Friday, June 1, 2012


Lost 120 big blinds in the cash game last night. We had some new players to the game - skilled, unafraid to get their money in, not very mistake-worthy. You have to play pretty mistake-free poker and then avoid getting unlucky to come him with a profit against this new group.

I thought I was on my way when I raised up 2 jacks and got 2 callers, and hit a nice little jack-eight-rag flop. Hello, top set!

I don't slowplay sets. I'm constantly cbetting with air, I like to do it with my monsters as well. This is even more true because two of the flop cards were hearts, and damned if I'm going to let that flush draw get there for free. I bet 8 into a $12 pot. One caller - one of the new players. Top pair for him, maybe QQ, maybe floating with TT/99. Or of course the damned flush draw.

No heart on the turn. A black queen. Now my opponent leads into me with a $21 bet. Eight-Nine for a straight? Really? JQ for two pair? Did he flop a lower set? Let's hope so. I start adding up combos - 4 combos of 89s (no way he's playing offsuit connectors) to beat me. 3 combos of 88, 3 more of the low card, and 2 more of JQs. I might throw in a slowplayed AA combo or two also. I'm ahead twice as often as I'm behind. Time to get the money in.

I raise to $68. My villain thinks a long time, staring at the pot. He's counting it, figuring his pot odds. He calls.

Heart draw. My guess is AhQh or KhQh now, top pair + flush draw. Gonna have to dodge the heart river...

I do. A black ten. The final board is J8xQT, putting a 4 card straight out there. My opponent checks. Any way he's got a nine in his hand? I don't think so. If he had 89s, he would have shoved over my raise. Should I bet for value though? I've got him on top pair flush draw, most likely. He should call some type of bet...

...I chicken out, though. I'm in position in an already nice sized pot, on a dangerous board. I can minimize losses when I'm behind, and this opponent isn't calling a large value bet with one pair. I could bet small - that always seems to induce a raise. I'm not sure what the correct play is, but I check it back. It saves me money.

"I got there", he says, in a near-conciliatory way. King-nine of hearts. Flush draw + gutshot. I watch him scoop the mini-mountain of chips his way, cracking my flopped top set.

Irritating, ridiculous, silly, all that woe-is-me-poker gods crap be damned - I love the way I played this hand in the end. I bet enough to deny him odds with his 12 out draw on the turn, and then I denied him any implied odds by using my position and checking back the river. He played the hand well, also - he made a just-barely-short of correct pot odds call, hoping for some backup implied odds, hit his perfect card, but didn't get any extra money out of me.

2 good poker players, nobody making any major mistakes, banging away with a couple of monster hands. Maybe there's some money to be made at the other end of this table...

No comments: