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Losing is for Losers

I went to Court this morning to argue a summary judgment motion. Basically, a summary judgment motion is like telling the Court, "Even if everything the defendant says is true, we should still win based on the law." My argument was air tight, and the defendants' had more holes than a block of swiss cheese caught in a gangsta rap crossfire, so I was in good shape. Unfortunately, the Judge was a complete moron and didn't seem to grasp the simple concepts of law. I lost. Man, I hate losing.

Of course, I love poker, so let's move onto that. I played last night in an underground home game, where the buy-in was $20 and the NLHE cash game blinds were a very European .25/.25. I've gotten used to playing higher live, so I definitely didn't feel like the game choice was optimal for me. I started out fairly loose and lost my first buy-in to a stupid, desperate bluff against Dawn from I Had Outs. I then lost a big chunk to PhantomMut, when my 99 hit a AQx board. It was checked down by Mutt, F-Train and I until the river, so I decided to bet out. PM called, and then said sheepishly that he had a Q. When he flipped his cards, I had to point out that he had an Ace also. Whoops! Ironically, if he knew how strong he was, he would've made less money. I was looking for any excuse to fold with that board, but with both players checking down, I had to at least try to bet on the river. I lost my second buy-in a few hands later when my top pair, inside straight draw ran into trips.

Fortunately, I was playing loose, due to the stakes. Also, let's be honest, I am a loose player. Now, I say fortunately, because I am not just loose for the sake of being loose. I'm an action player, and when I have the goods, I'm liable to get paid off, since players (by that point) think I'm just making another play at a pot or think that I couldn't possibly have the big hand I represent.

With that in mind, I took back some of my losses and was sitting on about $45 (from a total of $60 in buy-ins), when I was dealt KJh. I bet preflop and am called by F-Train and Dawn. Now, F-Train is a bright guy and a helluva player, so when he is in a hand, I perk up. I know he is able to make reads and smart plays, so I have to be alert. Dawn, well, she's more of a calling station. That isn't 100% accurate. She's just willing to play pots with me because she knows I have a wide range. In this particular hand, I raised from .25 to $1. The flop came down TxQd4x, and Dawn checks (in the SB). I thought about betting, but that F-Train always gets me thinking. If I bet, he re-raises (with any two, likely) and I'm in trouble. So, I check, ready to call a reasonable bet (and potentially an unreasonable one), but trying to keep the pot small. F-Train checked as well.

The turn was an 9d, giving me the nut straight (and the nuts), with a diamond flush draw. Now, I'm not worried about the diamond flush. It was certainly on my mind, but I've got no reason to fear just yet. Dawn bets in first position, and I'm a bit confused. $2. Well, I have the nuts, so let's keep her in the hand. I minimum raise to $4. Now, F-Train has this raised-eyebrow look on his face. Its the type of look that says, What are you two up to. He hesitated as he reached for his chips, and then did something I never expected. "$14." Now we got a pot! Dawn, not too surprisingly, folds. As I look at my stack, I realize that I'll have about $25-30 or so behind. I consider raising $15, but then I realize that it is even more scary (to my opponent) than if I push. $15 says that I want him in the hand. All-in says that I want to win it uncontested. F-Train called, and showed 44, for a flopped set. The river is a Jack and I take it down.

From there, I won some more pots, here and there. When I left for the evening, I was up $35. This has been another game in my live winning streak, which must reach near (if not more than) 8 winning sessions in a row. I don't know what I'm doing differently, other than playing my game. I play a decent amount of hands with a range that includes hands like 79o if I'm in position, so when I do get a big hand, I can actually get some action (albeit, my only KK was folded to after a $1 raise preflop, and my AA was folded to after I accidentally limped preflop and bet out $1 postflop). The style I play is high variance. I was down almost $60 at one point before coming back to +$35, for a $95 swing within an hour in a $20 game. In past SIF games, I've been down near $300 before coming back and leaving up a decent amount. It's just my style, and it can be a bit harrowing when you are in those lows, but super exciting in those highs. I do notice that it pisses off some players who see my play as donktastic, but that is a side effect that actually benefits me.

Does this mean that you should play my style of poker? Hell no! What are you, fucking crazy?! You need to play YOUR style of poker. It's similar to something I learned in law school. When you are in front of a jury, you cannot put on the act of the hotshot lawyer if that is not who you are. You cannot be the likeable country bumpkin lawyer if that is not you. The jury will see through you and they'll think you are insincere or scamming them. Meanwhile, the actual hotshot lawyer or country bumpkim could say and do the exact same things, but the jury will respond because they are seeing somethign sincere. Basically, playing outside of your style will cramp your game, because you'll be playing so unnaturally. Now, this does not mean that you only play one way. But it does mean that you play to your strengths and you play within your abilities, personalities and parameters.

So, I'm feeling good about my game, and I'm feeling absolutely terrific about my live game. I will be playing at another SIF game this Saturday, and hopefully next Sunday I'll be playing at an underground club in Brooklyn for a $20+10 rebuy that'll surely be loose. November 18th is coming up also, followed by my 2 trips to AC in December, including the WSOP Circuit event, so there is a lot to look forward to.

Man, all this typing is taking a lot out of me. We are up to 8 players in the HUC4, but we need some more, so send me an email (highonpokr AT yahoo) if you are interested. If you have a $24+2 token lying around on Full Tilt, go sign up for the DADI X, a short-handed NLHE tournament scheduled for November 16th (just two weeks away!).

Until then, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:17 PM,


At 4:08 PM, Blogger pokerpeaker said...

Wow. Even lawyers have suckouts go against them.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger slb159 said...

Think you might have meant that the turn was the 9d, not the 8d, in your nut str8 hand. Thanks for reading my post on Full Tilt Poker's Blog. I really liked you're HU strategy post as it was very informative. I'll have to put that to later use.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Thanks for the edit help, slb. I've changed it. Also, I'm glad you got some use out of that HU post.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger slb159 said...

Np, J...just being the nit-picking prick that I am. Yeah, don't play much HU, so advice is always helpful. I got the jist of your post and the mindset of it. Maybe I'll try a few sometime soon.

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Sucks about not getting the summary judgment ... but if the defendants' case is that weak, it should be pretty easy to win at trial, right?
Also, I don't know about the minimum raise on the turn. But it seems like it works for you.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Hey Jordon, I have a question. If you ever got arrested for playing illegal poker in an underground club would you lose your legal license?

At 12:30 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Woffle, actually it would not affect my bar admission. They really only throw you out of the bar if you commit a felony that would make you unfit to practice. It really just includes major crimes and crimes that suggest dishonesty (theft, fraud). You can get caught w/ drugs, but still be allowed to practice law.

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Karol said...

I'm sad that I keep missing you at Dawn's place, Jordan.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Karol, you are just trying to get to me lucky charms, um, I mean bankroll...

Hopefully, I'll see you around soon.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Veneno said...

Hey Jordan...I will start pimping the HUC4...

I can't wait! Make sure I'm on the list.


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