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A Rough Start

I was pretty tired last night after a long day. I considered playing some Uncharted 2 on my PS3 but decided that my time would be better spent working on my limit hold'em game. I'm not sure if last night's session taught me much of anything. Maybe that's not entirely true. I was forced to re-focus my efforts after dropping a number of hands right at the beginning of my sessions. I made some fairly substantial mistakes against the calling stations at my tables and paid the price in chips.

It can be quite difficult to dig yourself out of a hole. I find this to be especially true in limit hold'em where momentum and table image are so important. My biggest challenge last night was forcing myself to buckle down after my table image was completely shot by the first impression I left with my opponents. They must have thought I was a real donkey.

Here are a few of the hands that I played. No brag hands here. These hands represent a few good examples of when I found myself lost last night. I could have posted many more hands but I figured I could save some for a rainy day when I do find myself far too tired to gamble the night away.

Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Hold'em - 5 players - View hand 353288
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is BTN with J of hearts A of hearts
UTG calls, CO calls, Hero raises, 1 fold, BB calls, UTG calls, CO calls

(BB was a 50/20/4.7 player and had been losing since I sat down. Easy raise for me on the button with AJs.)

Flop: (8.5 SB) A of spades T of diamonds 4 of spades (4 players)
BB checks, UTG checks, CO checks, Hero bets, BB raises, UTG folds, CO folds, Hero calls

(Villain was pretty aggressive. My plan was to call the flop and raise the turn.)

Turn: (6.25 BB) 2 of diamonds (2 players)
BB bets, Hero raises, BB 3-bets, Hero calls

(Villain's 3-bet had me worried. I still believed that I was ahead of his range but I decided to ease up on the gas.)

River: (12.25 BB) 7 of clubs (2 players)
BB bets, Hero calls

Final Pot: 14.25 BB

Hero mucks J of hearts A of hearts
BB shows 2 of spades A of clubs (two pair, Aces and Deuces)

(Unfortunate but typical. The bet/3-bet action on the turn always seems to represent a big hand. I don't see how I could have folded my hand on the turn against this opponent but it would be a good option against certain other opponents.)


Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 353293
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

MP posts a big blind (1 SB)
Pre Flop: (2.5 SB) Hero is BTN with J of clubs J of hearts
1 fold, MP checks, CO calls, Hero raises, SB calls, BB calls, MP calls, 1 fold

(SB was 37/9/0.8.)

Flop: (9 SB) 4 of hearts 6 of diamonds 8 of hearts (4 players)
SB checks, BB checks, MP checks, Hero bets, SB calls, BB calls, MP folds

(Easy bet. My plan was to value bet all streets.)

Turn: (6 BB) 8 of spades (3 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets, SB calls, BB folds

River: (8 BB) 7 of clubs (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks

(I believe that I made a mistake not value betting the river. According to DeucesCracked's Joe Tall, you should never fear "callers". Villain's call on the turn and check on the river didn't represent any strength at all. I should have value bet my overpair and folded to a check-raise from this particular opponent. I was definitely gun shy at this point due to my play leading up to this hand.)

Final Pot: 8 BB

Hero shows J of clubs J of hearts (two pair, Jacks and Eights)
SB shows 6 of spades A of spades (two pair, Eights and Sixes)


Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 353296
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is BB with A of spades A of clubs
3 folds, BTN raises, 1 fold, Hero 3-bets, BTN calls

(Button was a 35/26/2.2 aggressive TAG/LAG.)

Flop: (6.5 SB) 8 of spades T of diamonds Q of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets, BTN calls

Turn: (4.25 BB) 2 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets, BTN raises, Hero calls

(Turn raises always suck. I was unsure whether Villain decided to raise as a semi-bluff or a big hand.)

River: (8.25 BB) 7 of spades (2 players)
Hero bets, BTN raises, Hero calls

(I decided to try and squeeze more value of out of a hand like top pair from my opponent. But in this spot, I should have realized that I was way ahead or way behind. Perhaps a check-call would have been better. And given that the Villain was aggressive enough, bet/folding would not have been the greatest play either. Yep, check/call was probably my best bet, followed by bet/fold. Any thoughts?)

Final Pot: 12.25 BB

BTN shows 9 of diamonds J of diamonds (a straight, Eight to Queen)
Hero mucks A of spades A of clubs

(I feel like this hand really hurt my table image even though many $0.50/$1.00 players would have played their hands similarly - not a good thing in this case.)


Despite some poor play earlier in my session, I managed to win back half of my losses before I called it a night. Thanks to TiltBlocker, I had no idea how well or poorly I was playing in terms of BB. Of course, TiltBlocker did nothing to prevent that feeling in my gut that I get whenever my ego has been bruised but it certainly helped otherwise.

I hope to play poker tonight. Despite a rather mediocre start to playing limit hold'em games again, I have to admit that I'm having fun. There's something about this form of poker that I find intriguing. Maybe it's the speed of the game or the rush I get every time the flop hits my hand. It's pretty exciting despite the stakes I frequent.

Have a good one!

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