January 11, 2009

3rd Poker Evening

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Yesterday was the 3rd Poker evening. It was held at Ian’s place and seven people turned up: Me, Ann, Ian, Christian, Cristina, Pete and Ury. We played three games and as has become usual, started by reducing expectations on our ability. I didn’t take notes so my memories are a little limited.

The first game was a standard £5 NLHE tournament, and I started in my standard heads-up manner – aggressively. As people started betting small amounts, I bluffed the first hand and then bet big on the turn in the second with a flush draw, straight draw with two overcards. Then I realised I was betting pot percentages, while others were making bets of big blind. The game settled down a bit, but with the occasional big move reminiscent of the first few hands. Pete went out first and rebought. The numbers were steadily whittled down. Just after an hour Pete had a run of great cards (at least the ones we saw) and knocked out the last few people in quick succession. I was second.

For the second game we played with substantially smaller stacks to accommodate Pete and Ury who had go in an hour. This seemed to make everyone aggressive and as the blinds doubled when someone was knocked out we were all quickly down to around 10 big blinds each. It seemed like nearly every other hand someone was all-in. There was rarely an obvious bluff – people just had good cards, often in fact the same good cards (on at least 2 occasions the pot was split equally). I went all-in against Ann on the first hand when there was a spade flush on the board – whoever had the higher spade would win. Knowing that Ann is quite a cautious player, I thought I could scare her off the pot despite not having a single spade. Ann knows I bluff so after an age of thinking, called with her 9 of spades and I had to rebuy. The carnage continued and Ian was out the next hand. Pete’s run of good cards continued at the start, knocking out Cristina with KK vs QQ preflop. At the end Pete’s luck ended and mine started with three great hands in a row to beat Pete into second. The whole game lasted under 45 minutes – very quick.

Only Ian and I were available for the third game, everyone else had to leave. Considering it was a heads up match, I don’t remember much other than I finished my beers right at the start. I do recall that after playing for a while I won a big all-in pot and thought I had crippled Ian. Instead after matching chips we were equal with perhaps Ian slightly ahead! Ian was grinding me down. I tried to tighten up, but it didn’t work and I got annoyed at a couple of hands I definitely played too weakly postflop. In the end I misread Ian’s body language thinking he had nothing when infact he was trying to disguise having the nuts. Ian won.


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