Poker Update #1

Let’s start off with some context. Over the last nine months, with two different groups of people, I have been regularly finishing in the money. In my neighborhood game I won so much that I tanked it one night, just to stay on the good side of the people I live around. I lost my last time out, and it was notable enough to be the headline in the weekly invite. After a weeks vacation, I was steamed, and tonight I went in confident that I was going to show these chumps a thing or two.

I started off strong. I won the first two hands. I stole a few blinds. I made a gutsy read and was correct that he was bluffing. After 30 minutes I was ahead, after 90 minutes I was the power at the table.

Then it all went wrong. I lost all my money on three big hands, all of them to the same person.
Hand #1: I don’t remember the details. It was the kind of hand where I was correct to push hard with a semi-bluff, and he was correct to call it. I was ahead but he got lucky. Dang.
Hand #2, the big one: We are down to four players. I have A-5 clubs. With 250-500 blinds I raise preflop to 1500. He calls. Flop is 5d, 7s, Jd. I have bottom pair and the ace kicker. The flop isn’t impressive. I throw in another 1500, thinking he probably doesn’t have anything but with plenty of outs if he calls. He calls. Turn is Ad. I have two pair, though three diamonds are out there. I’m not worried about the diamonds much. He is a value player and wouldn’t have stayed in for big money chasing a flush. I have him figured for a J or a 7, with another high card. I bet heavy again. He eventually calls. The river is Qd. With four diamonds out there, I am now scared. I don’t think he played for the flush, but he could easily have gotten it accidentally. He bets 1500 or so. There is not much left in my stack and I am pot committed. I have to call. He had Qc 7d. I had read him perfectly, he did indeed have the 7 and the high card, but lucked into the flush to beat me.
Hand #3: Blinds at 500-1000, I have 2000. The same guy is small, I’m big. Everyone else folds. I ask, “Are you going to put me all in?” He does, I call. I have K-Q suited, a great hand at this level. He has a pair of Jacks. Needless to say, I don’t get my outs and get knocked out in fourth place.

Summary: A couple of bad beats, but not the kind where the other player has no business being in the hand and you suddenly understand why Phil Hellmuth acts that way. I don’t know whether to call these bad beats at all. I think I played them all correctly, and given the strange logic of poker was forced to see the hands through until the end. I don’t think I made any big mistakes tonight, but things just didn’t go my way enough.

Tonight: -$20
Total since March 15, 2008: $-20

4 thoughts on “Poker Update #1”

  1. I actually think you played it well…20/20 hindsight. The only thing to think about is to take down the pot if you are ahead. And when watching WSOP, seeing Moneymaker and Yang being super aggressive with all-in moves probably took down pots and prevented a bad beat or two…the tradeoff being if they have something strong, your done. Also depends on if you are the big stack or not.

  2. I guess that’s Min’s point. He may have thought I was bluffing on a poor flop (which I’ve been known to do). I was betting a lot, but not enough to scare him off.

    On the other hand, it’s pretty gutsy to go all-in at that point also. Even if the odds were (say) 60-40 in my favor, not sure I want to go all in on that.

  3. I’m not sure I agree with your opponants play on hand 2.He flopped middle pair, with a decent kicker.
    You are betting like you have two overcards or pocket pair of some kind. either way, it seems to me that staying in with middle pair is a bad idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *