KKing David

Ruminations on poker

Archive for the tag “AA”

Ending Abruptly

Over the last few years, I’ve developed a strong preference for cash game poker over tournament poker.  When asked why I don’t like tournaments, the quick answer is “because they always end abruptly.”

I find that irritating.  Last night I made it to the final table of a private tournament that started with 33 players.  Seven remain.  There is a little extra at stake, as this is the final tournament of a year-long poker league.  The league winner is determined by points that are awarded based on each player’s finishing position in each tournament.  The points leader is also among the final seven, and I’m in second place overall.  If I finish two spots higher than him in this tournament, I’ll be tied for the points lead.  Winning the points title is worth a little over $2,500 (for larger tournament entry fees + travel costs), so I’m pretty motivated to win this game-within-a-game.

He’s trying to wait me out, folding virtually every hand and now severely short stacked with only two or three big blinds remaining.  I have more chips than he does, but also less than 5 BBs.

Everyone folds to the player on my right, who is on the button.  For purposes of this blog, I’ll refer to him as “Gary.”  He raises.  In the small blind, I have pocket aces.  Then we are all-in.

Then I’m out.  Abruptly.

Gary also is one of my best friends.  After he wins the tournament, he says “don’t be mad, I’ll buy you a beer.”



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This was a really weird situation at a $1/1 cash game last night.

Effective stacks are about $110.

I have QQ in middle position and raise to $6, which is a fairly typical raise for this game.  There is one caller after me, and one of the blinds also calls.  The dealer burns and turns over the flop, J-x-x.  I don’t recall the other cards, other than they were lower than the J.  I’m pretty happy with that flop and start developing my strategy for the hand.

Then the cutoff seat (I’ll call him “Tom”) says “Wait a minute!”  He had his back to the table as he was counting out a new stack of chips for someone who had gone bust in the previous hand and needed to re-buy.  The action passed by him before he could turn back around, so he hadn’t even looked at his cards.

Since this is a home game, with no rake and each player deals when it is his turn, we have to stop and figure out exactly what to do.  It can be tricky when the dealer is also a player, as well as when there is no floor supervisor to call for help.  I keep quiet – it was a good flop for me, but weighing in with a biased reaction might give away the strength of my hand, in addition to being bad form.

The group does the right thing.  The flop cards (but not the burn card) are scooped up off the table and put back on the deck, and the remaining deck is re-shuffled.  Since Tom was at the table when his cards were dealt, but performing an administrative function for which there is no non-playing person to handle, he should be allowed to act.

Tom looks at his cards, and after some hesitation, he calls the $6.

Great!  (Note the heavy sarcasm.)

Now I have one more person in the pot, who has position on me post-flop.  And a good likelihood of a flop that contains trouble for my Queens.

The new flop is delivered:  KQ6, with 2 clubs.


But also very drawy.  I cannot give a free card to someone with a flush or straight draw, and can expect to get called by quite a few hands, both draws and Kx.  The player in the blinds checks, and I bet $18, about 75% of the pot.

After one fold, Tom – the same Tom whose distraction caused this do-over – raises to $60.  I’ve played with him enough to believe his is pot-committed here, as he only has about $40-50 behind and I have him slightly covered.  The blind folds and I go all-in.

Tom turns over AA.

A few seconds later he is turning his back to the table again, to count out more chips for a player who just got felted.

I feel like this should remind me of a popular song about getting a do-over, but cannot think of it at the moment.  If it comes to me later, I’ll make a quick edit.


Love/Hate This Game

Last night I played in a live tournament with a private poker league that I joined during the summer.  The winner – whoever earns the most points over a span of 22 tournaments – will get his buy-in paid for the Main Event at the WSOP next summer.

I started poorly, then doubled up, then won some more to get to a stack over 49,000 chips. We start with 30,000 chips, and at this point there are 21 players remaining from the original 24.  In other words, I’m in good shape.

Or so I thought.  My pocket 7’s made a set on the flop, and I’m heads up against John (the same John from this prior post about a live cash game), and he’s on the button, so his pre-flop calling range (I had raised to 3BB’s, and he called) is pretty wide.  I’ll keep this short… he flopped a set of Q’s and barely had me covered, so the tournament is over.

I hate this game.

So I waited an hour for a cash game to start.  During the cash game, I knocked out a short stack who shoved pre-flop when I had AA, and later made a K-high straight flush (only had one of the cards in my hand; the board was a real action killer).  But overall played too loose and lost a few dollars.

Not terrible, but I still hate this game.

When I came home, now after 10:30 pm and I’ve been playing poker for several hours in the tournament and cash game, I still felt restless, so I logged into my online account and joined 2 tables.  On one of these tables, the following sequence occured:

First 12 hands… not much, lost 4BB’s in blind postings

Hand 13… AA, short stack has KK, win 36 BB’s

Hand 14… 88, flop a set, all-in with flush draw who misses, win 65 BB’s

Hand 15… 22, flop a set again, no action this time, win 4BB’s

Hand 16… I fold pre-flop

Hand 17… Ks Qc in small blind, flop KQQ and everybody checks, turn T, pre-flop raiser has AJ and my boat crushes his straight.  Win 98 BB’s.

Log out, go to bed.

I love this game!

Daily Debacle – Pocket Aces / Easy Fold

I actually played this hand right, but it sure didn’t go the way I wanted.

Last night in a private live cash game, $0.25 / 0.50 NL Hold’em.  It’s getting late and the game is going to break up in less than an hour.  Everyone is a regular.

I get AA in late/middle position.  Two players limp in front of me.  I raise to $2.75, a pot-sized raise.  5 players call, including both of the limpers.

Yes, five!  Jeez, this a a formula for getting hammered.  AA is so hard to fold and with six players in the hand, one pair is not very likely to win.  Against 5 random hands, AA is only 48% favorite to win.  Actually I was surprised upon seeing this figure, expecting it to be even lower.  Maybe I’ll hit a set on the flop…

Flop ($16.50):  Td 9d 8d.  It doesn’t get any wetter than that.  Straights, flushes, straight flushes…

I check to see if I have the A of diamonds.  Nope.

The small blind (Gary) leads out for $2, kinda small and suspicious if you ask me.  One of the limpers (Chad) calls.  The next limper (Darryl) raises to $10.  Hmmm…  A bet, call and raise all in front of the pre-flop aggressor.

After waiting patiently all night for a hand like this, my brain is struggling to send the nerve signals to my hand muscles to toss my pocket rockets into the muck.  But really!  This is probably the easiest fold of AA I’ll ever get.  Common sense prevails and I much the cards, followed by everyone else.  Darryl shows 6d 4d for a flopped baby flush.

Just for fun, the dealer runs out the remaining cards, which includes the 2d which would have made a 4-card flush on the board.

Just sayin…..


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