Ringing in the New Year

’07 ended with LOTS of unfortunate luck while playing online.  More often than not, I had the best hand and would get drawn out on.  It was a depressing holiday as far as poker goes.  While I haven’t recovered my losses (online), I did recover the online losses (and then some) in a live tourney last night.  Additionally, the variance in online beats has been much more along the lines of what is statistically appropriate, so I’m feeling good!  So, would I say I’ve had a “bad run” or just been the victim of some tragic “variance”.  According to Chris Ferguson it’s probably the latter.  So ’nuff said!

Some keys to last nights game:  2 VERY lucky suckouts, 1 coin-flip where the best hand held up, and a killer read! 

Suckout #1.   KQ draws out against QQ to hit a flush.  That was a double-up in the first hand I played.  There were re-buys, so the guy I drew out on stacked up again.  I later buried him again after the re-buy period was over.  As the game went on, this guy demonstrated a willingness to call any raise from any position with any 2 cards against almost any opponent.  I made sure that when I was in a pot with him that it was a big one and that I made him pay dearly to tangle with me.

Suckout #2.  I see pocket 6’s in mid-late pos and stacks are pretty equal from players remaining to act.  I make a pretty healthy raise – probably close to 1/4 my chipstack.  Everyone should go away as I had a respectable image at this table.   The SB (I believe) pushes all-in.  Our stacks were about equal.  The BB folds (unless this guy was the BB…I forget).  So it’s just me to decide what to do.  I’m inclined to fold.  I’m stalling in hopes of catching a tell.  Boom!  I think I see it!  He stares me down trying to intimidate me.  He wants me to fold.  He’s not 100% comfortable with his hand, so I call.  He has JJ.  Makes sense now, but boy did I make a mistake.  River brings a 6 and I send him packing.  I wasn’t proud, but I was happy!

Coin Flip 1.  Pocket 8’s.  Similar situation to above.  J decides to come over-top of me and he’s recently cracked QQ with his Q8s and has steadily built his stack.  Everyone else is out so it’s just me.  J is capable of making that move with any 2 cards – but most likely a big Ace – likely suited.  If he puts me on JJ or lower, he’s got a coin-flip…he knows I can fold a middle pair pre-flop and he’ll steal the pot.  I decide that I’m probably ahead and that he is hoping to steal the pot or win the coin-flip.  If I fight back by calling and my hand holds up, one tough opponent is GONE!   I decide that’s what I’m gonna do, and bye bye J.

Killer Read 1.  I have KQ (again) from the BB.  I like it, but I feel sick when everybody is limping around the table.  I pray that nobody raises so I can at least see a flop – though I don’t like the idea that so many people are in and that I’m first to act.  Flop comes 9-10-4 (2 spades).  I have nothing more than a gutshot, so I check.  Everyone else checks, and the player in position bets.  I call, and everyone else folds – I’m heads up and I think I have a read!   I’m not going to reveal exactly what it was that gave me an accurate read on him, but suffice it to say I narrowed his hand down to an open ended straight draw….which I could beat as long as he didn’t make his draw or pair the board.  I proceeded with caution as the hand went on.  I will say that R.E.M. came into play here and that’s the reason I stuck around.  I’m leaving out some of the details involving the betting (and a few other things) on purpose, but on the river he made a decent bet, and without much hesitation I say, “I think you have an open-ended straight draw that you didn’t hit…JQ is what I think.  OK – I call…King high”.  Boo-Ya!  He flips over JQ….my King high is good and I take down a sweet pot and earn a crap load of respect!  There was one scare card along the way, but I stuck with my gut instinct that he had an OE Str8 and it ultimately paid off pretty nicely. 


7 Responses

  1. Great read K. In my opinion making an awesome read and calling down a bluff is better than making a great bluff. It’s more satisfying. It really puts fear into the other player. Safe to say he wasn’t going to be trying to bluff you too often after such a great call. Well Done. Good Luck in 2008!

  2. ditto, great call, and I agree I’d much rather make a great call then even an amazing bluff.

    One question, what do you mean by R.E.M?


  3. FYI – R.E.M. is Range, Equity, Maximize (as depicted in Professional No Limit Hold ‘Em – Vol 1). Thanks for the great comments and support!

  4. Isnt that funny how we can be so far up in live games yet behind online? I’m starting to get convinced that fulltilt awards bad play with suckouts, seems to happens twice as much as live. I am so frustrated with going in with the best and getting beat so damn often that I almost feel like going in with the worst hand sometimes. – i hate that frickin site yet cant get away

  5. I hear ya! But then when I get frustrated and tell myself I’m gonna ditch FullTilt, things start working out better for me. Wierd. BTW – sorry for the all-in move when we had the dude on the bubble on Friday night. I was boning up from the JJ hole cards. I’m the first to make comments when the bubble-boy is all in and someone bets/raises, so I was pretty embarrassed that I raised your call under those circumstances. Thanks for being cool about it!

  6. no worries, I think I was little more irritated about your “wheres Luke when you need him” comment. You know how I play during rebuys and it usually works. so dont be a hater biotch :)

  7. Too funny! I have a habit of dipping into my pockets a few times during rebuy tourneys as well. You usually have better results than I do though. I re-bought a few weeks ago and placed in the money, but was still down for the night!

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