Four Hands

In this blog, I’m going to review the four major hands from my last $2/$3/$5 poker session at Casino M8TRIX in San Jose, CA.

On the first hand I picked up two black Aces in early position and raised to $20. I got one caller and another player with about $500 behind re-raised to $160. I knew he had a big hand since he put a third of his stack in so I figured to see if I could get all the money in preflop when I was assured to be ahead. I don’t like calling to trap here because a scare card could come on the flop that causes my opponent to fold. So I shoved and he called. The flop had an A but two diamonds and the turn and river went runner runner diamond giving his QQdx a flush.

I lost a $1000 pot but didn’t blink an eye. In this spot I’m 80/20 which is about the best you can do in poker – but 20% of the time my opponent will win the hand. That’s 1 in 5. Bad beats happen. It’s only over time that these spots conform to the law of large numbers and make you big money. So just go back to doing what you’re doing and in the long run you’ll be fine.

Moving on to hand #2, I called a raise in late position with 55 and the flop came AK5. Five players saw the flop creating a $120 pot and when it checked around to me I bet $55 and one player called. The turn didn’t concern me and so I bet $100 when he checked to me and he folded.

On hand #3, I flopped a set of 10s against the same player. Five players creating a $120 pot saw a flop of K105hhx. I bet $55 and the player from the previous hand called. The turn was the Ah and my opponent led out for $60. Obviously I’m concerned about flushes and QJ here so I just called. The pot was $350 and the river was happily a blank.

When my opponent checks, I know he doesn’t have a straight or flush and that my hand is good. How do I know? Since he led out on the turn, he would certainly continue on the river with those hands in order to get more money in the pot. So now the question becomes putting him on a range of hands and betting an amount to extract max value. I assume he had one pair like a K or 10 so I bet $125 into $350 but he folded.

On hand #4, I called a $20 raise in the big blind with K9dd. Five players saw a flop of AAQddx. I checked and another player bet $25. The small blind and I called. The pot was now $170 for a 6d turn. Now I had the nut flush and was in control of the hand. I’m thinking one of my opponents has an Ace and has to call so how much value can I get? Also I don’t want to make it too cheap for him to draw to a full house so I bet $110 and the small blind called created a $390 pot going to the river. The river was a blank and I bet an amount – $200 – that I thought trip Aces might call but my opponent folded. Note that I was not scared of a full house like AQ or 66 because I knew that my opponent would raise me with those hands on the turn or river allowing me to get away from my hand.

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