The Poker Game of Life

Poker and scotch on the rocks. Below are my reflections on life and poker. My journey from $4-8 as a past time to $30-60 for serious money and my life experiences in between.

Location: seattle, Washington, United States

Friday, March 18, 2005

Poker Strategy - Jack/Ten Suited

I have mixed feelings about Jack/Ten suited.

Great poker possibilities:
There is no disputing the possibilities of this hand. You can flop potential flushes, nut straights, straights, and the other obvious hands if you pair/trip/or full house up. In a hand that's got 4 or 5 people i'm actually likely to cap a pot with this hand. It has tremendous multi-way value.

Hold 'em is a game of high cards:
On the other hand it's Jack high. I don't like to cold call a raise without multi-way action with this hand and I really don't like to be first in the pot in late position with this hand. Natural questions that arise in this situation are, should i try and steal the blinds with Jack high although it does have tremendous draw potential, just limp in and see if i can hopefully get multiple people in the pot or just fold the hand pre-flop. Even though I live off the money I win these questions still arise in my mind. What's the answer? I'm honestly not sure, I try and mix it up.

My biggest pot ever:
Came from Jack, ten suited. There was an early position raise by the first person in, 3 cold callers, another raise and I'm in the big blind. I've got Jack, ten of clubsand I call 2 more bets. The pot ends up being capped and it's 6 way action before the flop.

I'm playing $15-30 online and the pot is $360 pre-flop. The flop is King, queen, nine of clubs. I couldn't believe it, i flopped the absolute nuts, a straight flush. I check, there is a bet and everyone calls, including myself. The turn is a 9 and I check again, the same guy bets, everyone calls and I raise. In retrospect I might have been better off with just a call here hoping to not lose anyone until the end. After my check raise, the early position raiser raised again and everyone except for me folded (to my dismay). Since it was heads up now I capped the pot. I figured my opponent had Kings full of nines or maybe quad 9's. It really didn't matter what he had since I had the absolute but I made sure to take my time before each of my decisions in an effort to somewhat conceal my hand.

The end was a blank, I led the betting and we capped the end. Total pot was $960 minus the $3 rake so I netted out with $957. It was beautiful.

when I look back I definitely got lucky. However, I think that if I had Kings full in this situation I wouldn't have put in so many bets. Did he really think that I would cap the turn and the end without a straight flush or quad 9's. He really had 3rd nuts. I don't think an opponent would cap both the turn and the end with queesn over 9's or king/9. If I had his hand I probaby would've just called the end.

What do you think?