Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Just Made Tournament Poker Mistake #2!

I Just Made Tournament Poker Mistake #2!

A dunce cap that I am going to use as part of ...Image via Wikipedia

I entered the Oaks tournament today. I had not had a premium hand all day, and yet I was in good chip shape as it got down to 13 players.

I was doing well since I really focused on playing my opponents' hand rather than my own cards. This meant that I could take down a lot of pots with a bet heads up--out of position, or take my opponents at their word and bet in position when they checked.

The Situation

The blinds had just gone up to $1,000-$2,000 with a $400 ante. There were 7 players at my table, and 6 on the the other table. I had $21,000.

I was third to act and had Ac-Jc. The first two players checked. I raised to $5,400. Pushing all-in is an option but I am cocky enough to believe I can outplay my opponents on the flop.

Anyway, the player on the button called. He had about $20,000 left after calling my raise.

Rather than doing what I was doing all day--putting my opponent on a hand--I was thinking about needing to hit my hand.

The flop came Qc-5c-2s. I missed and auto-checked.

What! As soon as I checked I realized that I made the wrong play. I should have been moving all-in here.

My opponent moved all-in. Now, I was fairly certain he had a middle pair.

I had 15 outs. Should I call here?

I called all-in. My opponent showed 10h-10s.

Both the turn and river missed me, and I was out.

I just wrote in my prior blog post not to auto-check when you miss. And here I am knocking myself out, with a freaking check. Stupid.

Oh well. This is a mistake I've done before and I need to stop doing it now!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do You Make This Tournament Poker Mistake: #2?

Dennis Phillips playing at the 2008 World Seri...Image via Wikipedia

Do You Make This Tournament Poker Mistake: #2?


Another mistake in poker tournaments is to check. Why is this a mistake?

1. You can't win the pot on that street if you check it.

I know this is obvious. But how often have you lost out on taking down a pot, where a bet on the earlier street would have won it for you?

2. If you are last to act, and you check it usually means that you are playing your cards rather than the players. In fact, you should understand the situation and seize on opportunities to bet and win with nothing.

Let's say that there are four players in the hand. You called with 8s-9s on the button after one player limped ahead of you. The blinds also called. The flop is Ad-6c-3h. This looks like a safe flop. So if your opponents check, don't check behind them. Bet.
You don't have to risk a lot. Make a small sized bet, like 50% of the pot.

A lot of players, go on auto-check when the flop comes and they miss. Don't be one of those players. Opponents that check tend to be weak. Take them at their word.

Yes, you may be called. An opponent may be setting a trap. That's poker. But, more often than not, no one has a big hand with uncoordinated flops. It's called the right of first bluff. Use it to your advantage.

3. If you are checking to set up a trap, you may be allowing your opponent to hit a miracle card to beat you or you may actually win a smaller pot than if you bet.

Here is a situation I ran into early in a major tournament. I raised 3x's the big blind in late position with pocket Kings. Only the big blind called.

The flop came K-7-2, but all spades. The big blind checked. I decided to set a trap and I checked.

The turn card was a fourth spade. My opponent moved all-in. The pot was $650 and he moved all in for over $2,000. He had me covered. What should I do?

I put myself in a tough situation by not betting the flop. If I bet the flop and got called, my guess is that we both would have checked the turn, and I would have seen the river for free.

Since I tried to trap, I was in a tougher situation. I called and knocked myself out of the event. The player next to me told me I made the right play. I disagree. I screwed up by trapping myself.

The other thing that often happens when you check your big hand is that you are missing out on winning a bigger pot. If the flop is 8-8-4 and you have A-8, it seems that a bet would just win you a small pot. However, you need to take into account a)your table image and b)the table image of your opponents.

If you are seen as an aggressive player, your bet may get called or raised. If you are perceived as a tight player, the chance of being called is much less.

If an opponent is an aggressive player, your bet may get called or raised.

Finally, I am not saying that a check is always a bad play. It is not.
In fact, it can be used to help control the size of the pot, which is critical in winning play.

For example, I think Dennis Phillips wins more than his fair share of big pots by checking. He will often check the turn with top pair, to lure his opponent into a bet on the river. I think Dennis is using his check as a way to control the pot size and to see the river on the cheap. He will usually call that river bet and take down a bigger pot.

Like most things in poker, the situation dictates the best play. But in general, I believe that checking is a mistake.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Series: Do You Make This Tournament Poker Mistake #1?

New Series: Do You Make This Tournament Poker Mistake #1?

@EvilPRGuy Wearing the Dunce CapImage by emilydickinsonridesabmx via Flickr

I am going to write a series of blog posts on tournament poker mistakes I see players making all of the time. Here is the first in that series.

One of the key mistakes players make in a tournament is always making a continuation bet. For some reason, ever since Harrington made this move popular, every single poker player believes he/she should make a continuation bet. Heck, not even Harrington recommends that approach.

What is a continuation bet?

A player who raises pre-flop and gets called by one or more opponents, makes a "continuation" bet on the flop hoping to get his opponents to fold.

Let's review some reasons why you should not always make a continuation bet and the move in general.

1. You must not be predictable.

One of the most important keys in playing winning poker is to be unpredictable. If your opponent always knows that you are going to make a continuation bet, it becomes very easy to take advantage of your play. For example:

He can float you. He can call your flop bet, and bet when you check the turn. OR
He can raise your bet on the flop, to get you to fold.

2. A continuation bet works best when you are heads-up.

If you have two opponents, it increases the likelihood you will get called in one place. And, if you have three or more opponents, you are asking for trouble.

3. Flops that are not coordinated are best.

If the flop is 8-9-10, all spades, then it is more likely you will get called. If the flop is K-7-2 rainbow, it is a lot safer to make that continuation bet.

4. If you flop a draw, be more likely to check behind your opponents.

The reason is that if you bet and get raised, you are not going to have the odds to make the call. A check would allow you to see the turn for free.

5. There is no embarrassment in folding a losing hand.

A good fold is a good thing. You raised pre-flop from the button with Ad-Kd and four opponents called your bet. The flop comes 7s-8s-9s. Everyone checks to you. What should you do?


It is nuts to make a continuation bet here. Yet, I have actually witnessed more than one player betting the flop and turn with his A-K...and losing big! It's bad poker.

The next time you raise pre-flop, do not automatically bet on the flop. Assess your situation and opponents. And when the flop hits the board, it is time to decide if you will make that continuation bet.

Don't put that move on auto-pilot. It is a mistake.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Play From the Small Blind in Limit Poker

How to Play From the Small Blind in Limit Poker

self-applied blindfoldImage by CrazyFast via Flickr

My sense is that poker players need a lot of help when it comes to blind play, especially small blind play. The small blind is in for 1/2 a bet usually, and will feel the urge to "defend" his chips.

I want to begin with one of the most frequent situations and how you should handle it. The situation is when you are in the small blind and a player in late position is first into the pot and raises. What should you do?

Here is what I ask myself:

1. Is it a steal raise or an authentic raise?

To help you decide if it is a steal raise or not, you need to identify how that opponent plays. If he is an aggressive player, a raise from the button and cut-off are more likely to be a raise to steal the blinds.

Of course, if the player is tight or predictable, then be more inclined to give him credit for a real hand. If it is an authentic hand, it is right to fold all but your premium holdings.

2. If you believe it is a steal raise, what then?

If your hand is good, you may want to call the raise to see the flop. This is a mistake.

If your hand is good enough to call, you should re-raise almost all of the time. The main reason for a re-raise is that you don't want to give the big blind the pot odds to call. If you call, it will cost him one bet to win five bets. If you re-raise, now it will cost him at least two bets to win six bets.

When you get the BB to fold, you create dead money in the pot and improve your chances of winning the hand.

3. With which hands should you re-raise?

I don't like to provide precise hands here since everyone's comfort level is different. However, try to set up a range of hands you want to re-raise the steal raiser. No, it is not any two cards. You don't want to re-raise with junk.

One way to begin setting up a range of re-raisin hands is to do the following:

Assume the steal raiser had just called instead of raising.
What would you do with your hand?
If you would have called or raised, then re-raise your opponent.

Sometimes you are going to be right in identifying a steal raise and sometimes you will be wrong. That's poker. But, don't fold all of the time. Don't re-raise all of the time. And almost never, ever call.

I hope this helps and if there is interest I will get into other situations for small blind play.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Key to Winning at Poker: Identifying Player Types and Tendencies (and a Poker Experiment)

Key to Winning at Poker: Identifying Player Types and Tendencies (and a Poker Experiment)

Mad scientistImage by BWJones via Flickr

Let me share with you some key player types and tendencies I have found while playing at the 9 handed, limit hold'em ring games online and how that effects your play. Note that this information relates to players at the $3-$6 tables and under. The players get tougher at the $5-$10 and up levels.

1. Predictable/ABC player.

I would say that at least 80% of the players at these levels are predictable. They raise with premium hands pre-flop and make a continuation bet regardless of what flops.

-How to take advantage of these players?

Let's say that this ABC player raised pre-flop and you called.

If you call him in position and he checks the turn, after you called his flop bet, just bet.
If you are heads up in a blind position, and the flop is all rags, when he bets the flop, check-raise. If he just calls, you keep betting. If he raises you, he has you beat.

Let's say that you raised pre-flop with A-K, and he called you in early position.
The flop is A-9-5 rainbow. You bet and he calls. The turn is a 2. You bet and he check raises you. You are beat. You can call and hope to improve, but even then your ABC opponent may have a set. If you don't improve, fold!

2. Aggressive pre-flop, but predictable starting at the turn.

This may be the next largest group of players. They know they are suppose to be aggressive so they raise pre-flop more than their cards dictate. They follow up with a bet on the flop. If they get called on the flop, they tell you what they have by what they do on the turn and river.

-How to take advantage of these players?

Let's say this player raises pre-flop and you call with pocket 7's. The flop is A-6-2. Your opponent bets and you call. The turn is a J. You check. If your opponent bets, fold. If your opponent checks, he doesn't have the Ace. On the river, if you don't improve, don't bet. But, if your opponent bets, you will be forced to call unless the river card could have completed his hand--example, a 10 hits making his straight.

3. Predictable and passive players

These players are predictable pre-flop: limping with calling hands and raising with premium hands. On the flop if they don't improve, they check their hand. When this happens just bet.

4. Aggressive heads-up players

These players are aggressive when they are heads-up. If this player is on the big blind, and you raise pre-flop, he will tend to call your bet. When you bet the flop, he likes to check-raise. If you have a good hand, you can re-raise him here or on the turn. If you may be beat, just call. In fact, since this kind of player may be on a draw, you can call him down with any pair and even Ace high.

Other player tendencies:

A few players like to go for the check-raise bluff on the turn against one or two opponents. Identify this player, and call his bluff. However, in most cases, a player who check raises you on the turn in these middle/lower level games is not bluffing. If you can't improve enough to win, it is okay to fold.

Players who raise on the river are usually not bluffing. Your river value bet has now become a bad play. When you bet the river and it is clear that a player may have hit his flush, it is okay to check behind your opponent. Or be forced to check-call. (By the way, I am not suggesting you fold your hand to this raise. I am suggesting that you put you should always put your opponent on a range of hands--especially drawing hands--so when the river card hits, you can check if it appears he got there.)

There are a few crazy players who like to re-raise and cap pre-flop with less than premium hands. By capping the pot pre-flop, it allows you to see the turn for one more bet. For example, let's say you raised pre-flop in late position with pocket 5's. The button re-raised and now the big blind caps it. If your set doesn't come on the flop, it is okay to call for one more bet to see if you can get lucky and hit the 5 on the flop. It won't happen often, but when it does you win a huge pot.

The players in these games often do not understand the concept of "dead money." Simply, when the blinds fold, the chips in the pot are dead money. You want to raise in late position to get these players to fold. It usually allow you to have position on your opponents. Most players fold in the blinds to a raise. Only a few defend their blinds--although, they are usually making a mistake in calling a raise.

My Poker Experiment:

Last night, I was at a $3-$6 table. For about 15 minutes, I didn't play any hands since the cards were ugly. Most of my opponents were ABC players so I decided that I would try an experiment:

I would raise pre-flop with any two cards for the next 10 hands. The only exception would be if a player raised before me. In that case, I would fold and not include that hand in my count of 10.

What happened?

Since my image was tight, my first two pre-flop raises were not called. My third raise was called in the big blind. I won on my continuation bet.

The fourth hand was 10-2 and I raised in middle position. The flop was 10 high, and I bet. When the river was an Ace my opponent bet and I was beat. He had A-Q. (I'm no Doyle Brunson.)

In middle position, I was dealt pocket Kings. A player raised, another player re-raised, and I capped it. Both players checked called my bet on the flop. On the turn they both folded to my bet. I thought that was strange.

I raised with 6-5 offsuit up front and the flop was Q-6-5. I was called in two places on the flop. The turn was a 9. I bet and got check raised. Not good. I lost to Q-9.

In the small blind I raised with QQ. The big blind called me. The flop came Ace high. I checked. My opponent checked. The turn was a King, and gave me a nut flush draw. I bet and my opponent check raised me. I called and the flush didn't come.

I raised on the button and won.

I raised on the cut-off and got re-raised by the small blind. I folded on the flop. I had 7-3.

I got pocket Aces and raised in the power position. I was called in 4 places. The flop was 10-9-8 and I knew I was dead. I checked. When the turn was a 7, a raising war began. I folded.

The net: at one point +$70, but ended down about -$40.

My experiment is similar to what Daniel Negreanu calls "NutBar." He recommends "NutBar" as a way to improve your game. Sit down and try to win every hand by being more aggressive than your opponents. You will lose your stack but you will learn a lot from the experience.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, May 10, 2010

Do You Make This Poker Mistake?

Do You Make This Poker Mistake?

Gizmondo BabesImage by TrojanDan via Flickr

I am finding that online, the lower limit hold'em games are easier to beat than I thought. The reason is that most players are rather predictable and want to preserve their stack.

Here is one play I believe is a major mistake.

The table is 9 handed. It is a $3-$6 limit hold'em game. You are on the button with Ks-10s. Three players call and a late position player raises. You decide to call, as do the other three players. There are five players in the hand.

The flop is As-9s-2h.

The first three players check and the pre-flop raiser bets. What should you do?

Do not raise! Yet, that is what many players will do given their nut flush draw.

You want to build a big pot here and not reduce the number of opponents. In most cases, your raise will get the players behind you to fold. The bettor may re-raise or call. In most cases, he will only call.

The turn is a 6d. Your opponent checks. What should you do?

A lot of players will bet heads-up on the turn and the river, even if they miss. The opponent calls down with his A-J and wins the pot. He may even call to the river with pocket Queens.

Long term, I believe the raise on the flop is a play with negative expected value.

Please note: If the action on the flop was different, your raise would make sense. That is, if the first player to act had bet and everyone else called, then your raise would build the pot AND possibly get you a free card on the turn if you miss your flush.

My Suggestion

There are only a few times you can win a big pot in limit poker. Having a flush draw, and especially a nut flush draw, on the flop against many opponents is one of them. Don't ruin it by playing it like a "raise or fold" situation.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, May 3, 2010

10 Winning Tournament Poker Tips

10 Winning Tournament Poker Tips

number 10Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

I have been asked to provide some more tips based on my recent run to the final tables at the Oaks, so here goes:

1. Be Aware at the Table

In the early rounds of an event, you are going to run into more average players. Later on, you will run into the better players. in any event, be aware of your opponents playing styles.

I know many people use the tight/loose and aggressive/passive labels on players. I think those are fine, but I like to think in more than two dimensions.

Look at the cards players show when they are in hands, and figure out how they play based on what happened. Some players will push all-in with draws, while others will only do so with the nuts or near nuts. Some players overplay their cards and push all-in with top pair. Other players go on tilt after a bad loss. Also, learn what those big pre-flop raises for each player.

You don't need to see a hand to learn playing styles. Does a player bully an opponent in the blinds when heads up pre-flop? Or, is a player raising too often to have a big hand each time?

This information is vital since it leads to who you can and can not make a move against when the situation is right (more on this later).

2. What is Your Table Image

Realize that later in the event when you are playing against observant opponents, you have a table image. Take advantage of this image combined with what you've observed of how your opponent plays his hand.


It's down to two tables. There are 6 players at your table. Everyone folds to the player in the small blind, who raises your big blind 2.5 times. You look down to find 9s-6s. Not a good hand and an easy fold right? Wrong!

What is the situation here? You know this player made the same play against you the last round. You know this player sees you as a very tight player. If you fold, you are going to be at a dangerously low level of chips. If you push all-in, your opponent will be risking most of his remaining chips. And if he folds, he can afford to lose the chips he raised, and still have enough chips to compete.

The situation calls for a move all-in. Your cards don't matter as much as the situation.

3. What is the Situation?

This really has been the key for me in my play. I have been waiting for the right situation to make the right play. The move to make is based on the players, my table image, the chips, the stage of the event, and finally the cards.

The key is not to miss out on these situations when your cards are weak, but the situation is right.

Most players think they know the situation when they have premium cards, "I have pocket Jacks, time to raise." But, there is a lot more to the right play than knowing your hand.

4. Put the Pressure on Your Opponent

When you have a good or great starting hand, ask yourself how to put pressure on your opponents?

A typical example is early in the event, when 4 players limp in, and you are on the button with Ks-10d. Most players will call and hope for a good flop. That is a mistake.

What is the situation? Have your opponents called big raises after limping or have they have been folding? Has a player been limping with premium cards? How has the table been playing? If your opponents have been folding, this is a good situation for a big raise. You are not in a blind so they won't think you are trying a steal.

Another example is when you hold a hand like pocket pairs. A player in early position makes a standard 3x the big blind raise. Another player calls. You have pocket 9's in the cut-off. What should you do?

What's the situation? There is no standard answer. Has the player upfront been raising too much or not at all? What about the caller? Is he setting up a trap? What is the chip situation? What about the players behind you? There are reasons to dump this hand and there are reasons to put in the squeeze play. If you've been paying attention, you will have a good idea how your opponents play and what to do here.

5. Raise or Fold

A great limit poker concept is to raise or fold. It is one you should consider for playing tournaments.

I know that it feels safer to call pre-flop, but when you have a playable hand it may be time to raise or fold.

An example was the last hand when you held those pocket 9's. It may be one of those raise or fold situations. If those two opponents and you had huge chip stacks then a call seems reasonable. But, even then, a big raise can make your opponents fold a hand like A-Q or K-Q or even pocket Jacks.

Another example is the one where there were 4 limpers and you held K-10 offsuit. Think "raise or fold." Don't auto-call. Calling gives you just one way to win.

6. Misplaying Small and Medium Pairs

I hear this at poker tournaments all the time" "Those small pairs are killing my stack." A player has been getting small pocket pairs, raising upfront, and having to fold to big re-raises. So he complains.

The pairs are not killing his stack, his poor decision-making is hurting his stack.

Yeah, sets are great hands when you hit them but it doesn't happen often. You want to play the small pairs to win big pots.


You are at a 10 handed table, and get pocket 4's in early position. What should you do?

What is the situation? If the table has been limping pre-flop in these early rounds, then limp. If the table has seen players raising pre-flop a lot, then just fold. Should you raise in this situation? Doesn't seem like a smart move to me. What will you do if you get re-raised? What will you do if you get called and you miss on the flop? Throw off more chips?


You have pocket 7's in the cutoff. A player upfront raises and gets called by another player in early position. What should you do?

Again, assess this situation. Both players have a big stack. You have a big stack. You are in a back position. A call here is a reasonable play since you have an opportunity to win a big stack if you hit.

What if both players had a medium or small stack? In this situation, I would have no problem in folding my 7's. Even if I hit, I am not going to win enough to make a real difference in my standings.

What about pushing all-in against these players here?
That play makes no sense since you have players behind you, and you are most likely going to be putting yourself in a coin flip situation.

7. Don't Lose Your Patience.

Relax. Everyone goes card dead. If you are being observant, you will often find situations where your cards don't matter.

If it is late in the event, you can use Harrington's M as a guide. My belief is that his M is a good guideline, but that finding the right situations are better so you have enough chips to do damage to your opponent.

As a rule, look to be the first player to make a raise or move all-in. Avoid being a caller of a player who has made the first raise/all-in.

8. Tough Decisions: It's Better to Have Two Ways to Win

There are going to be tough decisions during a tournament. Sometimes you need to be guided by the concept of having two ways to win: Making that play to put pressure on your opponent to fold or if called, making a better hand.

Other times, of course, you have to just push your chips in and hope for the best.

9. Manage your Chips

This is key and yet I think it is an after thought by many players.


It's the final table. You have $80,000 in the $2,000 big blind and one player moves all-in for all his chips, or $6,000. It doesn't matter what you have. You must call.

Seems simple enough, but last week I witnessed this big blind folding. I was in shock. But no one at the table (except the all-in player) even noticed this awful non-call.


A tight player under the gun moves all-in. Another tight player calls all-in. You have As-Ks. If you call here and you lose, your stack will be crippled.
What should you do?

If you are low in chips, I would not hesitate to call. If I had enough chips to make some moves, I would fold.

This happened on Sunday, and the player crippled his stack by calling with As-Ks. The first player had Q-Q, the second had A-K offsuit. It was a play he did not and should not have made.

10. Don't Get Unlucky

I haven't figured out how to avoid being unlucky. The only thing is that I don't mind being unlucky one time near the start at the event, if it doesn't cripple my stack.

I hope these 10 winning poker tournament tips help you at your next poker tournament. Good luck!
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tournament Poker: Hands To Another Final Table

Tournament Poker: Hands To Another Final Table

The Image by dhammza via Flickr

I entered a $125 no limit poker event at the Oaks on Saturday morning. I finished at the final table in the last two events at the Oaks, so I was determined to make it three in a row. It takes more than determination, of course...

Early Rounds

Early on I was dealt pocket Aces. A tight player raised in early position. I decided to move all-in since his raise looked to me like a premium hand and I wanted him to think I had A-K. To my chagrin, he folded. I guess I overplayed the hand. I could have re-raised and bet or moved in on the flop. Of course, he may have folded to my re-raise.

I was dealt 10d-9d in the big blind and 3 players limped. I checked. The flop was Ad-Kd-Ac. Everyone checked. The turn was a 3d. I checked. The next player moved all-in. This bet was many times the pot size. The other players folded. I had a flush, but I know this guy would not jeopardize all his chips on a bluff. If I called and I was wrong, I'd be out.

Online, it's an instant call. Here, against this player, well, I decided to fold. I believed I could outplay him later on in the event.

The blinds were up to $100-$50 and I was on the big blind again. 5 players called. I found Ah-Jh. I bet big and raised to $1,200. One wild player moved all-in for $2,600. The others folded. I called. He had Ks-9s. The flop was all spades and my stack was cut in half.

The next round it was $200-$100. I was on the button with Jd-10s. The same wild player called. I called. The big blind checked. The flop was 10c-8c-5d. The big blind checked. The wild player bet $500 into the $700 pot. I called. The big blind folded.

The turn was a Kc. The wild player bet $1,400. I moved all-in for $3,000. He folded. He said he folded because he thought I hit the King. I don't think he had any outs to my pair of 10's.

Premium Cards And a Lucky Seat

This table was interesting in that players were being dealt so many premium hands . It was unreal.

There were two players who were moving all-in whenever they had a big hand. This made me slow down a little, since I didn't want to run into one of their all-in moves.

After the break, I had about $6,000--we started with $5,000. The blinds were now $200-$100 with a $25 ante. I had Ad-Kd and raised. One of those all-in players moved all-in. He was the chip leader at the time. I knew he was ahead, but I needed chips. I was hoping he just had pocket Q's.

I was wrong. He had K-K. The flop had an Ace, and I luckily doubled up. It also put this guy on tilt for the next hand. He made a terrible all-in move which reduced his stack further.

Another interesting hand. A player limped under the gun. The other all-in player pushed all-in. I had pocket 9's. I sensed something was off, so I folded. The limper called. He had KK, and took out the all-in player. At first, I patted myself on the back for folding; well, that is, until a 9 hit the flop.

Rather than focus on the missed opportunity, I made a concerted effort to get my head back into the game.

Middle Rounds

A new player sat to my right. He was a strong player. His first hand he limped in an early position, and then insta-called an all-in. He had pocket 10's and doubled up. The next hand he raised the $600-$300 blind to $1,800. I had As-Qs.

If he limps with 10's, my thought was that he wasn't that strong with that raise even though it was 3x's the big blind. I moved all-in. Everyone folded back to him, and he insta-called. Bummer. I had about $12,000 and he had $8,000. He showed A-K.

The flop came A-Q-4 and I got lucky again. Phew...A bad read turns into a good outcome. While a good read holding 9's, turned out to be a missed, huge outcome.

Poker is a strange game.

A few hands later, that player who had pushed on the turn when I had a flush, moved all-in pre-flop. I found pocket Kings, and took him out. I guess it worked out for me.

Late Rounds

I kept adding chips. I was at the same seat throughout the event and frankly, it was proving to be a lucky seat!

I increased my chips to $40,000--which is enough to give you a good stack for final table play. Of course, we were not at the final table yet.

We got down to the final two tables, and I was moved to a new table.

Yeah, a bad seat. I went card dead.

It was miserable. I finally got a hand when we were 6 handed. I raised with pocket 7's on the button. The small blind moved all-in. I had to fold since I was sure he had me beat. He showed pocket Jacks.

I was being slowly but surely blinded and anted off. With 5 players left at the table, I found pocket 3's under the gun. I moved all-in and won the pot uncontested.

Final Table

At the final table, I started at $20,000. Again, I got nothing to play.

The blinds were up to $4,000-$2,000 and I was in the big blind. It got folded to the small blind who raised to $8,000. I moved all-in with pocket 4's. It was only a $10,000 raise, so the small blind called. He had K-2 and I won a pot.

Players knocked each other out. We got down to 6 players. To survive, I pushed on the cutoff with Q-10. It looked like a huge hand at the time. Everyone folded.

Another player got knocked out with a weak play.

It was 5 handed, and one of the chip leaders wanted to chop. I was in 5th place. The other 4 players discussed a deal. They agreed to it. It was an okay deal for me, since I ended up with a little less than 3rd place money, or $800.

Yeah, I got lucky. But you have to be lucky to get to that final table. It was cool since it was the third final table in a row at the Oaks Tournament.

On a separate note: A dealer at the Oaks told me she won a big HORSE event online. She said that she read my Play Razz Poker to Win book, and it was a big help in her winning. She said that other players don't know how to play Razz. She didn't either until she read my book. She said that she can't wait for the Razz rounds since she feels she now has a big edge.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

What's Your Poker IQ?