Belated Thursday Poker Blog! Fun Hands from Last Week

Hello all!  Instead of apologizing profusely for my pathetic blogging habits of late (i.e., being 3 posts behind), let’s just get right to work on catching up! 

We will return to our Omaha discussion soon, but last week there definitely some blogworthy hands from my poker homegame, so let’s talk through a few of them and see if we can learn something.

As I have mentioned previously, my home game usually has about 8-9 players per week.  In a typical week, we play 2 sit-n-go tournaments, with starting stacks of 2500 units.  We break occasional for single superstack games, but last week was a standard 2-game night. 

After a fast exit in Game 1, I had enough fortune to chip up to around 4000 units or so early in Game 2, when an interesting hand developed during Level 3 with the blinds at 75/150 and me in the big blind.  Interestingly, to start the hand before anyone had acted, an Ace and a three were exposed (can’t remember why or how except maybe someone folding out of turn to go to the fridge or the bathroom and accidentally flipping over the cards).  Anytime an ace is exposed, valuing hands becomes tricky.  Unsurprisingly, my good friend and most mathematically opportunistic aggressor at our table raises under the gun to my left up to 425.  It folds around to the small blind, who calls.  I look down at j9 suited, among my favorite hands.  With the ace not affecting me and a lot of dough in the pot, I call despite being out of position to one of my opponents.

The flop comes down J-T-9 rainbow.  This looks like a good flop but I know it’s dangerous.  I hold top and bottom pair, though against two opponents who have made and called raises with an ace exposed, this feels like their neighborhood as well.  Sure enough, the small blind comes right out with a 1700 unit bet, exactly 1.33X the pot.  This is a huge bet, and one which essentially tests me for my whole stack as well.  I should be ahead of this player with two pair, because why would he open so huge if he flopped the nuts with QK.  This looks like a bet with a good but not great hand like AJ, JK or JQ, one that is rightfully scared of this board and wants to end it here. 

Still, I’ve got the original raiser to my left.  Despite his aggressive style, he still opened under the gun with an ace exposed.  Sure, a hand like 66 or 77 whiffed on this flop, but KQ is very possible, as is JJ, TT, or 99, JT suited or other hands I’m still vulnerable against such as the aforementioned QJ or KJ or even 88.

Sometimes you just sense the perfect storm hand, and you make a tough fold, which is exactly what I do here.  The original raiser sure enough shoves all-in, is instantly called, and our breakdown proves to be spot on.  The original bettor has T-9, bottom two pair, but is way behind against the original raiser’s nut straight (QK).  The turn and river prove uneventful.  I was marked for death but survived, which sometimes feels even better than doubling up. 

One more hand before we get going.  Later in the tournament we’re down to about 5 players.  With the blinds around 200/400, my stack has dwindled to about 3000, putting me in short-stacked danger.  I find AQ and open shove for all of my chips.  My good friend in the blinds calls.  My friend shows AT offsuit.  Not a bad call as I get pretty aggressive late when I’m short-stacked. 

These situations have not been good to me lately.  I feel no better when a fellow player announces that he had a T in his hand.  I typically shade my eyes enough so I can only barely see the board as the cards come down.  After an uneventful flop and turn, I start moving my hands away as I feel pretty confident that I’m taking this pot down, when something very weird happens.  Something just looks wrong as the dealer (a 3rd player not involved in the hand) spikes down a 10 on the river, crushing my AQ.  After a split second, I realize why the river didn’t look right (aside from the obvious bad beat) and say “Wait, did you burn a card there?”  Of course, in hold’em, the dealer “burns” a card, or takes it a card from the deck out of play, before the flop, turn and river.  For whatever reason, I’m pretty sure my friend forgot to burn one.  Unfortunately, all the cards besides the unused part of the deck and the community cards are together in the muck.  However, my mathematically resourceful friend points out that there should be an odd number of cards in the muck (the three burn cards plus all the 2-card holdings of the players in the hand).  Sure enough, there are an even amount of cards in the muck, proving me right.  The ten should’ve been the burn card.  The REAL river card is a blank, and I double up.  The lesson —  PAY ATTENTION!!  😀

I wound up taking 2nd in this game, my first cash in awhile at the table.  Was nice to break out of a slump in semi-dramatic fashion! 

Explore posts in the same categories: Poker Tips and Tales

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