Wednesday, February 23, 2005

My worst winning hand

Otis: You're willing to pay him a thousand dollars a night just for singing? Why, you can get a phonograph record of Minnie the Moocher for 75 cents. And for a buck and a quarter, you can get Minnie.
"The Marx Bros: A Night at the Opera"

Been going well lately. After 5 consecutive days playing with a profit, I dropped a big load on Saturday - then half way through making it back, we had another blackout. As Calvin of "Calvin & Hobbes" would say "There is a God, and he hates me." I did manage to make it all back on Sunday though with another fine $10 SNG win. I must admit getting a great run of cards in the middle, with TT - KK - TT in three running hands, all getting paid off or folded to. At one stage on the bubble I had more than 60% of the chips at the table. There was no way I was letting that one go.

But I have something more important to talk about - I am nearly finished reading Internet Texas Holdem which was graciously given to me (like many bloggers) to review, and my review will be up some time soon, but I would like to throw out this hand situation to the blogging world for their thoughts. I truly believe that if I am going to post my brilliant plays, I should also post the ones where I know I sucked.

I'm at one of those lovely crazy $25NL tables at Party. In the BB I get 56d and limp with 5 runners. The flop was a gift wrapped 3d 4d 7d, and only the second time in my life that I have a straight-flush (the other was Queen high on the river). I check the flop and so does everybody else. The turn is an Ace. Here are my options as I saw them:

1) Check, check and keep on checking. Wait for the river to pounce and only call any bets/raises.

2) Over-bet the pot and make it look like I am trying to buy it.

3) Give a tiny little bet on the turn, make the baby Jesus cry, and hope it looks like a bluff or gets some callers.

4) Bet normally and try to build up a decent pot so when you win it is worth it.

While I could be extremely unlucky to get beaten by a higher straight-flush, I could be forgiven for thinking I have flopped the stone-cold nuts. After the fact, I think I should have chosen option number one, and give out as many free cards as possible and give someone else a chance to make a hand. Unfortunatly, on the turn I decided to bet $1 into a $4.50 pot. I did not get one caller. It looked like a pretty obviously slow play of a flush to me, but for some reason all I wanted to do was build the pot. This is no-limit people! The flop can go from $4.50 to $45 on one bet! Stupid play! I was so disapointed that I flopped a straight flush and only made $3.50 on it. Not very wise people.

While I'm on stupid play, one of the best peices of advice from that very poker book I am reading is a very simple instruction - Know what the nuts are. On a board of J88Tx, I was holding J8. I knew that JJ could beat me, but was quietly confident that all four Jacks were not in play. What I did forget is that TT also beats me. Of course one guy had it, and wasn't willing to raise into me for it and only called. I guess he was aware of all the hands that beat his. Could of been worse I suppose.

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