Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Treading Water

I've been treading water for the last month or two.  I haven't played that much.  I've had a winning session at all three local poker rooms.  I've also had losing sessions at MD Live and at the MGM.  In my experience, it only takes a few hands to decide if a session ends with a win or a loss.  Let's take a look at some hands.

The first hand, we'll call it the Poker Meister because in a recent post, his opponent beat him with 8,2.
Hand 1:

This hand was very frustrating for three reasons.  One, earlier, I was involved in a hand with the same player.  I flopped a queen-high straight but on the river he caught up and we chopped.  Two, I flopped it but he caught one of his three outs on the turn.  Three, after we both checked the river, I said, "You have an eight, don't you?"  He replied that he did.  Then he turned his cards over and the dealer had to tell him that he had rivered a flush.

Hand 2:

This hand happened not too long after Hand 1 above.  Hitting top pair on the flop with a flush draw is about as good as it gets.  I think he called because I was short stacked and he liked his hand.

Hand 3:

I was surprised at the number of players in the hand.  I wasn't sure if betting bigger or controlling the pot was smarter.  I definitively thought at least one person was on a club flush draw.  Once I nailed the river, I wasn't sure how big of a bet would get called.  Maybe I could have bet more?

Hand 4:

I wanted to include this hand because my river bet didn't get called.  I didn't think the river would have raised any flags for the opponent.  Maybe he was on a draw.  I was left wondering what sizing would have work if he had a jack.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Played a short session after work.  Haven't had a chance to play much poker in June.  Let's get to some hands.

The first hand did not involve me but it was kind of funny.  A short stack moved all-in on the flop of 6,6,2.  Seat 9 thought about it and called with 8,8.  The turn was a 4 and the river a 5.  Seat 2 flipped over 3,3 and won with a six-high straight.

I am in seat 3 with two towers of red birds in front of me.  There is a high hand promo going on.  The high hand on the board is quad jacks.

I bet $11 pre-flop with A,J in mid position and get one caller.  The flop is K,K,3 and I lead out of $14.  A guy with a blue Orioles hat, in seat 6, calls.  The turn is a J and I check.  He bets $25.  Does he really have a king?  Wouldn't K,x want to see the river in hopes of hitting the fourth king and qualify for the HH promo?  Both hole cards have to play.  Only K,2 would be dead on the turn.  I don't think J,x would bet the turn.  I call and the river is a 4.  I check and he bets $55.  What would you do?

Just a few hands later, I get dealt 2,2.  Four of us see the flop for $2 each.  The flop is 2,4,5.  I bet $7 and only the blue Orioles hat guy calls.  The turn is a 9 and I bet $10.  He makes it $35.  I look at his stack and he has less than $50 left.  I raise to $100 and he is all-in for $82.  What did I put him on?  Maybe A5, 66, 77, or 45.  Now that I think of it, A3 makes sense also.  But, au contraire, he flips over 3,6.

I don't improve and after all that, I'm even-steven.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Poker at the Horseshoe

I finally got a chance to play at the Horseshoe poker room in Baltimore, MD.  The Horseshoe opened almost three years ago and this was my first poker session there.  I played in a tournament two years ago but not in the poker room.  The tournament was held in a big convention hall on the ground floor.

In my opinion, out of the three poker rooms located near I-295, the Shoe looks the best when you walk in.  The MD Live poker room lighting could be better and the MGM poker room entrance is right on the casino floor.  Local poker players and bloggers TPM (blog) and PPP (blog) have played many sessions there.  Even the travelling poker player TBC (blog) has played more times at the Shoe than me.

I decided to make the trip after work and see if a change of scenery brings back Lady Luck.

I got my chips and picked up the Ante Up magazine at the podium.  I was sent to a table right away.  I chose the only open seat, 4.

Front and center: famous poker blogger

It didn't take me long to realize that seat 5 was the table captain.  He said he was waiting for a $2/$5 seat to open up.  He was in almost every pot and rarely did he make it to showdown without raising big on one of the streets.  It was unfortunate that I was immediately to his right.  I tried limping several hands but his $15 to $30 pre-flop bets/raises made me fold quickly.

The Shoe allows straddling from any position aka Mississippi Straddle.  Maybe I wouldn't mind it if seat 5 wasn't using it so often.  The way the game played and seat 5 having position on me, I didn't like it.  Let's get to some hand summaries.

Less than two orbits in, I'm UTG+1 and get dealt A-10.  I don't have much on my opponents.  UTG leads out for $12 and I call.  Seat 10 makes the call as well.  The flop is 10-4-4 and seat 3 bets $25.  I call and seat 10 raises it to $65.  Seat 3 calls and I'm sitting there trying to justify a call.  What would you do?

The table was not tight to say the least.  Seat 5 opens for $10 and gets three callers.  He gets it all-in on the flop with 7-7 versus seat 7 who has K-Q and rivers a straight.  Seat 5 rebuys before the chips get pushed to seat 7.  Table captain was playing aggressively and it cost him another buy-in.  He kept showing the second best hand.

I bet $10 pre-flop with 10-9 in the cut-off.  Seat 5 called.  The flop was 7 high with one club.  I checked the flop and the turn which was also a club.  Surprisingly, he checked back.  The river was a 9 and I bet $25.  He decided to look me up.  I showed and he mucked.  

In seat 4, I get dealt 5-6 in the BB.  Seat 5 bets $10 and I call.  We are both about $200 behind.  We check the 5-4-10 flop.  I lead out for $15 on the 7 turn and he calls.  The river is a 5 and I bet $25.  He moves all-in for about $130.  I'm in a pickle.  What would you do?


Thank you all for the comments.  I learn a lot from experienced players and their approach to poker.  In this hand, you might say that I made several errors.  I won't disagree.  My thoughts, when it came to my opponent in seat 5, were that he likes to play many hands and is aggressive.  I liked my suited connectors and wanted to see the flop against seat 5 since I close out the action pre-flop.  
I check the flop and he checks it too.  Him checking the flop gave me info that I thought was valuable.  I would expect an overpair or a set to bet in order to charge straight and flush draws.  The pot was $21 and I bet $15 on the turn.  I think the bet helps me keep him guessing.  If he has a flush, unless it's ace (or maybe king) high, I'd expect just a call.  And if he has an overpair, he would want to see the river.  

When the 5 comes on the river, I bet $25.  If he has an overpair, he might call the small bet.  I don't think a straight would raise.  No way he has a 5 in his hand.  What hand with a 5 would he raise UTG pre-flop.  When he moves all-in, my thoughts were that either he has a flush or he's beat.  Yes,  he could have a full house but that's unlikely.

I made the decision that I wanted to see his flush.  If he has it, I'm ready to say nice hand, sir.  I call and he doesn't seem to like it.  He slowly turns over his cards and I see the A and a black queen.  I feel discouraged for a millisecond.  I look closer and see that it's the queen of spades!

His play made some sense.  He raised pre-flop to $10 with A-Q.  The flop wasn't that good and he checked.  He called the turn after he improved to the nut flush draw.  The 5 on the river looked like a blank.  He probably put me on a 10 or even a straight.  His thinking might have been that he can represent the nut flush and make me fold my hand by raising the river.

I raked in the chips as he got up and left.  I played for a bit longer and then cashed out double my starting stack.  It felt good to call and be right but I could have easily lost.

I took some photos of the casino.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Saturday Night Live Poker

I checked the waiting list for $1/$3 at 7 pm and there wasn't one!  I was seated in the MGM poker room before 8 pm.  I was in seat 5 to start out.

I open to $7 with A-7.  Seat 2, in the SB, makes it $15.  I call and seat 8 calls.  The flop is A-7-8 rainbow.  SB leads out for $5 and I make it $10.  The lady calls and SB makes it $25.  Only I call.  The turn is a 3.  He bets $25, I make it $50, and he is all-in for $7 more.  I call and the river is a blank.  He shows A-K.  I win and am up to $322.

I move to seat 10 in order to get on the right side of a big stack who likes to raise pre-flop.  I open to $12 with 10-10 and get three callers.  The flop is 6-8-3.  I bet $20 and get one caller.  Turn is A and he leads out for $20.  I call and the river is a 10.  He bets $20 and I raise to $80.  He folds.

Approaching midnight, I'm sitting on $395 and am getting ready to call it a night.  I look down at 8-8 and open to $15.  Seat 2, big stack, makes it $30.  Only I call.  The flop is 8-9,A and I check.  He bets $25 and I call.  The turn is a J.  I check and he bets $100.  

What do we know about the villain:  He replaced the guy I stacked from the A,7 hand.  He was involved in a three-way all-in hand on the flop, holding A,A, and the flop was 6,10,5.  All three players had over $500.  He won a $1500 pot.

In another hand, I was UTG with A,Q and bet $10.  He raised to $30 and the SB called.  I folded, he ended up having 10,10 vs her A,K.

Back to the hand.  I move all-in and he makes the call.  River is a 6 and I turn over 8,8.  He turns over A,A.

How could I have played it differently?  Maybe I can just call the turn?  If I check the river (or lead out) and he bets (or raises), can I fold a set?