For the first time in a few weeks I feel like I played well today. Of course I made mistakes, but I've felt pretty unconfident lately. I don't think I've been reading people's hands well and paying off way too much. It's been pretty frustrating considering how much work I've been putting into studying the game.
In the car today, I was thinking about the book Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis.
Very interesting read about the world of competitive Scrabble players. There's a part of the book where Stefan is talking with Joe Edley, a three time National Scrabble Champ. After leaving Edley's, Stefan is encouraging himself as he's struggling with becoming more experienced in the game. He keeps telling himself "Make the best play. Winning is a byproduct."
Poker's no different.
Here was a fun hand I played today:
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is UTG with
Hero raises to $3, 2 folds, SB calls, BB folds.
Flop: ($7, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $9, SB raises to $34, Hero raises all-in $93.7, SB calls.
Turn: ($194.4, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $194.4)
River: ($194.4, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $194.4)
Final pot: $194.4
Hero shows Kc Ts
The HH won't show it for some reason, but my OPP ended up having AJ.
Anyways, I raised in the hijack with KTo. This seems standard, as does the raise amount.
The flop comes down VERY coordinated. Any time there are two broadway cards, there's a good shot someone has a hand. Three broadway cards makes this even more dynamic, and the two hearts just adds to that fact.
From what Chen/Ankenman have been saying, since the board is so dynamic, I can get away with making a bigger bet. In retrospect, due to my stack size being ~13x the pot-size, I should probably be betting closer to the pot-size here ($7) due to the three-street geometric growth considerations. In other words, I bet 7 here, he calls, pot is $21 and I have 84 left. Next street I bet 21, he calls, pot is 63 and I have exactly enough for a pot-sized bet left.
Oh well. Live and learn. Plus, going through this work afterwords means that I can gain from my mistakes without having to pay for them.
Anyway, my thought process was to overbet the pot. It looks a skosh weak and it's likely that he has some kind of hand that he may either try to value-raise with (like a set, two pair hand like he had, AK) or may try to make a big semi-bluff with a KQ type hand or pair + flush draw.
He raises and there's enough in the pot that it can be argued I could take one off here and jam a blank turn in order to punish flush draws that miss on the turn. But I opted to jam. Honestly, given 2-1, even if the K or T of hearts comes and counterfeits my straight, I'm likely gonna pay off even if he hits. So if I always pay off, I'm losing some money from my opponent when I jam a blank turn and the flush draw is forced to lay down.
Additionally, if a K or T comes, it might kill some action from other made hands (like the type of hand he had). Given the hand that he had, a Q is also a pretty shitty card that most players are going to muck to.
So I jam, he ponders for a while and makes the crying call. SHIP IT!