Southeastern US Poker

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Variance and Insurance for Ring Play

Poker is a game of ups and downs that we commonly refer to as variance. For periods of time, whether they be days, weeks or months, players can run really hot or really cold. I’ve seen absolute morons walk into a home game and destroy the room because the cards just hit them square in the face. The average players complain about how bad the new guy is playing, but the truth is, you want him to come back and keep playing like he is playing, it will all average out in the end once variance has corrected itself. And when that happens, the good players will be the ones holding the fat wallet.

Are we completely subject to variance? Do we have any control over poker’s natural swings? Most would say yes, we have no control and lady luck is holding all of the cards, all that we can do is get our money in good and hope that the cards hold up. Eli Elezra has a great saying that I love to quote, “In poker you can only make the best decisions you can and let the cards take care of themselves, while understanding that the cards do not always take care of you.”

Truthfully, until recently, that is exactly what I thought until some friends of mine were talking about sharing their wins and losses. I don’t mean to say that they were cheating, heck, they don’t even sit at the same table most of the time. This isn’t a totally new concept, tournament players do these kinds of staking deals all of the time to help smooth out their swings.

My 2 friends had a very loose method of splitting their profits & losses, not based on math, but based on fairness between friends with some other loose guidelines worked in. Basically, if both players profited they would split the profits down the middle. If one is a big winner and the other a loser then the winner simply covers the loser’s loss. If the winner’s profit is small and the loser has lost a buy-in, then the winner simply buys gas and dinner. Like I said, some very loose guidelines.

Sounds good to me, but I like more concrete guidelines for insuring and I also want to put out some guidelines for choosing who you should or shouldn’t be insuring.

Insurance Agreement:
1. In a win/win situation – Both players agree to share 30% of their wins.
Example: Player 1 wins $500 and Player 2 wins $100.
($500 x 30%)-($100 x 30%)= $120 going to Player 2 from Player 1 to help share the profits and smooth out some variances.
2. In a win/loss situation - the winner agrees to insure the loser with the lesser of 30% of the winner’s profit or 50% of the loser’s loss.
Example: Player 1 wins $500 and Player 2 loses $200.
$500 x 30%= $150 and $200 x 50%= $100 Since the lesser of the two is $100, player 1 only covers half of player 2’s loss.
3. In a loss/loss situation – Everybody loses!!!!!
4. In a loss/break-even situation – The loser can’t drag the break-even player down into the negative.

Who to Insure:
1. Someone of comparable skill and ability playing at the same limits.
2. A verifiably winning player.
3. Someone with a comparable bankroll. (#3 may not be as important when you are just making short-term agreements, but is very important with long-term agreements.)

I’ve just started fleshing this concept out, so any further thoughts would be welcome. I don’t use this insurance online, I just use it at casinos when I’m playing live and can utilize more hand reading skills.

Horseshoe Bossier 6-23-07, Session Review

Horseshoe, Bossier City, LA
6/23/07

One thing that I am starting to realize in live play is that table selection is vastly more important than it is for online play. Equally important is being able to change gears to the needed style for the table. Walking into the Shoe this Saturday, I was feeling great about my game and well rested. Upon being seated I immediately recognized one young player as a very tough and aggressive opponent that I had played with before. He already had a deep stack and was pushing the pace at the table. To his left was another aggressive player, but I had never played with him before. It seemed that one of them was raising pre-flop on 2 out of 3 hands, and I’m not talking about $6 or $8 raises, it was costing $17 to see a flop whether they were in position or in the blinds. The rest of the players looked decent, and there didn’t seem to be a really soft spot anywhere. I decided to play some locked down poker until a good opportunity presented itself, or a weakness became apparent.

When I say locked down poker, I meant locked down poker. I was playing 5 to 10% of my hands. I was card dead except for one suited big slick, a low pocket pair and a few suited connectors that I was able to see the flop with. I was playing so tight and my cards were so bad that every time I raised pre-flop, everyone folded to me. One time, I raised with Q-4o from the button into 4 limpers just to steal the limps and loosen up my image. The young LAG had folded the hand and walked away from the table and I saw this as a great opportunity. Sure enough, everyone gave me tons of respect and folded their hands to my raise of $15. I’d been sitting at this table for about 3 hours when this happened and not too long after it I was able to see a flop with the Doyle Brunson hand 10-2o from the big blind. The flop just looked ripe for the picking, but it was a multiway pot and I was out of position. When the table checked around I decided to bluff at any safe looking card. The turn didn’t disappoint me, it was an off suit deuce. I made a pot sized bet of $10 and got called by the button player to my right. He appeared to be on a draw, so once again I decided to bet any safe card that might fall off. The river was an absolute blank (for me and any draws), so I fired another $15 out and the button folded. Sometimes it pays to have a mega-tight image!!!

Not long later, the young LAG knocked the player to his left out and within an hour racked his chips and made a table change. I moved into his seat for a better table position, and luckily the table made a change to a new cast over the course of an hour and the dynamics were more to my liking. The mood lightened up, people were limping into every pot and it was everyone’s Saturday night home game. I didn’t take the TAG route pre-flop in this situation. I played more loose-passive pre-flop and TAG post-flop. There was another young LAG to my right, but it was easy to discern that he was a tournament player and lacked the skill and aggression to dominate this loose-passive table. I let this young guy from Dallas do most of the raising and pot building, I just wanted to see a flop and then out maneuver these guys. There was an Asian guy who seemed decent and then a bunch of old country men who wanted to see a flop with whatever. The one guy in hand 2, seemed to chase draws with no regard for pot odds or over-bets or whatever, I mean, he was the 2 -3 guy mentioned in that hand.

Hand 1

I'd bled down to $130 and had just decided to reload another $100. (Boy am I glad that I did this, as you’ll soon see.) I'm in for $400 at this point. I've been card dead for the 5 hours that I had been here.

Most of table limps around to me and I limp Q 9 on the button.
Pot=$12
Flop= J , 8 , 7 Table checks around and I am happy to check behind them in this spot to take off a free card.
Turn= 10
SB bets $22, BB calls $22, UTG+1 folds, MP2 calls $22, CO folds, Hero raises to $70, SB calls $48, BB calls $48, MP3 folds.
Pot=$244
River= 3
2 checks, Hero bets $100, SB calls $100, BB folds

Hero shows the nutz!!!!!!
SB show 10 , 9
Hero wins $438.00
NICE SLOWPLAY, BOSS!!!!!

Hand 2

About 10 minutes later

The Asian man at the table is on monkey tilt after his K-K gets run down by 2 3 on a 3-3-4 flop.

Hero is dealt 6 6 in the CO

UTG+1 calls $2, MP1 calls $2, MP3 (Asian guy) raises to $12, Hero calls $12, button folds, SB calls $11, 2 folds, MP1 calls $10.
Pot=$49
Flop= 9 , 6 ,3,
2 checks, Asian guy bets $25, Hero calls $25, SB calls $25, MP1 folds.
Pot=$124
Turn= K
2 checks, Hero bets $50, SB calls $50, Asian guy raises to $133 and is All in, Hero calls $83, SB calls $83.
Pot=$523
River=4
SB checks, Hero checks

Asian guy shows K , J for a pair of Kings
Hero shows 6 6 for a set of 6s
SB mucks

Hero wins $517.00

I didn't move all in on the river because I felt that the SB was on a draw and wouldn't call me anyway. He didn't have much behind regardless.

Hand 3

Villain (an intelligent looking black man) just sat down in the Asian guys vacant seat, so I don't know him and he doesn't know me. Everyone else knows that I am LP/A at this weak cash table (because LAG or TAG is just spinning your wheels.) I'm now the deepest stack at the table after winning those 2 huge pots, villain has ~$200.

Hero is dealt K 10 on the button.

4 players limp, Hero calls $2, SB calls $1, BB checks
Pot= $14
Flop = A, K , 2
Everyone checks to me, Hero bets $10, 5 folds, CO (black man) calls $10
Pot= $34
Turn= 10
CO checks, Hero bets $25, CO raises to $75, Hero???

I feel like my flop and turn bets were good, I definitely know where my hand stands at this point. I don't see checking behind w/ 2 pair on the turn. Villain likely has the str8, but I have 9 flush outs + 4 Full house outs, I can't see laying this down here, ever. Villain could also check behind on the river for an easy showdown.

Hero calls $50
Pot=$184
River= A
CO moves AI for $120, Hero folds.

The principle of keeping your stack full came in very good use during this session. Without that $100 rebuy in there just before those 2 big hands hit, my win would have been significantly shorter. Just to clarify for the readers who are trying to learn something from my blog, if you feel that you are a good player in the game that you are in, you should always try to keep your stack full. If you are at a skill disadvantage to the rest of the table, then keeping a shorter stack is better as it will limit your losses and limit many of the tougher decisions post-flop as all of your chips will be in the middle well before the river gets there... usually.

Just to point out how bad my hands were for this session, I had AKs 3x, AA, KK, QQ, JJ and 10-10 0x, AQ 0x, AJo 1x. Overall for the day, the cards were really dry and I only solidly hit the flop about 5 times, 2 of these made the difference in the whole trip though, along with the change in the table dynamics.

Total trip profit/(loss) = +$350 in 5.5 hours. IT WAS A GOOT DAY!!!!!

Back on the slow-train

All right, since my last post there has been a little activity. I played 2 SNG’s Saturday morning to try to pick up a quick addition to my bankroll. I played a $4+.40 for a $26 token, but ended up losing out of that one in 5th. I was looking for a FTPs SNG to win a seat or token but none were present. I think the WSOP has gotten all of the satties and promos tied up for now. I’ll keep looking for a +EV points tourney, I don’t like qualifiers into satellites because I just don’t have the time and in all honesty it just seems like a crapshoot.

I also played a $5+.50 SNG and got out of it rather quickly, maybe 7th. I had one limper ahead of me and I was on the CO. I’d played really tight up until this point and decided to make a move to pick up some chips. This was probably a bad move as I was in a comfortable spot chip wise, probably 3rd or 4th. I had 9-7s and raised the limper, both blinds folded and the limper called. The flop was 8-8-6r and the villain donked into me for the pot, 525. I had exactly double this and decided for some reason that I did have a little fold equity and an OESD ta boot, so I pushed in on him. He eventually called and showed A-6o for BPTK (new abbreviation that I want credit for! LOL) The turn and river failed to improve me and I was out of this one early.

I realized how bad I was playing NL so I opted to play a little safer game, Stud 8. I’m not sure what went wrong, but I was getting no hands and at one point was down $8 or so. There was only one table going of $.25/.50 Stud 8 and I still had plenty behind for this game, so I took at shot at the $.50/1.00 table. This was a good experience, though I dropped $5 initially, I was able to represent the hands that my board presented and actually strong-arm some pots. I eventually won back up to only down a $1 or so on this table before the wife started ranting about having to leave to go to a swimming party, but I really enjoyed the better competition at this limit. I was still down a few bucks on the .25/.50 table and my loss for this session ended up being $4.65 total. For the day the roll on FT dropped $14.55, leaving me with only $33.60. Man, I hate this month!!!

6-18-07

Having a bad month like I have had, and with the decreased size of my BR on FT, I made a decision to cut down to 2 tables at 10NL in order to help me make better, more thought out decisions. I found 2 tables where there weren’t many stacks over the maximum buyin, and one of which had a very low average pot size. I like the stack sizes to be no larger than the maximum because this more than likely means no one has been on a heater and feeling froggy and can also indicate a newer table where everyone is still feeling out the other players. Average stacks also might indicate a tighter game since no idiot is in there gambling it up and hitting stupid runner-runner hands. These tight tables play well for my aggressive style.

The first hand that we’ll talk about is Ks-Qs on the button. This hand looks pretty and I have position. The action went: 2 folds, MP1 raises to $.35, folds to me, I call and one of the blinds calls. The flop is 5s-9c-Jc and the blind player checks and the pfr makes a standard CB of around 2/3 of the pot. I don’t have much of a hand, but do have a draw, 2 over cards and a runner-runner draw. I elect to call to see what the turn action is, the blind player folds. The turn didn’t help my hand out any but fortunately the pfr’r checked, so I bet and took the pot from him. I guess this really isn’t considered a float since I had some draws, but you could probably call it a semi-bluff float.

I won another hand w/ KQ when my top pair beat a 2nd pair on a very scary board. Unfortunately, the board was so scary that neither of us wanted to inflate the pot very much.

And the final KQ of the night was off suit. I raised a limper from the CO and got 2 callers. The flop was 10s-Js-Ah, Cha-ching!!! It’s checked to me and because of the flush draw I potted it. Both players called, again! The turn was the worst card in the deck for me, As,… B-U-I-C-K!!!! Checks all around. The river was a safe card, but I took the conservative route and checked behind, but the button bet $1 into the $6 pot, the pf limper calls all in for $.10 and I make a crying call with my flopped broadway straight and IT’S GOOOOOOOOODDDDD!!!!!! I took down a nice one when the board was really nasty to me! The button showed a K-Jo, nice hand buddy!

I ended up winning $7.05 on the 1-hour session. BR stands back over the $40 mark at $40.65. I’m gonna slow down, not play anymore SNGs and 2 table at 10NL until I get my roll back up to a respectable level.

Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I should be back at my favorite fish tank Saturday afternoon to win some real money at the Shoe in Shreveport. BJJIII won’t be making the journey, but my good buddy W.L. should provide some entertaining action, I’ll try to talk him into posting some of his strategy and/or hands following the trip.

I know Florida hasn’t fully implemented their new cardroom laws yet, but my wife’s family has planned a trip to Panama City Beach, FL for late August. If anyone can locate a cardroom there, I’d love to take some $$$’s off some Floridians!!!

Landlord79

Bankroll building Cont: a blow up!!

I must say, June is turning out to be a very bad month so far. I'm down about $250+ and am just not able to put in any wins. After picking up $15 or so in my last post playing Stud 8, I turned around and dropped $14 Sunday night. Mostly due to going on tilt as I was agitated about some beats I had taken and why this stinking FT BR won't take off like my Bodog account. I followed this up w/ some decent play at 10NL on Monday night, but one bad call put me down for the night and I wasn't able to recover. I did cut my loss down to only $5 for the night, but the current roll stands at $40.40.


Check that, I just played tonight and picked up $7.75 at Stud 8 in 1 hr 15 min. Bankroll is back up to $48.15. I love making 7 high str8's to scoop the pot. Stud 8 is so funny, you feel like you're are folding your life away then you catch a monster hand to scoop a big pot! There's a lot of patience involved in Stud 8, but if you play it right you can make some easy money from the low chasers and high pair players.

Horseshoe Bossier 6-1-07

I went to play cards at my favorite location this weekend, the Horseshoe- Bossier City. I actually rented a room this time and was able to play some shorter sessions. I really like staying at the place where you are playing because it is so convenient to take a break. The hotel room was awesome, though I did get a smoking room instead of a non-smoking room.

The poker room was up to its usual high standards. They created a new $1/2 NL table for us when we got there around 7pm and soon enough the entire poker room was schooling with fish. The table this trip was much softer than the previous trip and a lot more talkative which makes playing that much more fun.

The only two big pairs that I had all weekend came semi-early. I had 9-9 and K-K, both of which won uncontested with my continuation bets. I know 9-9 isn’t a big pair, but when it is the 2nd biggest pair that you have all weekend is 9-9, you can call it a big pair.

I put in an image play early to try to break up the image that my card deadness was building. I raised 10s-9s UTG to $6, which didn’t deter anyone from calling. I think the hand was checked down and I flipped over a 9 at the showdown for a pair of nines for a losing hand.

Playing AK, especially from the blinds, is a very slippery slope. I see people taking it to the river unimproved all the time and losing their whole stacks with Ace high at the showdown. I play AK from the blinds in a very simple way, if it is limped around to me, I make a big enough raise that no one wants to play with me unless they have a very premium hand which they have slow-played. If they reraise my bet, I can get away from my hand pretty easily, since AK doesn’t play well into a 3-bet pot in cash games. In tournaments, it plays very differently, but in cash games, AK is usually behind to a 3-bet pf. I played one hand in just this manner and sure enough won the limps uncontested.

Up until this point I have just broken-even as all of the pots that I have won have been small ones. Then comes the tricky stuff that either makes you or breaks you. A LAG raised it up to $7 pf from UTG and I elected to call in MP with 6s-5s. A few more players called the smallish pfr and we saw a flop of Ks-Qs-5h. The raiser led out for the standard $10 flop bet and I of course call with my flush draw plus bottom pair. I might could have raised here, but I had a lot of people left to act behind me and I wanted good odds on my draw as well as information on what everyone else was going to do. Only the player to my immediate left called and the pot was good. The turn was a beautiful Js to complete my flush draw and once again the raiser bet out again, this time for $20. Something about his bet seemed strong and I still had another player to act behind me who has acted like he was on a draw so far. I elected just to call and see what the player behind me was going to do. Something smelled fishy about this hand and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I’m not laying down a flush with this action and a non-paired board. The guy to my left, Jerry was his name, also called which really started to make me nervous. The river was actually a bad card for my hand as it made my flush much weaker. One of the two remaining 5’s fell off on the river and I now had to worry about full houses out there besides bigger flushes. Once again the pfr’r led out again, this time for $40. With the paired board and the gnawing feeling in my gut, I just called the $40 and held my breath as Jerry contemplated his action. I was very relieved when he just called. The UTG raiser turned over A-10o for a broadway straight, (I knew he had a little something) and Jerry turned over AK for two pair, Kings and Fives. I took down my first big pot of the night and was now playing with the houses money!

Not too much later I caught an auto-play hand, which worked out great from the SB. I love to check blind on the flop from the SB with all kinds of hands and situations as it conceals the strength of a slow-play when you flop a monster hand. It was once again a limped pot and I had 8s-4s in the SB, I completed for $1 and Jerry checked. I checked blind as the dealer was preparing the flop, and oh what a flop it was. K-8-8 and Jerry immediately pushed all in for $37. The other 3 players in the hand folded out to me and I insta-called Jerry’s push. He turned over Kx and I had him drawing to 2 outs. This wasn’t a big pot, but it does illustrate the value and uses of checking blind into the flop.

As my game has improved, I’m starting to play more hands from good position. In the past I have always folded A-9o and other similar hands because it is just so hard to figure out where you are at after the flop when an ace hits. It’s a little easier when 2 aces hit the flop because there is only 1 other ace out and high cards may fall on the turn and river to counterfeit any kicker trouble that you may be in. Also, if the board pairs then you are likely splitting the pot with the other Ace or you are taking the whole thing down yourself uncontested. If you are fortunate enough to hit your kicker, you are usually good.

One man had already left the table once due to a case of the busts and had just sat back down to try it again. It was another limped pot and the flop was A-A-Qr with me holding an A-9o in the CO. Mr. Busto led the flop for $10, which I was happy to smooth call behind 1 other player. I’m not sure if anyone else called, because I knew where the other ace was based on the way that Mr. Busto had bet his hand and reacted to the flop. The turn was a beautiful 9, which put me at ease about my hand being goot. Sure enough, Mr. Busto leads the turn for $20 and I value raise him to $50 even. He, of course, calls with his Ace and we’re heads up. The river was an 8 and Mr. Busto pushed all in on me, I called with out even counting the chips out and flipped my hand over to send him to the Busto stop for the 2nd time that night. I think that I netted about $150 on that hand and was now toting a >$500 stack.

I talked my buddy, BJJIII, into getting some money off the table because his stack was bigger than mine and he had quite a big swing to get there. You definitely need to read his session review if you want to hear about playing big pairs and flopping dozens of sets. We also wanted to look the El Dorado room over that was just across the bridge and this looked like a good stopping point to do it. I’m going to do a card room review of it, but I’ll say one thing about it right now, “It ain’t the Horseshoe-Bossier!”

I counted out a $315 profit for our 4 hours at the Shoe and we headed over to the El Dorado.
The tables seemed pretty soft at the El Dorado, but you definitely had to make a hand to win any money. I ended up flopping TPTK one time to split a pot with a short-stack, but other than that, there were no hands to talk about from the El Dorado. We only played for about an hour on the west bank of the Red River, and I dropped $40 in the process.

We headed back to the home turf of the Shoe and the table that we had left bare was now teaming with fish and had 2 new huge stacks harvesting a profit off its felt. The poker room manager tried to seat us at a different table, but with one look at the line up on that table, I didn’t even sit down to join the grind. I walked back over to our original table and fortunately a seat opened up just as I did. So, lickety split, I grab my chips and hopped back over into the softest seat in the room. I quickly opened with 3-3 from MP1 and took it down with a continuation bet, then tried it again w/ 5-5 and didn’t get any respect. The duo netted me $15, so I was happy with the results.

I had a very interesting fellow on my right, who I found out had been playing poker professionally for 3 years. He was disabled and in a powered wheelchair, which was a great cover for him, because his mind was as sharp as a razor blade. He was abusing these fish left and right and had built his stack up to $800 or so. He’d only been there 2 hours; in fact, he had just sat down when we were getting up to leave for the El Dorado. I don’t know if I should be upset at myself for taking my profit and running before these fish started spewing their monies or if I should be glad that I missed that guys onslaught. It could go either way I guess, but we made the safe play by cashing in a good profit, I’m never mad about that.

There was nothing very eventful that happened at that table, and when the other big stack at the table left along with a few others, we decided that it was time to shut it down for the night. I really hated to see that lady leave too; she was a big over-bettor and didn’t seem to have much game. I ended up losing $70 in that two-hour span, but was still hanging onto a $200 profit for the trip.

We took a six-hour sleep break and woke up to go at it again.

I started off on the wrong foot early, but was reading players well and playing well, I just made 1 big wrong decision and one case of bad variance. Early on I had picked out whom I wanted to play hands against. I knew the action players and was ready to do battle. I picked up Ac-7c in the BB and checked my option in a limped pot. The flop was a lovely Jc-6s-3c and I led into the field with the standard flop bet of $10. I made this bet because I knew it would get called by a lot of the loose players who wouldn’t have much of anything and I wanted to get some money into the pot before my flush hit and my action dried up. Sure enough, I get called in 2 places and by one of the players that I really want to play a hand against. The river was the As and I doubled my bet with my newly improved hand. The loose player calls and luckily the table big stack folded. The river was the 8s and I am all out of cards on my nut flush draw. Common wisdom says to check-call the river here trying to induce a bluff and also trying to keep the pot small with a one pair hand. I felt like I was good here since my Ace hit on the turn and my hand would be concealed, so I bet out $25 into the $80 pot as a blocking/value bet. The villain surprised me and raised the bet to $100. This screamed bluff to me but it was a very big bet to call as a bluff buster. I was getting ready to lay my hand down but I started paying attention to the demeanor of the villain. He had his hand covering his mouth and was from time to time rubbing his nose with his pointer finger. Joe Navarro calls this a pacifying gesture and this confirmed in my head that the villain was bluffing, so I reluctantly called. To my chagrined, the villain turned over the 9s-4s for the runner-runner flush. BBUUUIICCCKKK!!!

Later, I watched the villain once again rub his nose while covering his mouth and sure enough he turned over flopped trips, too bad the big stack on my right had flopped a boat. He used the pacifying gesture as a tell of strength instead of a tell of weakness, this was good information as I was able to take him for a ride on the value bus a few rounds later.

The table had degenerated into a pissing contest between the (Doctor), the villain in the previous hand, and the big stack on my right. Both men were of Arabic decent and appeared very well educated, but the Dr’s raises and reraises meant nothing. The big stack was simply bullying him around and he didn’t like it at all. The game was now $1-2-5-10 and lots of money was changing hands. I took the good doctor for a ride on the value bus w/ A-Jo, but unfortunately I tripped up on the river with another Ace that caused him to fold without paying me off. I needled him a bit because he had a big mouth and was talking much smack and I told him that I had just bluffed him off his hand. “You should have seen your face when that Ace hit!” and boy was he steaming!

I won a $40 pot off the doctor w/ J-10o on the flop on another $1-2-5-10 hand. It came a safe J-4-4 flop and I bet $25 to take it down uncontested.

I was sitting on a stack that left me even for the trip when this hand came up. I had A-Ko and had been card dead all morning, so my pre-flop raises were nearly extinct. The good doctor had been gone an hour or so and a group of locals who played in home games together had filled in the empty seats. I could tell that they were generally tight and straightforward, so mostly I would avoid them except with a big hand. There were 2 limpers ahead of me and I bumped it to $15. One of the locals called me from the SB and the two limpers folded. The flop was Ax-5h-4h and the old man led into me for $15. I really didn’t put him on a set, but thought that a flush draw or a smaller Ace was possible. As far as physical tells go, I got nothing from him when the flop hit. The Arabic man on my right said to me, “You better be glad that you didn’t let me see that flop, I’d have kicked your @$$ with it.” This sounded like 2 pair to me or a flush draw because he played his draws very aggressively. So that seemed to strengthen my read by discounting some of the flush outs and set possibilities. I raised $25 more on top of the donk bet, feeling like I was milking the old man a little. He thought for a minute and I hoped he would just fold, but he came over the top of me for $100 more. I have learned that all tricky-old men are capable of this play with virtually anything, it is just a good spot to raise because the person in my position can’t make the call with a top pair only hand. The player in my spot has to be a good player and very capable of laying down a hand for this play to work. I am very capable of laying down a hand and they of course pull this play on me all of the time.

Back to the action, I still didn’t put him on much though I didn’t have much information on him since he hadn’t played very many hands. I really thought he had AK like me or he had AQ and was drawing slim. And as much as I hate to call people when they’re on flush draws, I knew this was a spot that I would have to do it here. I rechecked my cards for a heart, and there was none. Mustering up my courage, I pushed $140 into the pot and declared that I was all in. He had to call the last $40 as a matter of principle. We both held our cards tight as the dealer turned over a 4 on the turn and a Jack on the river. That jack stabbed me as soon as it hit, I knew it was a kill card. The old man flipped over his A-Jo and I threw my AK face up into the muck to let everyone see how good of a play I had made and how unlucky I had been. Two people at the table announced that they had folded a Jack, what a crappy draw to lose to a one outer. It was still the right play that left me as a 96% favorite, he did have 3 tying outs, but I’ll take 80%-4%-16% every day of the week and put it all into the middle.

So, final tally of this weekends trip: Loser ($196.00) BOOOOO!!

I feel like I played well and was reading well, but sometimes you can’t help how the cards fall. Eli Elezra has said it best; “In poker you can only make the best decisions you can and let the cards take care of themselves, while understanding that the cards do not always take care of you.”

I’d also like to throw a shout out to Jerry who I played with on Friday night. He’s a member of the USAF and was in town for a brief period of time. I’d like to say that I really appreciate what you and all of the members of our armed forces are doing, you guys are really loved and appreciated as you protect our rights on whatever battlefield you are on.
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