Friday, April 28, 2006

Another weekend is upon us! Hallelujah, eh? I was up with the birds this morning for my bi-weekly Friday morning meetings at work, and while I'm no fan of the alarm clock going off in single-digit hours, it did ensure that I was conscious and upright in time to get to Empress for a few hours before they close for the weekend.

Yes, the poker room closes for the weekend. Crickets start chirping around 6pm Friday night, and the sharks do not awaken until early Sunday morning. Illinois' gaming laws are screwy, but hey. It's the midwest. I expect nothing less than ass-backwards.

I was seated at the 5/10 limit feeder table a little while after arriving at the boat. I think the guy running the room had a bit of a confidence problem, because there were 2 open seats in the main game when I arrived, and despite the dealer informing the floor man 3 times that he had open seats, I wasn't seated. The floor man just kept walking up to the feeder game, as if afraid to interrupt them to tell players to move. When he finally did approach the table, it took him 3 different halted half-sentences to get the guts to say, "Joe and Shmoe? Your seats are open in the main game."

It turns out that the wasted 15 minutes or so literally might have cost me money, because the table was just brimming with fishy goodness. Holy cow. Remember a few trips ago, when I spoke of the guy that donked off $500 in less than an hour, betting and raising all the way to showdown with bluffs? It was like that - except there were TWO of them! Even better - they were drunk out of their gourds, and very clearly members of the blue collar comedy fan club. The claimed to be Illinois residents from an hour or so south of here, but I'd put them in the back woods of the deep south any day.

I managed to pull a couple of lucky hands off of that table. Q9 offsuit from the big blind flopped me top two pair, and with Larry and his other brother Larry taking turns raising, the betting was capped all the way down on each street, and my hand held up. (I was against Q4 for one pair, and a guy who reluctantly folded on the river and mucked). I must have dragged $150 on that pot alone - with a measley two pair.

When I got moved to the main game, I was disappointed, but only for a few moments, because Larry and Larry busted out of the feeder table shortly after (but not before rebuying a few times). Unfortunately, I wasn't catching any playable hands at the main game, and my AA got cracked off by Play-Every-Hand-Marge, so I took my money and ran after 3 hours or so, up $109.

I came home to find an amusing reply to an email I sent out the other day. As most of my fellow bloggers are probably used to, I get lots of spam email for various tournaments and freerolls and the like. I rarely read them, much less respond - but one caught my eye.

Why? Well, I was put off by the fact that the invitation directly insulted my profession (while simultaneously casting condescention on new players). I replied, wishing the tournament sponsor good luck with his game while mentioning that he might not want to insult people in his tournament invitations. (I don't know - maybe more people would actually play in a game where the sponsors came across as decent human beings? Just a thought). Apparently he took offense, getting all caps-lock on me and saying I should "chill." I'm still giggling, because it amuses me how people project their own ignorance and insecurities on others. Someone who can't take a bit of constructive criticism gets all uptight upon confrontation, then says everyone else needs to "chill." Ahhhh baby, I am cool as a cucumber :)

No matter, though - further investigation led me to realize that the sponsors of this tournament are members of the scum-of-the-earth search engine whore community, using self-described "shady search engine optimization tactics," like keyword stuffing and comment spam. I then found "informational articles" on their web site, describing link dumping techniques and tips for abusing cross-site scripting bugs and other exploits in your web pages. They also have affiliate links to those wonderful RSS-to-Blog programs that scrape our content and display it on shill blogs.

Good people, these black hats are! Good people!

I hope all of my fellow bloggers are wearing White Hats, for the sake of the ethical reputation of poker-blogger-kind. If it isn't OBVIOUS, I'm not a big fan of black-hatted [errrr hearted] people.

Filed Under:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Not much going on over here...

The fishes took me for $45 Sunday night at the Empress poker room, over 7 hours' time. At one point, I called Randy, after about 5 hours and up $80 or so. I said, "I was going to head home, but the table just got reeeally good... I'm think I can milk a few more chips off this table." He wished me luck and I went back to the table. I watched in disbelief as the new guy at the table donked off just shy of $500 in less than one hour.

He was on the waiting list for the no-limit game (which is why he had so many chips at the 5/10 limit hold'em table). This guy amazed me. L-A-G doesn't even begin to describe him.

On one hand, on a flop of JJx, he re-raised after 2 limpers, a raiser, and a cold-caller. The turn and river were blanks, though he raised the whole way. At showdown, he calls his opponent's bet, and goes, "Do you have the Jack?" The other guy goes, "Yes," and showed Ace Jack.

The muppet goes, "Nice hand, I didn't think you had it," and showed Queen Four Offsuit for no pair, no draw.


This was not an isolated incident. He literally went to showdown with hands as strong as nine high, bluffing his bets and raises all the way down. Hand after hand after hand.

Unfortunately for me, I started catching big pairs, which don't hold up well against 8 opponents, and are even more costly when a LAG keeps raising to build monster pots.

On one hand, I had JJ under the gun. I raised, and the usual gaggle of monkeys cold-called two bets to see the flop. It came Queen high, and I bet out. I had one caller. The turn put a 2nd club onboard, and the river the third. I checked behind my call-me-down opponent and saved myself ten bucks when he showed 8 3 of clubs for the flush. I marveled at his gutsy chase of the backdoor 8 high flush with no pair, and... well, I did the unthinkable.

I tilted a bit.

A few hands later, in the cutoff, I saw 6 people limp into an unraised pot. With the button and blinds still to act after me, I raised. What did I raise with?

I'm almost embarrassed to say. 10-5 of hearts.

Mind you - I never, never, ever raise with junk. I hardly ever even PLAY junk, let alone raise with it. (The Hammer does NOT count as junk). I don't think I have ever raised a junk hand in a live casino poker room, ever. I play straight up, grind-it-out, profitable-over-time poker.

Anyway, so the flop comes 10-5-x. From late position, I went on a raising frenzy, and got paid off by a poor guy who had AA.

You see, it wasn't so much the 8-high club flush beat that tilted me. I'd been building up some frustration with my game. I was playing weakly preflop and missing bets because of it. I wasn't raising my big cards in position, instead limping with AK and AQ and TT and such. I'll limp with those sometimes from early position, but not from middle or late. I was angry at myself because when I'm playing passively, it's almost always a sign of a losing day for me. It's not like I'm an aggressive maniac to begin with, but when I'm in a pot, I prefer to be betting or raising, because it's not all too often that I'm in a pot. I play good cards and push my slight edges when I can.

So, the 8 high club flush just twisted the knife. After the 10-5 hand, which paid back most of what I lost on my JJ, I vowed to myself, "No more limping with big cards..." You see, if I put in the extra raise up front and get 4 or 5 or 6 or 8 callers, and then manage to hit my flop, that's $20 or $25 or $30 or $40 extra dollars in my pocket. If I miss the flop, I've lost an extra $5. You do the math. It's my new "thing" lately. Sunday, though, it just wasn't in me.

Funny - raising just one of my AK's that hit probably would have turned Sunday from a losing session to at least a break even one.

So then comes this hand:

The guy to my left was a decent player. Semi-loose aggressive. Raised preflop with any two cards 10 or higher, any pocket pair, and almost any ace (8 seemed to be the minimum kicker he'd raise with). Under the gun, I found KQ of clubs and - keeping with my mantra of not limping with big cards - I raised. He re-raised me, and the rest of the table folded. When it got back to me, I capped it, because it's unlucky to play for 3 bets. Honestly, I don't believe that, but if I'm playing a hand preflop for 3 bets, it damn well better be worth 4, and again - if my hand holds up, I make more money than I lose by putting in the extra bet early (assuming I have more than one opponent).

The guy then says to me in surprise, "You're capping it??!" I said, "Yup." He threw in another red chip and we saw a flop of Ace-clubs, rag rag. I led out, because I was the preflop aggressor, and if he was holding anything less than an Ace at that point, I might take the pot right there. He smooth called. Knowing that he doesn't play junk (and that he's also capable of raising preflop and then throwing away a hand on the flop when action stirs up), I'm not a big fan of that call. I figure I'm going to need to slow down.

The turn, however, brought a 2nd club, giving me the nut flush draw. Well, we all know the mantra - bet your draws hard! I find this to be useful especially in limit (particularly in big multiway pots where, again, if you hit, you're making a boatload of extra bets). So, I bet out with my flush draw. Again, he smooth called.

The river brought a 3rd club, and I bet out again. He raised me. I re-raised him. He sighed and said, "You've got the flush?" With some mercy, I shook my head and said "Yes," giving him the chance to save the extra ten bucks. (If I really meant to be merciful, I should have just called his bet on the end - so I guess this whole mercy thing is just a bit of creative storytelling. I really wanted the extra ten bucks). He tossed in one last red chip to see my flush.

The guys at our end of the table gasped, "Oh my gosh! Runner runner flush!" as my opponent turned up his pocket Aces, for the flopped set. Brutal. My opponent, who was getting killed by the fishes as well, said, "Nice hand," in a dejected tone. I looked at him and said, "I'm sorry man... I raised preflop so I had to put in the continuation bet on the flop, and then the second club came on the turn..." He said, "I know, you played it well. It was my fault for slowplaying the set and not raising you."

True enough. A raise on the flop would have likely gotten me to lay down the hand, with no pair and only the backdoor draw. In Tilty McTilt mode, though, who knows.

I felt so dirty after that hand! That and my 10-5 suited. It was as if I was possessed by aliens for the evening.

I probably shouldn't have been playing poker. I was pretty upset Sunday, after hearing news that a friend's husband died suddenly that morning, completely unexpectedly and at way too young an age. I was enjoying the distraction of poker, concentrating better than ever on players and their patterns, but my emotional state wasn't good at all (as was evidenced by my late-evening tendencies toward tilt).

I used to be a member of the frequent tilters club. That's how I got my nickname at the local home games - Shellmuth. After seeing though how much damage tilt can cause to my game and subsequently my bankroll, I've made great efforts to keep the tilt under control and remain emotionless and "in the moment" at the poker table. Sitting down to the poker table in an already emotionally unstable state, though, is a recipe for tilt disaster. I'm probably lucky that I escaped with only 4BB damage over the 7 hours I played.

I toyed with the idea of heading to the boats again tonight, but opted instead to watch the Flyers game on TV. (Each playoff hockey game I watch likely shaves a year off of my life due to the added stress and rapid heartbeat that ensues). That ended up being a total waste of time, as Esche got shelled and the Flyers ran around the ice like Mites on Ice, making dumb plays and taking stupid penalties. All that, and they didn't even have their Enforcer (Donald Brashear) on the bench to crack some skulls. If the Flyers are going to suck ass in-game, the least they can do is beat the hell out of some people for me. Come on, now, boys! Revenge will be ours in Philadelphia (particularly against Wuss Man Connelly for the hit on Umberger which, despite being a technically "clean" hit, still deserves some retribution). I still can't believe Hitchcock sat Brashear tonight. He had to at least suspect the possibility of requiring some fisted assistance.

Anyhoooo, I think I might head to Empress on Wednesday night. We'll see. I've got to make right those errors of Sundays past...

Filed Under:

Thursday, April 20, 2006

No fun at Empress tonight. Four big pocket pairs got cracked (twice by blind hands chasing gutshots to the river). That is the prescription for dropping 20 big bets in 4 hours. Such is the game some days...

I came home and had similar luck online, and played a bit longer than I should have trying to catch up. That is never a good idea.

Not a fun day. I hope the felt was more kind to you guys. Better luck tomorrow...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Welcome back to the felt, Baz!

So, I hit up Empress last night for some poker, and who should come sit down about an hour into my session but the man, the mystery: Baz. At first I did a double-take, because - well, it was a Wednesday night. Yup - that's Baz alright. Cool! I said hi, but didn't want to make it obvious to the table that I knew him, so I let the boy settle in and see a few hands.

The table had been a bit grumpy, which means - the fish were not paying off bets, and instead did a lot of folding in disgust. A woman had arrived a little while before Baz, and was seated to my left. She was a very jovial type of person, and her chatter was helping to liven up the table a bit. Then, a kid from down south sat down. He was a self proclaimed bible-belter, and was up in Chicago for work. He was quite conversational, talking all about his work and his son and his ex-wife (though saying nothing bad) in a thick southern drawl. By now, the table was loosening up and things were getting fun.

When the woman to my left decided to leave, Baz got a seat change and moved across the table. One thing we marveled at was the frequency of which Hammer boards came out. I have never in my life seen a more Hammer-friendly table. I couldn't get my hands on a Hammer to save my life, but Baz was sitting in the Lucky Seven's seat, so I had high hopes for him. The woman that sat there before him literally won every single pot where a seven was on the board. She hit two full houses with K7, one with Q7, a boat with pocket 7's, and various other monster hands involving 7's. Twice, Baz was in hands where he raised preflop and Hammer boards came out, and I prayed that he had a Hammer to show down (since I was not in those pots!) Unfortunately, he didn't have Hammers, and the times he did see a Hammer in the Hole, he was not graced with a coordinating board. It sure would have been funny to tilt the remaining Grumps with a Hammer win, though.

I can't recall too many hands from last night. Pocket 3's hit a set for me, which paid off well. Big pocket pairs got crushed at every opportunity. I saw KK once, JJ twice (3 times if you count the misdeal... grrrr), and AA once. None held up. 'Twas brutal. Baz had similar luck with his large pocket pairs.

After playing for 5 hours, I was up $100 and decided to take my nice, even number and go home. Baz stuck around after I left, and if I'm not mistaken, he was up when I left, so hopefully he cleaned out the remaining Grumps before heading home himself. :)

Filed Under:

Monday, April 10, 2006

Card Player Magazine has one of those fill-in-the-blank letters that you can have sent to your representatives opposing the bills that propose outlawing online poker playing for money. Do your part - contact your representatives. It literally takes less than 2 minutes to fill out. Maybe even less than a minute.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

... just as she’s about ready to cut it up, she says, "Wait a minute honey - I’m gonna add it up."
Add it up... add it up... add it up... add it up... add it up... see whatcha got... you gotta add it up...

This beautiful day brought to you courtesy of the Violent Femmes. I'm getting ahead of myself a bit here, so let me go back to the beginning.

I headed out to Empress, as mentioned in my last post. I arrived around 1pm, just in time for a new table to start up. Exxxxxcellent... The game was 5/10 limit holdem. Nothing too exciting happened at the feeder table, and within a half hour or so I was moved to the main game.

The fish were out in full force this afternoon, and no amount of tapping the glass was scaring these little buggers. I was seated in the 10 seat (they play 11 handed at Empress), and the two guys to my left (the 11s and 1s) played every hand. The guy to my right was a regular, and a good player. To his right was an any-ace-or-face guy who liked to gamble it up. The 7 seat was the any-two-suited elderly woman, and to her right was a ginormous man who was very passive (ie. check-call the nuts) but played decent starting hands (VPIP of maybe 25%). The 5 seat was a very serious Mexican guy who rebought... a lot. The 4 and 3 seats were older guys - regulars - who were neither good nor awful players, and the 2 seat was a regular who was decent but prone to tilt, and a bit passive (ie. limps with JJ).

Bring it on, guppies!

I continued to be conscious of my leaks, and avoided making those mistakes. Early on, I caught a couple hands where top pair held up for me, and was up $100 fairly quickly. I lost a bit of it back when my AJ flopped top two pair, and I bet it all the way (UTG). The guy to my left rivered a flush with 3-5 of clubs, a hand which on the flop had only the backdoor flush draw going for it. Nice. Hand. I almost got tilty after that one, but instead took a walk and reminded myself that it would all come back to me in due time.

Then came this gem: if I wasn't on the list already, I am now DEFINITELY going to hell. I limp under the gun with pocket Ten's. 7 people come to an uncoordinated flop of K-10-7. I bet. Call x7. Turn is a second club. I bet. Call x5. River is the third club, and pairs the board with 7's (giving me a full house, ten's full of seven's). I bet. Fold x4, and the 7 seat raises me. I raise her back. She calls. She had flopped two pair, K7, and rivered the smaller boat, seven's full of king's.

Remember who the 7 seat was? Yeah. The elderly woman. AND she was in a wheelchair.

I think popping an old lady in a wheelchair for a river re-raise qualifies me for a one way ticket to hell, don't you? That was after her 9th or 10th rebuy (though she only bought in for $40 per).

Is it getting warm in here?

I digress. My favorite hand of the day was one that I might have folded, had I not been conscious of my leakiness and what exactly defines my personal leaks. I had KQ of hearts in the big blind. Middle position raised, and I called the raise (along with 4 other people). 6 of us saw a flop of 10-7-2, one heart. I checked, and the original raiser bet out. 3 callers (including myself), and 4 of us saw a turn.

Now - I mentioned in an earlier post how one of my leaks was calling to overcard draws on boards that are coordinated against my favor. In this case, I was careful in considering my call. The board had no real coordination for any straight or flush draws, and gave me both backdoor flush and straight draws with my overcards. I discounted the overcards by a couple outs, in case the original raiser had KK, QQ, or AA, but based on the guy doing the raising, I wasn't much afraid of that.

The turn came a 9, giving me the gutshot and the overcards. I didn't make a flush draw, and with everybody still in the hand, I didn't really think my overcards were any good now. However, I was getting more than 10:1 on my money to see a river card, so - bring it on.

The river brought a glorious Jack, giving me the straight, nine through king, with no flush possibilities onboard. I risked missing a bet and went for the check-raise. To my surprise, the fish to my left bet out! Then, the original raiser raised him. I 3-bet it, and the guy to my left folded (???). The original raiser capped it, and I called.

He had J9 sooooted for 2 pair. (Interesting raise preflop?) The nut straight won me a monster.

I just about tripled my $200 buy in by the time I left, proving once again that Sundays are indeed my best day for poker.

I left the casino after only 3 1/2 hours - much shorter than my usual session. But, I'd lost back to back pots at the end there, and decided that if the cards were going to turn cold on me, I would take my profits and run. As I walked outside and headed for the parking lot, the 55 degree weather felt like a glorious heat wave, and it was hard to suppress a grin as I hiked to my car. As I approached the car which I truly adore (it's an 03 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT convertible), I grinned even more. I climbed in and rolled down the windows, and headed towards I-80, bopping along to the Violent Femmes and singing way too loudly for my skill level.

It was a good day. :)
Filed Under:

Besides my nose, I've discovered a bit of a leak in my play lately. My stats don't show it; my VPIP in PokerTracker is right where I want it, and I've begun concentrating on my post-flop aggression as opposed to obsessing over preflop aggression. It has been working.


I'm getting involved in some hands I shouldn't from bad position. The Negreanu favorites have leaked into my favorites (T-8s, 9-7s, low to mid suited connectors), and I'm playing them from early and mid position. Not usually the best plan. I shouldn't even play them from late position if there aren't already a few limpers in the pot. I'm not going to stop playing those hands altogether, as they're my "mix it up" hands (if you've seen me play, I'm a bit rock-like), but I need to be more wise in when I choose to play them. To my credit, I've been very good with counting odds and outs, and only chase viable draws when I have odds to do so with those hands.

Another leak: I'm being too optimistic sometimes in my counting of outs. If there are 2 of a suit onboard, and a bunch of people in the pot, I need to consider the chance that my out of that suit is not really an out. Same with all coordinated boards. I'm not properly discounting my outs based on flop texture, and I think it's leading to some chasing that shouldn't be going on. I've also been lured into chasing overcards - such as, I hold KQs on a board of 2-5-10, and I'll call a small bet to see the turn. Granted, on an uncoordinated board, sometimes I'll have odds to do this (6 outs to top pair/good kicker), BUT... I have to avoid doing this on coordinated boards, and when I am heads-up and don't have appropriate odds to call the small bet.

I've also concluded that I must play a minimum of 3 tables when playing online - preferably 4. Otherwise, I end up surfing the web, or reading a book, or watching TV in between hands, and for some reason, that's when I start chasing and making bad decisions. With 4 tables open, I am required to be completely absorbed in the games I'm playing, and I tend to make better decisions. From now on, when I'm playing poker, I'M PLAYING POKER. End of story.

I'm so excited at how well I played yesterday (ran up $100 profit at 1/2 limit, to boot) that I kind of want to just play online today. However, Empress calls out to me, her wiley ways luring me back to the felt. How lovely it is to shuffle chips, watch people, and marvel at all of the fishy Sunday afternoon goodness that can only be a 5/10, 11-handed game at Empress.

Off I go. Here's to plugging those leaks and playing my best game!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Besides the fact that I love their software, Full Tilt Poker is one of the funnest places to play poker online - or just watch. This afternoon, I watched John Juanda play against a guy with a donkey avatar head-up at a $25/50 blinds NL cash table. No pot went limped. If John was first to act, he'd raise to $150. If his opponent simply completed the small blind, he'd pop back up to $150. No pot went unraised. I didn't see John check a single time in the 15 or so minutes I watched, nor did I see him call a bet. He always bet or raised.

It was quite a display. Sometimes, of course, John's opponent would wake up with a hand and raise back. Sometimes, John would fold. Other times, he would re-raise. All I know is - I would NOT want to be John Juanda's opponent due to the simple fact that you are ALWAYS under fire. He forces his opponent to constantly make decisions about their hands - on EVERY street.

On one hand, JJ raised to $150, as per usual, and his opponent called. The flop came Jack high, uncoordinated. JJ's opponent checked, and Juanda bet the pot, $300. His opponent quickly called. The turn came a 10, and the guy checked. Juanda popped it to $650. The guy thought a while, then smooth called. The river came a blank, and the donkey guy fired out a minimum bet of $50. Juanda pushed all in. His opponent tanked, and finally folded. Juanda showed K4 offsuit. (No pair - king high).

Yowzers! I can't imagine sitting down on a Saturday afternoon and throwing five grand around on a king high bluff. Then again, everything is relative. It sure was amusing to watch - if not a bit frightening!

Good stuff.

Knocked out when I flopped a straight and pushed. Got called by 2 people drawing to flushes. The flush hit on the river.

Oh well. Maybe next Saturday...

Good luck to Change100, who is also playing (and faring better than I did so far!)

In about 10 minutes... (5pm eastern, 4pm central) - Full Tilt is running their weekly $24+2 ladies-only tournament. Top prize is a $1500 prize package with a seat to the ladies NL event at the WSOP.

Let's go, girls! :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I've been running quite well in the $20 SnG's on Full Tilt the past couple weeks - so much so that I thought maybe I should stick to those online, since the low limit cash games seem to kill me. Then, for some reason, I got the itch to play some ring games. What I really had an itch for was to go to Empress, since Wednesday nights are my 2nd most profitable nights there, but I got home a little too late, and some Chinese food made me thankful that the bathroom is nearby the computer at home. Not so at Empress.

So I pulled up Full Tilt Poker and went against my urges; I started a $20 SnG. I was reminded quickly why I hate playing the first hand. I limped into a 4-way pot with pocket 9's and flopped 2nd set. I bet the pot on the flop, and got called. There was a K onboard as well, so I put the guy on a pair of kings. (There was no raise preflop). Long story short, turns out he limped with KK and flopped top set. Sets are gold, right? Jebus Priced. Out in 9th place on the first hand.

My rule is, bust out early in 2 SnG's in a row, and I'm done with SnG's for the day. So, I tried another. Was it an omen that the first person to bust out in that tourney was again, set over set on the first hand? In the second hand, I had AA in position on my lone opponent. The board was Q-J-4-2, and he called my bets all the way. I had notes on him that he liked to chase, and his stats in Poker Tracker were those of a loose/passive calling station. I put him all in on the turn. He called with his gutshot straight draw, and hit. We had the same amount of chips (being only the second hand of the game), and I was out in 8th place.

I hate hate hate playing big hands early. They're just soooo not worth it compared to the value of the blinds. However, doubling up early almost guarantees that I make the money (in my experience), so I don't avoid playing if I've got a monster. Play to win, right?

I should have logged off for the night, but was really in the mood to play, so I pulled up a 3/6 limit holdem table. There I found DonkeyPuncher and a cool cat named Oven. I chatted with the boys and caught up on my blog reading while single-tabling the 3/6 game. This proved only as more evidence as to why I have much more success when I multi-table and focus strictly on the games I'm playing, as opposed to single table while reading or responding to email or other non-poker-related tasks. I got myself stuck pretty quickly, falling in love with top pair too often and calling too much. (In my defense, I was running into wacky 2-pairs left and right, but still... I was calling too much. Calling down with QJ on a J-high flop is not the smartest thing in the world. KJ beats me, AJ beats me, sets beat me, and the variety of 2-pair combinations all beat me, and still I called called called).

I realized I was bleeding profusely, and closed down Bloglines and opened up a 2nd 3/6 table. This helped my focus, and I was doing alright on both tables for a while. DP then bid me farewell, taking a nice profit off of the table, and I hunkered down to make back my losses. Then came just plain ol' bad luck. At one point, I told Randy, "If one more dumbass calls down my bets with a gutshot and catches, I'm going to scream." (Of course they were calling without odds to chase the river - and of course, that's where the miracle card always came). Such is life in poker, though, and I eventually gave up, $150 in the hole and quite dejected.

I have an hour and a half before I need to leave for work today, and I think I'm going to hit up FTP and get some of my money back.

Filed Under:

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Champ of Poker am I.

And I am a freaking comedic genius.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I need some advice.

There's a mantra around bloggerville that "sets are gold." I tend to agree. A well-concealed set usually pays off big.

But how do you defend against them? Is there any way to see them coming? (It's obviously difficult, which is why sets are gold!)

This is how most of my losses to sets go.

I flop TPTK and bet or raise. I get called. Normally, at that point I'm putting my opponent on TP-weaker kicker. On the turn, I bet out. I either get called, or popped back with a raise. (Sometimes my opponent waits till the river to pop back). If the card that came inducing the raise doesn't coordinate the board or match up with typical hole card holdings for a 2 pair, I still think I'm good. At showdown, I'm no good, falling victim to a set made from a low to mid pocket pair.

Of course, there is a ton of information that goes into each street's decision, including any notes I might have on the player, stack sizes relative to the blinds, etc. I can usually smell a trap pretty well, but there are so many players that overplay their top pair, weak kicker that generally, it pays to grit your teeth and push forward. On the other hand, I can be accused of overplaying TPTK in these cases.

How do you tell when you're up against a set? Is there anything that tips you off?

Filed Under: