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Monday, May 31, 2010

This Week In Poker

It was a rough week for me on the felt last week.

J-Dawgs Poker Extravaganza was a blast as usual. Bobby Dee smoked a brisket and he is a magician with a smoker. Put it on a bun with BBQ sauce, sweet onions and dill pickles and you have an AWESOME sandwich! Add a couple of side dishes and some pecan filled brownies that Stamps better-half had baked, and it made for some excellent grub.

I won a nice pot in a game of Badugi with a 6 high. We were heads up on the last draw, and Bobby Dee and I both held pat on both the second and third draws, so I figured he was strong. He called me down after all three draws, but lost with a 9 high.

In a later hand, I looked down at 7-2 offsuit from the cut-off on a hand of Hold 'em, got a wild hair and decided to raise. "Oh crap, Duck's got aces!" Stamps hollers. I only get two customers, which is unheard of in this 25/50 cent, limit game, where there are usually 5-6 players seeing the flop. The flop is J high and J-Dawg and "Cell" (because he spends most of his time texting on his phone) check. I bet and both of them call. The turn is an ace, and both players check. I bet and J-Dawg says, "I had you up till now" and folds. Cell comes along for the river ride. The river pairs my 2, Cell checks, I bet a dollar, and Cell mucks.

I really wanted to table my bluff, just because it's so hard to pull off in this limp-fest game, but I kept the secret to myself.

Friday night was spent at the Tin Man's tourney, which didn't happen because we only had 5 players, so we went right to the 10/20 cent NLHE cash game.

My favorite hand of the night was calling a 3X raise from Tin Man with a 5-3 of hearts. Tin Man is tight, so I knew he had a big hand, but thought "What the heck," and said to Tin Man, "I apologize in advance if I beat you with this piece of dog grunt!" The flop is J-7-3, with two hearts. Tin Man shoves for another $1.50, I call, hoping to hit my flush and once again apologize in advance if I win. Tin Man tables A-J, for TPTK. The turn is a brick, but the river is a 3! Everyone at the table goes "WHOA!" in unison and Tin Man breaks out laughing. You think Hellmuth would have the same reaction if I had done this to him?

Overall, I lost $16 in both games, possibly because I played too many hands like 7-2 and 5-3.

Other than the DON tourneys on Pokerstars, I generally had my hat handed to me online last week, dropping about $40. So I'll spend today going over hand histories to find the leaks in my game that I know are there.

Finally, if you are an active soldier or a military veteran, thank you for your service on this Memorial Day. May God bless you and your loved ones.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Double-R-Nothin' Update #1

Following G-Man's recommendation, I played a couple more $10 buy-in "Double or Nothing" tournaments on Pokerstars last night and cashed in both.

I knocked out the bubble boy in the first tourney when the villain open- pushed from the SB for around $1,000T (5BB). I was in the BB with $3,200T and called with A-9 off. The villain tables K-6 off. An ace was in the window and that was that.

I got lucky in the second game. Down to 5 BB, I open- shoved from the SB with pocket fours, only to be insta-called by the BB, who had T-T. I flopped a 4, doubled up and cruised into the money.

That's three cashes in four tourneys. So far, so good!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I've been reading posts Gary's on the DON Tourneys on Pokerstars and thought I'd give them a shot.

I seldom play on PS, mainly because I like the shorter blind levels on Full Tilt. The $6-18 man SNG on FT generally last only around 45 minutes.

I played two of the $10 level DONs last night, bricking one (card dead) and cashing in the second. One thing I noticed was how tight everyone was playing, especially as the bubble approached. Stealing blinds was relatively easy. Both tournaments lasted a little over an hour, longer than I like, but I think I can deal with it. I'll update to let you know how it goes.

J-Dawg's Poker Extravagnza was cancelled last night because we couldn't get enough players together, so I joined Ms. Lucki Duck for a going away party for one of her co-workers.

It was held at a local "Tex-Mex" restaurant that is known for their "White-Wings." If you're not familiar with "White-Wings," it's a grilled chicken breast wrapped around a cheese stuffed jalapano, then the chicken is wrapped in bacon and fried. OH MY it is slap yo Mamma good! It's served with a side of deep fried jalapanos, an adult beverage and the phone number of the local cardiologist!

Good food, good drink, good company, good time!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Live Tourney and Cash Game

I played some "small potatoes" poker this weekend, in the "Tin Man's" $5 buy-in tourney and ended up chopping it for a nice $15 profit.

The most fun hand I was involved in happened late in the tournament. We were down to three players, with blinds at $50T-$100T, which left all of us with around four BB. It was definitely push or fold territory.

I was in the SB, with "Bluffing" Bev in the BB. I call her "Bluffing" because in the six years I've played with Bev, she has almost NEVER bluffed! The button folded and I looked down at A-3 off. I push, only to get insta-called by "Bluffing." Bev is a tight player, so I knew immediately that I was in trouble. My suspicions were confirmed when she tabled an A-T. I laughed and said "You realize I'm going to suck-out on you. And I'm gonna do it by hitting my three on the river!" As the dealer began to turn the river card over, I pulled my imaginary six-shooter and hollered "BAM!" And can you believe it... a three! LOL!

"Bluffing" then began hollering. She questioned the marital status of my parents upon my birth, my sexual orientation and then requested I do something with the deck of cards that I'm pretty sure is anatomically impossible! Hilarious stuff!

Bev and I chopped the prize money and moved on to the $2 buy-in cash game.

One interesting hand in the cash game involved myself and "Flyboy," who was on leave from the Air Force. "Flyboy" raised to .50 from early position and I called with K-7 suited. The flop was K-5-4 rainbow and "Flyboy" shoves for his last $2.20 with only $1.30 in the pot. I go into the tank, wondering why he would push in this situation. I don't think he would shove with a set, but rather string me along on a pretty dry board. As I was pondering the situation, "Flyboy" asks, "You got A-K?" I've found that over the years, if someone asks a question like this, whatever hand they ask you about is a hand that will beat them. So, I went with my read and called. "Flyboy" flips over pocket sevens and doesn't improve and I rake a nice $5+ pot.

A fun evening at "Tin Man's" house and a tidy $20 profit!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Blinds are at $80/160T, one early min-raise and a caller. I'm in late position and have A-A. I don't want to lose them both, so I only re-raise to $720T. First raiser folds, second raiser pushes. WHEEEEEE!

I call and the villain tables 8-9 SOOOOOTED. Flop is 8-8-9.

<<< sigh >>>

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I only had time to play one $6, 18 man SNG last night on Full Tilt, but I think that may have been a good thing.

I was the BB on the second hand when I was dealt AQ off. With a few limpers, I checked my option since I was out of position. The flop is a Q high rainbow and I lead out for $120T into a $180T pot. The button is my only customer, but having played with him before, my HUD indicated he was a maniac, so I was feeling pretty good about my chances. The turn looked harmless, so I bet $360T into the $480T pot and the villain calls. The river completes a gut shot straight draw, so I decide to check. I don't know what I would have done if the villain had made a 3/4 or more pot bet, but he only bet $30T into the now $1200T pot. LOL. Of course I called and the villain tables A9 off, with the 9 completing his gut shot.


Little did I know that this hand would be the only decent one I would see on this night. Nothing but trash hands, combined with an aggressive table, kept me from playing hardly any hands. I finally got so short I ended up open shoving a suited J from the button. It didn't hold and I completed the entire SNG without winning a single pot.

Call it what you want, shut out, o-fer, zip, zilch, nada.

I call it being skunked.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Live Poker, Dead Cards

I had a rough go of it at J-Dawg's Poker Extravaganza last night.

Things started well for me, as I won the first pot of the night. "Stamps" was pitching the cards (dealer's choice) and announced "Coconut" for our first hand. Our version of Coconut is that you get three hole cards and can play 'em all! The board is run just like hold 'em. I had A,2,6 in the hole, with the A,2 both spades. Since this 25-50 cent limit game is a limp-fest, I limped from middle position, assuming I wouldn't get raised. I was correct and the flop brought two more spades. The betting checked to me and I bet .50 and had five callers. The turn bricked, but the river completed my nut flush. I bet out, but lost all my customers, not getting even one call. Disappointing, but still a decent pot.

It's always good to win the first one, but little did I know that I would only rake one more pot the rest of the evening. I was dealt trip eights in the hole in another game of Coconut, but the dealer, "Cable Guy," mis-dealt when one of the players ended up with four cards. Crap! I should have known then it was gonna be a long night on the felt. And it was, I went card dead, as hand after hand was nothing but garbage. Just one of those nights that we've all had.

Chuck won the High Hand Jackpot with quad queens. It's only Chuck's second time to play with us, so sorry, no nickname just yet! He hit it playing Omaha. There were three Q on the board, and Chuck had the fourth. Unlike in casinos, you only have to play one hole card to qualify for the HHJ. So it usually takes at least four of a kind to win it.

The food wasn't bad, chicken strips and country gravy with frys and biscuits. No dessert though. J-Dawg was serving White Russians, but I passed, so J-Dawg had mine too and was feeling no pain by the time the festivities ended!

Another fun night on the felt, but my poker roll shrank by $14. Oh well, get 'em next week!!

Win the flips.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Live Poker Tonight

Let the confusion begin!

J-Dawgs big poker extravaganza is tonight. We usually play on Thursday, but J-Dawg has a softball game, so tonight is it.

I hope to build on my big $1 win last week, we'll see what happens. I did lose a side bet to J-Dawg last week, so I have to pick up a "Nati" Light tall boy, to pay off that debt.

I would like to introduce a new game tonight, just to hear the moaning and complaining. And, of course, the mass confusion it would cause!

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thanks Dad

Today is the eleventh anniversary of my father's death.

Dad taught me how to live a useful, fulfilling life in our 41 years together. The last lesson he taught me was how to die... courageously and with dignity.

Eleven years ago today.

Thanks Dad. I sure miss you.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lucki Duck Wins Seat To The WSOP!


I just finished the WSOP Tourney on Pokerstars.

As I mentioned in a previous post, after playing a tourney per month since January, I was leading the league by 70 points over "beerocrat" and 120 points over "Carlysle" and "michael02865." The other 30+ players had already been mathematically eliminated, so these three were my only true villains.

First prize for the league champion is a $1,000 buy-in to WSOP event #54 (NLHE) on July 1st, three nights at the Rio, and dinner with website owner and former WPT Player of the Year, Jon Little and any other site instructors that are available.

Josie sometimes refers to some of my fellow bloggers (me included), as "nitty old men." That certainly describes my play in the final tournament. My strategy was to play extremely tight early, until I got below 10BB, figuring that if I could finish in the top six or seven, it would be good enough to secure the league title. This group generally plays at much higher buy-ins than I, and the play had been very aggressive in the past tourneys. I figured I would be able to sit back and fold my way to the final table, while these agro players took each other out, then re-access. I was so tight that every time I blinked my eyes, my toes would curl up!

"Carlysle" was knocked out early, so I had one less villain to worry about. Shortly after we reached the final table, "beerocrat" and 'michael" got it all-in pre-flop. "beerocrat" tabled QQ and "michael" flipped AK. The flop brought the most beautiful ace I've ever seen! The ace held and "beerocrat" was out in eighth, all but insuring me the league title.

I continued to limp along, occasionally stealing some blinds. We were down to five players and I was down to 7BB when I shoved from UTG with J8 suited. "Partyhair" called from the SB with A7 off suit, flopping two pair, turning the boat and felting me in fifth place. The weird thing about this tourney is the fact that my final hand was my only hand, out of 100+, that went to showdown.

"michael" went out in fourth and the final league totals were "Lucki Duck," 430 points, "beerocrat" and "michael", 320 points.

Vegas baby!

Win the flips.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dr Pepper

A fun night of food, poker and side bets at J-Dawg's home game tonight.

"Farmer Harry" provided sloppy joes for dinner, which were very tasty, and "Ray-Ray's" wife sent some brownies with him for desert.

Heh. Health food.

The clock struck seven and the cards were in the air. I won a big pot when I rivered the nut flush in double-flop hold 'em. I also took down a decent pot with a queen high straight playing Omaha-Hi.

I walked away from the table with a $1 net profit. HEE-HAW! Now the question is where to invest my windfall. Perhaps buy some Google stock? Maybe Intel or Bank of America? Decisions, decisions!

I made a few bucks off of J-Dawg with my "Dr Pepper" side bet. What's a Dr Pepper side bet? I'm glad you asked!

Dr Pepper was invented here in Waco and the Dr Pepper museum is here (see above). The old slogan for the drink was "10, 2, Dr Pepper 4," which meant that these three hours were good times to drink one. Also, did you know that the Dr in "Dr Pepper" does not have a period after it?

Wow, you not only get poker stories, but a history lesson and trivia at no extra charge here on Small Potatoes Poker!

The Dr Pepper side bet works like this. I bet another player, even up, that a ten, two, or four will hit on the flop. I go on to explain that this is a good bet for them. I'm only taking 12 cards out of the deck, while they get the remaining 40. And I won't even ask odds on the bet. I got one customer, J-Dawg, and I won a few shekels off of him.

Trust me, this is a +EV bet in the long run. Grab a deck of cards and try it!

The Badugi game was mass confusion again. I dealt it a couple times and both "Farmer Harry" and "Dealer Larry" (so named because he was a blackjack dealer in Vegas years ago), kept asking,"How many draws do we have left?" "Dealer" took down the first hand with a strong 6,5,4,3, four card badugi. Nice.

But "Stamps" (our mailman) was the big winner tonight, taking home a little over $50 for a nice profit on his $20 investment. That included the "High Hand of the Night" jackpot he won with quad aces in an Omaha Hi game. The small blind goes into the "High Hand" jackpot each hand and the pot is usually $15-20 by the end of the night. A nice bonus!

Another fun evening of poker with friends. And thanks to my Dr Pepper side bet, I was winner... barely!

Win the flips.

J-Dawgs Poker Extravaganza Is Tonight!

Tonight is our $20 buy-in, dealers choice, live limit poker game at J-Dawg's house. We're having sloppy joe's and a few cold ones and then pitching a few cards.

Badugi will be in the rotation again. Hopefully, Farmer Harry will be okay with us dealing the hole cards face-down! I also enjoy double-flop hold 'em.

Our variation of double flop is simple. We deal two flops and you can play either. As a way to build the pot (this is a limit game), if any of the board cards pair, each player still in the hand has to contribute 25 cents. Then we deal one turn and river. You get a lot of big pots and big hands. Good times.

Here's a quick story about Farmer Harry. Our host, J-Dawg, has a small dog, a pug named "Moose." One night, Farmer Harry was out of the hand and walked over to the kitchen counter and opened up some trail-mix and started munching down on it. J-Dawg looked up and asked, "What are you eating Harry?"

"Trail mix" Harry answered. "That's not trail mix Harry. That's the dog's dinner!"

Of course everyone fell out laughing as Farmer Harry started spitting out dog food. I thought a couple of the older guys were going to need oxygen. Funny stuff!

It got even weirder when we left and Farmer Harry started chasing a car down the street!

I may have made the last part up ;0)

Win the flips!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Plugging Leaks

I've been in a bad slump on the virtual felt this week. Looking over my last 15 tournaments, I've bricked the last eight and only cashed in one of the 15 overall. And it was a fourth.

Not good.

So, I took some time and reviewed some hand histories. It seems I was getting a little loose with my push ranges on the bubble. The villains will call you down lighter than in the past, and now I have tightened my push range.

So for, so good. I have cashed in three of my last six 18 man, $6 tourneys, including one win. That's a $36+ profit, so hopefully, that leak has been plugged.

On another subject, I spent some time watching a movie with a friend of mine last night. Grant is 34 years old (just a pup) and was involved in a horrific auto accident two years ago. A dog ran in front of his car, he swerved to miss the dog, lost control, and collided with a concrete barrier. The collision killed his dog, who was riding with him and broke Grant's neck, leaving him a quadriplegic.

Grant has spent the last two years on a ventilator, the only way he is able to breathe and survive. He is going to Dallas tomorrow, to see if he is a candidate for a program that involves reviving his phrenic nerve, which is the nerve that controls your diaphragm. As you probably already know, your diaphragm controls your breathing.

If Grant gets accepted to this program, he could possibly get off the ventilator, which would be a huge step forward in his recovery. My reason for mentioning this at all, is to ask for your prayers today and tomorrow for Grant. My prayer is for him to be accepted into the phrenic nerve program and for him to regain his ability to breath without the assistance of the vent.

Will you join me?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Rocket's Red Glare

Why is there a picture of the "Tin Man" on a poker blog? Well, you'll have to read to the end of this post to get that answer!

I played in my usual Friday game last night at "Pocket Pair" Pat's house. There were only 10 players in the $5 buy-in NLHE tournament, so at least I final tabled it!

Because of my mad poker skills, by the third level of blinds, I had turned my $100T starting stack into $40T. Don't hate, I'm just THAT GOOD!

With blinds at $3-6T, I was the BB and had five of the six other players limp before the action got to me. There was a lot of dead money in the pot and I thought it would be a great time to push my $40T stack. If everyone folds, I double my stack without a showdown. If I get called and win, I'm back in contention! I look down at 3,4 off.


However, I'm not playing my cards here, but the situation. I stick with my plan and push all-in with my awesome hand and get two customers.

Flop is 3-4-7. WHEEEEEEEE!

Turn and river are harmless and both my opponents check it down. "Little Annie Okie" tables her A,Q and "Double R" shows down his K,Q. The look on their faces when I turn over my two pair was priceless. "What the hell are you doing playing that crap Duck?" Pocket Pair cackles. "Leave me alone while I'm stacking your chips Pockets!" I retort.

"Pocket Pair" got the last laugh however. We were down to three players, and the blinds were up to $50-100T, leaving all of us with around three BB, when "Pockets" gets pocket rockets. He limped from the SB, trying to trap me, as I had pushed the last three times he had limped. I looked down at 7,2 off and checked. The flop was K-Q-7, all spades. "Pockets" pushes. I have bottom pair and my deuce is a spade. I go in the tank and eventually fold. "Pockets" flashes his AA.

The very next hand, "Pockets" pushes again and this time I call with A,T suited. Damned if he doesn't have pocket aces AGAIN. I don't improve and am out in third for a $10 cash.

In the $2 cash game (10-20 cent blinds), I started fast, calling a $2 all-in bet on the river with A,9, which was top pair, bad kicker. This would normally be an easy fold in this game against an aggressive bettor, as it is generally a pretty tight game. The reason I called here is because I was heads-up with "Big Daddy." I don't know why he calls himself "Big Daddy," as he is neither big or a daddy. "BD" is new to the game and greatly overvalues his hands, but he's still learning. I went into the tank before calling, and wasn't surprised when he turned over has baby ace (A,4) and I scooped a nice pot.

In another pot with "Big Daddy," I bluffed with only K high for a pot sized bet when the river completed a possible flush and he checked it to me. When he called, I flipped my K high and said "Nice call." Then "Big Daddy" tables Q high. The table has a good laugh and I say "I take it back, bad call!" and start stacking chips.

I was also involved in the biggest pot of the night. "Big Daddy" raised to .50 from UTG, which isn't unusual, as he raises to .50 in just about every hand, so I wasn't too concerned with him. However "Pocket Pair" Pat re-raises to $1 from the SB. "Pockets" is a tight aggressive player, so when he re-raises, I figure he's got a monster hand. I look down at pocket rockets and 4-bet to $2.50.

"Big Daddy" pushes for his last $1.50 and "Pockets" smooth-calls. I'm putting his range at QQ+. Knowing him like I do, I just don't see him calling a 4-bet with anything less.

The flop is T-T-2 and "Pockets" checks. With almost $7 already in the pot, I have $7 behind and figure that if I push, he will call with his over pair. I have QQ and KK crushed, and if he also has AA, we'll chop it.

I push, he laughs and says, "You're so screwed!" and tables pocket tens for flopped quads. CRAP! Now I know how Coop feels.

So my $10 stack is gone in one hand. I'm in the red for the night, done in by the rockets, and left glaring at "Pocket Pair" Pat, whom I renamed "Tin Man" in honor of his quad tens.

So that's why the Tin Man is pictured at the top of the post. As Paul Harvey would say, "And now you know, the rest of the story."

Friday, May 7, 2010


"I have four suits, but one pair. Is that a Badugi?"

"Do we play all four cards?"

"Do we get to draw again?"

"You're raising Duck? What the hell!"

Just a few of the comments from our first game of Badugi at our Thursday night game.

All good quotes, but the best was from "Farmer Harry" (Farmers Insurance agent). I had dealt one hand face-up, with no betting, so everyone could learn the rules and get a feel for the flow of the game. After everyone was convinced they understood Badugi, I started dealing for real. Farmer Harry says, "Oh, you don't deal them face-up?" The whole table cracks up and I bury my face in my hands. "Well Harry, it does make the game more interesting if you can't see everyone's cards!"

Bobby Dee and Ray Ray got into a pissin' contest (raise, re-raise, etc) after the last draw in one of the Badugi hands, with both showing down 7 high Badugi's, but Ray Ray won with 7,5 versus Bobby Dee's 7,6 and raking a nice pot.

Everyone seemed to enjoy Badugi, so I think we'll include it in the rotation.

Ray Ray was the big winner last night, cashing for $74 in a $20 buy-in game. I lost almost half my stack ($9), but it was a fun evening with some great people.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

LIVE Poker Tonight!

I'm about to leave for my Thursday night poker game. I guess you can call it poker as the cards take a back seat to the food and fun.

Most of the players are older than me (no comments Josie!), with some working for the Social Security Administration and a couple of them retired from the same, my accountant, an insurance agent, and a mailman. The night is filled with dinner, a few beers, jokes, and ripping on each other. And what could be more fun than ripping on a government worker or insurance agent?

It's a dealers choice game and some of selections I doubt that you're familiar with. Games such as Pineapple, Coconut, Omaha, 3 Card Omaha, Suck-Out, Double Flop Hold 'em, Stud, Razz, etc. It's a limit game, 25-50 cent blinds, that is a limp-fest. If you raise pre-flop (which I do...a lot), it's unbelievable the bitchin' and moaning it causes. Funny as hell!

After reading lightning's post on Badugi, I've decided to introduce it to the rotation tonight. There will be screaming and moaning... and mass confusion. I can't wait!

Click below to read about Badugi on lightning's blog.


Bad Play + Bad Luck = Bad Results

I had a rough session of poker on Full Tilt last night.

It started with the lively and fun Very Josie Tournament. Playing fairly tight (for a short-handed table) I was a little above my starting stack when we reached the final table. Not long after the break, I picked up TT in late position. Blinds were $50/100T and I raised to $250T. "Edgie," who had played a tight game thus far, called from the BB and checked a 9 high flop. I bet around $400T into the $550T pot, as my hand was "at risk" and I wanted to take the pot down now. Edgie re-raised me all-in for over $1,400T. Generally, Edgie had shown the goods when called down, but with only $1,000T behind me, I decided I was committed to this hand and called, hoping Edgie had A9. But, it was not to be as Edgie showed me the "slot machine" (set of 7s) and I was done. Nice hand Sir!

I think this may have been a loose call. If I fold, I still have 10BB left, but it's borderline either way. Folding an overpair late in a tourney is always tough. Was this a bad play? How would you have played the hand?

I also pushed pocket sevens late in the $6, 18 man tourney I played after the Josie and ran into AA. Unfortunately, it wasn't Coop that was holding the bullets, or I'm sure I would have sucked out on him!

Overall, I only cashed in one tourney and netted a $35 loss for the night. At this rate, poker may become an expensive hobby!

Of course, there's always tomorrow

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Online Tells (Part 1)

I read an article a year or so ago about online tells. I think is was written by Ryan Fisler, who is a successful online player and is also an instructor at, but I'm not positive that it was him who wrote it. The article was broken down into three areas, timing tells, bet sizing tells, and pattern tells.

Today I want to look at timing tells and highlight some of the major points in the article. I'll discuss bet sizing tells and pattern tells in future posts.

1) The Insta-call of a Continuation Bet

This indicates a weak calling hand, such as second pair or a draw. If the villain was strong, he or she would take some time to consider a proper raise amount to induce a call from you.

If your hand is strong, make a small bet on the turn (40-50% of the pot) and hope for a call. If you're weak, bet strong (70-80% of the pot) and push the villain off their hand.

2) The Delayed Check

A player that almost times out before checking is usually weak. Bet 60-70% of the pot and start stacking chips.

3) The Delayed Bet

If your opponent almost times out and then bets 1/2 pot or more, look out! It is an indication of strength. Unless your hand is strong, fold 'em and move on to the next hand.

4) The Insta Preflop 3 Bet

If the villain throws out an instant re-raise, he is very strong. His range here is AK, QQ, KK,or AA. In this case, fold if either of your stacks are less than 20BB or if you are out of position. However, if both stacks are over 20BB and you are in position, the implied odds allow you to call and set mine with underpairs, or to call with suited connectors and hope for a favorable flop.

5) The Insta Continuation Bet

You see a flop and your opponent instantly throws out a continuation bet. This usually indicates weakness. I was railing the Mookie last week and saw this tell several times at the final two tables. If you have a strong hand, call. If you have a weak or marginal hand (draw, second pair, etc), raise them off their hand with a 70-80% of the pot bet.

6) The Insta River Bet

Just like the insta continuation bet, an instant bet on the river usually indicates a weak hand. If your opponent has a made hand, wouldn't they take some time to figure out the correct value bet? If you feel your hand can beat a bluff, call. If you are also weak, this is a good opportunity to raise and take down the pot.

There are a couple tourneys tonight where you can look for these tells. One that is called the "Donk" (or is it Dank?) or the "Monkey" (Mookie?) will draw a lot of players if you want to rail it.

But the Very Josie Tournament on Full Tilt is where all the cool kids will be playing tonight. It's a deep stack tourney with $3,000T starting chips. Be there or be square! Click the link below for more info. I hope to see you there!

Very Josie Tournament

Sunday, May 2, 2010

WSOP Seat A Little Closer

Just finished the fifth of six tournaments in the FTT League. As I mentioned in my previous post, first place is a buy-in to a $1,000 preliminary tourney at the WSOP, three nights at the Rio, and dinner with former WPT Player of the Year, Jon Little, who runs the website. I was leading by 20 points (310-290) over "beerocrat" after the first four with one other villain lurking with 240 points.

I played a tight-aggressive style at the early levels. With 15 minute blinds, there was plenty of time to wait for good starting hands and attack. The tourney started well for me, as the villain with 240 points got it all in pre-flop on the second hand with AKo versus pocket nines. The nines held and that was one less villain to worry about.

I stayed around my starting stack of $1500T thru the first few levels, and made it to the final table when "beerocrat" busted in tenth, which was good for 10 points. I was basically free rolling now. SAH-WEET!

After almost two hours, I busted in fifth when I pushed for 8BB from UTG with QJh and was snap-called by KQo. The J,J,T flop was nice for me, but Joker Stars dealt an A on the turn, giving the bad guy a straight. River was a blank and the Poker Donk3y (my PS screen name) was history. Fifth place was worth 60 league points.

The bad news is that I didn't cash. The good news is that I will have a 70 point lead (370-300) going into the final tournament next month. I'll update when I get a date and time for it.

Wish me luck, I'm getting close and first place is definitely not "small potatoes!"