Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I can see why people don't like blogger tourneys....

idiocy abounds. Or perhaps I only perceived it as idiocy. And I still need to work on banning myself from chat after bad beats. Only embarrass myself. Anyways situation is as follows:

Blinds are at 40/80. I raise 3xBB with QQ UTG leaving myself 860 behind. Folds around to BB. BB pushes all in for a little over 1/3 of his stack, leaving himself approx 1600 behind. His power hand A8o to make this, what I believe, ill-conceived push. He immediately flops an ace and IGH. His excuse for the push, I was shortstacked. Uhm...then why would you want to push against an UTG raise from a "Shortstack" with a hand that is easily dominated for over 1/3rd of your stack?

Let's examine further for this blogger's benefit. He knows I was a bit disgruntled with him at the time. (And please note it was a heat of the moment deal and I apologize sincerely if it upset him or caused him any ill-will). I hope that this blogger just learns a little bit more. After all, that is why we are in this community, to grow and become better poker players. At least that is why I am. Sorry for the ramble, back to the point.

What exactly would the UTG range for raising be? JJ+, AK, AQs, perhaps as weak as AQo or AJs. In any case, A8o is easily dominated by most of that range. A fold is more than reasonable and only costs the BB his 80 chips. Calling is an option although a weak one (out of position, still don't know if you're good even if an ace doesn't happen to flop. Raising is an option, although as discussed, A8o is WAY behind most of the UTG raisers range. An exploratory raise could be an option if the BB really thinks the UTG is weak, say half the BB remaining stack. This allows the BB to get away from the hand with minimal loss if the UTG 3bets push (another indication that A8o is way behind and should be folded, the UTG is likely to make that push due to having jsut 10BBs left and the blinds on top of him, making any raise pretty redonkulous with A8o).

Or am I completely thinking about this wrong and the BB push was the "correct" play?

EDIT: After much thought, I got what I wanted which is getting my money in as a 70% favorite. It's just unfortunate that the results weren't there. Either way, I hope the discussion helps this blogger learn from what I believe is a terrible leak. With ~3k chips early in a MTT, you have time to choose your spots. Pushing against an UTG raiser that has committed himself to the hand with A8o is NOT one of those spots. Not being able to spot and think through these circumstances will not bode well for MTT success. And I apologize for the comment regarding "enjoy bubbling once again." That was classless and I hope you forgive me!

In any case, I was extremely disappointed. I was really looking forward to playing this tourney. My fiance is out of town so I was able to play without distraction. I also have some confidence in my tourney game based on recent successes of going deep often. Instead I don't even make it to the first break and was effectively put on tilt, thereby having to shutdown my comp for the night before I tilted off several $2 BIs for no good reason. (EDIT: Which I wasn't able to do. Negativity feeds on negativity as I saw AQ < AJ. TT < 97o. And my favorite, all the money goes in after flop as bully chipleader made huge overpush with air. I flopped top set and was beaten by turn giving villian a gutter and the river filling it for him. I was 3rd in chips and villian was chipleader in a 180s tourney. This resulted in me bubbling the $$. I finally ended my night after that.

Well, I don't think i will be playing any more mooks for a while. I won't be subjecting my limited FullTilt bankroll to the $11 buy-in unless I am properly rolled for it. Going to be a while at this rate.


  1. one way to try to replay a hand is to try to think what would be the correct moves if the hands were flipped face up. Obviously putting you all-in with A8o against QQ is a losing play. So that's not an option.

    Let's look at calling, though. You raise to 240 so the pot has a total of 240+80+40=360 when it comes back to the BB. He needs to call 280 into a 360 pot. That gives him 9:7 pot odds on a call. That means his hand has to win 7 out of 16 times to be a +EV call or about 44%. Although A8o is 60% against a random hand, since you were UTG, we need to narrow the range. Using your range of JJ+,AJs+,AQo+, is only 25% to win. So it's obviously a losing play.

    I would not be surprised if you get this call though, because nobody folds ace-rag in the BB in the mookie. At least that way when the Ace flops you can get away from it.

    Now let's say this was not a donk re-raise from the BB, but a leigt one with the same range you put on UTG. Is your all-in call correct?

    The pot is now 40+80+240+240+860=1460 and you need to call 860 more. With those pot odds you need 37% to win to make this +EV. Against the above range you are 52% to win so this is an obvious call. Even if you take out AQ, AJ and even JJ from the range you are still 40% to win and the call is correct.

    But if you play this face up you obviously call against A8o.

    Don't beat yourself up. You made the right move. You want this action every time.

  2. Kaja - thanks for the mathematical analysis! That is one area that I need some massive improvement if I want to be the best poker player that I can be.

    I imagine you would suggest I read some Sklansky. At the level of expertise that you would consider I am currently at, do you believe I should jump into reading the Mathematics of Poker book I've seen referenced on several other blogs?

    Thanks again for stopping by!

  3. hey dubs, i am by no means a math wiz. This kind of stuff doesn't come easy for me either and there is almost no chance I can do these kinds of calculations at the table during a hand. I haven't read Sklansky so or any other deep math poker book, so I can't recommend any :-)

    I do like the rule of thumb that says that if you played the hands face up and make the same decisions then they are the right ones.