Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Critical Hand at Walsall

Last week at Walsall Casino I was playing in the $100 NL Hold’em freezeout (using $’s now for my American readers). You get 3,000 chips for your money and the blinds are structured very nicely. On the 2nd level I picked up a very critical hand but made what I consider to be my best call of the week. The blinds were 50-100 and I had about 3,500 in chips. In early position I picked up JJ and raised to 300 total. A guy in middle position calls, and then the fishiest player on the big blind calls. Flop comes out 7-5-2 rainbow. The really bad player bets 500, and I need to find out where I am in the hand so I re-raise to 1,000 total. Now action was onto the guy in middle position, and he thought about it for a while and then moved all in. Of course if the bad player called I would fold because he could have absolutely anything. However, he folded so now I dropped into the think tank. The pot was about 3,100 plus the all in so I had to call my remaining ~2,200 chips. Firstly, I remembered a hand earlier where this player had Kings and it was raised preflop, he had re-raised it that time. Thus, I banked on the fact that Kings / Aces he would have re-raised preflop so I couldn’t put him on those hands. If he had AK then it had missed and he was trying to push out all the other hands then it’d be correct to call. If he had any sort of straight draw then it was correct for me to call as I would be way ahead, and because none of the board card’s connected I couldn’t put him on a tricky suited connector that two paired. If he had Ace-x and made top pair he wouldn’t have pushed because with it going raise, re-raise he was a smart player and would know that he was beat. Now, what about a set? If he had flopped a set which was very plausible, surely he would have wanted the call and especially with that really bad player in, if he had called the 1,000 then the other player would have 99% called. This would mean that he would make a lot more money. Also, with no major draws like flush draws, there would be no really need to protect his set so I was very sure that the if he had a set he wouldn’t have moved all in. So what did this player have? He was a good player so AK, and a pocket pair lower than Kings that didn’t make a set was very possible. These are the hands that I put him on and if I was him I probably would have done the same in his spot, trying to protect his hand and pick up the pot there and then. Therefore, the only thing I was worried about was Queens. It’s a hand that he probably wouldn’t have re-raised preflop and the only possible hand I put him on that beat me. But poker is about putting as much of the puzzle together and seeing what it makes, even if you don’t have all the pieces. Thus, I decided to call and he flipped over pocket 10s. The early double up was great and I was really proud of my call. I went on the place 7th and in the money. My stack never dipped below 6,000 and I played very well. David Lu, a friend of mine was also in the tournament and we sat on four different tables together that night. He was always two to my left, so sorry about constantly stealing your blinds! Having a friend with me all the way defiantly helps motivate you to do better and not get reckless as they are always watching. It’s a week late but congratulations on winning that, you defiantly deserved it.

On a side note, the search for a poker nickname continues. Sorry if I missed out your suggestions, but feel free to msn me at nextgenneo@hotmail.com or on AIM at nextgenneo. Here’s what I have so far:

Kader "The Cut" Belbina
Kader "The Arrow" Belbina
Kader "Steven on the Bubble" Belbina
Kader "On the Rocks" Belbina
Kader "Super Brat II" Belbina
Kader "Arieh Junior" Belbina

Lots of poker pictures coming soon will keep you updated.

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