Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Status update & a hand history

My wife & I took our kids on their first cruise this past week.  We went from Miami to the Bahamas.  Fortunately, the kids had a blast (5, 7 & 9) - cruises will likely be the Poker Meister family's vacation of choice going forward.  Better, since cruises leave from Baltimore, we won't have to pay for airfare; cruises seem to be great value for the money.

Onboard, I got to sit in on some of the fishiest games I've ever played.  Either the players were partially retarded or spewtarded.  Numerous times... check that... almost every time - I'd see limp / calls with $12 behind and auto folds to cbets.  Every once in awhile, it's a good feeling to be the HUGE fish in a little pond, as I was far & away the best player at the tables.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to put my skill into quantifiable dollar terms.  The digital PokerPro tables treated me terribly; I would get it all in more than 3 times as a dominating favorite only to be sucked out on.  Notables included: KQo vs. K9o all in PF (I raised and he 3bet all in to not much more; running 4 flush), 33 vs. K6 on a 3 6 8 K board (6 on the riv; checked flop and check / raised AI turn to ~$100 stack), AT vs KTdd on a 2c 5s 7d (aggrodonk called PF $15 raise and shoved $42 into $45 on flop - good call by me) board (diamond turn, K river).  Nevertheless, I persevered for a +break-even 3 nights, happy to escape the clutches of run bad.

Trying to get back in gear, I went out & played a session at Charles Town yesterday, with mixed results.  I had to make my own luck as I simply was not getting the cards.  For the majority of my 3-4 hour session, I was break-even, never swaying more than +-$25.  Towards the end of the session, I limped 32o in mid to late position and saw a 3 way flop where I flopped a J56 under-gutter with 2 hearts and a spade on board.  I lead the flop for $15 into a large-ish field and got 2 callers.  At this point, I was determined to boom or bust and steeled myself to pound away at the pot.  To date, I had never really been to showdown and hardly played any hands.  I figured my reputation, for anyone watching, would precede itself, and I could be given credit fora  two pair / set type hand.  The turn brought a 3s, giving me a bit of equity to the river.  I was fairly sure that the pair of 3's was not the best hand, but continued my story regardless - firing $35 into the $50-ish pot.  1 sticky caller was all who remained to a blank river.  After his check, I shoved my remaining $200+ into his effective $160, repping a two pair / set.  He folded after a few seconds of thought and showed 64ss so I showed my 23 bluff and was done with the session + 1/2 buy in...  Not bad for a completely card dead  / water treading session.

Hand History

From a session ~2 weeks ago at Charles Town:
New player (claims to have just turned 21; his first time casino, playing "pro" poker).  He's on the HJ and opens to $12 (note that whether or not he's a new 21, he handles his chips poorly and is clearly new to poker).  I decide to 3bet him to $40 with QQ on the BB.  My 3bet folds out the limpers and he shoves $200.  The action is on me, so I start to talk...  I ask him what he has and get an answer: he tells me Aces.  I tank and fold.  Comments?

BTW, he showed his Aces.  :-)  Next hand.


  1. I don't overthink it; and I fold. Unless someone has demonstrated himself to be a LAG maniac (or unless YOU have shown YOURSELF to be a maniac), I think you are rarely ahead in that spot -- at least when villain is sitting on $200+

    Curious what you made of his answer ("Aces"), if anything.

  2. Getting 100BB all in with QQ isn't profitable in most live games, methinks.

  3. I think getting it in with QQ is certainly villain dependent. This guy was relatively new to the table and fairly inactive. I've been getting more comfortable with my 3betting at live tables, so I'm becoming a more active player at the game. Therefore, I can get a dynamic going with some of the regs.

    However, when this guy answers that he has Aces, I kinda discount the statement. I don't think it's worth very much, but then again, I don't see him 4bet shoving on me without QQ+, AK(?). I doubt the latter; I think he flats AK, so it makes QQ+ more possible. For a guy who has been sitting and biding his time, and now has favorable position on me, this shove makes a clear fold for me.

    In retrospect, I should have raised to ~$35 or so. I'm actually surprised I raised to $40, but I believe my thinking at the time was I'm out of position and want to seriously pare down the players in the hand.

    20BB down the drain and a wasted set mining opportunity...

  4. Well, he doesn't have AA. But what kind of hand makes him say he has AA? Not KK. Why say you have AA when you have KK? It just doesn't make sense to me.

    He wants you to fold. He had AK.

    Or else he was a really, really new player who actually had AA and figured that he wanted your $40 more than the chance of losing to a suckout.

    Which could be true. $40 is a lot of beer for a 21-year-old. And as we all know, 21-year-olds instamatically convert cash into beer.

  5. I'm not sure poker on a cruise ship is worth it given short stacks and prob a high rake. Gopd job on the laydown of QQ.

  6. MOJO -- a poker player passing up a chance to play poker on a cruise? Blasphemy!

    I've only been on one cruise. Between Caribbean Stud and poker I paid for the cruise. A donkey shove with a flush draw at the end of the night won me a big pot, as I recall. The rake was unreal -- 10% up to $15/hand!

  7. Surprisingly, the rake was not "terrible." It was a max $7 rake @ 15%. The 15% was tough, but the $7 was "reasonable." FWIW, we went on the Carnival Imagination.

  8. Yakshi is WAY OFF. The natural inclination for most people is to tell the truth, believe it or not. If you ask someone what they have and they say Aces rather quickly, it is more likely that they are telling the TRUTH rather than lying. If they hesitate, then it is more likely that they are lying.

    Based on what you described, you have a young, relatively inexperienced live player, playing the lowest NLHE stakes available. He knows something about poker strategy, but not much about what it is like to play live. So, his play suggests that he was playing typical ABC poker, which would make sense for someone inexperienced and nervous about live play. This player is not raising all-in on a bluff or a low pocket pair. MAYBE he has AK, but I bet he actually had AA and was either (a) caught off guard by a direct question or (b) wanted you to fold because he wanted to win the pot without any further risk.

    I think you played it perfectly. You asked what he had, he told you, and you listened. I am sure on some level, before he answered, you had a feeling you were in trouble. Once he confirmed it, you had to fold. Otherwise, you'd be a fool for ignoring the info.

  9. It's been my experience as well that people tell the truth when asked; it's easier for them to be truthful rather than lying. In fact, I suppose I do the same for the most part, though I'd take the preference of not saying anything when asked a direct question such as I did to the kid.

    For interested parties, and I'm probably going to put a quick post / referral together a bit later, I have found that Zachary Elwood has a GREAT collection of poker tells / info. In fact, I'll probably wind up buying his newest book. I've been reading his blog for a few years now:

    Check it out if you get a moment.


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