Saturday, May 17, 2008

The kiddie game is down the street

There is a fun donkament on Fridays at 4 p.m. at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica MS. I seldom get to play in it because of work, but yesterday I left two hours early to go and play. It is a $65 buy-in, with $40 rebuys and a double add-on at the end of the rebuy period for another $80. If you are trying to win, you have to plan on spending the $185, but it's worth it because of all the dead money. First place pay-out varies, but was $2200 in this case, a nice way to start the weekend, if only .... The blinds begin at 5/15 and the first three levels are 30 minutes, so you can be patient. After that, the levels are shortened to only 20 minutes to accelerate play. You have to be ready to shift gears, something many players don't grasp.

I made the final table but busted out in 8th place when my KQ ran into slow-played pocket aces (but that's a topic for another post).

An interesting hand came up after we had played almost three hours. There were two nearly full tables of players left. I had a strong image as I had showed nothing but premium hands. I started with $2000 in chips (T800 for the buy-in and T1200 for the rebuy, which I did as soon as I sat down). I had chipped up to around T13,000.

Everyone folded to the button, who had a massive stack. He had played tight, but had been lucky. Twice he had JJ and flopped a set and got action. One time a player had raised pre-flop with AK and he called. The flop was A J x and he got the pre-flop raisers entire stack. The other case was similar. I had been watching him, though, and he had one very bad habit; he raised more with good hands and less with not-as-good hands. The blinds were T300 and T600 with an ante of T75. Everyone folded to him on the button --- he raised to T1200 and the small blind folded. I thought for maybe five seconds and raised to T5000, and he folded like a cheap suit. He stood up and slapped his cards face up on the felt: A 8, and the dealer mucked his hand. I thought for a couple of seconds and also turned over my hand: J 3.

Three points:
1. It's a huge mistake not to make a standard raise just because your hand is borderline. Scared poker is losing poker.
2. It pays to watch how others play -- you can never relax.
3. If someone "tells" you their hand strength, don't be afraid to take advantage.

Just sayin'.

As a post script: Don't ever show your hand, if you don't have to. I did in this case. Why?


  1. I don't understand why he showed his hand or why he was upset or why he seemed to want to see your hand. He tried to play a bad hand from the button, nothing new there. Whether or not you were playing from strength didn't matter, did it?

    You said earlier in the post that you had a strong image. Your opponent was giving you an opportunity to scramble your image so you did.

  2. I think he showed his hand because he was trying to say, see, I had an ace, I wasn't on a complete steal.