January 08, 2007


Old habits die hard. The irony, of course, is that my new job is the primary source of temptation to resume my old ways. Poker, poker, poker.

Working at Parcels with a bunch of degenerates definitely contributed to my relapse into the desolate world of fear and loathing that is poker.

Loving every minute of it.

I have (AK) and raise to $4 on the button behind one limper in a toughish 4-handed game. BB Bossman reraises to $10, limper and I both call ($31 pot). Flop is KcJcXc (I do not have the Ac). It checks to me and I bet $10. BB check-raises to $20 (?). Limper folds, I grimace and call ($71 pot). Turn is non-club 10. Bossman now checks again (?!?). He could have flopped the nut flush (AcQc, etc.) and is slowplaying, but I read a lot of tentativeness in the small check-raise and subsequent check on 4th street. I put him on a medium strength hand, possibly a dry Ace of clubs. If my hand was good on the flop it should still be good.

What type of hand would he re-raise with from the BB, then play this way after the flop? He could have QQc, AcKx, or AAc. These are the hands I'm most worried about (even though I have the QQ beat and the AK tied, both hands can easily beat me on the river).

The small check-raise and following check make me think he's trying for a free card with the nut flush draw. I move all-in for my last $35 (NO FREE CARDS!). He balks for a second, but calls in a way the tells me I'm beat. He shows (JJ) and I'm dead to a Queen. At least I had outs.

I love moving into big pots with a marginal hand that could easily be drawing dead (almost as much as I love losing). Poker situations like that make me all warm and fuzzy. Of course, if I moved him off his hand or got paid off by a missed draw the play would have seemed pretty strong. Hell, I would have even settled for a little old Q on the river.

Lesson: pushing marginal hands which are either a slight favorite or a huge underdog will get you into trouble at No Limit Hold'em.

Alternative lesson: always fold AK. Always.

P.S. - A previous encounter in the same game:

I have (AK) and raise to $4 from late position in loose 6-handed game, multiple callers. Flop KK2, SB opens by shoving all-in. I Call. (22) wins the pot.

It's been over a year since my last post on Wealthy Street Poker. If I start winning money I'll have to reopen the annals. At this point I'm about even since I started working at Parcels (but I'm stuck for $130 in the office game, which is unacceptable). More to come.