Archive for November, 2012

Haunting Hands..

These hands have been haunting me for days!

    I cant figure out if I played them wrong, or if I was just outplayed or outlucked..  
Again, start of a 6 man sit n go tourney.  Maybe 5 hands in.  I played one hand so far and won it with a showdown.  People saw my cards at the end, and I cant remember how that hand went, but I remember feeling like they now know I am a bit tricky!


I had lost a few games that day and I was a bit frustrated.  But I dont think I played this stupidly. ?

    ON THE BUTTON, everyones bloody limping in.  Everyones played more hands than me.  I see ace jack hearts.  Ok this ones mine I think.  I make a raise here, 5 times the big blind.  Everyone folds except this one hero.  He snapcalls.  

    The flop come ace of diamonds, 4 of spades, 9 of spades.  The hero bets the pot amount. Sure buddy, fuck off.  I got you beat!  I raise him like 4 times the pot.  He goes all in.

    ? Really?  AK?  2 spades?  AA?  44?  am I dominated?  Maybe I shouldve folded but this is where my frustration kicked in, no fucking way hes got me beat, I can sense it.  Fuck you dipshit, I am all in too.  Call all of my chips, show him my ace jack.  What do I see him holding?  A5spades.  

    ok, makes sense I guess.  Top pair, flush draw, shitty kicker.  hes dominated before the flop, and even now I think hes only about 35 percent to hit another spade.  Turn card comes, its a 5of hearts.  Great, now this prick has 2 pair, how the hell did that happen?  and sure enough, the river brings him a spade.  Im out.


    Ive been analyzing this hand for 3 days now. The only conclusion I have is to play it weaker and minimize my losses.  I was certain he didnt have AA or 44, I was certain I was ahead.  There was already three limpers ahead of me, and in a pot like that its likely the small blind would limp after me.  I hate hands with 6 people involved.  There was no way I was going to limp in on the button.  Maybe I shouldve raised lower and just kept calling?  

Maybe I shouldve raised higher and hoped to fold out A5suited?  but I raised 5x bb.  Is it even reasonable to raise higher than that?  So early in the game?  With a mediocre hand like AJs?


    If I raised lower, I may have had another caller.  He surely wouldve bet the pot on a two spade flop, with an ace paired.  I wouldve called.  Wouldnt anyone?  Then when his 5 came on the turn and I saw it wasnt a spade, I probably wouldve tried to make a move then, and now surely he wouldve called with 2 pair and a nut flush draw.  I dont think theres any way I couldve won this hand, and it makes me sick to think that, since he was dominated from the moment he looked at his cards.  

    I can understand a call cause there was pot odds for him after my preflop raise, and ace 5 suited isnt exactly a trash hand.  But I question the reraise to all in after I reraised him huge! He must think hes up against AK at least, or AQ.  Meaning all of his hopes were on hitting a flush, and its my opinion, whether you have the ace or not, betting all of your chips on a flush draw when your getting reraised huge, 5 hands into a SNG tourney, is a shitty play, and I think you will lose more than you win!


    Now theres one more hand.  This one isnt so mysterious cause its a play right out of my books, and Im just shocked to have fallen for it.  The guy played me like a sucker, and I thought I was gonna destroy him!

    Half way through a six seater.  Ive been playing kind of tight.  On the button again.  I think theres 4 people left.  Dude is first to act.  He calls 400.  I have 67of spades.  Im the dealer and Id like to squeeze out these other two blinds and have it just between me and dude for this pot.  I like my hidden hand.  I have a fair stack of chips, so I make it a simple 1200.  3xbb.  Small blind folds, big blind calls, dude calls.  we see the flop.

    5spades, Ace of clubs, 8hearts.  Ive got an open end straight draw, exactly the reason I played this hand.  first guy checks, dude bets small, like 1000.  The pots 4800 with his bet in.  Lets try something, I think.  I raise to 2800.  Maybe silly?  But its a nice question asking bet, and it will payoff if I hit my straight!  and I can afford it at this point.  


    first guy folds, dude calls.  Ok, hes got the ace.  unless he has 67 like me, hes got an ace.  The turn comes.  9 of spades.  BOOM!  Ive got my hand 🙂  plus its another spade, I could hit a back-door flush.  This guys got more chips than me, I want to reel his ass in slowly now, and not make him fold if thats possible. However in retrospect, winning that pot alone would have sufficed just fine!

    He checks.  Checks?  Seems kind of weak.  Must be a small ace? A7? A2?  unless hes trying to reel me in with AA or 88 but if thats the case i can play along cause Ive got any trips beaten thus far.  My mistake here maybe, was not betting very big.  I wanted to keep him in hand, I saw the potential to win just about all of his chips if I played it right.


    theres 10400 in the pot now.  Hes checked it to me.  I have the nut straight.  Nothing could go wrong here.  He has an ace, Im sure of it!  I bet half the pot, 5200.  He calls casually.  The river brings the ace of fucking spades.  A back-door flush!  Theres no way he saw this coming!  Hes got his shitty ace, now is when I make it look like Im happy with my hand and I want him to think I have an ace too.  And I know he has one, so I think hell call anything.  pot was over 20000 now, and cant remember but I had maybe 7 thousand left.  He checks!  Even I almost believed I had an ace when i pushed all in, but I improved from a straight to a flush, it felt good already, I was smiling!


    Dude calls and turns over his cards.  A5offsuit.  Two pair right from the flop.  Full house on the river.  played me like a turkey when I thought I was playing him like a little bitch right from the start!  Good work to him, I must say.  Nice hand.  Well maybe not a nice hand, but well played.  Small bet on the flop, check the turn, call my bets, check the river?  Ballsy, but right out of my playbook.  He must have hoped I had ak or aq.  Im sure he was surprised of my hand too, to see I had a straight AND a flush.  Im sure he was like, holy shit man, I thought you had an ace for sure!  It was tricky of me, and I thought I had him so bad, but turns out we were tricking each other, and when the river paired the board, he got the best of me.  

    I dont think he wouldhave folded on the turn if I went all in.  I had about 12k left after the turn, the pot was around 10k, and he must have had about 15k.  I think again, I was doomed all along.  But it was an exciting hand that wouldve been the play of the day most definitely had the board not paired, or if he had AK himself.  

    Either way, I havent been winning much at all since these two hands!  

Read more…


AK limp

Its always exciting to pick up an AK.  Youre usually going to get a little more money in the pot, from just about any position, right?  Especially if your only up against one or two limping opponents.  And if your short stacked, theres a damn good chance your gonna be all in preflop with this hand.
But how about this scenario?


You have 1000 chips left.  The guy to your right is a complete fish, and somehow, hes the chip leader.  The guy to your left is decent, and hes beginning to run out of chips himself, with say, 1600. Your the last 3 at the table, and top two positions pay. Youre on the big blind and you have AKoff.  800 left in your stack as the blinds are 100/200. The dealer folds, and the small blind limps in.


Now here’s the kicker.  The fish to your right has played tonnes of pots.  Hes accumulated that stack by calling raises with shitty hands out of position, and getting lucky. Now, you know its likely he has a trash hand, and going all in with AK here will be profitable most of the time. But since your up against an opponent who is eager to get you out of the tournament, and has shown awful calls the entire game, theres a great chance he will call you with any two cards. Normally, this is good, but consider the worst.  


This scenario happened to me, and many like it happen all the time.  The actual hand played out with me going all in AK, and the fish limper calls, he shows 10 8 offsuit.  Flop is 44Q.  Turn is 6.  river is 10.  He wins, Im out. Fucking rivered me.  

Im thinking, in a scenario like this, it may be better to not go all in with a call-station.  Surely if I just checked and saw the flop, and then shoved all in, he would have no reason to call, and Id win the pot and stay alive another hand.  


Its a hard decision, AK, its a dominating hand, but if someone calls your all in, they are committed until the river.  It may be better to raise small or call or check, and then bluff on the flop.  If by then they dont hit their shitty hands, they would most likely fold.  But theres always the possibility that they have 74 and the flop comes 4J2.  You go all in on that and theyre sure to call.  Its a tough tough decision.  But its something to think about.   Myself, next time I am up against a call-station who limps to my blind and I have short stack and AK, I will min raise and all in at flop. or check and all in.  


Heres another scenario, happened to me this morning.  Id won 2 tourneys in a row, on a roll I was!  4 or 5 hands in, I haven’t played a hand yet.  I forget my position but I had AKoff.  The guy to my left had a little fish picture from when I tagged him as a chump on a previous day.  Everyone at the table limped in for 20 and I raised it to 100, making the pot 220. Fish-boy called and so did the guy to my right.  

Flop :  6d Ah Jd. No one bet so I bet 175.  They both call.  hmmm..

Turn is a King of clubs.  No one bets.  the pot is 745.  I started the hand with a full stack of 1500.  I bet 375.  Fish-boy calls, guy to my right goes all in.  Are you kidding?  KK limp?  KJ?  TQ?

I call and fish-boy calls, were all-all in!  Guy to my right shows his inferior AJ two pair.  Ive got him with AK two pair.  Fish-boy shows Q3diamonds!!  Seriously buddy?  bet your whole stack on the hopes of a river diamond?  Fucking 2 of diamonds on the river, fish-boy takes us both out and rakes in 4500 chips.  I cant believe he played that, and kept calling.

What a joke.  If you play like that, you’re an idiot.

Fight the Variance!

Does this sound familiar? 9Tsuited, spades, on the button.  Best hand you’ve seen in a while. Throw in a healthy raise, and get two callers.  Flop comes 9h 4d Qh, buddy bets half the pot, next guy raises all in.  You fold, and the other guy calls and shows TJoff, and the all inner shows Ah 4h.  Turn comes 6c and the river comes 9d. Sound about right?
Next hand you get the 9h and the 4d from the last flop, and you fold that junk to a couple of limpers. The flop comes 4h 4s Jc, everyone checks and your nine hits the turn, its a club.  At this point people start betting, and a healthy pot welcomes the river card – the king of clubs.
 People go crazy, and once everyone turn over there cards, you see a 10Qoff with a straight, you see 78clubs with a flush, you even see a 77 call.  The flush takes down a massive pot and your wishing you’d have called with that shitty hand, if only!  You would surely be the tournament leader at this point.


A few hands later you have QQ in early position, spades and clubs.  Someone min raised to open, and you make it 4 times more expensive.  Everyone folds except the raiser.  The flop comes 6h Td 2d.  Buddy checks and you bet 3/4 the pot. He calls and the turn brings a king of diamonds.  Its a scary card, and the guy now bets to you, but he bets a pretty small amount.  You choose to call as a safe bet. The river comes a Qd.  now what?  Youve hit your set, and you have a lot invested in this pot.  But theres a nice flush on board, theres a straight possibility, or he could have pocket kings.  He bets about half the pot.  You have a great hand here and a lot invested.  Theres a good chance he has the flush, but he may just have AK or KQ.  if he has KQ he doesnt have the diamond, and you should win.  If he had the ace he may have went all in.  

  You make the call and see he has the Ad, and the Ts.  its pretty sick, and you start thinking how you couldve played it differently.  “Should have raised his bet on the turn.  Should have raised more before the flop.  Should have folded when the fourth diamond hit. ”  Theres a million scenarios you run through, and it doesnt leave your mind for the next few hands,  possibly even days.

Youre crippled now, and waiting for that all in hand. Folding all the trash. on small blind you see J7h.  Is this it? someone makes a min raise and you either call for 1/4 of your stack or go all in with this hand.  You fold, and start to cry when the flop comes T89. again people start to bet big, and by the end of the hand, you see your J7 wouldve held up and quadrupled your stack.

Finally its your turn to open the pot in mid position, about 6bb left, you go all in with AQs.  Everyone folds but the bb and sb. Small blind has a huge stack and bb has about 15bb left.  When its all said and done, you have nothing more than ace high, while sb shows 55 and bb shows A7off, and his 7 takes the pot.


If your anything like me, you cant forget about this tournament, and find yourself questioning whether or not your as good as you think you are.  In the end, I usually replay everything in my head and decide that it was horrible luck and mathematically incorrect plays on my opponents part’s.  Being on bb, someone goes all in short-stacked and the small blind calls? Id really question a call with a7off, considering Ive played tight and showed great cards most of the tourney, I guess the pot odds are in his favor, call 5 big blind to possibly win 13, but I would never make that call. 

Other variables are the small blinds recent game, what he would call with, how he plays and his stack size.  The big blind had 15bb, and one bb in the pot. After calling he had 10bb left to play with. A call was horrible in my opinion, with such a short stack, and a raise and a call before him by short and huge stacks, out of position.  His only moves there were fold or all in.  The call worked out for him this time, but that call is going to hurt his game more than help it over time, and my notes on him will describe that situation to exploit his weakness in any future games versus him.


For someone to open with AToff in early position with a raise and get reraised 4xbb, this is also a questionable call.  He is out of position, a reraise with any A will usually dominate AT, and any high pocket pair is quite favorable over this hand. Hitting the T on the flop was quite unlucky for this guy as it gives him a reason to continue spending chips on the hand with the false belief he is on top here. The fourth diamond on the river was a miracle card for him, and that scenario will save him probably 1 in 30 times.  I dont know the math, but Im sure its at least that bad. And the way I see it, the one time it saved him was the one time I was involved in the hand, and the luck factor reached into to a pile of millions of squirmy little card players and pinned me up in the spotlight and took control of the fate of my hand, and chose to help the evil enemy in his attempt to fish out his drawing hand.  


To new poker players, or experienced fun-players who never sought any more information about the skill factor, variance is a huge part of the game. Variance is the amount that something changes from time to time, in this case, luck. Basically, in a poker sense, it means that no matter how often you play something perfect, there will inexorably be a time period that comes and goes where your perfection is simply not good enough.  Its the times where your AA loses to KKK. Its the times where your JJ loses to 55 on a 4673T board.  In these cases Ive described, where everything seems to go wrong, one might suggest that upon recognition of the dark variance cloud hovering over you, that switching your game up might prove beneficial. Play the QQ hands the same way because it would be silly not to, but maybe play the 94off hands, and the J3’s and the A7’s. This is not something Ive tried but I am definitely considering it, as Ive lost with KQ to K2 too many times these past few days.


I like to compare it to a womans menstrual cycle.  Maybe its once a month, maybe it last about a week. For some people it can be every 3 months, and last 3 weeks or so.  It depends on how much you play.  Ive even read somewhere that it can be a random entire month out of a year. But if you dont recognize it, that month can deplete your entire bankroll.  The only certain thing is that it will happen to you, no matter what.  The best thing to do in my opinion when you see the clouds rolling in, is stop playing completely.  I myself can not do that as I am addicted to poker, so the next best thing to do is lower your stakes.  If you play 10 dollar sng’s, join a few games for 5 dollars or 3 dollars instead. If your playing the lowest games already, maybe cut your game amount in half, or switch your strategy completely.  Fight the variance!


The good news is, that it will come back in your favor eventually.  You will be the one all in preflop with JJ up against KK and you will flop quads.  You will catch straights that you have no business catching, and every once in a while that 4th diamond on the river will save your ass. Just make sure your not hoping for these straights and miracle flushes when you have your chips in the middle, cause that puts you on the fish side of the fence in my books 😉

Light in the Tunnel


3 hands in.. 6 man sit n go. Buddy to my right has played all 3 hands, and now hes first to act.He opens with a min raise to 40.  I look down at 33. I don’t want all the other people limping in for 40, but 33 isn’t that strong of a hand.  I chose to make it 100. Everyone folds but him, and thats exactly what I wanted. He calls and the flop comes A38. Normally this would be great, except that they are all clubs. He checks it to me, and if I am going to win this hand, now is my chance. The pot is 230. I believe in making you pay a good price if your gonna chase a flush. (assuming you dont already have one) I bet 275. Maybe a suspicious bet? Yes I’m sure it was. But he called.


The turn card was a club. NOT what I wanted to see. I was quite sure this guy didn’t have a flush already on the flop, and my best guess was that he was protecting his ace from my flush draw, or or he had the queen or king of clubs. He checked it to me again. the pot was 780 now and I had a ten or eleven hundred left. I requested more time and thought hard as I could. My options were to bet, which would then fork into the decision of to bet high or go all in, or bet really low to confuse him, or to check it to the river card and see if I can pair the board while leaving me looking weak. In the end I opted to bet cause after all, I have a set that dominates any ace or two pair he could have, it eliminates any weakness i may have shown, and gives me a chance to win the pot right there. And my hand can still improve to a full house which would just about guarantee a swell payoff.


The thing that worried me was his call of my first over-bet. and maybe that’s where I went wrong. I chose to bet 350. He took a long time and eventually called. I should have got out of the hand right then and there. I should have bet really small on the flop. I see this now. There’s a lot of talk going around right now about benefits of smaller betting habits, and Ive been exercising this for a while now. I dont know what changed in me today, maybe it was the fact that Ive been rivered twice already today and again with the AK-suited vs ATs and short-stacked all in only to lose to a ten on the turn.


Oh, and this one – the fish lady who calls everything right to the river sucking hands left and right from peoples pockets and sets. I raise her bb with k9clubs she calls for 2.5xbb, Flop is A clubs, 5 heart, j clubs. I bet 3/4 pot size she calls. Turn comes 5 clubs. I have my flush I go all in and she calls with 75off, and hits a 7 on the river for a full house. Pull my fucking hair out!

But back to the original hand, after analyzing my mistakes in this hand, I see the river is a queen of clubs, a five club board. (hmm, I’m realizing now the popularity of club flushes today) he doesn’t take long to go all in, and at this point Ive invested so much into this hand, and become so frustrated that i have to call. I have to see, even if its just so i can note this guy accurately. I splash my chips in there and show my set of threes hoping for a split at best, but he shows the king of clubs, and the queen of…….diamonds. Thank you for the notes, your welcome for my money, see you next time, fuckface!


Now that pisses me off. Yes I should have bet lower on the flop. or maybe I should’ve bet higher preflop? Something tells me he would have called any amount if it boiled down to me and him. But the odds of hitting a 4th club on the turn are very heavy against. Implied odds are great, yes, and maybe he would’ve folded if the turn was a heart and I bet huge. Ill never know, but if your going to chase implied odds all day for bets higher than the current pot, your going to be reloading pretty quick.

Its a good thing poker is online these days, because I picture myself taking many of the suckout beats I do, in live casino play, and I’m sure I would’ve been dragged out by security a few times for jumping across the table to rip some faces off.


I must have played 10 games yesterday, and got first four times, and second 3 times, and lost the others. Today Ive played four games, and I haven’t placed once. The only thing keeping me going today is the fact that when Ive lost all my chips, it was to someone who had a lesser hand than me before the flop, who made a bad call somewhere that payed off like fish-flakes. Ive taken a break for the last hour and written this instead of tilting. Lets see if it helps..


Well its been an interesting day at the tables. I got first place the very next game I played, but I continued losing after that. I did however, grab two more second places. But along the way were some interesting conversations. First, I played a 6man tourney and did ok. A girl got knocked out early and stuck around to keep chatting to her friend, a guy from Luxembourg. Small talk, but she stuck around for a long time and then left for a while.

When she came back it was me and the Lux guy left. She was asking him to play another game after. He told her “sure, but it might take a while, I have a good opponent here.” After a second or two he continued “I find myself wondering why he is not playing higher stakes.”  I was glad to hear that and intrigued, so I began talking to him. “Really? you think so?” Turns out he was a high stakes player who only went to low stakes to play a few games with the lady. So I was really complimented well. I took his stack once with a nice checkraise but he eventually beat me.

We played another game together, all three of us, and talked a lot, and he told me about his poker winnings and how i should be playing higher, and I explained to him my extra cautious bankroll management system. But it was a great compliment, good for my morale on this losing day, and I’m sure ill see him at the higher tables soon 🙂


After that, a while later on, I sat at another 6 man table. Waiting for entrants to arrive this other guy asked me if I played four hours ago. I told him Id been playing almost 8 hours now. Then I asked why, and he told me he remembered the notes he wrote about me but not my name. I asked him what his notes said, expecting him to laugh and not tell me, but he told me they said shark, watch out! Again I was totally complimented! The girl from earlier was also in this sng, and we made it to the final 2. Going heads up, she said to me straight up “you’re a good player.” I complimented her back as she was also good.

3 compliments in one day, on my worst day in a long time. I must say I feel a lot better. I lost to her eventually when I checked a 3 spaded flop 10 being the highest card, I had ace ten offsuit, no spades. she had JToff, jack of spades. I checked, she bet most of her stack and I put her all in. Of course, the turn was a spade. She apologized and said goodnight. Maybe I will play higher stakes tomorrow, but for the rest of the night, Im gonna keep it low as luck isn’t much on my side on this day..

%d bloggers like this: