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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

October 2, 2004

Back to the Grind

by Luckbox

A couple months ago, I emptied every online poker account I had going. I just wasn't playing often enough to make it worth while. I would log on every now and then and throw away 25 bucks without blinking. If I wasn't going to take this seriously, I shouldn't be wasting my time or money.

I'm back.

Tonight I reloaded in Empire. It's been awhile since I've played there, but Otis says there's no other place worth playing. I'm a little rusty, but I think I did okay for the first night back, and even pulled out the HAMMER!

The bad news is that I lost money.

I'm down $19 in 5 hours of play. Hardly stellar results, unless you consider I blew $33 on a limit SNG (I didn't realize it was limit), $55 on a NL SNG (my Big Slick all-in pre-flop got cracked by AQ when the Q fell on the flop... bastard) and $11 on a multi (I made a terrible call, ugh).

So throw out that $99 and I actually finished up $80 in my ring games. Here's just a few hands that remind me why I love fish... (all hands are at PLHE $25 max buy-in tables):

Hand 1
I'm in early position at a full table when I get dealt one of my favorite hands, pocket 10's (or jackpot, as I like to call it). I simply call the BB of $.50 and 6 of us see a flop of Kd, Kh, 4h. It's checked to me and I bet a dollar. I figured I'd test the water and see if there was a king out there.

I get 2 callers and the three of us see the magical Ts on the turn. We all check this time, I figure I'll slow play it. The river is the Qh. Great news for me because it puts both a flush and a straight on the board. As long as no one's holding a better boat, I'm golden.

This time the first guy leads out with $2. I raise it to $4 and the third guy calls. The original bettor re-raises to $6 and I figure it's time to go all in for my remaining $23. I've got them both covered and, amazingly, they both call with $14 and $13 respectively.

It's showdown time and a nut heart flush and trip K's both lose to my boat. The final pot is $69 for a tidy $39 profit.

Hand 2
This time I'm in the SB when I get dealt Jd, 9s. Five players limp in so I simply complete and the BB checks. Seven of us see a flop of 7h-Jh-Ts. Well, it's top pair and a gutshot straight draw. Not ideal, but not bad for my small blind hand. It's checked all the way around to the button who bets $2. I figure there's a strong chance of a steal here so I call. Three other players also call.

Five of us watch the Js come on the turn. I have to wonder at this point if my trip J's are really good. Anyone who limped in with 8-9 already has me beat. Not to mention A-J, K-J, Q-J, J-T, and J-7. I check and three players behind me all bet the minimum of $.50. I figure it's time to put them to the test, and I bet the pot of $15. I get one caller.

The turn is the 4h, putting a flush possibility on the board. I'm liking my hand less and less, but I figure there's no way I get called $15 on a flush draw, so I ignore that possibility. The straight and better kicker still scare me, but not enough, because I go all-in for my remaining $19 and get called.

This showdown was scary. I was really hoping not to get called, but the guy was pot committed. If he had anything, he had to call. When he shows Jc-8c, I quickly scan the board and realize I squeaked out a win. This $80 pot brought me another $43 profit.

Hand 3
We're down to just 8 players now and I'm the small blind again. That's when I look down at 2s-7h. It's The HAMMER! There's only one caller in front of me, so I complete and the BB checks.

The flop is Td-Qd-2d. Seems like a perfect bluff opportunity, right? And since I have a pair of deuces, I'll stretch, and call it a semi-bluff! Except for the fact that I was a wimp and checked. But so did the other players, so we see a turn for free.

It's the 3c. No more fooling around, I lead out with $1.50. I'm hoping the pot-sized bet will scare everyone away. It doesn't, and I get one caller.

The river is the 9h. Obviously, it doesn't help me. Very few cards in the deck could have helped me. That doesn't deter me however. I'm on a bluff with The HAMMER, and I will not be beaten! I bet the pot again and throw $4.30 in the pot. He must have sensed The HAMMER because he laid down his hand.

We'll never know what he had, but I did show the table my beautiful hand. It's only the second time I showed my hand all night (quad Q's earlier). There was no chat from the table either before or after I declared "The HAMMER!!!!" in the chat bar. These guys should start reading blogs!

The Multi
I'm really pissed at myself for getting knocked out of the multi. I doubled up early, made it to the first break well above the average stack size and was playing pretty smart.

That's when I got into a stupid hand. I was dealt K-Q off. I hate KQ. It's one of the most overrated hands in poker. That's probably the wrong way to put that. It's one of the most overplayed hands in poker.

Pre-flop I raised 3x the BB. It's my standard "no information raise." The big stack raised me another 200 and I called. The flop is K-x-x. I go ahead and check, thinking I might pull a little check-raising.

The big stack leads out for a couple hundred and I figure he's just trying to push me around. I raise him another couple hundred and he re-raises me! That's when alarms went off in my head. I pictured Big Slick as vividly as if it were right in front of me.

I called. Why? Oh, I don't know... maybe I'll get a Q on the turn. Of course, the turn was a blank. I checked again and he bet about half of my remaining stack. I had about 800 left in front of me and I had already committed about 1000 to the pot. Inexplicably, I raised him all-in.

What the hell was I thinking!?!? I knew he had AK. He called as quickly as he could and flipped over exactly what I knew he held. Why did I play this hand so poorly?

It's simple. I got married to the hand. I bet it with one thought in mind, catch a K or Q on the flop and ram your top pair. But for some reason I ignored the pretty clear information in front of me. I was dominated, plain and simple. I've got to learn to lay it down more.

But that's why I'm getting back into the grind. I've got to eliminate these holes. I want to be a better player, and you can only get better by playing. See you at the tables! (By the way, look for me as Up4Poker.)

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