3 MAY 06
It’s like the old joke. Driving with my buddy Earl, he keeps flying through red lights. I’m cringing and holding the armrest for dear life, and all he says is, “It’s okay. My brother drives like this.” Red light after red light we keep flying through until we finally come upon an actual green light. Earl slams on the breaks and we come to a screeching halt. “WTF Earl?” I exclaim.
Earl’s reply? “My brother might be coming the other way.”
I saw 2 3 soooted win twice last night. The surprising thing was that once it was held by my buddy Ryan, who was playing very tight up until that point. He made a great read and stuck with it the whole way. The other time was against my TPTK when the 8 seat flops the 4-flush and rivers the straight.
I saw another great rush of cards – including winning 4 or 5 hands in a row at one point. I developed a great table image and was able to get a couple of folds when I knew I held an inferior hand. The 4 seat made a horrible mistake by folding AJ face up to an EP flop bet on a board with an Ace.
After that, I raised any pot he limped into, even if there were other players. He folded to any aggression, and I took about $100 free dollars off of him with that play alone.
Seattle John sweated me for one hand, which was pretty cool. In late position, I call a bunch of limpers with A2 off-suit, with the Ace of clubs. The flop is 3 clubs for the nut-flush draw. It checks around to me and I bet, and get three callers. No club on the turn and it checks to me again. I bet and get called just by the blind. No club on the river and the blind checks.
Do you bet here?
If you think he’s on a club draw, you bet. There’s a chance that Ace high is the best hand, but that’s kind of wishful thinking. I had squandered my table image a little, so there was a better than average chance that I’d get called. I bet and he called with top pair after the flop. It was a good (not great) call, and I didn’t have to show anyone but John. If nothing else, the bet on the river with nothing but Ace high enabled me to milk an extra bet on two separate later hands when I held the nuts.
A note about implied odds. I posted the mandatory $15 for one of my many kill pots. Ryan raises from late position and I call with 96 off-suit. Heads-up, we see a flop of 5 7 8, all clubs, for a vulnerable straight. I check-raised the flop and he three bets. I think I bet the turn and he called. When I bet the river, he raises and I ask, “Did you flop the flush?” When Ryan replies, “No. Did I need to?” I knew I had the pot. Defending the kill is similar to defending the blinds. I’m getting 5:1 pre-flop (the small and big blind = 1 bet. His raise is 2 more. My call is #4 and he will always bet the flop for #5).
Final thought: Thanks again to Ryan for pointing out another mistake I made. I talk a lot when I’m playing, especially when I’m playing well. At one point, I was asked why I didn’t bet on the river. I replied that the only person that calls my river bet is someone that has me beat. Ryan smiled and said, “No poker instructions, please.”
He (and Mike Caro) are absolutely right. Why would I want to teach the fish how to play better against me? Sorry ‘bout that.