Sticking to the fundamentals - ABC Poker
I returned to the action this morning, by jumping back into the shallow poker waters of micro stakes cash game tables, on the Bwin poker site, with an aim to slowly build up my bankroll in mind...no matter what. I'm happy to say I achieved this in a minor way by eventually making a small profit, but not after a few miss reads, up and down swings, until perseverance led to an eventual couple of double ups. Little steps, little steps.
Recently, I've spoken a lot about various strategies that can be possibly used that may give myself and anyone else who cares to take note to try to find a cutting edge to their game. In previous posts, I have shared with you some of the gold nuggets of information provided by two excellent poker books (please look back to some of my previous posts to find out more). However, after admittedly disasterous results in applying Negreanu's small ball strategy for the first time in a recent tournament, I decided for the moment I would calm down and just play according to my own usual style. A more ABC poker, doing my best to use the fundamentals of basic game play. Once I've built up a decent bankroll, then maybe I can start to get a little trickier if I feel the time is right. I really would urge the reader to do the same. Build up your confidence first and then apply the trickery later.
Despite going into the table with the reasonable aim of making a small profit in mind, of course there were some moments of frustration which left me realing, as well as some other interesting situations worth thinking about. I'm glad to say however, that it all came good in the end.
I actually began with a little bit of good fortune early in the short 30 minute session when my 3 ♠️ 3 💎 hit a set on the flop, (one of two flopped sets I made in this $5 buy cash game), after I limped in from early position and called a pre-flop raise from an opponent to my left, along with a third caller from late position.
The flop came A ♣️ 3 ♣️ 10 💎 which was of course a fantastic situation for me to be in as it was likely, due to the initial bets, that atleast one of the players had an A.
Of course I slowplayed this one by checking and calling the continuation raise from the MP, which the player in late position also duly called. The turn came a 9 💎 (a blank in other words) and I checked again, the aggressive player raised about three quarters of the pot and the third player called again. This time I check raised to about $2.69. The initial raiser folded and the third player called, leaving him with only one thing he was drawing to; a flush. The river card was a 7 ♥️ which for me was a fine card to land as it made more sense he was chasing the flush rather than some random straight draw - he folded to my all in and it was a nice near double up to just over $9.
I found myself in another dream situation when I similarly just called with a small pair (this time 55) from MP and two or three other players were in there too. I hit a flop of 5 💎 K ♠️ 7 ♥️ and the player to my right started raising suggesting he had at least a K. The turn was a 7 💎 giving me the full house so I simply called another, bigger bet, from the same player with one other player also in. Anyway, I was already counting my incoming dollars when a K 💎 arrived on the river! The guy bet this time and very frustratingly I had to fold as I was 98% sure he had the K. This hurt!
I'm guessing he had something like K10 off suite (or worse) as he didn't raise pre-flop...maybe a worse hand, but the K on the river killed my monster hand.
I did manage to get all his chips when I called a small raise from MP when I had A6 on the button about five minutes later. I had a feeling I needed to call and I was right. The flop came: 6 A 6 and it was curtains for the same player from the previous hand above, when I smoothcalled his heavy bets, only for him to show a measly A5. Patience and perseverance definitely paid off here.
In slightly more difficult circumstances, versus a much tougher player to my left with a stack of about 3x the buy in (indicating to me he was at least a good player) my initial small raise from MP when holding 1010 was massively re-raised by the 'toughie' and despite this I decided to call to see a flop. He bet big immediately, I called, and then he went all in on the turn on a very dry board of something like 462 7. I definitely think he 'had it' here, and there was no way I was calling an all-in. AA or KK alert!
Would you have folded to an all in for $10 on the turn after a huge pre-flop reraise?
A few hands later he performed the same trick against me again, only he re-raised smaller this time. Guess what, I held the exact same hand; 10 10. Did he even have a pair this time? It was a similarly dry board of 652 rainbow - only this time I felt like I was winning. I checked and then he bet biggish again. I considered a re-raise to test him out but decided against it. As I had already made my target of making a small profit and needed to go soon I folded instead. On another day I think I would have reraised at this point. However, had I stopped to consider what he thought I had? I felt this time instead of a high pocket pair likes aces I felt he might have AK or Aq as his bet felt weak. I don't think he knew I was so strong here. I think a big reraise to like $2.59 would have done it. That was my feeling anyway.
Thanks for reading my morning poker session stories - I'm now heading back to the tables again to play some more. See you next time and good luck at the tables all!