Monday, December 05, 2011

Falling in love (with AK)

I know better but it still happens way too often.  I try to get too smart and maximize my profits (although in this case it didn't matter).

Imagine Sicily, 1934... (sorry, bad Golden Girls reference).

I was playing a ring game, NL Holdem, $0.10/$0.25 blinds.  I had been playing for a while when I was dealt AdKc behind the dealer.  2nd under the gun raises to $0.75 and I reraise to $1.50.  He was a pretty loose player and it seemed safe.  Everyone else folded.
Flop comes 3dAdKc.  He checks then calls my 1/2 pot bet ($1.67)
Turn comes 4s and I am still in love with my cards so I bet another 1/2 pot ($4.46)
River comes 2c and I am blinded by how good my cards are (or not).  I push all in for another $14.08.  You know how this is going to end - what does he have?

The obvious one I should have seen was a 5 for the straight but there is obviously a bunch of other hand (anything tripped).  Given his behavior from the start I might have seen a small pocket pair and since he was with me from the beginning, you could guess 3s.  In my defense he was a pretty loose aggressive player and as I said in the title, I was in love with my AK.

He turned over 33 and took the pot.  I wasn't busted because I had a larger stack than him but it definitely made this the worse session since I started playing again.

Just to end my night on a nice note, I played a $11 S&G (not a bounty one) and managed to finish first.  The last opponent wasn't overly happy and made some stupid comment which I have been using my $50 winnings to pleasantly forget about.

Bounty S&Gs

I think my new love as an S&G type game is something called Bounty Sit and Go's.  The concept works something like the following.  Instead of simply paying an entry fee plus rake, you pay an entry fee, bounty plus rake.  For example normally an $11 S&G breaks down as $10 entry plus $1 fee.  In an $11 bounty S&G, it breaks down as $5 entry, $5 bounty and $1 fee.

So what does this mean and why I am in love with it.  Well the bounty is paid to you when you take someone out.  Or in other words, you put a $5 bounty on your head which is paid when someone takes you out.  The down side is the prize pool is 1/2 (in this example) what it normally would be.

A couple examples from recent successes (we won't talk about the cases where it didn't work like this).  My best example to date was about 9 days ago when I entered a $5+5+1 bounty S&G.  Over the first hour or so I managed to take out 2 people which basically paid for the S&G.  This is an important aspect if you are trying to be really careful with your bankroll.

Anyway, I kept winning and ended up with 5 bounties to my credit.  It got much harder as the game went on and became much more like a traditional S&G.  The top 20 or so positions paid and I ended up finishing in 4th place.  Looking at the money is interesting.
I made $25 in bounties and $55 for finishing in 4th place.  If I had played a normal S&G for this size of crowd, I would have made $110 instead of $80 ($25+$55) however I think I was much more likely to break even with the bounty approach.  I find I almost always have my bankroll in the back of my mind and knowing I am in profitable territory makes the game much less stressful for me.

As an aside, when I tried a similar S&G this weekend, of course, I lost so quick I managed no bounties.  It drove me to immediately try another one but all that was available for a $1+$1+$0.20 turbo S&G.  So I snapped it up.

This one went more like the first one.  I managed to take out 3 people for $3 and enough to break even.  I made the final table again and this time because the turbo nature it was a continual all-in fest.  Eventually it doesn't work out and I went out in 6th place for $11 prize.  In both cases, I ended up winning around 7 times my entry cost which isn't huge but I will happily take it every day.

Back to it!

After a couple years of not playing much poker, I am back into it again and slowly ramping up my play.  I started playing at a site called and have had some minor success (defined as my bankroll moving positive) there.

I will write some more from my adventures this weekend soon but I wanted to post some kind of "I'm back..." post as much for a reminder to me as anyone actually following this.