Archive Nov 2006: Getting Even

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So much for that session. Thanks, Tilt.

Had a nice session on Full Tilt last night for about two hours...until these little gems hit just about back to back.

First, my straight gets swamped by a boat at the river. All the money was in on the turn.

Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players

Pre-flop: (6 players) EdmondDantes is BB with K Q
UTG raises to $3.5, 4 folds, EdmondDantes calls $2.5 (pot was $5).

Flop: J 6 T ($7.5, 2 players)
EdmondDantes checks, UTG bets $5, EdmondDantes raises to $22.5, UTG raises to $45, EdmondDantes calls $17.5 (pot was $70).

Turn: A ($97.5, 2 players)
EdmondDantes checks, UTG is all-in $56.1, EdmondDantes calls $56.1 (pot was $153.6).

River: T ($209.7, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $209.7)

Final pot: $209.7
EdmondDantes showed Kh Qh
UTG showed 6d 6h

Then, a nifty two outer from the turn for $300.

Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $1/$2
6 players

Pre-flop: (6 players) EdmondDantes is BB with A A
2 folds, CO raises to $7, 2 folds, EdmondDantes raises to $22, CO calls.

Flop: 2 T Q ($45, 2 players)
EdmondDantes bets $35, CO calls.

Turn: T ($115, 2 players)
EdmondDantes is all-in $143.5, CO calls all-in $106.85.
Uncalled bets: $36.65 returned to EdmondDantes.

River: Q ($328.7, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $328.7)

Final pot: $328.7
EdmondDantes showed Ad As
CO showed Ah Qs

If I could find something in this cell to kill myself with, I would. Ugh.


Home Game Tournament(s)

Played in a couple tournaments last night in my regular home game. In the first, a $10 buy-in six-handed, winner-take-all, single table donk-n-go, I felted in 6th place when my trip As nine kicker got derailed by trip As jack kicker confirming yet again that Ax hands below AQ are like high school cheerleaders, fun to look at but likely to end up flaking on you. As a general rule, I stay away from the likes of AT and A9 but rationalized playing them here because we were short-handed (6 players) and the blind structure was steep. So much for that.

The second was a $40 buy-in (one allowed rebuy) single table tournament with nine players. I managed to take third in that one on the back of a couple of interesting hands. First, late in the tournament I savaged the same player who bounced me from the first tournament when my KK filled up on the turn. Interestingly, he didn't reraise my pre-flop raise with his jacks. I'm an advocate of reraising with JJ and QQ preflop; I'm happy to take the pot down right there and not face the 50%+ chance I'll be seeing overcards on the flop.

Odds of overcards to your pocket pair hitting the flop

And if I do get repopped, I can pretty much get away from my hand if I'd like. In any event, he didn't reraised and smooth called my EP raise from the button. Flop was 44x; I potted the flop, he called. I boated on the turn when a K hit and checked. He checked behind. When a blank fell on the river, I pushed and he insta-called off all but 200 or so of his chips. That pretty much put me in good shape for the next couple of rounds. Hand #2 showed up when we were four-handed with the blinds at 400/800. With a 9-10k stack, I pushed from under the gun with 77. The big stack called and, amazingly, the short stack at the table called. We showed down 77 v AQo (the big stack) v 22 (the short stack). The AQ prevailed when the board came a nauseating T9KK9 counterfeiting my 7s. Fortunately, the 22 player had a shorter stack so I pocketed $80 for coming in 3rd. After the hand, I was talking with a friend about the lack of awareness of the money position by the 22 player. Given my pushing range and the quick call by the big stack, you'd think he'd sense one of us had a pocket pair and he was in tough shape. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Overall, not a bad session, up a little bit and happy with my play. Except the A9 hand. Still kicking myself over that one!

Hustler Wednesday Night Tournament

I played the Hustler Wednesday night tournament tonight. For those of you who haven't played it, it's a $150 buy-in with a $25 fee, no rebuy freezeout that draws around 110 entrants and pays 9-10 spots. The tournament has a decent structure; you start with 2000 chips and the level times are 25 minutes. You have to get active early, though, because the jump around level 5 (from 100/200/25 ante to 200/400/50 ante) is brutal. Fortunately, tonight I had the good fortune of getting cards. Not that it mattered.

I got there a little late (the tournament starts at 7p and they seat until 7:30 or so) and sat midway through level 1. On my 3rd or 4th hand in, I was UTG with AA with the blinds now at 25/50. I raised to 200 hoping I'd get some loose action behind me and was pleased when MP player pushed for another 1500 or so and a 3rd player re-raised all-in behind him. I called instantly and tripled up when my AA held v QQ and JJ. Nice start.

A few hands later, I raised in late position with AKs and the BB pushed for another 1000 or so more. I called and added another 1500 or so to my stack when my AK held versus his ATs.

At that point I was content to fold for a while, but within three orbits I had AA again in mid position. With the blinds now at 100/200/no ante, I raised to 600. The big stack directly to my left called and one of the blinds pushed for another 1500. With action back to me, I contemplated a minor re-raise, but decided I might get some loose action from the big stack. I pushed, hoping he'd think I was trying to isolate with a weaker holding and call. He went into the tank and folded (confiding later that he held T5s) and my AA held versus a smaller pair.

At this point, I was the big stack at the table and managed to add chips with a UTG raise with AKs and a BB raise with ATs with 3 limpers in the pot. I also avoided some trouble with top pair in the BB, playing cautiously and ducking a flopped straight by another player. I felt good about my stack size and table image with a well-above average stack and blinds moving up.

The the trouble started. At level 7, with the blinds were 300/600/75 ante, I was in the cutoff with KQs and made it 2500 to go. The button pushed (ugh!) and I called off another 2200 on a 6500 chip pot, hoping I'd see an underpair. He showed JJ (not so bad) and a lovely Q hit the flop. Unfortunately, a gruesome J hit the turn and I was beaten down to 4000 chips, slightly below average. I'm fine with the play but the result was definitely a bummer.

With the blinds where they were, the carnage was widespread and within minutes, my table broke and I was seated in the big blind at my new table. Action folded to the button (the big stack), who limped. The small blind (a short stack) pushed for 1500 and I looked down and found AJs. I pushed hoping for some folding equity and was relieved when the button folded. Unfortunately, the SB showed AQo v my AJs, and with no help on the board I was getting closer to the felt. I folded my SB (K2s) to an EP push and figured the next decent hand I had I'd push. I didn't have to wait long; on the very next hand I found myself with AKo on the button (nice!). When the cut-off (again the big stack at the table) raised to 1800, I welcomed the action and pushed. I was a little disheartened, though, when the big blind pushed behind me for another 4000 more. WTF? The big stack called and we showed my AKo v 66 (big blind) v the big stack's KTo. I hated seeing one of my outs in another hand but under the circumstances, I'd take it. The flop was AWESOME...AAx...two clubs. Unfortunately, the turn and river were horrid, running clubs to give the 66 a winning flush. I was out in 26th place or so.

Overall, I was happy with my play and I can't complain about not having cards. Of the 100+ hands I saw, I had AA twice, AK three times, ATs and AJs once each, KQs, KQo and AQo (I folded the KQo and AQo) to some nasty pre-flop action, A9s, 77, 44 and KJo. I also folded at least 3-4 other Ax hands pre-flop. But it just goes to show, that you really do need a little luck in these tournaments. Maybe next week.

Keep digging,


Live at the Hustler

I went to the Hustler the other night to check out some of the NL cash games. I sat in a $500 min buy-in (I bought in for $1000)...blinds were $5/$10. Hands of the night for me were as follows.

#1. UTG with AA. It had been an active table so I limp. Sure enough, there's a MP raiser to $30...two callers. Back to me...I reraise to $200. Two folds and the BB, who had called the $30...pushed. I called. He turned over A3o (ok then) and I took down a nice $600 pot. I was the only one all night who limped reraised. I would have done it EVERY time I had JJ+ in EP.

#2. 88 on the DB. An EP raiser to $40 had two callers. I called for $40. Flop came K68 (nice!), two spades. EP raiser bet $ caller...$120 to me to call...roughly $400 in the pot. I reraised $300 more (concerned about the flush draw). Both guys looked disgusted and folded.

#3. Couple hands later I'm UTG+1 with JJ. Asian guy (one of the disgusted caller/folders in hand #2 above) put on a $20 straddle. I make it $80 to go. Three callers! Flop comes Qxx, and I lead out with $200 stack of chips. I wouldn't advocate a continuation bet here with all those callers, but I felt pretty strongly my JJ was good (I wouldn't have fired at a A or K flop). Everyone looked disgusted and folded to the Asian guy that bought the straddle. He looked like he wanted to skin me alive...and folded. Note: I've played with him in a tournament before; he's very active PF.

Overall, I finished up about $1200 over my original $1000 buy-in. At his table, my friend Rick finished up $103 on his original $50 buy-in.

Couple of things I noted.

#1. It's a 9-handed table and 4-5 person pots were common. I was the tightest player at the table. Two other guys were almost as tight; very easy to duck them when they came into a pot.

#2. I saw people calling PF raises with K7o, T9o, A7s, 43s, etc. When I reraised hard PF with hands...AK a couple of times, JJ, etc....or on the was pretty disruptive. The only hand I showed down all night was the all-in AA v A3o.

#3. Guys repeatedly paid off A high flops. AKx flop. KQ calls to the river. Dude, WTF? Didn't you see the A on board and the PF raiser betting out the flop, turn and river?

#4. I think the ability to fire a second bullet (the turn bet) is important. Everyone seemed to call the flop bet whether they have a piece of it or not. 4th hand of the night, I raised with AK. Had one caller. Figure $100 in the pot. I whiff the flop but bet $100 at Q high flop. He calls (note that when guys had something, a draw, a piece of the flop, an underpair, etc., they call almost immediately in this game). Not that it matters, but the guy is some cheesy dude with an open shirt, no t-shirt, goatee and sunglasses, with an unlit cigar in his mouth. Seems to know everyone, casino manager, dealer, couple of other players, etc. In any event, I get the sense he's got something (but not much) and if I fire again, I'm good. I whiff the turn, but pause and state "Two hundred." and move a stack forward. He insta-folds.

#5. Guys bet straight and flush draws aggressively, i.e. reraising with them. And fishing for flushes was common. Q5d with two diamonds on the flop? To the river we go! Also, every time a third of a suit would hit, 2-3 guys would recheck their pocket cards. I personally think its much easier to play against the three flush card board when you're pretty sure your opponent only has 1 underneath.

#6. Guys don't respect the concept of a kicker. I saw A7 and A5 duking it out to the river. Likewise KT v K8. One hand early on, two guys were both playing a 5. Board was 5779Q. At showdown, one guy says, "I have a 5." The other guy says "How big?" The other says, "56." The guy who asked then checks his hand and says, "You're good" and mucks. He later confided that he made a mistake; he didn't even have a 5. $200 pot...betting what he THOUGHT he had.

Overall, it's a soft game, and the guy to my left, who says he plays there a lot, said it wasn't as good as it usually is. Put differently, I think the 9-handed $5/10 game on Bodog is somewhat tougher.

Keep digging.


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