Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Believe in yourself and how to win with pocket kings

It's been a long time since I've posted. Last year ended very poorly for me.  While I played well enough, I did not cash in any of the league tournaments, which is unheard of for me. A lot of it has to do with how losing online poker affected me. I lost some faith in poker, and more importantly, lost faith in myself. In addition, I had "planned" to take a trip to Vegas last year to play in the WSOP. Unfortunately, my wife and I ended up not getting a refund from the IRS, so I couldn't afford to go, and won't be going this year, either.

Things are starting to come back together for me. I've been fairly crushing the WSOP Texas Hold'em app on my iPod. Unbelievable luck has helped a time or two, as well. For example, the other day I flopped a royal flush with AJh, against my last two opponents who also had big aces. All of the money was in by the turn. It's been a couple of years since I've had a royal flush. It was a good feeling.

I didn't play a whole lot online last year, although I started off doing better this year. I've played in a few tournaments and sit-and-gos, mostly on FullTilt. I prefer non Hold'em and mixed games, and have been doing well.

Last Friday at league was another major boost. For the first time in a long time, I won both sessions, earning at least 90 points and moving several places up from 7th in the rankings for the quarter. In each session, I won a big hand with pocket kings, knocking out another player in the process. Both times all of my money was in preflop, and both against AJ. Of course I immediately thought of a blogger I follow, Rob of Rob's Vegas and Poker Blog and his trouble with pocket kings.

In the first hand, we were 5 handed, I was UTG, villian was dealing. Blinds were 50/100. He was somewhat shortstacked. I raised to 1000 and he shoved. He flopped a pair of Js, but was unable to improve beyond that. In the second instance, I was UTG+1, 5 handed, blinds at 100/200. Villian was UTG+2. I had
at least 10-12k, and he had about half that. I looked down and saw the same two red kings I had earlier and raised to 1000, he min-raised, it was folded back to me and I shoved. He took quite a lot of time thinking over the decision. I'm not sure what he put me on, but at that stage of the tournament, with my big stack, and due to points being awarded for being the first to win a hand with the pairs Js+, I have pretty much that as my range. I had him on a big pair, smaller than mine, Qs or Js at best, or more likely AK/AQ. I was surprised when he turned over AJs. That is such a trouble hand in my experience. The flop pretty much sealed things as the first card was a king.

I've been putting more focus on things for which I'm grateful, including my poker skills, and I'm starting to see results.