Did I play well or just get lucky?
Hi all, new to cardschat and have been playing mainly live cash games at casinos
. Been playing off and on for a few years but starting to get more involved as my knowledge and bankroll grows Last night at Star City I won a little over $600 on the $1/$2 NLHE table ($80 - $200 buy-in) which is an above-average return for a 3-hr session.
The profit was mainly due to two hands and I really don't know if I played them well and got the right outcome, or played them badly and got lucky.
Hand 1. Pre-flop raise to $10 by a player in middle position who in the last couple of rounds had won a big pot with a pre-flop raise of A4 off against another player with 99 and hit 443 on the flop, and also had been caught bluffing at a pot. I'm on the button with QTo and was being served a coffee and hadn't spotted the raise (very bad form I know). I chucked in a $5 chip and said call and had to then add another $5 but I had position so let's see the flop: A Q T rainbow. Our stack sizes are around $320 for the raiser and $245 for me.
The pre-flop raiser bets $25 into a $22 pot and I smooth-call to see the turn. I put her on a big ace and considered popping it to take it down or at least find out where I was in the hand, but mainly because I had position I waited. The turn is a blank and the raiser bets $65. At this stage there's $137 in the pot and I have a little over $200 left. I decide to take it down and shove all-in for another $140 and get an insta-call. My heart sinks when I see the AQ but I hit one of my 2 outs and get a T on the river to double up.
My thinking after the hand: I (incorrectly) put the raiser on a big A and was very reluctant to fold in that spot. I could have induced a call with such a hand by moving all-in so if the river favoured them I was no better off. So was it a bad move? If I had just called the $65 turn bet, I may not have been able to get the raiser all-in with the paired board on the river - although at that stage the pot was $200 and I only would have had $140 left so their odds
were good. Would the hand have played itself if I just called the turn bet?
Hand 2: Again I'm on the button with 55 and call a pre-flop raise of $15 from a tight-ish player in middle position. We're heads up to the flop: J 4 3 rainbow. He bets $27 into a $36 pot and again I'm thinking a big Ace and considering he may have missed the flop. I call the bet and the turn is a 5 with no flush on the board and only a very low straight, which I definitely don't have him on. He bets $60 and I smooth call, pretty sure I've got him. At this stage he has about $230 left and I have him easily covered. The river is a 6 leaving an open-ended straight on the board and he quickly bets $130. I don' tthink he has 77 or 22 but resist the urge to raise and call to see his QQ. My set takes down another nice pot.
Again I tried to analyse whether I did the right thing by a) smooth-calling his initial raise. I could have re-popped it but he would have shoved I'm sure, leaving me little option but to fold. b) Should I have called the flop bet of $27 or just got out of the way? Once the turn gave me the set I was very sure I had the pot, so should I have moved all-in to get another $100 from him? I all-but discounted the straight because of the way he played the hand, the size of his bet and previous observations but I didn't want to donk off another $100. The player was grizzling afterwards about the flop bet call and I guess that's the only marginal decision in the hand (that I made, anyway!). I'd be grateful for any insights and analysis of these hands that I can use in the future.