Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fun and games at the Strike

I played at the Gold Strike Casino last night. There was a $110-buyin tournament with 10,000 in chips and a grillion runners. When the blinds were 200/400, I held A K. There was one limper to me and I and raised to 1600. The limper called. The flop was 8 6 2. The limper checked and I made a 2000 CB and the limper moved all in! I had to fold and had just lost one-third of my stack with a good hand.

When the blinds were 800/400/25, I was in the big blind with K 7. UTG made a min-raise to 1600 and the small blind called. I'm getting 5:1 on my money (actually a little more with the antes), so calling was trivial. The flop was J 7 3. The SB and I checked and the UTG better also checked! So far, he looked like a complete fish. Fourth street brought the J and the SB checked. I moved all in. My two pair might be good, and if not, the threat of three jacks might be too much.

UTG thought and thought and finally called. The SB folded and UTG turned over 8 8. He said afterward (correctly, I might add), that he didn't believe I would bet so much with three jacks. Against a typical tourist, the all-in usually works here, but this guy figured out what to do. The river was a brick, and I was busto.

Here is the worst play I've seen in a tournament in quite some time. When the blinds were 100/200, the board showed A Q J 10 2. I don't remember the betting up to then, but on the river, there were two players. A lady bet 300 and the man raised her to 1000. She called. I'm trying to figure out which player had the king for Broadway straight. Not the lady, she would re-raise with the nuts (or would she, you never know), so the old man must have it. The old man showed J 10 for two pair, and the lady turned over Q J for a higher two pair. I couldn't make this stuff up, folks.

After I busted out of the tournament, I played in the $1/2 NL hold 'em game. It was a dream. I doubled up during the first hour and chipped up a little from there to book a modest profit (after deducting the $110 for the dumb tournament).

There was plenty of entertainment. Players are willing to play giant pots with nowhere near the nutz. Four times I saw players all in when both of them had a flush. When the board has K 10 2 on the flop, and you have 7 5, why go all in? If you want to protect your hand, there are bet sizes to do that other than all your chips. The other player, by the way, had A Q for the stone cold nuts.

What would you do here? You have Q 7 and the board has three clubs to the ace. In other words, you have the second nuts. The river is a fourth club and the villain bets $60 into a $40 pot. Does this overbet smell fishy? The guy called, but the better turned over K 9 for the nuts.

One more deal from the cash game. You hold 2 2 in the big blind and get to see a flop in an unraised pot. The flop is A 3 5. Everyone checks. The turn is the 10, and everyone checks again. The river is the 4 giving you the wheel. You bet $11 and a lady raises to $22. Everyone else folds -- what do you do?

She might have limped in from early position with 7-6 suited, so you just call, and she proudly shows: 2 2 for the same straight you have. "I like how you play," I told her, ha ha.


  1. That hand with no King and both betting we had a very similar one at my tournament yesterday. It was a board missing one card and both players firing at it. Neither had the missing card. You just shake your head and wonder. Congrats on the cash win

  2. Nice report. Glad you won overall.

    On the JJ7x hand when you held K7s, I would imagine that the UTG raiser is going to call any bet that you make on the turn. If you bet a third or half pot, he is still going to see a river. (I agree that your all-in bet looks like a seven or a bluff. You would've shocked his world if you had showed up with 99 or TT though.)

    Now what to do on an innocent-looking river? If you again bet half pot or so, repping a jack, he'll probably talk himself into calling. This is, after all, live poker.

    Maybe check-calling the turn and river is the way to go. Dunno.

  3. Nice job winning your buyin back in the cash that!

    I thought for sure you were gonna say that woman had 6-7 when you had a wheel....gotta love playing with that kind of player.

  4. Well, based on the blind size and bets, I doubt the betting was strong early. I think I could come up with a few scenarios where that might avoid senseless and just go to poorly thought out.

    If the early betting was strong, I wouldn't say the ladies IQ approached single digit. That can't quite be said for the old guy but you know how they are. They often are too consistent in making largish continuation bets.

    I've also notice that many women will place tables on notice that they aren't going to play "girly" poker before the blinds go large. It isn't a bad investment in that sense. And, I think the old guy was possibly counting on her being the stereotypical, tight women player who could fold even a set here.

    Hate the hand, though. Neither ever knew where they were at -- with bluffs and hero calls not really early play delights.

  5. Sounds like you had a good time! I felt like I would have fit right in - all that talk about blind and limping!