Thursday, April 30, 2009

$10 Dollar Ful Ttilt Bonus

Full Tilt poker gave out some $10 dollar bonus for free. I only recently started playing on the site again because I love the low buy-in tournaments. So, I decided I will try to turn this $10 into $1000 playing a mix of limit, no limit and tournament hold em' poker. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good play, good read, easy money.... yet, bad bluffs

Sometimes, people ask me how should they play at LC. I tell them my #1 rule is to not bluff, since people rarely will fold their hands. I don't mean be tight, which is up to them, but to play your made hands for max value because they likely will pay you off. This is how I alway manage to win $200-$400 pots. I also wait for other players to make mistakes against me, which is a little more advance to teach in this entry, but I made go into it later on.

So tonight, I used my first rule well and tripled up within 40 minutes of sitting down...only to later throw my rule out the window and lose it all in the next 2 hours by bluffing like crazy. I had some of the best reads at my table and bet all my draws. I controlled the pot and got paid off when I made the hand.

Then for some reason, I started to want to bluff more and more. Only to be called by top pair with low kickers by other players. When I say low kickers, I mean like 3's, 4's and 5's. It was unbelievable how bad these guys were playing. Or them calling me down with bottom pair, then to hit two pair on the river. It was just so sick. They were trying to give me their money! Yet, the cards kept giving me bad beats.

I lost my last $80 in a hand I thought I had the perfect read on. I open from under the gun with a small raise of $5 with pocket 5's. Guy re-raises to $15. Flop comes out 4 4 2. I had checked in the dark. He bets $25 and I re-raise him to $50, thinking he is making a play with AK. He shakes his head and says how this sucks...sits there for a minute and then pushes all in for the rest of his chips of $80. I said to him, "are you serious? you think your beat and yet you push it all in?" I had no choice to call with the $20 something I had behind. And he shows pocket 9's to win the hand. I had a bad read on him, but to honestly push it in and not even thinking what I could have had.

I wanted to buy back in after that hand, but I felt on tilt and opt to leave. I really hope I get this table of bad players again. I couldn't believe how easy it was, but I just have to remember.."NEVER BLUFF A FISH!"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bay 101 Midnight Tourney: counter to small ball

Used my winnings from friday's game to enter this tournament.

For some reason without realizing it, I totally threw my small ball style out the window tonight. I guess I shouldn't have kept psyching myself out by saying over & over "chip up fast or leave early!" before the tourney even started. I was playing a super aggressive game with tons of bluffs.

As usual, I tried to control the table with my small ball playing style, but kept getting re-raised and I kept calling the raises. My cards varied from suited cards to connectors. I missed a bunch of flops or missed draws with the occasional top pair here and there that won without showdown. I stayed at the constant $10,000 until level 3.

I lost more than half my stack on a big bluff I tried to pull on a guy. With blinds at $100/$200, I call holding Q4 suited. Three to the flop. I flop a flush draw and bet out $300 into the $600 pot. Get re-raised to $1200. One guy folds. I call. Turn is a miss for me, but I bet out $1000. He looks scared, but still calls. River is another blank for me and I bet out $4000. He goes all in for $6000 and I'm forced to fold, despite pot odds.

I gave this hand a deep analysis when I was done. I didn't use my small ball style at all in this hand, which was a big mistake. I should have bet only $600 on the turn for a cheap draw and I don't think he would have raised. If I was to bluff on the river, I think I should have only bet out $2200. At least, it would look more like a value bet and I wouldn't have risked so much of my chips.

After that hand, I was left with about $4000 and soon lost another $2400 by calling a big raises on my big blind with 2 7 and hitting mid-pair. The guy had bet $2000 in the dark preflop. I folded and he shows me an Ace. Urg!

Soon, I had no choice but to try to steal on the button with 3 8 offsuit. I push in $2400 with the blinds only at $200/$400 and get called by the big blind, I say out loud "shit!" and get some laughs after I show my 3 8 in my all-in moment. Big blind (tight player who always raises super high with good cards had called instantly, so I knew I was pretty much dead when he called my overbet.) shows me ACES!!! Flop comes out A 4 5. He hits his set and I'm getting ready to leave, until someone says "you need a 2". I touch my 3 of hearts and move it around the table asking the dealer to "do it!" and he tells me to stop touching the cards and let him deal. Haha! Turn is a blank...and the river is a 2!!! I double up. I tell him "I hope your remember that" hoping to put him on tilt and catch him again later.

Played a couple more hands and was chipping up slowly, but again. Called big re-raises with nothing and missing the flop or getting a piece, but folding anyway. I could tell my small ball wasn't working on this table of gamblers who love making pots big. I wish I had realized earlier that I was playing this way, so I could get out and sit back more. I think I was basically in about 80% of the hands I was dealt.

Later had AJ of spades in the little blind and opt to cold call. Same guy with aces earlier re-raises to $1000 with blinds still at $200/$400. I'm pretty sure he wanted to raised more, since it was only $600 more to both of us who called the $400 earlier. Three to the flop. I flop a spade draw and check. Big blind raises to $2000. And I push all in for $3500. He shows ACES again! and I miss my draw.

This is my earliest out of a tourney to date and I know what I did wrong, which was not sticking to my game and calling too many re-raises. I hope to do some more research into what to do next time I encounter this.

Until next time.


Advice from Daniel Negreanu I found about reraises:
In small ball poker, you must get involved in a lot of pots. And in many of those pots, you’ll get reraised. Make sure to maintain your composure when that happens. Don’t get away from your strategy by making sloppy calls.

Okay, say it’s early in a tournament. You raise to 150 on the button with 7h-8h, leaving you with 9,850 in chips. The small blind then reraises to a total of 500.

Not only do you have position, you also have the type of hand that could hit a home run if you get lucky on the flop. Go ahead and call with this hand, hoping to win the pot by hitting the flop or bluffing your opponent by using board cards that may scare him away.

Generally speaking, though, you don’t want to jeopardize more than ten percent of your chipstack on a hand like middle suited connectors or middle pairs.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Playing tight is no fun

Its been awhile, but finally had another session at LC. Decided again to play tight with a bit of loose calls, hoping to outplay players on the flop. For the first hour, I mostly sat around and folded or called and folded on the flop. There were lots of big bets and all-ins from stacks over $200. I knew I would have to pick my spots.

I check-raised a lot tonight than I'm used to in a cash game. I'm used to just calling down if I have two pair or top pair, but played aggressive tight game tonight and didn't want players to catch up. I was determined to play this way, until I lost. But, I never lost and rarely had a show-down with my raises.

I had my tight image reinforced by another player who at least announced to the table three to four times how tight I was playing. I just sat there thinking how weird it was to be called "tight player". I was hoping to use it, but mostly ended up just playing my cards and using my reads on other people.

I cracked pocket Aces when I called a raised with pocket 8's and hit a set. I tripled up to $300 here. I also cracked another big hand a few hands later. A player had raised after I limped in with 7 8 offsuit and call his raise. Player then goes all in before the flop came out. 7 2 4. I had hit top pair with the 7 and thought about the hands he could have. "AK, KK, AA?" I figured he probably has a big pair, but called hoping to suck-out and I also had to see if I was reading him right. Yep! he shows pocket Kings and as I tap the table, another 7 hits the turn. Boom! :-)

All in all, I made $180 profit, but didn't have as much fun with being so tight. I know I was setting it all up so I could do fancy plays later and bluff more, but by the time I had the image dead set into people's head, I was too tired to try any plays. Maybe next time.

I now know why I like the tight image, because it causes people to loosen up and bluff me more. I let them win small pots and love catching their mistakes in large pots I win.