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Luton Main Event

By James Lowe, posted September 13, 2011

I went to Luton for the GUKPT this last week and my Dad was not wrong when he suggested that Luton was not a “paradise”.

Upon arriving at the casino wearing my best poker shorts I realised I’d forgotten to pay for my car parking, so rushed back to find it nicely ticketed by the boys and girls of the Parking Enforcement Department. (I imagine parking fines for visitors gathers more revenue for the Luton Local Council than any taxation from the earnings of people with jobs).  I went back into the casino only to be told that my shorts, were inappropriate so I had to risk a mugging and walk back to the car park to put jeans on.  Not good to start off running this bad! (it is ironic that as I type this and write Luton my auto spell correct underlines Luton as an “mistake”).

I thought it would be fun to pick out some specific hands and explain the logic behind the decisions I made.  A bit like Gus Hansen’s Every Hand Revealed, only not every hand, and in Luton, not Melbourne…..

Hand 1

So about 30 minutes in I have around 16k from the 15k starting stack and a tight guy decides to play his first hand and makes it 250 with blinds at 50-100, I have 56 of hearts in the small blind and decide to call. Against a more aggro player I would most likely re-raise and take control of the hand but I had no real info on this guy apart from the fact that he hadn’t played a hand yet so he obviously has quite a strong range and a hand like 56s is great to take on premium hands very deep stacked.

The flop comes A9T with 2 hearts. I check and he bets 400, I decide to raise, mainly because I am out of position and if the turn bricks I most likely have to check fold if he bets. Also by raising, if he is just ”c-betting” hands like 88/77 or even a hand like KK/QQ/ JJ he might even fold, being as he is a fairly tight player and would not want to face a turn bet which he might be expecting (and would definitely be getting).

He decides to call, so now I put him on hands such as AK/AQ/AJ and possible like KK/QQ/ JJ and being as he is appears to be a fairly basic player I feel he would re-raise any set or 2 pair hands.

The turn comes an ace which is a bad card for me as I don’t feel he is folding any hands he called on the flop with and I feel that if I check he will definitely bet his entire range. There is now just under 3k in the pot and if I checked his bet would be around 2k so I decide to bet a small amount hoping he doesn’t raise which allows me to see the river for a much cheaper price and if I brick I will would just give up, the river comes a T I check and he checks back 9 To which was a surprising, but inspired, first choice of hand to play and was possibly the only hand which I could have got him off on the turn if I did bet more.

Hand 2

So now I am down to around 14k and utg+1 raises to 250 I have AQ and decide to call, everybody else folds and the flop comes QT2 rainbow, he checks and I decide to check back as there is only 1 scare card which is a K and also it hides the strength of my hand which encourages him to either try and buff me off a weaker hand or he could even value own himself.

The turn comes a T he checks and I bet 275 he calls.  Now I am putting him on a hand like 88/99/JJ or maybe AK/AJ.  The river comes a K which isn’t the best river and he checks, I feel if he has AK/AJ he would now lead , thinking I would be checking behind a lot of the time, so I make a value bet of 400 and he min raises me which I hate.  Now I feel he has to have AJ as I don’t think he raises AK on the river as I could reasonably have a 10 in my hand, I decide to fold and save myself 400.

Hand 3

I ‘m moved table and have been there a few hands and already the guy on my right has lost a few big pots as if on super tilt, he decides it’s the chairs fault and decides to swop his chair to a “luckier one”.

The very next hand I’m utg and raise it to 250 with AQ of clubs, everyone folds except Mr Lucky-Chair in the Big Blind who calls, the flop comes A56 Rainbow and he check calls my bet of 300. The turn’s a 9c giving me a flush draw to go with my top pair, he checks and I bet 550 and he quickly makes it 2k,

I’m not liking this as he doesn’t do this with any 1 pair hand unless he is turning it into a bluff with the plan of betting the river, although I didn’t think he was a good enough player to pull that move. I thought in his mind he thinks he has the best hand so I decide to call and the river pairs the 9.

He sits there for about a minute and bets 3k, I thought he could have 78 but would bet the river much faster, he could have also flopped a set of 9s. I never played with the guy before and knowing he is on tilt makes it a much harder decision, while I was thinking he made a big sigh, which is obviously the amateur way of pretending he has nothing (or a pro way of leveling you, which I was pretty sure was not the case here) when he really has the nuts, so I quickly fold and we are on the first break and I’m down to 11k.  Time for some fresh Luton air.

Hand 4

I get back from the break and again I move table, this time having 2 people to my left who have massive stacks and one of them wearing bright blue trousers, so already I know I’m going to get 3bet a lot.

Sat to my immediate left is Praz Bansi who is one of the nicest people in poker and I’m a big believer in karma and he is a great example in that good people have good success. Lots of success!

I have sat there for about 20 minutes relatively quietly, getting used to the new players and not wanting to raise fold to the bright blue trouser flairy-boy. Then I get dealt AJo in mid position and decide to raise to 350 with blinds at 75-150, Blue Trousers calls and everyone else folds, the flop comes AJQ.

I bet 450 and he makes it 1350, I have a stack of around 11k total, I decide to call as I want to keep him in with worst holding as I feel he could be doing this with hands such as QJ/KQ as a semi bluff, and also hands that beat me like AQ and KT. Any other hands where I think I’d lose, he’d have 3 betted pre flop.

The turn is a 4. I check and he bets 2250. I now am not in love with that bet, as I feel he has to put me on a strong range and would not continue to bluff and would take a free card with hands like KQ/QJ, but I decide to call and the river is a T which is a bad river for me.

I check and he moves in, I now feel he doesn’t bluff this river as I could reasonably have AK and after calling 2 streets with only 5.5k behind it would be an even worse spot to bluff, but then again he does wear bright blue trousers and big sunglasses so I had to think for a while but eventually decided to fold and I’m down to 5.5k.

Hand 5

A few hands later its folded to me in mid position and I have J8s and make it 350 and get 1 caller, the flop comes 799 giving me a gut-shot and I bet 500, he calls and now he can still have a massive range from any pair, ace high and he was under 30 so could be floating.

The turn is a 5 and I bet 1050 with a double gut-shot and also a J might be good, he calls so now I don’t feel he has A high and most likely has pair like 6s or 8s, I’m most likely giving up on the river with only 4k left so that I still have some room left to double up later on and be back in the game

The river comes an A which I feel is a great card for me to represent as I don’t think he has A high and most likely has 6s or 8s so i decide to bet 1850 out of my 4k stack, he thinks and thinks and decides to fold, so now I have a bit of confidence back and slight momentum.

Hand 6

Unfortunately i go card dead for a while and have no good spots to 3 bet shove on anyone and blind down 4k, the blinds are now 200 400 and I am sitting with 10bb, a guy in mid position opens and I have kings and shove he sits there for a few seconds and goes to fold his cards then realizes its only 4k and decides to call with AJ, the flop comes 89T which wasn’t the best but anyone who knows me knows I run good (apart from parking and shorts incidents) and it obviously held, meanwhile Praz was getting aces back to back and he went from 4k to up to about 45k, I was hoping to follow his footsteps and now I’m feeling more confident being up to 10k and hopefully can now push on from there.

Hand 7

Blinds are now 300-600 and its folded to me on the button and I shove for 9kish with A9o and the BB calls with A10 which holds and I go to join the rail with the other losers….

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