Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Frustration... A live poker session at Garden City Casino, San Jose CA

Well, I played a little live poker two nights ago. Talk about card dead. I won 2 hands the whole night. I bought in for $200 (kept my stack about level until bustout) and played .... maybe .... 8 hands in 3-4 hours! My bustout hand went as follows:

A host of limpers and I'm on the button with QcJc. I call and the SB & BB come along. I have $150 in front of me for a 3/2 game. Note: The setup is a bit weird; this game is 3-100 spread meaning that you can bet / raise anywhere between $3 to $100 with a 3 raise cap. The flop comes 5x 9c Tc. The SB checks, BB (a very LAGy but lucky player) bets out $3. The UTG quickly calls and the UTG+1 raises to $10. Hijack folds and CO calls the $10. I put out a raise to $35, wanting to isolate the raiser, who was fairly new to the table and who I had no particular read. Folds aruond to UTG+1 who calls and HJ smoothes. Turn is a 2x. Checks around to me and I bet out $75, leaving me with about $40 behind. Both players flat. River is no help. Checks to me and I push out my last $40, hoping both were on draws - UTG+1 calls and HJ folds - UTG+1 tables T6o. WTF? I guess that's the difference between live donkeys; they're willing to throw their whole stack with a naked top pair! I find out that the other player had J8, so I was drawing to 2 J's, 9 clubs, 4 K's and 3 8's giving me 18 outs and more than half the deck. WTF? Why do I run so bad?

I go through these runs where when I run good, I can run right through anyone. However, when I run bad, absolutely nothing comes in. When I run bad, I am a terrible losing player. I easily wash away all the wins I have from the good run. I don't get it. Oh yeah, and what I mean by running good is not sucking out by getting my money in behind, but having my damn hands hold up. I think it truly is better to be lucky than good. Not saying I'm good, but I'd like to know what lucky is like.

Book a loss of $200 for me for the 2nd live session this month. I plan on going to the local card room here in Monterey, a little later this week. I hope to crush them, and if the players are anything like what I experienced in Garden City, then I am going to crush them.


  1. When against "Top pair is the nuts" types of players, tighten up and make your hand before building a pot that you can't get away from. Also, if your plan was to shove the river, you should consider not better as much on the turn, because a $40 river bet into a $300+ is not going to scare any player away that has called you down this far.

    Much of the reason why you semi-bluff or push combo-draws is because the villain has fold equity. Donks and calling stations don't understand this concept of folding top pair, so the way to beat them is to show down the best hand. Tough spot for me to tell you not to push your hand which certainly had better equity; however, you can't be surprised when this station tables 10-6o. Don't be results-oriented, but do remember that stations are stations and they don't fold top pair.

  2. Garden City is one of my home Casinos... small world!

    I haven't played there in a while -- the 3-100 used to be a max $100 buy-in, looks like they made that larger though. With the $100 buy-in, you couldn't beat the rake and blinds.

    The hand in question you played extraordinarily fast. Your flop raise is reasonable, but an argument could be made for just calling and getting value from other callers. With a drawing hand, you could argue that you want as many people in as possible. If it was a big pot, the argument for winning it right there is greater. Although, in that loose game, you still got two callers, so I guess you could consider it a raise for value :)

    On the turn, I really don't like your bet. Oh, I'm semi-ok with you betting, but not the size of the bet. Your bet there is a bluff, pure and simple, because any hand that calls you will have you beat. And if you are going to bluff, why not shove? It also keeps you out of nasty situations like the river where you are hoping, hoping, hoping they both have draws.

    With your 16+ outs you could actually call a pot size bet on the turn, but making it is not as profitable unless you have fold equity. At GC, I'm not sure you have the fold equity :)

  3. @Sean - Yeah; I hadn't realized how many calling stations there were. I mean, T6 winning the pot? You're definitely right about slowing down the turn. I would have had a free river card, but I thought, given the action, that I could potentially fold the station out. BOY WAS I WRONG - DON'T TRY TO BET A STATION OFF HIS HAND. What was going through my head, though, was that I'm not going to be able to get stacks in without bet bet betting, which is why I did what I did.

    I learned a lesson: don't get caught up in the moment in live poker, which is what I did. It doesn't happen to me online, but when you're sitting at the live tables, card dead for 2 hours, just nursing a stack, it's hard not to go nuts on the drawing nuts.


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