Thursday, July 27, 2006

Maybe I Should Have Taken The 2 Weeks?

I have resumed my poker playing for three days and I am negative each day. Nothing serious, just $25 a day, but it's still frustrating.

Last night I was invited to a friend's house for a weekly $20 Sit-N-Go they run. There were only 5 players this week. Last week they said they had 10. We started with $40 in chips and the blinds started at $0.25-$0.50. Amazingly they said the blind levels are an hour long. I asked if some of their games go until 3 or 4 in the morning. They said no, that they manage to finish by 11 or 12 and sometimes they make a deal.

My friends all seemed to play the game in a style I have a lot of trouble with. It's a loose passive and trapping game. They will limp into the pot with any two. They will call with a draw or piece of the flop. They will also slow play any decent hand. So basically their crappy hands and their good hands look the same.

I'm pretty sure the way to counteract this style of play is this:

1. Raise more with high pocket pairs preflop. Force them to call (make mistakes) with weaker hands.

2. Limp in position with connected and suited cards whenever possible. There were very few preflop raises and if they did, it was just double the blind. Get in cheap and flop a monster.

3. On the flop, it's fit or fold. If you hit your top pair or 2nd pair with good kicker, bet it with 3/4 to Pot sized bets and make them pay to draw. If you miss or you have a draw. Just check, because it's likely you will get a free card or only have to call a very small bet since they consistently underbet the pot.

4. If you bet and they raise, you better have a good hand. If not then fold it. The bluff raise is not in their arsenal.

Unfortunately, I did not remember or figure all this out until it was too late.

The eventual winner, Mike, basically made me his bitch. At the .50-$1 level I had K-J suited on the button. I raised to 1.50 and Mike called in the small blind. The flop was J-T-6 with two clubs. I bet $3 into a $5 pot and just Mike called. The turn was a King of clubs. Good news is that I have two pair. Bad news is that the straight and flush draws just got there. I bet $5 and Mike raised me all in. He looked pretty confident so I folded. That pot put me down to about $28.

A couple of rounds later, I finally deal myself a good hand on the button. Devin limps in for $1 and I stare at two cowboys. I raise to $3. Mike smooth calls again from the small blind. Jason in the big blind folds, and Devin folds. The flop is T-7-3 rainbow. Mike checks and I bet $4. Mike then check raises me all in. I don't think he has Aces because I figure he would have reraised preflop. Two pair seems unlikely with the board. He could have 3 of a kind. Wouldn't he slow play that though? The most likely hands seem like QQ, JJ or Ace-10. I call.

Mike proudly turns over pocket Aces. My Kings do not improve on the turn and river and I am out in 4th place out of 5. This is exactly what is so frustrating about this game. Two weeks ago I am dreaming of playing against some of the best players in the world at the World Series and last night I could not even beat 4 rank amateurs in a home game.

1 comment:

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