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More Snowmen aka You Decide #23

It seems like I can't avoid the Snowmen. So let's take another look on how I played them. But first, go check out Veneno's blog in which she ranks me her #2 favorite blog and sings my praises. It's a truly flattering post, and I thank her greatly for her kindness. I also thank myself for my greatness.

Also, look for the You Decide archives, now on the right links section of this fine blog!

So, here we go.

You Decide #23
I am in a $10, 10-person SNG on UB. We are still early in the game, maybe the second or third hand in. All stacks are about the same. I am UTG with 88. Throwing caution to the wind, I bump it up from 20 to 70. Elad in the cutoff calls. The BB calls.

The flop is 8h 4s 9c. The BB checks. I bet 125. Elad raises to 250. BB folds. I call.

The turn is Js. I check. Elad checks.

The river is 7h. I check. Elad bets 275. I confidently call.

Elad shows 9s 7s, for two pair. I show my set and take it down.

Now here is the thing. Most players limp here. I'm out of position with a mid-pocket pair. If I don't hit my set, then a limp will allow me to fold on the flop for cheap. BUT there would also still be a lot of players in the hand, presumably. Certain, there would be at least some more players. Perhaps one of those players had a T. Then they would've hit a straight on the river. Now, that assumes that they call a bet on the flop, so let's presume they have 9T suited.

Okay. Here's another scenario that is more likely. I limp. Others limp. I see the flop. I bet. They all fold anyway. Elad might stay, but I was able to eke out an extra 100 chips preflop with that 50 raise called by Elad and the BB. If I don't make that raise, let's assume the SB calls (+10) and maybe three other players call max (+20, +20, +20) for a net total of +70. So, I thin the heard AND build the pot in case I hit or want to continuation bet.

Now look, you don't have to play it my way. But is my way so wrong? Thoughts?

Mrs. Robinson, you are trying to value bet me!

posted by Jordan @ 10:53 PM,


At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your way is certainly not wrong, I mean, you did win the hand, BUT how many more chips do you get out of Mr. 7-9 on the end with a value bet? Remember, sets are golden! I guarantee he calls off his entire stack with two pair and you double up immediately with your set. Guaranteed!

That is the most common way I double up early in a SNG right there. Limp in, flop my set and set my trap. It is almost full-proof, er, fool-proof.


At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I like the little raise. You'll still get some calls (as you did), but if you get a big re-raise you have to consider something like AA-JJ to which you would probably fold pre-flop.

If you just limp, you are at the mercy of the late players who could throw in a big raise with AK, AQ or 77, all of which you are ahead of. Without the raise you don't know.

I like the limp with small to medium pairs in limit, but in NL I prefer to at least open with a raise. If I am in late position with limpers before me then by all means, limp away.



At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good call, Colin. I think you hit my point right on the head. In late position, I'd rather limp along with the other limpers. In early position, I'd rather bet out to get some info. Its counter-intuitive. Logic would suggest that you don't know what you are up against in early position, so you should be cautious, whereas in late position, you know you are probably not facing monster hands AND you can steal all those limpers' BB. But, um, I like counter-intuitive.

Sir Waffle gave me a huge compliment yesterday (although he was probably trying to talk smack). He said that you never know what you get when you are playing against me at a table. I could have the nuts or nothing. Well, that's me! I guess I'm just an action player.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll play mid-pairs like this in different ways depending on how the table has been playing. I'll occasionally raise from UTG when I feel like a gamboool and want to see if I can keep some of the trash hands out. You can play a hand a bit more freely if you raise pre-flop. That way you may be able to pick up a pot with a continuation bet if it misses with some scare cards, or even better if you hit your trips and it looks like you missed the flop and there is an aggressive player with position who likes nothing better than raise is up on a low board.

Then again, at other times I'll just limp in and hope for trips. I think the better way to play is to raise. You tend to get more credibility for making a raise from an early position. Certainly is NOT a blind steal. Just expect some better than average hands calling or raising you. If they raise you back, how much are you willing to call with to see a flop?

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion, I believe you are still playing a little passively. What?? You raised UTG? OK, first off, I have no problem with this move in a tournament. You want to get rid of the riff raff. Flop Bet and Call fine... But what are you doing checking the turn??? It turns out the that he raised with top pair; but a not unusual play would be a drawing hand. What if he had something like AT.. you are giving him a free card to draw (which is of course why many people raise on the flop).

You "confidentally" call on the river... If you are confident.. you need to be raising... yes, he could of had a T; but there is nothing I hate more than giving a drawing person a free card... especially when the scare card comes on the river.

It turned out well for you so congrats.. again, in my humble opinion, what do I know? Just food for thought. The goal (espcially with sets) is to extract the maximum amount.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And THAT is why I post these things. Will has set me right. Let me explain a few things. After the turn, I was unsure if betting was smart. At the moment, I was thinking of check-calling, but as we should all know by now, if you are willing to call a bet, you should MAKE the bet. I was wrong there. Finally, the river card scared me. So, I checked and called again. I was "confident" insofar as I thought the call was the right call. I was not so confident that I wanted to give him a chance to re-raise me. This was the 2nd hand of the tourney and I was trying to gain chips without going all-in or risking too much.

Great insight, Wonka.

At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These things are great. I gotta say, I more often than not go with G's way and limp, but I really like the way Wonka explained his reasoning. Everyone did a good job on this thread making me think about a hand further than I normally would...

At 2:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would play it differently preflop for a couple of reasons.

1. If I get reraised from a later position, the reraise will force me to fold preflop because I will not get the odds to call his reraise (unless he is a min raise moron) and try to flop a set. If I limp and a person raises in later position, especially after a people limp in front of him/her, I can be fairly confident that he has a big pair. If I flop an 8, I will bust him/her.

2. Small/medium pocket pairs either want it to be HU or with very many people in the pot. A raise from early position will cut out the rifraff, but you ain't getting the retards to fold this early in a tournament. You will most likely be getting 3-4 people seeing the flop if there is no reraise from behind. Not something you want with this hand.

Of course, I am a self admitted retard, so take my advice for what its worth.


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