Friday, March 19, 2010

win early, lose late

I had the hot hand early in the live cash game last night. Called a raise with KJs - the rookie hand. Flop KQx, I call Tony's (smallish) c-bet. Turn is a blank, check/check - I'm trying to induce a river bluff and keep the pot small with my meh kicker. River is a brutal card - third diamond and paired queen. Tony fires out $8. He has told the perfect story with AQ or the flush.

Maybe too perfect. Tony can easily fire off on scare cards - this one fits the bill. I take an extra 30 seconds or so to think it through, then toss the chips in. "I'll pay to see it" I say, he sheepishly turns over ace high.

An orbit later, I call a raise again with pocket sevens. Jack high board, he checks. This time I smell a rat for some reason, I check behind. Turn he checks, then calls my bet. On the river, the same $8 bet, but again something isn't adding up. Tony NEVER checks the flop out of position, and his check-call then sizable river bet is an improbable bluff on this raggedy board. I toss my lower pair away this time, and he says "sure you fold to THAT eight dollars".

I was locked in all night - I knew where I was in almost every hand. I laid down pocket aces on the river when they couldn't beat anything. I laid down a junk two pair from the blinds after a raise and re-raise when an ace hit the turn (Both had hit higher two pairs, christ-the-luck). I laid down top two pair on a 4 flush board and my straightforward opponent betting solidly with some heart.

My good hand reading kept me from going broke, but that was all it could do. I never had the best hand by the river on this night, and kept folding my second or third best hands. Down half a buy-in.

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