Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 21)

Bugsy's $1/2, 6-max game, 6-handed

Victim raises $5 to $7 from UTG
MP calls $6
Fuel55 raises $35 to $42 from BB with 5d 5s
Victim calls $35
MP folds

>>>DEALING FLOP<<< [ 2d 3d 2s ]
Fuel55 bets $50 (continue the charade with my overpair)
Victim calls $50

>>>DEALING TURN<<< [ Td ]
Fuel55 bets $150
Victim calls $150 (OK, now I am worried)

>>>DEALING RIVER<<< [ 5h ] (sweet sweet river)
Fuel55 bets $190
Victim calls $190
Fuel55 cards were 5d 5s
Victim mucks hand (cards were Qs Qh)

Fuel55 wins $867 with a full house, fives full of deuces

Nice two outer Fuel ...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 20)

PokerStars $100+$9 SNG

First Hand

*** HOLE CARDS ***
EP raises 40 to 60
Fuel55 calls 60 from MP with [5s 5h]

*** FLOP *** [9d 3s 5d]
EP bets 60
Fuel55 calls 60

*** TURN *** [9d 3s 5d] [2s]
EP bets 60
Fuel55 raises 160 to 220
EP calls 160

*** RIVER *** [9d 3s 5d 2s] [5c]
EP bets 160
Fuel55 raises 160 to 320
EP calls 160

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55 shows [5s 5h] (four of a kind, Fives)
EP shows [Kd Kc] (two pair, Kings and Fives)
Fuel55 said, "DBQ"
Fuel55 collected 1350 from pot

Repopped him twice but he couldn't lay down the cowboys.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another Pearl of Wisdom from Dutch

After busting first in the Foxwoods $10K event, Dutch Boyd posted a summary to his blog.

Near the end of the post - he makes another brilliant set of observations:

"If you're going to be great at poker, you've got to be able to fold pocket queens preflop and you've got to be able to fold a set on the flop. It's that simple. You can't blame losses on cards, because you really shouldn't be paying that much attention to the cards you've got in the first place. Starting with monsters, or flopping monsters, usually just gets in the way of a well-played tournament. The events that I seem to do the best at are the ones where I never pick up aces or kings."

"There's an interesting psychological aspect to tournaments, and it's this: you only feel good about a tournament when you win it ... and the closer you get to first place, the worse you feel when you get knocked out. It actually doesn't feel that bad getting knocked out super early in a big event. It's over and you can kinda relax. But anytime you're one of the first ones out in a major, it means you were playing longball poker, which really isn't the correct strategy in these things. Next time I play a big event, maybe I'll finally muster up the courage to try and take it down without ever looking at my hand. At least I'd last longer than I did in this one..."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 19)

PokerStars $2/$4NL, 6-max

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Fuel55 raises $8 to $12 from CO with [5d 5h]
BB calls $8

*** FLOP *** [Ad 3d 5c]
BB bets $20
Fuel55 raises $28 to $48 (throw in a little raise to see where BB is at on a heavy drawing board)
BB calls $28 (danger)

*** TURN *** [Ad 3d 5c] [Kd]
BB checks
Fuel55 bets $64 (uggggh, I hate this card but he checks, so I bet)
BB calls $64 (double uggggh)

*** RIVER *** [Ad 3d 5c Kd] [Tc]
BB checks
Fuel55 checks (just check it down since he could be trapping me)

*** SHOW DOWN ***
BB shows [As 2d] (a pair of Aces) (nice hand buddy …)
Fuel55 shows [5d 5h] (three of a kind, Fives)
Fuel55 collected $248 from pot

Very glad I had position on this hand.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 18)

Probably the worst played AQ of all time:

Full Tilt $100 + $9 Sit & Go, 8 players remain

*** PREFLOP ***
PUTZ/VICTIM/DOOFUS calls 80 (he limps with AQ)
Fuel55 calls 40 from SB with [5d 5s]
BB checks

*** FLOP *** [3d Qh Ac]
Fuel55 checks
BB checks

*** TURN *** [3d Qh Ac] [5h]
Fuel55 checks (presto is usually gold on the turn so I am glad no one bet that flop)
BB checks
PUTZ/VICTIM/DOOFUS checks (good idea to check again now str8 and flush draws have appeared)

*** RIVER *** [3d Qh Ac 5h] [7d]
Fuel55 bets 160 (better stick something in, if no one is going to bet)
BB folds
PUTZ/VICTIM/DOOFUS raises to 640 (now he awakens)
Fuel55 raises to 1,120 (gimme the rest of your chips buddy)
PUTZ/VICTIM/DOOFUS calls 421, and is all in (bingo)
Uncalled bet of 59 returned to Fuel55

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55 shows [5d 5s] (three of a kind, Fives)
PUTZ/VICTIM/DOOFUS mucks [Qd As] - two pair, Aces and Queens
Fuel55 wins the pot (2,362) with three of a kind, Fives

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 17)

Alternate Title: My Only Defense is "He Was Short Stacked and I Play Goot"

PokerStars $50+$5 SNG, 5 remain

Seat 1: Fuel55 (4535 in chips)
Seat 2 (1680 in chips)
Seat 3 (1695 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 7 (5110 in chips)
Seat 8: Victim (480 in chips)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Seats 2, 3 and 7 fold
Victim raises 50 to 100 from SB
Fuel55 calls 50 with [5h 5d]

*** FLOP *** [8c 2s Jd]
Victim bets 380 and is all-in (It doesn’t really matter what he has, he has to push with such a short stack)
Fuel55 calls 380 (PRESTO IS GOLD, I CALL)

Victim shows [Qc Qd]
Fuel55 shows [5h 5d]

*** TURN *** [8c 2s Jd] [5c] (hello Mr. 2-Outer)

*** RIVER *** [8c 2s Jd 5c] [Ac]
Fuel55: shows [5h 5d] (three of a kind, Fives)
Fuel55 collected 960 from pot
Fuel55 said, "ouch"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 16)

PokerStars $3/$6NL, 6-max

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Fuel55 calls $6 from MP with [5d 5s]
SB calls $3
BB checks

*** FLOP *** [5c 6h 7c]
SB bets $16
BB folds
Fuel55 raises $20 to $36
SB calls $20

*** TURN *** [5c 6h 7c] [Kc]
SB checks
Fuel55 checks

*** RIVER *** [5c 6h 7c Kc] [7h]
SB checks
Fuel55 bets $30
SB calls $30

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55 shows [5d 5s] (a full house, Fives full of Sevens)
SB mucks [8h 7s] (poor guy gets unlucky to make his set on the river)
Fuel55 collected $148 from pot

Monday, October 16, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 15)

Another Full Tilt SNG and another miracle flop with 55:

*** HOLE CARDS ***
MP raises to 180
Button reraises to 400
Fuel55 calls 340 from SB with [5c 5h]
MP calls 220

*** FLOP *** [5s Kh Qd]
MP bets 400
Button raises to 900
Fuel55 reraises to 1159, and is all in
MP calls 759
Button calls 259

*** TURN *** [5s Kh Qd] [Jd]
MP checks
Button bets 323
MP calls 323, and is all in

*** RIVER *** [5s Kh Qd Jd] [8h]
Button shows [Ah Kd] (a pair of Kings)
MP shows [Qh Ad] (a pair of Queens)
Fuel55 shows [5c 5h] (a set of Fives)

Button wins the side pot (T626) and Fuel55 wins the main pot (T4737). No explanation required ...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 14) (with further explanation)

Full Tilt $100+$9 Sit & Go, 6 players remain. I have a reasonable chip lead. Of the total T12,000 in play I have T6,000 and 2nd place (who is the victim here has T3,300 - the other 4 players ae close to the felt with less than 10BB each).

I have been blessed with quite a few good hands and players are scared to play me for the most part. I have shown a number of hands to reinforce that image. My Victim here is Team Atomic who is a very solid player. He can fold and he can play air with the best of them.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Fuel55 min-raises to 120 from the button with [5c 5h] (I will have position throughout this hand)
Victim calls 60 from the BB (he would raise here if he had an ace or a pair)

*** FLOP *** [9h 3c 2s]
Victim checks (for the most part I put checking here in the"weak" column)
Fuel55 bets 180 (I bet 2/3 of the pot here looking to take it down)
Victim raises to 360 (he could have a 9 or just be testing to see if I am floating him – I thinking 30% 9, 70% tester raise - he knows I will c-bet 80% of the time and the board looks pretty safe so why not try and take it down)
Fuel55 calls 180 (can't really fold for T180 more)

So we've had an interesting flop and round of betting. Remember that this is a $109 SNG - the players here are tricky and well beyond ABC poker. There aren't any draws on this board (unless he has 54) so my assumption he has to be that he has a weak 9 (A9 would have raised preflop) or he is just trying to take the pot away from weak. In either case, I think I can resteal from him given that I have position.

*** TURN *** [9h 3c 2s] [2d]
Victim bets 300 (he has to c-bet again – now up to 50/50 on whether he has a nine)
Fuel55 calls 300

OK, the turn is a scare card. If I called him (or he called me) with bottom pair things will get dicey. Victim MUST bet here given that he checkraised the flop. Team Atomic knows that for sure. He bets 1/3 the pot. Again I take this is a sign of weakness and a flat call from me has to WORRY him a lot. I think I can safely discount a 2. If he has a 3 I have him beat but I am behind a 9. Still Team Atomic will fold a weak 9 on the river to an all in. He won't go broke with a marginal pair.

*** RIVER *** [9h 3c 2s 2d] [5d]
Victim checks
Fuel55 bets 1,200
(stick in a little value bet and pray that he has a nine)
Victim calls 1,200

Victim checks the river. I figure he has given up on the pot. Luckily for me I hit my 5 and can bet without any worry of losing the hand. I bet T1200 which is 3/4 the pot. This is larger than a value bet and falls squarely is the "steal bet" category. He can call without going broke or he can fold. He decides to call and did have a weak 9 the whole way. If a 5 had not come, I would have surely pushed, putting him all in - and he could NOT have called with Q9 for his tournament life.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55 shows [5c 5h] (a full house, Fives full of Twos)
Victim mucks [9d Qs]
(bingo – nice suckout on my part)
Fuel55 wins the pot (3,990) with a full house, Fives full of Twos

I pick up a nice pot by getting lucky on the river however I firmly beleive that I would have won a smaller pot by pushing any river card since he could only call for all his chips if the river was a Q or another 9.

Oh, and did I mention that 55 is gold in my hands?

Is that enough explanation Waffles?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 13)

Haven't made quad fives for a while ...

PokerStars $5/10NL, 9-handed

*** HOLE CARDS ***
UTG calls $10
UTG+1 calls $10
Fuel55 raises $50 to $60 from LP with [5s 5d]
CO-1 calls $60
BB raises $19 to $79 and is all-in
UTG folds
UTG+1 folds
Fuel55 calls $19
CO-1 calls $19

*** FLOP *** [Td 6h 5c]
Fuel55 checks
CO-1 checks

*** TURN *** [Td 6h 5c] [5h]
Fuel55 bets $60
CO-1 calls $60

*** RIVER *** [Td 6h 5c 5h] [9c]
Fuel55 bets $100
CO-1 folds

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55 shows [5s 5d] (four of a kind, Fives)
BB mucks hand [9d Ac]
Fuel55 collects $374

Friday, September 15, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 12)

55 can work in mysterious ways - how about this one:

PokerStars Satellite to WCOOP Event #6

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Victim raises 400 to 600
Fuel55 calls 600 on button with [5c 5d]

*** FLOP *** [Ac 2c 7c]
Victim checks
Fuel55 checks

*** TURN *** [Ac 2c 7c] [Jc]
Victim bets 800
Fuel55 calls 800
(reasonable chance my flush is good)

*** RIVER *** [Ac 2c 7c Jc] [Kh]
Victim checks
Fuel55 checks
(but no point in getting greedy)

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Victim shows [8s 6s] (high card Ace)
Fuel55: shows [5c 5d] (a flush, Ace high)
Fuel55 collected 3100 from pot

9th of 36 remaining. 10 get seats.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 11)

Here is a really good example of taking advantage of your read when you have nothing.

PokerStars $3/$6PL, 9-handed

*** HOLE CARDS ***
MP raises $12 to $18
Fuel55 calls $18 from CO with [5h 5d]

*** FLOP *** [6c 6d 7c]
MP bets $24
Fuel55 raises $30 to $54
(I raise a little here to see if he has a pair or two overs)
MP calls $30
(Looks like a pair)

*** TURN *** [6c 6d 7c] [8s]
MP bets $46
Fuel55 calls $46
(The 8 opens up a lot of possibilities so I make the call getting more than 4:1)

*** RIVER *** [6c 6d 7c 8s] [7h]
MP checks (total scare card)
Fuel55 bets $116
MP folds
Fuel55 collected $242 from pot
Fuel55 doesn't show hand

My hand is totally counterfeited on the river and I am reduced to playing the board. My opponent checks the scare card on the river since the board now shows two pair and it is entirely possible that I raised him on the flop with a 6 or a 7. I MUST BET or I will lose the pot. If my read that he has an overpair is correct, he really has to fold, which he does.

Make sure you always have the stones to make this river bet, especially in position.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 10)

It's been two months since I posted a Presto-is-Gold hand. I haven't been seeing 55 much and when I have had it, it hasn't flopped much. Yesterday, I finally flopped a presto set but wasn't able to get paid off:

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 9)

Of course I call his all in and he turns over 73 for a lower boat. If only he knew ....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Presto is Gold (Part 8)

Bugsy's $2/4NL table 9-handed. I am dealt 5c5s UTG+1

UTG calls $4
Fuel55 calls $4 from UTG+1
MP raises $4 to $8
BB calls $4
UTG calls $4
Fuel55 calls $4

>>>DEALING FLOP<<< [ Qd 9h 5h ]
BB checks
UTG checks
Fuel55 bets $17.50
MP folds
BB calls $17.50
UTG folds

>>>DEALING TURN<<< [ 9c ]
BB checks
Fuel55 checks

>>>DEALING RIVER<<< [ Jc ]
BB checks
Fuel55 bets $69
BB calls $69

Fuel55 cards were 5c 5s
BB mucks hand (cards were Qs Tc)
Fuel55 wins $204 with a full house, fives full of nines

Friday, June 09, 2006

Warning: Don't Ever Try to Use 55 Against Me

The consequences aren't pretty:

I kind of feel sorry for the poor AJ schmuck who was flushing and went runner runner two pair - just enough to go broke. But the 55 guy should have known better against me!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Signature hand strikes gold

Around the half-hour mark of a PokerStars rebuy extravaganza … I am dealt the signature hand in the BB (Dealt to Fuel55 [5d 5c]). Table is 9-handed.

Victim 1: calls 30
Victim 2: calls 30
Victim 3: raises 190 to 220 and is all-in
Fuel55: calls 190
Victim 1: calls 190
Victim 2: calls 190

*** FLOP *** [5s 9h As]
Fuel55: bets 150
Victim 1: calls 150
Victim 2: calls 150

*** TURN *** [5s 9h As] [7h]
Fuel55: bets 660
Victim 1: calls 660
Victim 2: calls 660

*** RIVER *** [5s 9h As 7h] [Ad]
Fuel55: bets 1410
Victim 1: raises 425 to 1835 and is all-in
Victim 2: folds
Fuel55: calls 425

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Victim 1: shows [Th Ac] (three of a kind, Aces)
Victim 3: shows [8h 7c] (two pair, Aces and Sevens)
Fuel55: shows [5d 5c] (a full house, Fives full of Aces)

Fuel55 collects 6100 from side pot and 895 from main pot

Monday, April 24, 2006

Synchrony as it relates to Bluffing

Considerable chatter regarding physical tells exists and is neatly summarized in the Mike Caro classic.

However, there is a real problem within the lack of reliability in physical tells.

Good players can utilize reverse tells and bad players tend to be inconsistent.

we all know how expensive a misread can be ...

Better players need to look a little deeper into their opponents actions.

It is funny how little play the topic of synchrony gets in the “tells” literature.

Synchrony refers to either occurrence at the same time or movement at the same rate. Synchronous actions are innate and very difficult to fake. Where it equates to bluffing/deception relates to the congruency of a player’s actions/words. Bluffing is likely occurring when synchrony does not occur between what is being said and the events at the time.

Things to look for:

1) Does my opponents head movement match their answer to a yes-or-no question?

2) Is there a noticeable delay in answering yes-or-no questions?

If the answer to the first question is no or to the second question is yes, then you have likely observed non-synchronous behavior and have more often than not sniffed out a bluff.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Presto Hand #2

This guy thinks he can raise the signature hand and live to tell about it?

Remaining Players: 44 (171 started)
Fuel55 dealt down
5s 5d
EP raises 1,600 to 3,200
Fuel55 calls 3,200 from MP
LP calls 3,200
Button raises 14,900 to 18,100 and is all-in

EP folds
Fuel55 calls 14,900
(gotta call with the signature hand!)
LP folds
Button's cards were Ad Td
Fuel55's cards were 5s 5d
>>>DEALING FLOP<<< [ 4h 3d 5c ]
>>>DEALING TURN<<< [ 5h ]
>>>DEALING RIVER<<< [ Ah ]
Fuel55 wins 46,800 with four of a kind, fives
Button finishes in 44th place

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

55 is the STONE COLD nutz

From time to time I will post all my glorious victories with presto, which loyal readers should know is my favorite hand.

Presto Hand #1:

SB posts $3
Fuel55 posts big blind $6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Fuel55 [5d 5h]
players 1-6 fold
Victim raises $18 to $24 from the CO
Button and SB fold

Fuel55 calls $18
*** FLOP *** [4h 8h 5s]
Fuel55 bets $24
Victim raises $144 to $168
Fuel55 calls $135.10 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [4h 8h 5s] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [4h 8h 5s 6h] [4d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55 shows [5d 5h] (a full house, Fives full of Fours)
Victim mucks hand [Jh Jd]
Fuel55 collected $366.20 from pot

Monday, April 17, 2006


Reality check: poker is a brutal game.

As players, we face countless donks in the form of suckouts and drawouts. The summation of good play and bad, good cards and bad, and good luck and bad is variance. Given that there is no team behind you in poker, you have to deal with your own variance. Sure you may gripe to friends about this bad beat or that, but at the end of the day the variance of your bankroll is yours and yours alone. Plain and simply, it is every player for himself.

Clearly, winning at poker is good but it isn't everything in the short run. What really matters is making good decisions and, if you can do that, ultimately everything will work out in your favor.

Each and every hand we play has decision points and the player who make the best decisions about folding, calling, raising, and/or checking is the one who will win in the long run.

As I said in my first post, I often believe that I am the unluckiest player alive. I have learned to make good decisions and by in large get my money into pots with the best hand. But given that few hands are really that much far ahead of others, getting donked will forever be part of my poker experience. I have learned to get over it in the short run and I have learned to be largely unemotional about it all.

I think this quote by Thomas Carlyle is fitting in many areas of life, poker included.

"Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak."