Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Smart play, Hero call, or am I an idiot?

(Original POSTING FROM WORK, edits are in red italics)

Lunch break poker back in full force....interesting hand at end of session today. Let me know what you think.

Scenario: Villian is the button when I'm BB. Raised my BB 3x in a row but folds the fourth time, the time I have AA of course. Anyways, a fairly loose-aggressive player (22/18 per PT) at low stakes .10/.25 table. I'm playing a very TAG type of game and it is apparent after I get moved off several hands in a short span after raising preflop (AK, AQ, A10suited - missed flop terribly every time and get continuation bet called/re-raised). Table disinegrates and before I can uncheck the auto-post feature, I get SB vs his BB HU. I hold 5-6o. I decide that this will be my last hand and I decide to see if I can outplay someone. (a terrible reason to play any hand, why I am very suspectible to tilt, and a main reason why I'm a losing CASH game player..still trying to figure out how I'm a winning SNG player at the same time).

I raise to .85 from SB. He re-raises me pot. I decide that he thinks he can outplay me and 3bet him 3/4 pot. He flat calls. Pot is now around $16 and I have $18 behind. Villian has ~$21 behind.

Flop comes Qs-10d-6h (if I remember correctly, it could have been two spades). After I check my option, (thanks Mike! see comments) Villian INSTANTLY pushes all-in. And when I say instantly I mean he was all-in before his name even got highlighted.

and I tank. and decide to chat him up while I can. I type:

Hero: "I think that is a bluff"
Villian: "yep"

I hit the time button and think it over before I make the call. Let me know if you agree/disagree and why:

After my raise preflop, he is thinking I am trying to steal and thus re-raises. I think only for a couple seconds before I push back. Now he has to think "oh crap, he must have something then." And then he flat calls.

Typical hands to re-raise with AA, KK, AK, perhaps A-Qs, QQ, A-Js, possibly JJ. I decide to discount the first set. With the first set, he would not only 4bet, but he would 4bet all-in preflop so AA, AK, KK are out. His INSTANTEOUS push post-flop make me disregard A-Q, QQ. Why would you push with TPTK or a top set? Normal play would be a value bet or even a weak bet to entice me (andI've already played the hand very aggressively) into pushing over the top and he collects all my $$.

So far then, the only hands that are ahead of me post flop is A-10 or mid pockets 7s through Js. A-10 is a possibility but a push doesn't make sense with second pair, top kicker. 10-10 doesn't make sense because once again you value/weak bet those to entice me to push. Pocket pairs lower than 10 wouldn't push either.

So the only hand that really scares me here is JJ. The way he had been playing, a push preflop would be more in his style so that hand is out as well.

I put him on A-J. I think he puts me on AK, A-rag or a small pocket pair.

With all that thought, two other actions confirmed to me that I was ahead:

1- The timing of his bet postflop
2- his comment "yep"

Knowing that I am probably suspectible to a redraw to 6 outs (3 aces and whatever rag he is holding), I decide to make the call with low pair and terrible kicker with no real draws of my own. I'm going to win this hand more than 50% of the time and I was essentially getting 2-1 for my $$. (Is that correct, I'm still a nub at calculating odds).

I avoid his As-8h pairing on the turn and river and take down the pot. I go back to work a little bit happier and a little more confident.

EDIT: Home from work - Actual hand history:

FullTiltPoker Game #4954060998: Table Moradi (6 max) - $0.10/$0.25 - No Limit Hold'em - 12:57:29 ET - 2008/01/22Seat 3: shipithollas ($29), is sitting outSeat 4: Mundgeruch ($26.80)Seat 6: DubsPoke ($25)DubsPoke posts the small blind of $0.10Mundgeruch posts the big blind of $0.25The button is in seat #6*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to DubsPoke [6s 5h]
DubsPoke raises to $0.75
Mundgeruch raises to $3
DubsPoke raises to $7
Mundgeruch calls $4
*** FLOP *** [Qs Ts 6c]
Mundgeruch bets $19.80, and is all in
DubsPoke has 15 seconds left to act
DubsPoke: i think that is a bluff
DubsPoke has requested TIME
Mundgeruch: yep
DubsPoke: eh f' it, last hand for me
DubsPoke calls $18, and is all in
Mundgeruch shows [As 8c]
DubsPoke shows [6s 5h]
Uncalled bet of $1.80 returned to Mundgeruch
*** TURN *** [Qs Ts 6c] [Qd]
*** RIVER *** [Qs Ts 6c Qd] [9d]
Mundgeruch shows a pair of Queens
DubsPoke shows two pair, Queens and Sixes
DubsPoke wins the pot ($49.50) with two pair, Queens and Sixes
Mundgeruch is sitting out*** SUMMARY ***Total pot $50 Rake $0.50
Board: [Qs Ts 6c Qd 9d]

See you at the virtual felt,


PS - Bankroll took a huge hit this past weekend. I decide to get a puppy for my fiance, I thoroughly sucked at 4tabling .10/.25 cash games, and I decided to join Cardrunners. This adds up to a $450 downswing in my FT bankroll. More on joining Cardunners later.

FT: $434
PS: ~$100


  1. How does he insta-push from the BB when you're first to act?

    Also, if you had decided to stop playing, I don't see how changing your mind to play one last hand that ends up involving most of your stack with 5-6o is a good idea.

  2. Great point Mike regarding the insta-push. That's the trouble when you try to recall hands without the actual hand history in front of you. I'll find the history and get it up.

    and you're right regarding 5-6o. Bigger point was I felt the player was aggressive and loose and that I could potentially take advantage of it. Essentially I thought I could outplay him.

    which I kinda did.

    do you agree with my process on how I thought through the hand? Or was my thought process terrible and if I continue to think in that manner will I be getting crushed?

    Thanks again for stopping by Mike. I look forward to your response!

  3. I think if you decided to stop playing you fold the small blind and call it a day. Making this play will give you cause you more harm than good in the long run (I once had lost a $6,000 pot in $25/$50 PLO on Stars after tripling my $1K buy-in because of this move. I did flop top boat and got rivered by quads but that's not the point). As for the hand, I won't comment. I will say that you were getting 1.77-1 on the call. The pot had $14 on the flop. He bet $18 making the pot $32. You had to call $18 to win $32. 32/18=1.77. (Remember, it's PotSize/AmountToCall.) But you also risked your whole stack to defend your 10 cent blind. LOL.

  4. There is an article by Phil Ivey that you should read that is perfect for people who are learning (actually, I think everyone should read it). Check it out at http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/pro-tips-archive.php?tip=125.

    I keep it in mind every time I read advice from other people or when I study my play. I think it is truly great advice.

  5. Like Monster Stack said, this all happened because you got into a blind battle when you only had $0.10 invested, with 5-6o. That is a mistake to me.

    However, to address the general situation since you did play the hand, let's look a little bit more at his possible holdings. Flop is Qs Ts 6c, you have bottom pair, no kicker, no draws.

    He is currently beating you with any queen, any ten, most likely any six since he probably has you outkicked, as well as 77-AA. Also, he is a favorite if he's holding Ax of spades, KJs, K9s, J9s, 98s, or 87s. You are a slight favorite against a range of AK, AJ, KJ, J9, and 98 (Straight draws).

    But I'm throwing out too many ranges here. Let's simplify. Let's say he's on a total bluff. We'll put him on a range of A-x, as well as any cards that give him straight draws (KJ, J9, 98-I'm not including gutshots). If he's on a total bluff, that puts you as a 2:1 favorite (67% to win), meaning you still have a lot of outs to fade. Now, let's say he's hit the flop. We'll take out AA, KK, QQ, AQ, and TT (Although he could be overbetting for value), and use the range of JJ, KQ, QJ, and AT-JT. You're basically a 4:1 dog now (20% to win).

    So let's say you feel confident, about 80%, that he's on a bluff. That puts your equity at (80% x 67%) + (20% x 20%) = .576, or 57.6%. So your equity is at about 1.32:1 and you're getting 1.77:1 to call. Mathematically, if your read is right, it makes sense to call, although you are by no means a strong favorite here. You would have to be pretty sure in yourself that he has absolutely nothing and is on a complete bluff. Even a drawing hand is basically a coinflip for you.

    Based on your thought process, your read, and a possible range of hands, it is +EV to make the call. Not a clear advantage for you, but it still exists.

    God, I hope I did my math right or else I'll feel like an idiot.