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Thursday, December 27, 2007


I believe the key that sets apart a good poker player from a great one is great instincts and that draws from a deep understanding about the theory of poker as well as the psychology of the other player.

In every poker session, since I multitable I play a very standard game of poker. I don't want to think too deeply about a hand and am willing to lose a little EV to keep myself not stressing about difficult calls. That said, in every session, there usually is one hand that I don't play how I would normally play either because I feel like a have a good read of the board, the player or the flow of the game.

In this session, I had two moments. I've pasted the hand history below. Try to figure out which play was I ahead in and which one I was behind. Read them both first and decide which play would have been the one you agree with more then see the results.
Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $1 BB (6 handed)
MP ($225.48)
CO ($60.92)
Button ($71.82)
SB ($29.45)
Hero ($50)
UTG ($120.59)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 7Photobucket, 6Photobucket.

2 folds, CO calls $1, Button calls $1, 1 fold, Hero checks.

Flop: ($3.50) 6heart, 5heart, 3Photobucket (3 players)

Hero bets $3, CO folds, Button raises to $6, Hero calls $3.

I flop top pair with a gut shot str draw and am very interested in seeing where I stand. The flop is very draw heavy with straight draws and flush draws on the board. I believe if I was triple raised or greater then I would have folded the hand, being min-raised led me to believe he was semi bluffing with a flush draw + overcards or a straight draw or even overcards with a backdoor flush draw. I believe an overpair would have reraised me larger to protect this draw like board. I called to see if the next card would complete any draws.

($15.50) QPhotobucket (2 players)

Hero checks, Button bets $10, Hero calls $43 (All-In), Button calls $33.

The Qc does not complete the draws. I am losing only to the pocket pairs (that I don't think are likely b/c of the min-raise) or overcards that included a Q. Once he bet 10, I wanted to charge him as much as I could for his draws and if he had a Q or an overpair I still had my 2p outs and my gutshot str.

River: ($101.50) KPhotobucket (2 players, 1 all-in)

Results in white below:

Hero has 7c 6s (one pair, sixes).

Button has 7s 4s (straight, seven high).

Outcome: Button wins $101.50.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $1 BB (6 handed)
Hero ($49.50)
CO ($68.55)
Button ($146)
SB ($121.84)
BB ($100)
UTG ($199.96)

Preflop: Hero is MP with KPhotobuckets, Adiamond.

UTG calls $1, Hero raises to $4.5, CO calls $4.50, 3 folds, UTG folds.

Flop: ($11.50) 5heart, 2heart, 5Photobucket (2 players)

Hero checks, CO checks.

I check to represent a big hand. The cards are so low that there could be many types of overpairs, an ace with gut shot, and flush cards that all would call me.

Turn: ($11.50) 3Photobucket (2 players)

Hero bets $10.93, CO raises to $21.86, Hero calls $34.07 (All-In)

His check was very nice information because I believe that most pairs would bet to see where they stand and also to protect their hand somewhat. The 3 is also nice because it doesn't hit the big overcards that contain a K or Q. I continue my play of representing a big pair by betting just under the pot (as if I want a call and am betting just a little bit below the pot).

He reraises me minimum. My choices are to fold, call the 11 or push the 34. I do not believe he has the pocket pair b/c of the flop check and also he would have pushed here with a medium pair like 77-TT b/c with the pot over 50 dollars and 20 something behind he is already pot committed with the overpair. This play made me very suspicious and the only explanation in my mind that could explain his bet size was either he had A4 (highly unlikely) or AJ-A8 thinking that he could still spike an ace or a 4 on the river in the worst case that I call. I do not believe he had a flush draw (a call with 30 something behind for implied odds or a push to maximize fold equity if I had a medium pair).

Results in white below:

CO folds.

Final Pot: $78.36
No showdown. Hero wins $78.36.

posted by joe | permalink | 2 comments


At 3:53 AM, Blogger Azn_Cutie said...

If you want some serious hand analysis, you should post this in 2+2 small stakes NLHE section, they do a very good job of commmenting on hands.

Do u use poker tracker? I don't, but still it is very difficult to judge your play w/o any info on your opponents. You should not be playing a mechanical game - poker is a fluid, dynamic game and your actions should change based on opponent tendencies. So it's pretty difficult to analyze the hand w/ the info provided. Good luck at the tables.

p.s. On the first hand, I think your opponent will show a straight/2p more often than a draw. The second hand you make a nice read and realize there is not much he can represent there other than overcards, since he would bet the flop w/ a pocket pair. Here is a question for you, though; If all he has is a bluff with overcards and you feel like AK high is good, why go AI? He is not going to call your bet most likely and you have him dominated, drawing at most to 6 outs and likely to 3 outs. If you call the turn and peel off another card, you can check to him and induce a bluff for the rest of his money on the river, then call w/ AK high being good.

The only consequence of going AI turn will be he will call with a hand that has you beat or he will fold a hand that you have dominated. He is not going to fold a pair getting like 8:1, but he might check river if you call a significant turn bet. IMHO check/calling saves u money when you're beat and gains money when you're ahead.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger joe said...

i checked out the strat forum and contributed. it's pretty cool.

i always had poker tracker, but never got poker ace. i downloaded holdem manager the other day and i can see how having the VPIP etc... up is going to change my game. i'm going to post about that soon.


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