Sunday, May 18, 2008

Riding the river

My company, ACBL, had a party yesterday; we always do something fun. This time we took a ride on the Mississippi River on the Tunica Queen. We loaded the boat at 6 p.m., traveled up the river and then returned by 9 p.m. There was a meal during the trip and some door prizes, games and a Tee shirt! The river boat docked near the casinos, and so when two of my co-workers said let's go play poker, hey, that works for me.

We played $1/2 NL hold 'em at the Goldstrike Casino, and started out at the same table. My two friends are not experienced players and they showed it on these two hands. Friend A had two pair and position on a guy who was drawing to a club flush. He checked on the turn and she did too. The river was a club, the villain bet and my friend called. She could have bet big enough on the turn to drive the guy out (or at least charge him, free cards are a cardinal sin in a situation like this) and win the pot on fourth street. Friend B did almost the same thing. He hit two pair on the turn. When it was checked to him, he also checked. There was a 7 on the board, and the river card was another 7. Now an early better bet $20, my friend called! and the bettor turned over a 7 for rivered trips.

Poker can be complex, but noobies could do better if (1) they bet when they have something, (2) fold when they have nothing, and (3) fold when they are obviously beaten. No secrets here.

We were at a "must move" table and when we were moved, they ended up at a different table.

I usually buy in for $200, but decided to try something different and bought in for $100. The LairOfLucypher has a series of posts discussing the topic of shortstacking here, here and here. Ed Miller has also written on the topic, both on his blog and in his books.

When this hand played out, I had chipped up to $200 and change.

You peek at your hand expecting to see the usual 7 ♣2, but instead you find two lovely ladies: Q Q. It's folded to you and you bet $12, your standard raise. The two blinds call, so there's $36 in the pot. The flop is ♣2 ♠3 4. It is checked to you and you bet $20; the small blind folds, but the big blind calls, hmmm, so the pot is $76. From what you've seen in the hour or so at this table, your caller is an older guy who is a solid player. The turn is 3. The big blind has $120 and moves all in. Do you fold, or do you ride the river for the second time this night?

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