When to call

Posted by royalflush | Uncategorized | Thursday 21 June 2012 4:51 pm

Here is a scenario I had to take quite a while to decide on. The only info I had on this guy is that he would raise pre flop every now and then and the same player would always reraise and he would fold. I kept thinking the player knew something that I didn’t, as if he had notes on him.

This was a full ring table at a $5 tourney at pokerstars and I had A8o. The flop was 224 and we we 4 players to limp pre flop. He bets and I am the only caller. The turn is a brick, I bet and he raises allin. I have him covered about 3 times.

Based on instinct I put him on a low pocket pair like 5s and I get out of the hand but I would not criticize a call here as it would not take much more but if I were in this situation ace high just is not good enough for me to call.

My problem in this hand is easy, easy to figure out it seems. I had absolutely no reason to limp from UTG. This hand was a fold pre-flop. The trouble I got in after is solely due to even being in this hand. Anyway I think I am probably behind here and I should fold. He bet out into a multi-way pot on the flop, and showed that it wasn’t a steal by re-raising your bet on the turn. In a full 9-10 handed table, I normally fold AJo and KQs UTG.In most cases, obviously some situations and some table types may change this, e.g. a very passive table may allow raising or calling from early with those hands. A8o is an insta-fold UTG though, I play it from late position if the blinds are worth stealing, apart from that it’s trash.

I had a nice chipstack, no need to get crazy in this hand. Ok so I made a play at a pot that you were stuck in and my opponent reraises you allin. Well my read was off or maybe it wasn’t but at that point I just had release. If I were bluffed then fine they deserve it with that move, but to call here is just crazy. I see it is unanimous, so I am feeling like I may have made a bad call. This was my reasons for calling.

1. His pattern of raising with nothing,
2. I felt he took a stab at the pot after the flop. He didn’t have the 2 because he wouldn’t have bet a rainbow flop,
3. He didn’t raise preflop which he often did so I didn’t put him on anything significant in his hand,
4. I had 3 times his chip stack so I would be hurt but not short stacked by calling,
5. His bet was too big (weak is strong/strong is weak),
6. If my read was right he would be out of the game and I will have a nice increase to my chip stack.

I was worried about him having the 10 which was my biggest concern. I used up a lot of my extra time making this decision. As far as me being in there with A 8 off, I was fine with that. After playing an hour or so with the same players it wasn’t a bad idea to be in there with a mediocre hand since they were playing rather tight and so was I. You have to mix it up a bit and that was what I was doing. Any raise I would have folded without hesitation. Anyway, it turns out my read was spot on. He had nothing (Q9o).

Professional poker players

Posted by royalflush | Uncategorized | Sunday 18 September 2011 1:50 pm

Professional players from the nineteenth century may have set their sights on the game of poker, because in doing so they thought they could make more money. With its larger share for skills and psychology a game like draw poker offered them a better return than so-called pure chance games.

With a simple deck of cards, you could improvise a poker game anywhere, whenever the opportunity arose. That was an other feature in which poker had a clear advantage over the games of faro and roulette. Poker adapted admirably well to the itinerant lifestyle of professional players.

A handgun was often part of their luggage. Because of the stigma they were struck with, it was not uncommon for professional poker players to have no alternative but to practice their trade by playing with outlaws, which was not without risk. Faced with such opponents, it was sometimes better to lose in order not to get into trouble and to stay alive.

For legendary players like Johnny Moss, Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson and Thomas ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston, having to separate from their gains of the evening under the threat of a gun was part of the territory.

When they were more lucky like when they met gullible salesmen on the Mississippi River steamboats, they could easily get their hands on their wallets at low risk. The typical trick was to deal them a monster hand like a quad of eights, while another player got a slightly stronger hand like a straight flush. Nowadays we know that statistically the occurrence of such a situation is highly unlikely, but during these times it happened more often than not.

With all cheating still taking place nowadays including online (think about the recent scandal at Lock Poker), one can imagine how profitable it could have been at the time for the skilled players. Recently poker pro José “Girah” Macedo said that he cheated some high stakes players by deceiving them and finding a way to see their hole cards. Yes it is hard to imagine how the game of poker could be totally devoid of any form of cheating, after all deception is part of the game, the question is where to draw the line sometimes.