Sunday, November 16, 2008

live game reads

Trying to work on watching other players instead of my cards, the TV, etc. For me right now, this is easiest to do when I'm not in the hand.

In Friday's live game, I folded late in the evening with junk cards to a raise by CS. CS likes to put money into the pot, and once he decides he's going to play a hand, he plays until the end. He rarely checks - if it gets to him, he wants to build the pot up, hoping for a fold or a big pot at showdown time. I often joke that I'm CS's personal ATM, because he always seems to come up with some junk two pair against my TPTK.

In this hand, he opened in our $1-$2 dealer's choice game for .50. He had 2 callers. The flop came marginally connected, jack high and he lead out for a buck. Again, two callers. The turn filled a gutshot straight but he bet so soon that I'm not sure he even saw what the card was. One player called, the other folded. The river was an 8 that put three spades on the board. Again, though, CS had his buck in the pot before the card had even finished settling on the felt. He got a call and showed a pair of 7s in the hole and won a decent pot with it.

Fast forward to the last hand of the night. I'm the dealer and deal myself the lovely 64 offsuit. CS comes in with a .50 bet, there's one caller, and I'm not going to fold the last hand of the night, so I call with my junk as well. The flop comes A 6 2 and CS fires a bet instantly. I call with middle pair and not much else, but as the prior hand shows, CS's bet doesn't necessarily mean he's got an Ace.

The turn comes an 8, which I don't like of course because it's can give CS a pair over my six, but this time CS does something unusual - he pauses, picks up his cards, and then looks at the board. I don't think anyone notices this except me (I'm the only one in the hand), but this pause seems like a full minute to me compared to the way he usually bets. He then fires out his buck bet again, and I call again, this time with much more conviction. My read is that he's got two low cards and he's trying to count up a straight in his head with the 6 and 8 on the board.

To be honest, I can't remember the river, but I know it wasn't in the neighborhood of the 6 and 8, and there was no flush on the board. Again CS picked up his cards and paused for a minute, probably double checking his busted straight one more time. Then he did something really uncharacteristic for him - he checked. At this point, I was about 100% certain my 6 was good, and bet $1 for value. He tossed his cards aside, and I flipped over my 6 (but not the 4).


I also picked up a tell on Tony. When he is in a hand, in position, he reaches for chips and starts shuffling them. The first time I saw him do this, the player in front of him checked and he checked behind. I decided that his chip shuffling was a show of strength - he's trying to give off the message that he's ready to bet or call a bet. The second time he did this, my theory was somewhat confirmed when the player in front of him bet and he folded.

I actually mentioned this tell to Tony, as my primary poker discussion partner (I wouldn't give anyone else at the table information on their own tells), and Tony told me that he does this on purpose, for the exact reason I guessed at. I told him that I hope he is doing the same thing with good hands as well, or he's giving away the strength of his hand. I fully expect him to "reverse tell" me the next time we're at the table together, and now it's up to me to figure out what he's doing and why. Are we getting into 3rd level thinking here?

No comments: