I guess today was comeback day for me. We had our weekly Thursday game.

We had a fair amount of people turn out (13), so play was nice and fun. We were having some table talk, when Jeff started said that jacks had the highest probability to hit the board (which I think is complete BS). In any case, a few minutes after he said this, I found myself with JT. I called, and found that I had flopped a set of jacks. I laughed to myself. No one called my bet, so it was a small pot.

A few hands later, I found myself with J8 suited. I decided to raise the blinds. Only Sun called. The flop comes JT6. I'm seeing top pair, so I test out Sun. I make a very solid bet, and he called. Alarm bells go off. Sun is a new player, and I've noticed two things about new players: (1) when they call, they've usually got something and (2) when they go all-in, they're usually bluffing.

The turn comes another J, which gives me another set of jacks. But I'm worried. The 8 kicker isn't exactly a monster, and at best I may be looking at a split pot (what could he have? J7? I'm thinking he may be playing a JT, which may give him a boat. Again, I bet out with $3. He raises it to $6.

At this point, I'm almost certain he's got me beat. No way anyone would try to bluff out the pot with a simple reraise with the pot as it is. Unfortunately, I feel the need to see the river (I'm not sure why I didn't just fold then and there) and make a loose call. The river comes a blank. Sun goes all-in on me.

I go into the tank, figuring out what he could be doing here. I can't see him making a move here; he's been playing very solidly and every time he's bet so far, he's had a hand to play. I can't see him making this move unless he had a boat (I'm convinced myself it's JT), so I fold down my set. Sun is a nice guy and flips over his pocket 6s .. he had a set off the flop and a boat off the turn. I sighed a breath of relief.

I eventually got blinded down to $2.25 with blinds at $0.50/$1. I knew I was in tough shape. However, somehow I ended up with roughly $26 in chips (the hands escape me at the moment) ... but one of the hands did involve me catching a 3-outer on the turn to make my two pair against a lower two pair after I was pot commited with top pair off the flop (with like $4 ...).

I want to go over a few hands with people in hopes that maybe they'll think about the game a bit differently. In the big blind, severely short stacked ($9 left), I get dealt Q5o. Jeff calls the BB.

Flop comes Q5-blank, all hearts. At this junction, I have two options: I can move all-in now and hope I can move people off the pot, or I can see how people play and play it soft to the river and hope a 4 to a flush doesn't hit. I think this is where the style of play differs. In any case, I played it soft to the river and saw that no other heart hit (so a four to a flush was eliminated). I made a big big bet of $7 into the pot, which Jeffrey thought about for a moment and called. I showed two pair and then commented, "YOU THINK THIS IS TIDDLYWINKS, SON?" It was pretty funny and we got a good laugh. But yeah, if another heart had hit, I would of ditched that hand as I had fold equity (not pot commited). Given my short stack, I was willing to risk my hand to let the 4 to a flush draw off so I could play my made hand on the river.

There is another hand where fold equity comes in big. I was playing in a fun little pot with Sun (he was SB and I was BB, and we had just paid the blinds). The flop comes three hearts. I 'm holding the K of hearts. Well, we check it down to the river, which comes another heart. I've got the K-high flush (no pairs on the board, so no worry of a boat). But Sun decides to go all-in. What is the proper move here?

I flipped over the K of hearts while I pondered my decision. Would I risk my whole stack that Sun didn't have the ace? I think Ryan commented, "You've got to call that." Wrong. In a tournament setting, you have to realize how much you've put into the pot (which was my BB which was $1) and how much was at risk with my call (my whole stack!).

In the end, I folded down the K and Sun showed the jack of hearts. So I had him beat. But so what? I lost $1. But if he had the ace of hearts, I would be talking angrily about how I made a horrible call.

The lesson simply here is, even if you think you have the best hand, you must fold it down until you can fight a battle on your own terms.

I got my second knock down when I called an all-in from Han with KTcc when I had AJdd. It was a tough call, but I figured I was a slight favorite whcih was enough for me. The flop came KQJ and the kings held up. So I was down to $4.

Somehow I made my way back up from $4 with blinds at $1/$2, folding down top pair multiple times (as it turns out, they would of won once and been busted once) and slowly biding my time. I can't really remember how it happened, but I ended up at the final table with Jeff, John, and Pete. We were all about even in chips.

At the final table, I completely dominated play. I opened up the first three pots and took them down uncontested (with blinds at $3/$6, that was a large amount). I also managed to flop top pair (aces) and waited on Big Red until the river when I bet $8 (made it look like a buy attempt). He reraised to $16 and showed me a 9 (he caught low pair on the flop) which seemed like a total mistake to me. It wasn't a value bet, and he certainly wasn't trying to bluff me out of the pot with that weak reraise...

I also made a good read when he tried to bluff with a draw and I had low pair ... after that Big Red didn't have much chips and had to resort to going all-in until he ran into Jeffrey's AA.

My favorite hand of the night was me eliminating Jeffrey from play.

I had J8 in the BB, and Jeffrey made it 2x BB to go. I simply called, hoping to see a good flop. I made a set of 8s on the flop. I decided to check the flop and I dark-checked the turn to Jeffrey (it's where you check the turn without even looking at the card). The turn came an ace. At this time, I knew he made his aces and I could break him if I played this hand correctly. So he raises it $10 in chips ... and I reraise him to $30, hoping to pot-commit him to this pot (he plays way too much on pot odds). He calls... and then I say, "before the river is played, I'm going all-in blind off the river."

The river comes a total blank, and he thinks about it and then says "I call." I busted him and about 15 minutes later took the whole tourney. That makes me 4/6 this y ear.

Posted by roy on October 1, 2004 at 01:39 AM in Poker | 2 Comments

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Comment posted on October 1st, 2004 at 03:41 PM
have you ever noticed that cards tend to play out correctly in RL more than it does in PP? =)

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Comment posted on October 1st, 2004 at 10:16 AM

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