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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Plus - Analyzation

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The correct spelling for pluralizing analyze is wrong of course but for poker context it seems to fit.

A good way to improve your poker game is to analyze your hands and how you played those hands. This can best be accomplished by getting hand histories, available on almost all poker sites. By studying the hand histories you can see exactly what went down in the hand, helping you learn what you maybe could have done differently to win the hand, or lose less on the hand.

This tool can also help you get a better read on how your opponents play, which is invaluable information. Don’t be surprised though, some of the hands you see that your opponents play may make you ill, especially if they beat you with them!

While I was looking at the hand history for a Stud H/L tournament I played in, even I was amazed at some of the horrible play and awful hand selection. But, one thing that occurred to me was how players new to online poker (that have some poker knowledge) perceive these horrible hands that beat their good hands? I honestly believe the bad players are the main cause of why so many good to average players think the games are rigged in some way. The reason is they simply can’t conceive that anyone could play that bad, especially for real money. Well folks, they can and they do, thousands of them every day, on every poker site. The reality is, if you play Multi-table tournaments online, or smaller buy-in ring games, you will see plays you almost can’t believe.

There have been many times I have had to request hand histories because I can’t believe I lost a hand, nor believe what I think I saw that my opponent played. Maybe the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” applies very well to poker hands. For myself, most hands to me are butt ugly, nothing even remotely attractive can be found in them.

This hand that follows is one I got the hand history for and it is a very good example of why some players think online poker is rigged. When good players get beat like this time after time, they can find no way to justify the play, except to think something fishy is going on. I can’t say I blame them, although I do not believe anything is rigged or crooked. How stupid would I be to play for real money at a place I questioned the honesty of? Even after seeing this kind of play, day in and day out, in every online game I have played in, I have to admit, I will never understand it myself. Therefore, although I do not agree with those that think something shady is going on, I do understand why they think that way.

The game is a 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Tournament, stakes 40/80 on PokerStars. The ONLY reasoning I can come up with for this bad play is that Player One wants to get all his chips in the pot. But, since he started the hand with 763 in chips, he shouldn’t have felt desperate enough to risk what he had on such a bad hand. After watching the subsequent hands he played, I did understand…. he just has no clue about the game at all.

There were 3 players all the way through the hand, 2 others folded on 5th and 6th street, and I have eliminated them to make this brief. The * denotes the down/hole cards.

Dealt to PokerHack07:*{5-Hearts}*{K-Hearts}-{J-Hearts}

Dealt to Player One: {A-Diamonds}
Dealt to Player Two: {4-Clubs}
PokerHack07: calls 12
Player One raises: 28 to 40
Player Two: calls 28
PokerHack07: calls 28

*** 4th STREET ***

Dealt to Player Two: {4-Clubs}-{7-Spades}

Dealt to PokerHack07: *{5-Hearts}*{K-Hearts}-{J-Hearts}-{Q-Hearts}
Dealt to Player One: {A-Diamonds}-{6-Diamonds}
Player Two checks
PokerHack07: bets 40
Player One: calls 40
Player Two calls 40

*** 5th STREET ***

Dealt to Player Two: {4-Clubs}-{7-Spades}-{K-Spades}
Dealt to PokerHack07 *{5-Hearts}*{K-Hearts}-{J-Hearts}-{Q-Hearts}-{4-Hearts} I have a flush
Dealt to Player One: {A-Diamonds}-{6-Diamonds}-{6-Clubs} He has *{J-Diamonds}*{2-Clubs}-{A-Diamonds}-{6-Diamonds}-{6-Clubs} He has a pair of 6’s
Player One: bets 80 (he BETS his 6-6)
Player Two: calls 80
PokerHack07: raises 80 to 160 I raise, because I have a flush- the best hand
Player One: calls 80 He calls…hoping to make what??
Player Two: calls 80

*** 6th STREET ***

Dealt to Player Two: {4-Clubs}-{7-Spades}-{K-Spades}-{5-Diamonds}
Dealt to PokerHack07:*5h*{K-Hearts}-{J-Hearts}-{Q-Hearts}-{4-Hearts}-{J-Spades}
Dealt to Player One:{A-Diamonds}-{6-Diamonds}-{6-Clubs}-{Q-Diamonds} Now he has 6-6 and 3 diamonds
PokerHack07: bets 80
Player One: raises 80 to 160 He raises again still hoping for? Another 6? He can’t win with a 6.
Player Two: raises 80 to 240 (he has low he should raise)
Player One: raises 80 to 320 (Raises because he has 3 diamonds now?)
PokerHack07: calls 160 (I think maybe he does have a higher flush now so I just call)
Betting is capped, Player Two: calls 80. PokerHack07: calls 80

*** RIVER ***

Dealt to PokerHack07: *{5-Hearts}*{K-Hearts}-{J-Hearts}-{Q-Hearts}-{4-Hearts}-{J-Spades}*{A-Clubs} PokerHack07: checks (Again I am cautious in case he has the Ace high flush)
Player One: bets 80
Player Two: raises 80 to 160
PokerHack07: calls 160
Player One: raises 35 to 195 and is all-in
Player Two: calls 35
PokerHack07: calls 35

*** SHOW DOWN ***

Player One: shows *{J-Diamonds}*{2-Clubs}-{A-Diamonds}-{6-Diamonds}-{6-Clubs}-{Q-Diamonds}*{4-Diamonds} (HI: a flush, Ace high)
Player Two shows: *{A-Hearts}*{2-Diamonds}-{4-Clubs}-{7-Spades}-{K-Spades}-{5-Diamonds}*{9-Spades} (HI: high card Ace; LO: 7-5-4-2-A)
PokerHack07: mucks hand

Later in the tournament I was short stacked and got all-in on {A-Spades}-{3-Spades}-{5-Spades}, I got lucky and made a flush, but the point is, I tried to wait for cards worthy of my last chips.

Many times, when playing in tournaments, we wait for something until the antes or blinds eat our chips. In that case, you just have to pick the hand that you think you will have the best chance of winning and go for it. But if you are serious about trying to win, there is just no reason to risk your chips on a bad hand like Player One did. Instead, save them for a hand you really have a chance to win with.

Use the hand histories tool and you will be surprised to see the “anal” hands being played, hopefully not by you!

Grab a Chair…see you there!

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