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Fun with Hands

Silly me. I could've made my 1001st post an actual hand history analysis, but I totally forgot that I saved a few hands on Blogger for a post. Oh well. After review, only one of them is worth mentioning, so I'll start with that and then we'll move on to the Wall Street Game recap.

This first hand is a little bit of stubbornness, and a whole lot of read. It even touches on some bet-sizing issues that I love oh so much.

So I'm playing the Monkey Tourney, nee the WWDN, and we are at the cheapo 10/20 level. I still have 1410. Astin (1530) raises to 60 and I decide to call in MP/LP with T8s. T8s is not a great hand, but it was early in the tournament with small blinds and its a good hand to get paid with if it hits. I also have position on Astin, who I have found to be very aggressive. It folds around.

The flop is Q75, rainbow, with one spade. I have nothing. Astin bet 80 and I raised 160 on top, hoping to scare off his BS continuation bet. He called.

The turn was a 2s, giving me a flush draw, Astin bet 360, and now, I changed my strategy and just call. The flop bet is to slow him down and hopefully get him to fold when he misses the flop. This call is because I've now picked up an unexpected flush draw, and if I hit, I'll likely get paid, since he'll never expect runner-runner flush. The pot was 630 before his bet, and 990 after, so I'm getting almost 3:1 on my money with great implied odds.

Until, of course, the river, which is an offsuit Ace. Fungool! Astin checked. At this point, my remaining stack is 750 or so, and he has about 100 more than me. Once Astin checked, I considered my possibilities. If I check, I lose unless he was playing awful cards. So, I have to bet if I think I can somehow get him to fold. The next question is how much should I bet to get him to fold. I could go all-in...but I don't like that play. It would look too much like a desperation push, and would, in my opinion, induce a call from a slew of hands, given the action. Also, if he calls, that's it for me. I opt to bet 460, leaving me with 290 in my stack. To me, this was the perfect bet. It (i) escalates the last bet, Astin's 360 bet on the turn, (ii) looks like a value bet because it isn't big compared to the pot, (iii) looks suspicious and confusing, since most people put out an all-in bet here, and (iv) leaves me with enough chips in case he calls or raises.

290 is not a lot of chips, but in 10/20 limits, its workable. That's the key, here. Who would keep 290 behind unless they were trying to milk as much out of this hand as possible? The answer is me. I'm always looking for the best possible outcome given all of the other guy's possible moves.
What did Astin do? Fold. And then I showed. Rock on.


You may recall from yesterday that I found myself at the top fo the leaderboard for the Wall Street season. First place gets 50% of the seasonal prize pool, now over $500, but to qualify, you must play 1/3 of the tournaments. I had played 1/3 exactly, but since there was a game last night, that would put me below the 1/3 requirments, so I showed up anyway, hoping that someone no-showed.

As it turned out, we had two no-shows, so I got in the game along with one other alternate. By the time I sat down, the first 15-minute level had already passed.

I had a tough go in the first game. I was dealt JJ and raised the blinds from 100 to 350. I got a call from Slavin in one of the blinds. He plays any two cards, so its hard to place him on a hand. The flop was AK9, and he bet out. I folded. I asked him during the next hand about whether he had a King or Ace and he said no. I asked him again later and he couldn't remember, but didn't think he had a King or Ace. I think I believe his earlier response, but maybe I'm just fooling myself. Whatever the case, I was playing for a high position, so I didn't want to bust out on JJ with an AK9 flop with two spades.

I lost some more chips when I limped with AJo UTG. There were five players to the A77 flop with two hearts. It checked to me and I bet out 400 into the 500 pot. Only Wendy called, acting from the SB out of position. The turn was a 2. She checked. I took a long while before checking. Something felt fishy. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly, but I just had a feeling, which you should all translate into, Jordan picked up on things at a subconscious level, rather than, Jordan has "hunches"... how convenient! The river was a Jack of hearts, completing a flush draw. Wendy bet 500, which was small enough to call, in case she had an Ace with a better kicker, now nullified by the rivered Jack. She actually had 75o. The mistake in this hand was my failure to raise preflop. At least I was able to slow down when I needed to.

At the 75/150 level, I had less than 1500 chips. In fact, I had about 950, so I was looking for an opportunity to push all-in. Two players tentatively limped in MP and I saw 84o in the SB. I decided to push because I had enough to scare off most stacks and I didn't put the limpers on big hands. Unfortunately, the BB had JJ and called. And so, I busted about 8th/11 players. My error here was not looking to the BB to get a read. Instead, I focused on the limpers and ignored the BB completely, to my own detriment. For what its worth, the limpers DID fold, confirming that, aside from the BB's monster hand (and my failure to read his monster hand), the play wasn't horrible. I wouldn't even mind a call from AK. I just didn't want a high pocket pair.

I played some Scrabble with CK while I waited for tournament numero dos. She claimed she wasn't experienced, so we agreed to none of the silly 2-letter words like AA, HM, and XU (check your Scrabble dictionaries, people). Then she placed a huge word to start I showed her no mercy. Playing Scrabble with someone less versed in the game can be a bit difficult. After all, I was playing defensive (avoided openning up 3 Word Score boxes) while looking for ways to form double words (stick STOP on the end of DOG for DOGS and STOP, for an easy example), while CK was playing a more straight-forward game. I think I won by 80 points or so, but not before I saw here final letters, AGINAV, which I'll let you rearrange to find the hidden message.

The second game wasn't much better to me, but it was mostly my fault. I felt like playing more hands, and flopped a flush draw that I paid too much to never hit. I was down to 900 from 2500 or thereabouts, when we reached the 75/150 level again. I actually missed wifey Kim a lot. It's interesting how you can live with someone and still feel like you spend no time with them. Whatever the case, I decided to go do or die and pushed all-in UTG with QJc. I got caller with A7o. I turned the Q and won the hand. On the very next hand, I had AK and pushed again. This time, I got a call from KJ. We both flopped the King, but the turn was his three-outter J, and I busted. I left and returned home, a bit disappointed with my loss, but accepting my bad luck in the first game (JJ with an AK9 flop; AJ v 75 with a A77 flop) and second game (AK v KJ). Still, I am able to identify my errors (failing to read the BB when I pushed in the first game; playing too loose early in the second game, causing me to get short and desperate). But worst of all, my rankings dropped and I'm no longer the top spot. In fact, I'm barely holding on to the freeroll spot. Oh well.

I'm scheduled to return to Wall Street tonight for the HOSE game, but I switched my status to Maybe. I woke up this morning with a poker hangover, oddly feeling worse about last night than I did, well, last night. The game has 9 RSVPs for games that require 8-players max, so by switching to Maybe, I hope I alleviate that situation. Now its back to the grind. I just can't wait for AC in October.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 8:47 AM,


At 10:42 AM, Blogger StB said...

I like the way you played the Monkey hand. I probably would have bet 500. Having 250 back in those tourneys is meaningful. I am always confident I can build it right back up.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger BWoP said...

and you failed to tell your readers what word you were trying to spell . . .

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Show me VAGINA!

DING DING DING ... # 1 Answer.

You are a sick man.


Have a great day!

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I was attempting to use the letters CUN, and possibly CUNNILINGU, but I couldn't find the T or S.

At 12:48 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

I am so embarrassed that my virgin Scrabble set is being broken in by you degenerates! :-)

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Are you sure its a virgin set? It didn't play like a virgin...


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