June 29, 2010

I Finally Play a Hand Well (I think...)

I'll be honest, part of the reason I haven't been posting much recently is that I haven't really felt too on top of my game. In particular, my non-showdown winnings have been hurting a bit over the past couple of months compared to what they have been in the past. That in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing - if you're at a table full of total calling stations, then the optimal response is to forget about non-showdown winnings and just try to maximize the pot size when you've got the best hand and crush in showdown winnings. But I think at the Rush games I've been playing, it isn't necessarily that (i.e., that I am forgoing bluffing opportunities), but that I am getting bluffed and re-bluffed myself a fair amount, and also getting called down lighter than before in some spots.

So I have been more on the lookout recently for more spots where I could run a big bluff, induce some bluffs from opponents, as well as make some thinner value bets in spots where I have been getting looked up light. Here's one hand where I think I played pretty well. Or maybe I just got lucky this time, you can decide for yourself:

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - http://www.thehandconverter.com/hands/781012
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

UTG+2: $131.70
MP1: $17.95
MP2: $50.25
CO: $54.80
Hero (BTN): $67.40
SB: $69.65
BB: $21.50
UTG: $28.80
UTG+1: $103.10

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BTN with Qh 9h
5 folds, CO raises to $1.50, Hero raises to $5, 2 folds, CO calls $3.50 (The villain in this hand and I didn't really have a history, but I have him at 27/21 over 129 hands, so he is quite an active player. Given that, Q9s is way too good to fold on the button vs. his cutoff open. The main reason I 3-bet instead of flat is that the small blind is fairly squeeze-happy, and calling would put him in a perfect squeeze spot. I don't really want to face a re-raise from him 140 bbs deep, I'd rather just get the pot down to heads up between myself and the CO, or take it down immediately.)

Flop: ($10.75) 6h 4c Ad (2 players)
CO checks, Hero bets $6.50, CO calls $6.50 (Can hardly ask for a better flop to c-bet. He calls, which means he most likely has something in the AJish range, or perhaps a 76s. It's possible he has AK. I'd usually expect a player like him to just 4b preflop and get it in with AK in these positions, but you never know.)

Turn: ($23.75) Qd (2 players)
CO checks, Hero checks (I wasn't really planning on barreling the turn anyway, but I'm certainly not now that I picked up a pair.)

River: ($23.75) Tc (2 players)
CO bets $15, Hero raises to $55.90 all in, CO folds (OK, here's where it gets interesting. Basically I decided that I have enough very strong hands in my range that I can shove here and get some respect from the medium-strength hand that he almost certainly has. AT is pretty much the best hand he could have. It's possible he has AQ, but I think he 4-bets it preflop a fair amount of the time, plus I have a Q myself. I can have pretty much all of the hands that beat AT. I could certainly check a set or top two on the turn some of the time, AT most of the time, and more importantly, I am checking back TT and KJ there every single time, and 3-betting with them pre-flop pretty much every single time, and he can pretty much never have KJ or TT. Finally, I decided that he was capable of reading hands a little bit, and could fold an AJ, AK, or even possibly an AT here. Or course it's possible he had just a pair of sixes and I was betting for value!)


Final Pot: $53.75
Hero wins $51.10
(Rake: $2.65)

June 3, 2010

Brack is Beautiful (Part 22)

Wow, way too long since our last post. Some random stuff since last post:

1) Went to visit Russia with the gf, was pretty sweet.
2) Been doing a lot of work/research, not that much poker playing...trying to load up for the job market, which starts in the fall, and I hope will not end with me being unemployed.
3) What poker I have been playing has been of the Rush variety.

Anyway, what better way to break a long dry spell than to remind ourselves of the power of SPADES????

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - http://www.thehandconverter.com/hands/735772
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Hero (CO): $65.00
BTN: $151.20
SB: $79.90
BB: $14.50
UTG: $150.75
UTG+1: $53.80
UTG+2: $65.40
MP1: $56.05
MP2: $58.05

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is CO with Ks 4s
5 folds, Hero raises to $1.50, 1 fold, SB calls $1.25, 1 fold (Pretty standard open for me unless the button is just a total 3b monkey)

Flop: ($3.50) 7c 3s 9s (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks (Not my standard play, but I do include it, since 1) I will get check-raised a fair amount on this frop, and I don't want to get it in this deep with 2nfd 2) if I check here and make a frush later, I should get some good value for it, whereas if I bet here, get a call, and make a frush later, I might not get as much 3) I have the best hand at least some of the time, and most of the better hands are not folding to a c-bet, so I'll probably have to barrel the turn too to get him to fold any pair or a decent A-high...which I'm not averse to doing at all 4) protects me in other hands when I want to check down AQ or 44 or something and the board gets gross later, means that he can't blow me off my hands with marginal showdown value quite as profitably)

Turn: ($3.50) 5s (2 players) (I forgot to mention the other reason...spades get there EVERY TIME)
SB checks, Hero bets $2.50, (Great spot for me to bet, because I apparently rep so little after having checked the flop, it looks like I'm just stabbing, which I would do quite a bit with any random spade or six or something. Also it's a board that's supposed to hit a pre-flop caller, so he might think he can raise and try to represent sets/2prs/pair+sd, flush himself since he'd be much more likely to check the frop with a fd than I would)
SB raises to $6.50, Hero raises to $13.50, SB calls $7 (I get the raise out of him, and I decide to go ahead and 3b, and not that big. I could have made it a little more, but again, if I were bluffing, I'd make it pretty small too, both to lay myself a good price at getting him to fold complete air, and also because I wouldn't want to put him in a fold or shove situation with a bare As or 67 of 66 with a spade or something. I'd rather get him to call and then check/fold the river.)

River: ($30.50) 6d (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $34.50, SB folds (At this point, he either has a naked As, or something with some pretty decent showdown value, like 2pr+, maybe a straight. Also this card looks scary, like the kind that I might bluff, but not very credibly, if I had 3b the turn with an As. I say not very credibly because the reason it's scary is that it completes a bunch of straights, but I think he might think that I wouldn't overbet a bare 8, or certainly not a bare 4, for value here with the flush and higher straights possible. So I was hoping he'd think I have air or flush, and a flush not very often after I checked frop, and make a call with a worse hand. Brackchips said I should have bet less, but whatever, that's my reasoning. Anyway he folded after some contemplation, so I guess we'll never know.)

Final Pot: $30.50
Hero wins $29.00
(Rake: $1.50)