The Race to $250, the TPT, and other thoughts

The Cardsharps, c. 1594, by Michelangelo Meris...
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Since May 4th, I have played over 57 sessions of poker devoted to the challenge that @sebastianrocks, twitter name of rock music star, Patrick Sebastian, laid down a challenge to us. The goal was to see which one of us could take a $10 bankroll and increase it to $250 first.  To see the details of the challenge and our progress, go to www.patricksebastian.wordpress.com.

I started with a bankroll of $10.00 and since May 4th, I have been able to increase it to over $40.00. At this rate, it will be possible to reach the goal within the next four or five weeks.

I have yet to have a successful outing however at the Twitter Poker Tour and last night was no exception. I have hooked up my mini-notebook computer to our 47″ television so that my wife, Diane, can watch the tourney as well. As the game progresses, I explain my various actions and why I take them and what results I expect to get. Lately I have been guessing right more than not although sometimes not quick enough to save me from losing chips.

Last night during a hand I was dealt a K9 off-suit. I raised the minimum bet of $6- preflop and got all but one person to fold. We got to see the flop. which was 2d 8d 8s. Although I had nothing as the flop did not help me, I bet another $60 and the turn card was four of diamonds, 4d. Still no help but I bet again another $60 and was called. The river was a five of spades, 5s, and still no help to me but again I bet $60 dollars. I was called and I showed my K9 and my opponent showed his pocket 3’s. He was able to call each of my bets in spite of my raising each time and in spite of the fact that four of the five cards on the board were larger than his cards. Besides my not folding in the first place, the only other mistake I think I made in playing that hand was that I did not increase the size of each bet to at least half of the pot at each betting opportunity. I gave up $240 in chips during the play of that hand.

I was down to about $1,200 in chips,but still in reasonable good shape if I played well, which I did not as the next hand will illustrate.  In that hand I was dealt a Q9 off suit.  I was in the big blind and two people who called to see the flop which was Qc 7s 6s. This gave me top pair with my nine as a kicker card.  My opponent bet $120 and I raised to $240 in an attempt to get him to fold and give me the pot right there and then. One opponent folded but the other one that raised,  called my re-raise. The flop was a deuce of diamonds, 2d and did not improve my hand and perhaps did not help my opponent.  It was at this point in time that I should have figured out that I must be beat, that my opponent must have at least a queen with a higher kicker or perhaps had two pairs. The fact that he raised the flop and called my re-raise should have been all the information that I needed in order to keep from losing more chips. But instead, when he raised $160, I fired another bet of $320, which he called. The river was a seven of clubs,7c. He again bets $160 and I again re-raised $320 building the pot to a nice sizable total of $1,880 which my opponent won when he showed his AQ of hearts, beating my Q9 of nothing. I was down to $600 in chips and basically out of the running.

Texas Hold Em is like a story, told by the betting that goes on. If you pay attention to the story you can predict the ending.  Of course, some times a fairy tail is the story that is being told and you have to be able to know the difference.

How well do you do in reading what your opponents betting story means? How well do they listen to your story? More important, do they believe you and give you the pot or do they figure out your story might be wrong and call you down?

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