Monday, November 9, 2009

using your reads.

I moved up to the .25/.50 capped 6-max cash game tonight and played about 150 hands. The sledding was much tougher - most of my opponents seemed to know what they were doing, and were playing either tight-aggressive or loose-aggressive poker. I had to make my money using reads and some decent cards.

First off, the player to my immediate left seemed to be taking extra time with every decision. This is often an indicator of a multi-tabler. Another indicator was that he was the tightest player at the table - playing around 10% of hands. Sure enough, I looked him up and he was playing 6 tables at the same time. This is a good player to have to your left - one who isn't paying very close attention. I was able to steal his big blind about 5 times or so when the action was folded to me.

There was one loose aggressive player when I sat down. After 20 hands, his stats were 35/25. I raised up pocket nines and he shoved all 30 blinds in over me. This was the third time he had 3-bet shoved in the 20 hands I witnessed, so I called. I was up against King-Eight suited and my nines held up.

One player made an unusual 5x preflop raise to $2.50, and then folded when a king-queen-x flop showed itself. Since he didn't hit the king or queen, and he didn't have pocket aces, my theory was that a bigger raise from him meant a weaker hand (maybe a smaller pocket pair). Later in the action, I got pocket aces in late position, and Mr. 5x was in one of the blinds. Trying to use his own logic against him - I made it a 5x raise as well, hoping he would think that I was playing like he did. Sure enough, he defended his blind against the 5x raise. I also made a weak c-bet on the flop, and he minraised over me. In a capped game, you never have a problem justifying a shove with pocket aces on the flop, so I shoved and got a fold.

I raised up KQo, another blind defended me. He was a 43/29/4.0 - super-aggressive. My queen paired as the top card on the board, and he lead into me. I called instead of raising, figuring he would bet all three streets, and the only card I was afraid of coming was an ace. When the river paired the queen, giving me trips, I no longer had to fear the ace, either. He fired again, and I called. There wasn't enough left on the river for him to do anything except shove, and so he did, and once again I called, with the best hand by far (he had a busted draw), and I had walked the aggro-dude right down the path to a capped pot.

I was $20 up when the aggro guys left the table and were replaced my more "normal", TAGGY players. I didn't feel like I had an inherent skill advantage over any of these players, so I left the table and switched back down to .10/.25. While waiting for the blinds to come around to me, I watched a player call all-in with ace-ten, lose the rest of his stack, then leave the table.

This was more like the poor play I was used to.

I played two .10/.25 tables at once and was able to continue to play well. I earned another $20 before my first big loss of the night- getting stacked with AJ on a J-2-3 board vs. a set of threes. His preflop call of my raise with pocket threes is not correct in a capped game - the implied odds aren't big enough to make a profit setmining tiny pairs, but he hit so good for him, no biggie for me. I hit the bed with a $30.74 profit.

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