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Happy Birthday!

I've spent the past few days reacquainting myself with 6-max NLHE. I thought that my head's up game would have adversely affected my 6-max game but I don't think that'll be the case. I'm looking forward to hitting the tables tomorrow night. It's my son's birthday today so we'll be having a small family celebration with the grandparents, some pizza, and a chocolate cupcake for the birthday boy. I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun.

I'm going to try and post a review of my poker play in September this week. I can give you a preview: the month started off poorly but I managed to come back and pull off a slightly positive month at the tables. Pretty standard for me.

Ok, gotta go. Just got word of a family emergency.

Have a great day everyone!

Keep reading "Happy Birthday!"

A Delicious Weekend

It was a very busy weekend for my wife and I...mainly for my wife. We managed to get a lot of food and a lot of family members at our place for my youngest son's first birthday party. It was a lot of fun and there was a lot of food. So much food, in fact, that I managed to pack on five pounds in less than 48 hours. I blame the eight Ham & Swiss sandwiches, two pounds of five-layer nacho dip, the full bag of Cheese and Horseradish potato chips, and the litre of premium ice cream for my sudden weight gain.

Still, it was all for a good cause...

I managed to fit in a bit of poker yesterday afternoon. I played in the $22.5K freeroll at Full Tilt Poker (courtesy of RakeTheRake). I donked out in 700th place or something in level 3. I've really forgotten how to play tournament poker. I was knocked out when my 66 ran into another guy's AA. He'd either 3-bet me or floated me on each of my last four pre-flop raises; I guess I really didn't feel like playing anymore. I happily called off the last of my 17 BB stack with a small pocket pair and got punished. It's good to know that I'm a tournament donkey.

I also played a quick Turbo SNG at Party yesterday. Party gave me another $10 for free so I figured I'd donk it off in a SNG. I think there was something buggy with my installation of the new Party software. For some reason, I couldn't manually type in my bet amounts. I hate using my mouse and a software slider to size my bets. Software deficiencies aside, I busted on the bubble for a $0 payday.

With poker out of the way, I settled in for a little Force Unleashed and finished the game off. It was short but sweet! I really, really wish that I could pick up and move people and a variety of other things using only a few discrete hand gestures. I'd either become a superhero or I'd start up my own moving company. Either one could work out well, I think.

No time for hand histories today. I'm still planning on heading back to work on my 6-max game in preparation for my jump to $200 NLHE. But I'll be way too tired to play tonight due to various "baby-crying-all-night-long" issues. I've had a fairly good month at the tables though nothing quite as spectacular as some of the months I've been having of late. Still, being up is always good and I may stay clear of the tables to artificially lock in another winning month for myself; my ego can be so easy to please at times.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "A Delicious Weekend"

Happy Birthdays, New Avatars, and a New Outlook

For the past couple years, I've used the same avatar (i.e. Will Ferrell at the wheel of a ship smoking a corn cob pipe) for both my site and my avatar on various poker sites. In recent times, I haven't felt like that care-free sailor floating from one hilarious box office hit to the next. I've matured greatly over the past couple years, due in great part to the extra responsibilities of being a father and husband.

And so I thought it would be fitting to update my old avatar with a new one (shown here). Gregory House M.D. seems to be a good fit for my current state of mind. I may not be addicted to Vicodin but, to my credit, I am addicted to Chinese food, buffets, and long walks on the beach at sunset.

Much like House, I've grown quite apathetic to the struggles and woes of those near and far, at home and abroad.

Maybe I'm a jerk.

Maybe I'm just tired.

Maybe I'm disgusted by the fact that I still have trouble beating low stakes poker from time to time.

Or maybe I just feel that I'm owed...something and have yet to catch wind of the when, where, or how such a "something" might be bestowed upon me. Until then, I guess I'll settle for my new avatar and my new outlook on poker and life.

In happier news, my family will be celebrating my youngest son's first birthday this weekend! He's a great little guy and he deserves to have a great party! There will be Swiss cheese at this party which is, in my opinion, a key component of any successful get-together. I can't wait to see my little guy take his first bite of cake! I remember when my oldest son tackled his first cupcake: I didn't think you could get that much icing in so many little nooks and crannies. Seriously, my kids are great and I love them both to death!

Besides the birthday, I'll likely play some poker and some video games. I'll be putting the heads up poker aside for a while as I'm in the mood for grinding again. I'd like to make the move to $200 NLHE next month so I'll have to get my regular game back up and running. I also got systematically dismantled at the Heads Up tables last night which makes my decision to return to 6-max all that much easier. As an aside, playing Heads UP NLHE against an aggressive opponent is not very much fun when you miss every flop (except for that one flop where he hits his set, that is).

I'll also be playing in this month's $22,500 freeroll at Full Tilt Poker presented by RakeTheRake! Have I mentioned how much I love RakeTheRake? I dare anyone to find a better or more professionally run rakeback site. Signing up with them is the best decision I've ever made in terms of online poker.

My goal for next month's poker will be to prove to myself that most of the online poker community can't play poker. I see so many bad players succeeding where they should fail. I want to be there when they fall so that I can relieve them of their chips as they pass by on their rapid descent to bankroll suicide.

New avatar, new outlook, and a new day...

Keep reading "Happy Birthdays, New Avatars, and a New Outlook"

A Little Inspiration

I spent last night relaxing with my wife. It's nice that both House and Bones are back with new episodes. House is my second favourite show on TV, surpassed only by The Office. And Bones is a surprisingly good show that some friends turned us onto over the summer. Great stuff all 'round, I'd say.

In any case, I didn't play any poker last night. I may play a little heads up poker tonight if the mood strikes. I've already put in over 6,000 hands this month so I wouldn't mind just taking a night to play some video games. My problem is that the allure of poker is quite strong at the moment. I'm really enjoying HUNL and I've managed to avoid the lion's share of tilt-inducing variance.

In fact, I've wondered if much of my winning play is a result of my indifference to winning or losing. If I were to sit down and play some heads up poker tonight and dropped a few buy-ins, I wouldn't care. I'd simply shut down my laptop, fire up my Xbox 360, and escape into a world of Jedi, violent hobos, creepy little girls, and medieval puzzles. Of course, if I post a winning session, my bankroll gets a little boost and I start looking forward to my next session.

And it's easy to look forward to poker when you've got some great opponents. Take a look at these hands and tell me that you wouldn't mind hitting the tables right about now!

Titan Poker 0.25/0.50
Hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

saw flop | saw showdown

BB Villain ($168.90)
SB Hero ($165.25)

Preflop: Hero is in the SB with 7 8
Hero raises to 1.50, Villain calls 1.00.

Flop (3.25) T 9 6
Villain checks, Hero bets 2.00, Villain raises to 8.00, Hero raises to 15.00, Villain calls 7.00.

(Villain doesn't check-raise without a hand so I'm trying to build the pot without going crazy.)

Turn (35.25) K
Villain checks, Hero bets 25.00, Villain calls 25.00.

(I hate the King but I've got to bet since this is usually a good spot to bluff. I probably should have bet pot in order to set up a pot-sized push on the river.)

River (85.25) 2
Villain checks, Hero moves all-in for 123.75, 1 fold

(Okay - I went a little crazy here. But given my read on the Villain, I think he's just as likely to call an overbet as he is a $60 value bet. My line is pretty strong. Villain's quick fold coupled with Villain's play on the turn and flop makes me think he had either QT or JT.)

Hero wins 209.00

This next hand occurred within the first ten hands at the table. Villain is rated as being quite poor. He'd just finished playing against a total donkey and was probably feeling overly confident.

Titan Poker 0.25/0.50
Hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

saw flop | saw showdown

SB Villain ($301.95)
BB Hero ($52.85)

Preflop: Hero is in the BB with A Q
Villain raises to 1.50, Hero raises to 5.00, Villain calls 3.50.

Flop (10.75) 2 Q 3
Hero bets 7.00, Villain raises to 20.00, Hero calls 13.00.

(I'm stacking off here. But given Villain's check-raise, I'll let him do the betting for me.)

Turn (50.75) 2
Hero checks, Villain bets 30.00, Hero moves all-in for 27.85.

River (108.60) 9

Hero shows A Q
Villain shows A J (Didn't see that coming...)

Hero wins 108.60 with Two pair, Queens and Twos with a Ace for a kicker

So tonight - maybe poker, maybe games. I haven't decided yet. Hopefully I'll find some inspiration over the course of my day.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "A Little Inspiration"

A Grueling Match

I ended up playing a fairly grueling heads up match at Titan Poker last night. Although things started off quite poorly, I ended up winning close to a buy-in ($50 buy-in though...) over the course of 560 hands. It was just one of those nights where I couldn't seem to pick up a hand when I needed it. Heads up poker can be exhausting...

I'd played with this particular Villain a few times prior. Overall, I had him stuck about five buy-ins over the course of our matches. I thought I had a good read on this guy before I sat down to play last night; however, my read was off in many ways. Mind you, I'm looking forward to the next time we meet. I believe that I'll really be able to do some damage if I can manage to keep patient, hit some cards, and stay one step ahead of this Villain.

I don't have any hand histories with me but I'll see if I can give a re-cap of the match.

  • I semi-bluffed a couple streets and made a bluff bet on the river. After missing my draw, I saw the opportunity to do some cheap advertising and it worked. Villain would now allow me to value bet three streets with many hands.
  • A scant few hands later, I flopped TPTK and value bet all three street for about 70% of Villain's stack.
  • Villain had been three-betting me a lot from the big blind. I decided to flat his three-bet with my 5 4 on the button. Flop came down KQx with two diamonds. Villain donk-bet into me and I put him to the test for the rest of his stack. Villain jammed and I had to call given the odds being laid. Villain showed top two pair. I hit my flush on the turn and Villain filled up on the river to take down the pot.
  • The next hour or so was a blur of poor hands and missed flops. I couldn't even use my aggression to pick up pots because the Villain rarely folded. Value-betting was the only tool I could really use against him.
  • I was down about two buy-ins when I picked up AKs on the button. I made a standard raise and Villain three-bet me; I called the three-bet (read-based reasoning behind this decision). Flop came Ace high. I let the Villain bet into me on the flop and turn. On the river, I pushed the last of my stack in and Villain called with AJ.
  • With a solid read on my opponent's play, I started loosening up and playing more post-flop poker. Villain was still catching a lot of cards but I was still confident at this point.
  • I flopped a set with my pocket 3s and got two streets of value (flop and river) to put me up for the session.
  • Villain and I sparred for another 20 minutes before he called it a night.
I'm looking forward to playing against this Villain again. In a strange way, I think he is probably hoping to run into me again. I'll be more than willing to oblige the Villain with as many matches as he'd like to play.

Until our next encounter, I'm going to think about last night's match and see if I can come up with some new and interesting ways to use the reads I gathered last night. I'm positive that I misplayed many hands by not three-betting enough. And I may have folded a little too quickly in some spots. All in all, I'm content with my play last night and I'm happy that I was able to adapt my game and pull out a small win.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "A Grueling Match"

Some Thoughts on Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em (Micro-Stakes Version)

Unlike Gnome, I'm actually finding heads up poker much more enjoyable than the 6-max grind. Of course, I haven't played as many hands of HUNL as Gnome nor have I played against knowledgeable opponents. I'm sure that variance is waiting for me just around the corner, ready to knock me on my ass and put me on full-blow hiatus tilt. Until then, I guess I'll just keep rocking the $50 HU tables at Full Tilt and Titan Poker.

Having played a (small) number of HUNL hands at the micro-stakes, here are some observations that I have on the game:

  • There are very few players who understand HU poker at the micro-stakes.
  • Most of my opponents are either too loose, too aggressive, or too tight. Surprisingly, playing an extremely passive game seems to be the lesser of all evils.
  • It's very important to choose when and how a big pot will be played. Patience is critical since it's best to get a solid read on your opponent before committing too many chips to a pot with a marginal hand.
  • Making obvious mistakes in small pots can really help you get paid off in big pots. For example, throw in a pot-sized river bluff or a river bluff check-raise to help you get paid off when you've got a monster.
  • Don't walk into a heads up game hoping to play a particular style of poker. Instead, poke and probe your opponent's game from the get-go and look to adopt a style that exploits his game. For example, if your opponent plays loose and passive, stop raising with garbage and start value-betting big. Or if you're opponent insta-mucks to most c-bets, starting raising and c-betting any two cards from the button.
  • Try to empathize with your opponent. If you can imagine how your opponent feels (angry, scared, shell-shocked, cocky, etc.), you've taken a solid step towards delivering the death blow to your opponent's stack and mental health.
  • Short-stacked players at the micro-stakes do not employ proper short-stack strategy.
  • Most micro-stakes players do not have multiple "gears" or facets to their games. You can pidgeon-hole these opponents quickly and start exploiting their many flaws.
  • Do not go on tilt if your opponents suck out on you. Always be happy to get your money in good.
  • It's best to look for a new opponent if you find yourself getting outplayed or working too hard. I guarantee that there are easier tables out there - especially at the micro-stakes.
  • Don't be ashamed to admit defeat and find an easier opponent. Poker's much more fun when you're able to exploit your opponents and make lots of money doing it. If you're really desperate to move up in limits, I'd recommend looking for an easier game at a higher buy-in as opposed to playing tougher competition at your current stakes.
  • Heads up poker is still poker. Pot odds, implied odds, pot-control, SPR, and other theory still applies.
  • Rakeback is crucial to your success as a heads up poker player. It can be very hard to beat both the rake and your opponent. I use RakeTheRake to help me improve my edge in these games and so should you.
  • Table selection is critical to becoming a winning heads up player. Even if you're only able to identify and avoid winning regular players, you'll be well on your way to success.
  • Don't be afraid to push a hand that you believe to be best.
  • If you're sure that your hand's a loser, muck it. It can be very hard to do but it's the biggest money-making tip that I can give you.
  • Have fun! Heads up poker is fast and exciting. If you're looking to play mindless poker, go grind out your hands at the full-ring or 6-max tables.
I'm sure there's lots of stuff that I'm forgetting to mention. Then again, I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination so it's probably best that I try to keep my opinions obvious and pointless.

As for me, I'll continue my education in HUNL this evening at Full Tilt. Then again, a little Force Unleashed might be nice too!

Have a great day!

Keep reading "Some Thoughts on Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em (Micro-Stakes Version)"


I ended up playing more video games over the weekend than poker. I've decided to focus a little more on head's up poker until this month comes to an end. I've posted some pretty solid results at the $50 tables. And if things continue the way they've been going, I might even try the $100 HUNL tables in short order.

I've still got quite a bit of work to do on my game before I move up though. I still run into problem against certain player types. More specifically, tight-weak players who only bet or raise with the nuts really throw me off my game. Sure - it's easy-peasy once I've identified that an opponent is using this strategy. But there can be some costly pots along the way.

I think the session I played yesterday really shows a lack of concentration and a big leak in my HU game.

The session started off well...

Full Tilt
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50
2 players

Stack sizes:
SB: $58
Hero: $50

Pre-flop: (2 players) Hero is BB with 8♣ 3♠
SB calls, Hero checks.

Flop: 3♥ 8♠ 8♥ ($1, 2 players)
Hero checks, SB bets $0.5, Hero calls.

Turn: 8♦ ($2, 2 players)
Hero checks, SB checks.

River: 6♦ ($2, 2 players)
Hero is all-in $49, SB calls.

Results: (in white below)
Final pot: $100
Hero showed 8c 3s
SB showed 7h 7c

After this hand, I had my opponent on the ropes. He played one hand really poorly that allowed me collect another half-stack by value betting TPTK on three streets. I thought that my opponent had gone on full-blow tilt. However, I soon realized that he'd simply gone back into his shell to wait for the right time to strike...

Full Tilt
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50
2 players

Stack sizes:
Hero: $113.10
BB: $45.45

Pre-flop: (2 players) Hero is SB with Q♣ Q♦
Hero raises to $1.5, BB calls.

Flop: 6♥ 2♦ K♦ ($3, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $2, BB calls.

Turn: Q♠ ($7, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $5, BB calls.

River: A♦ ($17, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $15, BB raises all-in $36.95, Hero calls.

Results: (in white below)
Final pot: $90.9
BB showed 9d Jd
Hero mucks Qc Qd

I'm pretty sure I tilted ever so slightly after that hand without justifiable cause. In this next hand, I just couldn't believe that my opponent had a hand better than mine. I somehow believed him to be capable of jamming with a draw or a worse pair. Honestly, if I'd just looked at the SPR of the hand, I could have made an easy lay-down. What the heck was I thinking here?

Full Tilt
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50
2 players

Stack sizes:
SB: $90.40
Hero: $67.65

Pre-flop: (2 players) Hero is BB with 9♥ 9♠
SB raises to $1, Hero raises to $3, SB calls.

Flop: T♥ T♣ 2♣ ($6, 2 players)
Hero bets $4, SB raises all-in $87.4, Hero calls all-in $60.65.
Uncalled bets: $22.75 returned to SB.

Turn: 7♥ ($135.3, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $135.3)

River: K♠ ($135.3, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $135.3)

Results: (in white below)
Final pot: $135.3
Hero showed 9h 9s
SB showed Ts As

I still couldn't believe that my opponent would only bet or raise extremely strong hands against me. This next hand was the last I played. I figured that I was off my game and it'd be best for me to shut down my computer and take a breather. Once again, note that the SPR of the hand was an enormous 15. Still not good enough to be stacking off with an overpair against most sane opponents.

Full Tilt
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50
2 players

Stack sizes:
SB: $146.20
Hero: $60.95

Pre-flop: (2 players) Hero is BB with 8♦ 8♣
SB calls, Hero raises to $2, SB calls.

Flop: 7♠ 4♦ 3♣ ($4, 2 players)
Hero bets $3, SB raises to $13, Hero raises all-in $58.95, SB calls.

Turn: 7♣ ($121.9, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $121.9)

River: Q♣ ($121.9, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $121.9)

Results: (in white below)
Final pot: $121.9
Hero showed 8d 8c
SB showed 5s 6d

One lucky river card and a couple great flops were all that was needed for my opponent to dismantle my game. I played terribly by not properly adjusting to my opponent's play and by throwing any pretense of ABC poker out the window. Hopefully I'll things under control this evening when I hit the tables again.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "Dismantled"

Sponsored By: Online Casino Suite

The following is a paid review for Online Casino Suite.

When it comes to brick and mortar casinos, blackjack is typically my game of choice. I've seen the mindless drones hitting the slot machines and that's not for me. Mind you, we now have live poker at my local casino. But there's something to be said for playing some by-the-book blackjack.

But with two kids and a wife, I don't have time to visit the casino. For me, the only casino I'll be visiting any time soon is an online casino. What's the catch? There are a lot of online casinos. There are so many, in fact, that it's hard to know which online casinos have the best games, the best payouts, the best deals, and solid reputations. For these reasons, I always consult Online Casino Suite when it comes to choosing where I'd like to gamble my nights away.

Online Casino Suite is a directory of the best online casinos, poker rooms and online bingo sites on the web. They even go that extra mile by teaching their site's visitors how to play many of today's most popular online casino games: blackjack, Texas Hold'em (my favourite), and video poker are all covered. Online Casino Suite is more than just a portal for a multitude of online casinos: they want you to play, they want you to have fun, and they want you to win.

In addition to the aforementioned features of Online Casino Suite, I should point out that they offer other great features such as: book reviews, magazine reviews, online casino news, online casino blacklists, and more.

Online Casino Suite is a nice little site with all the information you'll need to make the right choices when deciding where to gamble with your hard-earned money. So give them a visit today!

Keep reading "Sponsored By: Online Casino Suite"

Weekend Unleashed!

It's almost the weekend! It's going to be a great weekend for me. I'll be spending some quality time with my wife and kids, playing some head's up poker at Full Tilt and Titan Poker, and hitting the Xbox 360 pretty hard. I may also have a couple drinks because it seems to be the popular thing to do.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's still a full day's work ahead and I've still got some things to say...

First an update on my Xbox 360 situation: there is no more situation! My new Xbox 360 arrived yesterday morning via Purolator. Last night, I plugged the sucker in, transferred some content licenses as per Microsoft's instructions, and then started playing some games.

I played the first mission in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Great game so far! Darth Vader is pretty damned cool for a fat white guy/whiny skinny kid encased in a shiny, plastic suit. Looking at Vader as an adult, I can't help but see his get-up as a little funny looking: big helmet, retro buttons on the chest-plate, and pants a little too snug in the crotch. Yet as a lifelong Star Wars fan who holds Darth Vader in the greatest of esteem, he is so bad ass! It's times like these that I love being a nerd!

If you have any interest in Star Wars, Darth Vader, or choking the life out of friend and foe alike, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for Xbox 360 or Playstation 3...or the Nintendo Wii (meh).

I'd like to keep things poker-y around here so here's a hand I played the other night at Titan's $50 HU NLHE tables. Same Villain as yesterday; however, this hand takes place much earlier in the match. I can understand the Villain's flop play, maybe even his play on the turn, but the river completely boggles my mind.

Titan Poker 0.50/1.00, hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

BB Villain ($155.20)
SB Hero ($181.20)

Preflop: Hero is in the SB with 8 9
Hero raises to 1.50, Villain calls 1.00.

Flop (3.25) 2 J A
Villain checks, Hero bets 2.00, Villain calls 2.00.

(Villain's call means either an Ace, Jack, a pocket pair, or a flush draw.)

Turn (7.25) A
Villain checks, Hero bets 5.00, Villain calls 5.00.

(Based on my read, Villain doesn't call on the turn with less than an Ace, Jack, or flush draw.)

River (17.25) 6
Villain checks, Hero bets 14.00, Villain calls 14.00

(When Villain checks the river to me, I figure that I might be able to push him off a Jack or a busted flush draw with one card higher than a 9. I don't think an Ace is likely here given that Villain has not shown any strength on any street.)

Hero shows 8 9
Villain shows A T

Villain wins 45.25 with One pair, Aces

(How does the Villain not bet or raise at any point with his hand? Why not check-raise the river? Weird. He may have played this way in an attempt to slow-down my post-flop aggression. Needless to say, it didn't work. In fact, I was able to start playing more speculative hands knowing that the Villain would let me get to showdown cheaply even if he was holding a monster hand.)

Finally, I leave you with a funny clip of Will Ferrell answering some of his fans' questions. Funny stuff...

See more Will Ferrell videos at Funny or Die

Have a great weekend!

Keep reading "Weekend Unleashed!"

Oh Happy Day!

Another quick post today since I'm terribly busy.

My first bit of news is definitely more video game related: my new Xbox 360 arrived this morning via courier! Have you held off on buying an Xbox 360 due to fears surrounding the infamous Red Ring of Death (RROD)? Read this post on The Greedy Gamer if you'd like to see a timeline of the life, death, and eventual replacement of my Xbox 360. I'll be testing my new Xbox 360 tonight with a little Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

In poker news, I'm really enjoying my Head's Up No-Limit Hold'em. In contrast to Gnome, I've actually been winning my fair share of coin flips and matches. There's a huge skill gap between the $400 HUNL games that Gnome frequents and the $50 HUNL that I've been playing. I'm glad that I'm learning the game while my bankroll is small and my willingness to gamble at meaningless stakes is quite big.

Here's a hand that I played last night against some random guy playing on Titan Poker.

Titan Poker 0.50/1.00, hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

BB ($77.50)
SB Hero ($245.05)

(Villain and I have been playing for about 40 minutes. I started with $50, worked my way up to $105, got busted back down to $60, and have started climbing back up that hill...)

Preflop: Hero is in the SB with 9 7
Hero raises to 1.50, BB calls 1.00.

(Villain folded to a lot of my c-bets making it profitable to raise with almost any two on the button.)

Flop (3.25) Q 9 A
BB checks, Hero bets 2.00, BB calls 2.00.

(Villain generally folded to my c-bets on big card flops. His call tells me that he's got either an Ax, Qx, 88-22, or a pocket pair. I think he raises bigger hands pre-flop and I also think that he check-raises me with his strong flopped hands.)

Turn (7.25) 9
BB checks, Hero bets 5.00, BB calls 5.00.

(I pick up trips. My read on Villain is that he folds anything other than JT, Qx, 9x or Ax on the turn here. I'm betting for value here knowing that I'll likely get called by most of the Villain's range.)

River (17.25) 2
BB checks, Hero bets 20.00, BB calls 20.00

(Draws missed. I figure that Villain will fold a busted draw to any sized bet and call with most other holdings. I decide to target his likely holding of top pair. I know that the Villain hates to fold top pair. I quickly overbet the pot on the river and Villain insta-called.)

Hero shows 9 7
Villain shows A 4

Hero wins 57.25 with Three of a kind, Nines

If you haven't tried Head's Up NL, I'd recommend giving it a try. You'd be surprised at how much your poker game and hand reading skills will improve. Of course, you'd also be surprised at how much rake you're forced to pay in so little time. I highly recommend visiting RakeTheRake before going crazy with HUNL.

Have a good one! I'm off to play some video games!

Keep reading "Oh Happy Day!"