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A Certain Unnamed Poker Player Gets Pwned..., actually, by "pwned" I mean won chips from me in a hand...

I won't say who (PirateLawyer) because I think it is morally superior to discuss someone without naming them, but certain bloggers can get under my nerve during blogger events. In fact, one unnamed person (PirateLawyer) tends to chat more than the average bear, and usually, the topic of conversation is his disbelief in how a hand was played. This unnamed person, who for convenience sake we'll call PL for Poker pLayer, seems to befall the trap of many an online poker player. He complains about his bad luck almost constantly, only taking breaks to talk about how poorly you've played a hand. Oftentimes, players like PL are just plain wrong. Their internal frustration or whatever it is that makes them an alternate complainer/shit-talker blinds them to some of the realities in front of them. Instead, they only see that which they wish to see.

Now, before I give this unnamed person too hard of a time, I've in the past asked this person quite directly, "Are you kidding or serious?" during a blogger event when he was berating my perfectly logical play. I can't really tell if it is shtick or serious tilt at work. Whatever the case, it really doesn't bother me too much. Either he is kidding with his selective memory/perception and complaints, or he is serious, in whcih case it serves no purpose to engage him. But since he chided/berated me about a play in last night's Skillz Game (PLO8), I thought it best to explain the hand here. This unnamed PL thought that I had misplayed the least that's what it seemed like from his table chatter, questioning my play. But rather than delve too deep into that, let's just look at the hand and the undeniable reality that, mathematically, my play was not only correct, but practically required, given the situation.

The blinds were still 20/40, and I had lost a few chips from my starting stack of 3000, down to 2,780. I was UTG+1 when I was dealt AQ42, with the Q and 2 of hearts. TwoBlackAces, UTG, limped for 40. I raised to 120. I had great low potential, along with decent high cards and an Ace. I was looking to build a pot while eliminating some of the looser limpers. It folds around to a random player, PirateLawyer (2,915), in late position, who called. Like me, Pirate Lawyer, who we will shorten to PL for convenience (although not to be confused with the unnamed Poker pLayer above, also referred to as PL), seemed to be playing a lot of hands. He actually held AT25, double suited with the A and T of diamonds and the 2 and 5 of spades. So his call makes perfect sense. It folds to TwoBlackAces ("TBA") and we are off to the races.

The flop was 347 with two spades. I had already flopped the nut low, as had PL. TBA checked and I bet pot, 420. PL raised to 840. I called. I knew I was a lock for the low, but I could very well be quartered. My top pair wasn't that great, but I had a nice draw to the wheel as well.

The turn was an offsuit 7. I was first to act and did the math. I had about 1800 left in my stack, and the pot was over 2000. PL had me slightly covered. I figured that if I were to get all-in, the worst case scenario is that I lose the high hand and I chop the second hand. With 2k in the pot and another 3,600 going into the pot (my 1,800 and PL's 1,800), the pot would be almost 6k. 1/4 of 6k is 1,500. Rounded down, figure that the low, quartered, would earn me 1,400. Do the math, folks. That meant I was really only risking 400 at most. I needed time to figure this out, though, so I clicked the TIME button and took a few moments before checking. I figured PL was good for a raise, and if he checked, at least I'd get a free card. He bet 600 and I pushed. He took his time, said, "this could be a cooler" and then called.

The irony of the situation was that I was ahead. Sure, we were tied for the low, but my AQ beat his AT for the high pot. Naturally, the river was a Ten and PL took the pot. Then that other guy, PL, made a comment about pushing all-in on a nut low only. Hmm...ok, PL. I corrected him, pointing out that I had top pair with a decent kicker. Of course, this is when I looked at the hand history and realized I was ahead (albeit, he had a bunch of outs).

Still, all of that is for naught. What I find most interesting about this hand was the math. I was a lock for 1/4 of the low, so I really had very little exposure during the check-raise. I was gambling 400 to win an additional 4,500, assuming I was behind in the high portion of the hand; alternatively, I was getting all of the money in good with the best of it.

Let's go over that worst case scenario again. I have 1,800 in my stack. The pot is about 2,000 (actually slightly more). If I'm behind AND chopping the low, only 500 of that pot is mine. But pushing all-in, I can obviously win by getting a fold, giving me the full 2,000 (actually more like 2,600, since I chose to check-raise). But assuming no fold, the pot will grow to about 5,800, at which point my share of the pot, worse case scenario, is 1,450, only a 350 loss! I'm really onl;y exposing myself to a possible 350 loss in order to try to push my opponent out immediately or gambool for the high. If I get lucky and hit the high, then I'm betting 350 to scoop at 6k pot!

This nuance of hi/lo play is probably old hat for those experienced hi/lo players out there. I suppose it should be for me, too, but it was such a unique experience that I had to run these numbers on the fly.

Ok, so I used PL as a bit of a foil for the post. Take it as free advertising, PL. I'll do my best not to take your table chat too seriously, and I hope you do the same for this post.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 4:08 PM,


At 9:34 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

This post reminds me of this Simpsons moment...

Skinner: Good morning class. A certain...agitator...for privacy's sake let's call her...Lisa S. No, that's too obvious...uuuh, let's say L. Simpson.


For the record, I dig both of you fuckers, so that makes it all good...I think...

At 11:54 PM, Blogger Shrike said...

It's all good from where I sit. Who knew that some West Coast jabber could give a New Yorker pause! ;)


At 12:20 AM, Blogger Shrike said...

Just to be clear: nearly all of my blogger chat is good-humoured. It's almost never tilt, and it's not meant to be an annoying shtick.

I don't think you played the hand wrong, either. Again, just a (gentle) tease.


At 11:58 AM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

"I won't say who (PirateLawyer) because I think it is morally superior to discuss someone without naming them."


No reason to sweat PL's chat. Just enjoy it and try to induce le tilt.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I think you played the hand wrong. PL had the low locked with some chance at a good high if he puts you on some sort of pair/straight made hand by your bet. Where you have the low locked but shit otherwise. I do not think you should ever have bet the low since A2 is a highly probable hand for someone else and you have no high and you are giving up chips for every chip you put in if you are quartered. I never ever ever would bet the naked nut low there with no backup. I will say though I could be totally wrong and it is hard to fold a hand like that.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty much agree with what Sir said.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger NewinNov said...

I am leaning toward agreeing with Waffles here. Name of the game in Hi/Low games is scoping and resting on a low with a weak high is a recipe for disaster. Whereas you had the nut low as the time with your AQ42 and board of 347, if a two fell then the nut low would be a hand with A5 and you would be couterfeited and could possibly lose everything. If you had blocking cards to protect against counterfeiting that would be a different situation. But it is always interesting to read about bloggers going at each other; can't discount the entertainment value.

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Shrike said...

Looking back:

If a deuce comes down, Jordan gets scooped. If a spade comes, Jordan gets quartered. If a ten comes (as happened here) or a six hits, Jordan gets quartered. If the river bricks, except if a king falls, I get quartered.

It was a dicey spot. Playing weak A2xx hands out of position is much easier in limit 08 since quartering is much less expensive than in the big bet version of 08.


At 4:10 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Guys, this hand is all fucked up. Upon review, I clearly mixed up my analysis of this hand and another hand in the night, hence my nonsense comment about having top pair. Whatever the case, I still think there is merit to the turn all-in, since I am trying to induce a fold. Even so, not one of my finer moments in hindsight.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Shrike said...

See my blog for my expanded analysis on this hand. I think I presented the facts of the hand accurately, but you may draw your own conclusions about the plethora of mistakes made by both bloggers.


At 4:37 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I think you got yourself into a fucked up position where the turn jam made sense. It should never have gone that far HU I think. That is the problem. Your turn jam actually turns out to be the right move because you got yourself in so deep. I really do not get how both of you get all in so early in a deep stack game with such weak holdings. Wait for better spots.

At 5:05 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Woffles, let's be real for a moment. The reason why we were both all-in so early is because it was a freakin' blogger PLO8 tournament, AND we are two of the more active players in this generally loose crowd. We both probably gave each other no credit and also didn't give a shit if we busted.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger NewinNov said...

Yeah but the "unnamed person shick" is priceless and worth the time to read. Plus anything that gets bloggers blogging is always fun; especially lawyer on lawyer, west coast vs east coast, etc.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger BWoP said...

I would look at it this way (which I guess incorporates some stuff that others are saying). You are technically still *drawing* for the low (even though you have lock low right now). I say *drawing* because a deuce can counterfeit your lock low. PL is not drawing for the low b/c regardless of what card comes on the river, he will have the lock low (I call this an uncounterfeitable low). That means that you are both currently tied for the low, but PL has a slight advantage in terms of ability to scoop the low (albeit only if a deuce comes). For argument's sake, let's just say that the low half is a wash.

So the key equity concern lies in the strength of your high hand. I know you confused this hand with some other hand, but I thought I would share my thought process. If all other things are equal in the low half of the pot, then you should really only shove if your chance of winning the high half of the pot is sufficient to proceed. Otherwise you are throwing yourself into an automatic loss situation (i.e., the person getting quartered will always lose unless there are at least 4 players in the hand to showdown).

By the turn, all you had was middle-pair on a board that has all the characteristics of *high-hand danger* -- paired, straighting and flushing. You are behind on the high to any over-pair and a shit ton of drawy hands. If you're not dead already, you are conceivably toast if any straight card, flush card or most high cards hit.

I kinda do some reverse thinking when it comes to omaha. Instead of thinking about my positive outs, I really try to count the negative outs. If the negative outs are hugely against you (even if you have the best high hand at the time) proceed with caution!

At 10:45 AM, Blogger lightning36 said...

I liked Waffles's and BWoP's comments. Overplaying the low nut with meh other cards has been something I have been working on.

Lawyer vs lawyer action is cool. We don't have to pay to watch, do we?

Damn -- is that bus full? : o )

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

Clearly I need to play more PLO8 blogger games.

Cash game, possible/probable fold.

Tourney, push take your hit, move on.


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