06 January 2006

Why Do We Play Poker?

Working on my sign-up bonus on FullTilt, I had gotten up +$220 on a $5/10 table (which I donked down to $25 by the end of the night). I opened up a full $1 NLHE table. I was able to double up with two brutal suck-outs (QJo vs. AQ with a Q on the flop, caught J on river; KTo vs. QQ with a T on flop, caught K on river), so I had built my $45 buy-in up to $109. This is why we play the game. I'm on the button with 55, and UTG raises up to $3.50 to go. Middle position calls, and I call to bring the pot to $12. The blinds fold. Flop comes 5d5hJh. Raiser and caller check, and I check to see if my kicker will improve, although I do feel good about quads with a jack kicker. 8h comes on the turn, and the raiser bets the pot. The caller calls, and I call as well bringing the pot to $48. 9c hits on the river. The raiser goes all-in for $95.80 (I have $92.60 left). The caller thinks for a minute, then calls all-in for his last $34.15. I then type, "won't like this..." and call with my quads. Raiser caught his boat on the turn with 88, which made the caller's nut flush with AhTh. I told my wife this morning, she was beautiful coming down the aisle on our wedding day, and each of our three boys were incredible to see at birth. Putting that aside, is there anything more lovely than flopped quads? The only thing better is being last to act with two other players having hands.

That is a large part of NLHE cash games, waiting for monster hands. I'm normally on the losing end of it or make the donkey decisions that give my cash to someone else (see above before sucking out twice). Laying around for the monster flop, especially with low blinds, can be extremely profitable/dangerous. There is no more horror than to see a guy turn over 58o when you've gone all-in with your 55 and a board that reads 342 7 6. The physical shutter and twitching/faux-seizure that follows can keep one incapacitated for quite a while.

I like my comfort zone, playing solid tight/aggressive with an occasional weird hand, limit to limit my losses. I would guess this will always limit my potential to improve, but I've always regressed when I've tried to randomly get away from that (by loosening up, chasing more, etc.). Can you be successful simply by knowing your game then working on having the patience and discipline to stick to it? Is that boring, or is that what it's all about? I do like getting my VPIP closer to 20% rather than the 25-28% that I rode most of last year.


Blogger WillWonka said...


3:38 PM  
Blogger Marshman88 said...

It's fun to have quads on the flop. I would've laid those down!?

9:36 AM  
Blogger Slimeface said...

I know everytime I go outside my "comfort zone" I crash. My play will even deteriorate temporarily after I read any strategy book and I always come back down to my feel good type of play. If it's true that poker is just one long game, then I guess it will be alright in the long haul. ))

1:57 PM  

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