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Positive Thinking

As we head into the weekend, I wanted to point out that poker's never all doom and gloom. I'm going to pull out of my cold-streak (if you can even call a stretch of 2,000 hands a streak) just fine. Over the next few days, I'm going to approach poker as just a game...again. I find it hard to stop myself from regarding poker as a source of income. But it is just a game. It's a game that I play well at times and quite poorly at other times. First and foremost, it should be fun. And honestly, is there anything more fun than sitting around and folding hands for hours on end while you wait for that magic hand to bust the game wide open?

To help start my weekend off right, let's take a look at a couple hands that went well. I rarely examine the hands that went well through no effort or skill on my part. But I think it's important to see hands like these to remind me that patience is one of the most important skills for a poker player.

No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
5 players

Stack sizes:
UTG: $124.50
Villain (CO): $135.35
Button: $153.65
SB: $99.90
Hero (BB): $103

Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is BB with 5♦ 5♣
UTG folds, Villain raises to $4, 2 folds, Hero calls.

(Villain is not a great player and pretty aggressive post-flop. If I hit, I know I'm getting paid off.)

Flop: 5♥ Q♦ T♣ ($8.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $5, Villain raises to $13, Hero calls.

(Presto! If I had a better read on the Villain, I might try 3-betting here. But I don't so I'm going for the rope-a-dope strategy.)

Turn: 2♠ ($34.5, 2 players)
Hero checks, Villain bets $15, Hero calls.

(I think my image is too tight to lead out on the turn and expect a call.)

River: T♠ ($64.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $30, Villain calls.

(The ten isn't a great card since it's possible that I was calling with second pair against an aggressive opponent. Man, I really wish that I had position in this hand...)

Results: (in white below)
Final pot: $124.5
Hero showed 5d 5c
Villain mucks Qc Ac

No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players

Stack sizes:
UTG: $29.90
Hero (UTG+1): $100
CO: $22.25
Button: $214.05
SB: $114.50
Villain (BB): $73.90

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with K♠ Q♠
UTG folds, Hero raises to $4, 3 folds, Villain calls.

(Villain is not a strong player and a little too aggressive.)

Flop: 8♠ 6♦ 7♠ ($8.5, 2 players)
Villain bets $5, Hero raises to $15, Villain calls.

(Flush draw and two overcards? Let's get it all in! Unfortunately, Villain doesn't like his hand enough to jam...)

Turn: 6♠ ($38.5, 2 players)
Villain is all-in $54.9, Hero calls.

(Is there a more beautiful sight than hitting your draw and having your opponent push? Based on my read of the Villain, I'd put him on a hand like trip sixes or a pair and a draw. I can't see Villain pushing with much worse and I don't expect to see a boat here very often given the flop play.)

River: A♣ ($148.3, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $148.3)

Results: (in white below)
Final pot: $148.3
Villain showed Td 8d
Hero showed Ks Qs

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm going to rest up and fight off this cold. If I'm lucky, I'll might just fight off my cold streak while I'm at it!

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