Poker Words - A Poker Blog

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WSPL Goes to Vegas Game 6

I don't think game 6 could have gone any better if I had stacked the deck before hand.  Everything seemed to fall into place in the exact perfect outcome that I needed.

To start things off, two of the point leaders, Aaron and Smack get crippled by losing big hands. I didn't see what happened to Smack, I think he got wired queens cracked.  Aaron lost on a board showing three jacks. He mucked his cards when Rich turned over a pair of tens.  I'm thinking Aaron had an ace and was hoping  high card would be good, or maybe he paired something on the board.  Regardless he now has only a couple hundred chips and we aren't even out of the first blind level yet.  Despite winning the previous two games, he is not invincible.

Smack goes out first which is perfect for me.  He's the player I fear most at the table, and he was a top contender for points.    Aaron goes in to super tight fold or all in mode.  I think the only cards he's even willing to push with are AK, or high pairs.  He's obviously trying to hold on as long as he can in hopes of picking up a couple extra points.    Since he's also in contention for the points lead, I feel like I have to beat him this game, especially since he in so much trouble all ready.  Not that my cards helped at all, but I find myself tightening up considerably, not willing to take any unnecessary risks as long as Aaron is still around

My cards are pretty bad for most of this tournament.  The only decent hand I get in the first have is a pair queens, which get cracked when I push Shane all in.  He manages to hit a flush with his KJo.

Noah has been having a terrible season so far.  I would have normally put him as one of the favorites to finish in the lead, but he hasn't done anything.  tonight wasn't really his fault though.  He ends up going all in against Cookie after a flop of KKA, and rags on the turn and river.  Noah had KJ, and was feeling pretty confident up until Cookie's cards were revealed and he shows AK, leaving Noah with 23 chips left to try to cover the $T50 big blind.

Aaron is still hanging around though.  He hasn't played a hand in four or five orbits when suddenly he wakes up with cards.  AK lets him double up when Jason calls.  He doubles up again shortly after that and before you know it he has a decent chip stack again.

Unfortunately for him, his switch to a more aggressive style gets him into trouble almost immediately after he starts bragging about his comeback.  He decides to raise,and call a reraise with KJo and runs into AK.  So after all that work he still goes out third.

My cards are still terrible.  I'm folding a ton, not really feeling confident, just hoping to stay alive.  I keep stealing Jason's big blind, until he says that one of these times he'll have hand.  I retort that one of these times I'll have a hand too.   Originally I'm thinking I'll put him on tilt by insinuating that I've been bluffing every time, but then I start over thinking it and now I'm afraid to bet because I think he'll think I'm bluffing and he'll be more likely to push back.  So I kind of screwed myself.

I end up getting quite a bit lucky, using Cookie's tricks against him.  I have  T2 and try to steal his blinds.  The flop is J27 and I push all in thinking  he just called my pre-flop raise because he's stubborn.  Even if he ha a hand, he probably didn't have a jack right?  Wrong.  He has JT and I'm down to two outs.  Which I hit on the river.

And then, my cards start getting a lot better.  AK and KK in sequential hands move me from the short stack to a comfortable size.  I then double up through Rich on a hand I don't think I played very well  I had J5 in a family pot with the four remaining players.  The flop is J5X all hearts.  I push all in here, for about 3x pot.  My thinking is that chances are someone has a heart, and I don't want them even thinking about chasing the flush.  I'm not sure if this was the right play or not.  If someone already had a flush then I just knocked myself out.  Although I don't know how I can both bet enough to figure out if someone has the flush while pushing out the chasers, without committing all of my chips.  It worked out okay though because Rich called with a Q5.  I think the queen was a heart but I don't recall for certain.  He missed the straight either way.

Shortly after that I have pocket queens again.  Pocket queens have gotten cracked at least twice today so I'm a little nervous.  Its Jason's big blind though, so perhaps the talk of stealing earlier will pay off.  I make my standard pre-flop raise and he calls.  The flop is XQQ.  One of the areas I think I need to work on is value betting, and maximizing my winnings when I know I'm ahead.  I'm often content to bet big and take the pot right away rather than let someone draw out on  me.  I probably save myself some bad beats by doing this, but I also leave chips on the table.  I have the absolute nuts here so I need to slow down.

Jason plays right into my hands by raising my small bet, then calling my increasingly large bets on the turn and river.  He grudgingly calls on the river saying that he doesn't think I have the queen.  Too bad for him, I have two.

I got lucky against Cookie again.  I managed to forget the exact hand, but it involved me catching a flush on the river to come from way behind.  I think I tried to steal his blind originally and he reraised all-in, giving me pot odds to call.

I'm glad Cookie went out before Rich because Cookie was in the points lead, but I'm not thrilled to be playing Rich heads up.  He still plays regularly online, and he plays heads up cash games, so this should be his strength.  And maybe it would have been if I didn't get get crazy good cards.  Not that my hands started out all that great, but both of bet about 3x BB no matter what pre-flop.  I had the chip lead so I called his bet every time, and he was forced to fold some on  occasion.  The flops were fantastic for me.  I couldn't miss.   I think two pair was the worst hand I had by the time we showed down, or he folded.

Ultimately I got him all in with 69s and rivered a flush.  He was not happy, but he had so few chips I would have called with almost anything.   Sometimes you need a little luck to help you out.

Here are the standings so far:

Week 6:
  1. Me
  2. Rich
  3. Cookie
  4. Jason
  5. Shane
  6. Archie
  7. Aaron
  8. Noah
  9. Smack
Total Points
  1. Cookie (51)
  2. Me (51)
  3. Smack (43)
  4. Aaron (41)
  5. Shane (34)
  6. Rich (33)
  7. Archie (32)
  8. Jason (23)
  9. Noah (19)
Total Points (worst two scores thrown out)
  1. Cookie (42)
  2. Me (41)
  3. Smack (38)
  4. Aaron (36)
  5. Shane (32)
  6. Rich (28)
  7. Archie (26)
  8. Jason (22)
  9. Noah (18)

Originally posted at

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WSPL Goes to Vegas Game 5

Almost halfway through the season.

Game 5 was interesting.  I thought I played pretty well, but the more I think about, the more angry I am with the end result.

I didn't get very many good cards this game.  I was mostly content to let everyone else fight amongst themselves while I jumped in to very few pots.   When I did get premium hands, I was fortunate enough to have people bet into me big.   I had pocket kings a couple of times and had people raise and reraise before it even got to me, which worked out well.  

I also won a huge pot towards the mid to late stages of the game when everyone limped in preflop with me and my K3o in the small blind.   The flop was 332 with two hearts.  I made a small bet, hoping to build the pot and not wanting people to draw to a flush for free.  Cookie raises me to  a half pot sized bet.  There are a bunch of folds and the Noah re-raises about 3x pot.  I went all in, and after much deliberation Noah folds, giving me the chip lead and crippling him.  He was trying to push Cookie out of the pot, and didn't expect me to be involved at all.

I more or less have the chip lead from that point on.  I'm able to bully some of the other players, for a while, and finally when Cookie gets tired of it and fires back, I manage to flop a set to knock him out. 

At that point there are four of us left, myself with aver 7K in chips, Aaron with between 2k and 3k, Shane with under 1K and Smack with just over 2K.  At that point I'm assuming it is only a matter of time for Shane.  I think Smack is probably the best player in our group, and also the only one left that has more points than me, so I'm hoping to bust him. 

Alas it is not to be.  I went against my better judgement and call a pre-flop all-in from him with KQs.  I was hoping he was getting desperate and pushing with any face card and maybe I could catch him.  Unfortunately, he has AQ and doubles up.  I'm still in the lead, but I do the same thing with Shane a few hands later.   Then Aaron starts calling and raising my bets and suddenly I'm on the defensive.

I should make a note here that my daughter is not even two weeks old, and sometime after I crippled Noah and before I knocked out Cookie, she had a meltdown, and so did my wife who was hoping to take a nap during this time.  So I had to step in rescue them.  In an effort to keep my daughter from crying I'm bouncing and rocking in the chair, or pacing back and forth two feet in front of my computer, because that's all the slack I have on my headphones.  Its also really hard to do anything other than call or make a standard raise, because to get to the number pad on my keyboard I have to shift her in my hands, which wakes her up and restarts the screaming at the top of the lungs process.

Not that I'm making excuses, because I made some dumb plays that I knew I shouldn't have and Aaron was playing well to take most of my chips.  That being said, there were a number of bets I made because they were easier than making the bet I would normally have made.  For example I managed to draw to a straight against Smack when neither of us really seemed to want the pot.  He made a small bet on the river and rather than raising I just called and one a smaller pot than I could have had.  It was possible that he hit a runner-runner flush which is what I used to justify my laziness at the time, but I could have done better.

I also think I played more hands than I normally would have at the end because she was starting to fuss and I knew she wouldn't hold out much longer no matter what I did.

As I said before, the longer I think about it, the angrier I am that I didn't win this one. I went out in fourth. There's no way I should have let Shane or Smack beat me as bad of shape as they were in.  And I think I can bear Aaron heads up 9 out of 10 games.   Instead Aaron took first and Smack second.  Aaron has now won two in a row and both he and Smack are ahead of me. 

Here's the results so far.

Game 5:
  1. Aaron
  2. Smack
  3. Shane
  4. Me
  5. Cookie
  6. Archie
  7. Rich
  8. Jason
  9. Noah

  1. Cookie (43 Points)
  2. Smack (42 Points)
  3. Aaron (38 Points)
  4.  Me (36 Points)
  5. Shane (29 Points)
  6. Archie (28 Points)
  7. Rich (22 Points)
  8. Jason (17 Points)
  9. Noah (17 Points)

Totals after removing our worst two games
  1. Cookie (34 Points)
  2. Smack (34 Points)
  3. Aaron (33 Points)
  4. Shane (27 Points)
  5. Me (26 Points)
  6. Archie (22 Points)
  7. Rich (17 Points)
  8. Jason (16 Points)
  9. Noah (16 Points)

Its a three way race at this point.  Shane and I can easily get back into it with a good performance next week, and I wouldn't count Archie out either.  The other three are going to need to win soon before they get too much further behind.

Originally posted at

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

WSPL Goes to Vegas Game 4

Game four is a little more  lethargic than our previous games.  Two players couldn't make it, Noah and Jason.  The rest of us either weren't getting cards, or learned to fold before getting sucked out on the river.

The most interesting thing for most of the game was that Cookie decided to make all his bets in powers of two.  He'd bet 64,128, 256, 512 and 1024.

I tried to get cute on few hands early and found myself short stacked.  I was able to double up with pocket threes, against Smacks AQ. He hit a K on the flop and a 10 on the turn, but I rivered another three to stay alive.   I built back up to an average to slightly above average stack after that.

Down to 5 players I get 99 under the gun and raise, getting Cookie to call.  The flop is A78.  I bet hoping he doesn't have the ace, and he calls.  The turn is ten and we both check.  The river is Jack to complete my straight.  He about the pot, just like I was hoping he would and I push all in.  He turns over KQ for the bettter straight, and I'm out in fifth out of seven that actually showed up.

The good news is that players I fear most don't make the top three.  Aaron and Shane are both at the bottom, so them getting a bunch of points doesn't matter, and while Cookie is in the lead, I don't think he can keep it up over a season's worth of games.  Things are getting interested again.

Here's the current standings.

Week 4
  1. Aaron
  2. Cookie
  3. Shane
  4. Archie
  5. Me
  6. Smack
  7. Rich
  8. Noah (DNP)
  9. Jason (DNP)
  1. Cookie (38 Points)
  2. Smack (31 Points)
  3. Me (30 Points)
  4. Archie (24 Points)
  5. Aaron (23 Points)
  6. Shane (21 Points)
  7. Rich (19 Points)
  8. Noah (16 Points)
  9. Jason (15 Points)

Originally posted at

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