Thursday, December 15, 2005

Back in Business

I'm back from my European vacation, which was awesome. I got to play a small amount of poker, and my impression is that the stereotypes of loose, rich, crazy European poker players is absolutely true. If you ever get a chance to play poker at the casinos over there, you should jump at the opportunity. They're all characters.

Now it's time to get back to the real work of earning poker money and planning for the future job-wise.

One concept I've been spending some time with is the idea of betting out a hand rather than check-calling or check-raising on the flop. Traditionally, my strategy has been fairly simple: I usually bet out two pair or better on the flop because I want to encourage callers and raisers. I want to build a pot. If I have top pair or second pair combined with a draw, I strong consider check-raising.

I think that's all well and good for the most part. But poker isn't about generalizations. Poker is about making the best possible move at the time. What got me thinking about this was this Card Player magazine column.

In the Card Player example, betting out the hand is appropriate for many reasons -- the straight draw, the backdoor flush possibility, the overcard. A hand with that much potential can be treated as a strong hand.

Additionally, betting out puts a lot of pressure on other players with lesser draws or naked overcards. In the example above, a bet puts four bets in the pot. It's an easy call for anyone with a flush or a straight draw, but any lesser draw should fold.

I'm just babbling here. The point is that betting out a hand -- especially against two or fewer opponents in a smallish pot -- can force your opponents to make incorrect calls that aren't justified by the odds. When your opponents make incorrect moves, you win.

Here are some links that I've found useful recently:
The Law School Dropout's Poker Blog
Getting Back to Shorthanded, from PokerSweetHome
Shorthanded Play, from Sound of a Suckout
The Twelve Commandments Of Short-Handed LHE, from the Bad Beat Blog


Victor_Enriq said...

Great to have some new entries at this blog again!

cc said...

kurokitty suggested I ask you about Amsterdam games. I'm on a seventeen day trip (currently in London now), headed to Amsterdam for 24-hours Monday. Any info would be appreciated.

Good to find some fellow ATL bloggers.