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You Decide #s 35, 36, & 37

Last night, I had the pleasure of playing in the Mookie. I final tabled, eventually succumbing to 7th place, but in the money. It was a great final table, a virtual whose who of this corner of the poker blogging universe, and while I'd love to name the other players, I'm too lazy to link.

It was a weird game for me. I faced some tough situations, some of which I got through on smarts, others on aggression, and the rest on luck. Let's take a look at three such hands. Take this opportunity to reflect and barrage me with insults about my horrible play and luckbox ways. No, really. I need a reality check.

So, without further adieu:

You Decide #35

We are on Level 3 (25/50 blinds) in the Mookie. I have just under my starting stack, 1440., and in the middle of stack sizes at our table. I'm on the button with AdQd. I've been playing somewhat manically after sitting out the first 30 minutes. I keep betting pot and taunting the players when they fold by typing "pot pot pot pot pot". Rocco, in UTG+1, with 1160 in chips, limps. It folds to me and I raise it to 200. The blinds fold, but Rocco calls. The pot is 475.

The flop is Kh 8c 4s. Not so good. Somewhere in here, WLDWLDWMN says, "no sense of any kind", referring to my earlier play. I have a GREAT table image. Rocco checks, and I bet the pot. It's 475, and Rocco pushes all-in for 960 total, or just 485 more. The total pot is now 1910, and I have to call 485. I figure that I have to call (which may or may not be true). After I call, Rocco shows KcJc for top pair. I, of course, have just AdQd.

The turn is a 5h, and the river is an Ah. I river a better pair, hitting one of three outs. Rocco is out of the tournament, and my table image as a wreckless maniac remains intact. I respond to WLDWLDWMN by saying, "oh no?" Darval let's out an "ooo" and smokee chimes in with "lucko." I reflect on my luck as I mentally dance in my virtual pile of chips.

So, I did get lucky. But did I play the hand stupidly? I'm going to lean toward yes on this one, but I think an argument could be made that I played it exactly as I should, and the real error, if there was one, was made by Rocco (no offense, man). He called out of position with KJc and then tried to slowplay check-raise me to the point where I felt that I had to call (whether I had to or not, I'm still not sure). If he had pushed on the flop, or even made a decent bet, I would've folded for sure, and he would've won the pot. In tournaments, it's about protecting your premium hands, and he didn't protect it here. But really, my play was no spectacular. Let's see what you all think.

You Decide #36

We are now on Level 4 (50/100 blinds). I'm in the Big Blind with 3100 in chips, and I'm dealt Jh2c, a less than premium hand. The table hasn't changed much, and my zany table image is still intact. It folds to WLDWLDWMN in the SB, with 2990 in chips, and he calls. I decide to be a gentleman and check.

The flop is all spades: Ts 8s As. WLD takes the initiative and bets 100, the minimum. I read him on a decent flush draw, but not a great one. I raise 200 on top (300 in total), hoping that he thinks that I luckboxed into a flopped flush. He calls.

The turn is a 7c, which presumably does not help his flush draw and does nothing for me. WLD checks and I bet 500. WLD waits a bit and folds. I force myself not to show. Let them think that I am super lucky.

Now, WLD pretty much gift wrapped this hand for me. He was out of position, and the only thing I had to fear was that he had two spades. It's certainly a possibility, which is why I raised on the flop. If he had the made flush, he'd try to move all-in there to push me off a superior draw. Or he might try to slowplay. So when he checked the turn, I decided to bet out 500, not quite pot, to see where I was at. Anything less and he was getting a decent value for his flush. Anything more, and it'd look like I'm scared. I settled on 500 because it looked like a bet that wanted to be called. But what do you think? Was I reckless?

And finally,

You Decide #37

Same tournament, same table, but the blinds are now 75/150. I have 4375 in chips, with only one player, Iakaris, with more chips than me (he has 5900). I'm in the big blind with AhQh. It is interesting how you can be dealt almost the exact same hand and have such different outcomes, both per the cards and per the way you play it.

Iakaris raises 300 to 450. It folds to me and I decide to flat call (although I'm really contemplating re-raising. The flop is a glorious Qc 9d 4h, giving me top pair, top kicker. The pot is currently at 1125 and Iakaris leads out with a bet of 900. Fearing the AA, but also wanting action in case he doesn't have it, I decide to call again.

The pot is now 2925, and I have about 3000 chips behind me. The turn is a 7h, giving me the nut flush draw, as well as TPTK. Iakaris checks, and I decide to move all in for 3025. Iakaris pauses and then folds. I presume he has TT, JJ or AK, but I have no idea.

Should I have moved all in there? Did I get lucky with all of my flat calls? Was there a better way to play it? I don't know. That's what you are for. So get off of your lazy lurking ass and start typing.

Net result for last night: $6 profit, keeping my streak alive (I believe it is at 4 or 5 days in a row now. I lost a FT token SNG costing me $8.70 and a freeroll at PokerShare (which was rather fun, since I didn't care much about it and was pushing with any Ace because of the escalating blinds).

Tonight, I'll probably try to keep off the computer until late. I know wifey Kim wasn't pleased with my degeneracy last night, but at least she understands. Maybe I'll even make a WWdn NOT appearance...

Holler back!

posted by Jordan @ 10:53 PM,

14 Comments:

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

Well, Jordan, as much as I'd like to tell you what a dumbass you are ;-), I think that you played these three hands just fine.

In the first hand, your continuation bet was of a size to make any future decision easy, and I'm sure Harrington would be proud. You were lucky, yes, but you didn't play it wrong.

I definitely like the play in the second hand. Being aggressive on a scary board like that is the key to winning, especially if you have a solid read on your opponent, like you seem to have had.

I would have played the third hand as you did as well, although I probably would have raised after Iakaris bet. I definitely push with top pair and the nut flush draw on the turn though.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Tom aka 10,000 Days said...

Hand 1: Villain was a donk to limp UTG with KJ soooted. That's a tourist hand. I might've raised 250 instead of 200, but that's just me. The rest was fine. You had to call after he cr'ed all in.

Hand 2: Good as long as you're confident with your read and not just going with all the time aggression.

Hand 3: What hand are you putting him on before he folds? You have an opportunity to stack him if you play it right. If you can confidently put him on an underpair, you could try to play scared money and bet a smallish amount on the turn and see if he plays back at you because you are a big favorite. This ends up being pretty read dependent on the villain.

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Tom, on the last hand, I feared AA and KK, honestly, but I realized that they were not definite. My all-in was to induce a fold. At that point, it was a pot bet practically, and the pot was so large that I didn't want him to get lucky and catch his set or two pair. If he had the AA or KK, then at least I had outs, so pushing became a great option. You may be right though. I probably could've stacked him, especially if the river is an Ace.

 
At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No.1: Not 100% sure I like the way the hand was played. If your opponent was gonna lay the hand down, I'm sure you could have got the same result by betting 1/2 - 3/4 of the pot. Then you would not have committed yourself to calling and looking like a donk. If you simply want to be results based, then you played it perfectly as you got all his money.

No.2: Perfectly played! Well done!

No.3: I don't think I fear AA or KK here. If so, his preflop raise was a little too big in my mind. A preflop raise have been good, but a call works here too. I think I bump it up on the flop though. You have a good hand but are still somewhat vulnerable here. What if a T or J comes on the turn and he leads out again? That card matched perfectly with one of his possible holdings. In all I think the hands was well played, but I'd rather make him pay to drawout on you. By the way, I don't think you were getting a dime out of him on that turn card so a smaller bet or an all-in would have given the same results.

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous mookie99 said...

Thanks for playing last night and congrats on the final table finish.

I always dread commenting on hands, because why would you want feedback from a donkey :)

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

I want feedback from all sorts of farm animals, mook, including donkeys. It was fun playing.

As for Anonymous, I think you have some great points, very much along the line of why I posted these hands. I'm not a results-based guy when it comes to poker decision making, so even though I won the three hands, I'm not so sure I played them 'perfectly.' Thanks for the comment. Now who are you? I don't mind Anonymous posters. Not in the least. But it's always nice to know where an opinion, especially a well-thought-out opinion, is coming from.

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

1. I hate when people call raises with KJ. I mean why dont you just pull down your pants and say spank my ass. Then he hits his hand and I give him credit for going with it and putting you all in. However with the c/r he knows you have to call him. So he had you where he wanted you but with a weak single pair. You got lucky but once you committed yourself with the bet you had no choice.

2. The second hand I like alot. You put him on a weak hand and forced him to fold by shear will. I did that several times last night. Solid play.

3. This is almost identical to my play in the DADI where I was taken out when the 2-outer came on the turn. I think deciding sooner on what you are going to do might help. I like the push. I like it on the flop though if you think your ahead, otherwise fold.

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Jordan can I borrow a dollar? I share a bank account with my dyslexic brother and he's busy bailing my mother out of debtor's prison...Really? Thanks so much! You're the kindest online poker blogger I've ever met!

Too frackin funny mah man.

Great read on my hand, and I'll pat myself on the back for placing you on TPTK and (probable) flush draw. TT was raised to you and I just had to know if you had a Queen. You indicated you likely did with the call post-flop as far as I was concerned, I was done putting any money in the pot because even a half pot bet would have committed the rest of your stack in my reasoning. You extracted all you could I think (with a little help from my aggressive C-bet). I can live with that...nice hand and nice tourney. See ya next time.

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Falstaff said...

Resisting the temptation to read other comments before posting...

Hand #1) Like the Preflop move, kinda hate every other street. You made a bad flop bet and got lucky on the river. I'm a bit tighter, woulda thrown out a small bet on the flop and seen where it got me, or even check/folded to the turn bet. Wrong move, right time.

Hand #2) I like every play here. If you're gonna play garbage, play it like it's AA. Nothing wrong with exploiting position and a read.

Hand #3) I'm not pushing with TPTK, but I'm playing pretty tight these days. I'da stuck another little bet out there, looking for action, since you've got a strong hand and a monster draw you're not afraid of much. The push on the turn with that board means that you're only gonna get called by a hand that beats you, so why put your whole stack at risk needlessly?

That's just my thoughts, and take it with the grain of salt that I'm on a 4-week run of practically 0 tourneys and only cash games, so I'm gearing tighter lately.

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger smokkee said...

Lucko,

Hand #35- by betting the pot, you committed yourself without a made hand. you definitely have to call his reraise and hope for the suckout. i would bet half the pot to see where's he's at. you could've lost a lot of chips there.

Hand #36- i like how you played this. you represented a made hand and were trying to protect against the flush.

Hand #37- you probably could of got more here if you made some lame bet on the turn, maybe 1/3 of the pot. Iak may read that as weakness and raise or push with a weaker Q.

sorry about the token sng, it wuz kill or be killed at that point. Good Luck!

 
At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Matty Ebs said...

Hand 35 - My play here on the flop would probably be to check and see the free turn...but given the scenario of betting i think I either put him all in as you are willing to call any raise and take away any dream he has of fold equity by pushing. Ur move works in the larger scheme of keeping ur hand stregnth secret and may get u action with monsters in later rounds, but if all the chips are going in I like to be the aggressor.

36 - love the play woudn't change a thing

37 - this confused me...were u out of position? or was he the sb? I'm assuming he was, if its a battle of the blinds I may push preflop and prevent future stealing even with a hand as weak as aq suited he seems like a loose player who would call, but the flat call works well with position...would probably smooth call on the flop here as u did...my only difference would be the river...and I would take the opposite extreme....min bet. It may seem strange but it would be hard for the player to fold and may induce a bluff if the heart hits or more likely may induce a raise on the turn to which u push...also if it folds, it allows u to min bet bluff in the future which is a huge asset in a tournament...talk about low risk high reward. The call bluff is a great play in future situations especially blind battles and to be able to take pots with min bets is an art.

Just my two cents hope its worth something

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

First off, I'm glad to see Matty Ebs commenting. From what I've seen, he knows what he is talking about.

I see your point with the first hand. All-in may've gotten him to fold and did the exact same thing as what I did. I think I was trying to make a smaller bet to appear like I'm value betting. Pushing would look like a bluff to me.

As for the last hand, he was in EP/MP and I was on the button. I don't particularly mind my play (of course, I later found out that he had TT). But I see a lot of validity in your min bet. It might keep him around AND when we show, make people fear my min bet. On the other hand, if that river is a Ten (and not a heart), then I lose the dough that was already in the pot. That was my thought at the time (potentially losing whatever lead I had, and pushing to induce a call by looking like a desperation push;and/or force an AA or KK to fold). Read that back and you'll realize that my error was (a) fearing AA or KK, (b) expecting them to fold to my all-in, when they'd likely call with AA or KK, (c) fearing losing to an set suckout, (d) attempting to look like I'm stealing. The only player that (d) would work against is, maybe KQ, if I was ahead. Otherwise, I'd be behind to 2 pair or an over pair. Anyone else is folding to my all-in, so its really a horrible play. Live and learn.

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger MrGoss said...

#35 - Yes you got lucky, but I really like the gamble in you.

#36 - Excellent play. A pot bet would have been easy to call so 500 made him think you were fishing for a call.

#37 - I like to AI because you took down a pot that increased your stack by about 25%. I read the previous comments and disagree with them about you risking your stack here. Only AA and KK are dominating you. (Let's assume he would be pushing with trips.) So, he puts you in a really dominant position if he calls and you take it down. Have to be the aggressor and make him decide. I agree with your play.

MG

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

#35 Bad play...stupid play.
You just got lucky, its as simple as that.

 

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