Monday, May 01, 2006

Trust Your Instincts

They say that in poker, your first instinct is usually right. I am really starting to believe this. There have been quite a few times I have been playing poker, and I just knew that I was beat, but I couldn't make the laydown. And it always costs me a lot of money. I need to start trusting my first instinct more.

Here are two recent examples of my first instinct being right. One time where I did not trust it, and it cost me some money, and one time I went with it and won a nice pot.

Over at Doyle's Room and the Tribeca network (Home of the crazy players). $100NL full table. I get pocket 9's and limp in from early position, hoping someone behind me raises and I hit a set. Sure enough, the Cutoff raises it to $5. The BB calls, as do I. So about $15 in the pot. Flop comes Q72 rainbow. Dang oh well, I didn't hit my set, I'll check-fold. BB checks, I check, and get ready to fold to the PF raisers bet. But wait. He checks too. Hmmm, he must have JJ, TT, or AK or something like that. The turn comes a 9! Sweet, I have trips. BB checks, I bet about $10. The Pre-flop raiser calls and BB folds. Uh oh. A little warning bell sounds off in my head, and I bet he has pocket Queens and slowplayed the flop. Pot is at $35. River is another Q! WTF?!?! I have a full house 9's over queens. I lead out and bet $20. He pauses for a moment, and goes all-in. He can't have quads, can he? No way he can have quads. The only hand that beats me here is Pocket Queens for quads. He wouldn't have raised PF with Q7 or Q2. Is he bluffing? I'm not sure why I called, when I KNEW he had those quads. I just felt it in my gut. But sure enough, I didn't trust my instinct and called. I figured that the chance of someone getting quads is very small, and if I am beat by quads, so be it. It was a terrible call, and I lost my stack.

Again, over at Doyle's Room, this time at a 6-max $100NL table. There was one guy who was playing a lot of pots, and raising about 40% of the time. He was a maniac. Maniacs are fun to play with, cause if you get a big hand, you can get paid off. I get A4s in the BB. Villain of course raised it up to about $3 (only 3xBB). I called. Flop came 4d, 5d, 6s. Oof, that flop is ugly. I check and villain bets just under pot. I don't know what it was, but I just knew this guy was full of crap, so I called. Turn was 9h. Again, I checked and he bet and I called again. Most people won't fire off a 2nd bullet without something, but this dude was a maniac. I only had a pair of 4's on a scary board, but my instinct told me that it was good. I knew he was full of crap. The river was the 5c. Again, I checked and he made another half pot bet. And again I called. Lots of hands beat me here. But we turned over our cards, and he showed 83o and I scooped a nice pot! An eight and a three! Can you believe it? Sure, he had a ton of outs, but I knew that I had him beat. Usually A4 goes into the muck in front of a raise. But with maniacs (especially maniacs at 6 max tables), you gotta play a few more hands. And this had the extra benefit of affecting my table image. They all saw this play by me, and probably labeled me a calling station. And you can't bluff a calling station!

I know some of you will read this and say, "Doh! What a donk! Fold A4 in front of a raise". But I went with my instinct here, and it worked out pretty well.


I had a pretty decent weekend on the tables. I made a little money both at Doyle's and PokerRewards (A Prima Skin). I signed up through at PokerRewards, so I'll get an extra $60 in bonus on top of the $100 for 1000 raked hands. Plus, once I get to 750 raked hands, I can sign-up for a nice $10,000 freeroll coming up in a few weeks.

I also deposited for another PartyPoker bonus of $100 for 1000 raked hands.

Even though I made a few dollars this weekend, I've been pretty card dead. I took a look at my PokerTracker database, and I played about 600 total hands yesterday and this morning. I had ZERO sets in those 600 hands. Mathematically, you should get a set every 130 hands or so. But my last 600 I have had none! Argg!

And with all these bonuses I need to work on, I haven't played too many SNGs. I have played 9 in the last week, and I have three 3rd place finishes. That's it. In three of those, I've been knocked out by quads! WTF?!?!1!

Tomorrow, I put up a post on my April results, The Best Poker Month Ever©™!



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