Monday, August 31, 2009

What Do I Do With Small Pocket Pairs?

Free hand converter brought to you by CardRunners

Seat 1: Lionne24 ($229.35) -
Seat 2: Needbankroll ($268.10) -
Seat 3: Poker_Bully1 ($257.70) -
Seat 4: lance74 ($229)
Seat 5: Porntraktr ($200)
Seat 6: Finchster ($227.20)


Needbankroll posts small blind $1
Poker_Bully1 posts BIG blind $2
Dealt To: Poker_Bully1

FOLD lance74
FOLD Porntraktr
FOLD Finchster
FOLD Lionne24
RAISE Needbankroll ($6)
RAISE Poker_Bully1 ($21)
RAISE Needbankroll ($50)
FOLD Poker_Bully1
UNCALLED Needbankroll ($29)
MUCK Needbankroll

Needbankroll collected $42 from main pot

Total pot: $42 Rake: $0

Seat 1: Lionne24 button didnt bet folded - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)
Seat 2: Needbankroll small blind collected 42, mucked - Net Gain/Loss: ($20)
Seat 3: Poker_Bully1 big blind folded before the Flop - Net Gain/Loss: ($-21)
Seat 4: lance74 didnt bet folded - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)
Seat 5: Porntraktr didnt bet folded - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)
Seat 6: Finchster didnt bet folded - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)

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I ran into this situation a few times last night and I am puzzled on what to do. The players that kept reraising me or 4 betting me had solid stats, but it seemed to be happening more than normal. It was tough to say whether the table had seen me fold and was exploiting it or they just happened to have good hands when I had a good hand.

Folding is always a conservative option. I protect my stack and wait for a better situation. I am seldom dominating someone if they call. I know at higher levels the better players will exploit this and begin to reraise me lighter and lighter. I am not sure how many players at 1-2 NL are paying this much attention.

I can call and hope to flop a set. In this particular hand we started with effective stacks of 120 BB. He raised 3x and I 3bet to 10x. He 4 bet to 25x. Assuming I win his whole stack if I hit, then I am calling 15 more bets to win 35x in the pot and 100x more in his stack which is approximately 9-1 odds.

This still isn't that profitable in the long run because I am losing 25x every time I get in this position and don't hit my set. You may say, "Yeah but you're only calling 15x not 25x." Yes but that's only because I reraised in the first place. I could have just called the initial raise in position and seen the flop cheaper.

The aggressive option is to push all in and pray for a fold or Ace-King. It will definitely sting more when I lose some of these confrontations, but maybe it will get me more action when I 4 bet my Aces and Kings? Once again, the problem is that I don't play enough against the same opponents for them to notice if I am 4 bet shoving light. If I get lucky and happen to get Aces within a 100 or so hands after shoving all in with 6's then maybe it pays off. Most of the time my sessions a table are rarely more than 200 hands so the odds are pretty long for getting multiple pocket pairs that are worth getting it all in over.

Do any of my 5 or so readers have a suggestion or comment?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Number 1 Lesson of Omaha 8 or Better

I learned a $120 lesson today at the casino. It makes no sense to draw at anything less than the nuts in the 3-6 Limit Omaha 8 or better game at Casino Arizona.

Besides some tilt hands, I went to the river three times with the second or third best hand and watched my money go to horrible players.

Once again, the table was full of donkeys playing any four cards. I am convinced now that just playing solid cards and ABC poker, I could be a very consistent winner at this game.


For some reason I was still on tilt from yesterday's PLO session online. I lost $380 which in it self is not hard to do in that game. The frustrating thing was that I lost the majority of it $10-$20 at a time. For the first two hours my largest won pot was $14. I just never hit a hand. I never stacked off, but I kept folding with small losses, but never hit the big hand to make up for the losses. The last straw was losing with a gut shot straight and the nut flush draw to two pair. I was a 60% favorite when the money went in, but I was not running good enough to hit one of my 12 outs and I quit the game.

I tried to do some analysis on why I have been on a losing streak over the last 5 months. I reviewed my blog and I think the reason is that I have been playing too many tournaments and not enough cash games.

My excuse for playing the tournaments was to get my game sharp for the possibility of playing in the World Series. Since that is over with, I think I will concentrate on trying to build up the bank roll for the next few months. I won the first two sessions I played after this goal was set, so I think that's why I was bothered so much when I lost in PLO. I basically lost back everything that I had won.

August will be a winning month. I promise.