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Monday, March 30, 2015

Maniacs and Drunks

Playing maniacs and drunks can be scary.  They bet and raise every hand and you never know what they have. They could have the nuts or nothing. And all it takes is for you to be beat by them once when they have the nuts to be scared. When there is one of these players at your table, the first thing you should do make sure you are sitting on their left. You always want act after them. If there is not a seat available, ask for a seat change button. The best way to play them is just to call them down. They will play any two cards, so if you tighten up your range you should be ahead most of the time. Just don’t solely concentrate on them and forget there are other players on table. So don’t call them down with AK if another player is in the hand. Also, with a good starting hand I will raise and try and isolate the player. Think of them playing any two cards as a good thing and you can beat this type of player easily.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Just in Case Stack

Many years ago I was playing 2/6 spread and as usual was having another losing session. I always blamed it on just running bad and those damm fish will call with anything, but in reality I think I was still learning and was not a very good player. I just didn’t have enough experience to take advantage of the other poor players.  So my stack was getting low and I bought another $40 and made two separate piles. I really didn’t want to get into it, but I didn’t want to be short stacked if I was in a big pot. A couple players asked what was the deal with two stacks and I jokingly said I will only touch them if I have AA. A short time later I picked up pocket jacks and was betting all the way. The board was all under cards. On the last round I pulled 6 chips from my 2nd stack and threw them in the pot. Only one player was left and he showed QQ and mucked his cards. I showed my JJ and he said,” I thought you were only going touch that pile if you had AA?”  I racked my chips and left after that hand.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Check Raise

Some people find it very offensives to check raise.  For me, I love when a plan comes together. Some people will check hoping for a bet, but if it gets checked around, it doesn’t do much good. Before you check, you have to be confident who will bet and it better not be the last player to act. You see this time and time again.

Hero checks
P2 checks
P3 checks
P4 bets
Hero  check-raise
P2 and P3 fold. P4 calls (sometimes will fold).  

Wow, you picked up 1 extra bet. Whereas if you just call, P2 and P3 may come along for 1 bet, giving you three extra bets. If you don’t think the bet will come from P2 or P3, the best option is to bet out hoping P2 and P3 call and then P4 raises. Call the raise and now P2 and P3 are trapped for another bet. The best case scenario is if you’re confident P2 will bet, then P3 and P4 call, the check/raise works well here. If P2 reraises, you can pretty much define his hand and you’d better have the nuts to continue. Hope that makes sense. It is a little confusing. Basically, unless you’re sure of the outcome, most of the time the best move is to just bet.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Kicker, Information and a Tell

Ever been waiting for the chips to be pushed your way when you hold A8 against A3 on a board of A K 2 10 9? If you’re like me you were thinking WTF when the dealer chopped it up. Always be aware of your kicker and how it relates to your action. Here’s a hand I played with A9H that the kicker won an extra bet. I was in middle position and limped in. The SB completed the blind and the BB checked.

Ac Ks 6s

The SB checks and the BB bets $2. He’s in the BB so I don’t automatically put him on a big hand. Also, I know this player and he will bet with an A or K then shut down if he is called. But if he does have A 10-K, I could be in big trouble. So, of course, I make it $4. I’m playing $2 for information. If he makes it $6, then I know where I’m at. If he calls, then I’m still a little in the dark. But if he has a disgust look on his face and calls then I know I can continue.  SB folds. 


I guess he could AQ and was scared of the AK. But when he checked like a little puppy dog I figured a K or weak A. I bet and he called. So now I think weak A. 


He checked and I took a second to think. If I bet, will I only be called by a better hand? I don’t want to bet only to have him show A10 or AJ. I come to the consolation that if I’m in this position 10 times, I’m going to win at least 6.  I think my 9 kicker is good. Then he opens his mouth and says, “Oh, you’re the best actor in the world”. Translated to poker talk its, “Just bet asshole, I have to call you”. Sweet, I throw in my $4 bet, he calls and I turn my cards over saying with confidence 9 kicker. He mucks his cards in disgust.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Straight on the Board

Something I just remembered that was kinda funny. I don't remember much of the details but there were 6 of us in a hand with a board of  the following.

K A J Q 10 rainbow

I was early and bet. Everyone folded except one player called and announced he was playing the board and I said I was doing the same and the players looked at me like I was the devil.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Even When You’re Sure

Don’t muck your cards until you’re sure your beat. I made this mistake and it cost me $6.  Here’s the situation.
I’m in the BB with 53o with 1 limper and the small blind. It’s checked around to the river. 

K 4 7 10 J

The SB checks, thinking there is no way I can win, I muck my cards and the limper checks. Both show 23s. My 5 would have played. I still kick myself for that.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Here fishie, fishie

To illustrate you how much the player’s suck where I play, here is a hand I played against one of the “better” players. He watches the action and knows what’s going on, sorta. I made the mistake of giving him too much credit. I get AK early, raise and he’s the only caller. 

9 K 2 rainbow. 

I bet and he calls. I raised preflop, so he knows I have a good hand. Maybe he’s just floating to see what I do on the turn. Possibly slow playing KK. Maybe Q10 or QJ. 


I bet and he calls. So now I’m pretty sure he can’t get away from QQ or has a strong K. I’m thinking K because he didn’t reraise me preflop. I just don’t feel he has AK. But what does he think I have? How can he call with just a K? 


Hmm? Could he have had a 9? I check and he bets. Damm! That A-hole had A9 and was hoping for another 9 or an ace. I’m thinking I should fold, but I glance at the pot and see about $28. That gives me 7 to 1 odds. All I have to do is win 1 of 7 times to break even. I can’t fold. I call and he proudly shows KJ. I show my AK and he angrily mucks his cards. I don’t think he even considered what I had. He knew he had a K and when I checked the river he thought he was good.

That reminds me of a trip where my cousin went with me and raised preflop. The board was 44K94. He was betting all the way with authority. When he turned over his pocket kings everyone was saying that they thought for sure he had quad 4’s. Really? As I was patting myself on the back I calmly said I knew he had pocket Kings. What would he be doing raising preflop with a 4? Only 1 guys really thinks about it and say, “Oh, yeah huh.” Everyone else didn’t even seem to get it.