Monday, January 03, 2005

You Gotta Get Lucky!

I played a 20+2 sit n go on Sunday. I was playing really tight and didn't have any cards to start with for the first two rounds. I saw one crazy play where one guy bluffed all in about twice the amount of the pot with absolutely nothing, but got called by another guy with King high who only had about 100 more in chips. In other words it looked a lot like chip dumping. I made a note not to bluff that guy since he may call with anything. That wasn't good for me though because he was on my left so I was going to need to get by him if I wanted to steal any blinds.

Players kept hanging on and the blinds were up to 50-100 and they were going up to 75-150 in two hands. I had 500 left and needed to make a move soon. Since there were still like 8 people left with stacks at least my size I decided I needed to get lucky. I went all in with Jack-3 suited. If nobody calls, fine. If I get called it's a roll of the dice. Of course Mr. Unbluffable called me with crap, and I got one other caller as well. Well wouldn't you know it but I ended up with 4 of a kind in 3's and tripled up. Suddenly I was second in chips.

The blinds went up and I won a couple of hands and everyone was forced into all in mode. I only played good cards until there were 4 left. The other large stack was on my immediate left followed by the two short stacks. They only had enough for their next blinds. I was dealt KQ offsuit under the gun. I raised all in because I wanted to isolate the blinds. The button (bigstack) took way too long to get out the way (why take that risk?) and the blinds both called. I flopped a king and suddenly there were only two left.

Heads up play in online poker is really a crap shoot. I wonder what edge a professional really has. Maybe 10%. There are no visual reads or tells only betting patterns. And with blinds increasing so fast, you can't really depend on those either. Anyway I battled and eventually got my opponent down to his last 800 with the blinds at 200-400. Sure enough he doubled up and then doubled up again and actually took the chip lead. Finally I got some good cards and eventually took the lead again, put him all in and won the thing.

I also played some no limit holdem at a guy's house in South Phoenix on Saturday. There were only 4 of us so I thought I would try to bully people around since the buy in was $20 and the blinds were $.25 and $.50. One of the players was Josh Stanley who really doesn't know the game and got incredibly lucky when I saw him play in Yuma (see Yuma trip report). I knew enough that if he calls a big bet, that he has a good hand. He never raises. For some reason he kept calling my bets and I kept losing money to him.

Another lost hand when I had top pair with a good kicker. I read my opponent for top pair with a bad kicker. I didn't even notice the straight possibility on the flop. Which he happened to hit on the flop. Luckily I didn't do anything too crazy since I was trying to bet small to keep him calling.

Anyway I finished down $10, but Josh must have won at least $60. If I ever play with him in the future here's my strategy. If I have good cards preflop, raise with them because he will pay anything to see the flop. If he stays for the flop, bet small to feel him out or even check to him once in a while. If it looks like he is going to stay with the hand then make sure you can show down the best one. If the flop doesn't hit you, then get the hell out.

No comments: