Monday, August 29, 2005

First, a NL hand. I don't play much NL, so it's good to get some feedback.

2/5 NL at the Mirage. I'm at about what I bought in for, approximately $500. Typical loose, dumb table.

I get AKo UTG+1 and open for $15. I immediately regret making such a small raise because the last time I did 3X like that I got six callers. But after one fold, MP raises it to $65. It folds back around to me. MP has $110 more behind.

Not a fun situation to be in. Based on how he played other hands, I was pretty sure he didn't have AA or KK since the raise almost seemed as though he wanted everyone out. So what does that mean? Unfortunately, he probably doesn't have AQ or AJ, since to him those are calling hands. That tells me he has a pocket pair, but fairly low. Probably not JJ or TT, either based on my read.

So I'm essentially in a coin flip situation. I definitely have odds, but I'm still pretty much flipping coins for my money, and I don't like to do that. Since he was on a pretty short stack I decided to push right there. I figured that way I give him the chance to fold, and if not then it's a flip, and I get to see all five cards rather than simply calling and hoping I hit my A or K on the flop, in which case I might not get paid off. So I pushed (well, raised enough to put him all-in) and he reluctantly called.

My read was good, as he had 66. And it worked out, as I hit a K and he didn't improve. But still, I have no idea if that was the best way to play it. Looking back, I don't think I can really fold, and I don't like calling for the reasons mentioned--I'm only seeing three cards and I probably won't get paid if I do hit.

I guess my main concern is how would I play that if the stacks were deeper? His short stack limited my options (rather nicely, I think), but if we each have, say, $1000 behind, then what? Call and hope? I'm getting about 1.7:1 but I'll only hit an A or a K 1/3 of the time on the flop. And if I do hit, I'll probably not get paid off. That just seems like a tough situation to be in. Just like in NL tournaments, in NL cash games AK seems to be a good hand to raise with, but a tough hand to be reraised with. I'm sure this is a very basic hand as far as NL goes, but that's about my level right now.

Anyways, secondly, all I have to say is that poker is SICK. Sick, sick, sick.

Last week was my worst week ever, and so what happens this week? I have my best week ever, and it's not even close. The entire week was one huge rush the likes of which I've never seen before. No Royals or even straight flushes, but lots of big hands, and lots of big hands holding up in big pots.

The week started off a bit slowly, but then Thursday I had my best single day of poker ever, as I tore through both online and live games. Friday was another very good day. And then Saturday. Wow. If Thursday was Mark McGwire in 1998, Saturday was Barry Bonds in 2001. I set a personal single-day record online and then I went out and had a top-ten day live to blow past my two-day-old record and set yet another all-time best single day. I finished the week out with a Sunday that was very good, but still paled in comparison to the previous days.

To continue with the baseball analogies, this past week was Steve Carlton circa 1972. Just the absolute pinnacle. All I can hope is that next week is a little better than ol' Lefty was in 1973.

Each of the last four days of the week was a good week in itself, to make the entire week the equivalent of a good month.

It's amazing how fortunes can change so dramatically.


Blogger JuiceBall said...

Pump it or dump it...going off of the same read which is a good one...would have been the same if he had JJ or TT. Since you have about 500 in front of you and say he has about 1000, reraise another 150 to represent uber strenght, using your early position to represent a bigger hand. The folding equity of a bigger stack is higher than a smaller one...also since your stack is 500 and you are close 50% invested he knows he can not move you off the hand. The other option is to dump know you have a coin flip and calling is not really an option since an A or K comes you don't get paid.

7:49 PM  
Blogger DuggleBogey said...

Since he had $65 in the pot, he had to call another $110 or so when you re-raised.

If he had $500 behind, he couldn't make the call for $500 more with 66 to your re-raise.

So your play works no matter how big the stacks are.

As a bonus you learned that $15 raise with AK was a big mistake, begging to get put in a tough spot by too many hands, like 66 for example.

5:40 AM  
Blogger Madroxxx said...


You probably get this request all the time but I was wondering if I could sweat you in an online limit game. I have been reading your blog for a while now(back when you were a fellow Austinite) and am continually amazed at your abilities. I am going through a period where I need to retool my limit play. I know that many people are hesitant to do this because they don't want to give thier competion a line on thier play, but I can assure you I won't be at your limits any time soon.

Thanks for considering it.


7:48 AM  
Blogger eric said...


Definitely he would have folded to an all-in of $500 if he had $500 behind, but I wouldn't have gone all-in with $500 because that I think would be a mistake on my part. Way overbetting like that can be costly--it'll win you the small pot most of the time, or lose you your whole stack those times you're beat.

As juiceball said, I could reraise to say $150 or $200 and that would (probably) be enough to do the job.

I guess a good question is, let's say we both had $500, I raise to $15, he raises to $65, I have my read and make it $200 and he then goes all-in. I'm getting 2.3:1 on my call, and so I'm probably forced to call, but it would suck.

At some NL games an all-in like that would mean AA or maybe KK, but at this game it really means any pocket pair. For example, this one donkey was going all-in preflop every time he had a pair. 55, all-in. QQ all-in. Unfortunately I got called to 40/80 before I was able to find myself in a good position against him.

8:33 AM  
Blogger eric said...


I actually hear the request often enough.

I don't mind people sweating me so much, but I doubt there's much use to it if you can't see my cards. Most of the time I'll just be folding, and even when I play most of the time you won't see what I had.

I'm also a bit secretive about my screenname.

So all that is to say I don't think that'll work right now. Thanks for the compliments, though.

If you ever come out to Vegas, I'm always willing to hang out and play some live poker, regardless of limit.

8:41 AM  
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12:23 AM  
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12:13 PM  

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