My first time playing $5/$10
I've been playing lower stakes for a while. Mostly .50/1 and 1/2. At these stakes I've found the game is more about looking for fishy players than actually playing poker. Not that it's really a problem. But in reality, the game play is pretty predictable. You don't really do anything tricky or interesting because, well, most of the players I'm against aren't going to understand enough of what's going on to react to it. They're kind of just looking at their cards, looking at the board, and going with it.
Basically, today, I started getting board. Waiting around waiting around. So I figured, ok, if I'm going to wait around a lot, I might as well make the hands I'm playing very exciting.
So I bumped to 5/10
Boredom is DANGEROUS.
To make things worse, I bought in with $400, which on a 5/10 table might as well be a sign that says "I'm A FISH". But I understood that, so I figured maybe I can make that advantageous. We'll see.
In the entire hour that I played, I maybe played 7 hands. The first hand I went in, I lost about $50. Mind you, I had some equity, I read the situation, I played a somewhat loose hand out of position, it was an acceptable loss for what I was doing.
I played another hand and won it on a continuation bet. Don't remember the specifics, I think an ace hit the flop, went check-check, lead the turn to a fold. Pretty mild. I was NOT the pre-flop raiser. And I think that made my line a touch more believable.
Anyway, the tightness and aggressiveness of the table had me folding quite a bit.
An interesting hand came along that really set things in motion for me. UTG+1 raised to $20. That looked a little meek to me and I'm looking down at Q10 off on the button. I figure, ya know, this hand is probably a touch behind, but likely has decent equity - if I raise up to say $50, I'll have position, I'll have some holding, and I'll know at least a fair degree of my opponents strength going into the flop. So I 3-bet it and got folds all around (yay!). Probably folded out A10/AJ/KQ.
The next hand came and it was AJsuited on the cutoff. Folds to me, I raise to $30. Everyone folds. Hey, I'll take it.
Next hand comes and it's some garbage that I toss.
Now I'm under the gun (6-handed) and I wake up with KK. I think my light 3-bet, followed by my raise, plus my stack size all worked together to make this happen. I raise to $30. Folds to the button who calls. SB folds. BB raised to $130. I tank for a moment, just to consider how likely I'm against AA and I realize based on my perceived image I could be against TT, JJ, QQ, AK, or AA. So I'm CRUSHING most of this range. I figure the sharp thing to do would be flat. But the FISH thing to do would be shove AK/JJ/TT/QQ/AQ/AJ. I think the opponent thinks I raised light and the button respectively called light. So I shove. And he calls me, with JJ. +$400. I think the guy realized he made a silly mistake, but given the way the hands were coming out he probably felt fairly secure of his call at the time.
I won a couple more small pots, and then ran into another interesting hand. This one I made a mistake.
I have TT in the BB. UTG raises to $30. I have to give her some credit, and figure it's most likely your basic premie. I considered 3-betting, but felt I could probably flat safely. Either choice would have been fine in my estimation.
Flop comes 10spade, Qdiamond, 5diamond. Which in my estimation is a really good flop for me. I have a play for this kind of spot that actually works well against a good opponent out of position (hard to have plays that work in those situations). Given the board, it's almost a guarantee she'll continue betting so I check, and she raises $30. I want her to think I'm on a draw, so I tank for a moment and call. I can't really tell if she hit the queen or not, but it doesn't really matter. The turn card comes the Ace of clubs. This is a GREAT card for me, cause I know she hit something here. I min-raise $25. My hope is that she'll see this as a blocker bet for my "diamond draw" and raise it about pot size. Which she does!
Here's where I made my mistake. Suddenly I realize that she may be bluffing
a draw here. Which then makes me worry about the river. I shouldn't have been so worried about the river. Realistically, I could have flat here and if the diamond doesn't hit I could shove and make it look like a bluff. Meanwhile I'm thinking that if she does have AQ I can could probably go all in now. So I chose to shove the turn, protecting against a draw that she most likely didn't have or maximizing value against AQ. It made sense at the time. But when she quick folded I realized I had probably missed out on some good value. Still, I walked off something like +$85 for the hand, so I wasn't too sore about it.
Anyway, I left the table +$600, and feeling fairly confident about my game. Back to the lower stakes for a while, my bankroll isn't really where it needs to be to suffer the variance of stakes that high. But nonetheless, it was positive experience.