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Session Review #10: Titan Poker, $50 NL (6-max)

Well, it's been a few days since my last post and I apologize. Unfortunately, both work and life have thrown me their fair share of curve balls in the past seven days. All I'll say is that everything is going pretty well now. I'm tired and a little worse for the wear, but pretty damn happy too!

The session below is a review of my last session in July 2007. Though Titan Poker helped make my transition back to the world of online poker pretty painless, this session proved that luck can conquer skill, or a lack thereof, in the short run.

Titan Poker ($50 NL)

SB ($49.50)
BB ($32.60)
Hero ($51.25)
UTG+1 ($31.20)
CO ($55.55)
BTN ($20.92)

Hero is UTG with K♣ K♠

Hero raises to $2.00; UTG+1 folds; CO folds; BTN calls $2.00; SB folds; BB calls $1.50;

(Still new to the table, I had no read on either the BTN or BB. I'll admit that I'm always happy when I raise with Cowboys and get a couple callers.)

Flop: K♦ T♣ J♥

BB checks; Hero bets $7.00; BTN calls $7.00; BB calls $7.00;

(Top set, mulit-way pot, scary board: time to make a large bet! I was hoping that either the BTN or BB had a straight draw or two-pair and would call my bet. If everyone folded, I'd still win a good-sized pot and get my opponents wondering whether or not I had "it".)

Turn: 6♠

BB checks; Hero bets $38.00; BTN is all-in ($11.92); BB folds;

(I decided that the BTN was pretty well committed to the pot at this point and decided that I had a good chance of getting a call. I wanted to get all the money in before the river in case one or both of my opponents were drawing: if the river card missed their draws, I'd get no further money with my top set.)

River: 6♦

(With the turn and river card pairing, I was sure that the hand was mine: Titan Poker doesn't reveal the hole cards when all-in until the showdown.)

Final pot: $74.62

Hero shows Kc Ks
BTN shows As Qc

(Dear Lord! Am I lucky for having hit runner-runner for the full house or I am unlucky to hit top set and have my opponent hit the nut straight on the flop?)

Titan Poker ($50 NL)

BTN ($52.05)
SB ($30.25)
Hero ($78.12)
UTG ($18.70)
UTG+1 ($65.65)
CO ($44.50)

Hero is BB with K♥ K♣

UTG calls $0.50; UTG+1 raises to $3.00; CO folds; BTN folds; SB folds; Hero raises to $10.50; UTG calls $10.00; UTG+1 calls $7.50;

(Pocket Kings again! And this time, I had UTG+1 raising it up before it got back to me. I tend to make my raises and re-raises from the blinds a little larger. In this hand, UTG was the player I was targetting. I'd seen him make a number of extremely loose calls pre-flop and I figured I could get heads up with him and have UTG+1 drop out of the hand. UTG+1 had made a real show of isolating UTG with an almost endless stream of position raises. When UTG called my large re-raise, imagine my surprise when UTG+1 also called. I guess even aggressive players pick up hands from time to time.)

Flop: 9♠ 6♥ T♣

Hero is all-in ($67.12); UTG is all-in ($8.20); UTG+1 folds;

(The pot was already large on the flop. Any 5, 7, 8, J, or Q on the turn could help one or both of my opponents drop-kick my cowboys, so I felt justified in jamming the flop.)

Turn: 7♦

River: 5♠

Final pot: $105.17

Hero shows Kh Kc
UTG shows Ac Kd

(I don't think UTG could have played this hand any worse: obviously, he's now on my buddy list...)

Titan Poker ($50 NL)

BTN ($49.55)
SB ($11.85)
Hero ($57.85)
UTG (Villain) ($65.10)
CO ($60.00)

Hero is BB with J♦ J♣

Villain calls $0.50; CO folds; BTN folds; SB calls $0.25; Hero raises to $3.00; Villain calls $2.50; SB folds;

(Villain is the same UTG opponent from the previous hand. At this point in my session, I'd hit a string of bad cards, bad flops, bad bets and bad luck. In short, my great session had turned into mediocre session. With another premium hand against my fishy friend, I was looking to regain my lost glory.)

Flop: 5♠ 5♥ T♥

Hero bets $6.00; Villain raises to $12.00; Hero is all-in ($48.35); Villain calls $36.35;

(When Villain raised me, I was sure that I could push and get a call. He seemed to consider himself pot-committed far earlier in a hand than most poker seem to do. Villain did take ten seconds to decide his next move before calling my all-in jam on the flop.)

Turn: 4♠

(Although I wasn't sure where I was in the hand yet, I was pretty sure that the 4♠ was a safe card for me.)

River: A♣

(My spidey-sense started tingling...)

Final pot: $113.20

Hero shows Jd Jc
Villain shows As Td (Kelly Clarkson!)

Titan Poker ($50 NL)

UTG+1 ($49.25)
CO ($13.40)
Hero ($83.07)
SB ($73.45)
Villain ($26.57)
UTG ($51.65)

Hero is BTN withT♠ K♦

UTG folds; UTG+1 folds; CO calls $0.50; Hero raises to $2.50; SB folds; Villain calls $2.00; CO folds;

(I had no read on the Villain - he'd just sat down a few orbits ago. I was playing a 24/18 type game and didn't think too much of Villain's call to defend his blind.)

Flop: 4♠ 6♣ K♠

Villain bets $2.00; Hero raises to $6.00; Villain is all-in ($22.07); Hero calls $16.07;

(Villain's small bet on a flushing board had me a little suspicious. I smelled a blocking bet and decided to raise with my top pair. When Villain insta-pushed, I figured that 2:1 odds was good enough for me to call. Although you'll hear no-limit players discuss the dangers of overplaying top pair, I believe my call is justified in this case. Villain could have easily had a flush draw or top pair with a worse kicker. I wasn't going to worry about the dreaded set given the way the hand played out. And if I was behind to K4 or K6, I still had a chance to come out ahead by the river. )

Turn: 5♠

(Sick! If Villain was on a flush draw, I now needed the river to bring another spade and hope that Villain did not hold any spades ranked higher than a ten.)

River: 8♥

(And if Villain had gone crazy and pushed with an OESD on the flop, I was now dead in the water.)

Final pot: $51.24

Hero shows Kd Ts
Villain shows Kc Qs

(Well, this hand made me look like a donkey overplaying a weak top pair hand. However, I still feel justified in my flop call of Villain's all-in. I'd be interested in hearing my reader's opinions on this one).

Titan Poker ($50 NL)

Villain ($47.75)
CO ($11.35)
Hero ($49.75)
SB ($123.40)

Hero is BTN with A♠ J♠

CO folds; Hero raises to $2.00; SB folds; Villain calls $1.50;

(Villain was a tag. A little tight for 6-max, but he's a solid winning player. For the past few sessions at Titan Poker, this Villain has found himself seated in the big blind to my button or cut-off. As such, he'd been forced to endure blind steal after blind steal.)

Flop: 3♠ 9♥ J♣

Villain bets $3.00; Hero calls $3.00;

(This was an easy call with my TPTK. Although I could have raised, I didn't want to scare off the Villain. The flop was not too scary since there was no way Villain would call my pre-flop raise with a hand like QT. Could he have bet a set here? Sure...but I wasn't about to worry about that.)

Turn: 5♥

Villain bets $7.00; Hero calls $7.00;

(Another safe card on the turn. Villain's bet didn't mean all that much given the lack of aggression I'd shown on the flop. When Villain bet, I was sure he had some sort of hand. I put Villain on top pair or a pocket pair. If Villain had a set, I could expect a large bet on the river. Still, I felt I was ahead here.)

River: 3♣

Villain bets $7.00; Hero calls $7.00;

(Villain's river bet seemed very weak. Getting 4:1 odds, I insta-called with my TPTK.)

Final pot: $36.35

Villain shows 7d 7c
Hero shows As Js

(Even tight players can "snap" and overplay hands when their instincts would usually tell them to slow down. I actually played a hand earlier today that saw me playing the role of the Villain and staying in a pot with a medium pocket pair. And much like the Villain in this hand, I paid for my stubbornness.)

Titan Poker ($50 NL)

SB ($53.55)
Villain ($28.20)
Hero ($107.52)
UTG+1 ($35.95)
CO ($50.00)
BTN ($33.00)

Hero is UTG with T♦ T♠

Hero raises to $2.00; UTG+1 folds; CO folds; BTN folds; SB folds; Villain calls $1.50;

(Villain was mildly LAG. He tended to play passive pre-flop and on the flop, but cranked his aggression up a notch on the turn and river.)

Flop: 6♦ 3♥ 7♥

Villain checks; Hero bets $4.00; Villain calls $4.00;

(Standard c-bet on a scary board. If Villain called with a flush draw, I was happy that he'd made a mistake. However, I wasn't looking forward to the Villain's aggression on the later streets, especially if another heart were to hit the board.)

Turn: 6♥

Villain checks; Hero bets $6.00; Villain is all-in ($22.20); Hero folds;

(When Villain checked to me, I had to bet my hand. If I checked behind, I'd have let my opponent draw to his flush for free. However, with 3 cards to the flush already on the board, I didn't need to make a large bet to force my opponent to make a mistake. I decided on a half pot-sized bet. If Villain had already made the flush, he'd let me know right away. And if Villain were to call and hit his flush on the river, I would be able to lay down my hand fairly easily. Anyway, Villain's check-raise told me all I needed to know: my overpair was probably behind to Villain's flush or trip sixes.)

Final pot: $39.25

If I had the choice, would I rather be a lucky poker player or a good poker player? Ask me in ten years...

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