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Luckboxing 101

By: Ov3rsight @ 08:46 (EST) / 401 / Comment ( 0 )

Every now and then, poker players are entitled to being a bit lucky. Today was my turn, although my session started quite badly. There was a player two seats to my left who was either reading me spot on from the get go, or he had a few big hands in a row, and I was quickly down over 20 Blinds. By then, the table dwindled down to three, so I decided to switch. 3 handed poker isn't my thing. After an orbit of folding I found pocket 8 in the Big Blind, UTG+1 raised, and I decided to call. I had no reads yet, so I decided to go with careful. The flop came 8,7,6 rainbow. So now I had a set, but there was a three card straight. He bet, I raised, he shoved, and I pondered. Could he be raising preflop with 9,10? Probably. But more likely he had an ace or something, or a nice pair. And so I called. He had pocket 9s, and my set held.

The very next Big Blind I had pocket 3s. The CO, who by now I thought to be someone who wasn't playing crazy, made a standard open, and again I decided to call. I don't like 3-betting with baby pairs like this, but with the effective stack being my 120 BBs, I got great odds for setmining. The flop came 9,3,10 rainbow. Luckboxing 101: get two pocket pairs and flop a set twice. I checked to him as I always do when I don't have the preflop betting lead, and he checked it back. The turn was a deuce, and I didn't want to check again hoping for him to bet, I wanted to get some value out of my set. And so I bet about 2/3 pot to 46 cents. He raised to $1 and I decided to put in another raise. I figured he had something as I didn't see him making a bluff here. If it is a bluff, too bad. So I made it $2.25 and he called. The river comes another 2. I bet $3 into $5.15 and he calls again. Yet another example where Jacks lose a big pot.

The next two orbits I play one hand (AJ off) and lose, and then I pick up A6 off UTG+1. As I'd been quiet for a bit, I decided to go for a steal. There's a complete fish on the button and the Big Blind has me covered, but is playing a very tight game. I raise and the guy to my left calls, everyone else folds. The flop comes 6,3,3. Figuring there's no way this hits him, I bet, and he calls. The flop is another 6. Even if he has a 3 in his hand now, I have him crushed. I bet another 2/3 pot, he calls. The river's a 9, I bet big again, he calls. He shows A,Q off for just an ace kicker with the 2 pair on the board. Now I'm not sure what to make of his play there. Calling down with A high seems weak, but I guess he figured I was bluffing. He'd been sitting at the table since hand 1, and I had only gone to showdown twice before, showing a pocket pair that had greatly improved both times.

Now this session was only 38 hands when I left, seeing how my usual 1-hour playtime had expired. Looking back, I played 12 hands, and lost money on 4 of them, but those were small losses. I won 8 hands, including 1 big pot and 3 huge ones. Granted, this is not how it usually goes, but it is nice for morale to see that every once in awhile I get a lucky break. I can't recall how often I've sat down looking at other players catching flop after flop and winning big pot after big pot, wishing that it was me. Well, today it was, and after correcting for my loss at my first table, I walked off with a healthy 73 Big Blind profit.

And now comes the hard part: everyone knows it is far easier to remember the bad beats you receive than the bad beats you dish out. Everyone knows it's easier to remember how you got sucked out on time and time again, than it is to remember the times you sucked out on them. And looking back I have to be honest: all 3 big pots I won, I had the worst of it preflop: 88 vs 99, 33 vs JJ and A6 vs AQ. I had better remember this session next time I get sucked out on a few times in a row by some luckbox, because every once in awhile, the luckbox will be me...

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