Monday, November 14, 2011

How to lose $400 in one hour

I feel some sense of obligation to share my vast poker knowledge and experience with my readers. I think that most of you would not know how to go about losing $400 in just one hour of playing $1-2 no-limit hold'em. I think I should lay out a plan for how you can accomplish this. Naturally, what follows is purely hypothetical.

Step 1: Go to Imperial Palace, to pick a random spot. Perhaps you'll make it there on a Sunday evening--one very much like last night, in fact--with the initial thought that you'll make your bread-and-butter money in NLHE, then indulge in some fun shenanigans at the $3-$6 10-game mixer afterwards.

Step 2: Buy in for $200 and take your seat.

Step 3: Quickly lose about $50 with a series of good starting hands that go nowhere and must be abandoned.

Step 4 (big hand #1): Pick up A-K in early position. Raise to $8. Get three callers. See a flop of A-7-3 with two diamonds. Bet $22 at it. Get one caller who is most likely on a flush draw. See a brick on the turn. Bet $55 at it. Hear big-stacked opponent declare himself all-in. Count chips, see that you have only about $65 left. Calculate that the pot is effectively about $245. Realize that you have to call, and do so. See opponent's pocket 3s. Realize that you are drawing dead.

Step 5: Rebuy, another $200.

Step 6 (big hand #2): Pick up suited K-Q in late position after a couple of limpers. Raise to $11. Get two callers. See flop of 4-7-8 rainbow. When they check to you, make continuation-bet of about 2/3 of the pot, $22. Get one caller. Put him on overpair (9s or 10s), top pair with good kicker (e.g., A-8), or straight draw. See turn card of a king. Be happy to have connected. When lone remaining opponent checks to you again, bet $50. When he smooth-calls again, realize that something suspicious is going on. See deuce on the river, an apparent blank. Cautiously let the action go check-check. As soon as you check, see opponent smack the table in frustration. Realize that this means he was desperately hoping to get in a river check-raise and take all of your chips. Confirm this when he turns over 5-6 offsuit for the flopped straight.

Step 7 (big hand #3): For the first time in this session, look down at the Mighty Deuce-Four in early position. Let feet do happy dance under table, as you have been blessed with the most powerful hand in poker. Limp, so as to conceal the strength of your holding. Hear the guy who previously stacked you with his set of treys announce a raise to $12. Call behind two others. See totally unsurprising flop of K-4-4. Repeat happy dance under table. Check. See big stack bet $45 and get one caller. Pull the trigger on your check-raise shove. Get insta-call from big stack and fold from other player. Reveal your trips. See opponent's pocket aces. See opponent grimace and knock the table in polite acknowledgement of your superior hand. Know that he has but two outs. See one of the two remaining aces hits the turn. Throw up a little bit in your mouth. Decide that poker may not be the game for you when you do not hit your one out (for quad 4s) on the river.

I realize that this is a rather complex game plan. It requires a lot of things to go wrong in highly improbable ways, all linked together in an exact sequence. It may look like a formidable challenge. But it is possible.

Trust me on that.


ASG said...

IMO, in your hypothetical situation, you should have checked the turn in and seen how much he bet on the river in Step 6. In most games I play at, a player is much more likely to call a turn bet after calling a flop bet with two pair, a set or a straight than an overpair or a good 8. An overpair might have even raised the flop to "see where he is at."

If you check the turn, most players will either bet if they think they are way ahead (or want to bluff a straight draw) or check if they are unsure. They are also more likely to call a river bet than a turn bet if all they have is one pair. The guy with the straight would have likely bet less than $50 on the river if you checked.

In summation: a check on the turn let's you lose less and get more value out of every hand that you beat that is not 9-10.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain Grump, thanks for sharing it with us as it is good to know it is not just us amateurs which these hypothetical situations happen to. I was also thinking such hands only happened on line which we all know is rigged. Get back on the horse and good luck! We all know in the long run.....blah blah blah.


geezer said...

Love your blog BUT as you know we are all progressing or regressing to the mean... and we all have been where you were last night.
hope you run better

Anonymous said...

Could the poker gods be keeping you humble after your post of Nov 11th?

Rob said...

Oh wow, that's a few tough beats handed to you in a short period of time. Ouch. Sorry. But you'll get it back next time, right? Let's hope!

Conan776 said...

Meh, that's my every day :/

the man said...

In Step 6, if him calling your bet instantly makes you suspicious then I don't understand why you bet it. You surely weren't betting to get a fold, and you surely wouldn't have seen a raise as *less* suspicious? So I don't see the sense in betting (given that a call is perceived as bad news, that is).

Anonymous said...

Was thus hypothetical or what?