Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Little Poker Quiz

I finally got a "why haven't you been posting on your blog?" comment today so I thought I'd put up a quick post.

I've been playing great poker lately. I don't know if it's because I've been exercising 5 times a week and lost ten pounds or if I've just gotten a little better after however much more experience or if the poker gods have just been with me. Whatever it is for the past month or so I've been steadily booking nice wins with a few moderate losses mixed in.

This success and some increased confidence has allowed me to take a few shots at the bigger games. While I still spend most of my time in the $10/$20 games I usually have at least one $15/$30 in the mix and I've been playing maybe 100 hands a day on average of $30/$60 with a sprinkling of $50/$100. I keep my eyes on the bigger games and if I see someone who is a real fish playing over their heads (usually in an effort to get even) I jump in. So far I've been able to scoop out a few small wins and get some more experience playing for those stakes.

I had two interesting hands come up in the past few days and I thought I'd share the action with you and see if you can guess what my opponents had. It's a little poker quiz!

In the first hand I was playing $30/$60 and got dealt QQ in first position. I raised to $60 and the soft spot in the game made it $90 to go. I capped it and the flop came down T 6 4 with two spades. This looked like a great flop and of course I bet. When my opponent raised I wasn't surprised, but I wasn't thrilled about it either. I thought he could have AA, KK, JJ, 99, 88, 77, AK, AT or two big spades, but I didn't think the pairs below ten were very likely. I could beat all but two of those hands, but given that I'd capped it out of position preflop my opponent was showing a lot of strength by raising me on the flop.

I considered three betting the flop, but opted to just call and see what the turn brought. It was a king! Yuck! I checked and my opponent bet $60. Now I liked my chances much less, but the pot was too big to fold so I called.

The river was and ace! Double Yuck! I checked and called my opponents bet mostly out of frustration. I didn't think I had much of any chance to win, but there was $583 out there staring me in the face and if I folded I would go from little chance to zero chance of getting that money.

What do you think he had?




D) QJ of spades

E) 63

F) 89 of spades

I'll put the answer at the end!

In the other hand of interest I was playing $15/$30 and got dealt AK of diamonds on the button. The player to my right who was one of two soft spots in this game came in raising and I three bet. We took the flop heads up and it came down Q T 5 with two diamonds. I didn't have anything yet, but I had a monster draw with two over cards, a flush draw and a gut shot straight draw, so when my opponent bet into me I had no doubt about what to do and raised.

My opponent just called and the turn came down a jack! BINGO! Not only did I have the nuts, but there was also a chance that my opponent just made two pair which would mean good action. My opponent bet into me again! Ah ha!

I raised and to my shock and delight he reraised me! I capped it, he called, and the river was the 2 of diamonds making me a flush. Double bingo! Given the turn action I thought there was a good chance that my opponent also had AK and now I'd be getting the whole pot instead of half. When my opponent bet out I was even more sure he had AK, but I had the nuts so I raised...and he reraised! I capped it, he called and I took down the $652 pot (which interestingly enough is only $9 more than the pot was in the first hand after I called the river).

So what do you think this guy had? Here are some familiar choices!




D) QJ of spades

E) 63

F) 89 of diamonds

In the first hand my opponent amazingly had 63 off suit! My mouth practically fell open when I saw it. I would have been devastated if I'd folded on the river and he'd shown his hand. Dan Harrington (the 1995 WSOP main event champ) says he assumes there is a 10% chance that his opponents could be doing something totally irrational. This was clearly a case of pure insanity from my opponent. He had about $600 when that hand started and was broke and gone about 5 hands later. If I ever see him again I'll make sure to get into that game!

In the second hand my opponent hand 89 of diamonds. I think he played the hand pretty well. I probably wouldn't have three bet the river, but I guess he was sure I had AK and didn't consider that I could have AK of diamonds. It's so sweet to make the best possible hand knowing you can't lose and get crazy action.

That's the end of my first poker quiz! I bet you all failed!


Wild Bill said...

I think with the knuckleheads playing these days you can up that to 20% completely irrational.

Matt said...

Well, I got 100% on your poker quiz, so ha! On the other hand, you already told me about these hands...

Good to have you back on the blog!

Anonymous said...

yep, failed your test.

Here's a hand from a tourny I'd like to hear your thoughts about:

$33 buy-in, 60 make the money I have an average stack with 300 people left.

Blinds are 100/200 and I have about 4700 chips. I open raise to 600 from the cutoff with T9s and the button calls with a very big stack. I'm new to the table so no read on him.

Flop is JJ9 rainbow. I bet 800 and he calls. I think it's likely he's floating with overcards (or nothing) or has a smaller pocket pair, maybe a 9. Less chance he's slowplaying a jack or overpair, or maybe QT/T8.

Turn is a jack. I check thinking that I'm risking him checking behind with overcards, but since he's the big stack I'm hoping to induce a bluff where he could easily be drawing dead. He bets 1800 and I checkraise all-in.

What do you think of my play and thinking behind the play?