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Donkey Hunting

After losing $60 Monday night, I was glad to end up $15 yesterday. The difference in my play seems to have come down to that topic I mentioned about a week ago: feelings.

Rather than go to my Rios, as I have been prone to do, I decided to play what felt right. This led me to the .25/.50 NL full table at Noble Poker. I hadn't played a NLHE ring game in a while, so I settled down, eyeing my competition, and got ready for some folding action.

And fold I did, for about an orbit. If I had something playable, I played it, but that wasn't happening, at least not that I could recall. The max buy-in at .25/.50 NL is $50. I noticed that there were more than a few shortstacked players. My assumption is that they bought in for the minimum ($10) or neat to it. Some players don't like to see this. To me, it is gold. I know that players like that are more likely to push with marginal hands. They lack confidence and only have so much to lose (and to manuever with). In addition, they can only hurt me so bad.

With this in mind, I kept an eye on my competition, noticing that one player, who I shall dub the Fugitive, was shortstack and ready to push. He was across the virtual felt from me, and open minimum raised from .50 to $1 in MP. The table folded around to me, and I decided to call his minimum raise with T5o. I knew that if I hit, and if there were no Aces on the flop, I was probably in good shape. I also knew that he only have about $5.50 left, so I could take that gamble anyway.

The flop, KT6. I decided to check, hoping that my opponent would push all-in. The pot was $2.25, and a push meant fear. I had him pegged for two high-cards, but not necessarily the King. If he had it, I would expect a bet from him of about $1 - 2. A push meant he missed.

Push, he did and call I did. The result: My T5 hit two pair on the turn...against his AJo. When he was busted, I immediately thought, "rebuy, rebuy, rebuy." But instead the Fugitive fled for greener pastures, and I went on a donkey hunt.

The first stop was to the Find a Player function. I typed in the Fugitive's name, and found him, surprisingly, at two .25/.50 PLO8 tables. Well, I can do that, so I kept the NL table opened and found one of the Fugitive's PLO8, which was shorthanded with about 4 players. I sat down and decided to see if he was a poor player or just had made a poor play. To make sure the Fugitive didn't escape, I tagged him as a buddy (in the future, I plan to Search for Buddies at Noble, and when I see Fugitive and my notes, I'll know what I have to do.

Well, Fugitive and I got into a hand not too long into my stay. I held 5h4dKhKs, a decent hi/lo hand shorthanded, but by no means a lock to win. The flop, however, was 567, for bottom two pair. There was one other player in the hand, and I decided that the best move was a modest bet of $1 into the $1.50 pot. The other player folded and Fugitive called.

Now, here is the problem. If Fugitive has any two low cards besides 5,6, or 7, he's made the low. I haven't. So, most likely we are going to chop...unless he also has 89 in his hand, in which case I am dominated for the hi and lo.

The horseshoe in my ass shifted, and another 4 came down, giving me a full house. I felt confident in my high, and decided to bet again. I didn't think that I could push him off of his presumed made low (A2 was one of my predictions for him), but I thought a bet could give me some information. He called me again, and the river came off, K, making me an even better full house.

Here's the thing. The Fugitive bought in short at this table too, so by now, he had about $6 in front of him. I decided to play a little mind game, and bet $1, which was less than my earlier bets. The goal was to look scared. I knew that Fugitive liked bluffing when he sensed weakness, so I induced his all-in (again) by showing weakness. Sure enough, he pushes all-in over the top...and I call, scooping the pot. I don't know what he had because as soon as he left the room, I got up too.

I followed the Fugitive to one last NLHE room, but once I arrived, he busted out. Checking the Search feature, I discovered that he was hovering in the lobby. I had enough hunting for tonight, and turned my attention to the Yahoo IM window.

As usual, I missed the WWdn tournament. I discovered this when I got home from dinner with the High clan at 9pm (start time is an ungodly 8:30). After my donkey hunting exploits, I hunted down some recently-busted bloggers for some SNG action. The SNG's lineup included GCox, Mookie, and Hoyazo. Using my "feeling" technique, we decided on a 18-person SNG on Stars. My compadres all played well. G suffered an early exit, a rare occurrence for the solid player. Mookie and Hoyazo stayed near the top of the leader board until we were combined to one table, and then one player seemed to just spin gold. I mean, luckbox is an understatement, catching three outters like it was his job. As for my play, it was fairly sturdy. I avoided confrontations. Most players folded to my bets/raises, so I didn't get much action on my premium hands. I was able to call one player's hand exactly (JJ), and was happy to see Mookie double up against him with Mook's KK. (Side note: To me, there is nothing better than calling a player's cards and being correct. I consider it my greatest accomplishment and, when working, asset.) Eventually, however, I made some stupid plays once ITM, and went packing with 4th place. In my final hand, the blinds were 100/200 and I had 2,500. I decided to push all-in UTG with AJ. The BB woke up with AQ, and I lose. Stupid stupid stupid. After I pushed (and before I was called), I even said it to my cohorts. "Stupid move. I should have made a smaller raise." Sure enough, the only person calling that raise would have me beat, and in the end, my impulsive act cost me some dough.

But I won last night. And that is pretty sweet.

Now, I can't make Mookie's tournament tonight, even though I had planned to. It's at 10pm EST at Stars. I'll be at Robbie Hole's homegame, trying to increase my live bankroll before Atlantic City.

On Friday, I also have a home game at Casa del High, aka the 5 Diamond poker club. But you'll get more details on that later.

Have a pokerific day!

posted by Jordan @ 8:53 AM,


At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I held 5h4dKhKs, a decent hi/lo hand shorthanded"

Yuck. That hand will get you in trouble more often then not.

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Drizz, you are right. It's not a great hand. But we were 4-handed, I knew Fugitive was a donkey, and I believe I was in the blinds. All those things make KK45 look a lot better.

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you got really lucky on the T-5 hand, to be honest with you. Some donks will mini-raise with KK or AA, and AK, KQ, KJ.

You're calling $5.50 to win an $6.50, basically. Not a call I'm making very often with 2PCK (2nd pair, crap kicker).

But, nicely done. Always nice to recoup losses quickly.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand your statement Tom, but this guy did not have those hands. I think we can all agree that you gain an edge by watching your opponents and adjusting your game accordingly. That is exactly what I did with the T5 hand. I knew that I could bust him easily if I hit the flop. I hit it, and then I let him hang himself. If someone said to me, "I had T5, he raised preflop, I had mid-pair on the flop and he pushed all-in," I'd say, "Fold!" But in that situation, knowing that he was desperate and would try to steal, knowing that if he had something, he would've tried to price me in, well, strong means weak, and I was right.

Playing the player, when I am on, is my strong point. That "on" though comes and goes.

At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I have a different style. I bet my monsters just as strong as I bet weaker hands to aid in deception, and I suspect other people do the same. Some do, and I have notes on them, but maybe I'm folding too many hands.

I like your thinking here, but in the future I recommend a stronger hand than T-5 for a call. J9, Q9, etc.

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Understood. I almost feel like a broken record, but let me say it anyway. In 99% of the situations, without any information, I fold here. However, with my read, and facing a minimum raise of 50 cents, with no other competition and maximum exposure (to me) of about $7 of my $50 stack, I went with it.

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's fine. Read dependent situations can't be debated if only one player knows the villain. I've just seen hands like these go the other way more times than not.

Sometimes I'll make a play like villain did to get a call after either: a) losing a decent pot and catching a monster shortly after or b) deciding the table sees me as a maniac because I'm scooping hands without showing down.

But, sounds like he wasn't in either of those situations, so, nice call.


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