Holiday poker

Monday was a statutory holiday here in Canada, so since I’d gotten my chores taken care of earlier in the weekend, I was going to take advantage of the opportunity to play some cards and maybe blast through the 700 hands I needed to unlock my new $100 Party bonus.

I spend the early afternoon pounding the 25PL tables, but I just can’t seem to get it together and the cards certainly aren’t helping. So, after posting a smallish loss, I opted for a change of pace and decided it was time for me to learn a new game.

So, that’s how I found myself 3-tabling .5/1 limit Omaha Hi. I’ve been meaning to try the game out and with bonuses to work out, I figured I couldn’t lose too much. I had intended to play at Pokerstars, but when they didn’t have any limit tables going, I opened a couple at Party and one at Pacific. Unfortunately I was wrong about losing too much and managed to drop a decent chunk at Party in an hour or two. Made half of it back at the Pacific table, but in the end it was a nice change of pace. But it did whet my appetite for some more poker, so I decided to return to the tables after an early dinner. My plan was to open a couple 50PL tables and enter the nightly 10K guaranteed at Pacific (more on that in another post, maybe).

Now, generally I’ve been killing the 25PL tables at Party and I’ve read many bloggers that have been consistently beating those games up to 200NL. So, it’s probably well past time that I move up to try my hand at 50PL. I did venture there once before and got my ass handed to me as I adjusted to the different dollar amounts. Losing a $50 buy-in seems to hurt far more than twice as much as losing $25 for me, even though it is well within my bankroll. And the dollar amounts have become so second nature to me at $25 that I have a good feel for what certain sized bets mean. And even though intellectually I know just to cut all the bets at 50PL in half to read them, I don’t seem to have the same feel…yet. But I did have one read on Monday that I was proud of.

I have AKo UTG+1. Sometimes I limp with, sometimes I raise, this time I raise the pot. I get called in two places. I check the jack high flop and it’s checked around. The turn comes with another rag so I bet the pot, figuring there’s a decent chance my hand is good. I get called in one spot. Another rag on the river, but there is a straight chance out there. I’m still playing a bit too cautious at 50PL as I get used to the potential swings so I check. My opponent proceeds to raise the pot, $33 at this point, putting me virtually all-in. My first reaction is to fold but then I think for a second. If he had the J, he would have bet on the flop. And I just don’t believe he came into the pot with A-low and hit anything else. I realize there’s a very good chance I have him beat so I call and my AK holds up over his AQ for a decent sized pot. Nothing feels quite as good as analyzing a hand like this and coming up with the correct read.

Of course, this read was counteracted by a poor read on another table where I re-raised the made flush on the flopwith my two pair (I just couldn’t believe he’d seen the pre-flop raise with 2 low clubs to match the high club board). The poker gods bailed me out with the boat on the river, but that was a small favour they bestowed in a day full of cruel cards.

I’m up and down throughout the evening, but when I finish the Pacific tourney (I’ll talk about their support and structure in another post) I decide that’s it’s probably a good time to shut it down, hanging on to the 30 or 40 I’m up so far.
One of the tables is breaking and it’s my last hand before the blinds and it’s down to 3 handed. Button folds and I raise with K2 from the small blind. He throws a small re-raise in and I call. Flop comes K-high and I think I’m good. Through in a pot size bet, I get raised. For some reason I figure it for a steal from a big stack and re-raise all-in. He has AA and there goes $60.

On the other table on the very next hand; I limp with JJ and instead of the full table, only 2 others see the pot. The flop comes 3JJ rainbow. I let it run hoping for some kind of action but when the two-flush hits on the turn and it’s checked around to me, I throw a dollar in the pot just so there’s something to play with at the river, but both others fold. Neither of those hands was a bad beat per se, but they were not likely outcomes that can throw a man off his game.

99 on the very next hand and I’m tilting, though I don’t realize it quite yet. Pot bet on the rag flop, one caller. Turn is a K and I bet the pot again. I’m re-raised and somehow think the size of the raise (about 1/4 of the pot) justifies my call. He shows K9 and I’m down again. I can feel the wheels coming off at this point and disengage from the tables quickly. I even abandoned this post halfway through.

It’s too bad, as I was having a decent night testing the waters at the 50PL tables until those two hands lost me nearly $100. Combined with the losses earlier in the day in the 25PL and the money spent learning Omaha, even the $100 bonus at Party was not enough to make up for the day’s bleeding.

I’ll just need to get back on the horse again and try not to get bucked again..

Speaking of getting back on the horse, I was wondering if anyone plays, or has played, the NL games at Pokerstars? I’d love to be able to work on my bonus there, but the limit games are trying my patience and I’d like to be able to stick to the NL/PL games. If anyone has any experience there, particularly at the .25/.50 tables, I’d love to hear about the quality of play.

6 Responses to “Holiday poker”

  1. DuggleBogey says:

    We travel in the same circles. I play 25PL and 50PL at Party and am trying out O8b there as well. In fact I think I actually remember you from the $.50/1.00 limit O8b games more than I do the PL games.

    Learning Omaha8 has been a great break from PLHE, I think it lessens the burnout factor.

    One thing you can do when trying out a new site is to always buy in for 20x the BB, no matter what the suggested buy-in is. There are a couple of benefits. One is bankroll control, but the other you’ll find is that you will get called by weaker hands more often if you have a short stack. Since 20x the BB at $.25/.50 is only $10, guys will double you up without a second thought.

  2. Pauly says:

    What national holiday was it on Monday?

  3. tp says:

    It was the famous “Civic Holiday” which to the best of my understanding is to commemorate the idea of “not working”. :) No real origin, but I believe it’s just a balancing day to give us another day off (and get closer to the number of days off in the states) It doesn’t hurt that it’s in the summer. Further reading tells me it’s not officially a statutory holiday, so they could force us to work, but it’s convention that people get the day off. And further reading still brings me no closer to a “reason” for the holiday.

  4. tp says:

    Duggle, that may not have been me. I was just playing the Omaha Hi tables to get a feel for things (and then only limit). Wanted to get an idea of what played well high before worrying about what played well both ways. Saw an inordinate number of board pairs though, which I learned was a good cue to throw my hand away with 5 people in the pot.

  5. John-Paul says:

    Civic Holiday? In BC we had “BC Day” as our holiday this past Monday. Maybe its different for each province. Damn provincial government making me think only BC had a holiday. Sneaky politicians. BTW, I think I sat with you at a $25PL table this past weekend. Were you playing on Monday?

  6. tp says:

    Yeah, I read that it’s got different names all across the country. A bit odd.

    I did play with you on the weekend. It was on Saturday I think. I was on the phone otherwise I would have said hey. Was having trouble keeping track of three tables while trying to keep a conversation going. I’m sure I’ll run into you again. Unless I start making the 50PL tables my usual haunt.

    Actually, JP, you were hitting a much higher clearance rate with your Stars bonus then I am. What stakes were you playing?