Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poker Blues

As some of you know, I haven't had much time to play any poker lately. I've just been really busy with work and some travel. For the first night in what seems like forever, I had the chance to head down to the local card room and play some poker. The list for my usual low-limit 6/12 game was a bit long, so I opted to sit in the 5-200 spread limit ($200 max buy-in).

Well, three hours later, I call it a night as a two buy-in loser... this, after being up a fair bit earlier in the night. Looking at the hands, I suppose I should be happy that I put in my money for the most part quite good. My downfall really came from 3 hands where the 'big' money went in on 4 occasions (one of the hands had large bets on both turn and river).

Stop reading now if you don't want to read about bad beats.

OK, those of you that are still with me, here we go...

Hand 1: I have black AA and make it $25 pre-flop in early position. There are 2 callers. Flop comes Q76 rainbow. I bet $50 (maybe this is too small, I don't know... I am not that confident about my non-limit poker skills). Anyway, one guy folds and another guy thinks for a while and then pushes in the rest of his money... another $130. He's not one to fool around pre-flop so much, so I figure him for AQ (probably not KK, I'm pretty sure he re-raises me pre-flop). If he's got a set, so be it. So, I go ahead and make the call. The turn comes a K, the river brings a 5, and away go my chips when he shows KQ.

Hand 2: A4o in the big blind. There's no raise, and we see a flop multi-way... maybe 6 or 7 in the hand. Flop comes Q94 with a club draw. It checks around. Turn comes a 4, no flush. Small blind bets $30, and I raise it up. I think I made it $90 (I can't even remember for sure now, but I know it was less than $100 since I basically pushed out one of my incomplete stack of chips). The others fold, and the bettor makes the call. The river brings an offsuit J.

The bettor now bets $10 into this largish pot. Maybe this is when warning bells should go off. I am thinking this really makes no sense, and I raise it up. He then pushes the rest of his money in, and I had to call an additional $80. He shows J4 and I lose. So, money definitely went in good on the turn, but it clearly went in bad on the river.

Hand 3: So, this is the hand that busted me out. After this one I no longer had a desire to play, so I chose not to buy in again. A very aggressive player straddles and so it's a live $10 bet. I have ATs and limp after some limpers (maybe I ought to raise this, I really do suck at this game). More limpers after me and then the straddler makes it $40 more. There's 2 callers to me, and I call. The button also calls.

So, we see the flop 5 handed, and the pot's pretty large. The flop comes T33 with 2 diamonds. The straddler now bets $15. One guy calls, and it's on me. I have $140 left and I decide it would be really stupid of me to call pre-flop, hit my hand pretty solidly, and not bet it hard. So, I go ahead and push all my chips in the middle. Only the straddler guy calls, and the turn comes a 8 of diamonds, and the river brings an offsuit 9. I am shown the A6d for the big flush and I kiss my chips goodbye.

While I may have played some (or maybe all) these hands incorrectly, the bottom line is that I got most of my money in good... sometimes it was more than good, as I was better than a 4:1 favorite in a couple of those spots. Still sucks though. Ugh.

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