Monday, May 22, 2006

Hands I Love

Some hands in poker are just too good to be true. (I like those stories much better than the bad beat ones.) I took plenty of bad beats this weekend - along with some crappy playing on my part - but hands like these make the game worth playing.

In late position, I find myself holding pocket 3s. I limp, as I usually do with tiny pocket pairs. The big blind raises 2 or 3x the BB. I'm the only one who calls. The flop is perfect - an ace and the two remaining 3s in the deck. Score! Of course, my evil opponent is holding an ace. Big slick, if I remember correctly. After calling his bet on the flop, I raised on the turn (which was crap) and he called. The river brings another ace and he pushes me all in. Poor guy didn't know what hit him, and I couldn't click the button to call fast enough.

My only problem with the hand? I bought in short. Instead of doubling up the max for the table, I only doubled up about half of the max. Live, I will always buy in for the max if possible. Unfortunately, playing online has gotten me to start with half of the max. It's hands like these that make you want to kick yourself for this habit...

I've learned that short buy-ins have their advantages though. Most people will play differently against someone who is short. Players who normally wouldn't call your bets will call if they know that the max they can lose won't break them. If you're well above the max buy-in for the table, people tend to be more aggressive because many players will not call all-ins since they don't want to lose their profit. If you build up your stack to the max buy-in, many players don't realize that you've doubled your buy-in. And when someone with a comparable sized stack sucks out on you, they really aren't taking the max buy-in from you.

I know many people would disagree with that last statement, but I look at my bankroll at the beginning and end of each session. If I have doubled up my short buy-in and lose it all, I'm only losing my short buy-in. If I buy in for the max and lose it, I'm still losing a max buy-in. I try not to take each table's immediate results as the judge of how well I did that day. I use the total sum of the session as an indicator of a good day or bad day.

I've learned I still suck at poker. I haven't been able to concentrate like I should, so I've been staying away from the tables. I think it's better for my bankroll and my general outlook on poker. I know I get frustrated too easily when I have a few losing sessions in a row. I can't consistently win if I'm not focusing on my play. I'm a smart person (in general, no comments from the peanut gallery). Even I can see that I need to stay away. Now let's see how long it takes before I break down and hit the tables for a marathon session...


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I really enjoy reading your blog. If i were you i would go to and submit this blog so thousands of others can see it for free. well i look forward to all the updates., thanks again'


2:04 AM  
Blogger iamhoff said...

Unlike the shameless bot before me, I am a real blogger!

Ain't it great when you flop a monster and can just nuke whoever might be holding the 2nd nuts? Nicely done!

2:46 PM  
Blogger jusdealem said...

Sometimes it's a very good idea to step away from playing and take a break. I've done this many times! Good luck to ya when you do come back to the tables!

5:26 PM  

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