I was planning a post on "variance" following my big session on Saturday. Things weren't going as well until a bit of a personal triumph. Then I log on to see Otis roughing up more Empire Poker opponents. Kinda makes my accomplishment a bit minor in comparison... but here goes...
You may remember my $164 profit in just two hours of play on Saturday. On Sunday, I headed back to the Planet Poker tables and decided to try out the $3/$6 instead of the $2/$4. My first hand should have been a sign.
I'm dealt AJo in the BB. A guy in middle position raises, the button calls and I call. Three of us see a 10-Q-10 flop. Not ideal. In fact, it hardly hit me at all. I'm on a gutshot straght draw, but another club could mean the flush for someone and I might already be beat by a boat. I should get out of the hand, right?
I check, the original raiser bets out, the button calls and I, inexpicably, call as well. The turn is a K. Jackpot! I somehow caught my straight without a flush hitting the board. Unfortunately, there are now two clubs and two spades on the board, and the boat still beats me. No worries, though, I'm hot! Time for the check raise. The original raiser bets out again, the button calls, I raise and both call me.
At this point, I'm praying for a red rag on the river. Not only is it not red, but it's not a rag. The ace of clubs falls. That now means any two clubs beats me along with any boats, and any J splits the pot. I bet anyway and the raiser raises me. The button folds and I have to call. There's $79 in the pot and I already pumped in $27. I'm praying he's just got a jack.
He flips American Airlines. I'm beat on the river. That just made it even more painful because I was up before that card. I lost $33 on that hand alone. I wonder if I should have played it differently. Looking back, I figure I'd have done the same thing.
My last hand of the session also hurt. I'm dealt Hookers. Pocket Jacks. There seems to be a discussion in the poker world right now on whether Jacks are a medium pair or a high pair. In limit poker, they're probably worthless. I play them anyway.
I'm UTG and I call the BB. It's raised after me and everyone else folds. I call. The raise should have been a sign. The flop is 3-6-K, two clubs. I have to make a decision right here. Does he have a King? If he doesn't, I press this hand unless another scare card falls. If he does, I fold the first time he bets.
I decided on neither of the above, and that was my downfall. I checked and he bet. Right here, I should have raised. A check raise would have demonstrated strength. If he re-raises, I get out of the hand. If he just calls, I make another decision on the turn. Instead, I just call and get absolutely no information.
The turn is a 5 of diamonds. It's harmless. I check, he bets, I call. Am I an idiot? Why don't I see the holes in my play as they are happening? With the bigger bet on the turn, now's the perfect time for a check raise. If he calls or raises, I'll know he has at least the K and I'm beat. I just call.
The river is another 6. What I wouldn't give for a 6 right now. The idiot at the table checks, he bets, and the idiot calls. The guy not only had one K, he had two. Cowboys. Cowboys beat Hookers every time. Not even a six would have helped me. I played the hand horribly and it cost me $21.
Other than those two hands, I played about even. Winning a few pots and losing a few. The only good news was that I was playing a limit tourney at the same time. Here's the e-mail after it was over:
Congratulations UpForPoker on placing 1st in our Hold'em tournament on 6/27/2004 4:00:00 PM.
$90.16 have credited to your account.
Thanks for playing at Planet Poker and have a great day!
Sure, it's not winning $750, but it helped my bankroll! I'm starting to like this Texas Hold 'Em game again. Must have been the Bradoween Open to get my poker blood pumping again!