A few hands to share from last night's session:
First hand: I hold KQo in the hijack, facing 4 limpers. I am coming in for a raise with this hand, nearly always, from this position. However, I look to my left (as is good practice and any live poker should almost *ALWAYS* be looking to their left to see what the action ahead of them will be doing) and see the #1 see (BTN) with chips in hand, ready to raise the pot. From the looks of it, he will be raising to $15, as is typical for this particular player - loves to position raise, decent player, lays down when he's beat and bets when he's ahead. I decide that instead of coming in for the raise myself, I will let him raise and get trappy with the numerous over callers, as they are wont to do at CTRS. As expected, he picks up 2 [I believe, if memory serves me] callers for the $15 raise, and I face a decision for the ~$54 pot. After taking a look at the 2 limp / over callers, and finally peeking at seat #1 (I'm in seat #10, so this is no easy task given the dealer's positioning), I decide to keep with the original plan and limp / raise to $50 even. Watching #1's genuine discomfort, he motions to call and then looks at his cards for a few moments. After some deliberation, he folds his hand, as do the over-callers. I have played my first non-traditional live hand, and won - read the situation for exactly what it was, executed the move and was rewarded perfectly.
UTG with JJ - I again, decide to get trappy. I know full well that if I raise to ~$11, I'm going to get a host of callers where, with a hand that's going to flop overcards somewhere near 45% of the time, I'm going to be miserable playing a large pot from out of position. I decide, given the table dynamics (nearly every hand is raised and/or 3bet), to limp / raise as I did with the KQ hand. To make such a move from UTG says a much stronger hand than from the other positions, but I'm happy taking a flop with 1 or 2 people instead of the 20 that would normally call the $11 raise. As if scripted, seat #1 (same dude as above) raises to $12 and picks up 2 callers to the BB, an ABC player who, though a nice guy, tried to act and portray a more experienced player than he actually was. He decides to 3bet to $45 (a bit small for my tastes, but a sizable 3bet which forces me to reconsider my plans). People are folding out of turn, assuming I had made a move, while I sat and thought about the hand and the player. In fact, everyone folded back to the 3bettor and I got a ton of information as to odds (if I'm calling this bet, I'm assuming I'm set mining, and will need about 3 callers + the 3bettor in order to make it immediately profitable). Now I'm faced with an even easier decision, whereby I'm likely behind and getting terrible odds (20% of the effective stacks). I fold and ask him to show - he shows AA and I pat myself on the back for losing $2 :-).
Simply a whining hand but evidence of the BS that goes on at CT. Late in the night, I decide to raise TT from middle position after 1 limper; I toss in $13 and get 4 or 5 callers. Flop comes Kd 7s 3s - pretty decent for my hand. SB leads for $30 into the ~$60 and I'm faced with a decision (my worst annoyance as described above; out of position with non top pair holding). There are 3 players ahead of me yet to act, with a flush draw board and an overcard. There are PLENTY of kings in each of the caller's ranges: 2 calling stations and an aggro decent player. The 2 stations do as they do: call, while the aggro folds his BTN. They trio go to the turn and see the 8c; brick city. The SB continues to bet $50 and both call (one particularly
That's it. I'm improving at live poker. I'm definitely utilizing my reads. I find myself acting more boldly, trusting my instinct, and watching players more intently. I love the limp / raise move for nothing more than reading the situation. I'm trying to think out of the box more often, instead of just trying to peddle nuts. I believe there are a bunch of spots where I can be profitable if only I take advantage of them.