Now that’s more like it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 0:54 | Filled in poker

I finally got in a nice long session tonight. I played four tables most of the time (there were no 30/60 or 10/20 tables, so I was on all the 15/30 tables and one 5/10). I earned 1,000 FPPs and $2,500 or so. It would be much simpler if it always went like this. There is an odd poker phenomenon that happens to me from time to time.  I was totally in “the zone.”  I felt like I knew when I was beat and when I could bluff and when I should call down. Most of it is stuff I always know, but I can’t always put it together when I need it. It is a combination of mental focus, good mood and good results, I think. No matter how well you usually play, somehow when you are running well it is easier to make those thin bets and tough calldowns. I even lost a couple of rough set over sets and suckouts, but I was so confident in my feel that I was rolling over everyone.

I even smacked my primary nemesis around some tonight.  He has pretty much killed me in pots where we are both involved, but I also think I’ve picked up a pretty reliable timing tell on him today. I’ll have to watch him, but it has been 100% accurate since I picked up on it.  I really enjoy playing against the regulars and figuring out how to adapt to them.  I’m actually playing as passive post-flop as I ever have in my life because these guys are so aggro, you often don’t need to push.

Here was the biggest hand of the session:

PokerStars 15/30 Hold’em (6 handed) Poker Stars Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)

Preflop: Hero is Button with , .
2 folds, CO raises, Hero 3-bets, 1 fold, BB caps, CO calls, Hero calls.

This is one of those situations that get me in trouble. I’m trying to isolate CO, who is the perfect combination of too loose pre-flop and too weak post-flop, when BB wakes up with a real hand. He is never capping here without a big, big hand. Let’s say AA-QQ and AK.

Flop: (12.66 SB) , , (3 players)
BB checks, CO checks, Hero bets, BB raises, CO folds, Hero 3-bets, BB caps, Hero calls.

Touchdown! It checks to me and BB check-raises. I seriously doubt he has TT and he won’t put me on that strong of a hand, in part because I am playing it fast here. The check-raise is good for me, because he can cap and lead the turn.

Turn: (10.33 BB) (2 players)
BB bets, Hero raises, BB 3-bets, Hero caps, BB calls.

His three bet starts to make me nervous about QQ, but I’m not slowing down with a set that easily.

River: (18.33 BB) (2 players)
BB bets, Hero calls.

The lead bet after I capped finally slows me down. Perhaps I should have stuck with the old school approach of bombing like mad with a set. I just can’t believe he’d go that crazy with an overpair and there is no credible two pair combo he could have. He’s not a regular at this game and I don’t think he would be happy if he became one.

Final Pot: 20.33 BB
Results in white below:
BB has Ah Ad (one pair, aces).
Hero has 2h 2c (three of a kind, twos).
Outcome: Hero wins 20.33 BB.

No surprise to the wise readers, but I was a bit shocked.

I somewhat botched this hand because I had a lot of action going on at the same time, but I’m pleased with the last decision.

PokerStars 15/30 Hold’em (9 handed) Poker Stars Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)

Preflop: Hero is MP1 with , .
2 folds, Hero raises, 1 fold, MP3 calls, 2 folds, SB calls, 1 fold.

This is one of those ideas that seemed clever at the time.  The blinds were both quite tight (especially the BB) so I decided to raise a borderline hand from poor position.  Mistake #1.

Flop: (7 SB) , , (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, MP3 checks.

Honestly, I forgot that I raised preflop because there were too many hands going off at once.  I thought that MP3 raised initially.  Mistake #2

Turn: (3.50 BB) (3 players)
SB bets, Hero calls, MP3 calls.

The bet from the SB could be a couple of different things.  He easily could have an Ace and he was hoping to check-raise the flop.  My thinking at the time was that I didn’t want to get sandwiched.  However, in hindsight, I think I probably would have been better off to raise.  If I get three bet, I know I’m dead and can fold.  MP3 will probably drop off and I can reevaluate on the river.  Mistake #3.

River: (6.50 BB) (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, MP3 raises, SB folds, Hero calls.

When SB checked, I actually thought I had to have the best hand.  I figured I could bet and get a call from a King.  I planned to bet/fold, since I figured a raise meant a boat.  If the board was KKT55, you could bet and get calls from Aces all the time, so this is a similar situation.  After he raised, some alarm went off in my head.  I can’t believe he plays an Ace that way and a five makes no sense at all.  I puzzle for a while and finally clicked call.

Final Pot: 10.50 BB
Results in white below:
Hero has Td Kc (two pair, aces and tens).
MP3 has Qh Kh (two pair, aces and fives).
Outcome: Hero wins 10.50 BB.

All those mistakes were canceled out by one good decision.  The funny thing is that I decided to call mostly because of my note which says “plays AK unimproved like the nuts on the flop.”  I figured a guy capable of that is also capable of getting tricky here.

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2 Comments to Now that’s more like it!

  1. Toro says:

    April 17th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I totally know what ur talking about when you say ‘in the zone’ a lot of times people ask me how I play something and I’ll answer “depends on my mood” and they think I’m BSing them.

    In the 22 hand I’ll usually raise/call on the river, but the board being that dry a call probably is just as good with a ton less variance.

  2. Nsidestrate says:

    April 17th, 2008 at 10:58 am

    The 22 hand is an interesting river decision. The problem is that an overset is going to 3 bet your raise every time. So you are risking 2 bets to win 1. You need to be against a worse hand 34% of the time to profitably make the river raise. Given the action, I don’t think you will see KK or JJ ever. I think you are looking at AA/QQ/TT pretty much every time. I’m never giving that much action with AA in that spot, nor would any of the better players at this level. Even the more LAGtastic players would usually check-call the river with AA there. If it was a regular, I would conclude that he really thought I was a donkey because he would have to think I’m giving that much action with KK there.

    This hand is also proof of the merits of my approach to playing sets fast.

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