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My Own Huckleberry

I don't know what it means to make someone your 'huckleberry' but the word just rolls off of my tongue. For that reason, I am announcing that I am my own Huckleberry. Why?

You may recall that I have been running poorly for a month or two or three or so. All the while I was trying to convince myself alternatively that it was luck, and then that it was my play.

To be honest, I think it was mostly luck. My game is solid. I play a style that is fairly aggressive and therefore, swings will happen. I've changed my game to avoid coin tosses in tournaments unless necessary and I'm constantly tuning up the game, but overall, I have confidence that I can continue to play profitable poker.

Want some short term proof? Me too. That's why I am happy to say that I am currently on a 5 or 6 day winning steak. I can't offhand remember which.

Here comes the Huckleberry part. On the night of DADIII I won an SNG and lost three tourneys (2 SNGs and DADIII). The result was that I was up $1 for the day. Now, $1 is nothing to write home about, but it helped my streak start/continue and I was done playing for the night regardless, so I booked my W.

Yesterday, I played 2 games, principally, online. I entered a 6-person $13 turbo SNG on Stars and bubbled in third place. Now, I lost because I made the same mistake I have made two other times recently. This was the hand:

I held A9. I was 2nd in chips, barely above the 3rd place player. The first place player had me covered by at least 1K and probably 2K, but overall, he had been losing his stack. He minimum raised me from the Button and I called. The BB folded. The flop was 789, rainbow. I checked. He pushed all-in. I called. He had TT.

I have (previously) held fast to the general rule that if a player pushes all-in, and it is a huge overbet (as here) on the flop, he probably missed the flop entirely and is trying to take down the hand right away. I thought that my top pair was good, so I called. I was wrong.

So, that is the first way that I have become my own Huckleberry. I have fooled myself into thinking that my rule of thumb is a hard-fast rule. It is not. In fact, from my recent experiences, it seems like the opposite is true. With these players, a large all-in overbet on the flop usually means a good hand. This goes back to something I've read in Zen and the Art of Poker, which I am currently reading. Basically, the author suggests that you not project the way that you would play on other players, because they can and do play different style than you. Here, I wasn't projecting my style, but rather the style I have seen from other players. I must admit, though, even now, a play like that would look fishy to me (no pun intended) and I'd be tempted to call.

This leads me to the 2nd way that I have become my own Huckleberry. After finishing the tournament, I played 1/2 Limit on Party Poker. I was up $13.25, and then I decided to call it a day. I ended up $0.25 for the day...continuing my streak. The streak had some effect on my decision, but so did wifey Kim and her friend who had just come over. So, all-in-all, I can't complain. Let the streak continue...

I also played at Robbie Hole's last night for another live game spectacular. This time, we only got in 2 $20 tourneys. I lost the first, but placed 2nd out of 7 players in the second, which netted a $20 profit. In other words, I broke even. The big winner of the night was Peter, a 40+ year old guy that has the personality (god bless him) of a 6 year old with a new toy on Xmas. He placed 1st in the first game, his first win so far in the 6 or so months he's been playing at Hole's. He caught some cards (hell, a lot of cards) with poor hands, but I still was glad to see him win. Yes, it sucks to have a tourist (LOLOL) win, but that's what keep the tourists playing.

Jordan, out!

posted by Jordan @ 4:51 PM,

6 Comments:

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous lancey said...

I'm curious about the Zen & Art of Poker comment. Usually, when I'm playing, the best way for me to guess their hands / tells is by looking at myself, and what I would do in that situation--obviously, you can't employ this against maniacs (which I'm not) but i believe it works against most players...

 
At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Hey Jordan, just wondering what your thoughts are about a possible reraise with A9 in the SB in the above situation? Obviously it would have been a terrible decision based on the fact that this player had 10 10, but generally when I see a player min raise from the button, I think it's a blatant attempt to steal the blinds.

That being said, I am normally willing to reraise with almost any two cards. Also, if you're out of position, it's harder to play a hand like A9 if you just call - you really have to hit the flop hard in order to feel confident (at least I do anyway).

Anyway, just wondering what your thoughts are on that - I'm obviously not an expert, just looking for some input on why you called as opposed to folding/reraising.

-Checkitdown

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous SirFWALGMan said...

I love that movie.. Doc Holliday "I'll be your huckleberry".. I have no idea what that means either. Reading your post.. I think when the flop is all low cards, and someone moves all in, it usually points to a big ass bluff ORRRRRRRRRRRRRR Overcards to the board that would not want to see a high card, I.E. TT, JJ, QQ even.. I knew you were beat just reading the post. I think alot of the time your right too though.. question is, do you want to risk it all on a weak-ass 9, that could get sucked out on by almost anything? Or do you want to wait until you KNOW your the mac daddy and can hand it to them.. I dunno which is better, there is alot of poker to be played, but try and look for better opportunities maybe..

 
At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Jordan from HighOnPoker said...

Lancey, the concept has its flaws, but it does remind me that others play differently than me and I can't assume that they all play the same.

Joe, I usually raise with A9 here, but I didn't because I was hoping to hit the 9 high board or an Ace (which I would still be careful with) or fold. Lucky me, I hit the 9! If I bet pre-flop, he would've re-raised probably, and I would've probably folded or at the very least be more careful on the flop.

SirF, the pair of 9s were not 'weak ass'. TPTK. If he held any Ace he was dominated and down to three cards, assuming he held AK, AQ, AJ, or AT. If he held KQ, KJ, KT, QJ, QT, or JT, I was still way ahead. All I had to worry about was TT or a higher pair...which he had.

All in all, I think the error was in not raising preflop to find our where I was.

 
At 4:08 AM, Anonymous Veneno said...

DADIII is over. Stop teasing me with the banner.

 
At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Jordan from HighOnPoker said...

Point well taken, V. I've removed the banner.

 

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