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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

There's More to Poker than No Limit Hold Em????

I know I've been lagging in the poker content department over the last month and a half, so I will try to keep this blog mostly poker related. If you are interested in the progress of our home in Daphne, AL being built, check out my wifes blog at She has pictures and everything and she tries to update weekly.

So last week I was actually able to play a few hands of poker. Since I haven't been playing much and I only have my laptop to work on here in the corporate apartment in Alabama, I decided to play some 7 game mix. I used to play a lot of mixed games at the Wynn when I lived in Vegas, so I still venture away from the No Limit cash games to play mixed games when I want a change of pace. As you can see in the picture on the left, in a Pot Limit Omaha hand I was dealt 4 Queens in the small blind. Needless to say I folded preflop, but managed to snap a picture before folding. I think this is my first time ever being dealt quads in Omaha, and I can't imagine that it happens that often. This hand must have been an omen of good things to come, because 5 hands later I won a very nice pot where I stacked a player for his 100bb's.

The blinds were $3-$6 and he opened for $21 from middle position. I was in the big blind and everyone folded to me, and I called holding KJJ9 double suited in hearts and clubs. The flop came out J-8-6 with two spades. I'll be the first to admit that I am no expert in PLO and possibly played the flop wrong. Based on this players tendencies (he was a total aggro spewtard who didn't slow down whatsoever) I decided to check and call his $28 flop bet rather than check raising. I'll explain that in more detail as I think most readers may be wondering why I'd "slowplay" top set on such a draw heavy board in PLO. My thinking was that since the pot wasn't that big and there are a ton of cards that would put me in a bad spot out of position if I check raised the flop, that I'd be better served either leading the flop, then 3 betting him if he raised me on the flop, or check calling then check raising safe turns. In hindsight I think I prefer bet/3betting the flop and just trying to get the money in, but verse this player I think my line is OK. Anyway, the turn put an offsuit King on the board. Because I have a King in my hand, I am not worried that he just turned a bigger set. I checked to him again knowing that he would bet and he didn't let me down. This time he bet the full pot of about $100. Now I check raised pot to $400, and he re-raised all in for his last $450 or so total. He was actually drawing very live with the AT86 with AT of spades, which gave him bottom two pair (drawing dead there), a gutshot to the Queen, and the nut flush draw. After running the hand on CardPlayer calculator I was a 75% favorite with 1 card to come. Luckily the river was a 6 which made me jacks full and him 6's full. I was quite happy to drag the pot.

I also won a nice pot during the No Limit Hold Em round where I was in the small blind with AA and 3 bet the buttons raise from $18 to $64 preflop. The flop came 9-9-2 rainbow and I checked to him. I normally continuation bet this flop about 80% of the time, but I chose not to this time because I really thought my opponents most likely holdings were unimproved broadway cards that he would just be folding to my c-bet. He checked the flop back and the turn was an offsuit Jack. Now I decided to bet as I would probably be betting my air here had I decided not to c-bet it on the flop. I led for $82 into about $130 and he called. The river brought a 4 and I definitely needed to bet my hand for value. Because I thought he was a kinda fishy player I felt that I could bet a little larger than I normally would and still get paid by hands like K-J, Q-J, and J-T. I led $256 into the pot of about $290 and he called with K-J offsuit. I guess my read of him being fishy was pretty spot on.

The format of the 7 game mix is pretty nice in my opinion. Obviously the big bet games play a large role in the daily win/loss results column, but if you are a good mixed game player I think that your expected win can be huge playing 7 game mix. The limit that I mostly played last week was $15-$30 limit for the HORSE games and $3-$6 blinds for the NL/PLO games. The $12-$24 limit also uses $3-$6 for its blinds, which really make the big bet games play a bigger role in your overall results, which is why I prefer the $15-$30 when it's running to balance the limit and big bet games better. It's amazing the horrible play that I saw in my last session. In one Seven Card Stud 8 or Better hand I saw a terrible player call a 7th street bet verse an opponent who had an open pair of Jacks. Well, there was one problem. The player who called did not have a qualifying low, and he couldn't beat the pair of open Jacks for high! Hello McFly, anybody home?!?!?! I seriously had to check the replayer like twice to try to figure out why he gave the player with Jacks $30. My only conclusion is that he didn't understand the concept of 8 or Better, and was calling with a 9 or Ten low or something. Bottom line is that there are still terrible players online who play in middle limit games which is a good thing for all of us!

I know that I'm speaking pretty highly of the 7 game mix as a great way to make money, but don't take it the wrong way. There are some very good players who play in the games. I'm sure there are some great mixed games players who play as low as $5-$10 7 game mix. I would never give up my "bread and butter" of multi-tabling 6-max no limit to play just $15-$30 to $50-$100 7 game mix, as I still think a very good No Limit player who is a successful multi-tabler can still make a better living playing $2-$4 NL 6 max. What I am saying is that if you don't play mixed games, maybe you should start out small and give them a shot. It may surprise you how bad the players are. Sometimes, in the right games, all it takes is a general knowledge of the game and good card sense to turn a profit. Who knows the direction poker is going, but it doesn't hurt to know how to play games outside of No Limit Hold Em. It's also a great way to break up the monotony of the everyday No Limit grind. Just a suggestion.

I'll be leaving to go to Las Vegas in less than a week. I'm looking forward to meeting up with the other members of Team FeltStars for some WSOP tourneys. The World Series of Poker is definitely the most exciting time of the year for all poker pros. It doesn't matter if you're a multi table tourney specialist, a sit-n-go wizard, or a cash game king, the World Series is just the place to be for people in the poker business. I have been to every WSOP since I was old enough to go, starting in 2003. I watched Chris Moneymaker live at the final table in 2003 and caught a glimpse of myself in the audience on ESPN. I remember thinking that was so cool. I sat "ringside" last year and watched Joe Cada break the record for youngest Main Event Champ ever. I haven't attended every final table, but I have at least been present during the series every year at some point. This year was a close call though. I really thought, up until last week in fact, that this would be the year that my streak was broken. With all that's going on in my life between the marriage, moving, Kims new job, and being in the process of buying a home, the thought of going out to Vegas for the series just seemed like overkill. Lucky for me I have a wife who was kind enough to buy me a plane ticket to Las Vegas so that I wouldn't have to break that goofy little streak that I am so proud of. So, I'll head to Vegas next week for 8 days and plan to play $2-$5 and $5-$10 No Limit cash games, maybe some mixed games, some PLO, as well as a few satty's, and hopefully a WSOP event or two that FeltStars puts me in to. On June 28th at the Golden Nugget I will join forum members from across the country in a small $50 buy in tourney that is sponsored by called the OFC (Online Forum Challenge) in which will be giving away 4 seats to one of the $1k events at the WSOP. I am supposed to be receiving my gold bracelet from winning the WCOIP PLO Main Event as well as my Rolex from winning 2 events during the WCOIP tourney series. I also hope to see some of my good friends who still live and work in Las Vegas while I'm out west. I'll do my best to get a blog or two out while I'm in Vegas.

If you don't have an account yet at just click on any one of the banners on my blog page and set up an account. We have an amazing deposit bonus of 150% up to $1500 right now. We also run great promotions which include bounty tourneys, gauntlet heads up challenges verse Team FeltStars pros, Leaderboard races, a bad beat jackpot, and coming soon promotions for cash game players. Come bust me in the bounty tournament or win your way to play me in a heads up gauntlet style freeroll for a progressive prize pool. Come check us out and let me know what you think.

Guess that's all for now.

Til Next Time....

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