit this build. Playing .5/1 or .25/.5 will give you the ability to play heads up against players like this. That gives you good practice against about 85% of the tourny field. If you can beat 85% of any tourny field I would say that you are in the money.

Do not rely on this for bigger tournys or tournys that you expect to have higher competition against, because you will need to hone your skill against more experienced players.

"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet."
- Grantland Rice

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Daily poker information:

Poker Etiquette
Never make a mess at a poker table. If you want to eat/drink at the table, keep it on a side table and always wipe your hands before handling the cards.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

ScurvyDog has pointed out that Crazy Poker has done the inevitable and offered a 33% rakeback. This is really cool. Let's take an example, say you win 10 hands a day at average of $.30 rake per hand. The poker room is making $3.00 a day in rake off of you. Now Crazy Poker is giving you back 33% or .33 of that daily rake. So at the end of the month you get a nice bonus of $10 added to your account. This was a simple low end demonstration, imagine if you play for serious cash $200-400 games online. You get a nice kickback at the end of the month. Maybe this will push them forward, but I don't know. I still need good competition, nice graphics, solid games and lots of freerolls for me to play online.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Daily Poker Information:

Snarker - Someone who wins a pot then ridicules the loser.

Sat Night Poker

Sat night was dead so we decided to join a few friends at my friend Carters house for a quick game of poker. Most of the guys were inexperienced, so it was a fish game, and beings that we only played for $5 a head, with one $5 rebuy for 1/2 your original starting chip stack. Seven people in all, $1000 starting chips, 10/20 starting blinds (increasing every 30 minutes) and pizza ordered during first break ;) I have already precursored this with most of the players are inexperienced, so it should come of no surprise that I had AA cracked within the first 30 minutes. Here is how the hand setup:

Under the gun raises to 40,
Second position folds
I reraise to 120
Call from sb
fold from bb
fold from original raiser

Flop comes 4k4

Caller checks
I throw in $200
he says ... hmm make it $400
This alerted me, but I figured him for a king
I call

River comes 10
caller bets $100
hmm, again an alert... small value bet but he doesnt know what a value bet is, again because of his inexperience i put him on K and move all in for another 300 more.
Sure enough he calls and I was dead wrong

He had 47o. 47 OFF??? Yes, he called a raise and a reraise with 47 off, but oh well I should have expected that. Rebuy!

I turned my 500 into about 3200 and got down to four.

I was short stacked and had noticed a trend. If i called or checked, the field would raise. If I raised, everyone folded. Time to use this to my advantage.

K10 suited. All In.
fold,fold, Call

hmm not good

He flips over 109o and I feel better.

then 996A10 and Im done

Oh well, time for some more miller lite and pizza

Monday, August 08, 2005

I will get you caught up by starting with my last three sessions. (This is a long post, but should give you an idea of my blog will be)

Last Weekend playing in a 30+3 tourny at
Not much interesting because I got busted out within 45 minutes on AhQh. Here is a summary of that hand:

9 ppl, chip stacks are somewhat even (avg 4k) blinds are 100/200.
In on the button raise to 800 with 4 limpers behind me, all but one fold.
FLOP: KsJs2c
Caller bets $100
I call
Turn: 2h
Caller checks
I check
Flop: 10h
Caller checks
I bet 1000
Caller raises all in
I call

He has poket Kings and im busted to Kings over Twos
Oh well, such is life.

Thursday Night I play at fireside. Fireside is a bar about 30 minutes from my house that has a nice small tourny every Thursday night. Usually 20-40 players with about 1/2 of field being decent the other 1/2 being fish. Early on I had a run of two pairs/trips/straights that let me build up a decent chip stack. Only problem is it also gave me the image of a table bully (oh well I can take advantage of this later). About 20 minutes before rebuy period I get into a sticky situation:

I have AhQh and raise preflop
Girl to the left of me reraises
everyone folds, I call
Here is how we stacked up prior to flop
Me - $3900, Her - $2900

Me - I check even though I hit top pair because she re-raised a lot with AK tonight
Her - Bets $500
So at this point, I have to call because there is 2500 and it cost me 500 with top pair with Ace Kicker and a gut shot straight draw. I loose to the following hands, AA,QQ,JJ,1010,Q10,J10,98,KA,KK. I can easily eliminate some of the hands based on her play style:
1) She doesn't have AA, she almost always would push strong with AA with a flop like that
2) She could have QQ, but since I have a Q the likely hood of that is very small
3) She could have JJ.
4) She could have 1010, but unlikely because I doubt she re-raises me with 1010 (based on history between the two of us)
5) She doesn't have Q10, she doesn't reraise with q10
6) She doesn't have J10, she doesn't reraise with J10
7) She doesn't have 98, she doesn't reraise with 98
8) This one is scary, she very well could have reraised with KA and if that were the case I could be drawing on a King which would give me 3/45 or a 6% chance of winning
9) This one is scary as well, just as bad. If she has KK I am drawing on a Queen or a King to win, which gives me a 3/45 or 6% chance of winning

Ok, after going through that I said she either has:
JJ,KA,KK, something else that I am ahead with (AJ,A10,KJ) or she is bluffing with a subpar hand, Given all I know plus the odds I decided to call and take a chance.

Turn is 3c
This does not help anyone, or at least it shouldn't.
I check, She checks.

This is interesting, she is now either worried about a check-raise (maybe a second-third best hand), missed on a draw and now realizes it isn't such a wise move to bet a draw, or missed a bluff and is in retreat. Given that I am now leaning towards AJ,A10, or possibly JJ, KK but it is highly unlikely she has AK based on her reaction.


I just hit two pair, but did not really want to see that card. She out of the 4 hands I put her on (AJ,A10,JJ,KK) it does not change the outcome of any of those situations.

Knowing this I want to push a little and see if why she backed off on the turn (was it a trap?)

I bet 1500 bringing the pot to 4500, leaving me with 1400 chips.
she goes all in.

This is not good. I have lost. There is no way around that. She is either playing JJ or KK and I am dead to trip jacks or the straight. The pot now has 6900 and it cost me 900 to see her all in. This is not good either, very good pot odds (almost 8-1). Add in Harringtons Law of Bluffing (someone is bluffing 10% of the time) I only need 9-1 odds to call when I am dead and know it. This is close, 8-1 vs. 9-1 but I have a couple other things working against me. Two hands earlier I had stuck around on a cheap bet with A-junk only to beat her pocket 9s when I rivered an Ace. There were very cheap bets and she strung me along. She was mad at the way she played. She made a mistake. Did she make another mistake by checking the turn and let me in to catch two pair? All her actions up to this point where identical to the way she played her 9s in the previous pair except for the all in move. Maybe she learned and is trying to push me away?!? I need this information for later in the tourny and If she is not bluffing I just yell rebuy. Anyway, I say out loud, I am calling dead to KK, called and sure enough, KK.

Needless to say this was a bad decision, but I vindicated my judging of her and made her fearful of me a little more because I could read her cards.

As the tourny went on I turned my rebuy into enough chips to last to the final table. They broke the final two tables up and merged them to a table of 8. When I came over I had about $8500 which was about 3rd highest chip stack, but 1-6 where very close in count. Very quickly I get myself into trouble with someone I don't know playing 66. A king hits on the board, they made what looked like a standard continuation bet and I moved with a reraise to push them out of the pot, but they reraised all in. I had enough chips to cover them but we weren't in the money yet and unless this was a great move I doubt I had the hand so I folded and lost my raise. Didn't catch any cards as the blinds continued to grab at my stack. Then the pivotal moment in the tourny came quickly. Two people got knocked out when the girl who I lost to earlier hit aces over tens to crack pocket kings and pocket queens. That brought us to five and put me in the money. Now it was time to make a couple all in moves and try to double or triple up so I could make a move at the chip leader. I was down to $4300 chips, next lowest was $7200, third was $8900, second was a little over 12k, and chip leader was over 20k. Blinds where 400/800 set to go up to 500/1000 in 10 minutes.
Very next hand.

Chip leader is under the gun calls, next position ($8900) raises $1000, fold to me one off the button. I find myself staring at two ladies. With the blinds the way they were and I already had someone putting money in I had to take my chance now. I know it was not the best situation because the 1000 raise could have been holding AK,AA,KK with that raise, but because we are five handed he could have been holding a lot worse that I can crush. All In. Fold,Fold,Fold... Chip leader looks at his cards, thinks a little bit, looks at his cards, thinks a little more, then says "only because he is to my right" (which btw I still don't understand that thinking because he has way more chips then the guy to his right) and folds. He was a little clumsy with his fold and exposed Ah8h to me as he threw them in the muck. This made me a little less tense, the raiser has less of a chance to hold AA or AK now, and if he has AK he has to hit one of two Aces in the pot or one of three Kings in the pot which aren't great odds. Ok his turn to act. He sits back and takes a long time thinking


This is a good sign. If he has to think that long I have him dead. But then again, if he has to think that long he should not have thrown in a $1000 raise in second position with a caller under the gun. Very interesting...

He continues to go over his options and count his chips.
Blinds = 1200
Under gun caller = 800
His input = 1800 (800 + 1000 raise)
my all in = 4300
so the pot is 9100, and he needs 2500 in. 3.6 to 1 odds.
Two over cards is 8-1...
One over card is 16-1...

Add in bluff factor, where we are in tournament, what this hand does to chip standing, If I were in his position I would want A9 or higher, or a high pair to call this bet. What do I go all in with in this position? Given my circumstance plus what money is already in the pot, I would guess Ax, Any pocket pair. In order to be a favorite against that I would want A-high or a pair myself. The money says I need to be at most a 3-1 dogg, and because of how late in the tournament I would want to be a favorite because I just cant afford to loose half my chips.

Ok that was my thinking and I set up the situation here is what happened.

After thinking for a while, he calls with KsJc.




Ok not bad




Ok... so I then get up take my 5th place winnings and tell everyone good luck. Crappy luck, shoulda won that hand, but IMHO he shouldn't have even called the all in. He is such an underdog against:
He is still an underdog against:

Ok there are 26 or so hands that he is a underdog against that I could have easily gone all in with.

What does he beat that I go all in with ??

For me, nothing. I do not go all-in and put my tournament life on the line (in less I have to) preflop with anything less then one of those prior hands. What did he put me on??? K10? k9? I hope not. Anywho, bad beat, tough luck and that is poker.

Ok this was a huge post and my future post will be much smaller, but hope you get an idea of what I will be blogging about.

I have decided to create a new blog strictly dedicated to poker. I have a blog where I keep up with technical issues, cars, sports, and my life at This blog will be mainly poker, and some interesting side stories. So before the fun begins here is a little about me:
I am 22 years old,
I recently got engaged to Ashley,
I work as a Programmer-Analyst in Baltimore, Maryland,
Im a Texas Hold'em nut.

So enough about me, lets start talking poker.

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