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A little something for everyone

I wish I could say that I had a great night of playing last night. I wish I could say that I had a horrible night last night and lost half my bankroll. In fact, anything's more interesting than the reality of the three and a half hours that I spent hunched over my laptop.

For a change of venue, I went over to MrVercetti's to watch the Sens game (they beat Minnesota 6-1) on his 50" plasma TV. Just last week, MrVercetti had kindly wired up (I use this term very loosely) his living room for Internet, which meant one thing for me. Poker...

The game started and I fired up TigerGaming for some $5 NL play. The next two and a half hours were spent either being card dead or getting nothing for my quality hands.

For example, I pick up AA in the SB. At a table with flop percentages in the low to mid 70s, I was pretty damn happy. I pictured re-raising then getting all my money in pre-flop and coming away rich! Instead, everyone folds to me. Not being one to limp with rockets, I decide to min raise another 10 cents. Getting 3 to 1 odds, the big blind decides to fold...dirty bugger...

Twenty minutes later, I pick up 99 on the button and raise it to 4xBB. Only one guy stays in the pot. Flop comes 9 Q Q - sweet! The only problem is that my opponent is taking a long time to think. A little too long. I turn to John, who had also come over to watch the Sens game on the big screen, and tell him that my opponent will probably just fold rather than simply check. Five seconds later, my opponent does just that. Seriously, not only is folding for no reason a bad play, it's just annoying. I guess the guy was too afraid of catching something on the turn or the river that might have forced him to invest some money into the pot. I don't think he had any idea how far behind he was, although I blame his play on inexperience/crappiness as opposed to a killer intuition.

Other than those two hands, I picked up a number of AJ, AQ and a few AK hands. I missed the flop on half of them and did alright with the others.

The big mistake of the night came when I picked up A9s in the SB. Eight people in the pot. Flop comes 9 4 2. I bet out half the pot, the chip leader to my right calls, the guy to his right pushes all in for his last 0.90. Everyone folds to me and I call for another 10 cents as does the chip leader. Turn is a blank and I check. The chip leader bets $2 into the $4 something pot. At this point, I have only top pair with a measly 5 outs to improve. The correct play at this point is to fold. So I push with my last $3.50 and patting myself on the back for a brilliant play.

In reality, I knew I was behind and I don't know why I pushed. It's that gambler's spirit, it's the hoping against hope that your opponent is bluffing. When the chip leader shows pocket twos for the flopped set, I can only blame myself. I lose my buy-in and leave the table in shame. I broke my one cardinal rule of poker: Never call an all-in bet when all you can beat is a bluff. This could be someone else's saying, although I think that the concept is so straight-forward that it probably goes unspoken within the poker community.

Even though I lost one buy-in, I was doing well at another table and ended up 32 cents for the night. I know, don't spend it all in one place. At least I learned (for a third time) the value of not calling a large bet or pushing all-in with only top pair. Let's hope it sticks this time.

Afterwards, I played a $5 SNG at Intertops at promptly dropped out in 6th spot. Ooof, not a good night. Not a bad night either, but not as good as I'd hoped. I think the Sens sucked up all my luck by creaming the Wild.

That's all for now. Not that interesting a read - I apologize. I may post something later today discussing my current NL ring game strategy. It probably only works at the micro limit tables and I'm positive that it doesn't maximize winnings, but it should help some of the newer players make some easy money.


Kent said...

You mentioned poker forums on my blog. I read the Two Plus Two forums from time to time; are there others that you'd suggest?

Also, I saw in one of your previous posts where you're reading SSH. Is this the first time you've read it? I found that it didn't all sink in the first time. I'm getting more out it the second time through (after playing a thousand or so hands).

Klopzi said...

For forums, I've posted on and read at the Big Blind Poker forum, Poker News Daily forum, and the PokerSource Online forum. There are others out there. I tend to avoid 2+2 simply because I don't like to read about hand histories and then have everyone shoot down the guy posting it. Hey, 2+2, I get it: be aggressive...

Basically, I look for forums that run freeroll tournaments from time to time. I've made a few hundred just playing those, although the last time I played a freeroll was last October.

As for SSH, I've read it a number of times. Great book! It really gives the reader an edge in any low limit game - however, there are many things in that book that must be interpreted through the eyes of experience. There are a lot of caveats to everything Miller says and misapplication of a topic at the tables can cost a player dearly.

I try to re-read SSH every few months. I'm hoping that by the time I hit my one year mark of playing poker, I'll have fully absorbed and applied Miller's teachings.

Klopzi said...

Just wanted to make a correction: it's the Blind Bet Forum, not Big Blind...