The Hand and bWin's Casino

Wanted to talk quickly about the bubble hand that knocked me out a few away to the money. But before I do that I want to briefly mention a poker/casino website we'll be working with. I'm very excited about where they have online blackjack, online roulette, as well as a great poker site that I'll cover more indepth in the coming weeks. I don't play blackjack online much, nor do I play roulette online, but I'm a fan of their gaming having poked around the site a little bit. The online blackjack and roulette is smooth action with quality graphics and an easy to use interface. The also have a great reputation in Europe with probably a little more oversight than many of the traditional sites.

It looks like a great alternative to all the pseudo-American sites that have been in hot water so much recently. I'll be talking a good bit about their poker in the coming weeks as they have some good promotions for trips to the Aussie Millions and a rapidly growing player base. If you do play blackjack online or roulette online or use an online casino I'd recommend you give bWin a shot.

Alright, back to the poker action. I had played at the same table all day. 6 of us had survived from about 170 to 30 or so.

In seat one was a guy who had by virture of bad timing and position been giving me his blinds all day. I'd infrequently raise from mid-position with a hand, get a caller, he'd complete his big or small blind. Flop would either hit or miss me. He'd check. I'd bet. Fold, fold. Just standard continuation bets a lot of the time.

Anyway, he tired of this rather quickly. With each c-bet he'd delay folding just a little bit longer glaring at me. So, I knew he was going to play back sooner or later. Didn't stop me from stealing but I was aware when he did hit back I'd want a hand.

When the tournament structure consumed itself with every stack becoming short, and all ten players tip-toeing through the action, I predictably went a little card dead. Course when I got it in, my hand would either hold or improve and I'd survive--so I'm not complaining.

After a quick couple of pots, finally, I've gotten some chips and probably have enough to make it into the money and maybe deep with one maybe two more pots. Including in that was a pot I got KK all in preflop and a guy called me with QQ. He had not more than five minutes earlier stated he had never, EVER, lost with pocket Queens. "I love the ladies." After asking him if he had started playing poker yesterday, I got to witness a first as he lost with the ladies.

We were in the stage the players were dropping like they had eaten some Mad-Cow infused beef.

I look down at KJ on a short table now in mid-late position, still with my victim in the big blind.

Min-raises have been taking blinds and antes. I consider raising a 3x raise, but my chips are a little off. Should have just fired in some big boys and announced a smaller amount but kind of misfired and tossed out an odd 2.1x or so.

Folded to my big blind. He the puny weakling and me the bully. He deliberates and asks what it is and decides he's priced in. He was.

So the flop comes out K22. He checks to me.

Spicy. I take my time, studying him through my sunglasses but making him think I am looking at my chips. I see him eying me and I can tell he's got his dander up a bit. As I stall, I can feel his confidence grow a bit.

In my mind, I'm going over hands, I know he doesn't have a two. I also know he doesn't have a decent King. Ace King or King Queen wouldn't have taken so long to call. King 2 probably doesn't complete. A middle king probably would have been a quicker preflop call. I'm well ahead. 22 the other slim possibility for a two was made slimmer by the twos on the flop and he'd probably be fairly quick to call with that hand based on what he's shown. So I know I'm well ahead and he's crushed.

I decide I'll fire out a suspicious c-bet that looks weakish and try and induce action. I fire barely the preflop bet. He's got a stack that is about equal to mine. This is what he's been waiting for.

He quickly announces all in.

I snap call him.

It's like I kicked him in the gut. He's stunned. He shows Q4 of clubs. I show KJ.

Needless to say it goes runner-runner and I head to the rail.

How's that go about trapping with just a pair?

In review, I was playing to win the tournament and was happy to tussle with a big stack, but at the same time, I could have done a few things different.

I could have just shoved after the flop. That wins the pot for me and gives me a chip advantage to plunder the bubble with.

On a meta-level I should be happy to have that guy stay around. I got a tremenduous read on him and other players didn't. He'd win their chips and I'd win them from him. Course I wasn't considering any of that at the time, but in retrospect it's an interesting consideration.

As one of the other bloggers pointed out to me I could have just folded the mighty KJ preflop. There is some truth to that, but I must say I'm a little resistant to that. On those trouble hands I don't mind the criticism when they get into trouble because of what they are. IE KJ runs into KQ or AJ or A10 runs into AQ or AJ. However, for this scenario there was no difference between AK or KJ, it wasn't because the hand was KJ I got into trouble. I also feel advanced enough to play KJ against the hands that cripple it and be able to get away from it. If I run it into AK and get all my chips in on a board of AKJxx, it's a valid criticism (especially when Q10 takes the main pot). Here I didn't.

Also, I was a little embarrassed about the way I acted. Like a petulant little school boy. Maybe it was because cash games weren't going great for me, as I kept playing tournament poker and making shoves I didn't have to make, but I shove my losing stack in and it stumbled. The dealer yelled,"Hey," a little angrily. Didn't really like that. Still I apologized and wished the table luck.

I was pissed at the guy for pushing with Q4, listening to him tell the table, "I was looking to gamble," as he swept up my chips. Yet, I want that knucklehead to do that. That's exactly the way I wanted the hand to play out. So I steamed. Berated myself for not thinking survival first and foremost and trying to get a greedy double up through the only player who would give it to me. Still, I play to win the tournament.

Don't forget to check out bWin's casino: where you can play roulette or play online blackjack at any time of the day.


Tiltin Texan said…
How bout dem Spiders!
C.S. said…
I'm headed to Chattanooga for the National Championship.

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