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Learning through watching

Last night I watched Ben play an excellent game of poker. I was unfortunate enough to lose with my KK to AQ when an Ace fell on the flop (and turn, haha), but I stayed around and dealt for the final table. Ben went in with a large stack, took a big hit and was the short stack with 6 left, and played great to get back up and win second place.

I want to feature a few of the hands I think Ben played very well. I was giving him a hard time watching him play and seeing some of the hands he was folding preflop. I thought he was playing too tight, but who am I to talk, he got 2nd place, haha.

One hand Ben was in the small blind and it folded around to him. He limped in and the big blind quickly raised 3x the blind. It was at the point in the tournament were stealing blinds was very profitable. Ben called and the flop came down Q 10 9.

Both players checked to the river when the board showed: Q 10 9 … 7 … 10. Ben checked to the raiser who immediately went all in. This player was known to be a weak player, obviously out of his comfort zone, but this was a heck of a bet. He went all in for $11,000 chips when the pot was only $6,000. Ben went into the tank and asked the player “Why would you bet so much? That seems like a really strange bet is all I’m saying…” The player just shook his head and Ben finally said call and showed 55 for a pair of fives! The player showed his weak bluff with 83 (straight draw) and was knocked out of the tourament.

Another hand (that I originally made fun of him for) was late in the tournament with 7 players left. Ben looked down at AQ under the gun, thought, and folded. I gave him a hard time telling him he was playing too tight and needed to loosen up, the table hadnt’ seen a flop in a long time.

Well just as I’m saying this the button raised and the big blind reraised all in! The button said he had raised with J10 and folded while the big blind showed his KK. I guess Ben got away from that one at the right time.

Until seeing that hand I had forgotten the importance of playing very tight out of position, especially late in a tournament. I think lately I’ve been playing too loose deep in a tournament and that gets me into trouble. Don’t be afraid to throw away AJ from poor position in a tournament, you can find better spot and take advantage of someone else making that mistake when you have AK on the button. Minimizing mistakes is the first step to maximizing profits, good luck!

I've been playing poker for almost four years now (well before it was legal for me, woops!) Besides poker I enjoy playing the guitar and I'm very enthusiastic about pursuing Dentistry as a career. I'm currently at The Ohio State Univeristy studying Microbiology, living with three of my close friends. I'm dating a lovely girl from Australia and am looking forward to the oppurtunity to study abroad over there as well.

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