Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CES POKER -- Day 2 (Aria)

Didn't even clock in today. We had no game and no tournament.

After a quick change and headed across the street to play poker at Aria! Aria is a spectacular resort...the sheer size of everything and how "chic" everything seems to be. It does create the illusion of escaping reality.

After a 10 minute wait, we opened at a new 1-3 game. I normally buy in for $200, but I noticed 80 percent of the players were buying for $300, so I did the same. The lineup was a mix of locals and young guns. Couple of young guns were playing a ton of pots, calling raises with suited and offsuit connectors. Since we were in a deep-stacked cash game, I thought this is the right way to play. You can't wait for Aces and Kings. If you want to win big pots, you have to be in there with suited and offsuit connectors, hoping to flop the right hand, against the player who only plays "premium hands". The key to playing deep-stacked cash games is having a strong post-flop game. I think my post flop game is pretty good, so I don't mind playing "junk" hands against other deep stack players -- in position. I think position is the most critical (and least understood) concept in deep-stack poker. Here's an example of what I mean....

I limp one off the button (Cutoff) with five limpers in front with K5suited.  The flop comes 2 10 K (two spades). A very weak player leads out for 10 bucks from the Small blind...every folds to another another weak player who calls. Maybe my King behind at this point, but both players had $200 chips, so raising is a bad play as I risk getting re-raised with an average flop. I call and re-evaute the turn. The turn is a Jack...The small blind bets 15...second player calls... AT this point, I think the second player has some sort of draw (Flush draw) and the initially bettor has a weak king. I could raise, but I wanted to keep the pot small to see what they would do on the river. When you have a hand like top pair weak kicker its optimal to keep the pot as small as possible. So I call..The river is a 5 diamonds. The small blind bets $15....second player folds...I'm pretty sure I'm ahead, but is raising the right play?? Absolutely!! Since he has showed much aggression with his small bets, I'm sure he has a naked king. If I raised, would he call...Weak players rarely can get away from top pair so I believe if I raised a little above minimum, he'd call me with any kings...I decided to raise $35 more...After some thought, he calls with K6, and I rake a nice pot.

Sometimes you win a big pot, but feel you didn't play the hand correctly and left a lot of money on the table. You go over what should have been instead of what's an example of  this:

A very aggressive young kid with about $450 behind raises to $13...A weak Asian lady calls from the button, and I call with 88! I have around $320. Flop comes Q 8 6. I check..young gun bets $25...Weak Asian lay goes all in for $54. I check-raise $40 more...The young gun gets a little annoyed cause he asked the dealer a couple times what the raise is...After tanking for a couple of minutes, he re-raises $100 more! I have around $240 left. I put him on a big hand...AQ or above..A set of queens was the only hand I was afraid of, but I didn't have a thought of folding...I announce ALL IN!!! The young gun asks for a count and tanks for what seems like forever. As time passed, the more I wanted a call. In fact, I believe he was going to call. Unfortunately, after 3 minutes, he mucks....and I take down a nice pot.

I think I made a mistake here....Because the Young Gun put in 4th raise...I think he would have made a massive bet on the turn and I could have shoved all-in and won an even bigger pot. If I just called his 4th raise, it may of appeared weak and I'm sure he would have attacked it!! Another reason I should have waited to shove the turn was the board was so dry that there wasn't a card that could have pushed me off my hand -- even it was an Ace or King.

Anybody would have played the hand differently??

You're always learning and picking up new information to improve your game...sometimes you learn the most from the bigger pots you win even if you think you played it wrong...

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