Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Has my luck turned at Casino AZ?

Last night was one of those perfect situations at a low limit table. One loose aggressive player to pump up the pot. A bunch of loose passive calling stations who will call down to the river with 2nd pair or underpair.

The loose aggressive player in the 1 seat was really hot. He hit runner-runner at least 3 times in the first 30 minutes that I sat down. Luckily I was not in any pots with him.

My strategy coming in was to tighten up and try not to let myself get sucked in to loosening my starting hand standards. I also wanted avoid making any tricky plays and play straight ahead poker for at least the first couple of hours. If I was winning and the players at my table appear to notice that I am playing tight aggressive, then I might loosen up a little.

It's really great when you can read everyone's hand and lady luck smiles upon you to help avoid getting trapped. For example:
I was dealt A10 off late position. This is a sketchy raising hand. If there is only a couple of players in I might raise to try and force out the blinds. In this case there was a new player to my right and I didn't know how she played. She called so I decided to just call. The flop has an Ace and two low cards, with no straights or flush possibilities. First player bets, and then the woman to my right raises. Wait a minute, I was getting ready to do that. I call for time and think about it a little. I have found that many of these players will not raise preflop with A-J or A-Q. Sometimes they don't even raise with A-K. With a bet and a raise in front I decide to fold. Sure enough, the first better had A-3 for a pair of aces and low kicker. The raiser had A-J. I told her thanks for saving me at least $12.

Another interesting hand.

Ace King of diamonds on the button. 3 limpers and I raise. The blinds fold so 9 bets in the pot to the flop. Flop is King(sp) 8 (d) and 8(c). Remembering that I often play stupid with paired boards I start to concentrate a little more. First player bets. He is an awful player but he usually just calls. He almost never raises or bets first. Now he's betting into 3 other people after I raised the flop. Second player raises. She is a little more solid. I have not seen her get out of line yet. Third player folds and it's 2 bets to me with 12 bets in the pot. I call. Then the first player reraises. The second player calls and I fold.

The first call was questionable. 6-1 pot odds. Maybe 12-1 implied odds. At least one of them has an 8. My only outs are the other 2 kings and a backdoor flush draw. The last fold, I probably should have called because my odds were even better, but even if I hit my flush I could be up against a full house. Any way my read was right and they both had 8-9 in the hole and they chopped the pot. My diamonds or kings did not come on the turn or river.

As for the winners, they were all pretty straight forward. Including one nice kill pot where I had raised AK and had the loose aggressive guy calling me down.

I finished up $92 and I don't think I could have done any better. In fact it was hard to leave except for the fact that I hadn't been to my house in nearly 2 days and I wanted to get home to feed the dogs. If it wasn't for that, I might have stayed all night.

I also wanted to comment on Tilt, the new show on ESPN. I am enjoying it so far. Yes the portrayal of the poker is pretty bad, but I see the potential in the show. My only concern is the fact that they portray every card game as crooked. This can't be good for the long term health of the game. I still think that we are going to see a big cheating scandal in the game soon at one of the big tournaments. There is too many players buying pieces of each other that there is bound to be some chip dumping eventually.


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