The hand that changed it all.
This post is about the hand that changed it all...which I will share with the reader, thinking about my favourite hand I played this month, but I'll begin with my general thoughts about playing poker. This is my blog post after all :)
When I was at school I was actually one of those rare birds who used to enjoy wearing a school uniform. I liked the crispy whit collar shirt, putting on the yellow and black slim tie, the black blazer, it gave me a sense of excitement or self importance before the day started, to put on all the gear and I felt super confident, and for a long time this novelty never wore off. It gave me a sense of going places, of pride. I even specifically traveled to the closest city to buy some black leather school shoes. I had a passion for what I wore. I enjoyed it. However as I became a teenager I seemed to rebel a bit more and for the rest of my life uniforms or conformity never really kept straight with me. I didn't like it anymore. I started listening to heavy metal music and be into skateboarder style clothes.
I usually do things I enjoy and go at them with a passion. My school was called Marling and was pretty much the real life version of Hogwarts in Harry Potter. My first year really felt that way, I guess mainly because you hadn't to take an exam to get into it as well. I just scraped by and got in by the 'reserve list'. How different things could have been.
Later in life, I discovered my new freedom in playing cards. When it comes to my connection with poker I have realised that I simply enjoy to play the game. Making a profit is nice sure, but honestly it is about the excitement, the mathematics, the thrill and the drama and controversy that I like about it. There are also so many nuances. Like football, it is such a fundamentally simple game, but very hard to be good at it it and master it. Learning about it, getting better and improving, but like in football you never stop learning and if you stop playing for a while or don't play you have to be on your best game all the time to win. In all honesty though if I break even and don't lose or lose too much I'm happy. I just enjoy to play the game. Hope you do too. like I've always done with everything, until I stop enjoying playing it I will always continue!
If you lose a big hand, don't get upset. Take a breather. I have been in pots when I first started playing when I did this and tilted. I would win and lose big make crazy plays and perhaps win big (luckily) but just annoy others and ultimately end up losing my bankroll. Know that if you get your hand in when your you have a big chance to win it is correct play, just keep the faith and don't lose your cool! Good player always bounce back.
SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS
It's definitely been an up and down experience on Pokerstars so far, mainly due this the fact that there are a real mixture of good players, poor players and weak tight players on there. They have certainly playing tendencies to slow play big hands a lot which means that if you are not concentrating completely, then you will miss out. In truth, I should be doing a lot better. But I'll be honest with you, I've found it hard even to find the proper time to play given how busy I am with work! Overall though I'm now breaking even this month. It was a good 4 days, but it's been an up and down 4 days since then!
ONE HAND THAT CHANGED IT ALL...
There is one hand I was involved with recently that I'd like to share with the reader that I found interesting. It happened at a time where I had the 'bit between my teeth', that is when you are playing poker and everything is going right!
So when the going got good I called with a hand I probably usually wouldn't with J 💎 10 ♥️ . I give you the exact hand because the 10 of ♥️ was super important in the outcome of this hand. I decided to call from the small blind because an overly aggressive player had raised (again) and two other players were in. Although you usually want to play with suited card connectors rather than a hand like J10 off suit as it gives you two extra ways of winning with the flush and straight rather than just one.
Anyway the flop came 10 💎 4 ♥️ 5 ♣️ . I actually bet half the pot and then got re raised by the aggressive player. I though about re raising but just decided to call the small bet. The other two players folded. The turn came another heart, something like a 7 ♥️ . He raised again, and I really didn't think he had a flush as he had been raising every street including pre flop! He wanted me out and I wasn't going anywhere. The river came a very interesting J of ♥️ giving me two pair and a flush draw. He went all in for $14. Of course the two pair wasn't in consideration now but I held a very strong hand and fortunately I had 60 seconds on my timer to think about this. I held a 10 high flush and as the J was there that meant he needed a Q, K or A of ♥️ so I felt against this aggressive player who could have literally held anything at this point it was unlikely, not impossible, that he had one of those other two cards. I considered his play, raising on each street, and also the fact I have dad that when players go all in after this pattern of play they usually are bluffing. They want you to fold. I've also seen top pros do it on YouTube videos, but I wasn't up against a top pro. Certainly not at this level! Finally, from my reading, Sklansky & Malmuth suggest that in a big pot like this that unless you are 90 % sure you are losing you HAVE to call. Folding to a losing hand could be devastating. He must have been sweating all this time! And in the end I called :). He held J ♣️ 4 💎 and I took the $32 pot. Blowing my own trumpet; I was very satisfied with my call here, with the added bonus that I won :)
Thanks again for reading.
Next up: pre flop strategy in loose games
STATS: Hours played this week 4 hours, Profit from £100 (14%)