No Limit Texas Hold'em

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Ricketts

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 11, 2004
16,140
106
Price / Newitt
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Ricketts said:
We played for the first time at Crown today.

I got knocked out really early which was pretty unlucky.

Picked up KK so raised pre-flop, 2 others called.

flop was JQ3 so i was happy to not see an Ace, so i went all in. One guy called.

Flipped them over and he had AK, and the river card was a 10 so he made a straight. Wasnt happy. :mad:
This was kinda what i was looking for.

 

LukeHodge15

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 18, 2004
5,336
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Vic
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HFC.LFC.LAL.LAD.SF49.BB
best sites i play

espn-poker room
pacific poker

just caught the end of the thread so apologys if they have already been mentioned
 

YOTC

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 2, 2004
17,545
1,577
NoR
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[ ] Check Boxes
I was in a freeroll.......sitting 18th (worth $1) with only 3k in the bank.

Had 2,7 diamonds. Thought i best go in this hand and win as much as possible. Got 2 pair on the flop, won 17k.

Next hand went all in, and came out with 45k.

So there were 11 left, this guy raised it, i reraised all in with A,6. He has A,2.....he got the 2 on the flop and i needed a 6 on the river, and i got it.

I ended up finishing 3rd and picked up $2, but heres the good part.

I doubled the $2 up and had $4, doubled that up again, $8.

turned my $8 into $12.....then this guy with alot of money tried to scare me out of a pot but i had a full house. SO i had $24.

Then i had about $21 and had 7,7.....put $2 in for the flop...came up 2,3,4...$0.50 for the turn, no worries. Picked up my 7. The first guy put in a $3 bet, the 2nd guy called it. I quickly went all in expecting to pick up a cheap pot, but both of them called me.

The river was a Q and i won.

Picked up a very handy $58 from that pot. Not bad from $2 eh? :D
 

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OldSchool

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 10, 2002
11,756
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Lonie_from_50 said:
Great entertainment, whether playing online, with mates, or as always, watching on TV
That's the way I see it. A few of us from work play occasionally at Crown with the sit n go challenges on a Friday night. Knock off work at 5.00pm, a quick bite to eat and then have a game starting at 6.00pm. Cheap night.

We have a game every couple of months on a Saturday night taking turns in hosting it and we also play occasionally online at Pokerstars.

On top of that I occasionally enjoy watching it on the tele and even enjoyed watching ESPN's Tilt.

Anyone else see that show?
 

Falchoon

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 15, 2002
28,382
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red+black said:
Was that skill or luck?

You'll need to have an answer prepared when you bring home a few mill from the US :)
It was a great deal of skill combined with a great deal of luck. JJ up against 10,10 as opposed to QQ type of luck. Got my chip stack moving in a great way as we got down to the last 20 or so.


Let's just say I'd be very happy to have my poker "winnings" of the past year taxed.
 

Daytripper

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 9, 2003
15,667
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Well done Falchoon.
I liked Tilt as well.

The reading below is a little long but provides a good insight. I grabbed it off another punting site.

"This little blog comes from zeejustin.com. If you don't know who ZeeJustin is he is a 19 year old professional online and WPT tourney player. He has won tons of cash both online and finished like 3rd or 4th in European Poker Tour Deuville last year.

Here is a blog from his site going into the depth's of his tourney mind. It truly is amazing and so mind boggling at the same time.

"On Sunday, I entered a $350+28 tournament on Party. The tournament attracted an astounding 2,334 players, and first place prize was just over $171,000. The Stars Sunday tournament was also big, and I decided that since the prize pools were so big, and since I could use a bit of real tournament practice before the upcoming WPT, that I would only play these two tables for the day, and really concentrate on playing my A game.

The easiest way to win at virtually all limits online is to play extremely tight solid poker. Lots of players, great winning players even, will play this tight game, and mix it up randomly. They will throw in random steals here and there, and make random bluffs too. One of the biggest differences between a great player and a world class player, is the world class player doesn’t do things randomly. He can give you a reason for every raise with trash he makes, tell you why he bluffed in any given spot, and justify every single play he makes.

For this tournament, I concentrated on the details and played my A game. I’m going to take you inside my tournament game, and show you how I think. Instead of my normal tournament reports where I just summarize a bunch of hands, I’m going to go into greater detail in the hands where I think the reader can learn something.

In the 3rd hand of the tournament, UTG and UTG+2 limped. I was 2 off the button and called with 86o hoping to hit a flop big. The cut off and the blinds came along. 6 players saw the flop of 632 rainbow. It checked to me, and I felt like I had the best hand, but my hand was too vulnerable to give a free card, so I bet 60 into the 90 chip pot. That took it down.

With the blinds at 10/20, I found TT in middle position. The UTG player opened for 75, and another EP player called. I also called the raise and so did the small blind making it 4 players to a flop. The flop came JT6 with two clubs. The SB checked, and UTG bet 275 into the 320 chip pot. EP called, and I decided to push all-in for 1500.

UTG probably had an overpair, although AK was also a decent possibility. I know that I have to fear any queen king or ace that comes. With EP calling the bet, I would also have to fear any card that completes a straight draw, as well as any club. With so many cards that scare me, I didn’t want to call and play a guessing game on the turn. It was better to just push all-in. I also get the added benefit of masking the strength of my hand. Very few players will play a set this fast, so if UTG does have an overpair, I will most likely get all his chips anyway.

As it turned out, UTG had QQ and EP had A8 of clubs (a 4 flush), and they both called my all-in. The turn and river both blanked, and I had 4500 chips very early in the tournament.

An orbit later, with blinds at 15/30, I found KK in middle position. UTG limped, and I raised to 120. Only UTG called, and the two of us saw a flop of 752 with 2 diamonds (I had 1 diamond). UTG checked, and I bet 225 into the 285 chip pot. UTG called.


The turn was a 6 of spades, putting a second flush draw on the board. There were 735 chips in the pot, my opponent had 715 chips left. I still had over 4,000 chips behind. A lot of players will just go all-in here to scare a flush draw or a straight draw away, but I decided to bet 450.

Since this pot is heads up, it is easy to determine my equity. If I push all-in, my opponent will most likely fold any draw, thus his equity is zero. If I bet 450, my opponent can fold for the same zero equity. He also has the option to call. If he has a flush draw, he has 8 outs (Note that one diamond is in my hand). That is the hand I am most worried about. In order to calculate his equity, we need to make assumptions for the river. Let’s assume that he will check fold when he misses, but when he hits, he will bet and I will call. Note that I will be committed to call any river bet if I think there’s any reasonable chance of having the best hand.

We have now created two situations if he calls. He can miss and lose 450 chips (equity in this situation is -450). Or, he can call and hit. His equity in this situation is the number of chips in the pot plus the number of chips he will win from me. 735 + 715 is 1450. For this play to be profitable, he needs to hit 1 out of (1450 / 450) times, or 1 out of 3.22 times. He will hit 1 out of ((44-8)/ 8) times, or 1 out of 4.5 times. This means that calling has negative equity.

By betting 450 instead of going all-in, I give my opponent a chance to make an incorrect play. If he makes an incorrect play, my benefit is exactly the same as the equity he loses, and I therefore prefer my opponent to make an incorrect play. Chances are he will just fold anyway, but why wouldn’t I give my opponent a good chance to make a worse decision?

As it turned out, my opponent had A6 of diamonds and decided to call. The river was a 4 of diamonds, one of the scariest cards in the deck. However, there were 1635 chips in the pot, so I had to call my opponents all in of 265.

Given this new piece of information (the opponents hand), we can now reevaluate the situation. Two important things are changed. First off, instead of having 8 outs, my opponent actually had 13 outs (8 diamonds, 3 aces and 2 sixes). Secondly, since my opponent has a pair, we can also assume he will call when he misses as he will be committed with only 265 chips left, and 1635 chips in the pot.

Now when he calls and misses, he loses 715 chips. When he calls and hits, he still wins 1450 chips. For this to be profitable, he needs to hit 1 out of (1450 / 715) times, or 1 out of 2.03 times. He will hit 1 out of ((44-13)/13) times, or 1 out of 2.38 times. This means that even though he had 5 additional outs, his call still had negative expectation assuming he would call any river.

To most people, this will seem like a simple hand, but as you can see, there really is a lot to think about. I should clarify that I simplified the scenario by giving my opponent 8 outs. In reality, he can have many hands that are much weaker, and a few hands that are significantly stronger. You simply have to make a reasonable estimate at the table based on the likelihood of his different holdings. The most complex part of this hand, however, is knowing how big of a mistake your opponent is capable of making. If he will call an all-in, the correct play is to just go all-in. If not, you should basically bet as much as you think he will call (unless of course that amount is small enough to give his call positive equity).

There is not enough time to do all this thinking at the table, so you need to do this type of thinking away from the table. After you do this, you will have a better feel for the math without having to go over all of the possible scenarios in the middle of the hand.

A couple hands later, I found 98o in the big blind. A loose, bad player limped in EP, and so did the button. I checked and the 3 of us saw the flop of A93 with 2 hearts (I had no hearts). We all checked the flop. The turn was an off-suit deuce. It checked to the button who bet 30 (the minimum) into the 105 chip pot. I couldn’t put him on an ace, so I called thinking my hand was probably good. EP also called. The turn was an off-suit 7. I checked and EP bet 125 into the 195 chip pot. Given the way he played so far, there was no way I could put EP on an ace or a pocket pair higher than 9’s. It seemed much more likely that he was bluffing on the river since no one had shown any strength. There was also the possibility of a missed flush draw, or that he rivered a pair of 7’s. I was only really worried about my pair of 9’s being out kicked, or a rivered two pair, but I thought the other possibilities were much more likely. I called, and EP showed KQo. My 9 was good.

During 75/150 blinds, a player 4 off the button opened for 450. He had a stack of 5500. I called on the button with 99 and a stack of 5k. The flop came KJ8. He checked. Very few players will check this flop with a hand that hit the flop. It is very likely that he has a pocket pair lower than jacks, or AQ. I bet 700 on the flop. The fact that I had 99 here is irrelevant. I will make this play with any two cards. This is a very standard hand. Basically, when someone raises preflop and checks a flop like this, it is usually because they missed and are afraid the flop hit you. My read was correct and he folded.

At 100/200 blinds, a player with 9k opened for 600 utg. I had 6k in middle position and called. A lot of beginning players feel inclined to reraise with QQ, but it is often better to see a flop. You can easily get away if an A or K flops and save yourself money vs. hands like AK, or even hands like AJ. Also, most underpairs and other inferior hands will simply fold to a reraise. Note that is almost never applies if the stacks are small, or the pot has not yet been raised.The player in the small blind raised to 1400, UTG called, and so did I.

The flop was T84 with 2 diamonds, and the SB bet 1,000 into the 4.4k pot. UTG folded. I did not think the SB would make a bet this small with KK or AA, so I felt like my hand was best. I pushed all-in, and SB folded.

I had 13k at 200/400 blinds when I found AKo 2 off the button. It folded to me and I opened for 1000. Only the SB called. The flop was AQ8 rainbow, the SB checked. I bet 1500 into the 2.4k pot, and the SB minraised to 3000. I called. The turn was a 3. My opponent had 10.5k chips, I had 9.1k chips and there were 8.4k chips in the pot. When my opponent checked the turn, I ruled out him having two pair or a set. Surely he would follow up with another bet if he had either of those hands. I put him on a weak ace and thought about how I could get him to double me up.

I bet 2700 into the 8400 chip pot. It’s a small bet, and I figured my opponent would likely call it with a weak ace. Notice that he only has 3 outs with a weak ace, so I don’t have to worry too much about protecting my hand. He called my bet of 2700.

The river was a 3. This was a great card for me. If my opponent has Ax, it is likely that he will call the river since he now splits the pot with any ace with a higher kicker except for AK. Also, my turn bet made it so that there was just under 14,000 chips, and I had 6400 behind. I moved all-in, and sure enough my opponent felt committed and called with A7.

Note that the small turn bet is crucial. It is small enough so that he will call it with a weak hand on the turn, but also big enough so that he will feel committed on the river. Finding the balance between those two aspects can be crucial.

Another example of where pot size and stack size determines the correct play came up during 400/800 blinds. It folded to the small blind who minraised. I decided to call with 92s in the big blind and try to take it away if I sensed weakness. I will call in this spot with almost any 2 cards. It is such a huge advantage to have position in spots like this. I also think the minraise from the small blind is terrible. Since he is out of position, it is to his advantage to keep the pot small. It would be much better for him to call. The other option is of course to make a big raise, and not have to worry about postflop play. Unless he has aces or kings, minraising is horrid.

The flop came K83 with two diamonds giving me a four flush. My opponent checked. There were 3200 chips in the pot. My opponent had 7600 behind, and I had him way covered with 25k chips. Often times, with a flush draw in similar spots, I will bet as a semi bluff. There are two betting options here. I can make a normal bet of around ¾ the pot. This gives my opponent the chance to check raise me and put me in an awful position. On the other hand, I can just move all-in, but an ovebet like that looks too suspicious, and the last thing I want is to get a call from a terrible hand that has my 9 high beat. Taking a free card seemed much more profitable.

The turn was another 8 putting a second flush draw on the board. My opponent bet 1700 chips into the 3200 chip pot. I decided that my opponent had either a really weak hand or a really strong hand. A weak hand makes sense because he didn’t follow up with his preflop raise on the flop. A strong hand also makes sense if he was slowplaying his hand on the flop, or just made trips on the turn. I called his bet, hoping to hit a flush and take all his chips on the river. I also decided that he would most likely bet with a huge hand on the river, so if he checked, I would move all-in to push him off his marginal hand.

The river was the ace of diamonds completing my flush. My opponent moved all-in for 5900 into the 6600 chip pot, and I had an easy call. He turned over A6o, and my read was right. If the river wasn’t an ace, he would have almost surely checked and folded to my all-in. I was sitting in great shape with 35,000 chips after that hand.

Not long after that, we were on the bubble and my table started playing very slowly and very tight, trying to make it into the money. I did what I always do with a big stack in this spot and started stealing blinds from the players that I thought were weak. Things backfired a bit at 500/1000 blinds… sort of. A player with 13,500 chips opened for 3300 in middle position. I had A5o in the small blind. 3300 was a large raise for the table, and I felt that it meant he really wanted to just take the blinds and not worry about playing a big pot on the bubble. I reraised to 15,000 to put him to the test. He thought for a while and finally called with AQo. Oops! Luck, however, was on my side, and I spiked a 5 on the turn.

A lot of players will look back on spots like this and think, “Man that was stupid of me.” The truth is, you can’t be results oriented like that in poker. Sure he called with a better hand, but I don’t regret making a move. He thought for a while before calling with AQo. I really put him to the test. If he had a hand that was just slightly worse, he would have folded for sure. The table was playing really tight, backing off to any real pressure, and no one was playing any big pots, and my opponent in this hand was no exception up to this point. There is no play in poker that you can make with a 100% success rate, so when you get caught, you need to look at more than just the results.

I kept stealing blinds until we were in the money and I had a monster stack of 60,000 chips. I was right behind the chip leader.

During 1k/2k blinds, I found aces on the button. A loose and bad player limped in middle position, and I raised to 7000. He called. The flop came KJ7, and my opponent pushed all-in for 33,500 into the 17k pot. I had been watching my opponent carefully for a while, and we even had a few confrontations. Against most players, I will call this instantly. Against the opponent in this hand, I almost broke my mouse from clicking call too furiously. As it turned out, he had KQo. The turn and river blanked, and I became the first player in the tourney to break 100k chips. I had a huge chiplead.

Another huge hand came up during 2k/4k blinds. I opened for 10k in early position with AK of hearts and only the small blind called. The flop came T83 with 2 diamonds and my opponent moved all-in for 26,500. There were 24k chips in the pot. There are three hands you will be shown in this spot. The first and most likely hand is a couple of overcards that missed the flop like KQo. The second most likely hand is a draw of some sort, most likely a flush draw. The third hand he could have is a small pocket pair. Given these three ranges of hands, and that only the least likely hand is ahead of me, I decided to call. He showed AQo, and I was a huge favorite. The turn was a jack, and the river a queen – giving me the nut straight.

A lot of people told me this was a great call, but to be honest, I think it is a very easy call. If my opponent had a huge hand, or he had hit the flop big, there is no way he would have played his hand that fast. I raised preflop, so at the very least he would expect me to bet and try to get a check raise in. The fact that he moved all-in indicated that he wasn’t strong and that he wanted to take the pot down right there. I should also mention that the pot was laying me just under 2-1 to call. If my read is off and he has a hand like T9o, then I need 3-1 to call. Calling would be a mistake if I knew he had this hand, but not a huge mistake. If instead I had folded, and my opponent showed KQo, I would have made a MUCH bigger mistake than calling vs T9o.

After this hand, my monster stack got bigger and I had 150,000 chips. I lost a lot of chips during 3000/6000 blinds when the small blind pushed all-in with KTo, and I called with AQo in the big blind. It’s frustrating losing a pot with over 50,000 chips when you get the chips in with the best hand, but I still had almost 100,000 chips to work with, so I wasn’t gonna get worried just yet. Little did I know that my demise was just two hands away.

During 3000/6000 blinds it folded to a player 2 off the button who pushed all-in for 1000 (not even enough to call the blinds). I had QQ on the button and raised to 16,000. Only the big blind called. The flop came T65 with 2 diamonds. My opponent checked, and I bet 20,000 into the 36,000 chip pot. My opponent check raised to 40,000. This was a somewhat worrisome bet, but in a button vs. big blind confrontation, my hand was too strong to do anything but push. I moved all-in for 74,000, and he called and flipped up TT for top set. The turn and river blanked, and I was out of the tournament.

This is another spot where even though the results were ugly, there is no reason why I should regret my play. QQ is a monster hand in that scenario, and it’s unfortunate that I ran into a better hand. There is no way I could have even considered a fold on that board, and I’m not going to question the way I played it.

If you only take one thing from this article, it should be this: poker is a very complex game, and if you want to become great, you have to consider all of the smaller details. Sometimes the math may drive your decision, and other times it may be a read on your opponent. Whatever your reason is for making a certain play, make sure you have one. Don’t bet just because you raised preflop. Don’t move all-in just because you have a flush draw. Don’t fold just because your opponent moved all-in. Think things through.

My goal in this article was to give you a feel for what kind of things I think about at the table. Now that you know the factors that go into each decision I make, you can begin thinking on the same level. No one will ever be perfect at poker, but the more you think about these concepts, the closer you will be.
— Justin Bonomo"
 

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