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The Secret of My Success

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  • The Secret of My Success

    It's been awhile since the last blog. It's been a few days away from the felt with other things needing to be done. And having the fulltime job in real life doesn't leave a whole lot of time for poker. I have some other hobbies that are also crying for my attention. But, long weekend, so let's shuffly up and deal.

    Today's been a rollercoaster ride stackwise. But a fun one. Today I decided to play two tables again instead of just the one I'd been playing since I got back to the felt about a month ago. So I punch up two tables. The first table was no fun. Only 18 hands in and I get dealt pocket aces in the Big Blind. The guy UTG+1 makes a bet, I 3-bet, he 4-bets and I'm thinking yeehaw. I raise, he 6-bet shoves and I have him exactly where I want him. I flip over the Aces, he shows two black Jacks. One can only wonder the wisdom of 6-bet shoving pocket Jacks in the microstakes. Then again, That's the train of thought I am capable of, he apparantly hasn't gotten that for yet.

    Well, to make a long story short: he turns a Jack and my entire stack is pushed to the wrong side of the table. So that's pretty much the end of that table. On the other table things are going a lot better, and after 99 hands I call it quits. With a whopping 34 cent profit. Well, at least it's a profit. Total result: I'm down 92 Big Blinds for the session. It happens.

    So I hop onto a table that's now full, ready to get playing. And three hands later it's heads up. Darn, I did not sit down to do heads up. Better get to another table then. Fortunately for me, this one is more to my liking: 25 hands and I'm dealt AQ of hearts in the Big Blind. The Small Blind bets, I 3-bet, he 4-bets and I decide to flat and see a flop. AQ suited looks nice, but after all - it is just Ace high. The flop comes King high with two hearts including the Jack. So I have two nut draws: Broadway and the flush. A little math gives me 13 outs to the nuts and if I catch an Ace it might even be good too. Statistically speaking, I should be the favorite to win the hand at this point. The guy bets half pot and I decide to shove all in. He calls and turns over the AK of spades. Ok, so my Ace isn't going to be any good if it comes, I hadn't included it in my outs anyway. And later it turns out my math wasn't entirely accurate as PokerStove says I'm behind. I wonder though - 13 outs twice makes about 50%. Anyway, the turn's the Deuce of Hearts and that's all she wrote.

    But you were playing two tables weren't you? Yes I was. On the other table I slowly grinded my way up to almost a double starting stack. Together, the two tables more than made up for the suckout earlier. Good, solid poker prevails. Although I still wonder if the AQ shove falls into the good solid poker category.

    A few hours later I decide to take another shot. After all, my earlier session went great. It doesn't take me long to spot a huge fish at the table. In 6 hands I've seen him donk-shove the flop three times. Making crazy bets like shoving $1.62 into a 14 cent pot, shoving $1.77 into a 20 cent pot the next hand. Target acquired... All I need is a decent hand. Three hands later, I have AQ off UTG and I raise it up. And my wish comes true as the fish calls my bet. Not surprising, I hadn't seen him fold yet. The flop's all 3,5,9 with two diamonds, and he makes a less-than-half-pot bet which I call. I doubt that flop hit him. The turn's my gin card: the Queen of diamonds. Top pair, top kicker against a fish is what you want. Sure, there's three diamonds on the board, and sure enough he over-shoves for more than three times the pot. I don't have to think about this. and hypothetically speaking, my chips are into the pot before his, Hellmuth style. He shows 8,6 off with a diamond and a gutterball. The river blanks out and all that's left for me is feel sorry for myself he was so short stacked. From there on I slowly build up a stack.

    Which is a good thing since the other table I was on (again playing two tables) wasn't going my way. 16 hands in I have AK suited. I bet from UTG, the Hijack calls, the button raises and I make the call. The flop comes 10,8,2 with two hearts. Nut flush draw. I check to the raises with the intent of raising if he bets. But alas, he checks it back. In my mind, it wasn't a fancy play, it was just a standard play: checking back to the raiser. Apparantly my opponent didn't know he was supposed to make a continuation bet. The turn's a jack of clubs, and I decide to lead out with a bet of 75% of the pot. He shoves over the top and I call. Drawing to the nuts, the Ace might be good. Well, last time I got lucky, this time I didn't. He shows Ace Jack off. Immediately I wish I'd made the bet on the flop, there's a good chance he would have folded. Now he gets my stack.

    Getting stacked twice in one day is no fun.

    In the past, I'd just give up and walk away, being upset at my bad luck. But after my earlier run, I decided to reload and stay at the table. After all, the big stack had my chips, and I might be able to win them back. No such luck, 10 hands later he leaves. But what the heck, my second table was going along nicely, so I just kept my seat and kept playing. And I was fortunate to do so. About 20 hands later, I flop a boat while setmining my pocket Fours. And I play this the way I wish I played all hands. I lead every street, making sure that by the time we hit the river the pot's big enough to get his stack in. A cooler for him as his pocket Tens don't improve.

    Now where does that leave this blog. After all, in the past I've always tried to put something in the blog about the lesson I learned. Did I learn something? Probably. First of all, I was once again smacked in the face with the fact that at these stakes, people don't shove all-in without a monster. Unless I have a bigger monster, I should just get away. I also learned that I should get up and be pissed when I get stacked. If I play my game, I will eventually get my money back.

    And now I can hear you asking - so what really is the seret of my success. Well, honestly, I haven't figured it out yet. So far, over 7500 hands at this 4NL level, I'm up 35 bucks. So I must be doing something right. But whether it's me playing well or just me running into lots of people who are playing worse...

    Until next time

    The Road to Fame and Fortune - Keeping track of my poker semi-career
    Keep up to date: @Ov3rsight


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