Some Poker to discuss...

This is afterall a poker blog. Have to have something regarding or somewhat resembling poker news every once in a while. I played Saturday at Harrahs to kill time in advance of the Final Four. Obviously, had the right team from Richmond made it to Houston I would have been there too.

Unfortunately, nothing really stood out on the session. I mostly dragged pots without showdown. If it was a bigger tournament with a slower structure, I'd feel real good about this as I grew my stack fairly steadily without risking too much. Still, the Saturday Tournament has fast blinds so you really need to win a few big pots with showdowns, if you are to survive late.

Normally, I'll bluff-catch and can win a lot that way. Not this week, I'd basically sense weakness and take down a pot. Lots of time I probably had the best hand but not all the time. That's encouraging for when I play the Circuit event in May. You need to steal those pots to stick around until you can win the bigger pots. Or you can just slowly build your stack that way. Less exciting but still effective and indicative of you playing solid poker all day

Saturday the big pots never came. Had a couple of moments of interest late in the tournament. As we got down to three tables I found myself into some sticky spots based on stack sizes. One I raised ~2.25ish on the button. The small blind folded and the big blind stewed. This was for an 1/8th of his chips. In retrsopect, maybe I should have varied my raise and made it 4x or 5x to induce a fold. Flop came qj10, giving my King an open ender.

The other player shoved. I had him covered but because of my small preflop raise I didn't have the odds to chase the straight. Unfortunately, I felt like he made the decision to shove any flop, when he called preflop, so then I had to decide if my king was possibly good.

1. He didn't have an Ace... I'm fairly confident short of pocket aces, or pocket kings (which kill my outs) he shoves a decent hand over me preflop, so if he didn't have a pair I was actually good or tied for it with King high.
2. When I thought about the hands he might play this way, they likely included Qx, Jx, and maybe some 10x. They also included kx.
3. I didn't feel he had 9x, or suited connectors.
4. Felt like he made a pair.
5. If he had a single pair, my king was live, but it only added three more outs and a fold was still correct.
6. If his real range was that he had any two cards like two low cards, that's a pretty bad board to just shove into, even if he were planning a stop and go (call/shove rather than shove preflop). A button raise could just be a button raise, but more likely than not I'd think I'd have a couple of face cards in my hand that hit that pretty good many times.

I folded, the small blind told me he had K9. So my outs were even slimmer than I thought. Then I saw the guy do the same move twice more--never called and the boards lacked any similarities. I think it's a fairly standard fold but there were definitely some other factors at play there.

Earlier in the tournament I had to recover from the frustration of flopping a flush draw with two overs. Checked to me, I fired and narrowed the field to two. On the turn, I fired again, this time pretty stiff and this unknown called me. River missed as well. He checked to me, I followed suit, and then he turned over pocket deuces. I was close to shocked. I gave him credit in my mind and then within one round of action, saw that he was just a call station.

Predictably, he also had a price, despite picking up some chips early he'd call any bet with any pair, but he would release weaker pairs once somebody tossed in a 1k chip or more. I used this to my advantage later in the tournament against him.


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