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Poker Life: Misreading the Board

Thu, Jul 14, 1:24pm by Poker Guru

Poker StarsEach week on www.australiangambling.lv, our PokerGuru reflects on life as a Poker player. This is his first blog for us.

I played in a live tournament yesterday. It was a $100 buy-in tournament with about 60 players which is just the right size for me. I don’t have time to spend days playing against massive fields of players and I don’t enjoy it that much either. This tournament was perfect with a slow structure—it would take around nine hours to finish it.

It was a rebuy tournament for the first hour but everybody seemed to play close to their normal style anyway, and so did I. Maybe a little looser than normal but players tend to do that when the blinds are low anyway.

I managed to build up a nice stack early by seeing a few cheap flops and hitting them. Everyone seemed to think that everyone else was bluffing which can be very annoying if you don’t get cards, but very rewarding when you do.

Half-way through the tournament I was sitting with a healthy 60k stack with blinds of 1,000/2,000 and a 200 ante when I was dealt pocket 4’s on the button. A player limped from early position, one player called and I called too.  The blinds didn’t go anywhere so we saw the flop five-handed and I had position on everyone. I love this spot. In a five-way pot like this position is so valuable. If I hit my set I will usually be able to build a big pot and if I miss the flop it is easy to get away from it. If I miss the flop and it’s checked I will take the free card most of the time.

The flop was perfect: 964 with two hearts. The original limper bet 6k and I decided to raise him—he only had about 25k left. He called me and didn’t look happy when I showed my hand. He had pocket jacks. He got lucky and hit a Jack on the turn and now I only had one out on the river. I was thinking “4, 4, 4!” but no, it was an 8 of hearts and I just lost half my stack. At least that is what I thought but the player left the table and the dealer started pushing the pot in my direction. What happened? I hadn’t noticed that the Jack on the turn was a Jack of hearts and one of my 4’s was the 4 of hearts so I had miraculously hit a flush on the river. With set over set it is very rare that one of the players wins with a flush and I hadn’t paid attention.

I hate misreading the board. That’s what other players do, not me. But at least it happened when there was no more action in the hand. At that point reading the board correctly is what we have dealers for, isn’t it.


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