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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Poker Lessons - FREE! Today!

I know, I know - you don't want to read about poker, so I'll throw some other tidbits in to reward you. For example, today's winners of "best searches that Kid Dynamite's World came up in"
1) IROC Revere, MA
I mean seriously - If I get to the point where people associate EITHER IROCs, or Revere with this site, I'll know I've finally made it.
2) Annie Duke smelly
Who knew?!?!
Here's a bit of table talk you can use if you ever want to simply make your tilting, trash talking opponent shut the fuck up: Last night in the Big Game, Z was tilting severely after steaming off stacks of black chips by repeatedly bluffing into Money, who held big hands each time, and simply smooth called all the way.
Z raged at Money, and Money, stacking towers of chips, simply replied: "Z, you give me the book, I'll read it, and then we'll come back and play again." ZING! Game. Set. Match.
Now on to the lessons: The game I'm playing in is crazy. 5-5 NL, with deep stacks ($2k average, I have about $1k). This is a game where it's common to limp for $5, and then cold call a raise to $200. It completely defies logic. Most of the players in this game will take top pair to the felt (for 400 big blinds!), and two pair is basically the nuts. I was lucky enough to see a flop in a 7 way unraised pot holding 3-3 in the cutoff. The flop came 4-4-3.
Three players checked to Vin, to my immediate right, who made a suspiciously small $15 bet. Normally he'd bet $50 here. I elected to smooth call, and Billy, a true old school grinder on the button, raised to $60. Everyone folded back to me, including Vin. I elected to smooth call again. When the turn brought an Ace (and a 2 flush), I checked, and Billy glared at me before checking. The river was an offsuit nine, and I overbet the pot: $200. Billy sighed, acknowledged "this is a big laydown," and mucked. I cringed. He said "Do you like crabs?" I nodded subtly. He admitted that he did indeed have a 4. Now - Billy is a top notch player, but let's look real quick at what went wrong in this hand:
1) If I read Vin as strong, instead of smooth calling to trap him in position, I should have raised his flop bet, as I'd do with any overpair to see where I stood, and as I'd do in almost any normal game. After all, there's no way he's folding a 4 anyway. I let the aggression of the game cloud my judgement into thinking that my opponents would always be doing my betting for me. This is definitely not true out of position against Billy, who I was ignoring.
2) Once I smooth called the flop raise from Billy, I was essentially fucked. Even if I re-raised Billy when it got back to me, my play is so suspicious to him. Unfortunately, he's the only player at the table who is capable of putting together the pieces: There's no way I smooth call with an overpair. I'm guessing he had 4-5 suited, and while it's conceivable that I could smooth call with A-4 or 4-3, both of those hands have him crushed once the ace comes off on the turn.
So the moral of the story is: think before you slowplay. I'm trying to allow someone to "catch up" or bluff at me, but I'm likely to get action from a four or an overpair anyway if I let my hand play itself and raise. My "double slowplay" was transparent to a good player like Billy.
Vin and I later clashed on the following hand, where I again made mistakes:
5 handed, Vin makes it $30 to go blind from the button. I call with JsTs in the SB.
flop: A-7-5 with one spade. I check, Vin thinks about betting, but gives me a wry grin, and checks. He knows I'll check to him with the intention of checkraising.
turn: Q of spades, giving me a gutshot draw and a flush draw. I bet out $60 (relevant stack sizes are around $675), and Vin pauses to look at his cards for the first time. He takes 30 seconds, and announces a raise to $200. I can clearly raise, fold or call here, and I elect to just call. Vin is perfectly capable of calling me with just a 5 if I move in here, and I have no idea what he has. I basically think that I have 12 outs to the nuts (any king or spade) and 6 outs to pair my J or T which will also likely make me good.
River: Q of clubs. This is actually a pretty good card for me. Was Vin really representing a queen when he raised the turn? I don't think so - I think he was representing "You play rock tight in this game, and I'm going to use my position to take this pot from you."
I consider betting, but I decide I have the best hand, and I will check and see what happens - ready to snap off a bluff from Vin. Vin thinks for a full minute - looks like he's about to check (I get the vibe he's about to surrender a busted draw) - and then he comes out firing: $300.
Now, I immediately realize my mistake. Jack high is not a hand to snap of bluffs with. (Cue Ellix Powers: HE CALLED ME WITH JACK HIGH!) Based on my read here, I have a strong feeling that my hand is best - but if that's the case I should simply bet the river. The problem is that part of my read came from the way Vin acted AFTER I checked, so it's new info. I know Vin thinks I'm weak, and is likely to use his position to bully me, but I decide that I'll have a better opportunity, and eventually muck, telling him "you have NO idea how close to calling you I was - with jack high." He claimed that he was "open ended" and missed, and that all I had to do was bet the river. I gave him this pot. Regardless of whether Vin is telling the truth or not, I think a river bet is correct. Checking to induce a bluff with my hand is asinine, and also allowed me to get cold feet and abandon the pot.
Fortunately, I did find a good opportunity later, when we clashed in a $2100 pot which I scooped with two pair.
I'm looking forward to this weekend's stellar lineup of NFL action. I like all the underdogs, except New Orleans - if you want to use the Kid Dynamite Contrary Indicator.
until next time,
KD

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