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Polymerase chain reaction is a cornerstone of molecular biology research. Using short pieces of single-stranded DNA called primers the previously invisible becomes tangible.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Poker Jargon

The hands you lose are certainly more memorable than the ones you win. I recently played in a family Texas Hold ‘em game. The ten of us started with 2200 in chips apiece with blinds starting at ten and twenty. Blinds raised every ten minutes. I won hands starting with the best hold cards, on suck-outs and by stealing blinds. Mostly, I don’t remember the details of these hands.

On the third hand, I was dealt pocket sixes in the Big Blind. Two players limped in, so I raised four bets on the option. One called, the other folded. The Flop was rainbow-suited 2c, Jh, 4s. First to act with a Jack sitting out there, I checked. Player checked behind me. The Turn was 3d. No flush possibility, but a small straight was out there. I checked. Player checked as well. The River was 6d. A SET! A set. I bet half the pot trying to induce a call. Player raised, doubling my bet. Too eager to pull the pot, I called. Player turned over a 5 revealing a straight drawn on two runners. The check after the Flop was not a terrible move. Player called my pre-Flop raise indicating a probable high pair, suited conectors or face cards. My mistake was not betting after the Turn. By checking, I allowed Player to draw to the straight without risk. I should have put him on a draw. Anyway, from that hand on until the final three, I was short-stacked. I down shifted considerably. I mucked pocket Kings after a Flop and pocket Jacks after a Turn to hands that eventually won with a straight or a flush. I did manage to win two all-ins with pocket Queens to stave off elimination.

The final win with pocket Queens put me in second place with three players remaining. With blinds now capped at 500 and 1000, I shifted gears again, this time going up. Every hand I played was either on a five-bet raise or all-in pre-Flop. After a series of lucky draws for me and cautious folds by the others, I found myself among the final two. Finalist had about a one to three chip advantage going into the heads-up. My continued aggressive betting and one lucky hand put Finalist on-tilt. Maybe ten to fifteen hands later, and we were done.

Though the win was a rush, I remember neither the hand that put me into my first chip lead nor the hand that ended the game. Vivid, however, were the hands where I got beat holding Trips or folding big pocket pairs. Perhaps the reason losing hands are more memorable than winning hands is because they provide greater learning opportunities. Or, I'm just a really sore loser.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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