Monday, January 07, 2008

Even Steven

A funny thing happened playing poker this weekend. In 3 different sessions, playing 2 different games, I ended up basically even. It may have been about a buck profit, but for practical purposes, I played about 6 hours and didn't really win or lose. Just spent some time having a good time playing poker.

The scary thing was all 3 sessions followed the same pattern. I played terribly and was down quickly. The first session should have been profitable. Playing .5/1 NLHE on Full Tilt, I was down $50 right away when I bet into a turned straight and thought I could bully the pot my way. No such luck. But I bought back in and played better. Soon I was up $45. But I gave it all back on the last hand I played. With a limper UTG, I raised it in the cutoff with 9 9 to5. The BB called as did the limper. Flop gave me my set, 9 2 3, rainbow. I bet again (just under pot) and they both called. Turn was a 6. Suddenly UTG bet out, all in for just over $30. That surprised me. Would he have limped and called a raise with 4 5? I didn't think it made any sense to do that. I raised him back, forgetting about the other guy in the pot. As soon as I did, I realized I probably had screwed up. I should have just called to try and keep the other guy in. The BB folded and sure enough, this guy showed 4 5. I was back to even.

Yesterday, I sat down and played the same level while watching football. Big mistake. I was soon down and again, playing like crap. I did find a way to get back to even again. I got lucky when I hit a straight on the river. I had raised in MP with K Q. Only the button called me. The flop was J 10 x. I made a half pot continuation bet and was called. I checked the river and called his paltry $5 bet. I knew I was behind but felt his bet was way too small and didn't show too much strength; that a K or Q would be just as good as the 9 or A. An A hit the river. Sweet. I decided to check it back to him and make it look like I didn't hit anything. For once, this worked for me. He bet out $10 allowing me to pop him right back. He insta-called with A 10. Just like that, I was just about even again.

The last spot was in Triple Draw. Playing 2/4 on Stars. Started out by dropping half my buy in in the first 10 hands. I was playing way too loose. So I tightened up and watched for a bit. I was able to get a good read on the other 4 players. Of course making the nuts and second nuts with 2 people betting into your helps to cover the loss. That got me above even but I donked that profit away. I stopped in time to eat and catch American Gladiators.

The end result was that I enjoyed playing the game again. Next time I just need to not put myself into a hole. It might be even more enjoyable to win some money next time.

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