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Friday, January 06, 2006

Cry Me a River

My love affair with the NLHE ring games continues. I've been playing the ring games on Full Tilt, and tourneys on PokerStars. I'm not sure why I broke it out like that, but it's causing me to ignore PokerStars and my subpar tourney performance of late. I also love Full Tilt because of the Mac client. I may start playing there exclusively, to save the trouble of firing up Virtual PC on ye olde powerbooke.

Enough with the Fult Tilt pimpage. Everyone should buy a Mac, and everyone should play on Full Tilt. Well, now I'm done.

Also, immediately following my anti-strategy post, we have here a strategy post. Or at least commentary on a hand I played. I'm whimsical and contrary like that.

I played a hand last night at a .25/.50 NLHE table that highlights the crippling effect of weak betting. It's the very first hand, and I'm dealt Ac5s in the BB. Folded to MP, who raises to $1, his left calls, folded to me. I decide to see a flop and call for another .50.

Flop comes Kc Ah As. Nice, but if someone else is holding an A, I'm out-kicked. I check, ready to fold to a decent bet. The other two check. Either they're both scared, or slowplaying.

Turn comes Js. Well now, I now longer have to worry about the A, unless one of them has AK, AQ or AJ. Based on preflop betting, I consider it unlikely. It is possible, however, that one of them decided to play QT, and just hit a straight. I figure that one of them is going to bet, and since it's conceivable that I'm beat, I'll probably fold to a 3/4 or pot-sized bet. I check, and original raiser bets $1, his left calls. This isn't enough information, so I raise to $4. Both call. I figure at least one of them has me beat, but I get to see one more card.

5c comes on the river. So now I've beaten the straight and the Ax. I've already ruled out AK, AQ and AJ, so I figure I've got the nuts at this point, but at least one of the other players thinks he's the winner. I bet a measly $3 to bring out a raise, but both players call. I take it down and they muck. $24.25 to me, after being willing to fold on both 3rd and 4th street to any aggressive bet.

Original raiser had AT, and complains about the river. I'm not sure why...the best he had was a tie if I don't hit that 5. Other player had hit the straight on the turn, and must have thought he was being crafty with his slowplay. If he figured he was that far ahead, though...why not raise on the river? I didn't stay at the table for very long, but I imagine that guy was just a calling station and thought he was reeling us in.

So, they both had a chance to take the pot outright. The AT could have bet strong on the flop, and the QT should have bet the turn, in order to drive out the straight and flush draws. Neither one gave an indication that they were trying to maximize the return on their hands -- they simply played weak-tight and it bit 'em.

My favorite part, of course, is that they both saw it as a bad beat, and thought the river beat them. I'll happily accept the luckbox table image, especially from people that play so weakly that they don't recognize their own culpability in my win.


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