Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Played on Full Tilt a bit tonight. Placed 2nd and 3rd in the two $20 SnG's I played, but managed to lose the profit from that at a $50NL table on two hands - one of which was a dumb play on my part, and one of which was just bad luck.

First hand, I fell in love with my pocket Jacks. Raised 5xBB preflop, one caller. Flop comes a rainbow of rags. I bet out the pot. My opponent min-raises, and I re-raise double what he'd raised me. He min-re-raises again, and I almost just called. Then I thought, "I think I have the best hand, so why am I screwing around here??" I put him all in. He called, and flipped over his low pocket pair for the flopped set. Ouch.

Had I actually analyzed his behavior on each move, I'd have picked up that I was beat. Instead, I just drooled over my Jacks and was oblivious. The nature of online poker encourages NOT thinking between actions, with the timers and the ease of the clicking motion. Sometimes I really need to just slow down and THINK before going with a gut reaction. Though - at the same time, sometimes those gut instincts are magic. I think I need to find the balance between simply reacting to an instinct and CHOOSING to react to the instinct.

My unlucky hand saw me flop two pair, Queen-Ten, in the big blind. I had the pleasure of limping into that pot. True to my "no slowplaying allowed!!" rule, I threw out a pot sized bet on the flop. One caller. Turn came a blank - no straight or flush possibilities. I decide to put my opponent all in, which was only $4 more than the pot size anyway. He calls and turns over pocket kings for the overpair. Then, the river paired the board, and my opponent's two pair Kings and x's beat my queens and tens. Oh well.

I made some good laydowns tonight - and even got a few "nice laydown" comments from the players who were unhappy that I hadn't called their bets. One hand I had AJ and flopped an ace, but my opponent was suspiciously calling me down. There was no preflop raising going on, so I didn't really suspect AK or AQ. On the turn, I just had a sense that the hand wasn't in my favor, and sure enough, my opponent was open-ended for a straight draw and caught it on the river. That laydown on the river wasn't rocket science, but I felt good that I made it. It was a jagged straight draw, and my opponent commented that he'd hoped I didn't see the straight possibility, as it was an odd one.

Layed down jacks once as well, to a board with no overcards, but again just had a weird sense about the hand. My opponent showed two pair when I folded, and after I patted myself on the back for the laydown, I thought "wtf was he playing 9-4o from middle position for??"

I don't remember the other laydowns, but there were several more, and oddly enough, my opponents were showing their monster hands to my folds. Made me feel good about laying them down.

Observation time:

The $50NL tables on Full Tilt are just as fishy as the $25NL tables. Problem is, when the fish outdraw you, it usually stings for twice as much money. I have yet to experience the "win twice as much money" part of that equation on the $50NL tables, but I have to believe that I should continue to play at that level. I don't feel out of place, and now that I'm more comfortable with the bet amounts on each round, I'm not intimidated in the slightest. Just gotta hang in there for the luck to swing back my way.

So, I ended tonight down $20. I don't feel bad about that. A couple bad hands.... and a couple decent tournaments. Better luck tomorrow!


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