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This Guy Didn't Get It

Not much is going down at the HighOnPoker watchtower. The days pass along as I bust my hump covering last minute depositions and coordinating enough lawsuits to make me officially feel like an air traffic controller. Yesterday had me driving to New Jersey to cover two depositions. I heard about the first one on Tuesday, giving me all of one day to prepare. I heard about the second one about 2 minutes after I entered the deposition. Thank god my strongest skill is my ability to think on my feet.

Meanwhile, life at home is honky dorey. I've sorta escaped from the habit of online poker. I still play, but I haven't felt the same urge lately. It's likely due to the other distractions around me, most notably the Wii. Mario Kart Wii continues to be a blast. It's online component pretty much makes the game. Wifey Kim and I also picked up Wii Fit, which makes for an interesting distraction. If you haven't heard about Wii Fit, its essentially a device that looks like a step-aerobics board. It can tell how you distribute your weight and comes with a disc that has a slew of games and exercises (yoga, strength training, etc.) designed to get America's fat children off of their asses. Apparently, it works on online poker players too. I highly recommend the system for anyone looking to change things up a bit. I doubt that it will have the health benefits most people hope for, since, like gym memberships, it's one thing to buy it and its a whole other thing to actually use it consistently. But I digress.

Online poker seems to remain about break-even. I have a few fun hands to discuss in my blogging queue, but before I get to that, I thought I'd go over some comments made during the most recent Skillz Game. I played fairly well in the Skillz Game until I flamed out late on some plays that I don't recall particularly even though I can still taste the self-flagulation that came after my likely bad plays. I love me a blow up! But that all said, let's enjoy some chit-chat.

I was getting shortstacked when I made an awfukkit play that I rarely make. I am all for the hammer, but I am usually adamantly against pushing all-in with the hammer, mostly because in the past, I consistently was called in such situations and consequentally busted out. So, while I advocate for the hammer, I always add one caveat, no all-in bluffs.

Well, usually no all-in bluffs. I pushed all-in with my 2,000 or so chips with blinds at or over 100/200. Sadly, I don't have the details. I do remember that I was in EP/MP, so the play was totally unwarranted. Even so, I got called by roo21t (blogger?) in the BB, who showed KQh. Clearly, roo2it was playing loose as well, since I really can't see that call justified unless he was a monster stack. But really, roo2it's call was correct in the end and I don't begrudge him it. After all, our motto at HoP is Control Your Own Play, Because You Cannot Control Others'. Naturally, once the cards flip, I hit the Enter key and my pre-typed "hammer!" pops up. The flop came down with a 2 and no Q or K came, granting me the pot. Immediately, I see an opportunity for humor and this exchange occurs:

HighOnPoker: CHOO CHOO!
roo21t: what a joke

Ah ha! So we have a bitter player. Let's have some fun:

HighOnPoker: Whoop %%# Express just pulled into the station
roo21t: nice hand moron
HighOnPoker: thanks donkey
HighOnPoker: why don't you hop on the train
HighOnPoker: next stop, busto out junction
HighOnPoker: booya!

So I querry you, was I wrong to be 'smack talking'? My answer is a hearty No, but that's because I am naturally biased to handsome bald men. First, the CHOO CHOO is so obviously a goof, any maroon who gets upset by it is really just looking for an excuse. Then, once roo calls the hand a joke, I decide to, well, joke. Poker is a game, donkeys. Learn how to play or learn how to have fun. Either way, simple "suckouts" like 27 v. KQ shouldn't cause you to lose sleep.

Ah hell, let's bust out those two hands as well.

I have two interesting hands from a $10+1 KO SNG at FT worth discussing. In the first hand, I was sitting at 2798 chips, down from the starting stack of 3000. Blinds were up to 60/120. I believe it was a turbo SNG.

I was dealt JJ in the Hijack (two seats to the right of the button). A player in mid-position, LooseLips with 2620, raised to 240, a min-raise, and I decided to raise to 720. I considered just calling, but I wanted to narrow the field, lest I just call, get two calls from the SB and BB and face a bunch of possible overcards. It worked, and LooseLips and I saw a flop of A75, with two clubs. He checked and I checked as well. I didn't love the Ace, and I wanted to see how LL would act after I checked. I could've bet, but I wanted more information. His check could mean he had the Ace and was setting up a check-raise, or that he had nothing. I was also mildly concerned of the check-raise bluff. In other words, if I bet and get raised, I'll have no choice but to fold. Even if I'm called, I'm concerned and have to lock down my hand, since a loose player might have called with AT preflop and on the flop. I'm better off waiting to see what happens on the turn.

The turn was an offsuit 9 and LL checked. At this point, I really had no idea where I was, but I was getting the impression that I was ahead. I still opted for a check because only a superior hand would call me there (see, A8, QQ, etc.) and a check-raise was not out of the question. If I were ahead, I would simply hope for no Q or K, in which case, I'd likely remain ahead on the river.

The river was an offsuit 8, creating a 4-card straight if LL had a 6. He instantly pushed all-in for 1900. I insta-called. He showed KTh and I took down the pot.

This is one of those instances where I acted before I even knew why I was acting. We find ourselves once again back to the concepts in the book Blink. Essentially, everything he did appeared like a river bluff and I knew this on an instinctual level. He must assume that I do not have an Ace based on the action, so he tried to push me off of the pot. The all-in overbet was another sign that he was bullshitting. It is true that some people overbet for value on the river, but in this case, the "story" showed either a player with no cards or a player with a monster who checked out of position twice to set up a check-raise or induce a bet/bluff from a weaker hand. If we follow the story of a player with no cards, the push makes sense; it's a last ditch attempt at a pot that appears abandoned. If we follow the story of a player trying to squeeze out some value from a monster hand, then his push makes no sense. A small value bet would fit with that story and probably force me out of the pot if it's a large enough "small" bet. Since the pot was about 1500 and we both were down to stacks of approximately 2000, a 900 bet would probably scare me off. Even if I call there, he still saves the 1000 he threw away from pushing. Bet sizing is key.

I had worked my way up to a 8758 stack by the 150/300, 25 antes level, when I was dealt Q6o in the Hijack. I had tightened up my play considerably, literally only playing top 10 or 15 hands while I folded away the rest. We were 7 handed and I'm on the button when it folds to me. The SB only has 350 or so left, so I want to get heads-up with him, since the pot would be ~925 if we got heads-up and I would only be exposed for 350 more than if I were to fold. The SB, Bull, called and the BB, Med, surprisingly called as well. He had over 12,000 and was the table chip leader. after three folds, I decided to take a stab at a pot. After all, the last two or three hands were all won preflop, so I felt like it was a good time to steal since the table was in fold-mode. I raise to 900,

The flop was a useless J74 with two diamonds. Med checks and I bet out 1,200. This is the most interesting aspect of the hand to me. Many players check here thinking that, with no cards, they cannot win the main pot against the shorty. I'm sure you've seen this before and if you are an accomplished player this is almost a laughable statement, since its so intuitive, but for anyone else, let me lay it flat for you: It is not your job to bust players. It is only your job to collect chips.

Since Med called me preflop, the side pot was 1,100. The main pot was comparable in size. If I knew I couldn't win the main pot, I had to play for that sizeable main pot. Sure, I may push Med off of a hand that would bust Bull, but ultimately I don't care about whether Bull busts. I care about getting some of those chips into my stack.

Bull showed K5h, and by the river, won the pot with his King-high. However, by bluffing off Med, I was able to take 1,100 out of the hand after investing 900. It ain't a big profit, but it's better than leaving that 1,100 out there for Med to take.

That's all the fun I have for you today. If you are like me, you are itching for the Lost finale tonight.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:23 AM,


At 12:49 PM, Blogger Littleacornman said...

Nice hammer play!

On the JJ hand I may even just open shove preflop in a turbo as the play is so terrible a lot of worse hands may call.

I don't think you need to worry too much about being bluff-check raised on the flop and I'd represent the Ace myself with a bet of about 800.I also don't think many $10 players check an Ace to you with 2 clubs on the flop despite the chances of you drawing to a flush being quite slim.

An 800-ish bet gives him a chance to fold,makes it hard for him to bluff as he probably thinks you have a Big Ace ( after betting to defend your Ace v the flush draw)

If he does come over the top you have the information you need ( you're beaten) and can fold.

Love the insta-call and your way certainly gained more chips but I think I know where I am more in the hand playing it my way.


At 9:47 AM, Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I loved this comment you made:

It is not your job to bust players. It is only your job to collect chips.

so much, that I added it to a post of mine (from last Monday) where I was involved in a similar situation.

If interested, you can view it here:


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