Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Night Poker

After what felt like a pretty long work week, I decided to hunker down in my little room and play some poker. I played some cash games on Bodog (BD), and a couple tourneys on FullTilt (FT). These are pretty much where I exclusively play poker. I wouldn't mind playing some on PokerStars, but BD and FT are the most convenient in terms of deposit and withdrawal options. Two rooms are enough for now, until I bust out a huge MTT win or something. I'm actually playing a 5$ MTT and a cash game while blogging.

Bodog is so money. It is just friggin insane what people push and make huge calls with at this site. After hearing some rave reviews about the fishiness of the players, I said to myself, "what the hell, let's see what I can do on here." So I decided to try and pull off a Chris Ferguson. For those of you who don't know, Ferguson is a world class poker player who managed to turn nothing (i.e. 0 dollars and 0 cents) into $10,000. That's pretty sick. He won a few bucks in a freeroll on FT and then followed the most stringent of bankroll management rules, like only playing with a max of 5% of one's roll in a cash game or SNG, and a max of 2% spent on tourneys. Obviously he had to break his rules in the beginning (there is no 8 cent tournament if you only have 4 bucks in your bankroll), but he achieved his goal and gave all the money to charity, which was a cool thing to do.

Anyways, after depositing 20 bucks on BD to screw around with, I actually feel like I can pull off a mini-Ferguson, although I am starting with 20 bucks and not zero (screw you, freerolls!). After less than a week's worth of play, my roll is up to $100. So I bet you're thinking, "Huh Mehr, follow that strict bankroll plan, did we? How in the hell did you grind up to 100 without following Ferguson's rules?" Well, the answer is that I doubled up like 435326 times. With the exception of one SNG, all I did was buy into 10NL games (that's .5/.10 folks) with half of a full stack (5$). Top pair top kicker is like gold on Bodog. People here will routinely stack off with top pair worst kicker on a straight and flush-heavy board. It's really not worth it bluffing here except for the occasional continuation bet. You basically come in, raise big with your AA-AQ, limp in with pocket pairs or suited connectors when it is cheap and/or profitable (i.e. many callers behind you), and trust your reads. Its a pretty good site to grind it out at the cash games, and they have huge overlays in the tourneys. You''ll take a bad beat or two though; yesterday some donk arrived at my table and went all in on the first hand. My poker sense tingling, I called his all-in re-raise with my AKo, and the maniac flipped up his all-mighty powerful J3o. I paired my Ace on the flop, and he paired his 3. Hooray I thought, he only has 5 outs. The turn was a blank, and the river was a beautiful Jack to give him the winning two pair. But hey, the other 90% of the times I take his whole stack. People like Mr J3o, I salute you.

Here's a hand for your reading pleasure (I busted out of a couple FT tourneys, and have one left for the night). Damnit why the hell did I check my straight flush on the river...!!! Sorry, as you can tell I'm playing...guess I shoulda value bet that one. Anyways, here is the hand:

I have a full stack (10$). I am dealt 3h6h in middle position. I call a 4.5x raise after two additional callers and the board comes 345 with one heart. The original raiser min bets (.10) and I call. Then an extremely loose player to my left reraises to 15x the original bet (1.50). I have bottom pair, and open ended straight draw, and a backdoor flush draw. The other two fold and, admittedly perhaps incorrectly (though I really though he had nothing), I call. The turn is a 5 of hearts, giving me a flush draw in addition to my straight draw. The guy to my left bets about half the pot (~2.50), and I call, figuring he is just continuing his attempt at a bluff. The river completes my straight (2 of spades). I check, expecting either a check behind or a shove. He does the latter, and I call. I win the hand, and double to 20$, but I badly misread the hand. He had 57, for trip 5s and an inside straight draw.

Mr. Trip 5s actually had set this up perfectly; unfortunately for him I hit one of my 16 outs on the river. In the previous hand he called a preflop raise and immediately shoved on the flop of KKx and showed the bluff. I certainly thought he was a maniac. But people vary their play, and often people get too caught up with their reads sometimes. It's all a mixture of pot odds, stack sizes, blinds (in a tourney), and reads. He should have probably bet more on the turn or shoved, as his half pot bet gave me good odds to call. Well, it all worked out. ShipTheMonies Bodog!

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