Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Friday, December 26, 2003

    Set the hook

    That's what I didn't do late last night when I played a PartyPoker $5 SNG. I could blame all the turkey and ham and potatoes I ate, but ultimate responsibilty must fall at my feet. Had a little opportunity, my one real hand of the night, and I blew it.

    Last post I wrote that aggression is the watchword when playing no-limit Hold-Em, and last night I tried to practice what I preached. I didn't get good cards at all but I did a lot of aggressive raising, especially in late position, and I stole three or four nice little pots. I didn't have good cards but I managed to build my stack to about 1100 from an 800 start.

    The player two seats to my left was the early chip leader, and he started raising things up almost every hand and taking down lots of pots. But one time he bet 500 and the small blind went all-in (about 650) and Mr. Big called. The blind had pocket Kings, Mr. Big had A-8 offsuit. He wasn't Mr. Big no more. Two hands later he went all-in and the player to his left, who now had a slight chip lead, called. The former Mr. B turned over K-8 offsuit, his foe had pocket 10s, and that was that.

    I hung around and let the other players make huge mistakes and get knocked out. Trouble was I didn't do any of the knocking. By the time we got down to the Final Four I had about 1300 in chips and the leader had around 3900. I didn't want to do something stupid and cost myself a chance to place in the money, but I did something stupid that perhaps cost me a chance to win the whole thing.

    I was in the big blind and found myself with pocket deuces. Two other players called, including the chip leader, and I checked. The flop came 2-A-J, all different suits. Triple deuces, quack quack quack. The chip leader bet 300, which didn't intimidate me at all. I didn't see him with pocket aces or jacks, so I was confident that I had the best hand. The other player folded, leaving the decision to me. I figured the bettor either had an ace or he was trying to bully me in case I didn't have an ace. But with trips I of course wouldn't be bullied.

    And then I did something stupid--I tried to play the bully myself. I went all-in. I hadn't made a really big bet all night, and for some reason I couldn't help myself from pushing in a thousand chips. Even as I hit the button I knew I was horribly overplaying my hand, and sure enough he folded without a second's pause.

    I hung my head and bereted myself. I could have smooth-called him, let another card come up, and see if he would bet into me again. If he checked I could either make a small, tentative bet to string him along or wait to smack him on the river. True, maybe he had a straight draw, but even with KQ only a 10 could help him, and in that case I'd slow down. But I had a chance to milk this guy and instead I acted like a yahoo and panicked.

    I didn't get a good hand the rest of the night. The #4 guy got knocked out by the chip leader, putting me in the money, and at the time I was only about 150 chips below the #2 guy. But he won a nice pot from the top dog, and the blinds whittled me down to 650 chips. I was in the big blind and checked to the leader, and when the flop came 10-K-10 I went all in, hoping to scare him out and let me pick up enough chips to keep me going a few more deals. No such luck. He had too many chips to be scared away by my tiny bet, and besides, he had a 10. I had the 5-3 of hearts with no heart on the board. It was the official end of my Christmas cheer.

    Oh well, won four bucks and learned a lesson. I really enjoy playing SNGs, its just tough getting logged on to the doggone tables. It was still a good time, even though I messed up. It's hard to be too upset when I actually won a few bucks and learned a lesson, so I won't be. I just need to get better, bit by bit. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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