I guess I've been playing no limit hold em for a little over 2 years now. (This is my first blog entry ever, so forgive me if I ramble.) For the last several months I've been working to improve my betting skills. I really feel like that area of my game has significantly improved recently, although, I'll be the first to admit I was really
bad at betting for at least the first year or so that I played. After lots of coaching from my husband and a couple other good players at our regular game, and reading various poker magazines and books, I thought I was getting it. Well, this weekend, I seemed to have lost my mind. I regressed for some reason.
The first poorly played hand for me was at Argosy's $1/3 NL game on Saturday night. I bought in for $200 and won a couple smaller pots early on in the session, lost a few bets here and there. I wasn't too bad off, really. I looked down at QQ, raised to $15, picked up 2 callers. The flop was completely ragged, no real draws or over-cards. It was checked to me, so I bet out $25. 2 callers. The turn card could have made a bad straight for someone and for some reason, I checked. I immediately regretted my decision. The next guy checks, the guy after him bets out $75. It was my turn to act and I sat there for a minute and mucked my hand. If I were to have called that bet, it would have left me with around $35. The kid after me also folded. As soon as I folded I knew I had that guy beaten. I don't know why I folded. I should have pushed. The guy with what I presume was ace-high would have had to call and barring an ace showing up on the river, I'm pretty sure I would have taken that pot down.
I played for a couple more hours and my stack was up and down. I got back to even at one point, but wasn't finished playing then. Fairly late in the session I picked up 7-8
. At this point, I was right around $110. There were no raises and I limped in for $3. The flop was 7-8-x, giving me 2 pairs. First to act bets out $15. I think there were 2 callers between him and me. I thought about it for a minute and suspected the bettor may be on a straight draw. Since there was no raise pre-flop, it was entirely likely that he was playing something like 5-6 or 9-10. So, like an idiot, I smooth called. Yeah, great move. But it gets better. The turn is a 9. First to act bets $75, gets a caller before me and then, being the brillian player I was being that night, I push the rest of my stack in with 2 pair up agains what I know now is a made straight. Of course they both call the additional $15 or $20 and away goes my stack for the evening. I was disgusted with myself. Any other night, I would have rebought, but in light of my donk-tastic moves, I decided that I should probably just call it a night. I got up and went over to my husband's table and let him know I was ready to go when he was. Thankfully, he was having a good night and he more than made up for my $200 loss.
Sunday we went to our regular cash home game. There always seems to be lots of money flying around there and it's a fun game with mostly good players and a couple any-two-cards people mixed in for good measure. I was down just a little bit when I picked up Q
in the small blind. I raised to $15 and got 4 callers. The flop was 2-3-9 with two
s. My husband, at the opposite end of the table, bets $25. I'm not sure what he has, but I call along with a couple others. The turn card was a blank and it was checked to me where I bet $50. I got one caller, who I suspected was probably on a flush draw. The river, also a blank. I bet $100. He folded fairly quickly. I was happy enough to take down a pretty good sized pot there, but everyone was teasing me about my big bet on the river and they said that if I was worried about the flush, I should have raised the $25 bet on the flop. I decided they were probably right and moved on.
Another hand I had 8-9 o/s and limped in with $3 and there were at least 4 other limpers. The flop was Q-J-10, giving me the straigt. My husband bet out $15. The guy after him called, and I called. I can't remember if there were people after me who called, but I realized what a huge mistake I had made after the ace showed up on the turn. Oye! He bets out $40, next to act folds. I thought about it and ended up laying it down. I was sure he had a king and I turned over my lower-end straight and mucked my cards. One guy told me it was a good lay down, then my husband told me I should have raised him on the flop when I had the made hand. I agreed. I don't think I'll make that mistake again anytime soon.
Case in point: I limp in with K-J o/s, with a bunch of other limpers. The flop is x-A-Q. No one bets. I'm thinking, "cool, all I need is a 10 on the turn!" Low and behold, it shows up. I bet out $10 into a pot of about 18 white chips. Next to act min-raises to $20, husband calls. It's folded around to me and I grabbed a stack of reds and raised it to $120. Fold. Fold. They were dying laughing at the table. Actually I was too. What a move to raise everyone out of the pot with the nut straight. Once again, there was a flush draw on the board, but, still they thought my bet was too big. And it was, I'm sure of it.
Well I think that about covers my weird hands for this weekend. I ended up cashing out $451 last night, which put me up $51 for the weekend. Not my best showing by far, but at least I made up for the night before plus a tiny bit of profit. I guess I need to get a little deeper in the bet-size chapter of Sklansky's "No Limit Hold 'em Theory and Practice". Okay, I need to re-read it.