Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monday Excitement

My sister was in town yesterday so Carmen and I got to hang out with her for lunch plus a few hours in the afternoon so it was nice. I think we are catching up again Wednesday afternoon for some pool action at the Bellagio. Life is good.

After the visit Carmen and I went to the MGM for some action and it was an interesting session. Right now I play 1-2NL with the goal to be playing in the much juicier 2-5NL games sometime soon. Now I do have the bankroll to support the 2-5 game but I'm still studying and working on my game and I really want to feel ready before I move up to that level.

With all that said, I get a seat at the 1-2 table and notice that there is only one 2-5 game in progress and it's all tourists and none of the tougher locals. Okay so what happens? Four of the tough 2-5 regulars take seats at my table within about 10 minutes as they wait for seats their usual game. There are also two tough tourists there already so including myself we have 8 good players.

I'm actually excited by the competition at the table as I can test the waters with good aggressive 2-5 player but with the cost only being a 200 buy-in. The game was a blast and I right away wanted to establish myself as a player.

After a few orbits of the table feeling each other out in get T-9o in the SB. The button a highly aggressive player made it $15 to go after two limpers so I decided to call knowing one of the limpers would play. I was hoping for a good flop but also I was trying to set up a move to back these two off somewhat.

The flop came K-T-4 rainbow, I check and MP bets out $15. The button raises it to $30 and I read both these guys to be postering so I check/raise to $100 and both players lay their hands down. I was nervous about making this play but I didn't feel like either player had anything and they wouldn't be willing to risk my check-raise and I was right.

A few orbits later I get Q-J on the button. A middle position player raises it to $10 there is one caller and I re-raise to $40 and both players call. The flop comes K-9-5 and both players check. I raise to $125 and both players fold so I take down another decent pot without having to show cards.

These were two good opportunities to make some plays and show some aggression that I somtimes was afraid to do in the past. Not any more though. One of the things I'm working hard on in these cash games is being much more aggressive against certain players and forcing them to make tough decision for a lot of chips. By picking and choosing my spots, it's working rather well actually, other than getting beat by a few suckouts, which is going to happen from time to time.

So my table image is aggressive and I haven't even had to show my cards so I'm sure I was becomming somewhat of a target especially to the local 2-5 players who were wathcing a 1-2 player taking down the biggest pots.

About 30 minutes later I get K-K UTG and I raise to $15. One of the 2-5 locals makes it $45 to go and it folds around to me. Now my thougts are I can either push here and see what he has, hope its not A-A, and see if he calls or set the trap and see if I can get his stack after the flop. Now I will play this hand both ways depending on the opponent so I go into the acting mode and decide to play the trap and just call.

Flop is K-Q-8 with two diamonds. Now the only way I put this player on a flush draw is if he raised with A-J diamonds which I seriously doubt and maybe he made a move and played J-T and is open-ended but I didn't think that was the case either so my set of Kings is looking good. My thought now is how to trap this guy. The past two big hands I check-raised the first one and led out strong on the second one so I think if I mix it up, feign a small weakness I might be able to get this guy so I bet out only $50 into the $90 pot.

No sooner do I make my bet he goes all-in for about $240, nice it looks like it worked. I immediately call and show him my Kings. All I get from him is, "ouch." The turn is Q to give me the full house, the guy mucks and says nice play, and I rake a nice sized pot.

The player was obviously making a move, not aware I had a strong hand, thinking I would lay down to his all-in bet so without even having to show my cards earlier, I was able to create a table image and when the time came for the real monster pot I had the goods.

I feel like my live cash game is getting strong and I felt really comfortable playing with all the good players at my table even though it was only 1-2. I'm going to keep studying, keep reading, keep playing, and really work on my game so I can make the jump up sometime this summer.

I love Vegas and I love cash games.


At 5:25 PM, Blogger SugarlandStump said...

Very nice. At this rate you'll be at 2-5 soon. Keep it up.

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous mookie99 said...

Great job. Next time I come to Vegas I won't be able to sit in the same game with you. Keep it up.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger smokkee said...

some nice moves got paid off. well done.

i wouldn't be in any big hurry to get to 2/5. it sounds like you're doing fine where you are. also, aren't there more tourists sitting at the 1/2 NL tables?

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Thirsty said...

Some nice moves there, changing my table image is something i am working on so its good to read about how you have been creating your image to work in your favour.

At 4:00 AM, Blogger DP said...

You played the KK hand perfectly... I was thinking that leading out on the flop with top set would be a good play in that spot as well, since he probably figured you for an over-aggressive player that would be intimidated by the slightest resistance. I was ALSO thinking that your call preflop was perfect, because it seemed like he was making a move due to you being an unknown player that appeared to be aggressive.

Sometimes you can set yourself up to get paid off big by making counter-intuitive plays that utilize a seemingly over-aggressive table image.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Don, that was an awesome poker post right there. Great story with all the details for the poker addict I mean enthusiast. And nice move on the end. No matter how good or bad a player is, there is always a way to get in their head and make them think you have something you don't have. Great work, fun reading.

And CONGRATS on Miami man!! I never thought they would win this series after three quarters of Game 3, and I certainly didn't think they would win tonight in Dallas. What a game man, you must be busting.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger drewspop said...

Excellent, great session man. Congrats on your Heat taking it down too.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Great stuff D. I assume you doubled up your retirement fund on the Heat yest?

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Raveen said...

hey miami the 2/5 are def worth the jump. I used to play the 1/2 back in the day when the borogta opened and it was the only nl game they had. But as soon as 2/5 opened i made the jump w/ out the bankroll and did extrememly well. THe biggest difference i see w/ the aggression u pointed out is the buy in and deep stack play. As you move up in the ranks thats all it boils down to b/c u'll have lots of money on the table w/ blinds so low the goal is not to make a big mistake. But after reading your last post.....i'd say you should move up to 2/5 ASAP because ur missing out on alot of money....

At 2:36 PM, Blogger iamhoff said...

Very nicely done. This is why I love reading your blog...great anecdotal situations to both instruct and allow us poor souls who don't live in Vegas to live vicariously thru a winning player. Keep it up. I expect to start reading about how you're pwning the 2/5 tables in no time.

At 2:10 AM, Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

dude hurry up and get the "familial obligations" over with and get back to hanging with me during these blogger-go-rounds. ain't the same without you - like a mookie without Mookie.

no, i am not ghey. but thanks for asking...


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