Saturday, February 21, 2009
No Limit Hold 'em
Some of you may know, I've taken up a hobby. That being, Texas hold 'em. I've played [sort of] for a bunch of years here and there, never really taking it serious. Kind of a hit and miss for fun (usually when out with friends after a few beers). The best I ever played was to make the final table of a tournament at the Sahara in Vegas a few years back. Recently, I've decided to put in a effort to learn and play properly. I know, just like anything you want to become good at, you will need to invest some $$$ in some fashion (call it education). So far, I seem to be investing time. My last 2 sessions were all about grinding for cards. I did a 10 hour stint to make 29$ and last night was about 5.5 hours to spend 1$. As far as I'm concerned, these are both winning nights. I got to play/learn for hours and it didn't cost me a cent. My biggest area of concern is confidence in reading people. I can be pushed off cards fairly easy and I don't have confidence in bluffing just yet (oddly enough, I have no problem doing it online). For example, last night I had A-10 clubs. The guy next to me leads out with 10$ so I call. I assume he may have a mid pair or high connectors. The flop comes 3 (spades) 8 (diamonds) and 10 (diamonds) - I get top pair, no luck on the suit. The guy next to me bets out 10$ again, I think this is just a continuation bet to show strength and since I have top pair with an Ace kicker, I feel....ok at the point. The turn is a King of diamonds. The guy looks right at me, checks and says "there's your flush"...many things went through my head...1) this guy hit the flush and he's trying to egg me on 2) he's got kings and he's trying to see if I have the flush or 3) he has nothing and really does believe I have the flush. What I should have done at this point (knowing the outcome) was lead out with 25$ which would have represented the flush and would have pushed him off. What I did was cower, thinking he hit the flush so I checked. The River card came and made the dudes hand. This is a prime example of where I'm weak. In my mind, I knew I should have represented the flush as my first assumptions about the guys hand were correct. But my inexperience got the best of me. As i said, the night was 5.5 hours of education for 1$ and I intend to use it.