Lessons in poker

Posted: February 24, 2011 in General

Arrived early at one of my usual haunts last night to find only three names on the list and nobody at the table. I shot the breeze with one of the dealers that I’ve got to know, and we ended-up giving a 90 minute free poker lesson to a young guy who wanted to learn to play hold’em. For giggles we were playing with imaginary stacks and using the hands to try to out-do each other by explaining the most complex concepts we could come up with in each situation (hand reading, range merging, thin value, turning a made hand into a bluff, etc) – all to a baffled looking lad who didn’t really know the hand values, and even after an hour of the discussion kept ‘virtually’ betting hands like fourth pair on the river because he also had four to a straight.

Unfortunately once the actual game started I couldn’t convince matey to pull up some cash – was quite keen to get him onboard as he’d previously mentioned dropping £27k on roulette over the course of the last year, however I guess our poker ‘lesson’ probably put him off for life, so perhaps that wasn’t the best approach to take! Playing my normal LAG-oriented game over the course of a few hours, I ran rather good generally and finished-up with a small three figure win, despite having to overcome an early stacking check-shoving an open-ended straight-flush draw and getting called by two different two-pair hands. With them nicely blocking each other and all my outs clean I was 49.9% to triple-up, however the board ran out cold and the worst two-pair hand (8%) ended-up taking it down for a £600 pot.

As has become the norm, most of my profit last night came from other player errors. One tight passive chap limped pre- with AA, check-called my flop bet when I had an open ended straight draw, bet into me and then called my turn raise after I made the nuts, and then caught one of his two ‘outs’ and stacked-off to me bet-calling on the river. He made a mistake on every single betting round and ended-up donating £200 to my bankroll. It’s nice when that happens, however if I’m going to be able to successfully transition to a bigger game this year, I need to be able to consistently find an edge in situations against opponents who at least have a basic standard of competence…

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