Southeastern US Poker

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Great spots: Flush draw w/ a pair

We had our bi-weekly home game last night and I was fortunate enough to win it. Actually, I split the 1st and 2nd place money w/ a visitor and took the 1st place tournament of champion’s points. We split due to the late hour of the night. (I have a very slow structure, which allows the better players to utilize their skills more.) We have a point scale based on where you finish in a given week and we add these up over 10 games and drop your lowest score. A player is allocated chips in the TOC based on how many points he has accumulated versus the rest of the field. We pull $5 per head out every week and put this into a TOC fund that basically creates a freeroll that we play at the end of our 10 game session. This really works well for rewarding consistency and creates a new dynamic in the game.

With the win I was able to leap frog 2 players ahead of me and move into 5th place. You may think that 5th place isn’t all that great, but considering that I had a horrible start on the opening two games and the overall strength of the field at my game, moving into 5th is a great place to be. This was game 5 of 10. Two weeks ago I placed 2nd to move into 7th place and this week I really closed the gap on the top of the board as the points leader went out in 6th place out of the 10 we had playing.

I didn’t get very many great starting hands last night, but I was able to hit some flops and keep my stack to the north side of where I started. I only want to post one hand that I think will be a great hand for anyone trying to learn the little things that help to put a poor player around the corner to becoming a good player.

We are 4 handed and I’m in the BB
Blinds 600-1200 w/ a 200 ante

UTG limps (40k in chips)
Button limps (20k in chips)
SB completes (25k in chips) Qd-9d
Hero checks (15k in chips) Qh-3h

Flop comes 10h-9h-3s
SB leads for 2k
Hero pushes all in for 13.5k total
UTG folds
Button folds

This is the learning part that I would like to point out: With a pair and a flush draw against one pair higher than my bottom pair I’m usually >52% favored to win this hand. With the SB having me dominated with his middle pair and equal Queen kicker I am only now around 44% to win this hand. If the opponent’s high card were any card other than a queen I would once again become the favorite in this hand. This includes changing the Queen to an Ace or King. So, late in a tournament with a short stack such as I had, this one pair plus a flush draw situation presents a great opportunity to double up or pick up some chips as the favorite.

I obviously caught the heart on the river to double up and eventually win the tournament.

Hopefully, next week, I’ll be able to give you another good report on the home game that I play on my game’s off-week. It’s a tough one too.

I should be back online most of Saturday getting my FTP bankroll built from the $12 gift that gave me for reviewing some local cardrooms. This is a great site and those guys are doing a great job!

Bank roll building (cont)

I didn’t have very much time to play last night and wanted to be in bed early to get ready for my home game on Thursday night. I pulled up 3 $2+.25 Turbo SNGs and took a run at it. Last week I had done very well in these and thought that I could make a quick score again and be in bed by 10:00. I started out super-tight and waited for the idiots to knock themselves out, and eventually they did. The pace on these is so hecktick tough and the blinds were all over me before I knew it. On two tables I was above my starting stack and the other I was running low. I messed up on one of the tables I was doing well on and reraised a guy who doubled my big blind from M.P.; he called w/ A-Jo which completely dominated my A-8o. I was leading on the flop of K,Q,8, but the 10 on the turn gave him broadway. I blew that one up on the bubble. I don’t think that was a good play on my part at this level.

Memory fails me on how I lost the other table, but the last table I went bust on the bubble as well. Since it was my last table I was paying very close attention and had a pretty good read on my opponents and also knew the guy on my immediate right was a good player from the cash games. His full ring $10NL stats are that of a Rock, so that gave me some insight into knowing that I could steal from him pretty liberally. I had watched him steal from the CO here four handed for the previous two rounds and took a mental note that that BB would fold his hand pretty often. This round the Rock folded and I bailed off with my average stack of 4 big blinds and put it all in w/ 8-7o hoping that he would once again fold his BB. Well, he didn’t and I was dominated once again by an A-7s. He turned an A and I went 0 for 3 on the turbo SNGs.

The roll stands just over $50.

Please see my home page for the full story on this bankroll building process that I started last week from $12.

Rags to Riches, starting a bankroll from scratch!

I don’t know how much longer is going to run their $2/cardroom review bonus, but I posted several reviews and got them to send $12 to my Full Tilt Poker account.

That account was empty for over a year and just by coincidence Full Tilt sent me a $50 bonus offer around the same time. Well, without any money in my account, earning that bonus would be impossible.


I have set myself a goal. I want to turn this $12 of gift from and $50 of possible bonus money from Full Tilt into a working bankroll. Making it to $100 is my immediate goal, then, we’ll figure it out from there, as I will have many more options. I also promised that I would keep them posted on their investment as a way to give back to their awesome site.

I sought some advice from the 2+2 forum on what my best course of action would be and it was unanimous that playing the micro-SNGs was the safest way to build a bankroll with the least amount of variance.

On April the 19th, my regular home game was cancelled and I signed onto Full Tilt to start this journey.

My cards ran very, very goot. I won some spots I shouldn't have and places that I should have won actually held up. When I lost, I had the chips to sustain through it. There is very little real poker played here, mostly, I am just playing my cards and pushing with any 2 decent cards when I get to 10 big blinds or less. These players are so easily trapped that it is ridiculous. Check-raising doesn’t get much accomplished as they are so loose-passive at this level, but suckers-must-call bets are the genuine article.

My first night of roll building was in the books:

1 @ $1.25 Turbo SNG -$1.25
9 @ $2.25 Turbo SNG +$21.15

Net +$19.90 for the night 92.55% ROI

Once again, special thanks to, your money has made a good start.

Day 2 will either be tonight or during the day tomorrow, I’ll post as soon as I can.

January Bad Beat Jackpot at the Gold Strike

After catching 3 hours of sleep in order to rest up for the supposed 3am weakening of the tables at the $1-2 cash game this weekend in Tunica, I sat back down at the Horseshoe to see 2 Asian guys that were there when I had left at 9pm. The rest of the table was new and a few were drinking. I sat about an hour and was up only a little when the table slowly started to dispurse and the money started to come off the table. I decided to walk over to the Goldstrike’s cardroom to find a better table.

I walked up to the hostess and ask for a $1-2 NL table and she pointed me to the table in the middle of the card room. There was a little bit of money on the table and I felt that this would be a good seat. I walked to the counter to buy my chips and a crazy looking fellow with wild eyes walked over to me and ask me to come play at his game back in the corner. He said that there were 3 live ones sitting over there and that I needed to come cash in. This sounded like an even better seat.

I sit down UTG and immediately straddle. Someone raises and is called and I have to dump my worthless hand when it gets back around to me. The next hand is forgotten, but the third hand will be etched in my mind for eternity.

I’m in the small blind and the action limps around to the wild-eyed man in late-middle who bumps it to $10. I fold along with all but an early and middle position limper. The flop comes down Jd,4c,10d and the limpers each check to the raiser who bets out $20. The early position player folds and the middle player moves all in for $50 more (one of the obvious live ones as he was almost falling asleep at the table and very short-stacked.) The pf-raiser grudgingly calls. Mr. Sleepy turns over 8d-7d for a flush draw and a gutshot str8 draw and Mr. Crazy eyes turns over Kd-Qd for the Royal flush draw. (do you call this an open-ended Royal flush draw?) The table points out that Sleepy is drawing dead to a 7 or 8. The 7c falls on the turn bringing Sleepy into the lead.

Then the most surreal thing that I have seen in all my life happens. The most beautiful card in the whole deck falls off, the 9d!!! No one even realized it for a second. Then, simultaneously, people start to realize what’s on the board. “He’s got a straight flush! And look, he’s got a straight flush too!! Holy *&$%^!!! That’s a bad beat! You guys just hit the bad beat jackpot!!!” The table erupts and jumps to their feet. High fives go around the table and people start to hug like we had just won the Sugar Bowl! The room takes notice and soon the place erupts. The dealer asks everyone to please step back from the table. Play in the entire room completely stopped for 15 minutes solid as everyone walked by the table to check it out. The cards and chips on that table didn’t move for 45 minutes as everything was verified as legit. It took almost 7 hours for the Goldstrike to iron out all the legal stuff, which meant that I played longer than I should have to burn the time away, but it was worth it. The only down side was that there wasn’t a table share. The rest left over after the winner and loser got paid was spread equally throughout the room to anyone playing holdem. Luckily it was 5am in the morning and there were less people than usual. It was one of the most amazing poker moments of my life and I just thought that I would share it with you guys.

Shreveport Horseshoe Live $1/2 Session (long)

I sat down w/ a few buddies at the Horseshoe in Shreveport this Good Friday. Here’s a brief hand recap for this 13 hour session. I got down early and borrowed a bill from my buddy after dropping 1.5 buyins, I was able to recover but at the expense of a lot of time. I got some good fortune by hitting a promotion by the card room that put me up to even.

Early on (around 10am) the table was very LP, but past 5pm the table turned very LAG, even to the point of being maniacal. I should have changed tables, but didn’t realize this until I was almost ready to go.
All opinions are welcome because I really want to improve my game. This will be more hand overviews and not very math intensive, so I apologize in advance for the lack of detail. Please think in terms of macro-game, Shania and playing style and let me have it!

1. Sat down and limped w/ 22, flopped a set and was immediately up by ~$100

2. Limp-called w/ 99 in MP. The flop came A-10-9. My cousin led out for 7/8’s of the pot from the blinds, I called trying to keep the pfr in. PFR folds. Turn is another 10 and my cousin leads for 2/3 of the pot, I call once again trying to just keep the pot small. The river is a total blank, and I lead for the ¼ of the pot in an attempt to keep it as small as possible. He turns over A-10 and rakes a big pot. Coincidentally, this 9s full won the $200 for me that I wrote about above, which is part of the reason why I stayed w/ the hand.

3. I limped w/ 6c-9c. The flop was A-K-x 2 suited in clubs, the middle aged man to my left bet $10 (pot but still a small lead bet) after being checked to. A Hispanic man (who I had seen at the 2/5 NL table 2 weeks prior) smooth calls and I call. The turn is another club, the Hispanic man leads out for $15 and I raise it to $45 in an attempt to build the pot. The middle-aged man smooth calls (alarm bells go off here) and the Hispanic man calls as well. The river is a dud and the Hispanic man and I both check hoping for a cheap showdown. The middle aged man bets out $97 and is all in, the Hispanic man calls and after much deliberation I call as well hoping that my flush is goot. The middle aged man shows the nuts and the Hispanic man shows the flopped str8. [Spewing, I know]

4. The seat opens to the left of the middle-aged man and I jump in it as he has won several big hands and has run up to almost $1k. I have 6d-5d and limp from MP behind at least 2 limpers. The flop comes 5 or 6 handed w/ the 3-4-7, 2 suited in clubs (again). The middle-aged man leads out for $15, which I recognize as a semi-bluff from the hand above. I raise him to $45, which is about a 2/3’s of the pot raise. We’re heads up and the turn brings the 3rd club. He checks to me and I don’t take the bait and just check-behind. The river is a dud, and he bets out a smallish $15 which I have to call just in case. He, of course, shows the flush.

5. I complete from the SB w/ 9-9, the flop hits low and I win a decent pot on a low flop and turn. The river is a K and goes ck-ck.

6. I have a long streak of unplayable cards, then hit a wave of cards. Not sure of the order of this hand and hand 7, but they came relatively close together and influenced my table image and preflop action. I had been making a standard raise to $11 and getting some respect, winning some and losing some. I’m dealt A-A in LP and make my standard raise, 3 callers (including a calling station who I’ll refer to as the lady and a LAG who I’ll call the old man.) The flop hits a very safe rainbow 9 high. The lady makes her standard weak lead bet of $10 and I elect to smooth call on such a nice board trying to keep some bad players in the pot. The old man and the Hispanic man both call, BONUS! The turn is another weak card and I raise the ladies $15 turn bet to $45 and take the pot down uncontested.

7. I having raised the 2 hands prior to this one, I elect to keep up my momentum w/ Q-Jo and make my standard raise again, 3 callers. The flop comes Q-10-9 rainbow, I’m checked to and make a pretty standard $25 CB. 2 folds and an old fishy man pushes in on me. I don’t sense much strength from him and I flopped a big draw plus my TPGK. I insta-call his $35 AI and he shows 2nd pair with a mutter that he thought I was just pushing.

8. I have JJ in the SB, and just complete the bet vs a table full of limpers. I don’t like JJ in this spot against a large field of calling stations unless I flop a set or get a really good flop. The flop comes K-10-4 and I ck’d blind. It checks to the lady 2 places to my right who makes her standard weak lead of $10. I put her on a pair of 10s and just call incase someone behind me is trapping. Everyone folds. The turn is a blank, and I check to her knowing she will bet out weaker than I would bet into her whether she has a big hand or a weak hand. She bets out $20 and I just call again. The river is another dud, and I give her the rope again, but she surprises me and makes a very big bet. She doesn’t do this much w/o a big hand so I go into an info gathering routine of counting out her bet plus a hefty raise. She doesn’t give her “crap I missed my hand and he’s gonna bet tell” of holding her cards in a folding fashion which I have seen her do several times, so I put her on a stronger hand. I ask her some questions and she answers strong so I fold my JJ face up and she shows K4 for top and bottom pair.

9. Raise pf w/ KQs and get 2 calls from some young guys who have just sat down. I take it down on a whiffed flop w/ a standard CB. About this time the table dynamic has changed with the addition of a drunk and a maniac.

10. I raise pf w/ QQ and get called by the drunk who I bluffed out in the hand above and the lady. The flop comes K high and they check to me. I make a standard CB and the drunk comes over the top of me and shows K-2 when I fold.

11. Standard raise of $16 w/ AQ from ML position. The old man on the button is the only player to call me to see this flop (I really wish that drunk guy or the maniac would have been in on this pot). The flop falls QQ6 and I know that I have a hand that won’t get much action unless my opponent catches up. So I give a little act and ck-ck, the flop and ck-ck the turn. The river brings a beautiful 6 which looks like a great bluffing card. So I grab $100 in $25 chips and fling them out into the pot like I am buying it. The old man unbelievably calls the $100 bet into the $32 pot. He shows a 6 for a smaller boat. (I didn’t bet those $25 chips all day long either, I always used $5 chips when making bets. I still can’t believe that guy called here!)

12. I raised w/ KJs from LP after several limpers. A fish in the SB reraises AI for $17 more and gets 3 callers. He had shown K-6s earlier when he reraised AI but got his money back due to a dealer error {dealer mucked his cards}. So I elected to call with huge odds despite my holding. Missed the flop completely and dumped my trap hand.

13. I had KK in MP, raised to $15 after some limpers, 2 callers. The flop comes A high, the drunk cks, I bet $25 and the old man raises all in for $37 more. The drunk folds and I fold my Kings face up. He shows A-2.

14. It’s a limped pot and I call w/ J9s from the cutoff. The flop hits 9-3-4, 2 suited with hearts. The drunk bets $20 and the maniac calls. I don’t figure them for much and feel that a raise will take the pot down, so I make it $50 to go (a bit small I know). They both call. The turn brings another heart and they come out swinging, I of course, fold. The drunk shows a pair of 3s on the hand but is trumped by the maniac’s 4s. Not sets, pairs…

15. I called a small pre-flop raise w/ 77 and flopped a set w/ the 6-7-10 board. The lady makes it her standard $10 on the flop, the maniac calls and I make it $50 to go, they both call. The turn is a horrid 8 and the lady goes all in for $65 total and the maniac just calls. I’m tired and on tilt at this point and decide that I’m getting enough odds to call for full house odds. The river is a worthless K and I make a huge error of thinking the hand went ck-ck and show my set of 7s. The maniac mucks his hand and the lady shows 10-6 for 2 pair. I don’t feel that this hand was played well, but it had a good result.

16. Finally, I feel that my biggest leaks for the day were set-mining, calling pfr’s w/ AQ and AJ hands. It’s not so bad when the A is suited, but these are leaks otherwise.

17. I raised w/ AK off and got reraised, but still elected to call w/ plenty of pf callers and the size of the reraise wasn’t huge. The flop missed and I had to dump Anna.

All criticism is welcome, please comment on aggression and plays. This is a $1/2 game, so I don’t focus as much on the math since the other players don’t have any idea what a shut out bet is anyway. Mostly it’s reading players and showing down the best hand. I recognize now that all of my reraises were quite small. That is probably an area to improve in.

Thanks in advance,
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