This is Part 2 at the $1,000 buy-in at the Reno (part 1 is the previous post)
Now I go on a cold streak. I have a local pro sit down to my right. This player, Tony, plays solid poker except you can scare him when you re-raise him. So, when he raised on the button and I had almost anything I would either re-raise him 2x's or 3x's the amount of his raise, or move all-in..figuring he was trying to steal. One time he called my 2x re-raise. In this hand, on the flop I checked, let him bet, and then check raised him--I had nothing. He folded. He helped to build my chip stack.
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The flop is a very interesting part of the game. Besides knowing who you are playing against, that is their style of play, you need to understand the nature of the flop. Most people play bingo or fish when they play flops--"oh, the card matches the one I have, so I'll bet." Or, "Oh, it doesn't match, so I wont bet." Wrong! The game on the flop has almost nothing to do with your hand.
Play the nature of the flop. Is the flop scary looking, or is there one high card and 2 rags and no flush draws? If your opponent is a pro, and you check and he bets the flop with a small sized bet, I don't care what you have, check-raise the guy. He will probably fold!
I played 15 hours of poker at this event and I think the only player who check-raised the flop a lot was me! Why? Because if my opponent bets weak, I take him at his word that he is weak! Especially if the flop is Jack or lower..I figure he would defend his hand with a bigger or pot sized bet since a card higher than a Jack could make him lose the pot on the turn.
Back to the game...As aggressive as I was against the playing style of my opponents, I played pocket Kings and pocket Queens with just a call or a pre-flop raise. Why? It was early in the event, and I knew that if the card players have a hand with a pre-flop raise they will call. If I re-raise here, I will win a little or if the flop hits his A-Q and I have Kings, I lose big. Of course...this is exactly what happens. I get pocket Kings and pocket Queens once each, call a raise, and the flop shows up with Ace.
I fold each time when my opponent bets the flop. Am I annoyed? Not really...my thinking is that my re-raise could have me losing big money when I got called with and they hit their Ace...or maybe they move in with their Ace-King--and I have to risk my entire stack all-in. I didn't want to move all-in unless it was to intimidate a player into folding.
Why go out of an event with no control of the outcome? Especially since I liked the how I was approaching this no limit event.
I finally get pocket Aces--and a player raised in front of me. In this situation I re-raise but just 1.5x times his original raise. Why? I don't want to scare him out and this small bet will sucker the player in. The flop comes King high. He checks and I bet an amount which puts the question to him--do you want to go all in on this hand or not? My opponent decides to play--which means he will be all in. He has K-Q and loses.
Down to 8 Tables
It was interesting, but we are now down to 8 tables, and I still had not seen one bad beat!
I am in good chip shape with the 70+ players remaining. I get moved to a new table and Barry Shulman--the owner and publisher of Card Player magazine--has a huge chip stack. He is very aggressive and I study him to get a read, in case I need to make a tough decision later. Barry has been dominating this table.
Two hands later I am in the big blind and get pocket Queen. Everyone folds to the small blind who calls. I just call--again, I want to set a trap. The flop is A-A-8. I check-call. The turn is a 2. I check-call. On the river comes another 8. I bet out with a small bet, my thinking I have the best hand or my bet will slow him down. Wrong! He moves all-in! Bummer...I fold and take a hit.
The next hand I am on the small blind and I get 10-8 offsuit. The player under the gun limps, Barry Shulman limps, and I call the 1/2 bet. I actually like 10-8 as a starting hand if I can get in cheap or free. For some reason, I had won some big pots with it or lost the initial bet.
The flop comes 10-8-5 with 2 hearts. With 3 opponents, I check, thinking I will check raise the flop. But no one bets. The turn card is a 10. I have a boat. I check. Barry makes a small bet, which to me means he has very little. I only call. The river is a 4. I lead out with a small bet and Barry moves all-in! I insta-call. He has a boat with pocket 4's. I open my cards showing that I have a bigger boat.
The dealer only sees Barry's full house, and starts to push the pot to Barry. I say, "wait!" The dealer now notices my bigger full house. Of course, Barry knew right away he got burned and was already matching his stacks to my chips.
That hand gave me a great boost in chips.
We are now down to 6 tables.
To be continued...