Jason's Poker Blog

  1. 2009-01-18 02:40:14

    Success in Santa Cruz

    I arrived in Santa Cruz last night and unfortunately missed my turn to get to Megan's. The good news is we were going to meet down town in about a half-hour, so I used the opportunity to pick up advance tickets for the Saturday noon 40-person $30+$20 add-on/rebuy tournament at the Ocean View Card Room. And, what do you know, they had three 3-100 Spread Limit Hold'em tables ($100 max buy-in) running this Friday night, so how could I not sit down and play?


    I sat down and promised myself I'd play straight-forward cash game poker, as I have been studying under Jeff and his methods do seem successful. I take down the blinds a few times, check-call a bluffer on the river, and have built up to about $130. Then am fortunate enough to get in the big blind when faced with a open-raise on the button. I immediately 3-bet the sucka, and he 4-bets for about 10% more of the pot. Aces for the win! LOL.

    Ah well. I fold a couple more revolutions and it's almost time to go when I get (favorite hand!). (Not really.) I flat-call a mid-position 4xBB raise (maybe I should have re-raised; probably I should have folded) and one person calls behind me. The flop is so I'm ready to release. Raiser checks, I check, and the button stabs at the pot. This guy has been pretty active, so I was considering check-raising him until the preflop raiser called. Then I figured I might as well squeeze the crap out of both them. I pick up that $60 and cash out for a cool $35 profit. :p

    I really wanted to be a dick and ask them why they didn't let me hit my straight and flip my cards up, but I was leaving and figured I'd rather not give them any more reason to remember me for next time.


    The setup: you get 1000 in chips and the blinds are 25/50 (ouch!) and you can rebuy or add-on (but not both) at $30 for 2000 in chips.

    The hint: if you intend to play well and not gamble preflop, exercise your add-on immediately.

    The result: I tangled with one of the other few big stacks for the whole amount with my overpair against his flop set. Ugh. Stupid.

    The Galen

    This crazy mofo was down to negative chips (practically). There was a point when he stoled the blinds and his stack increased by 25%... Somehow he held on. I was busy playing the cash game, but every time I walked over, he was knocking somebody out. I swear. Somebody would push, he would call with a better hand, and they would be gone.

    The first hand of note: Galen calls an opponent's all in with his . The guy had and a shorter stack. The flop blasts Galen: . The turn is no good... . BUT, guess what the river is: ! Woooooooooooo. LOL. Galen takes out the next two players by calling with medium aces preflop and not getting screwed. The other player at the table (Gary, a regular) seems content letting Galen do the dirty work.

    The Prop

    I sit back down at the cash game and the conversation goes towards the heads up battle that is about to ensue. I state that I hope Galen doesn't take any chop offer, as he is almost a 2-to-1 chip favorite. Of course, most players at the table support the regular, and say it's in Galen's best interest to chop. I tell them they don't know the genius of Galen, and even if he gets outplayed, it's still heads up! Galen can get lucky and end it, or he can lose a big hand and their positions would only be swapped. Simple mathematics makes him the favorite. One player tells me Gary doesn't get into situations where he's all in and needing to get lucky... Yeah, right.

    I tell the table to put their moneys where their mouths are. I offer even money that Gary loses, up to $50. Only one player (a kewl kat on my left) has the nuts to sack up and we each threw down $20.

    The Finish

    Gary, being the proficient tournament player that he is, does indeed start to outchip Galen. What he doesn't know is that Galen's strategy is to let you think you know what's going on, and then he crushes your hopes and dreams by making a spectacular call that makes you crap your pants. This exact scenario (perhaps minus the crap) went down shortly after Gary become about a 2-to-1 chip favorite. Gary moved in with and Galen snap-called with . These hands will split frequently (I'm too lazy - 30%ish?) but Galen masterfully gets a quick 6 on the turn. Boom, baby.

    If I recall correctly, Gary went all in again the very next hand. This time Galen called him pretty quickly with . The flop was strong: . The turn was theh and the river was the , completing the flush. Of course, Gary had moved in with . Oops.

    A few hands later it was all over for Galen. Ah well. I guess you can't win every race. I go pay my debt, and the guy who beat me was amicable about it. The guy who told me Gary doesn't need luck tried to rub it in my face. I'm pretty sure my money went in good :)

    Galen scooped $450 real quick and got my lunch. Woot!


    Okay, here's the best part of the day. I was stuck for about $200 in the cash game, but I made a hero call with my pocket tens against pocket nines to double my third buy-in up to $195. I was still down $105 and had to get up to watch Galen play the heads-up match. I folded all the way to UTG and decided a straddle was in order. I asked if I could straddle for more than $6 and luckily they said yes...

    I pre-tipped the dealer $3 and straddled for $12. I figured I'd cash out for an even $180. I've had less fun for $12, for sure. Two people called the straddle, and the small blind put in $50 on top. This guy had bad-beat me earlier by calling my preflop raise with some weak holdings. He was pretty aggressive, so it wasn't that unexpected. I sighed and checked my cards, figuring it was a quick muck.

    I accidentally found under my card protector, and stated "I raise the maximum amount, whatever that is". Of course, that was $100, so I still had $40 left. I could tell the guy really wanted a reason to call me, but was convincing himself to lay it down. I told him, "If you want some help, I'll give you good implied odds. If you call here, I'll put my last $40 in no matter what the flop is." He quickly obliged, and bet $40 in the dark.

    Hero (that's me):
    Guy (that's him):
    Hero: up $90!


    Jeff's cash game strategy worked out pretty well here. People called a bit more than I liked, so I had to tighten up the range and play more positional. In the end, I probably made some really stupid plays and got exceedingly lucky with the kings. Some day I'll learn how to play for real...

    Posted by Jason M at 2009-01-18 02:40:14

Comments on “Success in Santa Cruz”

    • avatar for Jason M
    • Yeah, the kings definitely made my night a bit happier :)

    • avatar for Nick L
    • Excellent post to bad that Galen didn't win that sux. That is amazing with Kings there good that you were up for the roller coaster day that you had.

    • avatar for Jason M
    • I can't afford to play scared any more... Oh wait, I guess I never did. For some reason it's always been easy for me to jam against those types of games. The squeeze was probably a bit reckless, but it seemed good at the time ;)

      Jeff's strat - too hard to sum up in a paragraph. My friend Chad and I have taken him up on the offer to sit with us for a session. The basic strategy is either come in raising or don't come in at all, and then follow up with smart continuation bets. Also, strict adherence to bankroll management procedures are an absolute necessity. More advanced strategy awaits, I'm sure :)

    • avatar for Ethan
    • Good work dude.

    • avatar for FREMONTkyle
    • LOL i play like a scared lil girl in these 3-100 games never would of made that squeeze

      so im interested to hear more about JEFFS strategy's you speak of clue me in

    • avatar for Tony Gags
    • good read here J. I think im mucking aj there tho ;)