Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bar poker can be so frustrating

Well tonight was poker league night at Brother Bar & Grill. There are a lot of new people there lately and spoils are going to maniacs right now. The sheer volume of underdogs be played is staggering. I've been trying to play tight agressive poker lately, but that doesn't seem to be working.

Tonight I had played several key hands that seemed to twist my fate to the win.

The first big hand that I played I got 88 from middle position. I did a standard raise (3XBB). Only one person called. Let's call her regular manic girl. The flop comes Qs 9c 10c. I raised pot size and she instantly called me. I figured she was on a draw. The next card was a 8c. She raises 2XBB. I'm quite certain now she hit the flush or the straigh, but her bet is small enough to call since I now have 3 of a kind. The river is a blank. She had A J and hit the straight. So I should have thought about the double belly buster. I'm just glad my read was correct.

The next key hand had me early with KK and a 3.5XBB raise from the same position as the previous hand. Now I know I read this hand wrong. She called me from the button. The flop comes A 7s 4s. She moved all in. Now...I was thinking that she might have an ace, so calling seemed out of the question, but the more I think about it, she wouldn't have moved all in with ace with my preflop raise. She might have thought I had an ace...so in retrospect, she would only move all in with a flush draw. Unless she had A 7 or A 4. I know the way she plays, and she only did this because she was on a draw. And that read would have been correct. I layed down my kings and she showed Ks 8s. She was on the draw.

The most frustrating part of playing bar poker is the never end string of people willing to call without really thinking about what they are doing. We were on the bubble, 2 people to bust to make points. I'm in the BB. The blinds are 200/400 and I have 2400 left in chips. A bigger stack who has been a calling station, limps. Another big stack in the cutoff limps. Dealer folds and the LB folds. I look down and find KK. My guess is that these limpers aren't strong, so I raise all-in for another 2000 to call. The first limper thinks for a couple of minutes and tells everyone that he doesn't have Q 7 like the last time he called my all in. But he calls anyways. Everyone else now folds. He turns over Ah 6h. I know I should be excited, but really, I'm ready to get out of my chair. According to the odds calculator at CardPlayer.com, tells me that he's a 2:1 underdog, but I've been down this road before. The donkey wins...and he did. He spiked his ace on the flop.

Now, the question I pose to the universe is, how the heck are you supposed to play these people? It's hard to wait and actually hit a hand to make some chips, especially, when you aren't getting cards. But when you do get a hand, you have to lay it down because your tournament ends with someone calling with A 6 suited. Maybe I should have waited. Maybe I should have smooth called. I remind myself, that at no time was I putting money into the pot without the best hand.

Nights like tonight, I feel like my level of preception is down. I can't seem to focus on reading the situation. Bonnie was all in tonight and I noticed her pulse increased. Fortunately, I wasn't in the pot. For some reason, when I've been in the pot, I don't look at the person making the move. In the past, I spotted things that help me make my decisions. For Saturday, I need to keep watching the person that is about to act or has acted. Last league, that was what helped me get to where I got. I also did this at regionals with a lot of success.

Remember...look up! Think the situation through. Why did they just do that?