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why induce a bluff if you don't plan to call it? tee hee

2011-02-06 - 1:07 p.m.

A beautiful day for a drive yesterday. I continued with more of the "grinder's" style of attacking the 1/2 NL game. Had a small loss but I'm making about what I expected an hour from the game. I think to have a really high win rate then you need to pick up some of the promotional money, but I haven't hit Aces Cracked or any of the hourly drawings yet this year, and of course I've never in my lifetime, anywhere, had a piece of a Bad Beat Jackpot. In fact, I don't think I've picked up Aces in the 24 hours I've played at 1/2 NL this year. So I'm just grinding away. A couple of hands from the game.

Hand #1: A Nice Start

I've just walked in, and I think they just opened a new table, because there isn't a huge amount of money in the game yet, a couple of 300 big blind stacks but several smaller stacks as well. I could buy-in for 80 big blind stacks like I usually do at 2/5 and have most of the weak players covered, but at 1/2 I just keep it simple and buy in for 100 big blinds.

The bad beat jackpot is intentionally set to be easy to hit, and it's around $27,000, so there are plenty of multi-way limped pots before the flop, because of all the people who want to play bingo. Some folks limp, and I pick up A ♣ 4 ♣ on the button. This hand plays well multi-way, so I decide to make a pot sweetener raise of $5, and I get three callers. $20 pot. 4 players.

Flop: A ♥ 9 ♠ 2 ♣

It checks to me, and since I have no kicker to go with my Ace, I decide to take off another card and see what develops. Also, by under-representing my hand, I can induce a bluff from somebody who assumes I'm afraid of the Ace. I check.

Turn: K ♣

The TAGgy, somewhat traditional young black guy in the small blind now bets $10. A steaming old boy calls. A short-stack -- he started the hand with $120 -- also calls. Now the pot is worth going after, since I have the nut flush re-draw even if my pair of Aces are no good. I make it $45 to go. The young TAG was, as I suspected, just making a play at the pot, and he now quietly folds. Steamer grumbles and folds. Short-stack hesitates and finally smooth-calls. I thought he was considering a fold here also, but I misread him. He was probably considering a three-bet semi-bluff shove but decided that he had no fold equity because I probably held either an Ace or a King.

River: 5 ♣

He checks, pretending to be afraid of the flush. Since I now hold the immortal nuts, I go all-in. He calls with 9 ♣ 3 ♣. Yeppers, great play on his part. Since I'm beating him, the way he played it made no difference, because the money is going all in anyway. However, those times when I'm just holding an Ace or a King, I just got a free showdown from him.

It was a good thing I started on an upswing, because eventually I ran into some coolers, such as holding top two pair against a set. Later, a loudmouth drunk joined the game, and he actually got me back to $5 ahead for a moment. Here's the hand in question.

Hand # 2: Digging Your Grave With Your Mouth

This particular guy is already drunk when he enters the game. He likes to raise almost every hand before the flop. He'll then try to steal the pot on the river. In other words, he wants to play the table bully, but the drunk act is less and less of an act, and more and more of a reality. Two old boys are heads-up on the river in some hand where both of them play it really weakly, under-representing their hands, and the second old boy (the steamer from Hand #1) checks behind to take a free showdown...with his small full house. The other guy holds a straight and would have called at least a reasonable bet. He might have even been planning a check/raise. From all the way across the table, the drunk berates them both for their terrible "rookie" play. OK, we get it already. He's the only ones with cojones at the table. Just ask him. He also claims that he can out-drink anyone at the table or anyone that anyone at the table KNOWS. Fine. I'm some distance away from the guy, so I don't have great position, but he seems to be just the kind of guy where I'd like to get him heads-up while I'm holding a strong hand and then induce him to put some more dead money in the pot with one of his "manly" bluffs.

OK, so at this time, I have $200 in front, and he has me covered. He open-raises to $12, folds to me on the button, and I pick up A ♠ K ♥. I decide that I would like to make a larger-than-usual bet here, to build a bigger pot, and because I'm happy to be pot-committed lighter than usual against this guy. Blinds fold, and he calls. $80 pot. Heads-up.

Flop: Q ♥ 7 ♥ 4 ♥

He checks, and I check. If I'm not already ahead, then I have the re-draw to the second nut flush. I can't put him on a hand because he plays anything before the flop, having shown down such hands as a 7 ♦ 2 ♦ open-raised under-the-gun. True, he did call my three-bet, suggesting he holds something but I don't know if a maniac often checks when first to act if he holds anything on this scary flop. Hmm. I could take it down right now, but I feel pretty safe sticking with the original plan to induce a bluff, especially since I hold the K ♥. So I check behind.

Turn: 7 ♣

He checks again. I am now quite confident that he holds nothing, and my only real chance to get any more money into the pot is to check again. He simply can't NOT bet the river with 100% of his range after berating the other boys for not betting their rivers.

River: 5 ♣

He bets $50 with A ♣ 6 ♣ and I insta-call to his disgust. My side of the table congratulates me on my "gutsy calldown," although I don't think it's all that gutsy to call a bet that I deliberately induced by checking twice! Be that as it may, the drunk donks off the rest of his money to somebody else in short order and staggers off, muttering something about going to his car. I hope he wasn't planning to drive...

I could have left then, even for the night, but I decided that I would like to reach my time goal and also wait another half hour to see if they called my name in the drawing. Meanwhile, I got dribbled again. So that's why the small loss for the night. But, overall, I seem to be hitting what is considered a realistic win-rate for 1/2 NL, although not the high win-rate that B. reports. Very short sample size, of course.

A lovely winter sky last night from the front yard. Nice detail on the Pleiades, which some people in New Orleans think is the Little Dipper, since we don't often get nice night skies and people don't really know their astronomy.

One of my relatives very sick, had to be rushed to the hospital, but I will say no more about it in a public entry, since I doubt this person wants it announced to the world on the internets.

My Mom attended a meeting about this tour to South Africa that she would like to take next fall. Actually, I would like to go myself, but it's sort of a budget tour, and I'm afraid of getting stuck in a middle seat in the back of the bus for a 15 hour flight. I'll have to investigate further and see if I can get the tour priced without the flights, so I can find my own flight. "It looks like we would be flying out of Newark and connecting in Amsterdam or Munich before continuing to Johannesburg," she reports. Yikes. Since the tour originates in Knoxville, forgive me for assuming that they would have taken a Delta flight through ATL. I would have signed up already if that was the case, because after they booked my horrid seat, I could call on the Gold Elite line and get it changed to an aisle or an exit row or something. Oh well, I'll figure it out later.

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