Hi all. I hope everyone is doing well. Before I start this week’s blogs, I want to send our thoughts and prayers to one of the MCB who lost his father a couple of weeks ago. I just want to let him know that we care a lot about him and we will be here if he needs us. Time does heal all wounds so hang in there.

I named this blog A Show of Hands because I wanted to post some interesting hands from the last month or so that either I played or one of my friends played. My close friends might think I was writing a blog about Rush (my favorite band ever) but sorry Matt Savage, this is about poker. For those that don’t follow Rush, A Show of Hands was a Rush album they released a long time ago and it was their first live album. It is a classic if you are a Rush fan.

Now on to poker. Before I talk about these specific hands I want to let you know something my coach John Kim told me in one of our earlier sessions. I asked him how I get better at poker and one of the things he said was to try to think about poker as much as you can. He said you don’t have to think about specific hands, just keep your mind focused on poker and think about ways you are playing and how your opponents are playing and see if you can figure out what the optimal way to play in certain hands or spots. If you dedicate some real time to focus on poker, you will get better. It was great advice from a great coach and I really try to think about poker at least an hour or two a day. I probably go overboard with this actually but I am a sicko when it comes to trying to improve my game.

On to the hands. I will post 4 hands this blog. 3 are from the LAPC and one is from a cash game my buddy played. Please try and really think about the hands and not just the actual cards involved, but the spot itself. I would love to hear feedback if you so desire to give it.

Hand #1:

Commerce LAPC $340.00 Double Stack. We are around level 10 so half the field is gone. I had just doubled the hand before when I tried to squeeze an early raise and 3 callers. I shipped 67o, got called by Devo’s AQ, and I rivered a straight for a huge pot (all skill).

I was SB this hand. UTG +1 made it almost a full 3x. It folded to me and I had QQ. The raiser had about 27bb and I have about 60bb so we were both relatively deep at the time.

I put in a pretty big 3 bet. Somewhere in the range of 10-11bb. He went into the tank. I could see he was struggling with the call and I think I really put him in a tough spot. He didn’t look like he wanted to call and I am pretty sure he didn’t want to jam, so I really thought he would fold. He ended up smooth calling after a couple of minutes.

Question #1: What do you range him on once he calls? Also, if the flop drills his range, what do you do post flop?

I am going to stop this hand here because I want you to really think about his range. If you have his range correct, is there a flop that you are ever folding your hand post flop? Once he called pre, the pot is around 24bb and he has 16 left, so even if he jams, you will be getting almost 2.5-1 to call.

Hand #2:

Commerce LAPC $340.00 Doublestack

I had a decent starting table and chipped up a little bit and got moved into a really tough table. Devo, a couple of Internet Whiz Kids, and Chris Gregorian was on it. Chris used to be supper aggro and now plays really nitty.

There was an Asian kid to my immediate right who was playing pretty loose, lost half his chips, then after doubling up was starting to really build again. This hand involves him, Chris, and me.

It folded to Chris in the HJ who opened for just a little under 3x (love 2003 guys). the Asian kid in the CO took a little time and made it about 8x. Chris started the hand about 60-70bb deep, the kid had about 120bb, and I started with 50bb.

I looked down at AKo. Hmmmm. Very interesting spot I told myself. I felt like I had some options and actually fold was one of them.

Question #2: In this exact spot, what do you feel is the most optimal way to play the hand? Raise (if so how much), Flat, 3 bet (again how much), Jam?

If you take the 3 bet line, what do you do if Chris jams and what do you do if the Asian kid jams? I won’t ask what you do if both jam because if you are still in the hand, then a fold it pretty easy.

Hand #3:

This hand came up yesterday in the $1100.00 buy in 4 day event at Commerce. I had a tough table and had to sit to the right of Matt Afflack all day. Jordan Cristos late regged and was on my direct right. Needless to say it was not a good table draw.

I was pretty card dead the whole day and my stack was at 20bb. Turbo (local reg who has a lot of deep runs and is competent) sat down at the break and seemed a little fried after busting his first bullet in the last hand before break.

I was bb. Turbo was UTG +1 and limped (strange for him), it folded to Jordan in the SB and he called and I look down at 99. Turbo had 40bb and Jordan was deep with at least 80-90bb.

Question #3: What is my optimal play, check, raise, or pile and why?

Hand #4 Cash Hand in New Orleans

The last hand is one from my buddy who went to New Orleans for the Super Bowl. He got a chance one night to go to Harrah’s and play some 5/10 cash. I have played in Florida before so it seems that in that part of the country, the players are not as good as they are in Cali and Vegas. Seems they like to gamble it up and really over value hands. I tend to agree with this with my small Florida sample size.

Anyway, he sits down and buys in for 2k. He flops a set of KK and doubles. Next hand he gets AA (all skill again) and take the rest of the same guys money. In two hands, he now has 4800 in front of him.

This hand comes up next orbit. Some guy straddles to 20, 2 guys call, and then some guy raises to 80. My buddy looks down at KK on the button.

Question #4: With your given stack, what do you raise to? My buddy does have everyone now covered but the guy who straddled is deep with about 4200.

I am actually going to continue this hand because it gets even more interesting. I am going to tell you what he did so think about the first part before you read this next part.

Spoiler alert. My buddy flatted. The sb then flatted and it got back to the guy who straddled and he looked at his cards and made it 400. The limpers folded, the initial raiser folded, and now it was back to my buddy.

Just to remind you, the straddle guy started the hand with 4200 and my buddy started with 4800. The pot was straddled so in essence they were playing 10/20 this hand.

Question #5: What do you do now? Back raise (what amount) or flat? The pot is big with 680 in already and you owe 320 if you want to just flat.


I hope you guys/gals really think about these hands. I am sure it will be kind of tough to figure out what way to play each of them optimally because you were not there in the moment and I didn’t give you all the reads I had on the players earlier. For the last hand, I wasn’t even there but my buddy was only at the table like 30 minutes and I am pretty sure he didn’t have a good read on the villain yet.

Please post your comments and next well I will post all the outcomes of the hands.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a great week.







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