Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Never Say Die & Big Home Game Tonight

Sometimes it's a bad thing to be dealt pocket Aces in the first couple of rounds of blinds in a one table sit and go. Usually you end up winning a small pot of less than $100 and you are on your merry way. Occasionally you get lucky and run into someone with a lower pocket pair and manage to get all their chips.

It seems like about 50% of the time you get your preflop raise called and then the flop comes out with a few draws. You make a bet to protect your hand and the opponent calls again. Now I have 1/3 of my stack in the middle and I'm not really sure where I am at. The turn comes and it is another bad card which completes a straight or flush. Now what? Sometimes I feel like I should bet again to pray that they will fold. Other times I feel like checking and hoping they will let me get away from the pot without putting any more chips in the middle.

A couple of nights ago I was in this situation. The second hand of the tournament I get dealt Aces in the big blind. It's folded to the button who just calls. The small blind completes, so I'm thinking I am not going to make any money with this hand. I raise it to 50 and both call. The flop is Qd - Tc - 6d. The sb checks and I bet 100 into the 150 dollar pot. The button folds but the small blind calls. The turn is the 7d putting 3 diamonds on the board. The sb checks again so I still have no idea what he has. For some reason I'm playing a bit weak so I decided to check it through. The river is 9c so not only is there a flush out there, but all you need is an 8 for a straight or KJ for a better straight. I am thinking I am probably screwed. To increase this feeling the small blind leads out for 350 which is the size of the pot.

For some reason I can't lay it down so I call and he turns over Td - 4d for the flush. So I lose 500 with Aces. The good news is my check through on the turn kept the pot small. The bad news is, half my stack is gone.

What made this tournament a lot of fun is that I did not get discouraged. The blinds were only 10-15 so I still had an M of 20 so there was time to come back. Sure enough I scratched and clawed my way into a second place finish. In fact I managed to get Aces dealt to me again and this time I doubled up with them. Never give up!

Tonight is the National Championship game between USC and Texas. Curtis is having a few of us over to play 1-2 Pot Limit Hold'em and watch the game. The standard home game crew is coming so there is a chance to make some money. I think tonight I am going to play tight solid poker. Usually I goof around a little and try to push people around. I have lost a bit of money in the last couple of games, so hopefully they will remember that and call me with some crappy hands.

Here is my strategy. If I have a chance to isolate Carlo or Ryan in a hand I should probably do it. Especially Carlo since he'll chase with anything. Ryan I can get to fold along with Robert. I should probably stay away from Jon if he shows up. Bill I can just wait until about 9:00 PM when he'll get bored and then I can take all his money.

Bill also wants to challenge me to a heads up freeze out for $100. He owes me $150 from previous bets so basically I am playing with house money. Maybe we could start with .50-$1 blinds and move them up every 15 minutes. That should give me enough time to take him down. I think I want to play just to see if I have actually learned anything from all the sit and gos I have played in the two years since the last time we did it. We'll see.

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