Saturday, August 26, 2006

Poker and blackjack and poker and blackjack and poker

Poker 1:
Here's a big hand I played at lunch yesterday. It's at a 1¢/2¢ NLH table, $5 max buy in. I've been playing for about 20 minutes, am in the big blind (isn't that how most bad beat stories start?), and a player who just bought in one hand ago is to my right in the small blind. Eight players at the table.

I'm dealt A Q.

The player to my left, nukite, a somewhat loose player, calls the 2¢. Three callers, two folders, and it's back to the small blind, who raises to 10¢. There's 20¢ in the pot, and I'm hoping that the 10¢ is enough to scare off everyone else. I call. Nukite calls, and it folds around to the button, who surprises me by calling, too.

With 44¢ in the pot, the flop is 5 J 9. Doesn't help me at all. The small blind checks.

I need to find out where I am in the hand, though, so I bet 25¢. If someone comes back over me, I'm folding. If they call, I know they're on a diamond flush draw.

Nukite and the button fold. The small blind calls. Flush draw, indeed.

The turn is T. He's missed his flush so far, and he checks. Time for me to make it not worth his while to go for the 17% chance of hitting his flush. I bet 50¢. Eez pozeetion bet. An over bet? Probably, but on the off chance he's got the 5 or T, I want him to think I've got the nuts, or close to it. I'm not close to dead, either -- I've got about 11 outs, by my count.

He -- amazingly -- smooth calls. A second ago I knew he was drawing. Now, I've got no idea. $1.94 in the pot.

The river is the 5 I feared he might have. That's not one of my outs.

If he was on his flush draw, he's hit it. If he was sitting on two pair (jacks and tens? would he raise pre-flop with this?), this has to scare him a little. He bets 28¢, a tiny bet compared to the size of the pot. He's still got $3.79 in his stack, so he's got to be trying to suck me in here. If I were him, and was trying to squeeze a few cents out of me, I'd put in a bet of about that size.

I've got nothing -- ace high -- so I know if I call him, I'm going to lose. Fold or raise? I choose to raise. How much? Well, I need to imply that I've hit the flush, and it's higher than whatever he's got. The pot, with his bet, is $2.21. I've got $4 left in my stack. On a stone cold bluff, I push it all into the pot. All in, representing that I have the flush myself.

He thinks, then mucks his cards. To try and tilt him -- don't you dare push me around on the big blind! -- I flash my cards to the table, chow down on the monster pot (minus the 10¢ rake), and end up +$2.40 on one hand.

So... what could he possibly have had to make him raise pre-flop, call big bets on the turn and river, and then fold under pressure? Maybe A K? That wouldn't explain the small bet on the river. Pocket nines? No, then he would have bet out on the turn instead of checking and calling.

What about Q T? I don't know that I'd raise with that pre-flop on the small blind, but that would explain the rest of the betting. That's my best guess.

Blackjack 1:
Quick one. Was down to zero after ten hands.

300%/$75 bonus at Everest Casino: -$25
Something-out-of-nothing to date: $4,350

Poker 2:
Got an e-mail from Empire Poker offering me $15 free to play with. I hadn't played there in over a year, so tried it out. I had $0.77 in my account there still, but played it like a play money table, and lost it all in about ten minutes. Bah.

Blackjack 2:
I'm waiting for a slow-coming bonus from Bet Casino. 100%/$50, 35x WR, non sticky. I'll start this one tonight.

Poker 3:
I've completed a very long download of the poker client for 3D Xbox-like online poker. I'll try it out tonight, too. I'm hoping the cool graphics are good fish bait.

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