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    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    Poker Friends, Unite!

    I've started playing for cash at Full Tilt. I'm doing pretty well - I haven't made money, but I haven't lost any either. I am still at about the same level I was when I first opened an account. Oh I've gotten close to going bust, but I've built it back up again. So I'm happy with that.

    Further, when I first put the cash down, I played a lot of $24-$2 tourneys. Now these payout pretty well, but it's also a lot tougher to cash out. Indeed, I never made the money in any of the tourneys. So I switched to playing $5-$.50 Sit and Gos. These are nine or eighteen player mini-tourneys. They run constantly, and start whenever nine (or eighteen) players sit down at a table. One launches every 20 seconds or so. Three places are paid on a nine player Sit and Go - $22.50 for first, $13.50 for second, $9.00 for third. Four places are paid on an 18 player Sit and Go - $36 for first, $27 for second, $18 for third, and $9 for fourth. As a result, it is a lot easier to finish in the money - all you have to do is beat six (or fourteen) other people. Not only do I finish in the money more than half the time, I win probably 15% of the Sit and Gos I enter.

    Here's my question. The other day, there were four of us left in a nine player game. I was short stack with around 2,000 chips left. The third place player had slightly more, about 2,200. I get dealt K-Q suited (Diamonds). The blinds are 80-160 and I am in the Big Blind. First player to act folds, second player calls, small blind (the guy with 2,200) calls, and I raise it three times the Big Blind, a raise of 480 to 640 all together. The first guy to act folds, the small blind takes a few moments but eventually calls. So, at this point, I have over a quarter of my chips in the pot. He's in the same boat.

    The flop comes down Ad-7d-3c. He bets the blind, 160. I go all in. He doesn't hesitate a moment to call. Not one moment. I show my K-Q, he shows A-J. I catch neither a diamond, a K, or a Q, and I am out.

    Here's where I get wondering. Why call my bet? Sure, you've got top pair. Sure, you've got a decent kicker. But if it were me, I would be thinking "he got a set" or "he hit two pair". A raise of approximately 1,200 chips in that place, a raise that puts me all in but 200 or so chips, would make me fold.

    I work hard to cultivate a tight table image. I don't run a lot of high chip bluffs. Most of my bluff plays are small, two or three times the pot after a flop if I am in position and no one else has bet. And indeed, I had a decent draw on this hand. And maybe that tightness is why I would never dream of calling a bet like I made, at least not with just top pair.

    Now, am I just smarting because I got beat on the hand? Or am I right in thinking this was an idiotic call on the part of the guy who called me?

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