All Psyched Up...And "Hot Hand" Number 1
So today I was really psyched. First and foremost, I log in late on Friday for my usual Iggy fix, hoping against hope for some kind of drunken rant (please pretend that phrase is strikethrough text, since I don't know how to actually do that on a blog) uberpost to kick start the weekend. I'm reading, and suddenly there he is mentioning me, this blog, this here humble blog, in said uberpost. Unbelievable. Thanks man. I'm not worthy.
I also won 3 out of 4 sng's this weekend, kicking up my bankroll on pokerstars to near its highest ever. I played some with fellow blogger Katitude and had a great time late on Saturday night when a lot of the crazies and drunks come out to play. Unfortunately one of those
but what are you gonna do, it's poker (and it's pokerstars).
So I was all psyched up heading into Sunday night's Bracelet Race on Full Tilt, where I fully intend on winning myself a $1500 WSOP seat some time in the next couple of months, and as the 9pm start time arrives, I am on a confidence high. I'm feeling the powers of Iggy combining with a recent hot streak and a lift in my bankroll, and I'm thinking I really have a serious shot at one of the two seats out of the 206 entrants playing in this thing.
A key hand came up early in the Bracelet Race tonight, and it is going to be the subject of my new "Hot Hand" feature where I'm going to detail a significant hand that I witnessed online over the past few days, and will solicit comments from you as to how the hand played out. In this particular hand, we were within the first 10 hands into the tournament, and I look down on the button to find AKo. Now, I love playing a strong hand like AK from the button, because I'm an active blind stealer, and this gives me the perfect opportunity to appear like I'm stealing and hopefully enable me to pick up a Tourist (thank you Champ) playing his touristy A7 or something like that, and get some chips in the pot from the get-go to boot. In fact, that's exactly what happens here, as after three folds to start off, a guy limps in in fourth position, which I go on to raise from $30 to $150 in an attempt to build up a nice pot. Everyone else folds, the blinds included, and my one limper calls my preflop raise. Here is the flop:
Certainly not a dream flop for me, as it not only has three high cards, but there are playable straight possibilities as well. Still, when my opponent checks this flop to me, I considered checking back, but decided to bet another 300 into the 345 pot, to hopefully get him out right there. And if I do get called, I do have the two overcards, plus the gutshot straight draw going. So I'm not too concerned either way, other than not wanting to bust off too many chips early on with just AK and no hit on the board.
Question 1: What do you guys this of this move by me? I recognize that not all of you would make this move. What I'm asking though is if you think it was a bad decision for me to make. I'm an aggressive player, and normally I would bet at a pot like this in this situation, and it feels right. But I coulda checked it. What do you think?
Continuing on, the limper called my 300 bet fairly quickly. The pot now contained 945 chips heading to the turn card. Which was an Ace, another rainbow suit so there is no flush draw on the board. The limper waits a bit, and checks to me again.
Question 2: What should I do now? Again, I'm not really asking what would you do now, but rather what do you think I should do in this situation? I've just hit top pair and know I have the top kicker with my King to go with my Aces over 10s on the board. And it's been checked to me. At this point yeah sure he could be holding KJs and have just made his nut straight. But he limped preflop (instead of raising), which for KJ would be a bad play, and he called my 5x reraise preflop with KJ, which would also be a bad play with that holding. I just can't put him on that hand. Thoughts?
In reality, I checked back to him, figuring I'll get it in on the river if need be, and maybe I can confuse him into thinking that the Ace scares me. I mean, if he has A8 or A9 or something (both somewhat consistent with how he's played the hand so far), I want him to think he might be good here.
On comes the river:
With the Jack on the river, and the nut straight draw out there to anyone who has a King (including me, thankfully), my opponent quickly pushes in on me.
Question 3: What do you think he is holding here? I'm thinking Does he likely have the straight, or is he maybe trying to push me off this hand, either on a stone bluff, or maybe I guess even a slow-played set of 10s that he can't get away from?
Let me know what you guys think. I'll have the results of the first Hot Hand posted here shortly, but I want to give everyone a chance to respond before I ruin any suspense.
Anyways, thanks again to Iggy for the gratuitous mention in The Blog. Right now I just finished the latest Sopranos episode (best of the season yet in my view btw) and it's time to turn my attention back to the virtual tables for my nightly entertainment and education session. I'm "sandlerm" on the Yahoo! IM if anyone is interested in chatting or playing any kind of a game on any of the major sites. Those who know me know I'm more of a MTT whore than anything, but I'll play almost any flavor of poker if the situation suits me.
UPDATE: OK first I'd like to thank all of the many commenters on the first installment of my new "Hot Hand" feature on the blog. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing everyone's point of view and debating the right way to play the hand, and whether or not I should have assumed I was leading or drawing dead at the river. So without further chitchat, I will get to the result of "Hot Hand" #1.
If you recall, my opponent called my 5x preflop raise with Big Slick, check-called my pot-sized continuation bet on a flop of Q-10-10, and then he checked to me on the turn card (an Ace), which I checked back at him to see the river for free. Then the river came a Jack, giving me the nut broadway straight, at which point my opponent moved-in on me for about the size of the pot, all as seen in the following screen shot:
It only took me a few seconds to call this bet with my nut straight. It sounds like many of you think I could have put him on a boat of some kind. In reality, I called and my opponent flipped:
There's the boat. Good call to those of you who hit it right. I did not expect to see this when I made the call (obviously), and I was out early in the Bracelet Race. But I remain steadfast in my efforts to win a non-main event seat at this year's WSOP, despite my bad run at FTP of late.
Speaking of which, last night I played in a $10 buyin MTT on full tilt, and I was off to an amazing start, which had me in 4th place out of 400-some entrants in the tournament after only probably 20 or 25 hands total. Then I suffered the following three beats, the first two one after the other, with the third coming just two hands after the second. Three out of four hands, this is what happened to my 4th-out-of-450 stack:
You always love it when Aces get beat on a runnerrunnerrunnerrunner straight. Then, the very next hand, this one went all-in on the flop when my Jacks were dominating favorites to my opponent's Fives:
And finally, the piece de resistance, two hands later, my preflop pair over pair domination once again falls short:
Ah, such is life, especially on the virtual tables. Looking forward to WWdN tonight, as well as donking off another $26 token on the nightly Bracelet Race on FTP.