I played $2/$3/$5 Tuesday night and got involved in a lot of big pots.
There are four hands from the night worth noting. On the first, a player who was the best among my opponents and about $1,500 deep opened for $30 which I'd noted was his standard raise. I've instituted a plan to three bet whenever given the chance with JT and 66 in order to methodically balance my three bet range a bit so it's not all TT-AA, AK and AQ. So when I looked down at JT I made it $80 to go as if I had a very big hand.
My opponent called fairly quickly and the flop came down 8 5 3, with no flush draws which is about a dry a board as you'll see. I bet out $125 hoping my opponent would put me on the big pair I was representing and fold, but after some thought he called. The turn was a 10 which was a great card for me if I was ahead and an awful card if I was behind at that point. Now that I had something, I wanted to get to showdown, and I figured if I checked I'd be facing a bet on the river and give my opponent a shot to potentially catch up, so I fired out $200. This was a misplay. I should have realized that this guy wasn't calling $125 on the flop out of position with overs and there were no draws out there.
I got check raised all in and folded to save the $400 I had left in my stack. If that wasn't an overpair or a set of 8's this guy did an amazing job with an elaborate bluff and I believed his story. This hand was the opposite of "well there was nothing I could do." About the only thing I really like that I did with this hand was bet the flop. The rest was a real cluster.
A little later I again got check raised on the turn, but this time it did not compute. I raised to $20 with AJ on the button and got called by both blinds. The flop came down A K 9 with two diamonds and I checked it back when it checked to me. I was very likely to have the best hand, but so much so that I figured I'd lose them both with a bet and might get some action if I checked. Checking back with top pair about 20% of the time is also a balancing my range type of play.
The turn was a Q and again it was checked to me. I bet out $45 expecting two folds, but instead I get check raised all in to $250! Normally, big turn check raises are a sign of complete and total doom, but in this instance I played the hand to look weak (and got what I wanted) and more importantly a raise to 2.5X what's in the pot is a massive over bet. A big hand wouldn't make it so much. It looked like a flush draw. After thinking it over for 15 seconds I called and it was in fact a flush draw. I was rewarded for my good call by the flush coming in and my opponent scooping in the $560 pot. Grrrrr!
The next hand is some set up for the last hand. I'd recovered from those debacles and had a little over $800 in front of me and was roughly even on the night when I got dealt two black tens. The guy just to my right was new to the game and I'd never seen him before. He bought in for $500 which is usually a sign of strength, but he'd posted $5 to get a hand and almost folded even though he was already in for $5 and didn't need to put in any more money to see the flop. This was surely a sign of weakness.
Mr. New Guy made it $30 to go, I just called with my TT, and we took the flop 4 way with the blinds. The flop came down 9 6 3 all clubs and Mr. New Guy fired out $100. Big bets usually mean big hands, but with an overpair and a club I felt I had to call. The turn was a 4 of spades and Mr. New Guy bet out $200. Big bets again usually mean big hands again. It's hard to fold an overpair with a flush draw, but I thought I was likely against an even bigger pair with an even bigger club. That was a hard fold to make but I did it.
A hand or two later I got into it again with the same guy. This time he just called $5 and I made it $30 to go with QQ. I also got 3 callers and the flop came down K J 8 with no flush draws. I didn't love the king, but I bet out $100 because checking is just too weak. Only Mr. New Guy called. The turn was a 7 and it got checked to me again.
I was not sure what my opponent had. I thought there was some chance he might have a J or a K or a draw, but I didn't have a good read on him. I decided to go with the "When in doubt fire!" strategy and put $200 out there. Mr New Guy called not right away, but pretty quickly.
The river paired the 7 which I felt almost certain didn't change anything. After the call on the turn I figured my goose was cooked and it was time to check it and hope I somehow had the best hand. I was waiting for Mr. New Guy to check so I could turn up my hand. And I kept waiting. He just sat there fiddling with his chips.
After about 10 seconds I thought "This looks like he missed a draw and now he's stuck and doesn't know what to do." This was odd though because there weren't many draws that made sense. On the flop T9 was a possible, but it got there on the turn. QT was possible, but I had two of the Q's so it wasn't all that likely. AQ or AT wouldn't call $200 on the turn. J9 was maybe in there. After maybe 30 seconds he moved all in for $400. Normally calling a $400 river bet with a hand that can only beat a bluff is a bad idea. I took 10 seconds to make sure I was sure (or at least sure enough) and then called. In this case though I was right - he tabled QT and I took down a $1,500 pot.
I was $700 to the good after that hand, but I spewed a good bit of that off and left a $266 winner on the night.
Almost 1,000 posts since 2006 about poker including, tournaments, cash games, anecdotes, the overuse of exclamation points, and run on sentences from a retired poker pro who lives and plays in the Bay Area and is currently preparing for the 2023 WSOP.
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Bluffs Need to Tell a Believable Story (Part 2)
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
My WSOP 2023 Plans and Missions
After four and a half years working for StubHub I wrapped up my time there in March. I've been at the poker tables 3-4 days a week since...
I landed in Vegas at 7:30 Tuesday and by about 8:45 I was checked in to the Rio, registered for the HORSE and eating some fajitas at "G...
Do not check raise this man! With my tournament play and the fact that I've been playing a lot more recently, I'm behind on going ov...
I love HORSE tournaments. What I observe is that just about every player will be weak in at least one of the 5 games and I'm at least ...
Post a Comment