Monday, June 26, 2006

Its been a little over a week now since the North East FD tournament, so I think its time to start dissecting some of the hands... Lets start at the hand that I labeled Big Hand 3. This is where the tournament really started to turn for me, so its logical to work my way from here...

I am going to walk through the hand play by play.
I am on the button with J9 spades. I have about 15k in chips with blinds of 200-400. There are two callers, then a raise to 1k before me. With about 2400 in the pot I call the 1000 raise. This is probably a loose call but getting almost 2.5-1 on my money with suited 1 gappers isn't horrible. Blinds fold, only one of the original callers makes the call.

Pot is now 4000.
Flop comes 9d5c2d.

First impression is that I like this flop. I am not sold on my top pair, but I think its good enough to extract some money on a hand like AK,AQ,AJ,A10,88 or a flush draw.

First caller checks, the the guy who raised preflop bets $1000.

Here comes my first decision. I can call his bet knowing I am getting 5-1, I could fold or I could raise. Here is what I am thinking.
a) I like my pair of jacks right now. I am behind to AA,KK,QQ,JJ,1010,99,AJ,KJ,QJ,44,66. I AA,KK,QQ,AJ are possibilities. JJ is unlikely but possible. 99 is very unlikely but also possible. I am not too concerned about 44,66 right now. Really I am thinking the bettor has AA,KK,QQ,1010,AK,AQ,AJ,A10,88. He is a fairly tight player, and I sense his 1000 is more a feeler bet then anything. If that is the case I have to narrow it down to AK,AQ,AJ,A10,88. Even without narrowing it down, I dont feel I am behind and I am at least calling this hand.
b) Can I just call? If I call I am getting no information and letting the third person play to a possible flush. She is already getting 5-1 if I fold, and if I call she is getting 6-1. I dont know she has a flush draw, but if she does I can not give her those odds. What if the bettor has a flush draw and he is on a semi-bluff. Calling doesn't do much except set him up to push a little more on the turn. I dont like a call in this situation and dont see it as an option
c) If I am not folding, not calling, how much do I raise? The pot is 5000, I am facing a 1000 bet. I have 14k in my hand. First impression is lets keep the pot below my chip stack so I dont commit myself to a pot without a strong hand. Second impression is lets get rid of any flush draws. Third lets see how strong of a bet the 1000 actually was. To get rid of the flush draws I need to offer at most 2.5-1. That works out to be about a $2300 raise to bring the pot to $8300. This will make the third caller actually have to put in $3300 to a $8300 pot with the possibility of being raised again by the original better. This isn't exactly a +EV play. If she does make a call, then I am giving the original better odds to call on a flush draw but I cant count on that being the case. How does this put my stack in relation to the pot being built? My stack stands at 1400, subtract 3300 and my stack would be 10700. That would make the middle stack at 8300. If we get any callers my stack becomes less then what is being played for. This isn't a great situation, but I still have some folding equity. I still figure I would give a few % points on the flush draw to pick up a little more folding equity. I also am against min-raising here, so there isn't a whole lot I can do about becoming pot committed on this hand.
d) I arrive at about 3000. Its a solid 3x raise, puts the next to act in a situation where calling with a flush draw is a marginal call at best. And barring the first better being on a bluff we are looking at going to the turn with an 10k pot and 11k in my hand.

I announce the raise and put my 3k into the middle. The other lady calls for 1k. When she is told the amount is actually 3k, she gets this disgusted look on her face and folds her hand. In this process she revels her cards (kd10d). After doing that the other guy in the pot yells over to her to be more careful, and he is clearly mad that she showed her cards. This is a big tell for me. I dont like this tell. He is clearly upset that she exposed to diamonds and revealed that she was on a flush draw. He is telling me that he doesn't have a flush draw and he thinks I am on a flush draw. If he doesn't have a flush draw he is probably sitting on AA,KK,QQ. I believe he is ahead right now. I still dont understand his 1k bet. He knows that he is offering all kinds of odds. To have a monster hand and offer those odds to a possible flush draw is questionable at best. I have to play off him thinking I am on a flush draw, and the fact that he probably has me beat.

Turn comes down 9.
This is my bingo card. He doesn't have me beat now. 99 is impossible, and the only other cards he could hold that would beat me are 44,66. I dont see him raising preflop with either of those. But remember, he thinks I am on a flush draw. I dont see him on a flush draw so I have to play this very carefully. I dont want him to think I have a 9, I want to set him up for a bluff on the river. He bets 2k to me, and I simply call. This moves me down the road of becoming pot committed, but I dont care. I want all his chips. I have a top trips with a decent kicker. The only thing that beats me is Q9,K9,A9,44,66 which I have already discounted. Fairly innocent sequence of events, but I think this will be effective in setting up for a bluff on the river. If I have trip 9s he has to be looking for another raise from me. I raised before seeing the two diamonds but not after. I want him to put me on a flush draw so that if it doesn't hit I can reraise all in and induce a call.

River brings 3d. This completes a flush. I checked on the turn because I didn't think he was playing like he was on a flush draw, so I cant change my mind here. I set him up to take another stab at this pot. I dont think he will take a stab at this pot now though. If he thought I was on the flush draw I just hit it. He cant like his overcards right now. There is no way he is putting much more money into the pot. He is first to act...

He moves all-in. He has me covered so basically he is putting me all-in. This makes me rethink my situation. Was he semi-bluffing on the flop with his 1k bet? Was he not disgusted at the lady for showing her cards but disgusted that he had two less outs? I still think he is holding AA,KK,QQ. He just made a horrible mistake. I dont know what he is putting me on but moving all in here with those cards dont make any sense. I cant put him on a flush draw and cant put him on a stronger 9 either though. I rumble this decision back and forth for a few minutes.

Finally I call.

He turns over AA.

BINGO.

Big pot and I have doubled up.

He goes on mega tilt. I we go to break 5 minutes after this hand and I hear him talking to people about how he lost AA to J9. Of course he isn't replaying the entire hand. If he was he would see how badly he played this hand. He made a few big mistakes here, and I will leave it up to you my readers to find those mistakes.

Feel free to comment on my play or his play in this hand.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Time for a new goal...

Raise $560 by July 5th playing poker. That gives me 2 weeks and some change to get this up. Its going to be a very tough goal, but I think I can do it. The idea is to play in the Borgata Summer Poker Open event #1. It is a $500+$60 buy in, and I am sure it will attract a big crowd. After my play on Saturday I think I am ready for a big tournament, and so it is time to find out if I am right.

More to come shortly on my hands from Saturday.

By the way, any other bloggers going to be in AC for the Summer Poker Open?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I just played about 6 hours of the best poker I have ever played. Too bad I followed it up by probably an hour of some of the worst poker I have ever played. Doesnt the game humble you? It doesnt matter how good you have been playing, how many chips you have in front of you, or what you have done up until point x, if you make a bad move at point x you are done. I am only going to talk a little bit about tonight right now, I am going to let it sink in, then come back and analyze some of my play.

I want to put up a couple hands and set the situation, then tell you about my phil ivey like blowup. Actually, if there ever was a time to be compared to Phil Ivey it would be tonight. I was blowing threw people left and right in this tournament, then I blew up so close to the end. In no way am I even good enough to put myself in the same sentence with him, but for tonight just for a little while I think I was. Every single call I made was right. Every move that I made was the correct move. Every mistake my opponent made I capitalized on. Then I took the 6 hours of progress and threw it out of the window in a matter of a dozen or so hands.

Lets set the situation:
North East Fire Department $125 buyin poker tournament.
Total crowd of about 65ish.
Starting stack of 5k, blinds start at 25-50.

Big hand 1)
flopped two pair, extracted a lot of chips.
Big hand 2)
flopped two pair, made a nice fold to a set
Big hand 3)
j9, floped top pair (952), turned trip nines, river brought a potential flush...
This was a huge hand. The chip leader was to my right and we were heads up.
He bet the hand the whole way down to this point.
When the river card came out he moved all in (and had me covered).
I went into the tank for about 5 minutes (almost prompting a timer)
I thought back to 2 previous hands where he had monsters in which he didn't make big bets until the river.
The more I thought about it the less and less a flush made sense... Don't ask me why... It just didn't make sense.
I finally called, and he turned over AA.

Big hand 4)
I am chip leader at my table at this point with about 20k blinds are 300/600.
I am dealt QQ in the big blind.
3 callers to me, I raise to 2400.
1 caller to the flop
caller was out of position and checked in the dark
94A came out.
I put a feeler bet of 2400 out and he raised to 6000.
I called his raise.
Turn brought a 6.
He went all in
I called (after taking another 5 minutes)
He turned over K9 and lost all his chips.
I want to talk about this hand in a future post so I wont spend much time on it now. Think about how you would have played this hand, and what tells would need to be visible for you to make this move.

Big hand 5)
88 on the button.
flop of 10-9-5 offsuite comes out
guy to my left moves all in
I but his A5 with my 88.
I want to talk about this hand also. Think about what tells need to be present for you to make this call.

Then we get down to about 15 people and I implode... all the way to 10th place...

I had the chip lead when 16th place got knocked out. I was probably ok up to fold into the money all the way to 2 hands prior to getting knocked out.

I will dedicate an entire post to my falling apart, because:
1) I want you to learn from this..
2) I need to learn from this..
3) and I think everyone reading will get a good laugh at my expense.

that's it for now because I am beat. After the night sinks in a little I will post my follow up remarks.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Some guys have all the luck

Playing in a nice 800+ person $11 MTT on Party Poker I see a common sight. This guy at my table tripled up on his first hand with 99. He hit a set on the flop and full house on the river when the second Queen hit. Only problem was that two other guys had AQoff and also where all in. Nice hand. See him knock another guy out with AA when the other guy reraised him all in preflop with KK. A few hands later I get involved with him. What was I thinking, this guy had monsters and was dropping people like crazy. I was dealt 10-10 in the BB when he min-raised. Someone else reraised to 3x bb, I called and so did he. Flop came 3h9h10c. I make a 2/3rds pot bet, which he smooth calls. The original re-raiser folded. Next card is a blank, I pot bet, he re-raises me all in. I sit back and try to figure out what he coulda hit, and the only thing I can ponder is 2 pair. This has to be where his luck turns, right? Wrong, he turns over two hearts and hits his flush on the river. This guy knocked me out and now had 5-6x his original stack. I didnt need to keep an eye on him after I left the table to figure out how he would do. I know his type. I have seen people go on runs like that before. All to often. Actually I have been that guy before. Hitting everything off the bat. Getting huge hands that beat big hand The problem is all too soon your luck will turn around. You will get your money in and loose. You are a gambler at heart. You will be dying to get your money in the pot. You will watch it get spread out over the table. THen you will get involved with someone who has more chips then you realize. You may have a monster stack, but when you loose 2/3rds of it you are still crippled. In order for us to win money, and I mean real money playing online poker we need to recognize these situations. Go take a nap or something. Come back in a little while. Play only premium hands. Just dont let your chip stack take you out of your game. Easier said then done.

Whatever you do, just repeat this line, "its a long tournament and I cant stay this lucky".

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Well I was feeling like my break from poker really helped me...

Then I remembered what playing poker is really like...

Three hands in a row.. I am 2nd in chips with 6 left in a SnG
JJ - raise 3x bb no-one calls
AA - raise 3x bb get one caller, flop comes Jd4c3c I bet, he raises, I re-raise all in, he calls with Jc9c... 9 on the river and I am now last in chips with 400
AhKh - raise all in with my final 400, get called by 3 people flop of 6s8s3s, and I am out to the guy who called with QsJs...

Um.. Yeah... I thought there was some kinda buffer before I started getting bad beats...

Guess not...

Oh well, I know all of you were so excited to hear the news that I was back blogging and the last thing you want to do is login and see me complaining about bad beats. So instead I am going to sit hear and complain about the orioles being down again... umm... yeah I am sure you dont want to hear that either...

well I guess I am out of things to say for the night, maybe I will come up with something sorta intellegent before the week is over... dont count on it..

I'm Back!!

After a month of seemingly dropping off the face of the earth I am back. Sorry for disappearing guys, life called. We moved into our new house and are starting to settle down. Back to poker here shortly. I actually played a little last night on PartyPoker, only because they sent me some free money again. This time I have actually cleared the free money and tripled up my $20. Lovely what a month off from poker does for you at the table. Seriously, I hadn't played much more then a hand in a month (maybe a couple while drinking with buddies but nothing serious). I get back to the tables and was playing great. Clear headed, no stupid mistakes. Maybe we all need to step back every once in a while and clear our poker heads. Well the computer is up and running at the new house, the internet is on, the poker is installed, and I just purchased Dan Harringtons VIII workbook. Add those factors together and I should be back to my normal 3-5 posts a week.

Sorry to leave everyone without much notice, but I'm back!!!

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