Thursday, September 08, 2005


I thought I'd take a look at Noble Poker, since a lot of bloggers seem to be playing there recently because of the $1 million SNG challenge, and commenting about the soft competition.

I downloaded the software and connected, but stopped short of creating an account. There were only ab out 340 players connected to the site. Checking the low-limit holdem games, there was generally two tables playing - one full, and one half-full. I.e. I had one table to choose from.

Party has spoiled me. What if I don't like the table I get? Either wait for a new one, or change limits. There are more players there during the evening hours in the states, of course, but the hours I can play here are the wee hours of the morning there.

I could use a new bonus to chase, but I like to have more choices than that.

So I find two loose-looking $50 NL tables on Empire. And manage to drop my buy-ins on both of them in about 10 minutes. Ugh.

The first one wasn't so bad. I'm dealt As-5s in middle position. One limper to me, I raise to $1. Player to my left raises to $2.50. Blinds and the limper call, as do I. The flop comes 7s 2s 8h. The blinds check, and the original limper raises about the size of the pot, $13. I have the nut flush draw and I am pretty sure the guy behind me will at least call, so I call.

He doesn't call, he pushes all-in for $58. Before that even sinks in, the big blind pushes his stack in for his last $46. The other two fold, and it's to me. I need another spade to make my ace-high flush, so I put my last $33 in as well. The pot odds were 4 to 1, so I felt it was a good call. Even though no spades fell and the big blind won it with his pocket 8s. Other guy had pocket queens.

I tell myself it was still a good bet and turn to the other table. Soon I am dealt my own pocket 8s in middle position. Everyone folds to me, so I raise to $2. Only the big blind calls, and the flop comes 6 4 8 rainbow. Big blind bets $2. I'm guessing he does not have much, maybe a couple overcards or a high card plus a pair with one of the board cards, so I feel confidently in front with my set. I just call, figuring he'll put me on two overcards that missed and will bet out more strongly on the turn.

The turn comes a Q, and he simply checks it. I bet $4 into the $8 pot, trying to act like a weak player hoping to steal the pot from an even weaker player, and he calls, not letting me get away with it. All according to my evil plan.

The river comes... another 6. And he bets $15, the size of the pot. That 6 must have helped him, so I'm guessing he had a high card with a six, so made trips on the river and now feels strong enough to bet. He could even have Q-6, for a full house with sixes full of queens, and I have that beat with my new eights full of sixes, too. So I push in my remaining $40, hoping it looks like I am trying to scare him off so he'll actually call me.

He does, in fact, call me. And he does, in fact, have two queens, giving him queens full of sixes, and my $50 to boot. Damn.

Before I pushed, I considered that the only thing that would beat me would be QQ, but it was so unlikely... I must remember that big blinds get dealt good cards too.

Looking back, the only point I was ahead was at the flop, where my new set beat his two Queens. If I had bet out more strongly to try to take the pot there, he may have folded. Maybe. Would he really have put me on a set when he had an overpair? I don't know - it gives me something to think about.

I was so close to reaching $1000 in my poker bankroll, too. This dropped me down below $900. Maybe it is time for another bonus to chase.

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