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Sunday, 26 June 2011

When everything comes together...

I havent had much to report on for the last few days... However, Friday night, my weekly poker night had a couple of interesting moments. The regular table of 7, both serious players online and live mixed in with some social gamers - Its always a big spending, entertaining night!

Things started slow for me got hands like [10.3] and [9.4] off suit in so many hands I had a nightmare about them. This lasted about an hour, but I remained disciplined and positive that a decent hand was arround the corner.

Counting chips for the ALL IN moment
 I didn't stay out of the action entirely, remember your TABLE IMAGE is vital. If I remain too quiet, players will begin to think I am playing TIGHT. With these opponents I try to change my style every now and then, just to keep them unaware =).
Then along came suited connectors [6d5d]. I contemplated a preflop raise to minimise the targets, but the player 1st to act bumped it to 2x BB. In my opinion he got what he wanted and there were 3 players in the hand. Board came down [Jd.7s.4h]. In front of me is an UP AND DOWN straight draw (8outs). The initial raiser makes a puny bet, blind size - too small to even be noted. We both call him, turn is [10d]... This gives me an additional flush draw (9outs), back door but with some luck its almost definitely a winning hand. Check, check, the actions on me, I raise a significant amount the preflop raiser calls and the other player folds. [2d] lands on the river I'm smiling (on the inside ofcourse) because now I have the flush. How much do you have left infront of you? Is the question I'm asked, after I make a count he says ALL IN. I take a breathe and ponder what he could possibly have, theres no way he has a flush! So I make the call and say "I've got the flush", opponent hangs his head after flipping top pair top kicker - [Ac.Js].

This must've jump started the poker gods, a few hands later in the Big blind [Kc5c]. No preflop bets so i check my option! Board comes [5d 10s 5s]. Gigantic raise comes from a generally tight player, I can't just make a call so I double his bet hoping to get him off the hand, doesn't work he calls. [As] comes on the turn, an immediate another large bet is shouted. The thoughts in my head:
*Did he hit the flush? Does he need another spade? or did he just play two pair? maybe he has the other 5? Is the pot big enough to make this call?
I couldn't come to a conclusive reading and just said CALL. The river, delivers me a FULL HOUSE with a [Kh]. My opponent is confident with his Ace high flush and pushes ALL IN. I snap call and flip my cards over saying "HIT THE BOAT!" I agree the river was relied on to win the hand but sometimes its the big decisions that win you the most money.

These dodged BULLETS

Last 15mins of play, I am chip leader by some distance and am more than happy with the profit I'm making.There was only 3 of us remaining, all with significant chip stacks. I look at my hand [JJ] - I wouldn't say I am particularly a fan of this hand as an over card always seems to hit the board. I raise 3xBB, one gets out of the way, fold. The other makes a confident call. Flop opens [J K 4] which gives me three of a kind! This is followed by my opponent sending half of his stack into the pot... could he have KK? I push ALL IN, he snap calls (I have him covered). He proudly topples over his BULLETS [AA] and was devastated at this bad beat for the night so close to CASHOUT TIME.

There were many lessons to be learnt from this session. The main being: stay patient because a hand will come, sometimes it is YOUR NIGHT other times maybe not so much. Focus on making decision that are calculated and timely - even though you have to GAMBLE occassionally.
*However, my new number one rule! LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR!! Nobody is better than the game.

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