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More on Townsend

Because I don't feel like writing about my $391 loss last night at the Wall Street cash game (I would've lost $400, if not for the fact that I paid for my philly cheese steak with chips...SANDWICH FREEROLL!), I wanted to look at another hand from Brian Townsend ("BT"). Please feel free to continue commenting on my last post. For the most part, a lot of people wrote off the situation as a cooler. I understand that totally, but I wanted to go a bit deeper and ask if there was some better overall strategy to that particular hand. It's definitely Monday Morning Quartbacking, but it makes for a good lesson in hand analysis. In the end, even if he followed my strategy (calling the turn raise instead of raising), BT would've ended up all-in by the river, so the results would be the same (cooler!), but I still maintain that his play would've been better had he simply called the raise on the turn.

Alas, in the comments, DP aka Fluxer left me a link to another BT hand, HERE.

In this hand, BT is playing $300/600 HU NLHE against Bawank ("Wank"). BT has about $87k to Wank's $187k. BT is dealt A9o in the BB (in postiion preflop, out of position postflop). Wank raises to $1,200, and BT raises to $5,200. Wank calls.

The flop is 348, with two hearts. BT has no hearts. He bets out $8,200 into the $10,400 pot. Wank calls.

The turn is an offsuit 9, giving BT top pair, top kicker. BT waits until after the 15 second warning and bets $21,000. Wank raises to about $46,000 total. BT pushes all-in for about $74,000 total. Wank calls and shows 44. The river is a 5h, and BT loses a bucket load of cash.

Fluxer seemed to think that BT played this hand much worse than the last one. I, however, think he may have played this hand better (although not optimal). Preflop, I think it is definitely correct to raise with A9 HU. The raise of $4k on top of Wank's min-raise will hopefully elicit information. If Wank re-raises, BT has to slow down and potentially drop the hand. However, if BT just flat calls, he won't have sufficient info on how to act post-flop.

When the flop misses BT, he puts out a decent continuation bet/bluff. I have no problem with this move either. He was out of position, so if he checked, Wank could bet with any two cards and BT would most likely have to fold. By betting out, BT is able to potentially force a fold on superior hands that missed the flop (AT, mostly), avoid lesser hands from getting a free card and beating him (KJ and the like), and get a better idea of what Wank has depending on his response. Wank flat calls, which we now know means that he flopped a monster, but at the time, it could easily appear to be a flush draw calling or a weak under pair.

On the turn, BT is screwed by his seeming luck. Personally, I love bluffing that flop and turning a random card that can easily put me in the lead. That is likely what BT thought happened here. So, he bet out after waiting a while. I'm not sure if the delay was due to distractions/multi-tabling, or if it was a strategy to look weak, but it looks like Wank took the bait when he raises. Once again, BT re-raises himself all-in, and once again he was wrong...and once again, this is where I'll admonish him. Call, damnit! I know some people think you should never call in NLHE. Raise or fold. But sometimes, you have to call when you cannot quantify the range of possibilities. Clearly, Wank could be behind with two hearts (drawing) or a flopped underpair to the 9s. If that's the case, I don't see the point of trying to scare him off by raising all-in. On the flipside, if BT thought he'd be called by these lesser hands, why not wait to see the river to try to induce the further action then, especially if the other guy is drawing thin.

There is a fair argument that you want to get drawing players to commit their chips BEFORE they miss their draw. It's a valid and intelligent point. However, in this instance, I think the re-raise from Wank also implies the possibility that BT was behind. This makes the turn re-raise push even more baffling.

In both hands, BT just seems to want to get his chips in the middle as quick as possible. This, to me, is the central flaw in both situations. I think the correct move for BT was to call the turn raise and check-call. If he was ahead, then he'd likely get paid off on the river anyway, because Wank is going to bluff or whatnot when he is checked to, but if he is behind, that last heart could've saved him some money. It wouldn't have here, but if he was behind to two pair, the extra heart may have induced a check from Wank.

Any more opinions? To me, this one is less concrete than the last one. I wonder if players think he shouldn't have considered slowing down with TPTK? I still don't think he should've folded, but I'm not 100% convinced that calling would be right either. Thoughts?

posted by Jordan @ 5:48 PM,


At 9:19 PM, Blogger Wes said...

Just from the way bawankadonk has played previously, I think the way sbrugby played the hand is fine. I'd probably check/shove turn though usually against that type of opponent though.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger DP said...

I watched that HU match on FT, and Bawankawonk was playing scared in the recent hands leading up to that.

Re-raise preflop called, continuation bet on the flop called, and then facing a big check-raise on the turn... not sure why sbrugby thought a pair of nines -- even if it was TPTK -- was good for over 100 BBs there.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger DP said...

sbrugby has 15 seconds left to act
sbrugby bets $21 000
Bawankawonk has 15 seconds left to act
Bawankawonk raises to $46 200 - pair of nines, no good
sbrugby raises to $73 999 and is all in
Bawankawonk calls $27 799

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I appreciate the analysis, but if you would turn your attention to the reasons why you would 3-raise all-in with AKo in a cash game, please?

At 12:19 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

DP, thanks for leaving that quote. It just goes to show that you should listen to your opponents when they say things at the poker table unprompted, since most of the time, they are being truthful.

Jamie, piss off. Ha! I kid. I played that hand poorly, Jamie. Plain and simple. I don't profess to be perfect. Part of why I love analyzing hands, including hands from a top player like BT, is that I can hopefully learn something to apply later. In that AK hand, I learned that I should remember to adjust to the cash game. I was totally playing that hand with a tournament mindset, and even then, the play was bad.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I think BT donked that hand horribly. I can live with everything up to the allin reraise on the turn. That was pure TPTK donkey there, and when that top pair is a pair of 9s, that makes you a donkay in my book. Not sure what the argument is for the push being good there, but when someone raises your turn lead 25k and all you have is top pair 9s and an Ace, a real man folds in nlh.

That first hand to me was just a cooler and was played fine by BT. This one is IMO an abomination.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger DP said...

"This one is IMO an abomination."

For sure, which is why I pointed it out.

At 3:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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