Wednesday, March 04, 2009

If it wasn't for luck...

This year's first event was smaller with about 800 players in the first $300+$40 event. I started in Caesars at noon. Soon I was the chip lead at the table. I had three players with significant losses in their chip stack, to my benefit. This made me the clear chip leader at the table.

Poker is a game of deception. The way I make massive chip gains is by applying the fundamental theorem of poker. That is, I have the advantage when the other player thinks I have something I don't. To be blunt, I lay traps and wait for the other players to get caught.

The perfect situation for me arose in this game. I'm sitting in late position and I get dealt pocket Aces. To make it perfect, a player in early position had what he thought was a good hand, so he made a preflop raise. From his attitude and play I put him on a high pocket pair. Of course I called with my pocket Aces.

Then came the flop. The board was trash, obviously helping neither of us. He opened for a large amount, I raised, and he went all in. The trap was sprung. He showed pocket Queens, I turned over pocket Aces and he knew he was done. I had his chips and he was out of the game. That is what I like to see in poker.

The turn was a third Queen. If it wasn't for luck, I would win most hands I go in on. After doubling him up, I stayed in the game for an hour, but that was the defacto hand that knocked me out of the tournament.

The Cash Game
A bite to eat at 6ix A Bistro, and back to the poker room at Bally's. I bought in for $200 and began over the next hour to lose my chips. Maybe this is why I don't like cash games. I lost about $150 and decided I needed to concentrate, then curb my losses by leaving and going to bed. I was dealt A-J suited, spades, in late position and decided to take a chance and play it.

A player in middle position raised preflop to $25. That was about half of my stack. I called. So did about four more people. The flop came. All trash. That was it for me, I did not catch a card and had nothing. Unless. Unless I could play with something other than my cards.

I boldly announced "All-in". I moved my $23 remaining chips across the betting line. It was a pure bluff. I had nothing. Two players who would later have had the winning hand folded based on my bravado. But only two players folded.

You see I did a pure bluff, not a semi-bluff. With a semi-bluff you actually have something, but are hoping it will improve. You might win because everyone folds. You might win because your hand improves. Hey, you might even win because you had a hand. Three ways to win in a semi-bluff. But I had a pure bluff. I had nothing. And not everyone folded. With a pure bluff, you can only win if everyone folds.

I didn't catch on the turn. I didn't catch on the river. I had nothing. I was devastated at losing it all. Two people showed their hands. Amazingly, I then scooped up all the chips with Ace high.

After chipping up to blacks I walked out of the poker room with more than I entered. Time for bed.

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