Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The return to form - I actually had cards too!

Poker league resumed last night. It summer, so the fields are much smaller than normal. There were only 8 tables last night, so at most there were 64, but our table wasn't full, so the number must be smaller.

The pressure if off for me, even if I qualify for the state tournament, I can't attend. It's all about the poker now. It's time to practice and mix it up.

I've been successful lately online but really changing the way I play the blinds and being in position. An example would be, early on in a tournament, when someone does a standard raise in position and comes around to me in the BB, if no one else has entered the pot, I'll call with almost any two cards. What I find is that most of the time, a post flop bet will take it down if they miss. I also get far few people trying to steal the blinds, especially if I go to show down with some random junk. I've also been entering more pots from position with marginal hands and then either baling on a hand or out playing people. Both of these adjustments to my game have helped maintain a healthier stack.

Last night, I rolled out these adjustments at league and the results were quite promising! While I made my biggest jumps in chip counts with good cards, I added a lot of small pots to my stack as well.

One more adjustment I made last night, I spent more time putting people on a hand and avoiding pots with the truly maniacal players in the league.

This wouldn't be a good poker night recap without my two favorite hands. I'd tell you the story of my exit from the tournament, but let's just say, losing 4 straight coin flips still hurts.

The first fun hand of the night came with me dealing. There were a lot of limpers, I think only one person folded pre-flop. I of course called with 22. Gotta love the ducks! The flop comes 3 K 2, two hears and a diamond. I raise pot size. He re-raises all-in. Everyone folds to me. OK. This is the same guy that a couple of weeks about told me what an idiot I was to push with a flush draw when all he had was top pair and a very weak kicker. I'm guessing, he's in a similar situation here. I was close, he had K 2. I called hoping to avoid a K. I did and he went home. Ducks aren't fun, until you have 3 of them.

The next hand came not much longer after this last one. I'm now in the BB. The blinds are 50/100. The cut-off calls the BB and everyone else folds. I looked down and found J 7o. What the heck, let's see a flop. The flop comes 7 3 7. Hmm, could this be a BB special? I bet out, pot size. He calls me. This guy I'm playing is a maniac, but he's not that good either. So I'm putting him on an over pair, AK, AQ, A7, A3, and maybe even 33. I'm leaning towards the A 3. People like to see flops with their aces. He wasn't visibly show signs of be really strong.

The turn is a J. GIN! The only hand I'm now worried about is JJ. He didn't react at all to the J; in fact, I'd say he was completely disinterested in it. I bet the pot again, but this time, I told him I didn't think he had a made hand and was hoping for more. He called. The river was a 6. I realize there is now a straight draw out there. I tell him that I know the 6 didn't help him and I bet the pot again. He tells me he did hit something. I actually at this time think he might actually have the 33 or ace 7. HE CALLS! He did have the 33 and wasn't really happy about the 7s full. I think he was trapping me. Second nuts is fun, even more so when it J 7!