Thursday, May 12, 2011

Live Poker Hands

So I've been playing some live poker lately and will talk about a few interesting hands I've played (including beats...because I can).

The 1st hand I want to talk about was a hand I played last month at Mohegan Sun. It's a $5/$10 nl game w/ a $3k cap. At the time I had about $4k and a guy opr to $40 in the hijack, button calls, I call w/ 44 from the sb, and old guy in bb calls.

Flop Ah6s4s

Checks to the preflop raiser, he bets $115, button folds, I c/r to $340, bb snap calls, pref raiser 3bets to $900, I shove, bb snap calls for $3500 (which worried me a little that 66 could be in his range, but so could a bunch of other hands), prefl raiser tanks and finally calls for $ I'm looking at a $10k pot at $5/$ happens online, and I tell the others lets roll our hands over and see who needs what...both guys refuse.

Turn Qd, River 8d

By this point I open my hand, preflop raiser shakes his head and shows AKo, and the old guy just erupts and starts yelling "I won the lottery!" and shows 75o. He goes on for 5 mins (I kid you not..I really wish I could've recorded it) telling his buddies to bring him 10 racks or something while yelling out of excitement. Now this was the biggest game in the room and everybody comes over to see what all the commotion is about. Well things settle down and being the pro I am, I kick the old dude's ass...jk...I just take it in stride and the guy on my right apologizes for the old guy telling me "sorry man, you shouldn't have to go through that after losing that big pot"...I reply "nah, it's cool, it's almost worth paying him $3500 to see him act like that!"

The next hand illustrates why you should never have an ego. Some guy sits down on my right in a $5/$10 game at the Aria (in Vegas) and starts firing it in every hand. He's raising every other hand trying to take control of every hand. I can tell he knew what he was doing though so he wasn't a total maniac. Rather he was a guy (mid to late 20's) that felt like he was the best player on the table and could run over the table.

Anyway I start 3betting him often since I'm on his direct left and he doesn't fold to my reraise one time for 8 hands or so (most I won on the flop, couple of times I lost at the river). This is obviously because he feels like he can outplay anybody, including me, even oop.

Prior to the final hand I stacked him for $3k w/ 44 vs his AA where almost all the money went in on the river when I made a straight.

Now he opens in the hijack to $40 (again) and I 3bet to $130 w/ AK (again) right behind and he flats (again)...flop...


Chk, I bet $140, he c/r to $440, I flat thinking I'm usually good here but hoping a straight card doesn't peel...turn...

4 bringing backdoor fd

He checks, now I'm thinking at this point the 4 is not a very good card because 86 and 45 get there and pondered checking it back, but I decided that he's aggro and capable of making a play here often w/ 1 pr + straight draws or worse and thought inducing + protection was more +ev than checking back the turn so I bet $600 with the intent to call a shove, and shove he did for $2500 total and I took a couple of seconds before I called (after all this was the plan, and if he had better, so be it).

He asks me how many times I want to run it and now I feel a lot more confident my hand is best, I say I don't care, he says how about twice, I say sure, but yet we don't open our hands...anyway dealer burns and turns for a river card...

Offsuit Q

2nd run...

Offsuit Q

and I'm feeling good about winning the pot and he just tells me he missed, and I open my hand and scoop the pot. He gets up and leaves, having given me about $6k in less than an hour. This was a good example of a guy having too big of an ego and thinking he could outplay everybody...I don't care how good you are but being oop w/o initiative is a tough spot to overcome over and over (especially vs. a competent player).

Now I like to think I play all my hands well but occasionally I'll slip up and I did so here...

I'm in a $10/$20 nl game at the Bellagio last week and we have some famous players in the game including Antonio Esfiandari, Phil Laak, Brian Rast, and Brad Booth. The 1st 3 were waiting for the $10/$20/$40 game. I'm sitting about $4500 deep and get dealt 99 in the sb.

A kid in ep opens to $60, mp guy calls, Brad calls, Antonio calls, I call, bb calls making it 6 way to the flop...

AT9 all clubs

Talk about a dicey situation w/ deep stacks! I elect to check to evaluate (leading is probably ok too), and it goes checked around...turn...

6 of spades

Now normally I would lead here and think it's best but at the time I just felt like there are tons of aggro and tricky players here so why not let them make a play at it and I can c/r...right after the hand I realized it's still best to lead because I probably have the best hand, I can call a raise and evaluate river, and getting 3bet if I c/r gets really expensive.

Anyway the action goes I check, bb leads $200, preflop raiser raises to $450, Brad reraises to $950, 2 other guys fold, and it's to I have to fold now, bb tank folds, preflop raiser calls...river

offsuit 4

It goes check check and the kid that raised the turn (not Brad) shows AK w/ nut club draw that missed and Brad just mucks! Well now the bb jumps out of his chair and says he folded the best hand with aces up and whines, while I roll my eyes knowing I folded an even better hand. Sure I misplayed the turn and it cost me but I can't understand what the heck Brad Booth is doing cold 3betting the turn and can't beat least bet the river and win the pot!

Finally I played this hand tonight at the Aria...$10/$20nl and I'm about $4500 deep. The game started 5 handed w/ King Dan (of the other training site), Ashton Griffin (or Ashman), Brent Roberts, another decent kid and me. Obviously it's about as bad as a live $10/$20 game can get (thanks DOJ) but I wanted to get bigger nl games going at the Aria and Dan and I said we would do so going forward (until online poker comes back).

Well Dan opens to $60, I 3bet to $180 w/ KK, sb cold calls, bb (a new player but a good aggro player) 4bets to $600, Dan folds, I elect to call to play ip and underrep my hand, sb now shoves for $5k, bb folds (what he said was AK after the hand), and now I need to decide if the sb can have other hands besides AA and after a couple of minutes I decide that his shoving range here is wider than AA so I call. He rolls over QQ and I roll over KK with no thought...I'll celebrate inside after I win the hand...flop...


turn and river brick out and I lose another $10k pot.

Now I can go on tilt and lose the rest of the $10k in my pocket but I decide they'll have to win it from me like the kid did w/ QQ...I wasn't going to give it away...and eventually I recovered everything and ended up winning $1500 for the night (a lesson in playing your A game no matter what).

Other than that I'm up a little bit since Black Friday (even though I should be up a lot but that's variance) and been busy working on a couple of side projects. The WSOP is right around the corner and I'm planning on playing a tournament heavy schedule so I'm trying to play as much cash games as I can. Hopefully I can run a little better, and if anybody wants to play some poker with me, look for me at the Aria (or Bellagio), and feel free to say hi...always cool to meet new people, something that I've missed out on hiding behind a computer screen for years.


  1. great post. keep em coming.

  2. I like reading about your with the kk...and the 44 in the beginning..shouldve lead with the 99 on turn at least

  3. Those hands were pretty entertaining. You must get tons of frequent flier miles. :-)

  4. Some great hands there John. I especially like the one about the guy with the ego trying to take down every hand. Reading that reminded me how I was playing before my 6 month layoff. Great insight.

  5. Thanks guys...just goes to show that live poker is....rigged! jk

  6. I also especially like the one about the guy with the ego trying to take down every hand. Reading that reminded me how I was playing before my 6 month layoff.

  7. Very interesting post. I admit You are good blogger and by reading your post people enjoy it very much.