Nh thread

YES, THATS WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR!! Finally :slight_smile:

Props to Sarah for the idea


Don’t draw any conclusions from your 3-max games. Even at the beginning you’re starting out with less than 20BB; played “well” this is going to be a bingo-fest.

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https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/147155534/royal-flush…Here’s one of 10

It is a different format of game, but I play it differently. I find that short-handed, short stacks mimics the endgame of a full ring SNG or MTT pretty well, and is good practice for them. I started to win a lot more at 9-seat after I started to figure out how to play 3-Max effectively.

3-Max is higher variance, and only pays out to the winner, so unless you’re very good at them, as well as somewhat lucky, it can be difficult to make consistent gains with them. Sometimes even when you’re playing your best game, you can have your opponent on your last BB, and they’ll double up 3-4 hands in a row, and suddenly become a threat again. I’ve been on both sides of that on more than a few occasions.

I’ve had a ton of really nice hands that I haven’t had time to write up for the forum. I don’t know that I will write up all of them, as the admins tend to not like it when I post too much for some reason. I may not be playing too much over the holidays, though, so perhaps I will string out a few of these over the next few days.

To that end, here’s another end sequence to another 3-Max SNG that blew up on me after I was well in the lead and it was looking like I would win. This was in fact the very next 3-Max that I played, right after the previous SNG that I posted, and it went down in virtually the same way. This makes me wonder how frequently such a thing could be expected to happen by probability, but that’s beyond my ability to think about.

Losing two in a row in pretty much the exact same way, when you’re way out ahead and just need one more hand to win it is a little frustrating, but I just shrugged it off and didn’t let it get to me. But since it happened twice in a row, it makes me wonder whether I should look closer to see whether I’m doing something wrong. I think my choices were all reasonable, and that I didn’t make any true blunders, but I’m interested in second opinions.

Blinds were at 25/50, and I had just taken a great pot from V with AA vs. OESD-on-the-flop, Turning top pair, Queens, leaving V with just 180 chips, while I had 1320:


I raised 2BB preflop, I did not like the flop here, obviously, but it was good to get the call and not see the straight fill for my opponent. I shoved and prayed V hadn’t just hit a straight, and got lucky. Maybe this was a bad decision that worked out well for me, what do you think? Should I lay down AA with a scary flop? Play more cautiously, or more aggressively? I would think it has a lot to do with situational stuff: Do I have V covered, is it pre or post bubble, how many players are left in the tournament, and so on. Here, I have one player to beat, and I don’t mind a call too much on a shove unless he’s already made the hand. I had given him poor odds to chase a straight, and he chased it anyway. If he had no hand, no draw here, surely he lays down.

Next hand, I am dealt 34o, limp into a 2J4 flop. It’s only 180 to put V all-in, and I have him well covered, and I’ve got 2nd pair. It’ll have to make it to the river if he calls. V has flopped another draw, this time a clubs draw, with 2cJc on the flop and 5c9c in the hand. And this time, he hits the draw, filling it on the Turn with the Tc. 410 chips go back to him, and I’m still up over 2:1.


Acceptable, but a little annoying – this is exactly what happened to me in the last game! I had my opponent down to their last 200 chips and they hit a flush, and then go on to win. What are the odds, honestly! Could I have played my pair of 4s more cautiously? I suppose maybe I should have.

Next hand, I am dealt 84, and again hit a pair of 4s on the flop, put V all-in, and this time they’ve got a wheel straight. My problem here is that I simply can’t believe a player is going to hit two hands in a row like this.

Now it’s 780-720, and it’s a brand new game now, and I’m going to have to outplay him, rather than rely on my stack to withstand a few random all-ins and only have to be right once.

All right, let’s do it again. K2, limp to the BB, A9J flop. V checks, I check back. We check again on the turn, river brings a 2nd Ace to pair the board. V puts in 100, I call, hoping that he’s missed. The pair of Aces on the board doesn’t concern me, since I figure if he hits Aces on the flop, he’s betting it, so I read the Ace as a brick. It is. But he paired his 9 on the flop, and the board missed me completely. Now he’s up, 920-580. Things are swiftly going from bad to worse, and I badly need to turn it around now. I’ll be in for the BB next hand, and I can’t afford to slide another 100 chips his way, so I “have” to win here.

It’s always terrible to be in a position where I “have” have to win a hand. I get pocket 66s dealt to me, and shove it. V calls, and I ride a roller coaster to the end of the river, luckily it holds up for me against QTo, and I go back up, doubling to 1160 chips, leaving V with 340. Super great hand for me, I win with AA66 over AAQ with an OESD that failed to hit.


Back in the driver’s seat, the next hand looks pretty good for me, AJo. I have been burned far too many times with AJ, but heads-up it’s a hand I don’t mind going all-in on. The amount I hit the board with it though has been abysmal over the past several months, though, and often when I do hit with it, someone else ends up beating me anyway. So it’s a hand that aggravates me a lot, and when I get it, I usually think to myself that I’m about to lose a big pot. V calls the BB, I shove, and…

Sure enough, V calls, flips up AK, pairs his K on the flop for good measure, and takes back another double-up, and we’re once again back to close to even.

Obviously, I should have been more careful here, just called, and then dumped the hand when the King landed and V bet it, or checked until I hit something, or folded once he bet. Would have saved a lot of chips. But playing passively with a hand like that seems like it would leave me prone to over-folding. I got beat fair and square on that one, no use complaining about it.

And final hand, I shove preflop with K6, and get called… by A6.


Board is meaningless, I lose the hand. By now, if you couldn’t tell, I’ve given up and am just shoving every hand, hoping to take back a blind or two through maximum pressure, and each time it backfires because not only did the dealer give V a hand he felt he could call with, it was a better hand than I was shoving. Why couldn’t it have been K6 vs 52 or 83? Oh well.

Being way up twice in this one and giving it right back both times, should teach me something, but I think generally putting heavy pressure on a small stack when they are nearly busted is correct play. It’s not when the dealer grants them God Mode, though. I really should have let the second pair of 44s go, though, and waited for a better hand to KO with. Despite the AJ v AK blowup, I think that only the 2nd pair of 4s was a misplay. Well, I guess also shoving K6 at the end, there.

The big difference, for me, is in SnGs, you have established a presence at the table. If i’ve projected the image i want, and have been able to turn some hands on people along the way, you can pick up some pots before people realize you’re playing an entirely different game than you were, with 4 - 9 people at the table.

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That’s true, you do have some history at the end phase of a 9-seat SNG.


When I was just starting out playing the SNG format, I had no idea how to play the end phase, and I didn’t do well when it got to bubble time, and I didn’t know what to do, and none of the experience I have now, and it was very nerve wracking and made me uncomfortable. It really helped me figure out how to play these games.

https://youtu.be/MIT6NkQ9NPY Just saw this keeper featuring Daniel-San, as I say.
One of the best at his trade

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Haven’t played too much over the last few days, due to holidays.

I won a SNG tonight, very satisfying heads-up in this one. Early on, I lost about half my stack, flush under flush. It was just one of those hands where you really don’t want to be in it, but you get to limp from the BB, flop a flush draw, stay in and hit the flush, bet it, get raised, call, and see a better flush, not too surprising.


For a while it looked like I was going to bust early. But I folded through a long cold spell, and eventually doubled up, desperation shoving AK and got called by the big stack, and got back to breakeven.


I drained back down through another long cold spell, when I finally got a playable hand, JJ. By this time, my stack was back down to where it was when I lost the flush hand, but the blinds were now getting somewhat high, so I had little choice but to shove again. Luck was with me, and I won the hand and doubled back up again.


The theme of this game seems to have been “up and down”. I’d hit a hand, win a big pot, and then go on a long cool spell where I wouldn’t get anything playable, fold for several orbits, and this helped me preserve my stack, but I’d go very long without taking a pot, and bleed down back to where I was forced to desperation shove again. Somehow, I survived.

Here, I decide to shove 45s, flop a pair of 4s on a 7-high board for middle pair, and it stands up as I triple-up through the two players still at the table. This move was a combination of being the short stack and feeling like I needed to steal a pot to stay healthy, and hoping my stack was still big enough that it could induce folds. I was wrong about that, but ended up getting very lucky with the board missing both opponents while coming in low enough to hit me for a pair.


That was lucky as heck, but I did end up having a couple of legitimate good hands as well. Here, I flop two pair, QQTT, on a QKT board, and get most of the #3rd place finisher’s stack as they chase the OESD to the nut straight. Thankfully this didn’t pay off for them.


The heads-up game with the last player went back and forth several times, and was very satisfying. I quickly assessed that ShimmyShamm was not one to bluff, as they would check to the river with pairs, or check-shove them. So I had to play it honest. Fortunately, Shimmy also didn’t try to bluff me, and I ended up winning my share of pots with High Card hands.

I also took a few hands when I hit pairs on the flop and shoved, and got the fold. I decided after a few of those hands that it was a risky strategy and would eventually burn me when he caught something he could call with, so after succeeding a few times with it, I started playing more cautiously, not wanting to put my whole stack at risk too frequently. But looking back, I think that my early hands where I shoved preflop with premium hands and won them likely gave my later game shoves the credibility that I needed to earn the respect of a fold, which worked out very well for me in this game.

Eventually, I hit a great hand, with A6, flopping Aces and rivering a straight 6-T. Even though I had the bottom end of the straight here, I felt better playing a Straight for this pot than I did playing a 6-kicker on a pair of Aces.


I even got paid off on the river here, but I didn’t try to play the river for stacks, figuring Shimmy would most likely fold if I shoved. I felt good to get the call on the value bet, even if it would have been a nice hand to end the game on.

The endgame came on this series of 3 hands:

Two pair, QQ88 over 8877: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/558364446

Here, Shimmy’s reluctance to bet the flop after hitting middle pair hurts them as I land my Q on the river. I play the hand cautiously, we both checked from flop to river, and I end up getting to take the pot, neither of us confident enough in our hands to bet them, and fearful enough that our opponent could be sitting quietly on an 8, waiting to trap.

Next, I turn Trip 333s, after limping the BB with 34s into bottom pair on the flop. Blinds are massive here, and it’s tough to get a call. I check the Turn, hoping V will bet into my trips, but he doesn’t. On the river, I put in a half-pot value bet, which is just 1BB, but it gets the call and I get nice value for the hand. A bit dangerous, as the river card put a 3rd heart on the board, but he doesn’t have the flush.


Final hand, I’m dealt AA, v gets TT. I limp to the BB and hope that I can get Shimmy all-in on this hand, but I’m wondering how best to do that, when he shoves the pocket Tens, making it all too easy. Stacks and blinds were such that it was only a little over a 2BB raise for TT, so a very reasonable play to make here, just the worst possible hand to be up against. The board runs out 5 bricks, and I take down the win.


A7s vs QQ, raise 2BB pre, QQ flats, we flop J7A. I check, hoping to induce a bet, QQ bets pot, I shove, QQ snap calls. Whoops!


I can’t take more than 3rd today no matter what I do.

I play a table, get up, fade inside the bubble and lose the big stack to end up with a lousy 3rd.

Play another game, same thing happens, only more up-and-down. I shoved my last 1800 on AK from the SB, get called by AQ, who promptly flops top two pair, AAQQ, but then I suck out AAKK on the river, to double back up and stay alive.


Much later in the game, I am down to 2500 chips and get TT, shove it, and get called by AA and KK. Board flops me an OESD, 9-Q, and I river an 8 to win the hand, and triple up, KO a player, and suddenly have the big stack.


A while later, I’ve bled way down again and lost a few hands, and now I’m down to my last 1800 again, T9s in the BB, flop a flush draw, shove, get called by AA, and fill the flush to reconstitute my stack. This was a nice hand to win.


Things are looking good. I put the #4 finisher all-in with AQo, and flop AA5. The other player in the hand has 15 fewer chips than me total, and 55, and takes my stack from me just as the #4 finisher exits and I stumble into the bubble with my last 15 chips.


So, instead of being +800K on the night, I’m up maybe 140K, thanks to spectacular, unavoidable blowups that ruin me just when it looks like I’m running away with it.

really beautiful hand with AK flopping top pair and getting called for some reason by two players who have junk cards that hit the board weakly enough to call for some reason?


Flopped quad 9999s.


After enduring a 10-day drought of finishing no higher than 2nd in any 9-seat SNG, I finally broke a curse tonight and took down a win.

I made it into the bubble in decent shape, but struggled for a while to find a hand to play, until play JTo from the BB, and limp into a pair of Tens with a broadway draw, which fills for me on the Turn. Chip leader min-bets the Turn and River, I re-raise all-in, and he lets the hand go, as I take a 6000 chip pot down and take a big chunk away from him, getting to within 2000 chips of being even with the big stack.

The 3rd player is sitting on under 1500 chips, For the longest time, though, I can’t put any pressure on them, due to going card dead, and fearing that they’ll jam if I try to raise them, I gradually let them back into the game over the course of several orbits, where I continually feed the smalls stack my BB and SB because I’m getting dealt garbage. It’s deja vu all over again, and I’m getting so sick of it, but I don’t let it be known.

Finally, things turn again, when I am dealt AKo on the button. I’m considering how to play this hand, whether I should open with a standard raise, shove, or maybe limp and trap if I hit the flop, get away cheaply if I miss. The Button forces my hand, shoving their stack in ahead of me. The big stack in the SB declines to call, and I debate mucking here, worried only about AA or really any pocket pair and me missing the board, or them hitting trips. My luck has been running so bad for over a week, and it’s easy to expect the worst when it happens time after time.

I decide to go for it, and call, v flips up AQ, and all I need to do is avoid seeing any Q on the board, and I’ll have KO’d the #3 finisher and doubled up at the perfect time for HU.

That’s exactly what happens.

The very next hand, I get AA, and feel momentarily blessed. But, this shows what a mind-**** poker is, the flop comes in suited. V still has a very credible stack, and I don’t want to give away my big windfall bluff-shoving into a made flush. This is a tight spot to find one’s self in. What to do?


V would be suited with their hole cards is about 1-in-4, but the odds of them being correctly suited are 1-in-16. The odds of flopping a flush when suited are 118-to-1, and the odds of getting AA are 221-to-1, which is even worse than the odds of a suited hand flopping a flush. I ponder.

There’s a few ways I could take this:

  1. Check-call small bets, fold bigger bets.
  2. Check-raise a small bet, and fold if re-raised.
  3. Offer a feeler bet and see what happens.
  4. Go for a big semi-bluff with pocket Aces.

The way my past week of misfortune has gone, I feel like any big bet with this hand would all but guarantee that the cards in V’s hole would magically transubstantiate to two spades, and they would call and I would be dead. But I also reason that if I bet small, they are likely to call only if they have 1 spade, and if they have 1 spade it will necessarily be a relatively high one in order to call, otherwise they may call if they have a pocket pair, a pair or better with the board, in which cases it would be fine to bet larger.

I don’t have any read on what V might actually have. They called a 2BB raise to get here, which doesn’t really tell me anything. I didn’t want to raise too aggressively with AA and only get the blinds, but they had limped to me, and it felt criminal not to extract at least some additional value for the hand preflop, so I called 2BB and they called.

So here we are. I elect not to go for a big hand here, since I could well be very dead in this hand from the flop, and I don’t want to find that out by handing V most of my stack. I decide to bet small and see what happens, and if a 4th club hits the board and I’m getting called, or if I get raised, I’ll dump the hand. Being in early position, it’s more dangerous to put in a big bet.

V calls the min bet on the first two streets, then folds to it on the river. The board had paired, and my best guess is that they had one but not two spades, no pair, and were hanging in for the draw, and saw no point in paying off when they missed. This was the best possible outcome of the hand for me; if they had held a Jack, or if they had simply raised me here, I might have felt better about folding the Aces than calling with them, so it was a spot where I was vulnerable to bluffing.

I ended up taking 8000 chips on the pot, which is a pretty excellent way to open up the HU phase of a SNG tournament.


I end up with a better than 2:1 stack advantage over V as a result of this hand, which makes it a fairly easy mop up to claim the win. I still need to get him all in on a hand that I can win, though, which takes another 16 hands, winning most of them, finally wearing him down to a little under 2BB left in front of him, he shoves 64 and I happen to have an Ace, it’s an easy call to make, and I end up pairing the Ace to make it official.

I can’t say these hands took a lot of skill to play, it was a matter of having luck at the right time. If I lose the AK hand, I’m all but certainly done for and finishing 3rd, and if I lose the AA hand, it’s yet another example of the terrible luck that has been typical for me over the past 10 days. For once, at least, the dealer was kind to me at the right time.

I “wasted” an insane hot streak on a 10k buy-in 3-Max, oh well. It was still fun. I came back after going down to what looked like 1st to bust. Check this out.

Limping 73s on the BB, I flop threes, plus a flush draw, fill the flush on the river. 210 chips.

AKo, flop a pair of Kings, rainbow, unpaired board, KT5, dry as can be, just about. I bet it down on the Turn and take in another 390 chips. Big score.

Lately AK has been good to me.

T9s, I call a 3BB raise, see the flop 3-handed, J59. I shove on middle pair, and get called by QJ, but the board runs out ridiculous-style, 9-T, and I end up busting QJ with 999s full of TTs, and pull in 960 chips.

I’ll take it. About time I had a hand like that.

ATo, no action from the button/SB, and I win the hand no-contest.

AA, flop KAK. We both check the flop, I min-bet the river, V wisely mucks, I have to show here. Woulda been something if he’d had KK, wouldn’t it?

AJo, button limps to me, I raise 5BB, he folds, no flop. I show.

K9o, raise 2BB, V calls, I c-bet the flop, 58A, board runs out T-J, and I win the hand, K-high over 76, hwo had flopped a OESD but couldn’t fill it. 300 chips. Lucky break.

AJo again, V shoves QJ, I call, Ace is the first card on the flop, he again flops an OED with A9T on the board, it runs out 65, I win the hand and the game.

That’s probably as hot as I’ll be for the next 6 weeks, so have to bask in it for now.

Hotter than heck again on a 10K buy-in 3-Max after dumping another 100K on another Astral league game that went sout on me quick, after I won a big hand with AJ hitting top two pair on the flop, then losing KJ hitting middle pair on the flop, rivering two pair, to top two pairk KKQQ, then calling a shove from AA after flopping a nut diamond flush draw that failed to arrive.

I had hot cards at the 3-Max, and the other player just couldn’t believe all my raises. One showed up a few hands late to the game, and I was already up a few pots over the V who couldn’t make a hand against me.

Truth be told, about half of the time I was bluffing, but which half??? I still had great cards, and if you missed the board you weren’t going to be able to call a bet from me.

AQ c-betting

Next hand, I get KK.

I bet them down and again they accuse me of bluffing. I show the KK.

Dealer makes it back-to-back KK and I raise like I did the previous hand, the guy who can’t believe I’m not bluffing shoves on me, well at least he had TT when he did it, I call, and take him out.

This is starting to get pretty ridiculous, as well as nice.

I get AJ, AQ a couple more times, and fold a couple of rag hands, when I win the game on T5s, flopping a flush, V hits the flop for middle pair, improves to 2 pair on the way out, he couldn’t believe me when I raised him on the flop, I guess. To be honest it was pretty unbelievable the string of hands I had.


AJ flops 3 of a Kind, JJJA, and I get bet into by the player behind me as I check it. I let it ride to the river, which fills me up with QUADS. I try to feign weak, betting another 2BB (60 chips) hoping V will raise or shove on me, but no. He does call, though.

KQ flopping top pair, Kings, I take another big chunk from the same player, who called some big bets from me with a pair of 3s. NORMALLY, a pair of 3s is all you need to bust me, but not on this hand. I have to assume V was confident that his Ace would pair, but it didn’t happen.

Sometime later, I’m dealt KK, open it, and get called by JT, who flops top pair, Tens, and refuses to let it go. I put in a couple big bets, which they call, and then the board pairs on the river, I get scared to bet it again when they check to me, worried that they, too, are playing a 3, because of how my luck has been running lately, but I come out OK.

K9o, I flop a clubs draw which fills immediately on the Turn. V bets into me, and I’m worried because it’s a T-high flush and I only have a 9c, but V is just betting small, on top pair, and I call all the way down and find that my flush stands up. How pleasant.

After the bubble collapsed, Wivy and chuckcox traded stacks back and forth a couple of times, chuck getting it from her, and then giving it back sometime later. In this bubble, I’m actually getting some OK cards, and actually hitting flops with them sometimes, which is good, it enables me to raise and play some hands and win chips and generally keep my bankroll up. Wivy keeps pot-size betting me when I check a flop to her, and I drain down some, which is getting worrysome. I did manage to take Wivy for two pots when I check-raised her, but I only did it when I actually had something, just to be careful, not as a bluff.

Well, after she’s gotten used to this from me for some time, I finally get her, flopping top-bottom 2 pair, AA44, on a AT4 board, and check it to her, she bets into me. The Turn is a Q, giving Wivy a draw to Broadway, and she bets again, this time I raise, and she still calls. The river is a brick for both of us, an 8, and she goes all-in, I call, and unlike the 2 or 3 other times I lost my stack with flopped top pair hands, this time it holds up and she shows KT, and I pull in my biggest pot of the night.

That leaves me HU with chuckcox, who shoves on the first hand. I have QTo and a 25:2 stack advantage, so it’s an easy call. AJ vs QT, I pair the Queen on the Turn and score the win.

This partially offsets the 1.5M in losses on the night, bringing me back up to 20.7M, down from 21.5M where I started about 10 hours ago. And they can’t understand why I say I hate the dealer.

Best hand I’ve played in a few weeks.

3-Max, limp 98 into a top pair, paired board, 449 flop. I let out a small bet, half-pot, but am called, and I’m worried that I’m up against trips or a better 9. V has 42 and a set, decides to just call, I guess on the hope that I’ll bet again, but if he raises, he’ll push me off the hand. Which is probably true.

The turn pairs the board again, and now I have 999s full of 44s. V’s hand just filled a boat, too, but it’s the U-boat, and I have the Destroyer. V checks to me, I min bet, and he thinks he has me trapped, and raises big. I go all-in, expecting I’ve either got the nuts or will chop a big pot, and take a huge pot that turns the outcome of the game to my favor. Hooray.


Should have raised this preflop. Tens full of Jacks fills Quads on the river.


Some nice hands from a 3-Max I just won:

Bottom pair vs. Flush draw. I bet pot at the flop, and get called, but we check from there to the river. I could have been bluffed off of this pot, but the format of the game doesn’t make many bluffs profitable, and at these stakes level, bluffing is extra hard because typically players don’t fold if they have anything at all.

K7, flopping top pair, 77, rivering my kicker, but with 3 clubs in the middle. I shove the river, feeling the flush is unlikely, V folds.

Limping 54o, flopping two pair, turning into a boat, min-betting every street to build up a respectable pot with what started out a junky hand. I would have liked to have gotten even more value out of this hand, but given the board it didn’t seem likely it hit V’s range, and would have been difficult for them to call anything larger here. In fact, I think it was lucky that they called every street – maybe the river King helped them.

A9s, c-bet bluffing the flop, but then turn pairs my bottom card. I had really wanted V to fold here, but they had flopped bottom pair, and the turn gave them an OESD, so they called, and it ended up paying off big for me when they just barely missed the straight they were hoping for. This seemed to put them on tilt for the next few hands, as they started shoving preflop with what was left of their stack.

AKs, flopping broadway draw, QJ9, but the board is flush diamonds, and I have clubs. V hits bottom pair and shoves on it, which puts me to a difficult decision. Do I call a shove with a mere draw to straight against an obvious flush that I can’t beat? I have him covered, but if he doubles up here, it’s bad for me. I decide to call, on the notion that if he had flopped the flush, he would have checked and hoped to trap me. If he has it, or I don’t fill the draw and lose, so be it. He flips up T9, so has a straight draw as well. The board runs out 4sTd, which would be a flush for him if he had even one diamond, luckily for me he does not, the T pairs him a second time, but gives me Broadway for the win.