If you have been late on my posts on live poker scene, no worries, you are just in for the main attraction.
For starters, you can take a look at how playing live poker can improve yourself. Those who think live poker is not for them, you can consider reading this article. I just came back from Macau, and got a review of its live poker scene.
Now, it’s time to review some of my hands that occurred during my last live poker session in Macau, China.
I took notes on my hands, my opponents hands, the board, stack sizes and bets as well. That’s not an easy thing to do when you play live.
For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts on Macau, you should know that I played HKD 25/50 blinds which is approximately $3/$6.
I only want to break down the more interesting hands I played, whether I played right or wrong given the information I had at the time does not really matter. I will talk about hands that I didn’t play too well and what I should have done better, as well as hands that I played well and why I played the way I did.
Let’s get started.
Day 1 – Hand 1
AKo in UTG against lose opponent in MP
You can replay the link by hitting the replay button. You can see my cards and ‘Hero’ is always my display name.
We were 9 handed at that time and the person in MP was kind of loose.
I raised in UTG to 3x and MP calls, everyone else folds. Since I raised UTG, most opponents assume that I have a premium hand, 88-AA, AQ, AK, KQs.
I think he is going to call me fairly wide pre-flop. He would play the top 25% of his range, maybe even loser!
Flop 955 rainbow. Very unlikely that this flop helped him. I bet a bit over half pot on flop and he calls. Don’t think his call reveals too much about his hand at this point. He would be calling me there with any A, 22 – TT, he might even call with KJ and KQ.
Q on the turn. Not very likely that this card helped him. I continue my story and bet a bit more right now. He raises 3x. At this point, I think he’s bluffing me. His body language and everything tells me that he ain’t much of a hand. The problem is that I only have A high and don’t want to risk my whole stack. I fold.
In retrospect, a check-call or check-fold might have been better on the turn. The bet I made forced me to lay down my hand, possibly the best hand. If I checked the turn and he bet half to 3 quarters of the pot I definitely would have called. Then, on the river I would have checked again to see what he did. Don’t think he would bet 66, 77, TT or A high on the river. Only his complete air that has no show down value, so hands like JTs, 87, but he would certainly bet his strong hands like any 5, or a hand like KQ, AQ that overtook me on the turn. He could be doing it with pretty much any hand just to take the pot away from me on the turn.
So I don’t like my play on the turn here as I bet myself off the best hand. He’s going to be floating me a lot in position and a check call would be better on this board. A check-fold on the turn is also fine. A check-raise doesn’t make sense against such an opponent because it’s unlikely that he lays down a hand that slightly beets me, so I won’t get rid of 66, 77.
While this line might sound standard, it’s not the optimal play against this opponent. I didn’t have much of a hand here but I could have achieved more with less invested. I think if I check call the turn, and check again on the river, he might decide to shut down most of his bluffs because he thinks there’s a high chance that I’ll call him.
Day 1 – Hand 2
I raised with JJ UTG and get again called by the lose-crazy guy.
As in the previous hand, I raise to HKD 150 in UTG but this time with JJ. MP reraises to HKD 400, everyone else folds and I call.
Flop: J98 with two clubs. I check and he bets close to pot and I call. At this moment I think he could have an over-pair (QQ-AA), AJ, or even air (AQ, AK, KQ, KJ – he would definitely re-raise with these hands preflop). I didn’t like a raise in this spot as it might give him an excuse to lay down a hand like AQ, AK with which he would certainly bluff again on the turn, unless a T comes and he makes his straight. The check call is only good against hands which completely missed. A raise is better against hands which connected with the board (AJ, KJ, TT, QQ) in the hope to get it in. I think the choice between check/call and check/raise is close, a donk bet might also not be a bad play, to make it look as if I’m trying to steal the pot away from him.
The turn brings a non club 5. I check and he pushes all in. Easy call.
The river brings another 9 and that’s obviously a good card for me in case he was on a draw which I don’t think he was.
Since I was first to act, I had to show my hand and had no chance to see what he had. I think he over-played KJ or AJ there. He was very upset when he saw my hand. This could mean many things. That his bluff didn’t work out or that he had a good hand (QQ+).
Day 1 – Hand 3
87s in MP
Been sitting at the same table for the past 3 hours and found 87s in MP3.
Pre-flop action: UTG2 raises to 2.5x, I call in MP3 (sorry that you can’t see my hand in the replay video – forgot to add it), CO calls, and SB and BB call as well.
Flop: Th 6c 5h. SB checks, BB bets big, UTG2 folds, I call in MP2 and position, CO folds and so does the SB.
Let’s ignore the fact that we can see his hand and know what he has. We got no reads on BB so far. He decided to bet into 4 people on a semi coordinated (that’s a board that connects with more hands than a dry board, but not as many hands as a wet board) board. There was no re-raise pre-flop. Considering he’s an average player, he has a T a lot here, T9, JT, QT, KT, AT. Some players also take the initiative with flush draw, so any 2 heart hand is definite possibility. It felt as if SB was not very interested in the flop. MP2 folded in front of me so he obviously missed it (probably had two high cards), and CO also didn’t seem to be very interesting. I call in position with a strong draw. I figure any 3 or 9 will win the hand, and I have position as well which might allow me to take a free card on the turn in case BB should check, or bluff on turn and river if a scare card hits (so assuming he has a T and is likely to fold to a bet if the scare card hits).
This is a great card for me. If he had a flush draw on the flop, I definitely have the best hand now. It’s unlikely that this card helped my opponent. I don’t think he was betting T8, 86 or 85 on the flop. The 8 does complete 1 possible straight draw, but I don’t like living in fear and it’s very unlikely that he bet the flop with 97. There is only 1 combination of 97 that most people would bet on the flop against 4 people and that is 97 of hearts. Not very likely.
He checks to me and I’m feeling quite good about my hand now. Not good enough to make a bet though, as he might very likely have a T which he decided to check-call on the turn. There’s value in betting against a flush draw though. But I would hate to get check-raised as it would bring me in a difficult situation. So I check behind.
That’s another great card for me. I’m close to 100% sure that I’ve the best hand now.
Strangely enough, he bets about half the pot. I’m not quite sure what his intention with this bet is. Is this a blocking bet here or is he actually bluffing to get me of a hand like two pair? I’m not really sure what his bet is for.
Given our analyses, we can’t fold here. We can expect to be good 80 – 90% of the time. In the unlikely event that he has T9 or 89s, we lose the pot here. It’s much more likely that he has JT-AT, or a busted flush draw which he turned into a bluff. All in all, it’s a very easy call. There’s no need for a raise though. A better hand than ours is most likely not going to fold and a worst hand might not call.
As it turned out, he had AT there. I like his flop bet. I think betting the flop is better than check-calling or check-raising. I think he should have bet on the turn again to get value from a worse T and flush draws. His river bet could have meant to be a bluff and it might have worked against players who fold easily on a dangerous board like this one.
Day 3 – Hand 1
Shot a video to explain this hand:
Day 3 – Hand 2
Check out below:
Hope you enjoyed the hand analyses.
Let me know what you think about these hands. Would love to hear from you!