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You Got My Hammer in Your Blogger Game!

....You Got Your Blogger Game in My Hammer!

I played in CC's private tournament last night, along with the Riverchasers tournament and the WWdn Not. At one point, and more accurately, for quite some time, I was the chipleader in both CC's and the WWdn Not, but eventually lost CC's in 6th place after a series of 3 and 2 outters (at least three in a row when my opponents were all-in). I didn't get upset though. Thems the breaks, and so I focused my attention on the WWdn Not, seeing as I was a prohibitive chip leader there. I was also glad to earn some points toward CC's leader board, since the top three get a cash prize by the time the series is done.

Quickly, the Riverchasers tournament must have been set up wrong by Full Tilt. Rather than the usual tournament, instead it was a heads-up game. Amongst the large amount of players (over 50, I believe), I was sat down across from AlCantHang himself. He lamented about FT messing up and how he was unprepared (and too drunk) for a HU match, before he took my stack in probably under 20 hands (and maybe under 10). My bad, as I donked it up with TP shitty kicker as though I owned the world. My dominance in both the CC and the WWdn Not at the time may have distracted me a bit, admittedly.

I made a couple of great plays last night, including one in which I called down Fuel 55's odd bets with ATo, no pair. He had A6o or something similar and at showdown, was shocked that I called him down. Apparently, he was getting no action on his high pocket pairs, and was annoyed and/or shocked that suddenly he gets action now that he was bluffing. However, in that hand, there were a bunch of limpers, and his raise to 10x the BB seemed a little fishy to me preflop, almost as though he wants to punish the limpers and steal those lucrative blinds.

The flop was uneventful. It may have paired, but it was all low cards. He checked the flop, and I checked as well. The turn was another blank, and he bet a small amount. I had a feeling of Ace low. His preflop bet looked like BS, the check on the flop meant that he was probably weak, the bet at the turn was small and appeared to be opportunistic poaching. So, I called. I figured I was good if an Ace or Ten fell (they were both overs to the board), but I also kinda felt an Ace low from Fuel.

On the river a King fell, and for a moment, I was fearful. But I ultimately called Fuel's bet, since I had a read and was willing to stick to it. When he showed his A6, he was pissed. "Couldn't I have had AK? AQ? AJ?" listing the hands he may have had that had me beat. "You could have. That was in your range. But it read like Ace low." I then went about explaining how is betting was suspicious, all in the PokerStars chat window.

I have immeasureable respect for Fuel, so catching him in that situation was both something I was proud of, and also something that I felt semi- bad about. As he ranted about hating these games, I reassured him that he could win both the CC and WWdn buy-ins back with one hand at his usual stakes. Not 5 minutes later I received an email from Fuel. It was a hand history in which he won back both buy-ins and thensome.

So, let's look at a fun hand from the tournaments. I ultimately won the WWdN Not, which goes on my trophy wall next to my Riverchasers win and Hoy win. I have yet to take down the Mookie or WWdn, but all in due time.

I love the hammer because it gets me to bluff almost at random. I made a very ballsy play in this particular hand. Its not a You Decide post, because frankly, I don't expect many (if any) of you would agree with my play here. But I use the hammer as a bluff randomizer, and that randomizer can cause me to make plays that I (or any other player) would not normally make, often to my benefit.

We were in Level V of the WWdn Not, with 75/150 blinds. We only had 5 to our table, as we were down to 10 or 11 in the tournament. I held 7720 chips, and was a strong chip leader. I was in the SB with 2c7d. Darval, host of the WWdn Not, had just sucked out in his last hand to

From the CO (remember we are 5-handed), he bet from 300 to 450. When it folded to me, I decided to take his 450 by raising with the hammer to 1050, a 600 raise. He called, leaving him with about 1500 behind.

The flop was As 6c 9c. Now, this is a terrible flop for me. I hit nothing. But if I check, I definitely lose the hand. If I bet and he does not have the Ace, then he will probably fold (barring some other big hand, like a set). My preflop bet basically announced I had a playable hand, so the bet here would look like an AK or something similar.

All that said, if I put him all-in for his last 1500, he might get a case of the awfukits and call. Worse, he might have the Ace and call, and I'd be terribly dominated. The key was to bet at an amount that would essentially force him to push, but would allow me to fold to his push. Basically, I was testing to see if he would go all-in, while giving myself a discount.

I bet 900 into the over 2k pot. To most of you, you are cringing. However, I was willing to let him push the rest in, at which point I would fold, even with those pot odds. Frankly, with 27o, the pot odds were not good enough to call 600 into what would be a 4,500 pot. Best case scenario, he pushed with A3 (assuming he'll only push with a pair of Aces or better). In that case, I'm only 8-9% to win.

I actually used this exact move over at CC's game. In a very similar situation, I was in one of the blinds with the hammer. A player raised to 3x the BB in MP/LP and I raised to 1k, a large jump preflop. Post flop, I was still the big chipleader with over 6k, to my opponent's 2k. I bet out a grand, and he folded. If he would've reraise pushed, I would've folded. Essentially, in both cases, I'm betting an amount that is enough to force them to fold or push, but is not too much that I end up paying him/her off completely if they actually have a hand.

I hope this is making some sense. Overall, last night my game was tight. I finished another night in the black, probably nearing my old streak of something like 9 or 11 winning days in a row. I'm hoping that this trend continues as my interest in the game and my skillz are more invigorated than they've been in a long time.

After I played the blogger tournaments, I called it a night. I was glad to take my win for the day and spend some time unwinding. This weekend, I have a birthday party on Saturday night and a wedding for one of my best buds on Sunday. I expect little poker, but lots of booze.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:26 PM,


At 11:39 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

You're missing the most important aspect of your play with The Hammer, Jordan.

You're forcing them to push all-in when it looks like you're asking for them to call. While you're trying to give yourself an out, it looks like you're making the situation an easy call for them because you have a monster.

Personally, I love, love, LOVE this play. Varying big stack play is a great idea.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Thanks, Wolf, for pointing out something I neglected in my analysis. The bet does look like I want him to call, which makes it all the more scary. He's likely to fold AT there, even, fearing a higher Ace-kicker.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger slb159 said...

I commented on Elf's blog the other day about "Please call me bets" as I like to call them. I agree with Wolf. Nb.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He folds top pair (Ace-Ten) and loses half his stack after making a weak call with what's mostly likely Ace-Medium preflop? I doubt it.

You could have taken this down with a larger preflop raise if you sensed weakness.

Did you make this play because you wanted to play 2-7, or was it because you really sensed weakness?

I know it's not a 'You Decide' post and probably just a one off, but this hand was played badly by both people involved.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger 23skidoo said...

You certainly were on your game last night. I'm semi-sorry for sucking out on the AJ hand, but I felt you were making yet another move, and I guessed wrong. Sometimes guessing wrong turns out right...what can I say.

Thanks again for posting on the Razz games at FT. I suppose Hoy deserves some credit too. I ran $40 up to $120 during CC's game.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Defend, don't get me wrong, comment away. But this was a hand that I played specifically BECAUSE it was 27o. It wasn't that I wanted to play 27o. I always play 27o, and I play it like a big hand. It's my bluff randomizer, and in a hand like this, it can really pay off. Then I show and people think I'm nuts (especially outside of blogger games) and I get 23Skidoo to call me with AJ with TPTK to my overpair...and then he sucks out. So, um the suckout part sucks, but the hammer play is a very specific type of play, and not one that I would encourage anyone to do in the abstract. Also, I normally never play it this aggressively, but my big stack allowed me to do this profitably in both games to pick up more than 1k chips in each.

Skidoo and Mr. Goss and everyone else, STOP PLAYING RAZZ! Those are my fishing ponds. I shoulda kept my mouth shut.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Wolverine Fan said...

Congrats on your win.
I say well played all around!

Thanks for stopping at my Blog and commenting on my "point of law" question.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger TwoDiamondPhillips said...

Is there any way you can tell me when 'Pot Commited' just isnt enough to make you call. I feel that people are using that term in the wrong places.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Good question 2d Phillips. I'll make that its own post, perhaps tomorrow, since I can't do it justice here.

At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Short answer: When you strongly feel you are beaten/way behind.

The obvious strat is to not allow yourself to become pot committed with a single high pair or overpair on a scary board.

Sometimes, though, shiat happens and top two run into a set, etc.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger cc said...

Thanks for playing, and keep cranking away. Always great when I can share the felt with a master. Hope to see you this week.


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