Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Was it a return or a return to the old ways....?

Got back in the game recently and it was GREAT!!! New players and they still play like lunchboxes!!! Well I had to let what I did this past weekend marinate before I laid it out for you and myself.

I came into the game to play ubbertight aggressive. Get a feel for the table, know who to attack, who to leave alone and just hang out and talk to Bill about different hands, life and continue with our table observations while out of the hand, which is key. It was like getting back on a bike, but I was on a roller coaster...I was down most of the time and had to battle back, and I would and be winning somewhat but for the next six hours, it was a struggle.

A key hand for me came at about hour five. I am on the button and a guy I was sitting next to earlier in the game, (he was in seat five-I was in seat six-hate that seat-eventually moved to seat 9), was out of position and opened for $12, for some freaking reason, with only $250 in front of me, I knew that I could outplay him and I had this feeling that he was on AK, nothing else, just AK. He had about $600 in front of him and it was not because of solid play. (side note-this guy showed down some bad hands, which lost but kept playing them and hoping and it worked once with A2 out of position with a flop of 22A versus the most aggressive player at the table, they both got it in on the river. The other fella, loose aggressive at the table, showed down 6-2 for a full house on the turn. So this is how this fella doubled up and eventually won a few more getting his stack to about $600). He's from Hammond and plays with his buds but does not come down to New Orleans often he plays in Shreveport when he gets the chance also. I got this guy, I am going to take this guy down. I called with a weak hand because I told myself to call with anything. The flop is Q45 rainbow, it is just he and I and he bets $20...and sorta looks at me, I think nothing of it, I have that feeling that he is on air and call, telling myself that on the turn if he bets as long as it is not a face card...RAISE! The turn is a 7d, good let me try to represent a diamond draw with top pair. The guy bets like $40 or $50 and I pop it, $75 more. He thinks for a minute and I also realized that he was staring at me like he did when he had that A2 against the other guy. He calls and the river brings the Jd, he checks I push in $100 leaving behind about $50 or $60. He just calls and quickly turns over QJ off. This is not a bad beat story this is me trying to play level three with a level one player and this is me with a smile and a muck. I never recovered. WHY DO I TRY TO PUSH AGAINST THE BETTER HAND! WHY DO I THINK THAT HE WOULD THINK THAT I HAD THE DIAMOND DRAW-GOT THERE AND WANTED HIM TO PAY ME OFF BY VALUE BETTING LEAVING A FEW BUCKS BEHIND TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THAT! WHY DO I DO THAT TO MYSELF! ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! By the way I figured out that is one of my tells...so at least I learned something about myself. So basically I did not win I lost but I believe I played well for being out as long as I was. The cards did not run over me, I had to fight and scrape everytime and playing poker like that is not very fun. Good thing my bud Bill was there. So yeah, not bad, though I made bad plays, not great...just good and after marinating and not thinking about the results, I played well. I wish the results would have reflected this but it did not. Looking forward to getting back in there, and it will be soon. Hopefully we will make a trip to the Beau and hook up with fellow blogger Reid, hmmm who knows.


Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How to play Pocket Aces...in my opinion.

I want to give away some free advice that may bite me in the ass down the road but none the less it is my opinion so you can take it or leave it. By the way, this advice that I am about to share...AWESOME!!!!

Pocket Aces the best starting hand in Texas Hold'em poker, limit, no-limit, or pot limit. Of course there are people who would rather have something else, so they so, but this is the best hand. Okay, here are some things that you have to look at before you sit down. If you really like to win you will scout the tables out and try to get a feel for the games that are going on if you see a particular game you can specifically ask the floor person to put you on the list for that game, if you are playing 1-2, 2-5, or low to medium limit games just scout them all and get ready, sometimes the wait for that table can be long. Now the scouting has been done and you have an idea of how the table plays. So you sit down, hopefully, after the blinds but lets say you sit down in the under the gun (UTG) position and pick up pocket aces. First thing that happens...deep inside there is a "Spartans!" and you reply to yourself inside that is "WHOWAA!", so you are pumped but how do I play this hand, I just got in the game, what should I do? Okay, if you had scouted you might have an idea of who the maniac is and where he/she is at the table, if you have one raise normally even if they are on your left. Now, lets say that you are put in a game that you have no idea what is going on, again you raise with your aces.

So the game is going on and you have some loose players to your left and are looking for that trap hand, you pick up aces. You have not raised for quite awhile but you want to trap these loose bastards what do you do? Since I happen to be one of those loose bastards, I would either raise as normal, so the L.B. will play with you because he thinks you have aces and looks down at 9-10 off and smiles to himself and knows that if he hits he will turn you upside down and bleed you dry. Geez, did I write all that? Sorry, well you either raise and get a caller or two or you limp and let the L.B.'s get in cheap to smack you around if they do hit. Please just raise with the Aces is my point.

It is very rare that you will slow play your aces...case in point it was a time ago, not sure when '07 or '06, it was about 2am on a Friday morning and I was getting up from a broken 1-2 NL game. You play in the game that you can consistently beat, at that time it was the 1-2 NL. Well I start to leave I have my checks racked up in two racks and I walk by the only 2-5 game and watch j-7 take down a pot with over $1000. I stop and watch as the maniac next to him, a middle aged guy with a lot of energy, terrorize the table. He bluffed more than normal but you could not put him on a hand. He lost that big pot but came out and won three in a row and had over $2000 in front of him. My mouth started to salivate, the seat to the right of him opened up and I jumped in the game...of course I did not put all my glimmer into play, just about $800. Well I start talking to the guy and I am dumping A10, AJ, AQ, small pairs because of the position I was in, this guy was just pushing almost every hand...$30, $40, $50 and sometimes $100 to go! One time, please is what I was thinking. Well as I am talking to him I find out why he is pushing so hard, he is a professional black jack player and he just lost over $20,000 and wants to get some of it back. Last year he lost six figures! How can you be a pro blackjack player with that kind of loss?!? UGHHHH!!! Well about an hour into it I've picked up a few hundred by using position and just waiting, it is tough to have a maniac to your left, you WANT A MANIAC ON YOUR RIGHT SO IF YOU CAN GET A SEAT CHANGE THERE DO IT!
I pick up pocket aces under the gun and limp, he makes it $50 to go and we get two callers..."UHHH I don't think so", I think and I jam in another $350. To the sane most players you go yikes, okay you can have the $150 plus blinds, well this guy is so focused on money and not how I have been playing, he makes a move to get me off my hand, "ALL IN!"
Stanley hits the bottom of the table as the blood rushes in, I got the lunchbox, finally! I have over $800 left and I think and finally call after the other two fold. He flips up AK, actually had a hand this time...Flop comes K2A rainbow turn a 2 river a 3. Slow playing da aces at the right time. I told the gentleman good luck after playing to my button and taking my winnings to the window. Gotta love guys like that.

So there you have it, the morale of the story...Raise with aces!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Can you randomnize?

The other day I was talking to a good friend of mine that I met in the poker room a few years ago. I did not like him when I first met him but I appreciated his game. There are a few of my friends that I have that this happened also...hmmm so weird! Anyhow, we were talking about his recent tournament cash and how I had not received my 10% yet and how I gave him my off shore account number and it is taking too long and what the hell! Oops sorry about the ramble. We laughed and since I have not been playing, just studying, writing, and teaching about poker I wanted to hear how he smashed it. Basically he was in poker heaven, eight ultra tight players and a loose aggressive who understood when to open. The ultra tights would not defend against a raise and the blinds were stolen by either my buddy or the other guy. He continued to explain that later he would get lucky in certain spots but he picked his fights very well...as I expected. He continued to explain how he finally could read them like some guys we both know very well. We got onto the subjec on how we would be able to read them for the rest of their poker lives...why? Ahh, exactly the reason why I am writing this and if you are reading this, bub, this is based on our conversation that we had as I drove across the causeway.
We have known players for several years that play the same way they have not nor will not change their game up. When you see them shove in certain spots you know what they have, if you see them overbet, you know what they have.
It was a fun talk and it made me wonder why do people over play pocket jacks? Why do they play A10 correctly but over play AJ? Some of the reasons might be because they always lose with that hand or they may have lost a huge pot with that hand and it is stuck in their sub-conscious and it tells them to take the blinds and move on...
In order to win on a consistent basis...you have to open AJ as you would AK, you have to play JJ as you would QQ. In the long run it will pay off. This one is short and sweet but I just had to put this out there...don't let that little mental devil mess you up, you know how to play to get the most do it, if you miss dump it. One last thing...do not get married to your hand! Pocket Aces with a flop of J109 with two others in the hand (this is an easy example but I have seen lunchboxes get busted with their aces and show them because KQsuited called and the aces should have won.) FOLD!

This freaking post was so random!!! BE COOL!!!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A look at Level three play...

I picked up a good book to re-read, "Your Worst Poker Enemy" by Allan N. Schoonmaker, out of my library and I was just thinking about this play that occurred a time ago between two people that I know. Charlie, who is currently living in Vegas and deals at Ceasers. Wayne H. a well known high limit grinder, want to talk about a guy who I have never seen get felted, this is the guy. Charlie a time ago was grinding out and playing in a lot of games,5-5 NLH, 5-10 NLH, 10-25 Pot limit Omaha. Wayne H. has been around for a long time, older gentleman who wears a ball cap 95% of the time. He has played just about anywhere in the United states and is usually walking around at a large tournament looking for a good cash game to sit in. Both of these guys know their way around a poker table.

So, I am sitting in a 5-5 NLH game next to Charlie, he is in the two seat, I am in the three seat and Wayne is in the ten seat, right next to the dealer...he likes that seat, go figure. I am under the gun and fold. Two limpers to Wayne, on the button, who pops it to about $20. Now Wayne has not been involved in any hands for about an hour, since he had sat down. Charlie knows Wayne, as would any regular at Harrahs. Small blind folds, Charlie, big blind, contemplates for a few seconds and calls in a theatrical, splash my chips kinda way. One of the original limpers calls also. SIDE NOTE: Could the limper have a strong hand to call a tight player and a hesitating BB flat call? Odds? Hand strength? Just wondering...nothing to do with the rest of this...very random huh?
The flop...babies, 2c5h7d, rainbow at that. Charlie checks, limper checks, Wayne...checks! Turn card is a 10s, Charlie bets 3/4 of the pot, limper folds and Wayne pops it another $100. Charlie goes into the think tank, he's making hand movements and talking to himself and shaking his head and nodding his head and shaking his head and you know what I mean...sorta Gus Hansen like. SIDE NOTE: I have this read on Wayne, I knew at this moment that he was semi-bluffing...also if he did have the best he would not have put in the raise here he calls and makes his play on the river, yet I was sort of right and I was sort of wrong...lets read and you will see.
Charlie, reluctantly, calls! So now I am sitting there going what the hell, A10 Charlie(I was thinking of a lot of hands but will not list them here)? I can see that Charlie is hurting because he does not know where he is with Wayne and he is trying very hard to put him on a range of hands here but can not figure out why he raised other than to get him off his hand, thus the reluctant call...hmmm?
The river is a 3c, Charlie, checks, Wayne counts out his chips, now at this time at Harrahs you could buy in for whatever you wanted, Wayne looks at Charlie's stack of $1200 and casually...CASUALLY tosses in two pink chips...$500 a piece! Charlie starts to pull his hair out! Almost, literally. So we have over $200 in the pot, an F'ed up board and an over sorry super over bet of $1000...WHY are you SQUIRMING Charlie! He literally asks for time stands up and is going through what can beat him and ruling them out...Wayne could have played anything from that position...wait until I tell yah what he played...GOSH!
Somebody, after five long minutes, asks if they can call clock...I step in and say "NO! let him think it out, that's a lot of money." Usually when I say no people tend to listen, wonder why?
Finally Charlie says..."I've seen you make this play with absolutely nothing and they always laid it down to you...I call!"
Wayne sticks his head out and non-chalantly says, "Huh, you call?" Looks back at his cards and looks back at Charlie. Charlie, who is very eager now, flips his cards over...two black Kings!
"I know that, Charlie." Wayne said. "But you let me get there, this time."
Wayne tables the A4spades!
Charlie yells something goes over and shakes Wayne's hand and picks up the rest of his chips, says bye to me and leaves with a red ass.
I talked to Charlie later and asked him why he did not raise back into Wayne on the turn, he said that he wanted Wayne to make that play on the river but it was bigger than he thought and he HOPED it was a bluff.
Egads, and that was an actual hand that happened a while ago but these two were level threeing it the whole time.
Any questions?

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!