Archive Dec 2008: Poker Talk

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More live poker...

First things first... in my last blog entry I recapped the beginning of several hands without discussing my actions. In summary (not sure if order matches the original post):

1) I had 9ts and the flop came J8x with two of my suit. EP raised, I RR and two guys went all-in. I assumed that my flush outs were likely dead, but called given that I was getting over 4.5 on my call so I felt that my straight outs and maybe even my 9 and T made it a close call. I missed my flush and straight outs but the turn was a T. Turns out both of my opponents were drawing to a flush and I won the $1800 pot!

2) I raised from the blind PF with QQ and an early position limper RR. I put him all-in and lost to his KK.

3) I called a river check-raise with JJ which was an overpair to the board and he had been playing 69 and hit his straight. I just couldn't put him on that hand given that he called my RR PF and called a substantial flop raise with a gut-shot. This was a bad call by mean in hindsight.

4) I called a huge flop push RR with bottom two on a two to a flush board with an A. I felt my read that he was on a draw was spot on and I was right. He hit his flush on the river and I lost a $1600 pot. My call was not the best because I didn't factor in that he probably had top pair with the flush draw which actually made him a slight favorite. I didn't have much in the pot at this point so there really wasn't any reason to flip for some many chips at that point.

I went back to the Hustler on Monday night to play the weekly tournament. It's a $190 buy-in with 100 runners. Nothing much to report. I was fairly card dead for the first 3 levels but managed to chip up from the $6k starting stack to $7k without ever playing a pot past the flop.

On the fourth level I raised from early position with KQ and had one caller from MP. The flop came Qxx all clubs. I had no club. I raised, my opponent pushed which was a big overbet. I decided that he had to have the Ac. He would have RR with AQ PF and usually doesn't pushes with the flush unless it's a low one. Perhaps he pushes with trips here. If I fold I'm down to 20BB and will be at 10-15 soon when the blinds go back up. In a deeper/slower tournament I probably fold but I felt that I needed to gamble and this opponent was very capable of pushing with one club. Turns out that I was right about his gamble, but wrong about this situation. Turns out that he called my 700 PF raise (blinds were 100/200/50) with K2s and had made his flush!

I next played a $5/5 cash game. On the second hand I hit a set on the turn and just called a EP raise with two players behind me. The board was extremely non-coordinated so I was too worried about anyone drawing out on me. One opponent hit a gut shot on the river and I lost $200. He was on my case for letting him get there. Very annoying. Should I have RR on the turn? I guess it's one option, but I liked the call given that someone behind me could RR, I wanted more in the pot and I just didn't feel anyone was very strong at that point.

I then decided not to reload and play short-stacked with about $200. Nothing much happened for the next hour until...

I'm in LP and there's a $10 straddle, an EP raiser to $20 and 3 callers and I look down at JJ. I push. The straddle guy thinks for a while and calls as does one other player. The 2nd player shows A9 and he just hits his 9. The straddle guy proclaims that he hit a runner-runner straight and turns over 56o. So he calls my $200 EP raise with 56o. I was proud of myself for remaining calm when he tells the table that he just makes calls like that against certain types of players. I ask him what kind of players are that, but he really doesn't answer so I just walk away and try to forgot about it.

Fun night. Got to love poker!

Volatile NL Cash session at Hustler Casino -- Hand help welcome

I haven't played any poker in a few months and was really missing it so decided to head over to the Hustler on Friday night. The session was extremely volatile. I played the $5/5 $300-500 NL game. I think I may of been a bit too aggressive, at least that was the opinion of most in the game. I received lots of 'I can't believe you called' type reactions. I would like your opinion of a few hands.

For the most part, things started off very standard. I wasn't dealt much, but the table was very passive for the first two hours I managed to double my stack without ever seeing a showdown. I played fairly tight, but would take down pots with well-timed bets when it was clear that people were not happy with their hands.

As the night progressed, better players sat down. Nobody was super aggressive. It was one of those tables with lots of limping, straddles, and most $20-30 preflop bets would get called by 2-3 people. Especially if there was one or two limpers before the PF bet.

Hand 1:I have JJ in LP. One limper in front of me, I make it $35 and the BB and limper come along. Flop T72 rainbow. Checked to me and I make it $100, original limper calls.

Turn 8. Checked to me and I make it $175. Limper check-raises all-in. I have about $300 left.

Hand 2: I have 9Ts on buttom. $10 straddle. Three limpers in front of me, I call, blinds call. Flop comes Js8c4s. EP makes it $100. I raise to $250 with straight and flush draws. SB goes all-in for $500. He takes a while to decide and makes it clear that he's on a draw -- so there is a good chance that my flush draw is no good. A second player, with about $600 left pushes. I have them both covered, so it's $350 to me. Your move?

Hand 3: $10 straddle, three limpers. I have QQ, I make it $100. Folds to first limper. He raises to $250. He has another $500 behind. I have him covered. He is an aggressive asian player. I have seen him call big raises with very average hands. Have seen one bluff caught. Have never seen him limp with a big hand. Your move?

Hand 4: Two limpers, button makes it $20, SB calls, I call from SB with Q8s. BB folds. Both limpers call. Flop comes AQ8 two hearts. First limper makes it $100. Folds to button who pushes his $700 stack. I have him covered. I tank for a while. The button is also very aggressive, but thoughtful. We have been sitting next to each other for two hours and I think I have a good feel for his game. He had just showed a big bluff a few hands before. He also won a huge multi-way all-in pot early on when he raised bit on the flop with TT, two people pushed and he called. He ended up sucking out on river and then justified to everyone his call based on odds. I didn't agree with him, but didn't say anything. I had also stacked him about 30 minutes earlier with two pair to his TPTK.

This is a huge overbet and I don't see him doing anything like this with AQ or trips. A hand like AK with two hearts seems most likely to me. I even showed him my hand since he was all-in to get a read. I received static from the first $100 raiser since he was still in the hand. I probably shouldn't have done that but I was trying to get a read and felt it would help. In fact, I did sense that he was very uncomfortable when he saw my hand. I also felt that the first raiser was not going to play this hand based on a few things he said while he waiting for me. The problem here is even if my read is correct, I'm still a flip, but if he just has AK I'm in good shape. Thoughts?

60 Minutes Absolute Poker Scandal Feature

60 Minutes finally ran the feature on the Absolute Poker Scandal. You can watch the video and read a summary of the story here.

Adanthar is featured in the story and comes across as very knowledgeable. Good job, Serge!

Not sure if the story is good for online poker. I actually wish they didn't run it because my gut tells me that any momentum there might have been to ease the regs for online poker will only be hurt by this feature which paints a picture of a dirty, underground world where there is no regulation and no little consequences for cheating.

What are your thoughts?

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