Nh thread

How about some positivity? @Sassy_Sarah suggested I should try posting my triumphs and well played hands for a change. I’m game.

I just won at this 3-Max SNG at the 10k buy-in level, against a couple of low ranked players. One played pretty well, the other, well, they didn’t win too many hands, and ended up going out on an air bluff, maybe they just didn’t get the cards tonight.

Against the player who I thought played well, they showed early on that they would slow play pairs, and hope for someone to try to put a bluff past them. I let that happen once, and from there on I was cautious about playing bluffs. I managed to take a couple of hands bluffing anyway.

I won the game on this hand, straight over straight. Both of us made straights on the river, him 3-7, me 6-10, and we had both checked all the way from preflop to the river after limping to the flop. He puts in a 200 chips bet, and I raise him, then he goes all-in, and I close the door. I was surprised to see he also had a straight, to be honest… I figured him to have top pair, two pair, or a set. But seeing that he’d also made a straight made my opinion of his game go up a notch. It was a perfect river for both of us, and it made for a really nice hand. My 89 disguised my better straight pretty well, and I don’t think he saw mine coming either.

In these 3-Max short stack games, there’s often a lot of limping, a lot of bluffing, and usually any pair is good enough to go all-in on, and you don’t play much for draws if someone’s betting on you.


Previous to that, I hit a wheel straight, with A2 on a 324 flop, making the 5 on the river. I min-bet the flop on my pair of 22s, and got a call, which worried me a bit, so I checked the Turn, so did my opponent, his mistake, and then I min-bet for value when I filled my draw and got the call for a small value payoff. Should I have tried betting bigger? I was happy to get the extra 50, but I didn’t think it would be likely that a bigger bet gets a call here, not with the board screaming straight for AX.

What could he have had to call? I wonder. Not an Ace, and not a 6, that’s for sure. Did he have a Jack? Or perhaps two pair, hitting his small card on the flop, and matching it with the Jack on the Turn? J4? It would not surprise me if he checked after hitting with a Jack, hoping to induce a follow-up bet, but if he had it, he really should have bet right then. Maybe he was just a calling station after all.


Humble beginnings, but it’s a start.

My guess is he had 54. That would make sense for a call on the flop (top pair, OESD), check for the over card on the turn, and call on the river with 2 pair. Probably was trying for the same straight and ended up with 2 pair.

1 Like

Here’s another pair of bookends to an interesting 3-Max game I played where one of the players never showed.

Opening hand, I get 54s, limp, and am rewarded when I hit two pair. Flop is 542, two clubs, and I think about betting but decide instead to check, hoping it’ll entice a bluff and I can come over the top and win a bigger pot or maybe knock out my opponent. The Turn is a 3, and now I’m wary, because any Ace has a wheel straight, and I no longer feel super confident that my micro top two pair is the best hand on this board. The river is the 7 of diamonds, 3 diamonds on the board now, and I bet, am raised, and call, and am beaten by a flush.


I flash anger for a moment for misplaying the hand, but swallow it and try to keep my cool. I play back the next several hands, not overly aggressive, but bluffing a few hands where there seems to be no interest in the pot coming from my opponent, and I play my way back up to breakeven.

Some time later, I get A8, and flop two pair with it, and almost the same thing happens: they hit a flush on the river, I make a full house. I bet, they raise me all-in this time, I call, and they’re doomed.


Nice succession of hands here:

A 3-Max SNG, I limp K7o in this early hand, and hit top pair on the flop, but it’s a KQT board with two clubs. I want to take the hand, and I’m willing to risk busting but I don’t want to give my opponent odds to hit a draw here. If he has a better King than me or gets lucky, so be it. I put in a big bet on the flop and get called. Turn card pairs the board with a Ten, and I fire away again, leaving just 5 chips behind, and again I get a call. River is a 7, which at least gives me some insurance if I am only up against top pair. I bet my last 5, opponent calls, I guess the 5 wasn’t enough to dissuade him from calling with nothing, he shows J6 for an OESD.


The following hand, I’m dealt JJ and due to a slip on the mouse I raise 2BB when I had wanted to go bigger, both players call. Flop is 4AA, and I fire off a bet, but the other player who hadn’t gotten into a hand yet shoves. I get out of the way, and the player I’d beaten in the previous hand is already all-in, so they play out the hand with J5, pair the 5 on the Turn, and the river filled their boat AAA55, while the player who shoved only has K2o. Great bluff on his part, and he gets to take back the side pot with 150 of my chips in it, on a hand I could have won.


I might have bluffed him back off a pot myself, when I get K5o, flop top pair, Kings, and try to bet down the hand, getting to the river with KK and 4 Spades. I check the flop and he bets, I raise, but he calls. I check again on the Turn, and he puts in a pot size bet, but I flat call here. The river is a brick 2c, and I go all-in and he lays down on the river, possible he had a better King but feared flush with 3 spades, or could as likely be that he was going for the flush, possibly with an 8 or 3-offsuit with the As, but missed it. The pot is a good one for me, 900 chips, and I’ve left him with just 170 to go.


Final hand, I’m holding K7o, flop is 4JQ, pairing his bottom card, but he wisely checks the flop. But the Turn pairs my King, and I bet, and he can’t let go of bottom pair, like so many of my opponents.
He bets when the King lands, I call, and then for the river he shoves, and he’s all-in on 4th pair at the showdown, while I have the top.

It’s fun when the bluffer is trying to rep your hand.


Limped a pot with T8 and flopped two pair. On the flop there was quite a bit of action, so I decided to jam, and took out AA when they called. Fortunately they missed the board, but the odds were good that they wouldn’t improve after they missed the flop. What AA gets for limping.


Don’t slow play these hands, when you make a big hand you’re going to want to start getting chips in the pot so you can get a full double or stack someone. Also with blinds being so high and being 3 handed you’re going to need to steal quite a bit so this a board you’ll be bluffing a lot.

I know, and I will kick myself when I lose a hand this way. But in these short stack, short handed games, just having a pair can be enough to go all-in, and there’s a lot of bluffing if there’s no action, because it’s rare that someone who has nothing is going to call, because the stacks are too short to allow for you to chase and miss. Very often, first to bet takes the hand, and it doesn’t matter what you’re holding if your opponent misses. So in this specific circumstance, it’s often a stronger play to check-raise a bluffer. With this specific flop, since it’s a little more connected, not such a good play, and I should have played it faster to avoid the straight possibility. Losing to the backdoor flush was especially farfetched, and I could have closed the hand on the flop and won a small-ish pot, and it would have been an unremarkable hand not worth remembering, or I might have gotten donkey-called, and lost an even bigger pot than I did when they got lucky, and then that would have made me a lot angrier.

If no one is opening for raises and every pot is limped pre I would just be calling on such a wet flop here where you’re either going to beat a lot or they will have high equity hands when they continue. Also, while folding out draws is good it’s okay to get calls too. That’s how you get the chippies and win all the monies.

Really the 7 changes nothing on this board. You will still play KKTTQ and if your opponent has top pair i.e. a K then the most likely outcome will be a chop, you’re only losing to top pairs that are KQ and AK.

Fair enough. I can see your thinking/strategy for these spots having some merit. I would say though that if you’re x/r as a strong play I do hope you have some semi bluffs that block V’s value as x/r as well as strong value or these guys you play with all the time will pick up on that and over fold as an exploit.

Just try and keep always in the front of your mind when at the tables playing no one hand has much effect on your over all win rate. Win rate is determined over a huge amount of hands and making good decisions more than your opponents. You’re better than they are so when they get lucky just nod and smile because you know you want them playing poorly to get lucky because usually they won’t and you make tons of chips on all the times they don’t get lucky.

Can you give an example of a hand like you’re describing, so I can get a better picture of what you’re talking about? In your mind, what sort of play is a semi-bluff, and what do you mean by blocking V’s value as x/r as well as strong value? And how would over-folding be an exploit? Don’t you want your opponents to fold too much? Yes, you want to get called when you have the nuts, so if you’re not able to get great value out of those hands, that can be a problem, but is that what you mean by that, or do you mean something different?

I know, I know… It takes a lot more than one hand going bad to set me off. I’m working on it still. But when I hit a slide and start losing hand after hand after hand, or missing board after board after board, or hitting flops well but getting killed by a monster that hit it better, and all of it happens over a span of several games, and I lose 5+ buy-ins in a row, that’s when I start getting tilted.

Overall, I think I play a pretty decent game. I’m not the best, I’m still learning, and there’s plenty to learn, but very few people can say they are the best and have nothing left to learn, and anyone who’s not actively learning is actively beating themselves.

I expect to win some, lose some, and on average I win more than I lose overall. I crush for a week and take 80% profit and a 50-60% ITM rate, and then the following week it’s nothing but “variance” and I start on a slide and end up beating myself like it’s some kind of masochistic pleasure, until I take a break from the game, come back re-centered, and start playing right again. I do not typically immediately go into a rage just because I lose a single hand, but when I’ve been on a slide for a while, I tend to be more touchy, and things will set me off a bit more easily than they otherwise do.

When I’m playing right, I think I’m one of the better players on the site, although there’s definitely some who are better, and I’m not afraid to admit it. But I have come a long way with my game, pretty quickly.

1 Like

Here’s a good bluff. I have middle pair. Lead player min bets the flop, I call, turn is an Ace, he min-bets again, and I jam. Two opponents lay down. I needed to pick up a pot here, and sensed an opportunity.


Sure I can give a few.

Blocking value would be something like having Q7 on a KJ3dd board… x/r hear you would be blocking made hands that V will not fold such as KQ QJ and strong draws like AQ and QT which he’s also not like likely to fold. Also here you would have a better bluff if the Q or 7 was a diamond blocking flush draws draws. Having AJ on QT9 blocks AQ AT A9 QJ JT J9 KJ and also has a strong draw to the nuts as a semi bluff with any K on turn or river.

Semi bluffs are hands that are weak. Ow but have ability to improve to really strong hands.

Couple of tips. Bluff catching. When bluff catching you have a hand that you know doesn’t beat any of the value V is betting so you’re only beating bluffs if you call. In this case you do not want to block hands that V will bluff with. Example on a flop of KJ734 rainbow a hand like 76s would be a better call than AA QQ or TT. Here’s the reason, 76 does not block AQ AT QT T9 T8 or 98. When playing through a hand you narrow your opponent range. Example, V plays straight forward and would always raise or 3 bet pre with QQ+. If V doesn’t do one of these things pre then he can’t magically have AA or KK on the flop. So on a flop like JT9r QQ is better than AA or KK because he doesn’t have AA or KK and QQ blocks KQ nut straight but also has strong draws if you’re up against two pair or sets. AA and KK have difficulty improving on this board and don’t block V’s value as well.

I’m pretty tired and I feel I’m rambling so I’ll see if I can say more later. Cheers.

1 Like

Yes you do want them to fold too much, but if they have info on you that allows them to play nearly perfect then that’s not good. Like if you only ever 3 bet with AA KK pre flop then when you 3 bet V can just casually throw QQ into the muck. This is very bad if they can do that. That is folding as an exploit. Keep them as close as you can to feeling like they never know what to do.


Didn’t feel like playing a lot of poker tonight, but I did check the lobby and saw a player sitting at the 3-Max table, so I jumped on for a quick game, just looking for a little action, and maybe win some chips. A third player joined almost immediately after, and we got underway.

In this game, my cards hit the flop very frequently, often for top pair, and I had a good time of it, coming out with the W.

Opening hand, I’m dealt 85o on the Button, and sit out. Third hand, I am dealt 85o again, and again fold it, but this time I watch the board give me a straight, 467, all hearts. And interesting hand, and potentially very costly if someone has hearts and I’m in it with my flopped straight. Fortunately, my fold took me out of having to make a decision on whether to call, and the hand closed without a showdown, so I’m curious what the winner’s cards were. Absolutely no regrets about folding the hand, but I’m curious.


I KO’d the first player, with A8s, hitting top pair, 8s on the flop, and then rivering two pair. The small stack went all-in with pocket 66, which they misplayed by not raising preflop, and then calling a pot size bet on the flop and going all-in to call on the Turn without their hand improving. For my part, I was fortunate that he had something he was willing to call with, otherwise I’m probably not getting this much value out of my hand.


I continued to get favorable flops against the other opponent, taking down this nice pot with top pair, Jacks, on the flop, and putting in a small bet on the flop, half-pot on the turn, and pot-size on the river which didn’t get a call. The board stayed low, which helped me bet the Jacks with confidence. I’m guessing he called with at least one overcard to the board, hoping it’d hit for him, and didn’t have anything by the river.


The final hand, I call a 2BB raise to 100, hit top pair, Kings, on the flop, with K8o, and check it, then bet on the Turn when the board pairs with a second 6, and my opponent tries to bluff me off with A5s, no hand made, by jamming all-in, a 250 raise over the 200 I had put in, making it another 250 for me to potentially win 1100, and he just doesn’t have enough stack to bet me off of top pair.

If I lose the hand, I have 400 left, and if I lay down, I’d be giving him 400 and the lead, so I like the call here even though there’s a lot of Kings that could have been ahead of me here. I had to think that my top pair was good to be able to call, I could have easily been wrong, but since he checked back on the flop, it seemed pretty unlikely that he would have a King, particularly since he checked after raising preflop, and in these short-stack games you can’t second guess after you’ve committed to the hand or you risk your opponent can walk all over you.

By checking the flop here, I took a bit of a risk, and I was looking to x/r here, and didn’t get to, but I think the check also disguised my hand strength, such as it was, and may have given him the impression that I was trying to bully him off the pot, in which case if I had been jamming would have been a great move for him here. Of course, if he’d had a better King or a 6…


Another easy 3-Max win:

I start off hitting a full house on the 3rd hand of the game, KKK88, trip Kings on the flop, filling the boat on the Turn, and getting called all the way to the river. I had limped preflop, then min-raised a min-bet from V on the flop, which he called, then he checked the turn, I put in another 2BB bet, wanting to grow the pot, not close it, and got the call, then put in 100 on the river, about 1/3 pot, and got the call. I think my opponent probably had the 4th King, or possibly a 9, but if they had a King I’m a little surprised that they only called rather than raise on each street. Could be he didn’t want to scare me off of betting when he had what he thought was the best hand. I went for a 100 chip bet on the river, which I felt was about the biggest size bet I could reasonably expect to get a call from a 9, and hoped that if he had a K that he would raise so I could take him all-in. Just getting the call here was fine, I wanted the extra value, and 100 chips is 1/5 of our starting stacks, so it’s a significant boost to an already good-sized pot.


On the very next hand, I’m dealt AA, raise 3BB, get a call, and win 200 chips, but I don’t get the call on the river this time – I went for a pot-size river bet, and he didn’t go for it, but it was worth a try. This put me well up over my two opponents, and things were looking good.


The next hand I won, I had pocket 88s, raised them, and got a call from the smaller stack, the one who I had beaten with the full house. He calls, and we go to the flop, which is 56Q. He checks, and I put in a bet for the rest of his chips, 100, and he folds. I was happy to get the fold here with just 88, but as long as he didn’t have a Queen, 65, 55, 66, or 99+, I would have been happy about getting a call, too. I was ahead of a lot of hands, and it was a fairly dry board.


After this hand, the 3rd place finisher busted, playing pocket 66 into the other player’s 98 which had flopped into two pair. This left us heads-up with me having a slight stack advantage.


Won 200 chips with middle pair in this hand, K9 flopping 99s with a Ten over me. Opponent feeler-bet and I called, he checked the Turn, I bet half pot and take it down. When there’s only 1500 total chips at the table, every pot is a big pot.


The next hand, I get AQ, and raise it 3BB. I miss the flop, but my opponent checks, and I decide I need to close the hand right here, so I take a chance and shove, and opponent folds.


I win the game on A8s, flopping four diamonds, turning a pair of Aces, and beating my opponent’s pocket Tens. Villain puts in a pot-size bet on the flop, which I’m able to call thanks to the draw and having the bigger stack, I can afford to chase here even though the pot odds aren’t right. When the Ace pairs me, V puts in his last 45 chips, which is an easy call now that I’ve hit top pair.


Here’s another 3-max where all the nice hands went wrong.

I had just turned the tables on my opponent with this daring shove on a flopped bottom pair with Q4. I paired 4, and shoved, hoping that he would call thinking that I was bluffing. He has an OESD on the flop, and misses, while I end up with two pair by the showdown, QQ44, and take the lead from him.


Every hand after that, though, went horribly wrong.

I put V all in preflop with K6s, and he hits a flush.


Next, he shoves T9s into my AKo, and hits a full house 999TT to beat my KA after I flop a pair of Aces.


Then I flop a straight with 97o, min-bet, V shoves on me, and ends up running out a backdoor flush, with the Ace, as I improve to a flush as well, but not the nut.


All very nice hands, just utterly not for me.

Played a 3-Max with a no-show. It’s been pretty even so far, I’m just 85 chips over the other player, when I run into a very tough decision. I have AJs, my least favorite hand, but heads up I’ll obviously play it. I raise to 2BB, and get called. Flop gives me top pair, top kick, but the board is flush full of spades. I min-bet, V shoves, and I have a hard decision to make. I reason that if he hits the flush here, most likely he’s only going to call here, and hope that I stay in the hand and give up more value on future streets. The shove could mean he has the nuts, or at least has the flush already, but I think it’s more likely that he has a draw, maybe a pair and a draw. I figured right, he flips up Jh5s for a weak draw with a weak top pair, and I get him. With stacks nearly even, this is a very tough call to make without trust in your read; for me, I didn’t have much of a read, just a hunch, and it was mostly a coin flip decision for me. Fortunately the board cooperates for me, delivering a pair of brick Queens on the backdoor streets.


You miss’d the point of my suggestion in private. I wanted to reverse the rediculous hands thread to positive sick turn/river bad beats in your favor Only. I never wanted a 2nd thread, that has now also turned negative 1/2 the time.

My christmas gift to you was 1 month of poker peace.
Void of all the negative thoughts, Free reign to ignore stupic crap,
Bulletproof/waterproof so fear dissappears … so basically a safe
space, mentally to just play and have some fun.

Hand # 556422356
While played well, and crushed it for a free 1m,
isnt what I mean, cause my cards just held up.
( and I made more there than a 50k 3max SnG, in 1 hand )

I don’t suggest rings yet, but I also said try something new.
Just like learning a 2nd/3rd language teaches you more about
english than some english classes do.

If you don’t stop dwelling on the negative, emotionally, then
you’re just not gonna get much outta playing Online Poker.
If you look rather, logically, you can fix your game … but there
will ALWAYS be times when you do everything right, yet still
lose the hand.


1 Like

Guess you can’t say you never win with AJ anymore :slight_smile:


Ah, but I am not feeling negative about losing these nice hands. In that 3-Max that I lost, it all turned on that flush hand. I didn’t misplay anywhere, and I didn’t get outplayed. The random deal of the cards just wasn’t nice to me. It was unavoidable. Just because the outcome was not to my favor doesn’t mean they weren’t nice hands.

I guess before I started thinking positively, I might have thought they were ridiculous, and gone on tilt because of it, and lost even more chips. But I didn’t, and instead I took 4th place in Badonk’s Golden Donks MTT, entering the final table the chip leader, knocking out the first 3 players at the final table, and ending in the money. Granted, in that game I went from 1st to 4th when I flopped top pair KKQ and called a shove from the flop from a player holding AA, and got taken for most of my stack. And even as much as that sucked, I focused on how well I did up to that point, and the fact that I played my best League tournament outweighs losing that one big hand, even though it cost me probably 800k in the winnings.

So, I think this positivity is working. Nothing’s ever perfect, and I won’t let that get in the way of me seeing the good in my game.

1 Like