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You Decide #42

Hey Bitches and Bitchettes! It's time for another edition of You Decide. This time, we will be looking at two different hands, so let's consider them Hand A and Hand B. Without further adieu, Hand A:

We are in the $20k Guaranteed on Full Tilt. Let me just say that aside from the small poker sites which sometimes have to contribute their own money (overlay) to reach a guarantee, I don't see the point of a guarantee. I'm talking to you, FT and Stars. I mean, really. I guess it just tells you how many people to expect, at a minimum. But I digress. Back to the hand.

We are at low blinds, 30/60, and I have 2,080, from a starting stack of 1,500. I'm in the BB with Q9s. It folds around to the SB, Buffet, who has 620. He limps.

The flop is 8d 7s Kd. Nothing special there. Buffet acts first and bets 60, which is pot. Now, I have him well covered, so I push all-in on what some might call a stone-cold bluff. I, however, see it as opportunistic poaching.

To my surprise and dismay, Buffet decides to call (500 more). He shows 69h, for an open ended straight draw. The turn and river miss him, and he's gone.

Now, clearly my push was a gutsy play, and if we were results oriented, we'd all be praising the great play. But poker is not a results-oriented game. It's decision oriented. So my question is, given the fact that he had 1/4 of my stack and looking at his betting pattern, was my push such a stupid move? I'll let you decide.

Now onto Hand B. While I was playing the 20k "Guaranteed," I also entered a $5+.50 tournament on Full Tilt. We were at 400/800 blinds, with 100 antes, and I held a whopping 36k. The nearest competition at the table had 29k, and after him, 19k, 16k and then 9k, so I'm whooping ass and taking names.

I'm in the SB with K2d. It folds to me and I raise to 2400. The BB is RockHammer, and he's my closest competition with 29k in chips. He calls. So, the pot is 4800 (our bets) + 900 (antes), or 5700 total.

The flop is Kh Qh Js. It certainly looks pretty. I hit top pair, but I have the shittiest kicker possible. There is a flush draw, but I'm not too concerned. I'm more concerned with the fact that people may play KQ, QJ, and KJ in his situation. I'm also confident that lesser pairs like 88 might call my preflop bet. I decide to bet out 4,000. RockHammer calls.

The turn is a 8c. I don't think he has an underpair (like 8s) anymore, because he wouldn't have called the 4k flop bet against the only person who could bust him with an underpair to a KQJ flop. I bet out 6400 to see if I can shake him from the hand. He calls.

The river is a 7c. Now, at this point, we have a monster pot. It's over 25k, if my math is right. I bet 8k. At this point, I'm pretty sure it's either a value bet or a defensive bet, but I'm happy with either one. If he has me outkicked (but not two pair), this should get a mere call. This is preferable to checking and being bet out of the pot, at which point, I'd spend the rest of the evening wondering what he had. On the other hand, a Q or a J who couldn't let go might also just call here. My only concern is a raise, but if he raises, it's likely that he has been slowplaying or hit two-pair, so I'm okay with folding (although I don't love it). He calls and shows down Q9s, for middle pair, Queens. I take the pot (over 42k).

What happened here? Was I a bit ballsy and got lucky? Was I stupid to go charging forward against the only other significant stack at the table? Were my bets too weak (i.e., I could've gotten more, or I could've gotten less but in a safer way by pushing him out of the hand? You decide.

Until then, make mine poker.

posted by Jordan @ 10:43 PM,


At 3:45 PM, Blogger Raveen said...

Well the first hand u dont give much information on the player and in that situation risking a 1/4 of ur stack doesnt seem like a good play. The reason is because i would say like 75-85% of the time ur beat when someone calls that bet not to mention Q high is not the best of hands to go a show down with. With an Ace high might make a little more sense but still the play seemed forced and ur putting urself in a situation where the only hand that calls u beats u more then not. The second hand is interesting because after firing two bullets i would have checked the river if the player was weak in hopes of checking it down but bet a defensive bet like you did if the player was aggressive. Without more information on the player type its tough to determine what the right course of action was. How did u end up doing in the tourney anyways. Gl at the tables

At 4:30 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

I busted out of the money in the 20k ($24+2, I bought my way in). I ended up moneying in the $5+.50 for a profit of $7 or so. That's 30th place out of about 660 or so, so the place was nice, but the payout was crap. That said, last night I took 4th out of 38 or so in a $50+5 at Mansion Poker. This is way higher than I usually play, but there was an overlay (2k guaranteed with 31 players). It paid out about 185 profit (240 total). I also took 2nd out of 18 in a shorthanded SNG for another 40 or so. Not bad.

At 12:42 AM, Blogger surflexus said...

Hey J, Hand A you can almost certainly expect him to fold. When he calls you have to think you're behind. It worked and I think you're reasoning that you would pick up some easy chips is solid there.
Hand B: Why mix it up with another big stack with K2? It worked but I wouldn't have even played this one. Assuming however that I did play it, I would definitely put on the brakes at some point; that was very gutsy. I prefer more of a chug along approach in mtt's as opposed to the fluctuations you are bound to have with that kind of play in your repertoire. That being said, if you're table image would include putting him on middle pair because you have been loose previously, then I like the play.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Hand A - Pat yourself on the back for a good play and a lucky result. That is, if the short stack was playing pretty tight. Otherwise, I'm wondering why you're risking that many chips on a complete bluff when the blinds are only 30/60. I'd probably take a stab at this one if I was dealing with a tight person who I thought I could get to fold, but I'd be very hesitant to commit the guy otherwise. Obviously, you wanted to win it right there, but if the guy was Foldy McFolderson, a half pot bet probably would have solved the problem the same as your bet that forced him all-in.

Hand B: You were ballsy and had an idiot call you down on a scary board. I was waiting for you to say "he showed JTo for the straight". You didn't seem scared of him at all, but I don't know if that's because you're the big stack, you had a good read on him, or both. Your bets seem fine to me, given how vulnerable your hand was. It worked out nicely here, but I wouldn't reccomend playing a bunch of hands like this because you're bound to be slow-played or run into someone with a higher kicker a decent amount of the time.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger chipper said...

Hand A. Balsy yes, but smart play? Seems like the typical move from an aggressive player vs a short stack. His bet on the flop told me that he wasn't totally committed to the pot, otherwise I'd think he'd bet more if not all if the flop hit him hard. Ya, it worked out for you, but 25% of your stack on a Queen high? Hmmm.

Hand B. It depends on your table image prior to this hand. If you've been bullying the table then ya, this guy may have been fighting back guessing that you simply were on a major bluff. That's what gets players in the most trouble who assume the aggressive player is bluffing one too many times. You played this right I think - top pair and the guy didn't reraise back.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Let me add my two cents. In general, both hands saw me playing extra-aggressive in situations where I could have gotten myself into trouble. For that reason alone, caution in both hands was warranted. That said, I don't think that caution necessarily dictates play.

Hand A- Chipper does a great job of explaining my push. I assumed that I had great folding equity, since he would only call me with top-pair or higher, since he'd be playing for his whole stack. I never expected a call from an OESD. So, the way I saw it, I was willing to bet a quarter of my stack that he didn't have top pair. I was correct in my bet, but he was stupider than any of us could presume. Of course, the fault in this logic was that I was only going to win 120 from making a 500 bet. On the other hand, I could stand to lose the 500 so the 500 to me meant a lot less than the 500 to him, and I was hoping to exploit that disparity. In the end, I'd say my decision was borderline, and possibly reckless, but it was at least grounded in some logical thought process. In other words, I still don't know what to think.

Hand B- This is an admittedly loony hand. Preflop, I was just hoping to steal the blinds and antes, which was over 1k. After the flop, I had top pair. I had been bullying the table, so I assumed that a lesser hand would call me down. The problem is, he was also potentially slowplaying. I kept my bets smaller than usual (yes, those were smaller than usual bets!) because I wanted to leave me with some chips, in case I was behind. On the river, I really wanted to check, but I couldn't because anyone in his right mind would push all-in on me once I show weakness. I figured 8k would push off a lesser hand and might be called by a better hand, but would not be raised. I was essentially correct with my read the entire way. I still don't love the play though, because, had he been slowplaying, I'd look like a fool.

Two weird hands. Two good results. Two question marks when it comes to whether the plays were as good as their outcomes.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Hey Jordan, I always love your You Decide posts.

Hand A -- I don't think there is any sense to pushing allin here on a stone bluff. It's the classic case where you're only going to be called by a hand that definitely beats you. If you wanted to be aggressive with your opponent in this hand, I would have probably bet a lesser amount, just enough to get him to fold if he has nothing, but little enough that you could fold to a reraise from him where you would know (with more or less certainty, given how crappy your hand was) that you were hopelessly behind. In general, I think it is a quasi-amateurish move to just push allin for a big stack when you know you won't get called except by a hand that beats you. There's just no way you're possibly going to make a dime from that push -- either he folds, and you don't make any money from the bet, or he calls you and you lose the money from that bet. Bad play, good result I would say.

Hand B -- this guy was a donkey. On a connected, high card flop like KQJ, I suppose he could call your bet on the flop with 2nd pair, if your table image at the time was one that supported you being in this hand and leading out at the flop without having top or 2nd pair. Having played with you several times, I will assume that your table image would indeed support that thinking. So maybe it makes sense for him to have called your flop bet. With top pair, if you had a read that this guy did not have top pair, two pairs or a straight of some kind, then I think there is some logic to support you betting out again on the turn. Why your opponent called that bet there is a mystery to me, again unless he really thought you were bluffing. Then on the river, after the two smooth calls from your opponent on the flop and the turn, and given the possibilities you were beat, I would probably advocate checking the flop. Then if he bets out, you can make a decision based on your read (all things being equal, I would lean towards folding there). In general I am usually very antsy when a guy smooth calls a bet from me on the flop and then again smooth calls on the turn, especially when the board is horrible and I have just top pair 2 kicker. Either way, again a nice result. Thankfully this guy was an uberfish though -- I do think in most cases after those two smooth calls and holding just TP2K on a KQJ board, you're in -EV land to keep pushing when the river comes. Just my 2 cents.

At 6:34 PM, Anonymous MattyEbs said...

I think ur plays were fine as in they suit ur style my input on the two hands

Hand A - a play I like here is the call bluff, I like to call flops and then push turns, it makes it harder for him to call with a draw although the dread is u give him the oppurtunity to push the turn himself...may get u the same info for a fraction of the price

Hand B - I follow you the whole way the thing I probably change is the river bet I would do 4000 again, its the scariest bet in poker as a value bet and with what ur looking to do if ur not committed to calling a raise you may as well make ur potential loss smaller...argument against could be that it looks like weakness but LIVE this is my favorite play, I usually use the words same bet as I push it in...turn 4000 river same bet (4000) jsut a different take ur plays worked well, I dont like the two hands u happened to choose (q,9) no choice and (k,2) but if ur gonna play them playing them ur way works...I'm partial to gappers (4,6) (7,9)

plannin on playing any of the borgata events or not there yet in ur game and ur bankroll, I may play the 550 satellite for the 10,000 friday but if I can find companions I'd play an actual event instead (I think they have a 560)

At 8:14 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Ebs, I've got a backer who is willing to put me halfway into a 300 or 500 tournament, but I'm really busy for the rest of September, so I won't be able to play in the Borgata games. However, keep me in mind in the future. I'll announce it here too and email you once I've decided on an event.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous MattyEbs said...

Any recos on where to get backers, my bankroll is drained from tuition and my 2-5 game is infinitely superior to my 1-2 game live...also I've been playing the $20 with Rebuys at the River in Hicksville, usually double buyin double addon for 80 I've made the final table every time, and its the same players in the 120 and 350 tournies but dont have the stake just looking for sponsorship let me know if you are aware of any investors

Good to hear about the $500 run

At 5:56 AM, Anonymous PokerBarney said...

Hand A - fine. He showed enough weakness by not pushing preflop, then not pushing on the flop. A pot sized bet from such a short stack says he's got a little bit, but not a lot, and is almost inviting you to raise him off.

Hand B - Again, it's ok. You're betting with top pair, and he doesn't believe you, plus he's drawing to the straight (still only 30% though). You may have been able to bet 10-12K on the river and get paid. I probably would've bet more on the turn too, say 7-9K. It looks like he was going to stay in no matter what (since he wasn't getting necessary odds at any point).

At 10:03 AM, Blogger GrayCalx said...

Your header image says "boggers". Just a heads up. Try using a 1-2 pixel white stroke around the font it will help it stand out against the busy background.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

My bad, it should've read, "Devil's Advocate of Poker Bugers". Thanks for the heads up. I'll change it tonight.


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