River Shoved

After staying out rather late at the concert on Friday night I was feeling pretty horrible Saturday. Saturday night I was supposed to play poker at Erin’s house. After a nice afternoon nap I was game to try and stay up late and play.

The game started off like any other game. I grabbed seat, and decided to try and play smart for the night. A couple hands in, and I was dealt a nice hand. I bet strong on it, and got one person to play with me. I had my Q high straight (I think it was) and was feeling pretty confident. We got down to the river and I bet large, and was called. I showed feeling confident in my hand. I had beaten him, but not with the hand I thought. I actually had a fairly high flush.

From that point I was up pretty high and started playing tight. I kept getting hands like A4, A5, K4.

I won a few more pots here and there, but nothing big.

I lost a big chunk to Erin in one hand when I called what I thought was a bluff. The non bluff took the wind out of my sails. I floundered for a bit, seething on the inside. It probably wasn’t a smart call and i paid for it. I had tried to count my outs and ensure I wasn’t being stupid, but in the end I was.

My final hand of the night I was dealing and found I had pocket 7’s. When my turn to bet came around, I bet into them and lots of players exited the hand. Erin stayed in to play. We saw the flop and it didn’t look scary. When Erin bet, I shoved all in. Erin thought for a while before calling. When he called, I said aloud that I was going to need some help, to which Erin replied maybe no. We both showed. My 7’s were up against Erin’s pocket 8’s. Nice. I didn’t hit, so I was out. I only used one buyin, and I was playing against better players than I, so i felt good about that.

I need to get more practice though before we head to Vegas. I might have to set up another game here in Victoria, and I might even start playing online.

Shoved Bluffing

Last night was my first poker game in a while. I don’t feel like I played all that well all night. There were definitely quite a lot of mistakes that I made that cost me dearly. I MUST MUST MUST keep looking at the board and thinking about what possible hands my opponents might have. All too often I get fixated on my hand and don’t think about other hands that will beat me.

I got lucky a few times too. There was one pot where I was dealt pocket 8’s. Not a stellar hand, but I had a decent enough position to put out a strong bet and got a lot of folds. One person stayed in. After the flop, nothing helped so another strong bet to try and scare him off. He came over the top enough that if I just called I would have been left with only a few big blinds, so I shoved all in. He called and when we showed our cards, he had pocket 9’s. I sucked out on the river though and got another 8 to beat him.

Something similar happened when I was dealt something like an A10 hand. Me and one other in the pot, and on the flop I paired my A and won.

One hand I felt like I played well, I was dealt pocket 9’s. I made a set on the flop, and only one other was in the pot still. On the turn I ended up with a full house, 9’s over 3’s. I looked carefully at the board. No flush was possible, and no straight was possible so I knew I was in the clear of a straight flush. My goal was to get as many chips into the pot as possible, and I felt like I did that well.

Over the rest of my night I kept getting hands like K2, A6, J4. Very frustrating. What closed out my night was a flush though. I made a flush, and on the board was a J and an A. There was only 2 cards to beat my 10 and my opponent had one of them when I was all in. I honestly contemplated whether he had the Q or K, then decided to gamble that he was bluffing. The person I was up against is a very good player and rarely can I beat him in a hand. His reads are so good that when I bluff he calls, and when I have something he folds. Sometimes though I just wonder if he is bluffing. I took the chance and lost.

Tournament River

I played some poker last night. The night started with three of us playing a cash game while we waited for the fourth person. Second hand I lost close to half my buyin to someone who won with a Royal Flush. I also deserved to lose that hand and should have folded much earlier.

When our fourth showed up we decided to play a $5 tournament so he could get the hang of how the game worked (he was a relative newbie). I ended up heads up against a very strong player. Our stacks were pretty even, and around the third hand I hit a good hand, pocket Q’s. I made a decent bet hoping to entice a big call, and sure enough he went all in. I called right away, he turned his over, and I showed my Q’s. If I remember, he had a 10 and something else. On the flop he paired his 10. The turn missed him, and on the river he hit another 10 and won. He had just a little more than I in chips, so I was done.

Not much more I could have done there. On that last hand I felt fine with losing. I played it exactly the way I should have, and got him to call like I wanted. He lucked out and got trip 10’s on the river to beat me. What else could I have done?

After that tournament we went back to the cash game. I played alright throughout this. I played a few hands really well and won a few good pots. I even made a few good calls that I was proud of. As the evening wore on I started playing worse and worse.

I got knocked all out at one point on another hand where I was leading before the flop, and lost out on the draw. I sat out for a few hands and dealt while I figured out if I wanted to buy in again. After a few rounds I bought back in and picked up where I left off.

Nothing really happened for a while until I was dealt an AK. I made a good size bet to try and scare off a couple people which worked. The newbie stayed in which was good for me. On the flop I paired my A and put the other guy all in. He called, and he had a much lower pair. I won that hand which greatly increased my stack size.

The rest of the night I slowly declined in chips, and got pushed around by the big stack at the table who was hitting hands that he likely shouldn’t have been playing (same guy I lost out to on the tournament).

It was a good night overall, but I think I need to practice more. I still feel like I am floundering on some hands where I should just know what to do. I would like to get to the point where I can figure out what someone’s hand is based on their past performance.

I know I switch up how I play enough when I hear people putting me on a hand that is much lower than what I have. Unfortunately both times that happened I still lost due to luck. 🙁

Book Bet

Friday night I had some friends over for a poker night.

I recently read Phil Gordon’s Little Green book and I liked a lot of the things he said in the book. I was eager to try out some of what I had learned.

The night started off well for me. I remembered a few of the techniques laid out int he book and tried to stick to the plan. One of the things I need to work on is remembering how people play certain hands. Typically for me, once a hand is done, it is quickly forgotten. I am going to work on this.

The first few hands went well and I was happy with my play. On one hand I found that I had pocket jacks. I made a decent bet pre-flop and all folded except one friend who I had never played against before and he called. On the turn, nothing spectacular showed up. I was first to act and made another bet. He raised me.

Now I had a decision. Did he have a hand? No flush was possible yet, same with a straight. He either had a pocket pair better than mine, or trips. Hmm. Maybe he had nothing and was bluffing. I really had no idea since we were only a couple hands in and I didn’t really know what kind of player he was. I ended up folding and waiting to get more information on him.

After a few rounds I was sitting pretty good. I kept with the strategy and managed to keep raking in some good pots. Near the end of my run I guessed that I was up at least $15 (the buy in was $20).

From there it was a slow decline as my card luck fizzled. I was dealt so many J2 combos it was incredible. I played a couple of them when it was cheap to see the flop, but otherwise I folded them.

For the last hand I got an A6 suited. I decided to play the last hand, and unfortunately my strategy went out the window. I kept chasing the pot when I should have folded much earlier. I was up against a co-worker and eventually came to my senses, but not before I lost most of my profit. At the end of the night I was up $2.10. Sheesh.

Next time I will stick to my strategy, pay attention more, and try to remember how people play hands. Still, it was a very fun time with a great group of people.

Experienced Money

Sunday night I was out late at a poker game. I was one of the least experienced players there, and at times it showed. I wasn’t happy with how I played, especially with the first hand I was dealt.

On the flop I paired up my kings. The only other guy bet into me pretty hard, and not thinking I called. The River and Turn were more of the same, and each time I called. On the River I had a feeling something was up, but I didn’t listen to my instinct. The other guy a trip 10’s. I deserved to lose the money I did.

I simmered down a little and checked my anger for a bit. How could I be so stupid. I managed to claw back most of what I had lost, but then it started going downhill again.

One hand I was pretty happy with I managed to get a lot of money out of a very good player. I think he put me on a set when I actually had a straight. I am happy with how I bet since I got the most out of him I could have. After I showed, he said that if I had bet any higher he would have folded.

Much later in the night I was sitting on the short stack and was down to just over $3. I got a K6 and was almost last to act. By this time the pot count had improved a lot so I shoved all in. I had one caller, so I managed to doubled up. Next hand I was dealt a K10. Again all in and won that pot, but didn’t double up. Still sitting on the short stack the next hand was something like a KJ. All in again (noone would believe me) and raked in another pot. In three hands I drastically improved my chip count and felt much better.

Alas it wasn’t to be, and by the end of the night I was busted. Fun night though.

I borrowed one book on cash games and started reading it, but I think it has done more harm than good so far. The concepts in this book are too far over my head. Since starting the book, the two games I’ve played in I’ve busted out, and I truly think it was because I played horribly. That is because I’ve been trying too hard. I want to learn more, but I need a different book. Something more simple to read.

Extra Experience

I was out playing poker with some friends late last night. There were five of us there. Two of them were definitely much better players than I, another I would peg at better than I, and the last guy I don’t think had played much.

I came home with an extra $1.20 after playing until 1:20 am. I was down to less than $5 when it was the final two. The guy I was playing against was the much better player, and I was figuring I would end up going home down $20.

I doubled up a couple times, and came out pretty happy.

I had a few good hands, and made a few good plays.

One play though I fluked out entirely. We were playing heads up, and I ended up with an Ace high flush. Pretty good hand for heads up. I never noticed what I had until after I had folded. My opponent had a full house. If I had seen the flush I would have pushed and I would have been busted. Good thing I was so tired 😉

It was fun though. I am going to start reading a bit about poker and strategy. I borrowed a book from a co-worker and will start there. I honestly have no strategy and really go with my gut instinct. So far this has treated me alright, but I want to do better. I want to learn (or learn to figure out) the strength of a hand, and the percentage chance of hitting with the hand. I know a big part of this is experience, but I will start with the book.

Total Choice

Last night I got out for a great poker game. There was 7 of us in total, and at least two of them were better players than I (not that I am that good at all). The buy-in was a max of $20, and at the end of the night I cashed out with $21.60? All that work for a buck 60. Yikes.

I played alright for the first part of the night, but I started to tire, and my concentration waned. I was down to approx $12 from $20 after playing a few hands I knew I should have folded. My mind was saying fold, but my hands weren’t doing it. I really wasn’t paying attention and my play showed it.

When I did start concentrating, I think my playing picked up. I started winning a few pots, and I started floding at the right times. I stopped chasing things, and hoping the other player was bluffing.

My favorite hand of the night was me getting dealt a JQ. Me and one other saw the flop which was a 8-9-10. Sweet. The other person bet $2 which I called immediately. The turn card was another 10, without hesitation I went all in. The other guy seemed shocked by my play.

He quickly stood up, counted my chips, counted his own, and started thinking out loud. At this point I knew I had made the right move. I was making him think long and hard, and he was a good player. I heard him think out loud my possible hands, and one of the things he wondered about was if I had flopped a better straight than he did. That scared me for a split second until I realized that he couldn’t have flopped a bigger straight than me, and if we had the same cards, we would split the pot. I relaxed and watched him sweat. This was a $16 hand, and our buy in was $20. Wrong choice and you are out.

He made the right choice and folded, which was too bad for me. Exciting though.

The rest of the night I kept clawing back some chips hoping to hit a good hand to play. I am finding that patience is really hard. I want to have fun, and to me playing a hand is more fun than watching. I also want to win money, so I need to work on the patience.

This might turn into a regular game, and I am looking forward to the next one already.