Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bad day, good day, bad hour, good hour

I've been playing pretty crappy lately on NoblePoker.com's 2¢/4¢ tables. My original $2 freeroll win grew to about $11.50, but that's been dwindled down to $7, and back up to $11, then down to $8, then up to $10, and its now back down to $9. The players there are (duh) crazy-loose, so no matter what I've got, I'll have multiple callers or raisers. If I could play tight enough, that'd be primo, but the looseness is contagious, and I'll do stupid things like I did last week.

I've bought in for $1, and I'm now down to 75¢ after about 30 hands. Haven't won a thing yet, just blinds and folded pots. I get dealt KK on the big blind. I raise pre-flop, and after a few rounds, it's being capped at 8¢ by five of us.

The flop comes A69 rainbow. Small blind bets 2¢. What should I do here with three others left to play? The smart move is to fold. With four other players in, one of them has to have an ace, giving him top pair. But no, I'm so wedded to my kings -- my first good hand in what seems like forever -- that I raise to 4¢.

Even if I'd checked, I'd be able to get better information about the next three players. But no, the guy to my left folds, late position raises to 6¢, button calls, small blind calls, and I fold.

No. That'd be the right thing to do. Instead, I re-raise to 8¢. The other players all call.

The turn is a J. We all cap another 16¢ round. The river's a 4. Small blind folds in the middle of another 16¢ round. My kings lose to late position's A5o (pair of aces). What was I doing in there?

Going on tilt, I waste away my remaining buy-in over the next couple of hands going for straight draws.

So Friday night, I was feeling pretty low about my poker skills, which causes me to play tight, which usually helps my game. It's when I'm feeling good and cocky that I lose. Several folks stopped by and played, including TMIB who made his first poker night appearance (he played OK, but got crap cards the whole night, so he was out his borrowed $5 at the end).

Twice on Friday I beat my opponent with top pair and a very slightly minor kicker, like KQ vs. KJ, or AT vs. A9. I was up from the get-go, and ended the night $26 ahead.

Monday night I was feeling like I could do it again, and had the (very loose) Davis brothers over to play, along with hard-to-read Phil "Fualaau" and mix-it-up Trestin. I bought in for $10, and again, I made bad plays against the loose players and had to rebuy an hour later.

I tightened up my play, loosened up my tie, and slowly began to re-build my stack. The big money hand was against Phil, when we were both in for about an $8 pot with something like 85J-8-3 on the board, no flush possible. I was holding JQ for jacks and eights, and Phils betting told me he didn't have the eights (too agressive after the flop to bet on middle pair like that). He either had a Jx, or pocket fives. After agonizing for about three minutes, I called his final $3, and he showed his JT. Nice.

Strangest hand of the night 1: I get dealt KK, and Jon, to my left, gets dealt cards, even though he had no money left. A misdeal is called, and I save my kings by quickly tossing Jon a buck to keep my cards alive. Nobody objects, but they know I've got power cards. At the end of the hand, my kings stand up, and I've won $1.25 (including 50¢ of the $1 I gave Jon).

Strangest hand of the night 2: Three handed, Tres accidentally shows his 4s pre-betting. He realizes it, though, so he knows I know one of his cards.

I've got QT, bet 75¢ (my universal "I've got a hand" bet), and he calls. This tells me he's either got A4, K4, or 44. There's really nothing else he could have. The flop comes rag rag Queen. I bet $1, and he calls (!?). The turn is another rag, he calls another bet of mine, the river's another rag (no straight or flush possible, if I remember right), and I bet $2. With my pair of queens, his 4x can't win. To my surprise, he thinks I'm bluffing and calls.

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