Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday Night Blah

Not much fun to report in the Thursday game - I left down $67. Cards were bad for the most part - the few large hands I had either won small pots or lost big ones.

I made a few moves early that I liked. I raised on the button with KJ, got a call from the blind. The flop was a clean whiff - A Q x, but the blind lead out. I raised thinking he didn't have an ace and got a fold.

Later I limped on the button with J8s, a garbage hand for sure, but it worked out ok. The big blind raised it up, but I decided to defend with better position. The flop was another swing and miss, but we got to see a free turn card. The turn looked innocuous enough, I fired out a bet but got a call. The river was a T, which at first didn't look like it helped, but thankfully I took another look at the board, which featured a 9 and a 7 as well. I hit a gutshot! I bet out a small amount for value, but the blind folded, telling me later he had nothing to call me with.

Early, I 3 bet Tony's nephew, Nathaniel, with AK, then a newer player that I didn't know much about 4 bet us both.
Nathaniel agonized for a big and folded. I should have folded as well, but I thought he could have KK or QQ and hitting either of my cards would win a nice pot. Add in to this that he had only doubled the bet - from a known good player, this would make me nervous, but from this particular player I felt even more confident that he didn't have Aces. Some of his earlier bets were oddly small - and I felt like they telegraphed the strength of his hand. I called the extra $10, but then folded right away with an all-baby flop and a big bet from him. We never knew exactly what he had. We did find out what Nathaniel had - he had folded 88 and would have won a giant pot with a 883 board! Folding quads got him steaming just a bit.

I raised over some limpers with QQ, then Tony, a shortstack, shoved over me - I had over 2-1 odds to call - he had AK and got rewarded by an Ace on the river. Another big pot there.

The next hand I played, with me as the shortstack, I raised all-in over limpers again, with KJ - Matt P called me with AQ. Saw a Queen in the window, then a King to put in front, then another Queen on the turn to complete the rollercoaster loss. I bought back in, with a mild steam coming out of my ears.

That buy in featured garbage cards - mostly. I tried a move or two to steal some blinds - each time I was either defended with a call or reraise. No repsect for the tight player! For the most part, I shut it down. I lost another medium pot with top pair to a guy with trips. On this hand, the most obvious read was that he had second pair and hit trips on the turn - he minraised me on that card - but I felt like I had been pushed off of several hands on the night and needed to show I couldn't be pushed off every hand, especially top pair. When the river hit, I defensively bet $5 into a $15 pot to keep my loss down. This bet actually worked in another way - the player with trips thought it was a value bet, saying "don't tell me you've got a boat", and "paid off" his trips with the best hand. I explained - "Nope, I was pretty sure you had trips, but I wanted to control the size of the pot. I also wanted to make sure I saw what you had". I think maybe I impressed the table with this logic. If I check there, he gets to bet any amount, and I pretty much have to fold, learning nothing, and getting pushed off another hand.

I lost another top pair hand with KQ, out of position, on a four flush board. It was a backward night - the wrong cards in the wrong positions, second best hands at the wrong time, people with cards when I tried to enter the pot without them. I made a couple mistakes, as always, but my losses were on the luck side than the bad play side, at least I think so.

One of these days, I'll crack this game. Most of my posted wins in this game have been fueled by lucky breaks - most of my losses (not last night) have been flameouts with unfoldable, second best hands (boat vs. quads, trips with second best kicker). Sooner or later, I will play well and win money because of it.

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