Friday, July 06, 2007

Thinking makes my brain hurt

If you haven’t been reading Tao of Poker for Pauly’s take on the World Series of Poker, you are missing out. His Main Event coverage starts today. Go. Read. Enjoy.


I was touched to see the comments to my post the other day. I knew that the poker-bloggers were a supportive bunch…it felt really good to have it come my way. Also got a bit of a “wow” moment when I saw Larry’s comment…I’ve read his book, he’s read my blog. Wicked!


Last night was our Thursday Night League game. We missed a game when we were out in New Brunswick, and it was the first game we’ve missed in the two years that the league has been running. Banky and I have attended more league games than anyone else, including the host! He went on vacation for 3 weeks last year and we hosted the games at our place when he was away. We missed the game, but got to be around this instead…

It was good to be back at the league game, and I decided to experiment with some of the concepts I read in the FullTilt Strategy Guide. I felt like I was playing really well, making some great decisions – but the night never really came together for me. I lost two key hands to Max….one I folded on the river because I knew I was beat, and the second I should have folded on the river because I knew I was beat. Max is so tough to play against because he’ll play with any two. I love to have him in a pot with me (he’s come to the league games for a year now and never cashed until last night), but he also catches some brutal, eyeball squeezing, suckouts.

I got a nice healthy stack early on only to bleed it out for the remainder of the game. This has been a recurring theme for me…something I have to think more deeply about.

I made two very tough calls that were ‘correct’, but would have been winners. I find it hard to shake off those ‘hands that could have been’. Another thing to work on. I thought about one hand for a long time (probably longer than I’ve ever thought about a hand).

There were 7 players (including me) and I was on the button. The blinds were 30/60 and I had around 700 chips (having recently lost 2 big pots). The entire table limped and I had 6h 7h. I knew this type of hand would play well in a multiway pot so I happily limped along. The flop came out 10h, 3h, 2s. It got checked to the cut-off (a tight player on a short stack) who bet 120, I called (which in retrospect I think was a mistake) and the BB called.

The turn brought the 4s. The BB checked and the cut-off went all-on for 460. At this point I knew the tight player had either a set of 3’s or 2’s or the wheel. And I figured I had either 11 or 12 outs to beat him (the 5s for the straight and the flush cards) – I wanted to call, but didn’t have the odds. Even if the BB called – he’s a bit of a table sherrif and likes to call All-Ins – I still wouldn’t be getting the right price. I also got the sense that he would fold if I called. It’s easy to see that all now, but at the time it was a tough fold.

The BB did call with A 4 for a crappy pair and a straight draw. The cut-off did have a set of 2’s, and the flush came on the river. Making me the winner who didn’t call. Ugh.

But for me, it was probably the most I’ve ever analyzed a hand from the beginning – deciding to play because it’s a good multiway hand, putting my opponents on hands, and figuring out the odds when the decision wasn’t easy. So it was good from that perspective.

Unfortunately the game didn’t get much better and I was out 7th of 9. Bah.

Banky busted out a while later and we went home and fired up the PVR to watch the debut of Big Brother 8. Oh let the summer of trash TV begin!


Tonight we’re heading out to the Georgetown game again. Hopefully my results will be a little better now that I have a sense of the type of game it is.

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