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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Odds




It’s so important to know your odds of winning the hand. It’s one of the key ingredients between being a winning and losing player. Here’s a hand that I folded that may seem crazy, but was the right move.  I’m dealt QdKs in early position and limp in. The SB folds and the BB checks.
Flop.

 As 6s 9c

The BB and I both check.

Turn.

Qs.  

I picked up middle pair and the nut flush draw. He checked the ace on the flop, so I’m probably good. He may have an ace with a weak kicker, but I can’t always assume the worst. I’m betting, but the BB bets out. Huh? So I try and piece together his hand. He doesn’t have the Ace. The Q didn’t help, so he either hit the flush or was slowing playing a set. But if he has a set, the 3rd spade would probably slow him down, so I put him on a made flush. Either way, I’m currently beat. But wait you say, you have to call, you have the river card to get a higher flush. True, but is that the right move. No. There are 13 spades in the deck, 3 are on the board and I have 1. That leaves 9 left. That’s not even considering the spades that were folded or if the BB has 2. So let’s say I have 9 outs, which gives me an 18% chance ‘at best’ of a spade coming on the river. There was $5 in pot preflop and his $4 bet makes it $9. If I call his bet, I’m putting in about 44%. In the long run I just won’t spike the flush enough times to make this a profitable move. I folded my cards face up and he showed his flush. I shouldn’t have been, but I was surprised when everyone reacted like I just threw the winner away.   

Monday, April 27, 2015

Post Flop Play



How do I know when to check, call, bet or raise after the flop. Wow, that’s the Holy Grail in poker! People write whole books on this. But here are a couple tips.

Check:
You don’t have anything. You’re setting up a check raise. You have a hand, but you know someone will bet and you don’t want to be raised. You have a small hand, so you want to keep the pot small. You’re on a draw and you know if you hit you will get paid off.

Call.
You have the best hand, but if you raise it might chase other players out after you. You don’t currently have the best hand, but it can improve (usually a draw). Keep in mind calling is the least desirable of the four options.

Bet:
You know you have the best hand. You’re in position against 1 or 2 players and you feel they will fold. You’re on a draw and you know if you hit, players will drop. You want to find out where you’re at in the hand (you’re paying for information). You’re early in the hand and you think a late player will raise, trapping all the players in between for another bet. You want to freeze the other players on the next betting round.

Raise.
Many players have already call a bet (don’t do this if you think the original bet’er will rerasie. Facing 2 bets players will drop). It’s the last betting round and players can’t fold. You want to eliminate players and go heads up with a bad player.  You want to freeze the other players on the next betting round. 

Basically depending on what you want the other players to do, justifies the option you choose.

Here’s an example of hand I played that worked perfectly. I limp in under the gun  with 99. Seat 4, 6 and 8 do the same. The SB folds. The BB calls.

Flop.
8 7 2 rainbow

The BB bets. Currently, I have to think I have the best hand. Most players would just call in this situation. But if I do that, I allow all players with over cards to see the turn for 1 bet. So I raise. Seat 4, 6 and 8 fold and the BB calls. 

Turn.

K

I bet and the BB folds. If I would have just called the bet, surely someone had a K.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

No Game



Weird, something just dawned on me. Been reading it forever. First by the great Caro, then many others. Be a good table mate and it will pay in the long run. In my failure to look at the big picture, I’ve put too much energy on the getting the prize now. My style is to get the most valve out of every pot as possible. Reasonable, right? Well, not if it pisses everyone off. 

I’ve had ADD way before it was popular. I remember it as, “Stop that! I said Stop That!! What the hell is wrong with you?!). I remember knowing being hyper really bugged my parents and not being able to concentrate in school killed them. They were so proud when I graduated high school. You would have thought that they just witness a miracle. But not my problem, can’t help it, get over it. 

Anyway, I told you all that to tell you this. A lot of crap goes through my head and one of them is poker. So I don’t live and breathe it, but a hand I played just went through my mind. I turned a straight flush, I know I just scored the bonus, but more importantly, how can I still get the most valve out of this pot! Well, maybe, just maybe, if I just check or call, they won’t think of me as a total dick. I might be a little na├»ve when I said I’m not well liked at my favorite casino. I might be protecting my feelings a little, but I think it’s possible they hate my ass. My conversations are all with the dealers and tourists. I see the same players every time and no one says jack to me. I play too hard for them and they don’t like it. So, if I take it easy, maybe it will pay off in the long run? Hmmm, Nah! So far they may hate me, but no one has any game to do anything about it.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Playing Ax



People just can’t fold an Ace. It’s like it has some magical power or something. Well hell, I have an ace, I can’t fold this! But a strange thing happens when an ace comes.  Here are a couple examples. 

Hero limps in with a4o
P4 and the SB limp in also, BB checks.

Board.
A 7 6 K J

Everyone checks to the river.

Our Hero wins the pot with the ace and says, “I didn’t like my kicker”. 

Let’s take the same scenario, but this time P4 shows A8. The first thing our Hero says is, “I knew I was out kicked”.

I just don’t get it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Don’t bet if only a better hand will call.



I sometimes still make this mistake. Let’s say I’m in the BB with J5o and there are three other players in the hand with a board of the following.

Kh 6s 9d 10d

So far it’s been checked around and a 5 comes on the river for a final board of 

Kh 6s 9d 10d 5s

No one seems interested and I just hit the 5, so I bet. Well, who’s gonna call? Only someone with a K, 6, 9 or 10 and even a pocket pair is possible. It’s best just to check and hope your 5 holds up. If someone bets, fold because you know your beat.