Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday Night Poker - July

On Friday I returned to my newfound home game. The setup was the same as last time, although non of my friends from work made it out.
One of the things I really like about this game is that they mix it up. They play limit for a few hours, then a no limit tournament, and after that some no limit table games until there aren't enough people left to play.

$2/$4 Limit

I'm still struggling to get used to how loose this group plays. There are probably five or six players seeing a flop on average and I can't figure out cards they actually consider unworthy of playing. On more than one occasion I folded a middle or bottom pair in family pots only to find out I would have won. I struggled not to play every hand and hoping I could flop a monster because the implied odds were outstanding.

I won a few pots early and nursed my profits while folding quite a lot. I think I won with an unimproved big slick and then had evey one fold by the river when I had aces the next hand. There weren't very many raised pots but it seemed like whenever I had a marginal hand that I might try to limp into a family pot with someone would raise ahead of me and I would have to fold.

I was back down to about even when I picked up another couple big hands in row. The first time I had AQ and caught my ace on the turn and a queen on the river. I got called down by a guy with a weaker ace how was hoping his kicker was still good.

I think I was dealt the same exact cards for the next hand and had about 30 callers to my preflop raise. The flop was all spades, which was the same suit as my ace. There was a bet and a raise ahead of me, but the pot odds dictated that I stick around so I did. The turn paired the board and it was checked to the raiser, who bet. The river brought my fourth spade and there was a bet and raise ahead of me. I was very much concerned that someone had picked up the boat, but they could also both have flushes, so I raised again. The guy on my left had rivered a smaller flush and the guy to my right had flopped a baby flush but couldn't chase the rest of us out of the pot.

I finished up about $100 which is the standard buy in for that game. Things are looking good again, and I'm becoming an even bigger fan of this game.

$50 Tournament + $10 Head Hunter + $10 Last Longer

Last time I won this tournament. I was fortunate enough to double up early on and didn't have to worry about the fairly aggressive blind schedule.

I wasn't so fortunate this time around. For the first few levels I was basically treading water, and slowly drowning. I could steal some pots here and there, but the blinds were killing me and I missed my fair share of flops which took some big chunks out of my chip stack. We had started with 12 players which gave us two table of six players, so going card dead was extra painful as those blinds came around quickly.

I was in the big blind at 4/8 with 83s when it was folded to the button who min raised. I called hoping I could get lucky and double up, or for a flop that I could bluff at. The flop was K85 and I pushed, praying that he didn't have a king. He was the big stack at the table so he called even though he though I had king. He turns over QQ and things are not looking good for our hero. Lets just say the guy wasn't too happy when I proceeded to hit a runner runner strait to stay alive.

At the next blind level we chipped up 10 to 1 and dropped the blinds back to 1/2. I had 9 chips and was one of the low stacks at the table. I think one of my strengths is being able to play good small stack poker, and I used the all-in very much to my advantage as people kept limping ahead of me, and then folding.

I had worked up to 26 when the blinds went up to 2/4. I was no longer a short stack, and I was starting to like my chances again. I was starting to take over the table and there were only two more people left in the last longer pool both of whom were on life support.

Then trajedy struck. There was a raise ahead of me, and I look down at a pair of snowmen. I push all-in again fully expecting him to fold. Even if he doesn't I'm probably ahead. He does call with pocket fours. You already know where this is going. The flop was 356, the turn a queen and the river a 7 to give him the straight and send me home. Well not quite home, but to the $1/$2 no limit game. On the plus side I got knocked out by the only guy not playing the head hunter option so I got my $10 back for that.

$1/$2 No Limit

The no limit game gets to be a bit crazy. I think the buy in is too low at $50 max. Get involved in any decent sized pot and you are almost guaranteed to be all-in. Lose a small pot or two and it only makes it more likely that you will have to be all-in on your next hand. Couple that with the loose play and there are lots of rebuys and lots of money on the table.

I couldn't get anything going in this game. I didn't get many good cards and when I did, they wouldn't hit and I burned through my first buy in fairly quickly. My second buy in didn't work out much better. I lost about half just through blinds and small lost pots. I tried pressing my luck by push my remaining chips with A5s on a flop with two of my suit. I got called by the guy with over $300 in front of him and top pair, and I didn't improve.

I was only about midnight at that point, but there were only four other people still left and its about an hour drive home, so I cut my losses and called it a night. Hopefully next month will work out a little better. There's even rumblings that our normal "monthly" tournament may happen next month.

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