Glenn's Poker Journal

Husband to FeliciaLee.. here are some of my poker adventures in 'bilking the internet poker machine, six dollars at a time' (--quoted from Sean, Anisotropy).

Location: United States

NOT a poker blogger!

Monday, May 31, 2004

Uphill Battle

Just a few days ago I reported that how this was my highest earning month. At that point I was at 800. I looked at my daily averages and I found that I could very well get myself to 1000.

One of the things that I did in order to try this was “bonus whoring” (as my wife likes to call it). I got an email from Paradise that any reloads starting this last Friday to yesterday (Sunday) would be given a 10% bonus. Kewl! So, I cashed out most of my money and waited to Friday to redeposit. Come Friday, I redeposit and started playing to try to build up my rake in order to release the bonus money.

I’ve always wondered how I would do without hit-and-running on Paradise. Well, this short amount of time is probably not a great indication, but it’s pretty rocky! I was hoping that my normal playing would at least keep me break even, if not over. That, combined with the bonus money that I had coming, I’d get up to my thousand dollar goal. Nope. If anything, the bonus money kept me even!

I started thinking about it; my play, my pressing for the bonuses. I think I stopped doing something that was critical to my game plan. I didn’t leave tables when I found them bad. I was so focused on getting to my thousand goal, I kept playing when normally I would have quit. Especially against certain opponents. Therefore, I stopped playing my game and focused too much on the bonus whoring and that milestone.

From reading Roy Cooke’s book, he talks about reviewing your game. I have had to do this in my uphill battle. I used the power of the Internet to my advantage in the past; to be able to get up and move to a different table at a moments notice. Allowing me to record a quick win, escape aggressive players, and keeping my game more of a mystery by not staying long at any particular table.

So here I sit on the last day of the month, still $40 short of my goal. I’ve played more today, and have just covered my loss for yesterday. I think I’m going to take a rest and not be so concerned of going those last few feet. Normally, you’d want to keep pressing. The pinnacle is so close you can see it, it’s just a few more feet away. But the struggle has left you so short of breath, the air so thin. I rather not put myself at peril. I can tell my game is suffering from the pressing. I’m not focused on my game, but my goal. I’m going to take a breather and put my game first.

Yesterday Felicia said that I was snippy with her all day. Thinking about it, I probably was stressing so much from having so many losing sessions. Yet another reason to take a break. The pressing was affecting my emotions as well.

All in all, I’m very happy with how much I made this month. Not quite getting there gives me a goal for next month. However, this time, I’m keeping to my game plan!

"It's important not to let a situation like this drive you to chase in future situations because of the taste of what-might-have-been. The biggest losers over time in poker are those who let results, rather than analysis, drive their decision making."
Real Poker II, The Play of Hands, by Roy Cooke

Posted by Glenn

Saturday, May 29, 2004


While I hesitate to say "of the day" (don't expect this to be a daily thing), I just couldn't pass up putting this in:

"He was an easy player to read. He was timid, genuinely scared. I felt this was the highest game he had everplayed and he was taking a shot at making a score. All that being true and me being the kind and warm-natured poker player I am, I decided to attack this guy with ferocity."

An interesting coinsidence in this chapter where this quote was taking from (Real Poker II, The Play of Hands, by Roy Cooke), was that he used a T8s hand to attack this guy with; T8 being one of the hands that Fossilman showed after shoving his large stack all-in.

Posted by Glenn

Friday, May 28, 2004

misc goulash

I've really enjoyed seeing quotes on other people's blogs and have wanted to do the same with mine when I find something I really enjoy. I forgot yesterday, and I had a really good one too--which I'll save for later :-D

Most of my quotes will come from whatever one book I happen to be reading at the time. Unlike the wife, I can't read 12 at a time ;-) Currently, I'm reading Real Poker II, The Play of Hands, by Roy Cooke. This is an excellent read, as supported by it's high rating from Mason Malmuth (who doesn't usually highly rate non-2+2 books, really says something):

"My friend kindly informed me that friendship did not include listening to me b*tch about winning a $1500 pot."

This is in the chapter talking about confidence. Timing is always interesting. I'm currrently sitting on my biggest winning month ever (chump change for people like Cooke) and there have been times this month that I feel like just quiting for the month and being happy with my win. What? No, I can't. I know I can keep winning. I know I can hit a grand for the month. I want to succeed, but all too often the urge to just sit on my laurels possesses me. I already overcame that urge when I hit 800 earlier this month, only half way through. Then I hit a bad losing streak. Lost and lost. It depressed me that I kept losing at my original bread and butter, Omaha 8. Draw helped me out of that train. I booked win after win in Draw. Played more of it, knowing that I can win there. This confidence helped me continue playing Omaha. Sometimes we just need something to keep us going; to boost our confidence. To inforce the believe that, yes, I am a winner. I can win and be successful at this.

OK, now I'll leave off with the other quote I meant to put in the previous post:

"She has spanked me a few times, I've spanked her a few times...I'm told that some people think getting spanked is fun...I don't think either of us would have it any other way!"
Real Poker II, The Play of Hands, by Roy Cooke

Posted by Glenn

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Let's Blog, Shall We?

OK, it’s been a long time since I posted anything. I seem more inclined to write about bigger events, away from the humdrum of the daily grind. However, that is me, a daily grinder. So here’s a little peak into the Daily DOMIT.

I’m actually rather excited today. Yesterday and the day before I passed a few milestones and am feeling proud for the micro and low limit person that I am. This month is my first month making over $800 (Whoohoo!). When you’re grinding the micros, $20-$30 in a day is awesome (-grin-). The Binion’s NLHE (that I’ve blogged about in the past) helped make that possible, and it’s actually something out of the ordinary, but I’ll take it! It’s still money that I made and will help give myself a goal for following months. How shall I go for that goal if I don’t make it to Binion’s? Well, lately I’ve been trying to move up levels in certain areas and I’m hoping that I’ll be successful. If not, I’ll take it from there.

Also, I’ve reached certain dollar amounts on certain sites, like Planet and Paradise. Planet and Pacific are my micro-grinding origins. I’ve hit a high in Pacific a while back and already cashed some out. Ahh, cashing out. What started as an experiment, taking a free $20 that Pacific gave me, and making it into hundreds via micro grinding, was thrilling. Similarly with Planet, I won $8 in a freeroll a long time ago and yesterday hit a high there (and, this is after transferring $100 to my wife’s account a little while back—which she more than tripled in a shorter time than I would have been able to, lol).

Paradise, in a way, I’m more proud of. We had $40 there that was transferred from a friend. We (Felicia and I) tried Paradise a long time back when we were first starting out in poker. We played Stud for $1/2 stakes. We lost. Felicia did better than I, but in the end, we lost the $40-$50 that we initially transferred. Now, fast forward a year or more, and Felicia has a friend that needed $40 on a different site, like Poker Stars, and was having some trouble of some sort that he needed to do a transfer like this. So Felicia gave him cash on the one site, and he gave us cash on Paradise. And there it sat for a while, until I realized that Paradise offered online Draw poker! I had been doing well in the low limits at Planet so I thought I’d give it a try. The only real problem for me was the fact that the lowest stakes that they offered was $1/2, just like the Stud, and I have been only playing $.25/$.50 on Planet—with an occasional $.25/$.25 pot limit thrown in whenever we could get a game going. Thus started the hit-and-runs!

With only having a $40 bankroll on Paradise, there was always the prospect of my busting on Paradise, yet again. Therefore, I started doing hit-and-runs. First time I played, I actually made a dollar or two. Nervous from playing such “high stakes” (for a micro limit person), I wanted to just take my win and go. Not to mention that the play was 5-handed, and I only had ever played 8-handed Draw poker. Next time I went, I had a little more confidence, but still did a hit and run when I was up a little. Doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, but I just cashed out several hundred from the site, so I’m not complaining.

I’ve also grown over there. Not only am I very confident in my play, but also I’ve started playing $2/4 and $3/6 games. They don’t always look good; I keep an eye on the percentage of people to “see-the-flop” (who enter the pot) and which players are actually playing. There are many games there that over 40% enter the pot, which shows not too tight a game. All too often the $2/4 games are no more than 20% for the flop; in the words or our blogger “godfather”, that’s “uber” tight. (It’s the classic: fold, fold, raise, fold, fold…new hand: raise, fold, fold, fold, fold…new hand: fold, fold, raise, reraise, fold, fold…) Um, no! I look for better games than that. That’s the beauty of online poker: there’s always another, possibly better, game somewhere else!

I’ll also have to give props to Mike Caro and Michael Wiesenberg for the books that they’ve written on Draw (Caro’s section on draw in the “Super System” and Wiesenberg’s “Free Money”). Especially the latter, Mr. Wiesenberg, for being as kind as to answer emails from me and give me hints and suggestions on my play at Paradise. It turns out that Mr. Wiesenberg not only also plays at Paradise, but has seen me play, too. “Aggressive, be more aggressive! Raise, never limp in, raise!” As he stated, there’s more variance, it’s still possible to get outdrawn (like being dealt a pat full house and someone drawing 3 to a pair and making quads!), but all in all, you’ll make more money by pumping the pot when you have the best if it. And you have the best of it a lot in Draw.

Well, this turned into a "uber" long, pat-myself-on-the-back thingy; I didn’t intend that at all. So, let’s get into the daily stuff.

Finally up today around quarter of nine (it’s nice being “retired”). I logged into my old stand by: Pacific Poker. I actually haven’t been doing very well there lately. Loss after loss on the Omaha 8 tables. They’re just as juicy as ever, but I’m just not hitting, getting counter-fitted, or chasing out of frustration. Today, however, I booked a little win. As I was writing this, I played almost two hours of $.50/1 and won $7. Finally! In between hands I made some coffee. That’s one other thing about Pacific that’s never changed, they’re sooo slow! On average _each_ hand will take 2-3 minutes. So, make some coffee, do some writing…I have time.

Once Felicia got up, she reminded me of the free $15 that I got at The Gaming Club. Therefore, a little detour today. Normally, I’d have probably checked out Planet; not much going on there at this time of day…pretty much have to wait for the weekends. Although I have been playing some NLHE there and some $1/2 HE ring games. I haven’t been doing too badly. I did lose my stack one time to an awful player: I flopped a straight, he stayed in with middle pair (?through my check-raise on the flop too?), turns trips and stacks off. I call, he’s got me covered, not believing he’s full based on the board, river double pairs—ouch!

At The Gaming Club, I play a little NLHE. Very little. They game me a free $15 dollars, but that’s also the max buy in for their $.25/$.50 NLHE table! Not very much compared to the blinds. Lost a bit when my flopped top pair is beaten on the turn when my lone opponent turns two pair. This also put a possible straight on the board, and as I raised him on the flop having position, was able to check the river at no cost and see I was beat as I expected. Having just lost half of my free money, I found $.05/$.10 NL and PL games. Should have tried these to begin with, but I was trying to make it to $25 for a freeroll that’s coming up tomorrow :-D After getting into the first game I could, PLHE, I almost doubled up right away with AA. Being lower stakes, max buy in is only $5, but turned it into $9 through that hand. I potted it UTG and got an amazing 4 callers—they must be playing with free money too, lol. Potted on the flop and turn, two callers all-in (unfortunately short-stacked). I think I’ll stay at this table for a while, hehe.

Later in the day, I’ll go to Paradise and check out the tables. In the morning, there’s usually just two tables going, maybe three. Mostly familiar names; grinders. Might as well wait for the fish to start coming in later; unknown names that think they’d like to give Draw poker a try. I keep notes on them all, just in case. I have a database of names we well for those sites that I can’t keep notes. One of these days, I want to write a little script that will be able to pop up the notes after I input a name, instead of having to do a search to find the name. Yes, I know that PokerTracker does this. But no! I’m not paying $40 for a program to _just_ have a database of names, something that I can do myself. I can’t use PT on Paradise for Draw, and I can’t use it on Planet due to the way they do hand histories. For me, it’s worthless. I tried using it on UB, but I didn’t really understand how do to the hand histories with the wacky way they do them. Plus, I don’t play that much hold’em there anyway, as I also play Omaha 8 on that site; and, once again, PT doesn’t do Omaha 8 (which therefore also leaves out Pacific!). So, I’m screwed in all ways for PT.

I’m ending this here. I could go on, but this is enough for even hardcore blog readers to wade through! If you got this far, dang, more power to you! Hope you enjoyed it even a little. I’ll write more later; more inside the Glennie mind, if you really want to see the cobwebs.

Thank you, please drive through.

Posted by Glenn

Sunday, May 16, 2004

“I bet one-hundred and eleven”

OK, you guessed it; Felicia and I went back to Binion’s (-grin-). Once again, I played the side games while she played her first Razz satellite (I’ll let you hear from her how she did ; ).

I sat at a 2/5 NLHE table, which was the strangest I’ve played in so far. Mostly, the 2/5 is populated with older, tighter guys (by older, I don’t mean 70ish, I just mean late 30’s-early-40’s); whereas the 1/2 blind tables are usually filled with younger players (just starting mostly, or just can’t swing the higher limits/buy-ins). This time, my 2/5 table was a mixture of both.

Two of the older guys were sitting next to each other and seemed to know each other from playing. One of them had thick coke bottle glasses that made his eyes seem bigger than they really were. This gentleman, I’ll call 111, for reasons that should be apparent from the title as he liked to bet “one-hundred and eleven” most of the time. I watched 111 as he bet that much for bluffs, for second pair, and for strong hands. I’ll admit it was a good tactic, as you never really knew “where he was” from his bets.

The first time I tangled with 111, I was in the cutoff w/ TT. A bunch of limpers already called, and I’ve seen them call 4-6xBB raises with junk hands, so I thought I’d trap if I could -- see what the flop brought. That was my first mistake. Flop came 373, checked to me, and I bet 20 (just shy of the size of the pot). Only caller was 111. Alarms were already going off, but I knew his tendency was to bluff, so I figured I’d be cautious. The turn was a 4, he checked, I bet 20 again, and he check-raises me. How much? You got it, “make it one hundred and eleven”. Just a couple hands ago, someone else was caught semi-bluffing with a large bet on only second pair, so I called thinking that he might be bluffing or playing a draw strongly. When he went all-in for his last 150 on the turn, I really should have gotten out, but the guy who called down the semi-bluff with his KK was still in my head, and I so badly wanted to catch 111 on a steal that I called his river all-in (which was a 9—no miracle T as I hoped). He turned over 34o (called from early position too) and took down the pot. I kept my composure and knew there would be a time that I would get him, so I pulled a couple more hundreds out of my pocket to keep myself at around 500.

I did catch some little pots here and there. It’s nice in a way to have a looser, but knowledgeable table. They keep limping in, and when I flop top-pair and they check to me, I can bet the pot and they all fold. However, the tighter tables have few limpers (usually always brought in for a raise). For this table, if you got the pot on the flop, there was more than just 2 chips in the center :-D .

I caught QQ a couple times. Once, in late position; I made it 50 after a couple of limpers and they all folded to me (I should have done that with the TT—ugh). So I got all the bring-ins then. Another time, there was a limper, and raiser on my right to 25 (I’ll call him EG for Euro-Guy; couldn’t place his accent). I made it 100 to go, and after looking at me like, “yeah, I’m going to call that”, EG folded. Well, “no duh”, I didn’t want a call. I don’t want to see an A or K on the flop!

Then I got a great hand against 111. I’m in the BB; I never check my cards until it’s my turn, so I never know what I have until then. Early position younger guy (YG) makes it 20 to go (I’ve seen him do this with KQs, so I wasn’t expecting to see AA or KK). He gets 4 callers: 111, two to his left; EG on the button; and me, once I saw I had AQs!

Flop is: AKx rainbow (just one of my suit). I liked it, but was unsure were YG was; if he had AK, then he’d have flopped a monster. So, I lead out 20 to see if he smooth called or raised. YG folded. OK, one down.

111 did, however, call my bet, but EG folded. Turn comes another K, but of my suit, giving me 4-flush. I didn’t like the pairing of the board, but liked the flush draw, so I lead out again, 40 this time. I’m really under-betting the flop. I don’t really know where 111 is at. I have a feeling that he’d play AK differently, but I’m not sure. Here, after the pairing, he makes it “one-thirty-six”…huh? 136? Where did that number come from? I feel he’s trying to throw me off here. I fear AK, but at the same time, if he does just have 3 kings, I might outdraw him with the flush; so, I call. I check dark. Felicia doesn’t like that play, but in some cases, like this one where I don’t have position, they can’t get a read on you. I figured that if he had AK he wouldn’t care what the next card was. Perhaps the same with 3 kings. However, if he was on a draw, he may not like to not know where I’m at by checking dark and will have to figure out if he could continue to bluff me or if I’d call him down like I did on his 34o. Goal! He didn’t like the last card and checks too. I show my AQ and he looks at his cards and mucks.

I got him! Got him for 176, plus the other 40 from the other 2 players calling pre-flop. That put me to almost 100 up. I didn’t devour his stack like I would have liked. I actually thought about reraising the turn all-in as a semi-bluff myself, but I was too scared of that paired board. Plus, I wouldn’t bet any more bets from him. I do know that my showing weakness allowed him to keep betting. I also realize that I’m still learning and as I grow as a player I’ll have more confidence to play back at these bullies more. I’ll get there ;-)

Last good pot of the night was the third time that I got QQ. EG was UTG and limped. I made it 50 to go. Now, surprisingly, I get called by YG and EG. TWO callers for 50 straight (10x BB). Flop is T7x (two suited). EG checks and I (happy to see no over-cards) make it 200; over-betting the pot to shutout any draws and to show I’m not kidding. YG frets and frets. Dang I wanted to ask that boy what the heck he had! He really wanted to call, but didn’t want to go all-in to do it (he had been keeping himself short stacked—never much over 200 himself). I know he didn’t want to call all-in and be wrong. I heard someone down his side of the table suggest I must have TT for top set (lol). He squirmed in his chair so much I was beginning to think he had KK and was just sure that I had AA!

Whatever he had, he finally mucked. EG mucked quickly and I took in another 100 :-)

After that, I waited for my BB and got up to check on Felicia. She was almost done with her satellite, so I went back and cashed out, 191 richer. I left to watch the last of her satellite.

My mistakes were with 111 and the TT, and probably not popping back with AQ, or at least betting more on the flop. I can tell I have a lot to learn. I’m rereading Ciaffone and Stewart’s Pot Limit and No Limit book. It’s very good. One of these days I hope that I’ll feel comfortable enough to be in the bigger limits (they also spread 10/20 and 25/50 NL) and that I won’t be making stupid mistakes like not raising my TT!

We all keep learning don’t we ;-)

Posted by Glenn

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Back to Binion's

Felicia and I went to Binion’s this last Mon-Wed so that she could play some satellites for lamers and to compete in the $1500 Stud H/L event. Meanwhile, I played NLHE.

Of course, one dream table that I sat at, the biggest fish (BF) swam away after just 2 hands that I was dealt in. To give an illustration though, here’s the last hand that he played. BF was sitting to my immediate right (wonderful position) with about a grand—about 4 blacks, about 1/2 stack of green and a few stacks of red. He limps in UTG, I fold, guy to my left makes it 15 to go (this was at the 2/5 blind table). Gets folded to the SB who makes it 50. BB, also a large stack, but looks a solid player, gets out of the way. BF looks at his cards again and goes “sure, why not”, and exchanges his red for two greens. The original raiser (OR) calls the 50. Flop is JT8 rainbow. SB checks (?), BF bets 100. OR thinks and calls. SB shoves in his stack, about 260. The BF looks back at his hand and goes “I need a Queen”…BB says “hey, there’s still someone else in the hand”. “Oh, yeah, OK, well...OK”, and BF plops in another 160 to call the all-in. The OR is rubbing his face…he doesn’t want to call, but I think with the amount of money in the pot, he goes ahead and calls anyway. Turn is another T and both BF and OR check. River is a blank, and they both check again. Now here’s the funny part. BF turns over 96s: he had open-ended draw on the flop, no pair. OR turns over 77: all over-cards to his pair on the flop, so he couldn’t bet when BF bet the flop (but probably had a read on his from past play that he’d bet draws). SB turns over the winner with QQ. So, any Q or 7 makes BF a straight, but 1) two of the other players had 4 of those cards, and 2) after the paired turn, either of those cards makes a boat for one of the other two! Talk about drawing dead. And of course, THEN, he leaves. I get to see what a great table it was before I got there, LOL.

Either way, however, I had a great session. I got back all that I lost the last time, plus a little more.

One of the players at the table I recognized from a previous session at another 2/5 table. He (I’ll call LH for Long Hair –grin-) and another player to my left were playing very loose and aggressive. Unfortunately for me, they were both to my left. I couldn’t raise out the other players. Plus, it made me want to play just a little looser myself, because I knew that whatever I played, I was certain would be better than anything they played. If I raised to protect my hand, they would just fold. I just ended up bleeding some chips away, and I didn’t like the situation, so that day I switched to a 1/2 table.

Once again, LH was to my left, but several players away. I recognized him, mostly, for when he turned over 32s for a wheel. I knew I liked having him at my table. The solid player (SP) that was in the BB in the hand I talked about with BF moved to BF’s seat, directly to my right, but that was fine for me, I had position.

Three times at that table, I had KK. Once, got no call; I was first in and raised. Second, there were several limpers, including SP on the button. I saw the KK in pocket and made it 50 to go. All folded to SP, who I could see look at me out of the corner of my eye and called. Was kind of surprised by this, thinking that if he was in, he’d probably be in raising. Then again, if he was in, he probably had a good hand, maybe was trapping with a strong hand, and so he was wondering if his hand was beat, but called anyway.

We took the flop HU of Kxx. I checked my top set, he bet 50 into the pot, and I check-raised all-in. Again the look, but I think he knew exactly what happened, and released his hand. Thinking back, I wonder if I could have gotten more out of him. However, I’m not sure I could have. I think if I just flat called him and checked again on the turn, he’d check behind. If I took over the betting on the turn, I’m not sure. It might have confused him; but in my reading of the player, I don’t think so. I think I’m just glad that I got 100 out of him.

Third time I got KK, LH had flat called and a Californian looking guy (Cali) makes it’s 50 to go. He’s done this a couple times, so I’m not really putting him on AA—just too often to get AA that much. Again I’m in the blinds (BB I think this time), was folded to me and again I see KK. Trying to get it HU, I make it 100. All fold to LH who’s stuck in the middle of us. He goes “alright” and places a C-note in the pot and drags back his red. Cali says, “I call” and brings out another 1/2 stack of red. Flop is KTx: another flopped set! I bang the chips in my hand on the table, checking as in frustration. Interestingly, LH puts 100 into the pot. Cali thinks about it a bit and goes “I’ll just call”. I happily (all on the inside of course) shove in my stacks and 100’s (bills) into the pot (I started with 500 and had both the others covered). LH says “alright” and puts in his last $100 bill and about 60 red into the pot. Cali is short stacked as well and puts his last reds into the pot.

Some people don’t like turning over their cards right away, but since I normally have the nuts when I shove in, I don’t have any problem showing my hand. I turned over my KK; LH turns over TT for second set (ouch!); and Cali, last in the bunch, turns over AKo for TPTK. No runner-runner aces, no one outer T, and I take down the huge pot! :-D

LH got up and took off, but Cali stuck around and took out some more money. No more memorable hands, but I do know that I finished the session almost $600 up! Awesome.

I lost a little back the next day when the 2/5 looked kind of tough and I ended up playing the 1/2 game instead. They were so loose! And several times I would have won a good pot w/ a weak holding that I mucked, playing my normal tight ways. So, I go ahead and loosen up. I lost $120 on that table! LOL.

$40 of what I lost was a bluff river bet that I thought the other guy wouldn’t call. I limped along with most of the table with JcTs. Flop came 97x, two clubs. BB bets out $10. With how loose everyone has been, I called with my gut shot, 2 overs and back-door flush. To my surprise, everyone else folded! On the turn is the Qc, giving me 4-straight, 4 flush. He bets 15, making the pot around $50, giving me more than the 2-1 that I need and I call. River is another Q, so I missed. He checks to me, and I quickly bet out $40, over twice his last bet; hoping that it was just large enough that he can’t call without a Q or without clubs. He thinks about it and calls anyway, turning over 9s7c, for the flopped two pair that he just couldn’t give up. Now I understand his bet on the turn: he turned a flush-draw, too, along with the two pair. Too bad it didn’t get there! That’s low limit for you; had it been the 2/5, I would have won that with a similar size bet.

During times that I wasn’t running well in NL, I played a little limit poker. Dropped some in 4/8 when AQ brought nothing and KQs fell to an Ace on the flop. Those were the only 2 hands that I played. After that, I played some 10/20 when I was called to the table. On the button with J7o, I tried to steal when it was checked to me, but the SB 3 bet and I called. KJx on the flop and SB checks to me, I bet my second pair and he check-raises. LOL, I say “nice hand” and give it up. Get AQ and raise UTG. Only one caller; a guy that I’d seen bet any pair when he was in the hand (I’ll call him AP). Qxx on flop: I bet, AP raises, I reraised, AP calls. I bet the turn and he calls. I bet the river he mucks. Cool.

Later I get JJ in the BB, there are a couple limpers, one lady UTG, AP, and an gray haired older guy (GH) raises. I see the JJ in the BB and reraised to try to get it HU. The two in the middle call the two cold and GH says “I was just kidding”, but calls too. All rags on the flop and I bet; call, call, call. Q on the turn—dang it—but I shoot again representing. Call, call, GH raises. I think about the amount of money in the pot, realize that I don’t have the proper odds, but call anyway saying “I think I’m more worried about her”, pointing to the lady on my left that limped UTG. Truer words never spoken as she makes it 3 bets. Oh brother! I’m wondering if she limped with AA to trap. But, once again, call and call. So here I sit with JJ, a Q over card and a raise and a reraise. The pot is huge by this time and I call, hoping to hit a J. I don’t hit and I save money! I check, lady bets, AP folds, GH calls, I muck knowing JJ’s no good. I was right about the trapping as the lady turns over QQ for the turned top set. I say “very nice hand” as she drags in the humongous pot that I built for her. Hmm, maybe I should have asked for commission.

Later though, I got my money back when I found AA in the SB and raised. The lady calls from the BB, the couple limpers (including GH) call. Flop is AQx. I take a couple reds from my stack, but before chucking them in, I jokingly say to the lady, “you don’t have Queens again do you?” She laughs and says “no”. I say, “OK”, and fling in the chips. Folds to GH and he calls. Hmm. I wonder if he has an Ace and check to him on the turn. Check. Dang it. Under my breath I say “that didn’t work”, and bet the river and he calls. He looks very confused when I show my hand. I put him on making the play and trying to bet me off the hand. Ah well, best laid plans, and all that.

Later I didn’t feel so badly about my play when someone else tried the exact same thing. Once again, GH raised and got two callers. JJx on the flop but he bets out anyway and both call—BB and one limper. Turn’s a blank, GH figures he’s beat and checks. BB bets out and the limper calls. GH takes another card off and calls too. River is a 9; GH checks, BB checks, and limper checks. Before anyone can act, BB says “ship it” and turns over J9s for the nut full-house. He was putting the limper on the case J and looking to check-raise too.

All-in-all I ended up $4 at the 10/20 after 2 hours!

So where does this leave me? After playing a lot of NLHE and a lot of limit 4/8, 6/12 and 10/20, I’ll have to say that while limit may not have as much swing as no limit, I still prefer NLHE. Yes, you can lose your whole stack, but you can also double, even triple through! You lose your stack one session, double through the next, you’re even ;-) Or in my case, lose your 200 buy-in twice at a lower game, then double through your 500 buy-in at the higher game, and you’re up! :-)

Posted by Glenn