Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Before I throw up another hand analysis spewage, I’d like to take some time and space to send out a note of thanks.

Over the years, I’ve always been kind of a private person.  I’m not a huge social kind of guy with 8,000 friends to hang around with.  I guess you could say it’s a quality, not quantity type of situation.  So whenever there’s any talk of birthday parties or any kind of celebration where I am the focus, I try to keep things low key.  I’m not sure why that is, but it is.

The biggest ancillary benefit that playing poker has brought me is new friendships.  Sure we’re all out to take each other’s money when we play, but with that stated, at the end of the day, we’re still all friends who respect each other as people.

With that said, I’d like to thank everyone who came to the house Saturday to play poker and hang out with me during my birthday weekend.  Shep, Wolverine, Stina, TheMark, Axeman and AngieAces, Otis, Random101, UncleTed, G-Rob, a remote TeamScottSmith and Frank the Tank – thanks again for making the weekend extra fun.

Of course, I have to thank mrsBlood for putting up with me and arranging the whole deal.  Like I keep saying, she’s my better half by a mile.


Winning at poker is primarily about making fewer mistakes than your opponent.  Recognizing mistakes and capitalizing on them is a difficult undertaking at times.  But sometimes, you can force your opponent into making a mistake.  Here is one such example.

One of the things I do when I sit down at a NL ring game table online is do a quick player search for the players at the table.  Why?  I just want to see if anyone is multitabling.  If they are, I’ll note it; because more often than not they’re going to be playing simple ABC poker and miss some of the subtle clues you need to catch in order to succeed.  These are the players you can actually outplay.

In this hand I was dealt pocket 5’s in MP and limped for $2.  We’re 6-handed, and the table texture was somewhat passive.  A player in the blinds kicked it to $8 and I called for two reasons.  The obvious reason is that stack sizes were large and the potential payoff for a set was large; the other reason is that I will call raises more frequently in position.  The raiser had me covered.

The flop came 267 rainbow and the raiser led out with a nearly pot-sized bet.  I can’t call here, that much is sure.  The question I’m asking myself is how much am I willing to spend on information to see if my hand is good.  I have to raise to find out, so that’s what I did.  The raiser simply calls.  Mistake number 1.

The call of my raise here sheds no light on his hand from my perspective.  Does he have an overpair or simply overcards.  At this point, I’m not 100% sure.  The turn comes and it brings a 9 to the board.  My opponent checks.  Mistake number 2.  At this point, I’m happy to take a free card so I check behind.

The river comes and it’s an 8, giving me the ass-end of the straight.  If my reads are correct on my opponent, I’m trailing only AT and TT.  I think I’m good, especially when my opponent checks the river.  At this point, I fire out a 2/3rds pot-sized bet as more of a value play.  My opponent calls, mistake number 3.  He had pocket Kings.

After he called me a “fukkin’ idiot” in chat, I really had to suppress the urge to reply back, “Hey, don’t beat yourself up.  We all misplay pocket K’s once in a while.”  But I just kept quiet and let the 6-tabler steam for a bit.  He logged off not soon after probably wondering how he could have misinterpreted my post-flop raise.  Playing 6 shorthanded tables simultaneously probably didn’t help.

Position, aggression, a little luck, and a gross misplay by my opponent netted me a decent sized pot.  Lesson for the day:  Don’t be afraid to re-raise.  Many raises are signs of strength, but often times they are also requests for information.  Give your opponent the information they deserve.  So they will fold.

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