Monday, September 24, 2012

Royal Flush! And getting paid out on the resultant jackpot!

I played Friday, on my every-other-Friday off work schedule.  As usual, I went up to CTown and grinded there for the better part of 6 hours.  I was card dead for most of the day, treading water, bouncing between down $170 and down $150 until I hit a KJh royal flush!  Ctown offers a jackpot of $1600 for a Heart Royal; half to the winner and half divided between the table.  Boom!  Payday!  And to top things off, I went on a nice little heater to turn my session loss into a nice little session gain.

I guess I'm break-even on the bad beat jackpot contributions now...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Freakonomics post on Why Online Poker Should Be Legal

Some of you may enjoy this read:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

More live tells

More hands from last Friday:

I can't quite remember exactly how the hand played out, but by the river, I was heads-up with a poor player who mainly relied upon luck and improbable bluffs to win at poker.  I'm somewhat certain that I had at least a top pair, top kicker or and overpair by the river facing a 4-straight 4-5-7-8 -type board.  I remember checking to the the player who led large (the pot was somewhat large so this bet was consistent with pot size).  However, he did not think about the prior action, and how unlikely it would be for him to show up with a 6.  More interestingly, almost immediately after putting out the bet, I started counting chips and thinking about the hand.  Due to his "impatience," he called out "I have the straight," while looking right at me.  Then, "realizing his mistake," said,"Oh, you didn't call, huh...  you haven't called yet...  Damn...  We'll I'm going to be nice and let you know that I have the straight.  You should fold and save yourself money."  It was so poorly timed / coreographed, that I wasn't sure whether he was trying reverse psychology.  This attempt at accidentally calling out his hand was so poor that I thought he was trying to make me think that he intended it to be a false tell.  With nothing left on his end or mine, as far as betting, I started talking to him.  I asked him after he started insisting on the straight that he show me the cards.  He flat out refused.  I said show me one card then.  Immediate and sharp refusal.  After working up the profile, I concluded that he was bluffing and made the call to take the pot vs. his AJ two overcard bluff.  Almost a week later, and I'm still stupefied that someone could bluff so poorly.  His tell was precisely so poor and obvious, looking at me while acting shocked and embarrassed that I hadn't made the call after telling me that he had a straight was just awful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Continuing to improve in both live poker & poker in general

Friday I played another decent session at the Chuck - $800+.  I'm rolling along.  This follows a downer of a session on Sunday, where I wound up in the hospital with abdominal pain immediately following a loss.  It was determined that I have a hernia and need surgery.  Fortunately, a friend of mine is an abdominal surgeon and will be getting me under the knife on Friday.  Wish me luck, but that's not the point of this post:

I called a raise of $6 in the BB with 8s5s after 2 callers (MP opened & semi-tight BTN and CO called), which encouraged a host of limpers to call the nominal raise - I think we were 6 way to the flop of 8d 5c 3d and I charge the flop with a $15 donk bet, wanting to ensure that draws are charged and overpairs are emboldened to raise.  In retrospect, I should have bet larger - $20-25, but at the time, I wanted to give others enough rope to hang themselves.  Nevertheless, I want and encourage the action.  The super loose EP overcaller calls as does the semi-tight BTN, and we see a turn 7d, completing the 3 flush and wonky straight.  Looking at the 2 players, I did not get the feeling that they were chasing flushes; it just seemed as though they were trying to hit an over, or some random pair...  in other words, I felt as though I still had the best hand.  These players were the kinds of players to raise their draws given such a weak bet, hoping to push the better hands off and play position.  Both players called the flop bet with some thought - indicating to me that they were not necessarily chasing draws like flushes.  Therefore, I wanted to continue charging for whatever pair / draw they were on and this time led for $35, wanting to ensure the payment for a 4 flush.  Again, in retrospect, I think I'd like this bet to be larger; there is now $15x3 + $6x6 in the pot - ~$81 - a $40-50 bet seems more appropriate.  However, given the 3 flush and 3 straight already out there, and that I'm not 100% sure on my read, I want to make a cautious bet but still get value.  What I'm not thinking about in this spot, though, is what happens if I get raised.  It's very easy at this point to raise me off of my hand, though the following happened: the super loose guy sighed unhappily and folded.  The BTN simply called again.  The Qd on the river shut me down.  With a 4 flush out there, I can't possibly bet, because I'm only getting called by a good diamond.  On top of that, I have a nominal showdown hand and there is a chance the BTN will bluff.  Bet he did, as he tossed out $45, a small bet compared to the pot, just as I had led the two prior streets.  Here's where I'm getting both as a live player and a poker player:

I took ample time in wading through the hand in my head.  He called the flop bet of 2 diamonds, and simply smoothed the turn bet.  This guy was fairly straightforward and would likely raise his turned flush if had hit it, and my read didn't jive with the fact that he had a turned flush.  Also, he would have raised the turn in order to not only get value out of his hand, but to ensure value in the unlikely event that a diamond river shut down his action.  So if I assume that he didn't hit is flush on the turn, what could he call the flop bet with that had a Q+ of diamonds?  Well, the Qd is out there, so he had to call the flop with a combo of Kd / x or Ad / x.  He's not likely to call Kd5x, or Kd8x, but it is somewhat possible for him to call Ad8x or Ad5x, but I have to believe that he's shutting down the turn bet - though perhaps not.  It's not easily in his range to make an A/X offsuit call as being a semi-tight player.  Sticking with my read, there simply are more bluff / weird hands that don't hold a diamond than do have a diamond and a strong diamond (enough to bet the river and not go to showdown), so I made the call and was surprised to see Ts6s as a very odd and unexpected showdown - a floated flop, turned open-ender.

At any rate, I learned two things from the hand: there is no auto-fold at the Chuck.  I should never mentally click that "fold to any bet" that I so often do.  The Chuck is full of player whose hands don't entirely add up, and sniffing through the BS is tantamount to my success there.  Second, I need to make my decisions slowly and deliberately, and piece together the hand and reads as they played out.  I have written that before, but this is confirmation that I'm staying the course.

Friday, September 7, 2012

There's that little something you pick up on...

Can't explain it, as I wanted to detail a few more hands from my monster session the other day.  I stacked a guy on the river (which was such a bad board), but still went ahead and stacked him with QQ vs. JJ:

I pick up QQ on the button / hijack and raise to $15 which was typical for me to charge the limpers.  Anything more, I get folds, but less and everybody and their brother come along.  In this case, I get 5 callers and a flop of 8 6 3 - two diamonds.  Checks around to me and I push out $45 into $65, hoping that the little baby pairs didn't hit their sets.  Decent, semi-tight player calls in the BB and grandma pushes her remaining $~5, creating a side pot (BTW, nice call - $15 pre and get it in with $5 on the flop LOL).  Turn is an off suit 8, and I rarely put a semi-tight/ okay player on A8 or suited connectors & random 8's in his range.  If that's the case, he was first to call $15 in the BB and it would be somewhat uncharacteristic of him to make that kind of call with that marginal holding.  I push out $85 and he takes a good long time before making the call (for some reason, I pick up on the fact that he is not on a diamond draw, not on an 8, and place his range squarely on TT, JJ - his mannerisms, his thoughtful call, his hesitation, can't put my finger on it - that squarely strikes his range in this spot; I think he's raising intending to get it in if the trips hit him) but he has around $170 behind.  FWIW, I think he check / raises me on the flop or leads the flop with a set of 6's or 3's (and certainly tries to get it in on the turn given my sizable turn bet).  River is a 6 of diamonds and I push out the $170 figuring if he calls $85 on the turn he'll call $170 river thinking nothing has changed by the river other than the 3 flush...  I'm fairly certain he has me on a not-believing AA which is what I am "trying" to represent / he's playing level 1 poker based on the strength of his hand and his hand alone.  He calls and shows JJ, precisely what I put him on, and I scoop a large side pot to grandma's $90 quadruple up when she hits her AJ diamond flush.  Bummer I couldn't scoop overall, but good read.

The reg next to me could not believe that I pushed the bad board like that with QQ, and I just had that feeling that he was not drawing.  By the 6 double-pairing the board, it all but eliminates the set combos down to 3's.  That fact, coupled with my read of non-draw sets up the river for a shove.  In retrospect, I don't know what I'm going to do if the river is a J or T - I'll be incredulous and disbelieving and I'm not quite sure whether we get it in on the river in that situation.

For what it's worth, I'm still bemoaning the lack of online poker...  If I were playing online poker tournaments, I'd be much happier :-).

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