‘No gamble, no future’ -Anonymous Californian
It’s been many weeks since I last had the taste of soft games of London. Now I’ve been mainly playing ok half of the time and playing like shit the other half – the lives games of my home town are a much tougher grind.
If they asked me if I’m any good at poker, I would reply not much, nowhere near I would like to be at. The hidden truth is, to win in full-ring aka fold ring you don’t necessarily have to be – sometimes you just gotta be patient af and it will pay off big time – at least in relative terms compared to the size of the game. Which shouldn’t really matter of course, as once you’ve chosen a game to sit down at, hopefully a great one, you’re just out there maximizing your BB winrate. As Doyle likes to put it: “Try to decide how good your hand is at a given moment. Nothing else matters. Nothing!” Wise words, yet we wander in past and anticipated future like the precious moment we have right now is worth about three-fiddy or less.
Last night was one of those nights where patience was definitely the best strategy available. After you look at the hand histories, you should not wonder why that was.
Hand number 1: Limpmeister
Starting point: We’re at the best €2.5/2.5 table of the year of this casino, and it’s getting late into the wee hours.
Hero UTG+1: A♥ K♠
Hero limps, Russian creative-tight grinder makes it 15, Whiskey Lover makes it 25, Wine and a Suit tries to call but accidentally makes it 45, hero goes all-in 480, fold, Whiskey Lover calls remaining 250, Wine and a Suit calls remaining 220.
Board runs out: A♦ T♠ 4♣ J♣ 2♣
Hero shows the TPTK, Wiskey Lover shows 6♦ 3♦, Wine and a Suit shows A♠ 7♣. Hero scoops.
At this point we no longer aim to play bottom 90% of hands at all – it’s clear the pot will be either big multiway, or alternatively 2 or more players will be all-in preflop with more than 150BB’s effective stacks.
Time to wait for more monster starting hands I guess.
Hand number 2: Deepstack Express
Starting point: Daddy Cool has more than quadrupled his stack in 30 minutes or so, and just called, not raised, a river bet with his runner-runner nutflush that was also the absolute nuts. Why did I name him Daddy Cool? Cause he has 5 children and I imagine they’re all lovely, as he has a great vibe and seems like a cool guy overall, having some fun playing poker after a steak dinner. That’s the way everyone should play, having fun and enjoying themselves – whether they play to win or not!
Hero UTG+3: J♦ J♣
Daddy Cool calls, Local Star raises to 12.5, Hero 3bets to 37.5, Whiskey Lover 4bets to 62.5, Daddy Cool calls, Local Star folds, Hero 5bets all-in 1k, Whiskey Lover calls remaining 540, Daddy Cool calls remaining 400.
Board runs out: 9♦ 3♣ 2♦ 6♠ 4♥
Hero tables the overpair, Whiskey Lover shows A♦ 2♣, Daddy Cool shows K♣ Q♠. Hero scoops.
Hand number 3: Mamacitas Extra Large
Hero SB: Q♦ Q♣
Whiskey Lover limps, Button limps, Hero raises to 62.5, Whiskey Lover calls, Button folds.
Flop: 8♦ 6♦ 2♦
Hero bets it all, Whiskey lover calls remaining 170.
Hero tables the queens, Whiskey lover shows 3♦ 9♣. Hero wins against the nine-high like a boss.
Before I jump back at the grind tonight, I would like to do a special shoutout to DGAF aka the greatest live poker inspirator & podcaster the world has ever seen, and end the post in his quote:
”No limit hold ’em is not dead. It’s the only game that can survive and thrive actually. It needs a third blind/straddle though at this point, and everyone needs to start being better for the game in all ways ASAP.”
Let’s each do our part for being better for the game, however small that part is – it still matters A LOT. I’ll personally start by smiling more at the tables 🙃