Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Four Flush

I’m disappointed I don’t have a better report from my latest session in Ventura.  At one point I was up over $100, and I left about even.  Grrr.

I was down about $100 (from my $300 buy-in at the 2/3 game) when I limped in from the button with 10-8 of clubs.  It was five-way.  The flop was Jack-9-9, two spades, one club.  There was no betting. The Queen of spades hit the turn, and I bet $10, only one player called.  The river was a blank and I just checked behind, there was just too many ways a straight could be beaten there and I thought there was a chance the villain would check-raise.  But he mucked when he saw my straight.

Very next hand I opened to $15 with Ace-Jack of spades and only one guy called, the same villain as the last hand.  King-high flop, one spade, I made a c-bet of $25 and he called.  A blank on the turn and he led out for $50.  I folded.

Then I got two black Aces in early position.  I opened to $15 and got three callers.  The flop was King-high and all spades.  I bet $40.  After a fold, a player announced all-in and the next guy immediately folded.  The all-in bet was probably a bit more than $100.  It was all in one high-stack.  I had him covered and I didn’t think I could/should fold there with the nut flush draw.  Just to be sure, I did peak at my cards first though.  Yep, there was an Ace of spades and an Ace of clubs staring at me.  I announced call.  Neither of us showed.

The suspense was over early as the turn card was another spade, and he said, “Damn,” as soon as he saw it.  The river was blank.  He turned over 6-4 of spades.  Well, that explains the shove.  I took in a nice pot.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, isn’t it?  Well not supposed to all the time, but at least a percentage of the time, right?  But honestly, in that situation, it’s never worked out for me before.  Well, not in a cash game.  Maybe in a tournament, which is a little different.  But in a cash game where I faced a shove (or even a big bet) with a naked Ace matching the suit of the three cards on the board and then catching another card of the same suit to make the nuts, I just don’t recall that happening.  I’ve seen it happen a lot.  I’ve seen people do it to me.  I just can’t recall ever coming out on the good side of that in a cash game.

Watch, someone will scour through all my old posts and find where I talked about lucking out in that exact situation.  I sure don’t recall it.

The other thing is….what do you think of his play?  There was one other caller when he called my $15 open.  Is it a good play?  Or—is that what he gets for calling with such a weak hand?  Most of the time he’s gonna end up folding on the flop and just be out $15.  This time he lost his stack.  But, after getting lucky with the flop, he got unlucky on the turn.  That’s poker, right?

Of course, with 6-4 of spades, he’s also thinking about a straight.  When I play a low suited connector or one-gapper, I’m always thinking I’d rather hit the straight than the flush.  I figure a low straight will hold up a lot more often than a low flush.

A few hands later I opened to $15 with Ace-King off.  Only one caller, same villain as in the first two hands.  It was a low flop with two diamonds.  I decided not to c-bet.  A black King hit the turn and I bet $25 and he called.  But damn, the river was the Ace of diamonds.  I checked behind.  He had King-Queen so I took it.

That got me up over $100 profit.  But it was the high point of my day.  I kept getting cards to play and missing.  Especially low pocket pairs.  I got 8’s and deuces a lot.  Remember all those posts where I complained about hardly seeing any pocket pairs?  This session made up for that.  Unfortunately I couldn’t hit a single set with all those pairs. And the black Aces were the only pocket pair I saw above 8’s.

I also lost on a big blind hand where I turned two pair (no one bet the flop) and a guy rivered a straight.  I didn’t write down the details but he didn’t bet enough to get me to fold to his river bet.

I did open to $15 with King-Queen of hearts and had just one caller.  The flop was King-high, no hearts.  I bet $25 and he open folded Ace-7 of hearts.  Good thing hearts didn’t come.

As I said, I ended up breaking even for the day.  I didn’t play it safe when I was up $100—even I’m not that tight.  But for a second when I was cashing out, I almost regretted it.  But no—I played the right way.

So maybe this post will please those folks who think my posts are too long?


  1. "So maybe this post will please those folks who think my posts are too long?"

    Getting there ...

    1. For my next post, I'll just reprint my latest tweet.

  2. I believe that the best flush draw hands have at least three players seeing the flop. In the BB if I can close out the action by calling a reasonable pre-flop raise with a suited Ace and that makes it four players to see the flop that is even better. More players in the hand make the odds better that you will have somebody try to bluff their way into winning the pot representing a nut flush when you are actually the player with the Ace.

  3. Please....pretty please stop checking back rivers where you almost assuredly have the best hand. You are burning profits not betting these rivers. Rarely is someone going for the river check raise, unless they actually made their hand on the river.

    If you don't value town yourself occasionally on the river, you aren't betting it enough.

    1. Thanks for the reminder, stesser, I know this is a major leak in my game.

      I guess I am still reliving in my mind the time when, in about a 24 hour span, I bet sets on the river three times and ran into rivered straights.

  4. 64 soooted is not a weak starting hand. Rather, it's versatile and requires proper play. You can't just limp/call into pots and fold flops if you miss or only hit a pair. You have to be willing to steal on occasion. You also have to be willing to strongly play your draws and combo draws, including a high % of semibluffing. And, of course, when you do hit a big hand, you're counting on idiots paying you off. So, as in all poker situations, you have to know your table dynamics.

    1. Thanks, Grange....always appreciate your thoughtful input (and free coaching).

      OK, so maybe 6-4 isn't such a bad hand. But you gotta admit, it's no 6-3 (aka "The Spanish Inquisition.")