Monthly Archives: July 2006

Playing blind

I played in a cash game last night at a friends house. The buyin was £10 (no more, no less) and there were 6 people playing. I was playing quite tight like I usually do, because the other players on the table are mostly maniacs and just have no idea what a hand is.

Anyway, one hand I decided to play blind (but noone else knew I was playing blind). This is how it went:
Blinds are 20p/40p and I’m on the button.
The player in 1st position raised. The players in 2nd and 3rd position both call (this shows a bit of weakness since if they had anything a bit better than decent, then they would have reraised). Now the action is on me. I hear the player on BB saying that he is going to go in for value if there are no other raises. Anyway, I decide to reraise.
The blinds fold and the other 3 players call. The flop comes something like 479 rainbow (don’t remember exactly, but it was a 9 hi flop). The player in 1st position bets £1. A really weak continuation bet. The next two players call and I reraise £4 more. The player in 1st position realizes the power I’m showing and folds (he understands the game a bit and is an OK player). The player in 2nd pos. calls (he is a maniac/loose/aggressive player. He’s not very good, but he’s not a complete idiot). The player in 3rd position folds (this guy is completely braindead and I was very happy that he folded. He was the only guy that could call this with nearly anything, so it’s good he folded). The turn is another blank card that doesn’t help any straights (I put my opponent on some kind of str. draw here. Probably a gut shot). He checks and I raise £5. He calls. The river is again blank and I’m nearly certain that I’ve won the hand. As long as he doesn’t go allin I’m safe. I ask my opponent how many chips he has left and I’m about to put the chips in, but he folds before the action even gets to me.
I flip over my cards and show everyone my J7o. I had J hi. It would have been funny if I actually had a great hand, which always seems to be the case when I see other people going blind.

It was a great hand and the most enjoyable hand I had played all evening. I’ve never really played a hand like that before. I don’t think I could play a hand like that online, but in a live game where I know all the players quite well – I can definitely make this play.

This is poker at it’s best. Playing the table and not the cards. And also I won £20 profit in that hand. Probably the biggest hand of the night and I didn’t even get a call on the river.

After this hand, some of the players at the table started making big preflop raises blind, but they were all stating that they were going blind. Very different to my hand, because everyone gave me respect and put me on a big hand. When everyone knows your blind then they can put you on J hi.

Also, I was going to make this blind play eariler on when I was on the button. But I decided not to because a lot more strength was shown preflop.

Going away now. Bi

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Came 5th out of 34 in the rebuy last night

I played the rebuy tourney at The Club last night and finished in 5th. I played quite well in the rebuy period. I bought in twice and then bought an addon. I had about 7500 chips at the beginning of the freezeout. (Buyin is £10 for 700 chips and at the end of the rebuy you can buy an addon of 1000 chips for an extra £10).

One hand to note near the end of the rebuy was when I had 77. Blinds are at 100/50. I’m in the BB and the player in first position raised to 400. There are 7 players at the table. The player in 2nd position called. Every else folds and the action is now on me. I decided to call this hand. The players at the table were very aggressive and it seemed like everytime that I had chips in the pot, the player on my right would make a raise.
The flop comes: KT7 rainbow. I decided to just check. I’m not like a massive slowplayer and usually bet when I hit a strong hand. But this time I thought that if I raised everyone would fold. But if I checked then there could easily be a raise behind me and I could make much more money out of the pot. Also, I’m not too worried about drawing hands. It’s quite a harmless flop.
The player on my right goes allin. The next player calls the allin. I call the allin. I have both stacks covered easily. We flip over our cards. I can’t remember what the player to my right had, but it was worse than top pair. The player on his right shows Q9 and has a gut shot. I avoided the jack which gave him the straight and won the hand. Nicely played hand.
I did actually play this hand aggressively although it seems as if I played it quite weak. By me checking I gave the drawing hands a chance to outdraw me. If I bet, everybody folds and I win the hand with minimum risk. But we were still in the rebuy period so I was happy to have extra risk for a greater reward. Even if we were into the freezeout stage I would be happy to play the hand like this – (I’m sure anyone would).

A later hand: Blinds are at 150/300. My stack is about 6k/7k. 7-handed. Player in 1st position limps in. I’m in 4th position and have pocket 7s again. I decide to raise to 1000. I thought I could push everyone off the pot and even if I did get a call. I was still ahead. It gets folded to the player in 1st position. He moves allin. I call instantly because the raise is only a few more chips. He flips over pcoket kings! I didn’t think this player was capable of making this play. He’s one of my friends and I thought that if he had a decent hand he would have raised the pot. Also, I had lent him £10 to buy a 1000 chip addon. That could have ended up loosing me an extra 1000 chips. But it didn’t: I hit a straight and knocked my friend out. Ended up well that I lent him the £10.
A really wierd thing happened on that hand though. The flop came T65 rainbow. I wasn’t calling for my 7 now. For some reason I was calling 4, 3! 4! 3! The turn is a 4. Now I need an 8, 3 or 7 to win the hand. The river was a 3. Really, really wierd. This is one of those occasions that you think you’re psychic.
Nobody at the table thought this was cool though and everyone was giving me evils.

Later in the tourney: About 15 people left. Top 7 paid. My stack is a bit above average at about 9k/10k.
There is only a BB in this hand because the SB got knocked out the hand before. The blinds are 500/1000 and I’m in the dealer button. It gets folded round to me. I have J9o. I’m thinking about making a steal, but instead decided to make a call. I thought this might show more strength and I could then outplay my opponent on the flop (although I heard people saying earlier that you can’t let this guy see a flop, because then he’s really strong).
Anyway, he checks. And the flop comes: KQT rainbow. I hit the straight and the 2nd strongest hand possible. AJ being the strongest. He checked and then I checked. The turn is a Ten. He checks and I bet 1000. He raises me to 2000. I decide to flat call. The river is a 2. He bets 3000. I move allin and it’s 3100 more for him to call. He thinks for a very long time and decides to fold! He shows a Ten. He folded trip 10s! The pot was 15100 and he only needed to put in 3100 to win it but he folded. What flipping incredible play. I had this guy down as a good player, but I didn’t think he was that good. He ended up making it into the money, finishing in 7th place. Only took £40, but if he had called my hand, he probably wouldn’t have finished ITM.
I didn’t show my hand. But at the end of the tournament I told them what my hand was. Nearly everyone at the table put me on J9, but I think this is the only guy at the table that would have folded it.

I get to the final table and was ITM. The blinds are really big now. Normally I play aggressively in this situation but this time I was really scared for some reason and I didn’t make any steals. This was partly because there were too many aggressive players at the table and also because I was scared of finishing 7th again. (I had made the final table twice before and had finished 7th twice. This happened because I was playing a bit too aggressively, maybe).

Near the end: blinds are at 1500/3000. I have 9000 chips.
I’m in the SB and post my blind of 3000 chips. I now have 6000 chips left. It gets folded to the player in the cutoff seat who goes allin (has me covered – about 15k). The player in the SB calls (has the player who made the raise covered). I have QTo and after a while of thinking I decided to fold.
I knew I was behind but the pot odds were great. I had to put in 6k to win a pot of 21k. If I won the hand I would have 27k and be the 2nd biggest stack. I decided to fold because the players in the hand were playing quite tight the hands before and I knew I was definitely behind. Also, I thought that there was a very high chance of one or both of my cards being held by one of the other players and they would have a better kicker. Also, I thought that the initial raiser may have had a big pair and then I’d be miles behind. Also, I had a chance of moving up the prize ladder if the player in the SB won the hand.
I folded and they showed KJo and 77 repsectively. The initial raiser won the hand and noone got knocked out. If I had known the players had these cards I definitely would have called. But I thought I was further behind. Like KQ and 77. If I would have been up against KQ and 77 I would have had a 22% chance of winning which is about the odds I needed to play. So it was a close call. Also, I had a chance to move up the prize fund if the SB won the hand.

I folded the next hand in the SB, because the short stack was allin (the button). He lost the hand and I did move up the money.

My M is now 1. 5-handed. It’s folded to me on the button. I go allin with K3s. I get called by BB who has 52o. He wins the hand with a flush and I’m out. I went home with £75. A profit of £40. Not bad.

I’ve now finished ITM 3 times out of the 6 rebuys I’ve played in my life (which have all been in The Club).

I’m off to Israel later this week for a month – so probs won’t be making anymore posts. Good night all.

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Came 2nd in a $108 SnG just now

This afternoon I won a ticket to a $108 SnG. this is how it happened:

A few days ago I came 2nd in a $14+1.5 SnG. The winner got a seat in a $108 SnG. I came 2nd and got a ticket to another qualifier and $1 too. Today I used that ticket in a MTT qualifier with 13 people in it. I won it. I was feeling good and playing well so I decided to play the $108 SnG immediately after. (Also, I’ve had a look at the high-stakes SnGs before and they take ages to fill up – I saw one with 7 out of 10 people already registered, so I played).

In the first few rounds I didn’t play any hands. I was slightly nervous and scared of losing – but playing very, very tight at the beginning of an SnG seems to be the best tactic.

The blinds started to increase and I started making some plays and stealing a few small pots. After about 30 minutes of play the first person got knocked out. After about 45 minutes there were 6 people left and I had one of the smallest stacks. My stack was at about 2200 (starting stack is 2000) and everybody else had more.

Then came quite a big hand. I raised preflop and got one caller. I had quite a tight table image and my previous steals were not called. The pot was about 1000 chips and the other guy checked on the flop. I bet 500. He then reraised me 500. I decided to fold because I only had Q high. The other guy was playing very tight as well and I doubt his check raise was a bluff. My chip stack was now 1300 and the blinds were at 150/75. A few hands later I doubled up (can’t remember how) and I was on about 3000 chips. I was still about average.

From here I kept making steals and bluffs and worked my way up to chip leader. A few more people got knocked out and we now had 4 people left. I worked my way up to over 10k chips which was more than 50% of the total number of chips (the total being 20k).

The player on my right was very, very tight. So every time the hand got folded to me and I was in the SB I would steal. I think he called me once out of about 10-20 steals. The one time he did call me I stole the pot away from him when he missed his flop.

The blinds were getting big and people were getting desperate. Another player went alling for about 2500-3000 chips. I called with A8s – he had T7o and won the hand. The loss didn’t really hurt me at the time, but this player went on to win the SnG.

2 players eventually got knocked out and we were heads up. I started off well. Then we went back to where we started. Then I decided to move allin preflop with 54o. He called with K8o and won the hand. I don’t know why I made that move. The blinds were big, but I wasn’t that desperate. 54o is really weak. In that hand I thought I had won the SnG. The flop showed 48x. The turn was a 4. The only card that could keep him in it now was one of the two 8s left in the deck. 5% chance of that happening. But it happened. I know I was behind when the hand started, but it still hurts – especially when $200 is at stake.

I now had 4000-4500 chips left. I doubled up the next hand and we were about evens. A few hands later we went allin. His 66 vs AJs. He won the hand and won the SnG. I had complete control at one point and I really messed up. I played nearly a perfect SnG. Only went wrong on 2/3 hands I think, but I didn’t win it.

Great experience but I really wish I had won it. Good night all. x

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My pocket Aces loose and I go on semi-tilt

I was playing an SnG today and I was doing very wel. I was playing my A-game and had about 5000-5200 chips. I was playing at HoldemPoker.com and the starting stacks are 1500 chips per person. There were about 6 or 7 people left and I’m dealt pocket aces.

The blinds are at 200/400 and the person in first position goes allin for about 750 chips. The person in second position goes allin for about 1500 chips. It then gets folded to round to me and I move allin with my 5000 chips. Another player behind (the second big stack) then decides to call the allin for his 3000 chips.

Everyone flips over there cards: the person in first position had QJo. The person in second has A6o and the person behind me has 99. The stats say that I’m a 60% favourite to win this hand outright.

Anyway, the cards come down and the player behind hits a set of 9s and the player in first position hits a straight. I’m got really annoyed about this. I don’t why the player behind me decided to call with pocket 9s! Did he actually think he stood even a 25% chance of winning the hand? If I had lost the hand, but beaten the person with pocket 9s I wouldn’t have been annoyed because I wouldn’t have made a loss and one more person would have been knocked out. But that didn’t happen!

A few hands later I push allin with QJo in 2nd position and get called by the guy that hit the straight a few hands before when I had my Aces cracked by everyone. He flips over AJo and wins the hand.

One minute I’m in a solid position to the SnG. Two minutes later and I’m out of it. Things can change around quickly in poker.

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Layed down pocket 10s to pocket Aces last night

Last night I was up playing poker till the early hours of the morning at The Club. I was playing in a PL cash game. The blinds are £1/£1 and I bought in £30.

First, I’m playing at a 5 handed table full of youngsters. The oldest player was 22 years of age. In my first hand I get dealt 99. The person in first position raises to £2. I call and everybody else, including the blinds, fold. The flop comes 987 with 2 clubs. Great flop for me. My opponent checks and I bet £5. He thinks for a bit and raises £5 on top to £10. I think for a short time and then decide to put £15 on top. I think this was a bit of an overbet and a bit of a rash decision. I was just scared that he was drawing to a straight. (But if he was drawing then why would he reraise). Anyway, I got the guy to fold and I think I could have taken a lot more money of him. Anyway, I won about £15 in the hand, so not too bad.

Later on in the evening I get moved to a long handed table. This table is pshyco. Everyone is going allin every other hand. And you can never get to see a flop for cheap, because there’s always reraising. Furthermore, I was in really bad position. The person sitting 2 seats behind is probably the biggest maniac I have ever seen play. I think for about 5-10 hands in a row, he was saying: “Pot, pot, pot….”. He was saying “Pot” preflop, on the flop, on the turn (if he had any chips left). It worked a few times for him. He managed to chase some people out of some pots. Then he hit a hand himself and made a lot of money (about £170 from £50). But then he kept on playing the same strategy over and over again and 5 hands later he had lost all his money.

Anyway, one hand I pick up AKs – a really sexy hand. I go “Pot”. Everyone folds to the BB who reraises my raise. Everyone else folds and the action is on me. I think for 2 seconds and call (I’m allin now for about £40-50). He shows A2s. I show AKs and my hand holds up to win the hand. My stack is now £94. This hand is an example of the mental cases that I was playing with. Who would go allin with A2s? Especially against someone with a tight table image. Maybe he was trying to push me off the pot, but I doubt it and it didn’t work.

A few rounds later I pick up TT. I’m in the SB. The pot was stradled (that means that the player in first position put in £2 before the cards were dealt. Everybody now has to put in £2 if they want to play the hand. Also, the player that stradled is last to act preflop). Nearly everybody on the table limped in – a family pot. I raise Pot. The person in the BB goes to look at his cards. He then says, “Repot”. Everybody at the table folds and it’s down to me. His repot means that I’ll have to reraise allin for my last £30, because I’m not going to fold postflop if some overcards come to my Ten. The pot is currently £45 and I have £75 left in chips. If I go allin. I’ll be able to win £120 and my £75. That’s 8:5 pot odds. Or 1.6:1. In the end I decided to fold. I’m not sure if it was for the right reasons though. I think that maybe I folded because I was scared to loose £75 more. If I fold now I only loose £15.

I fold and he shows AA – great fold in the end. But as I said, was it for the right reasons.

Here’s an analysis of the hand:
When he sees my raise he goes to look at his cards. The way he did it was as if to say. If I have a big hand I’ll go in, but anything else (which is 95% of the time) I’ll fold. His repot shows great strength, but at this table a raise could mean anything. However, the guy in the BB was a fairly decent player and he had respected my big raises in the past, so him coming over the top of me showed great strength.

The hands I would most likely put him on are AA, KK, QQ, AKs and AKo. There is also a chance that I’m ahed at this point if he has an overcard and an undercard. Or an underpair.

I would say that there was a 50% chance that he was holding an overpair (AA, KK, QQ or JJ). A 30% chance that he is holding AKs, AKo, AQs or AQo. A 20% chance that he is bluffing (this range includes an overcard and undercard and an underpair).

Against overpairs:
0.5*0.2=0.1= 10%
Against AK group:
0.3*0.55=0.165 = 16.5%
Against a bluff (let’s say I’m 70% to win. btw I made this group slightly bigger to account for the underpairs):
0.7*0.20=0.14 = 14%

So my total chances of winning are 40.5%

I needed to win 1 in 2.6 times to break even, or 38.4% of the time. This suggests that I should have made the call here. But I think I was being a bit nice and the chances that he had an overpair were 60%. New calculation:

0.6*0.2=12%
0.2*0.55=11%
0.2*0.7=14%

Total chances of winning: 12+11+14=37%

This suggests that I should have folded. Overall, the numbers are quite close. And as I said before I was scared to loose the money – not a good reason to fold but I’m happy in the end that I did fold, because I didn’t really want to put £75 into a breakeven situation. £75 is way out of my bankroll.

In the end it turned out to be a good fold. Maybe it was my gut instinct telling me to fold rather than the fact that I was scared of loosing the money.

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Super-aggressive style

A lot of the top players play super-aggressive poker. Examples are Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, etc. These players are at the top their game and really know what they’re doing. How does someone like me learn to play super-aggressive poker?

Is it possible to play super-aggressive poker online at the low stakes. People will call you down to the end with pocket 2s and AhKhQhJh9s on the board (a bit of an exageration, but you will find anything at the low stakes online).

I tried playing a bit aggressively this afternoon. I was playing an SnG for about 10-20 minutes and I hadn’t been in any hands. I thought I’d start playing a bit more aggressively as the blinds started to increase. I ended up loosing a big portion of my stack to a guy who decided to see me to the end with a pair of sixes – which was middle pair on the flop, but there were more overcards on the turn and river. He had to give me respect for my play but he didn’t. I hadn’t played a hand and he still decides to call with a weak hand.

I’m going to work more on my aggressive game, because that seems to be the way to win at poker. I can always fall back on my tight play.

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Had some great luck on Monday night

I was playing at the club last night. Not playing very well but I ran into a lot of good luck.

 First of all, I played in the re-buy. In the first couple of hands I was dealt pocket aces. The starting stacks are 700 chips and the blinds are 25/50 for the first 45 minutes. I raised to 250 under the gun. I get called by the person on my left and everyone else folds. The flop comes KQT rainbow. I raise and we end up going all-in for our remaining chips. He flips over TT and his hand holds up to win the hand.

 I rebuy again after that. I’m doing alright and I make it to the freeze-out after one and a half hours of play with about 3500 chips. I buy an add-on of 1000 chips for an extra £10, so my stack is now about 4500 chips – about average.

 The blinds are now on 150/300 and I making some moves to try and take the blinds. One time I tried make a steal I ended up putting in a big amount of my stack with QTs against a small stack with TT. I lost that one. A few hands later I go for another steal. I end up going allin with ATs against AJo. The hand ends up being a draw. Quite a lucky escape.

 Now here’s the real luck. I go for another steal with 78o! I end up going allin and I’m up against JJ and KQo! I am a massive underdog here. Anyway, I’m shouting for a straight. An 8 flops and now a 7 or another 8 are outs. The turn and river are blank and I’m thinking I’m going home in a minute. Then someone says, “Flush!”. I look at the table. There are 4 clubs down and I’m holding the 7 of clubs. I look at the two hands I’m up against and neither of them has a club. I win the hand! Some intense stuff. I was over the moon and there were high-fives all round. I now have a nice sized stack and was in a good position to finish in the money, but wasn’t in a good position to win. The blinds were big and I still needed some more chips to finish in the top 3 where the real money was.

 I ended up in 7th place and took £40. A profit of £10. Not great, but at least I didn’t lose any money and I did gain some valuable experience.

 One hand to note was against an aggressive player when we were close to money. I was in the big blind. It gets folded round to the button and an aggressive player raises to 3xBB. The small blind folds and I call with QJo. I made the call since it seemed like a clear steal and I thought I could knock him off the hand later on. The flop comes K93. The flop missed me but I think it also missed him and I have a gut shot. I decided that I was going to make a check-raise bluff. An outrageous move, but you get such a big rush when you pull it off. I figured that if I made a move for the pot now I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. So I checked and he makes a bit of 2200 into a pot of about 3000, as I expected. But then I start to think about the allin move I’m about to make for about 9000 chips. Is it really worth it? What if he did hit his King? and his initial raise wasn’t a steal, but a raise to try and get some more money out of the hand with his AK. If I fold I’m still in a good position to finish ITM (in the money). In the end, my nerves got the better of me and I decided to fold. I didn’t find out what the guy had and I doubt I ever will.

 I played really badly in the rebuy. I don’t know why I was making the moves I made. I was probably just a bit impatient.

 Anyway, after the rebuy I watched one of my friends finish in 4th place and take home £130. A very poor finish seeing as he had about 50% of the total chips at one point. Also, he declined to take £250 about 10 minutes earlier.

 After a 30 minute break I went up to play in the cash game. I bought in for £30. £25 is minimum buyin and £100 is the maximum. The game is pot-limit holdem and BB and SB are both £1. The table is 8-10 handed. The players at this game are very loose and aggresive and there is nearly always preflop betting. I was playing tight. The tightest at the table in fact and I hit 2 fullhouses after about an hour or two of play. My stack was now at £75.

 I get dealt KQo. Not a great hand. I’m on the BB and the player under the gun raises “Pot” to £5. 2 players call and everyone else folds. I decide to call the extra £4 since the player that made the raise has been raising a lot preflop so I could definitely have the best hand at the moment. The other 2 callers didn’t show great strength either since they were also quite loose.

 The flop comes 2 5 6 rainbow. The person in the SB checks. I decide to raise to £15. There’s currently £21 in the pot. I made this move because up to now, I had only been playing solid values and my move showed a lot of strength. Also, it was very likely that the flop missed everyone out there. The player to my left folds (the initial raiser). The next player, whom I know very well decides to call (he is the weakest player at the table and really doesn’t know what’s going on even though he thinks he does). The player in the SB folds. The turn is a 9 and there are no possible flush draws out there. I make a bet of £40 since my opponent looks weak and I think that I can push him off the hand. He decides to call! I’m in trouble! The river is a Queen. I’m almost convinced that’s saved me and I bet allin for the rest of my chips. Only £11 more. He calls and flips over 44. Everyone at the table is trying to guess what my hand is and people are saying I have a set or an overpair or 2 pair. They’re all wrong and I flip over my KQo and take a pot of £150. That’s nearly $300 for any of you Americans reading this. That is way, way above my bankroll and I would never play for that much online. $300 basically is my bankroll online. But in live games I can get some money together off my parents and some other different things.

 My analysis of the hand is as follows. The guy I was trying to push out the hand made a massive mistake playing the hand with 44. I really can’t believe he played to the end with that. His argument is that he can read me, because I play with him a lot. But I had showed a really tight image all night and was playing my solid hands in the same way. I don’t think that he can read me. I just think that he is a calling station and an idiot. And you know what they say: “Don’t try and bluff an idiot!” – that is so true. I think half the reason he called was because he had a gut shot. He falls in love with any kind of draw. Last week, this player went allin with A9s preflop and 3 people had gone allin before him. He called and the others flipped over QQ, JJ and AKs – he lost the hand. lol. And lost a big amount of money, especially for him. I’ll remember from this that I should never try and bluff this guy again. And if I ever hit a monter against him. I’ll bet it very aggressively.

 I got very lucky that night and I didn’t deserve to win so much. But that’s poker!

 I ended my night of poker at 5am cashing out £142. I made a grand profit of £122 (about $230). That’s the most I’ve ever won at poker. Hopefully the good luck will continue.

 I’ll be writing on my blog tomorrow. So be sure to come back.

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