Monday, January 23, 2006

You Called With That? Thanks!

Judge Dredd: Emotions... there ought to be a law against them.
”Judge Dredd”

Now there is a movie quote that can easily be related to poker. Take that kiddies, there's some learnin' on you.

Very weird night at the tables last night. Very weird.

I have been making some very incorrect reads of late. I put my opponent on a flush draw, and when it misses I put them to the test just to see their two pair. Perhaps I have been the recipient of some similar reads as of late.

Firstly, in a $5 SNG last night, very first hand I am dealt KK in the big blind. It gets raised somewhere out there and we have a number of callers. Ok, so I should raise here but lets just see the flop since there is already a raise out there I might be up against all the aces, which is good as long as they are spread out. Hopefully someone can hit top pair and get married to it.

The flop was an un-inspired J57, two diamonds. UTG makes it T700 – which is nearly half of a starting stack. He gets two callers before the rest fold to me.

Fuck it – lets make them pay for their top pair. If they want to draw to the flush, it’s going to cost them their whole stack. Of course, with the amount of money already out there, the odds to call drawing to the flush are probably pretty good. But even if the odds are good, it makes a difference when it costs you your entire stack when you are calling with it. Calling with a flush draw is a lot harder than betting with a flush draw. I re-raised into the 3 of them for my entire stack on the first hand.

I get one fold, and two calls. Shit, maybe somebody hit a set. I didn’t consider that. Maybe the fact that the folder was the original raiser is a good sign…

Caller 1 has T7o, caller 2 has 35o. Um…yeah. Ok. I guess this is a mercy killing then. The turn and river bring no joy for them, and I more than triple up on the very first hand. Even better, I can now pick and choose which hands I play from here on in.

When we get down to the bubble, one of the weird hands occurs. With Q3o, I see a flop for free. The flop is 338, and I’m pretty happy. I check my trips, and the only other player in the hand checks behind me. The turn brings a T, and I make a small bet to see where we are. I get a call and then the river brings a 3rd heart to the board for perhaps a runner-runner flush. I made what many would consider a poor decision, and bet out T1030 chips, which was a nice bet considering the other player only had T1025. I figure I can’t check here, and if I bet it would have to be at least T500, which is about half of what he has left. If he goes all-in over the top, I am pretty much committed to calling it. So why not give him a reason to fold – if he has hit RR flush, then good on him.

You know those times where you put someone to the test, and you hope they fold…then they call, and you are already dreading seeing their cards? Yep, this was one of those times. I put him to the test, and I pushed in T1030, and he calls. Ok, show me the RR flush…

He mucks. Huh? Through Full Tilt’s hand histories, I see he had Q8o, for a flopped two pair. I have no idea what he put me on then.

After this I managed to steal about every second pot against two very tight players. If I can’t steal it pre-flop, a continuation bet on the flop is enough. I only had to fold one of my flop bets once. This was getting fun.

Eventually I knocked out another player to be heads up against one of the rocks. On about the 3rd hand, he raises from the small blind. I have him out chipped 4-1, so I am just waiting for a chance to take him down. I have 62o, so this isn’t going to be it. I fold, and he shows the hammer. Wow, powerful bluff there champ. It would have impressed me if I hadn’t done the same thing 18 times out of the last 20 hands – only I didn’t show my cards. To make a point, I won the next hand pre-flop when I raised with 23o. I still didn’t show my hand.

But I have to admit, I put a beat on him to win it. On an all club board, I had Qc7h. I bet out, and he raised. I thought about it, and pushed. He called with AsKc. Ok, that was a weird call. Anyways, a seven came and that was enough.

At the same time as this, I was plying my trade over at the 5c/10c tables. I got lucky early, taking the very first pot – the flop was rags, and I missed totally but had a fair idea that everyone else probably did too. Second hand I had KK and won with a post-flop bet. I decided that since I was concentrating on the SNG, I would only play big hands at this table. Finally I did something sensible, and decided to play uber-tight at a nickel and dime table.

About 50 hands in, a very similar occurrence. The un-raised flop showed 445, and I had J4. UTG raises to 30c, and I call along with one other. The turn is a 6, meaning a lot of straight possibilities or even a boat. UTG (who was the small blind) makes a big bet of $1.25 into the $1.40 pot. Ok, if he has an open ender here, lets make him pay for it. He has about $6 something left, so I raise him $5. The other player folds and the small blind calls – leaving him with $1.10 or something like that. The river is an 8, meaning if his open ender was a 7, then he hit. He checks, which I guess could be a lame attempt at a slow play but hey, the pot is $11 plus and he only has $1 plus change. If he feels like folding for an extra dollar, I’ll give him the chance. If he hits, well it only cost me an extra dollar. I bet to put him all in and he calls.

He has to have hit his straight, right? Or maybe he flopped a boat with his small blind special…

He mucks to my flopped trips and I collect a nice pot. Again, through full tilt’s hand history, I see he hit two pair on the turn with T6. Wow…tag and release my friend!

So I was making a good profit on the night, but not really through brilliant play. It was more through poor calls on the behalf of my opponents. I did have my Aces cracked too during this session, but I was able to avoid too much of a loss (AA vs Ad3d, all diamond flop. He tried to slow play but I just kept checking to the river). So it was kinda weird, in that I really don’t feel like I played brilliantly but was still able to pull out a few big cashes (big relative to the size of the games).

What else was different? The Distraction left me alone for the entire game…right up until I sucked out in the SNG to win it. Then she was right there behind me as that hand concluded, and I decided that was a sign to cash out and leave.

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