March 11, 2006

Poker Basics

There are certain things you need to be able to do well to have a chance at poker. Besides the ones I mentioned here, you should also be able to read - the board, your opponents...

I have always been pretty confident in my ability to read the board. I can see what is there, what is possible, what might beat me. I have never mastered reading my opponents, I just can't seem to figure what they might have. Some players are really good at that, and I am often amazed when someone at the table will tell me exactly what I have ("you've definitely got two pair") before they raise/call/fold. Often my board reading is enough.

So I am playing today, and having a decent run. I chopped one pot and took one outright. Feeling good. I am in with a decent stack of chips, don't know if I was the leader, but I was looking good.

I am in the blind, so I go ahead and call with my middle cards. The flop comes and I have a straight draw - not a high straight, but the high end of it. I make a decent size bet and get a caller. The turn comes and I have it made, so I bet again - and he calls. Bear in mind that the board is showing a possible straight and there is a King out there. River comes with a repeat of one of my straight cards, so I bet AGAIN - and he calls. I'm thinking he has a king or two in the hole, but I am still feeling pretty good.

Then he flips his cards and he has a seven, to make two pair (there is a seven and two 5s on the table) and I flip my cards and say, "I have a straight". All cocky and stuff.

Only I don't. I completely misread the board - I am a card short. Doh! So I lost a LOT of chips, crippled myself. @$#*&! I was pretty much on life support after that, hung on a bit longer but couldn't recover.

But why in the world was he calling with a pair of sevens? With a higher card and a straight on the table, my bets should have induced him to lay it down.

Posted by Vox at March 11, 2006 07:54 PM | TrackBack | poker