Thursday, June 07, 2007

Poker Wins & Losses

One week ago, I finally made it back to the Wednesday game at Greg's. I had looked at my spreadsheet and noticed that I had not won in months. Somehow I was still ahead after all these months and after successive weeks of bad beats. This time I would show them who's boss.

As much as I think I want to experiment with my game at this weekly gathering, I usually fall into the same pattern. I want to try raising big preflop and playing lots of hands to see if I can get the table to stop limping into every pot. I never do it, because my cards are always so terrible. I usually fall into my standard Sit and Go strategy of tight early and aggressive late.

The tight strategy was working and it was down to 3 players. Two of us would get paid. I had pocket Aces and got cracked by Craig with 9-6 suited. He hit his two pair, but he could have got a lot more money out of me if he had not slowplayed his hand.

A few hands later, I am dealt Jc-9c on the button. I think about raising, but I limp. Scott folds and Craig checks his option in the big blind. The flop is 8c-Tc-5h. Craig checks and I bet the pot with my open end straight flush draw. The turn is no help. Craig checks again and I bet 3/4 of the pot and he calls. So now I am trying to figure out what he has and whether I need to bluff the river if it's a blank.

Luckily the Qc comes on the river and I hit the straight flush! Better yet, Craig announces he's all in! Hi-ya! I instacall and show everyone the straight flush and eliminate Craig from the tournament. In a nice twist of irony, Craig tables pocket aces.

Yesterday, I had the same idea of trying a real aggressive approach but I pussed out again. I changed my mind after I hit a set of 7's against Craig and took his stack when he called with his flush draw and did not get there.

The problem was that every draw I played last night never got there. I eventually made it to the final 3 again. It was me, Greg, and Scott. Scott had a big chip lead and Greg and I were about even with around 20x the big blind when we started 3 handed.

This is where I totally went card dead. I stole a few small pots here and there. Then I would get crippled when my draw would miss.

There were a couple of hands where I was out played. At least twice I was bluffed out on the river by a busted draw. In one hand I only had a medium pair and the other hand against Greg, I had a strong suspicion that he was bluffing, but I also had a nagging feeling that he might call with 10 high "because I know you have nothing". He made a weak bet on the river of about 1/4 of the pot after we had checked the flop and bet/called the turn. I really considered raising all in with my 6 high hoping he would fold. I should have handed over my testicles right there.

Greg also took a nice pot from me when I raised on the button with KQo. He reraised in the big blind and I called. The flop totally whiffed, but he bet out around half the pot. I had to fold. He showed me KQ for the same hand as me.

When the blinds went up to 300-600, I decided to go all in for 4000 with 56o on the button. I was called by Scott with Ace-Jack. I was happy that at least I had a 40% chance. The first card I peeled off on the flop was a Jack and I was sad. Then I peeled off a 6 and a 5 and I was very happy. My two pair held up and I was back in it for a while. I moved all in a couple more times, hoping for calls with hands like AQ and AK, but nobody bit.

I finally lost in third when Scott called my all in with J-T and I had A-9o. I flopped the nine but he turned the Jack and it was over.

I'm still not sure if it was more the bad cards or that I did not make the right reads that kept me from cashing. If either one was a little better I might have dominated.

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