Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Solid Read

I recently played the following 2-5 NLHE hand at Ameristar:

Two limpers to me OTB and I’ve been very quiet in a tight game so I decide to splash around a little bit with Kh-Js. I know that this hand sucks but I have position and typically play well post-flop.

Five of us see a flop of Kd-9s-3d. It checks to the 10 seat (I’m in the 1 seat) and I lean around the front of the dealer to look at him. He just sits there for awhile so I ask, “Did he check?” The dealer responds, “He checked.” I toss out a $20 bet into a $25 pot and immediately the 5 seat looks at me and says, “I thought you checked?” The dealer says, “No, he asked if he (pointing to the 10 seat) checked.” The blinds fold and the 5 seat, who is the loosest player at the table, is the only caller.

The turn brings the 7c and he checks to me. I bet $40 into the $65 pot and he raises $40 to $80. At this point I’m sick because playing a big pot with top pair decent kicker is never my game plan in a NLHE cash game. I go into the tank and tell the table, “Sorry guys, this is going to take a minute or so.” I run through his possible hands and rule out strong K’s because he would have bet those hands on a flush draw board. I also rule out 9’s because he would have raised preflop, and 7’s were looking pretty unlikely as well. So I decide that it is either a set of 3’s or a flush draw. Now I look up at him and he is STARRING ME DOWN. That’s a weak tell. Then, I thought about his “I thought you checked” comment on the flop. That’s weak too – he wanted a free card. So putting the pieces of the puzzle together I decide to make him pay for his draw and move all-in for another $140 or so. He took a deep sigh, made the dealer count the money and then called. The river was the 4s and he said one of the most beautiful things, “I missed.”

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fun with a maniac!

I ran across a particularly insane maniac on the PLO tables last night and had an absolute blast. Just when I thought the tables at Paradise and Full Tilt were the best, here comes Party Poker back with a vengeance!

Said maniac had a 96% VPIP and bet or raised virtually every hand on every street! It was amazing and he was actually winning by getting super lucky! He increased his buy-in by 10-fold in the short while after I sat down at the table. I was licking my chops of course.

My first involvement with him was with AQQx on a Q23 flop. We get all-in and he had 2378 for the all-mighty bottom 2-pair, no draw hand, lol. Next came a hand were I had a big straight draw wrap and raised huge on the flop. He called me with nothing but bottom pair and overs! Yes, just bottom pair and no draws! Astounding play to say the least! Finally, I played a tricky hand with AA89ss and limped UTG. The maniac was two seats to my left and I knew he would raise, whereas if I raised before him, he would have just called. Sure enough, he raised the pot and several players called behind! I then put in the huge pot limp re-raise and isolated the maniac holding QQxx and took about half his stack after I flopped a set and he paid me off unimproved! He was gone a short while later after some more brilliant plays.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Little Poker

Life has been getting in the way of poker lately, namely the flu and more wifey surgery, but I do have a few things to say.

First of all, the PLO players over at Paradise Poker are the worst I've ever seen. Those guys love to get get stacked with bottom 2 pair on a straight flush board. I mean, they are truely awful.

Second, the PLO players over at Full Tilt Poker are nearly as bad as those at Paradise. Take this hand:

EP raises and 6 players cold call, including me OTB with JT78. The flop is an awesome Qx9c6x rainbow. EP leads out for $5 and 3 players call, then I bet the pot and 5 of us get all-in. Turn: 7c. River: 4c. I was up against AAxx, KKTx, TJxx and QTJx. Fortunately, one of the players with 2 clubs folded to my flop raise and I was able to take down this monster pot with my huge double open-ended straight draw! AAxx had the chance to make a big preflop raise out of the BB and didn't do it.

Finally, I'm going to pimp the rake-free poker room at World Sports Exchange again. The traffic is picking up a little which is good for the ring games, and if you are a small stakes tournament player, the $1000 guaranteed tourney is a great value with soft play. It typically has about 85-90 players so there is an overlay. I've played it twice and final-tabled it both times.