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.


  1. "Second, I need to make my decisions slowly and deliberately, and piece together the hand and reads as they played out."

    This is an area in which I need great improvement.

  2. Nice call, enjoying the blog! Keep it up,

    David @Transformpoker.com


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