DC

DC

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Year's First Session -- Brought My Shovel Out Quickly

I spent Friday and Saturday playing poker, watching football, and drinking good wine, at the Horseshoe.  

Friday afternoon, while sitting in the office, I decided to book a room at the Westin near the casino, and spend two days grinding poker.  Later that night, I saw on twitter that Vook was going to be at the Shoe, with a few of his "Wizards," Friday/Saturday.  As I've never actually met Vook in person, I was looking forward to the weekend.

I checked into the hotel around 7:30, and made the 10 minute drive to downtown Baltimore.  I ran my free play through the sweet, sweet VP machine, grabbed the seared ahi and a few glasses of cabernet at Binions Steakhouse, and then met Vook and one of the Wizards in the poker room.  Vook's table was full when I checked in, so I took a seat at another table and put in a table change.  My original table was soft and passive; but I had zero playable hands and was not able to take advantage.  After thirty minutes or so, I got a table change.

The new table was, perhaps, the toughest $1/3 table I've played at. I was clearly the lone soft spot. Not a good feeling.  I got a seat next to Vook.  First things first -- Vook turned out to be a great guy and an even greater poker player.  He is the real deal.  I mean, if you follow his blog, you already know this.  I got to spend 5 hours or so sitting next to him and talking strategy.  If I had this opportunity regularly, I suspect I would not suck at the game as much as I do.  [As an aside, my apologies to Vook.  This weekend was P3-Lite.  Vegas kicked my ass last week, and, even before I knew he was going to be in town, I had vowed to take it easy all weekend.  Thusly, aside from a few glasses of wine and two miller lites, I abstained from debauchery, including the Patron shots that were flowing among the wizards all night.  After some of the stories on this blog, I'm pretty sure Vook was anticipating more.  What can I say?  I brought the weak sauce].

As for the poker . . . well, it sort of sucked.  The entire weekend really made me re-focus on the idea of position.  I found myself in a bunch of tough spots (tough for me, at least), and most were due largely to playing hands out of position.  I lost $165 Friday night, and $182 Saturday.  The losses were due, largely, to a few hands.

The first hand went down Friday night.  The player to my right had built up a decent stack.  I was sitting on about $230 or so, and had been playing tight, given how outclassed I knew I was.  Vook was too my left.  Player to my right announces, "this is my last hand," and proceeds to straddle to $12 or so (might have been the max $15).  I look down at JJ and raise to $35.  One caller along with Villain.  Flop comes out A 6 x and I'm first to act.  I check, and it checks around.  The turn blanks, and I lead for $45 or so.  Player in middle position drops out, by Villain calls.  River blanks.  Now, I  feel like I am beat.  But Not certain enough to just give up on the hand with JJ against a straddler, who gave the "last hand" speech.  But, what the hell do I do here?  Obviously, two options - lead or check-call.  My thinking was this -- if I check, my line looks super fishy -- raise, check, bet, check?  I assume if I check, Villain is betting anything, including air.  I only have about $150 left, and would not be surprised to see him shove.  I'll have no clue where I stand on the hand.  I decide to bet out and put some pressure on him and bet $85.  He instantly attempts to put out a min-raise.  Unfortunately, for him, he is $5 short, and his play is deemed a call.  We flip and he shows the ace-6 for two pair.

Saturday, the following day, I ran into more trouble out of position.  On one hand, I called an $8 straddle with AQ.  Guy on my left (an old regular) flats.  Flop is A T x.  I lead for $20; he calls.  Turn blanks.  I check, and he bets $40.  I call.  River blanks and I lead for $65.  He calls . . . with AK.  Ouch.  Afterwards, he says, "I was trying to take it easy on you."  Um.  You BET the turn after my check!  He says, "yes, but I was going to check the river."  Um.  Thanks for telling me!!! Speak up next time, sir!

Later, I call a small raise with KQ and end up three ways to the flop against a solid, middle aged, regular.  I'm out of position relative to regular.  Raiser checks to me on a K52 flop.  I lead, and reg calls.  Turn is a 5.  I lead . . . reg calls.  River blanks.  There are no draws on the board.  If there were, this would be a spot I'd often check-call, hoping to pick off a bluff, or a person trying to value bet a worse hand, or someone thinking perhaps I was drawing.  I also hate betting my one pair, here.  I opt to check, and solid reg makes a 3/4 size bet.  Fuck.  What hand would he take this line with?  I had been playing tight.  He has to give me a King, right?  I fold; he mucks and scoops.

30 minutes later, I get involved in another hand with the regular.  This time I have position on him  I also have . . . KQ again.  Once again, we both call a small raise, and go three handed to a K x 7 flop.  Once again, original raiser checks.  This time, Reg leads for $20.  I just call.  Raiser calls too.  Once again, the turn pairs the board with another 7.  It checks around to me, and I check back.  River blanks.  It again checks to me, and I bet $65.  Raiser folds.  Regular thinks, and min-raises me.  Really? After folding my King to him last time, I cut out $65 and call.  He flips A7 for trips and a pretty well-played hand.   [After some small talk, he claims he had me beat both hands.... who knows].

I later had JJ once and KK twice.  I raised all three, and couldn't get a single caller.  Some days . . .

Around 8:30, I was tilting pretty bad, and decided to just call it quits.

Not the start I was hoping for for 2015 . . .

46 comments:

  1. First hand as I'm reading this:
    You have a bluff catcher. By leading the river, you turn your hand into a bluff. If you're determined to call, then just check there instead of leading with this thought: who do you expect to call your $85 bet? Are there worse hands that can call in that spot? I understand you're looking for him to bet his bluffs and his value, so why not check and allow him to shoot off if - reassess when the action returns to you. Yes, you could argue, this is a game where you want to put your opponent to a decision continually. However, in this spot, I prefer the check / call if that's your determination.

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    1. Thanks Joel. My issue with the hand was that a check, bet, check line looks so weird, that I suspect this player bets (and quite possibly) shoves, anything. So, yes, my hand becomes a bluff catcher. But, I'm not sure I can try and make the catch if he bets large/shoves. So what? Check and see how big the river bet is and reevaluate?

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    2. So here's the problem (and I get the bet sizing issue; if he bets all in you're not willing to call that, but you're willing to call $85, so why not bet $85 instead of calling <=$85):

      You commit yourself with an $85 bet essentially. He folds all his bluffs (instead of bluffing all in), and raises all his value hands. He just calls most / all his hands that beat you. I would argue that you can safely fold for the additional $65 shove on top, but you're getting great odds to call there in the event he does shove the $65 remaining after your bet. Nevertheless, you're putting forth what I would call a blocker bet. I think your blocking bet size is very large, but given the bloated pot size, necessary. Reconstructing the hand, by the river there's $190 in the pot - and you have a very likely second pair. So yes, I don't make the blocking bet but check & see what he does.

      Here are my 2 issues with the hand as played: if the dude straddled for $15, then your raise to $35 is too weak. You effectively min raised the straddle. I would look to raise to $45. If the dude straddle for $12, then you're a little light but MUCH closer to 3x. Finally, your $45 turn bet is meant to accomplish what? What is the purpose of that bet? If you're not already behind in the hand, then there are 3 kings & 3 queens left in the deck that can better your JJ hand - a 12% chance; are you value betting or trying to protect? Plus, your bet sizing looks really weak into what I estimate is around a $105+ pot - less than half pot. I think that against 2 other players, I check the turn and see - and if it was indeed the straddler who had the A6, then you have position and it will check through against him.

      FYI - I'm not quite clear on positioning; did he check / raise your river bet? He's to your right, so he checked to you, you bet on the river and he check / raised?

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    3. Thanks for the detailed analysis. I was out of position. I believe it was a button straddle.

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    4. My problem with checking the turn, being out of position, is that if I check flop and turn, after raising the straddle, one of these two villain's is going to bet the turn regardless of their hand(s). IN that spot, I have no idea if they have the ace, or whether they are just trying to steal. So, I'd have to check call the turn in that spot. And, if I check call the turn, what do I do on the river. Hence, I was trying to take the pot on the turn by betting (point taken on my bet sizing . . . ).

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    5. So let me get this straight, and I don't really think I have an answer for you other than what I'll put at the end of the response (it's kind of a cop out in my opinion): You want to close out action so that you can't be bluffed against. You know you have a showdown worthy hand, but you want to take it away from your opponents to prevent them from having a chance to bluff. Ok - so you bet the turn and get called in one spot. Did you find out the information you needed? Were there draws on the board with the X and the turn card? I doubt it. So you got called by one spot - the BTN straddler. Is he a type that will float an Ace high flop to a less than half pot turn bet? Most 1/2 or 1/3 players don't know the concept of floating - most certainly not on the turn - and with an Ace already out there, what kinds of hands could they be floating, so I'd trust your turn read that you're most certainly beat. I want to point out that it's a stretch for a 1/2 1/3 player to call the turn to set up a river shove bluff - you're talking about a very small segment of the small stakes poker community here. Just considerations.

      Now here's the cop out I was referring to earlier. I don't remember where I read it, and by now it may very well be just common knowledge, but all good players fold winning hands once in awhile. There is no shame in doing that.

      Without the turn and river, IMO you won the hand PF - you got 2 dumb players to call with lessor hands for ~20% stacks when the odds don't warrant it. They were stupid to call their bad hands and got lucky - meh - toss it away and move on. Percentages show it won't happen again (i.e. Ax (non AQ/AK) has a 30% chance against JJ)

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    6. I don't really get the ch flop, bet turn line in a 3 way pot. I agree preflop sizing is too small but I don't think this is as big of a deal in a straddled pot as an unstraddled pot.

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    7. Hey Brian - do you bet the flop with an A 6 x flop? If I'm wrong to be weakly folding an Ace high flop into 2 players almost automatically, then I guess I'm exploitable, but I think there's a high likelihood one of the 2 hold an Ace.

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    8. No I don't see any reason to bet flop multi way

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  2. And also, FWIW, I'm hurt that we've been emailing / commenting for the better part of 2-3 years, you live 10 miles from me & we've never met up! But then again, my name isn't Vook... :-)

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    1. I was telling vook the same thing Friday night! You need to come out on a Friday or Saturday! Or, if my job continues as it is, I may have lots and lots of time to play on weekdays!

      By the way, book had similar advice about the bluffing abilities of $1/3 players, etc.

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    2. 10 miles ??? P3 could jog/run to visit u. there is NO EXCUSE!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. what do u mean by "vook's wizards? his kids wouldnt be old enough to play

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    1. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! nor r his kids old enuff to drink Patron shot either. just when i think u cant get any more dumber. BOOM!!!!!!!!!

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    2. I thought it was obvious that Vook came with the Washington Wizards basketball team.

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    3. or that Vook is the Dungeon Master for the local Dungeons/Dragons chapter in the Baltimore area

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. how would someone like me, with no interest in sports whatsoever, have any idea theres any sports team with the name wizard in thier title in the area?

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  4. Oh and 2nd KQ hand is good up until river which is a pretty trivial bet/fold. River min-raises at this level are huge hands.

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  5. Whatever PM and Brian said.

    Hopefully you will get them next time.

    I also have this thing in the back of my mind that a good regular senses my check on a street as weakness and would make a bet to take away the pot.

    Then I usually answer myself, if he is so good why is he wasting time in playing 1/3. I do agree that a check on hand 1 was the way to go.

    As Brain said a min raise on the river is mostly nuts or close to it.

    I know Vook for quite some time. But, I haven't see that drunken donkey legend yet! Nice to know you both met and played for some time.

    GolfPro

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    1. so u think none of the daily regulars who play for a living and are in the casino all day every day in the $1-2 and $1-3 are any good at poker? i see regulars doing this all the time, (betting to take away the pot if im checking). amazed u and vook never met, or that vooks never met PPP til now. i thought i was the only one PPP was avoiding hanging out with. which isnt right of him, i made an effort to be a friend to him, even if i dont so much to the random guy on the street.

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    2. If there are regulars "playing for a living all day every day" and they are playing 1/2 or 1/3 I feel pretty comfortable stating that no they are not any good.

      What other questions you got?

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  6. Thanks for the love PPP. Was a pleasure hanging out.

    It was a tough 1/3 table but you were far from the soft spot. The constant straddles def made the game play bigger and faster. Unlike Tony and Rob I like straddles (primarily because they make people uncomfortable). It was juicy.

    You should have seen the carnage Saturday night after the other two wizards showed up. It was fun. I felt bad for the constant flow of people that got stuck at our table.

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    1. if vook was a man with ethics, he wouldnt see it that way. he would ONLY straddle in games where the straddle is done the same way as wynn and the golden nugget, (where the small blind does NOT act first, but the UTG player acts first in his normal order).

      i feel a lot better about myself, when i know the advantage i got at poker, is obtained FAIRLY. and its unfair to the SB to make him act first. its also unfair to the straddler because then he dont get "true last action" (in other words he doesnt get to be the last person to call the raise preflop.--the action dont jump over him while the blinds call the raise first, then revert back to him).

      how would Vook feel if he was playing at Delaware park and happened to be in the wrong seat (immediately after the straddle--and since u can straddle from any position there unlike almost everywhere else--have to act first 100 times in a way? would he consider that fair to him?)

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    2. i've pretty much always known im about the only one on these blogs who cares about fairness in life and wanting everyone to have an equal opportunity in life. no one else does. I also dont want to have to take something that im not entitled to either. and yet assholes give me shit all the time, simply because theyre not as ethical as me. who else wouldve been overpaid $100 when cashing out in reno at the podium, and yet returned the money besides me? certainly not anyone reading these comments, least of all Joel. Joel even suggested i should buy stuff and return it just to get the $50 a day free play maryland live was giving out to those who shop at the mall.

      and yet people say im the asshole because im not nice to others? most others dont deserve it, because they treat me like shit for having a disability. God asks us to be nice to others and to forgive them for their sins, but no one thinks to do the same for me when i do them wrong. yes i do believe everyone is hypocritical, wasnt just lightning and ppp i felt this way about.

      ive known vook dont care about being fair to others for a long time for every time i talk about how unfair it is for some poor white guy whose unfairly having to pay high costs than a black man wouldnt have to pay--simply because the white man has to be concerned about his physical safety all the time in bad areas unlike the black man who wont be the target of violent crimes like the white guy would--vook calls me racist. i wouldnt be so damned poor if i could live in worse motels (and save money) could walk at night or ride a jitney instead of being afraid and wasting $9 on a cab to and from the Taj at night. all my life ive been bitter about the extra $500 or so i waste every month just to feel physically safer where i sleep and to travel back and forth where i can feel more at ease. i guess Vook wants me killed and robbed, putting my life in danger, or just feels like since im white i deserve to have to pay extra for all that?

      the world isnt fair. Ray from toledo knows its hell on earth to be a white man nowdays. and so does vince. i know of at least 2 casinos in vegas vince is barred from for using the N word. both of which involved someone black stealing from him or starting a fight with him and security getting involved long before he ever used that word. thats the real reason he understands me.

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    3. just the fact i dont get food stamps or ssi anymore proves im honest and ethical as best i know how. taxes dont count, i wouldnt know the first thing to do or what i owe and i dont have any money to give. but im sure not going to ask for money either from the govt as long as ive got alot in the bank. im not hiding the money in a safe deposit box just to go on assistance like so many of my supporters used to advise me to do. i try to do whats right in the eyes of God every day but my opinions as to whats right in Gods eyes vastly differ from most peoples opinions as to whats right.

      but arent i supposed to life my life by my own moral code of what i feel is right and wrong instead of someone elses?

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    4. r u done feeling sorry 4 yrself ????? at least Vook is raising his kids by the looks of it.something u know nothing about

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    5. "who else wouldve been overpaid $100 when cashing out in reno at the podium, and yet returned the money besides me? certainly not anyone reading these comments, least of all Joel. Joel even suggested i should buy stuff and return it just to get the $50 a day free play maryland live was giving out to those who shop at the mall. "

      WTF Tony? Just WTF? So based on something I suggested for you to do to gain an edge on the house, you've now extrapolated into me being unethical? Alright! Good logic Tony!

      I think the drivel you've written above is filled with ironies - do you really think that the cheap hotels would be cheap if they were safe? Do you ever consider that the price is based on the location? Bad locations = cheaper rates, good location = more expensive rates.

      Do you ever stop & consider that you do use services (the government provides many more services than SSI & food stamps) that you don't pay for? What about the protection of our country from foreign invaders? The police? Public transit? Those are just a few of the many services you use directly & indirectly without properly paying taxes.

      Perhaps my ethical code is not up to your ethical code (though I've read things that you've written that say otherwise), but don't judge me or call me out based on me trying to help you get a little bit ahead. More importantly, don't presume things that I would or would not do such as giving back money that I'm not entitled to.

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  7. JJ hand -> check fold flop : bet/fold turn ; check/fold river usually. Your hand looks like what it is but yah turn floats are rare per the other meister I like his detailed thoughts

    Kq hand us fine. Turn is bet/fold OOP. With position on dry boards I usually take a bet/check/bet line. Hard to get three streets. Checking dry turns keeps mid pairs in who majority of time will fold turn but check call river

    Line is good last hand but fold to c/r on river.

    There are lot of spots where bet/folding is common. good chatter here

    For the record I shot both golfpro and pokermeister a note when my wife and I were at Maryland live a month ago and they both shot me down. I she many tears.

    I love the live pokerz but I rarely have enough time for the prolonged experience

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    1. @Vook - problem for me is Mrs. Poker Meister does not like casinos nor playing poker... :-(

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  8. Lol at straddling within the rules of the game being unethical. I happen to think that button straddles aren't great for the games but they are far from unethical

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    1. Hilarious. If, as in Tony's hypothetical, the table is constantly employing a moving straddle, which follows you around the table, making you act first for 100 straight hands . . . perhaps you are a dick and need to reevaluate your behavior . . .

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  9. " its hell on earth to be a white man nowdays."

    Really? I kinda like being a white man...

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    1. Tony's problem is that he is a white man, who is poor, who has no home, and who has no car. He currently finds himself in a predominantly black neighborhood . . . a poor black neighborhood, relying on his feet or public transportation, often late at night. I too would not feel safe walking around that neighborhood, alone, at night.

      Of course, to discuss this in terms of "back/white" is a gross overgeneralization. This is also a product of Tony's own doing. He could have stayed in Reno, who he felt safe and had monthly housing. But, we all live with our choices. Tony's just happen to consistently be poor choices.

      In short, it's not hell to be a white man. But, it quite likely is hell to by Tony Bigcharles.

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  10. Sorry Tony, I forgot to include a disclaimer with my post. By "regular" I meant the Villain in Hand1. Any resemblance to others living or dead is purely coincidental.

    I have one question for you though (I know this is PPP's blog, sorry for the same) What do you call a regular who when losing at poker, tries to even the day playing slot machines (knowing sometimes it back fires), and keeps repeating the same expecting different results?

    GolfPro

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    1. a pathetic degen that doesnt pay taxes or support his kid and smells but isnt his fault bcuz he doesnt own 30 pairs of pants. also, cant figure out where the freezer is on a refrigerator.aka STUpid Ungar aka TBC??

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  11. TLDR.

    Not the post, just all the comments. When did this become TBC's blog?

    OK, for now, I want to make a comment on the first hand....JJ and an Ace flops.

    Apparently, I'm alone, but I'm c-betting that flop nearly 100% of the time. I know it sucks to see that Ace when you have a smaller pair. With me, it's usually my dreaded KK and we know they are Ace magnets. In this case, JJ is virtually the same as KK. I hate doing it, but with "only" two other players, I'm betting that flop. I've been surprised how often I take it down right there, even with the Ace.

    I've even done it four-handed with success. Maybe that's Vegas, not the Shoe, but that's an automatic bet for me, and if I get called, I can check/fold. Sometimes I win just checking it down too. If I get raised, it's probably a fold. But if it checks around (on the flop) you are clueless as to where you stand, I don't understand not betting it.

    People who like to straddle to put players on tilt be warned: One of these days my "tilt" over this may be pulling out a gun and shooting the straddler. Just sayin'.

    I've actually been lobbying my poker room manager buddies in Vegas to put that in as an acceptable reaction to a straddle, so be careful when they finally institute it.

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    1. y is the straddle putting ppl on tilt??? it is just more money in the pot . u NITS!!! plus the straddler(is that correct nomeclature??) is out of position, so play some ABC poker or play back against the player.

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  12. Lolz tony. Everyone was straddling. Mathematically the straddle is -$EV.

    A couple reasons why I like it sometimes. Poker is a competition to me. Straddles make nitty players uncomfortable. When people are uncomfy they tend to make more mistakes or take lines they aren't used to.

    Also I don't normally play 1/2.1/3 so I am all for making the pot a little bigger. The constant straddle made the game play as high as 2/5.

    I do prefer the button act last straddle. However I don't care that much. I also don't mind folding my blinds. My edges are bigger post flop and in position. I don't play my blinds a lot anyways unless I'm 3betting or have good value.

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  13. So Tony's tragic end will come when he hits it big and gets put away for lifelong tax evasion... You play so much poker Pete, you should probably think of it as a marathon and not feel compelled to win every hand where an overcard to your pocket pair appears on the flop. Especially with the aces, and everyone and their dog playing ace-x. Plus it was a straddle, so he could have anything... Better luck next time Mr. Bond...

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    1. Agreed, Coach. I blame vook. Believe me, it's a lot of pressure playing to the right of a legendary player of his caliber! I think I was trying to impress him by making something of my JJ.

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    2. Lol!

      Vook is usually proud if you win pots with hands like "The Grump" or the "Spanish Inquisition". In other words hands that usually people don't expect from a player.

      I even told Scott Davies that Vook would be proud of me when I took down a pot with 27os by betting on three streets and taking it down!

      GolfPro

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