Rushing shorthanded

First off I want to say thanks to all the blog brothers (see the links on the right) for making a boring day at work more interesting. Lots of excellent blogging going on out there.

I finally hit a nice run of cards… I’d been waiting to hit a rush for a while, and after 6 coors lights, I was ready to roll. The wife was off from work, so I was a little distracted, but managed to pull in a $20 win after a 1 hour session on 3 $3-6 tables. I guess the poker gods rewarded me for complaining about my fare with AK, as I pulled in two $45 wins with 2 AKo (I lost $6 on one AKo). And I pulled in a huge $79 win (26 big bets!) when my pocket rockets were helped by an Ace on the turn, and some poor sap held KK. Of course I managed to call most of this away with marginal hands. 2 of the 3 tables were those typical Friday night gems, where 5 or 6 see the flop and there is little preflop raising. So I had to call with my marginal hands and live with the implied odds.

Anyway, I took a little break, polished off a couple more beers, and sat down at a $5-10 shorthanded game. 15 hands later, I was up $238. I won 4 of the 15 hands:
1. QQ, flop is QK3, and the table is aggressive. I’m hoping one of the other 2 callers has AK, and the betting tells me this may be true. An Ace comes on the turn, and I miss on a check raise, but the check induces a capped fifth street. One guy had K7, another AT. Just perfect. $98 win.
2. Q9s, flop is 529, turn 2, river 6. $63 from two players, one with 33, another presumably missed his flush draw.
3. A9s, flop is AA2, and I bet the whole way, called by QQ and Q2. $73 win.
4. 87s, I play it aggressively heads up and, the 7 is top pair on the flop, and holds up for a $30 win.

That’s it. 4 hands, $238. It felt good to finally beat the shorthanded table, I have struggled there the last couple sessions, but tonight’s win puts me back positive for the shorthanded $5-10 games. It was also nice to be able to focus on one game, rather than straining my eyes to follow three tables. I really think these games put a poker player to the test, because everyone is aggressive here, and the ability to read players becomes more important. I love playing these games, but I think the best players play here, so I usually avoid them. Maybe I should change that…

Anyway, my wife wanted to go buy some Swedish Christmas drink (she’s Swedish), so I took the money and ran. Of course on the way there, I rambled on about how a poker player is measured by the way that he loses, not the way he wins. Anybody can push a winning hand. But cutting your losses when you sense your beaten is the hard part. These mindless sessions on 3 tables seem more like waiting for the rush than anything else. I’ve managed to win a small amount while not getting much in the way of cards, and I think I’m getting better at losing.

At the moment, there are 180 players waiting for the 2 $30-60 tables, and 2 of the players have been occupying a seat at each table all day. Why party doesn’t open up more tables is baffling. I guess they are easing into the world of high stakes poker. The new $200 NL tables only have 20 people waiting for the 2 new tables. I guess Party doesn’t want their flock to bust too soon, so they limit the high stakes tables… the longer the fish survive, the more money party rakes. It will be interesting to see if they add more tables… Maybe they are scared of losing players to the bigger games at UB and PokerStars.

Started “The Education of a Poker Player” by Herbert Yardley. This is old school poker. Yardley tells stories about guys who literally “bet the farm”. This is old school stuff, the first section of the book only talks about 5 card draw, jacks or better. He also shows a bit of hubris in claming that he never, in his entire lifetime, lost at 3 consecutive sittings. But he does give us a great quote about low limit poker:

“As I got farther from home I found the value of the bets smaller, the raises more frequent, and the games wilder. I fashioned my method of play after long study of each game and discovered that the smaller the stakes, the wilder the game, the easier to win.”

Mr. Yardley, I wish I could say the same.

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