Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Marginal calls

Tuesday means homegame night. This time we were seven players, nice with a larger number than usual and new blood.

As usual there's a lot of theoretical poker discussions. I, for example, think I've foundd a weakness in my live game, at least at this homegame. We bet carefully, when there's a raise it's usually just 2*BB. The more aggressive betting style of our guest the last time was different and seemingly more correct. My weakness? Well, when I've gotten a good hand on the flop or have lots of outs, I tend to want to play it to a showdown, wanting to show my good hand to the admiration and praise of the others. However, "poker isn't a game of cards, it's a game of money played with cards". You don't score points for playing well but losing or get a bonus for good-but-second-best. At least not in Hold'em, but there are table games where you kinda sorta can.

So, the weakness is that by not bringing the hand to an early close, I leave myself open to being outdrawn. Stop it when you have a winning hand, don't let the bastards grind you down, Illegitimi Non Carborundum. Outbet the opposition.

Situation: I'm in the unraised BB with K6 of clubs and the flop comes K6 + something, all diamonds. Small blind to the right of me goes all-in shorter stacked. Hmm, two pair but a flush draw. There are two or three players to the left of me still in the hand. I go all-in with my big stack because that's probably the only thing that can scare them off, a raise or "just" calling SBs all-in could leave them open for hanging in there, and have any diamond or two. I have outs for a full house, which beats a flush if SB should have it which I don't think. The others fold and SB has nothing, at least not anything better than my two pair.

Or the time when I gambled and played 23 suited and the flop comes 23K. Knocked a pair of kings out calling his all-in.

Chip lead for long, but I lost a biiig chunk of it with a marginal call, after agonizing for a while. I have AQo, raise it to 1200 (blinds 200/400 I think) and a player goes all-in with about 7000. Think, think, think, groan. He's a bluffer and loose. Call. I have AQo, he has JKs. Coin toss, but he pairs on the flop and gets a straight on the turn.

Knocked out by him later with A7s against... JKs again! This time flopping trip kings.

Winner tonight, with seven players and four rebuys is... same as last time, our regular female player. She's on fire!

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