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You Decide #38, and the Min BuyIn Experience

You Decide #38

Let's get right to it today. I was playing in the "WWDN: Not The" last night (yeah, I know, the tournament title could use a change) and eventually lost, out of the money. However, I did experience a particuarly interesting hand which really got my analytical juices flowing. After mopping those juices up, I decided to make the hand into You Decide #38:

You are in a blogger-heavy tournament with 20 players to start. You are down to probably 13 or so. It's level 3 (25/50 blinds), and you have 1375 in chips, down from 1500. You've also just sat out the last fifteen minutes, so you don't know how the table is playing, and they don't necessarily have a read on you (other than the fact that you are me, i.e., Action Jordan). There are 6 people at the table.

In the SB you get dealt 8sTs. Chipleader SLB with over 4k in chips min-bets from 50 to 100 UTG. It folds to you. You call. The pot is 225.

The flop is Js9s3h. You have an open straight-flush draw. You check, and he bets 350. You call. You have 925 left. The pot is 925.

The turn is a Kh. You check. He bets 3k+, obviously putting you all in. What do you do? I thought for a moment. I don't like going all in on a draw, but this was a straight flush draw. Was he bluffing? Likely not, but with my small stack, it was a possibility. Was he betting second pair from the flop (9s)? That was a possibility too, since the 350 bet seemed suspicious. If that were the case then I'd have an addition 3 outs (to make a pair of Tens). I ultimately decided to call.

He had JJ. The river was a 7h. I hit my straight and won the hand.

Apparently, according to DuggleBogey, my call on the turn was correct, mathematically. But what about those intangible things, like betting your tournament life? Also, how about the call on the flop? Was that optimal? Let me know!

Min Buy-ins
As you probably know by now, I've been running bad at the tables. I was stuggling just to stay near even last night (I eventually ended up d0wn about $20 for the evening), when I decided to try buying into a NL ring game with the minimum. So, I went to .50/1 and bought in for $20. In the very first hand (I posted in MP) I get dealt Q6o. I check and the two blinds and I see a flop of Q69, rainbow. Looking good! The BB bets $1 in to the $3 pot. I raise to $4. He called. The turn was a blank. He checked and I pushed all-in for $15 more. He called with QT, top pair, crappy kicker. I doubled up.

At first, I though that was a success in the Min Buy In Experiment. In hindsight, it cuts two ways. If I want to look for the bright side, perhaps he played harder against me since I was shortstacked and he knew he wasn't too exposed. Also, maybe he thought I was a poor player or a push monkey since I started with a short stack. On the other hand, what if he just sucked? Maybe I could've gotten more out of him?

Overall, though, I'm going to say it was a success. Without the short stack, I may've bet at the turn to try to "maximize profits" and scared him off. The push with $15 looks like a scared move, and I could've gained value from the appearance of desperation.

In the end, all I know is that someone will probably want to write a comment about the evils of buying in short. I know, I know. But sometimes, you just need to change things up.

posted by Jordan @ 11:18 PM,


At 10:09 AM, Blogger jjok said...

Think of all those lost dollars you missed out on with the 2 pair. much potential for that hand.....shoulda bought in for more than the min......haha.

The play with the draw is kind of a different have to think that you are going to be putting in all of your chips by the turn, which is exactly what happened. So the question really becomes, once he bet 350 on the flop, should you have check-raised allin? I doubt he folds JJ (since JJ is ok) in that situation, but having 17 outs on the flop, you were ahead in the hand. Best to get all your money in since you want to see both cards after the flop......even at the cost of your tourney life. Of course, I'm a donkey and probably full of shit.....and I'm sure others would disagree.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Gydyon said...

I can see pushing the flop as said above, but I can't construct any reasonable range that makes the call all-in on the turn mathematically correct. Even assuming any Jack, any pair above eights, and two suited cards working either flush draw puts you at best 31%. With his cards flipped up you are at 30%. You need at least 33% on the turn to be good.

I might choose to call here anyway, but 925 is not real short and I'd rather make the stand on the flop than on the turn drawing 30%.

Sincerely, another lawyer blogger ;)

At 10:31 AM, Blogger CC said...


I agree with the other lawyer (BTW, it's probably better if all lawyers would just play poker 24/7). I think you have to come over the top on the flop there. Calling seems mathematically the right play (you're a 2:1 dog on the turn to AJ or AA and a 7:3 dog to JJ). 57/43 on the flop to even the worst hand you could be up against (JJ), and you're a 56/44 favorite vs. AA on the flop, so that's why I would shrug and push the flop.

I would be very careful with min buy-in play. In fact, I would recommend the opposite, keep buying back to the max at whatever you've dropped down to if necessary. I think the min buy-in may be more symptomatic, but I hope not.

Hope you can stabilize and work through this time.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger WillWonka said...

Here's an original thought... Push on the flop. 'Nuff Said... see above.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Damnit! I knew I was doing something wrong! I just hate to hear it. But, that's also why I asked.

So, you see something here, though? Between that hand and the min buy in experiment, clearly something is wrong in Jordansville.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger CJ said...

Wish I had more to add... but I agree that the push on the flop was the call. Once the turn card came, the math wasn't as correct and you were, in essence, just gambling.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

I push after the flop. Wait...everyone already said that. Boo...

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had you on a flush draw for sure, but not a str8 draw. That's why I stated, "I can't believe he made that str8." And someone else commented, he had a flush draw too. I knew that, but never considered the str8. My huge overbet was just for raising any doubt, but you hafta call in that situation. Nice that you stated that I didn't tilt and came back to win the whole thing...HA!
Nice playing with ya' as always, Jordan.

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, and I guess the next question would be, what do I think slb would do if I pushed? Oh, I wouldda called obviously, so the results would have been the same. If the turn was a three and you hit your str8 flush...we wouldda hit the bad beat jackpot I guess...hehe

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

raise flop. you have a huge hand with 15 outs twice. you have to be aggressive with these types of combo draws.


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