The Tuesday night Skillz series is by far, my favorite on line blogament. Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some Scotch, a good cigar and mashing that all-in button for an hour with Kat at her Donkament. And the new TuckFard Open II H.O.R.S.E. for $3.50 on a Monday night, LOVE IT ! Like everyone else in their right mind, (read HOY) who wouldn't want a crack at brudder Carson's chips?
But Tuesday’s are a mix of some of my favorite variation of poker. Last night was no exception, the great Stud /8 was on the menu. Now I don’t play the split game as much as I do Stud high, but Stud in itself has always been one of my favorite poker games to play. There cannot be enough emphasis put on how critical your concentration must be focused on the cards in play at a Stud table. Knowing how many dead outs both you and your opponent(s) may or may not have is a critical key to success in the game. I’m not going to make the M.I.T. Blackjack team by any stretch of the imagination, but when my game is on, I take great pride in knowing what I, (or others) have left in the deck to work with.
The split factor just adds that little wrinkle that can make it even more important to pay attention. The “scoop” is the best possible position to put your self in, and one that can be a great game breaker and stack builder. Scooping the entire pot can be difficult as obvious made hands of high and low happen more frequently than not. But it is always something to keep an eye out for.
I started out the game fairly solid and steady as she goes. My stack swung up as high as $4350 and down as low as $2600. Based on the hand breakdown shown below, I would say that my play seemed to be going as well as I felt it was, after the first hour.
Having two scoops in the first hour is a huge bonus. Unfortunately as you can tell, they were small pots as I needed to wait for my opponents to catch up enough to be interested. In both instances, I felt a scoop was a reasonable possibility by 6th.street. I had one other opportunity earlier where I’d managed the wheel by 5th. street. A fairly well hidden one at that, as my Acey-duecey were buried in the hole. I made bets on that one and I chased all my opponents away. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake with these two. However, in order to get the betting where I wanted it to be, they would need to have a strong enough hand to compete with. In both cases this time, my bets on 7th.street were merely called, rather than the raise I was hoping for. Seeing the hands of both opponents here, I know I got maximum value I could out of them. It was a shame that I couldn’t get these hands involved in one of the epic H/L made hand betting wars that occurred quite frequently at the game last night. There were some serious “button mashing” competitions between hands like x-x-3-6-7-5-x and x-x-10-10-10-A-x. Funny stuff really.
About an hour and a half into play, I was still feeling good about my play. I’d been slowly maintaining my position in the top ten and swapping $500 losses or splits, with $1800 wins or splits. Anyone who’s played a fair amount of the 8 or better split games will tell you, losing $250 to $500 once in a while and backing it up with winning $900 to $1800 once in a while, is the right way to manage pots to your advantage. It was about here that Zeem started dropping by to harass me, (in fun I hope! lol) to see if this little fishie was still awake!
Just after 2nd break at 11:30, I got involved in a hand that resembles everything that has set the tone for my poker in 2008. With Evy showing x-x-2-3-6-A-x and me showing x-x-K-10-K-J-x, we were the last ones playing in the hand after 5th. street. I can quite easily put Evy on a hand of A-2-3-4-6 for low and my two pair is good for the high. How you ask? Simple! Djhomeschool folded a 5 and my hole cards are “Presto” baby! The betting patterns were the same for both of us throughout the hand, right up to the river. I can safely assume, (and gamble on, with relative certainty) my read on Evy’s hand is correct. Here are the possibilities.
1) There is one out in the deck for her.
2) The case 5 was buried in one of the 12 other cards folded, (all were showing high except Dj!)
3) or, I am way out in left field and she’s been playing me well for the scoop.
Here are the hands as played.
Evy = 3-4-2-3-6-A-x
Bam = 5-5-K-10-K-J-x
Excellent read of the situation Bam-Bam, Yesiree Bob! Two pair sucks in Stud, unless you know what you’re up against and what outs are gone. A quick check of the notes and I see that 32 cards have been put in play, 14 are still in play and three of the 5’s needed to beat me are not available to my opponent. I like my chances. (opinions?) As I said, I’ve played a lot of stud in my life, being able to know what is in play and what are the dead cards, is critical to making your decisions. Needless to say, the case 5 hit Evy on 7th. street. She apologized but had no need to. We both already knew she had the low and I was never afraid of that. I took a calculated risk and was not rewarded. IMHO, there was nothing going to happen in this hand except a split, or a massive hit to the stack. The facts are, Evy’s 100% to win the low by 6th street. I’m at about 94% to win high at the same point. But that’s why 94% is not 100%.
I played damn good Stud right up to that point. I’d even go as far to say, I’d gamble running that hand to 7th. street as it was, over and over again. I know as it was played, I’d win far more of them than I’d lose as a rule. This one just didn’t go my way.
That changed things dramatically as I went from a very large stack in about 3rd. or 4th. place, to the bottom dweller of the pack. I got nothing but “brings” for the next three hands and it was looking grim. Then I was dealt the following, A-2-4 and I had a chance to start my comeback. By the time I got to A-2-4-9-5, all my little chippies were in the center. I needed one good card to come….. but it never did. IGHN.
I love Stud. If this were Race’em, I’d be pissed as hell about a bad beat. In this game, it’s more about the study, the awareness and the feel of your inner gambler, based on your read. I can live with how I played the game last night. I just got unlucky at a bad time. The game of Stud just makes it so much easier to take.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by….