Friday, January 16, 2009

bluff the river, dummy!

Thursday night live cash game, my house this week. 9 at the table - 3 from the original crew (who started this game), 6 from my North Ridgeville crew (we call ourselves something decidedly non-PC, that I won't use in this blog - it refers to the less serious (one might say "stupid") way that we play our Friday night limit game.

No huge hands so far, by anyone, really. There's only been one rebuy at the table tonight. I'm down $5, but I was down $25 and crawled back up to near even with some aggressive play. My big loss of the night was paying off with a King high flush to a boat that got there on the turn. Actually, this hand looked not unlike like my "fortunate turn" hand from a previous post). I played with a suited King in the small blind in a multiway pot, and the flop came with 2 diamonds. I check-called a strong bet by Tony on the flop. A 4 came on the turn, and Tony bet again, this time the same size as the flop bet. It looked like he was afraid of my flop call, and he was giving me odds to chase the flush for another card. The flush
came on the river - I lead out for $10. Tony looked a little worried but flipped over a pair of 4s - he had the underboat and was worried about the overboat. My $10 bet was about half pot - I think it served as a blocking bet in a way - Tony probably would have bet more, so perhaps between the river and the smallish turn bet (which was meant to keep me in), I lost less than I could have.

I wasn't really angry about that hand even though I lost - the hand that bothered me the most on the night was with Tony's brother, Fred. I got in cheap with Jd9d in the dealer spot. The flop came Queen high with two diamonds and Fred bet into the board. I employed my aggressive flop strategy and raised, hoping for a fold, but Fred called. I put him on a medium Queen - KQ/QJ/QT (maybe too weak).

The turn blanked, and Fred checked to the raiser, just what I wanted him to do. I had bought my cheap river and checked behind.

The river blanked again - my flush draw was busted. Fred checked. Decision time. I could simply check behind, with pretty much zero chance of winning, or I could fire a big river bullet into the board, continuing my show of strength on the flop. I went back over the hand and decided there was a decent chance Fred would call a solid river bet with top pair, so in the end I checked behind. Fred looked conciliatory as he flipped over Ad4d, with a pair of 4s giving him the winner! My read was wrong - Fred was drawing to a better diamond flush than I was. (good thing it didn't come). However, his hand was very weak on the river and I probably could have won a decent size pot with a river bluff.

Here's where better handreading would have helped me - had I put Fred on something weaker than top pair - I could have somehow pushed him off of the hand.

Lastly, if I could have bluffed the river and taken the pot, I would not have revealed my semi-bluff on a medium flush draw. Observant opponents now have more information to use against me.

In total, not much luck on the night - lost around $37. I was perhaps wrong to chase the earlier mentioned King high flush against Tony (out of position), but I felt like I was getting the right price, and I didn't go broke after I hit the second best hand, so that's something to be proud of.

I was proud of how I played a short stack in the last hour- I made a couple all-in moves to win some small pots and stay alive with one buy-in. I hit trip Jacks to double up for a bit when Nate made a "what the fuck" call and chased a flush, knowing full-well I had a jack in my hand with 2 on the board. But that one missed river bluff - I need to think about that hand more...

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