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You Decide #43

Last night was...interesting. I lost in the Hoy when my 88 went up against Iakaris' AQo preflop. Afterword, someone said that it was a tough break, but I just shrugged and said, "It was a cointoss. I'm just glad it went to Iak." That Iak's a good guy and a great writer.

After, I entered a $50+5 six-person SNG on Dream Poker, where I am grinding my PokerSourceOnline bonus. I was out first after two suckouts. The taste of failure was strong, but I didn't let it overwhelm me. When slb was ready to play, we started a 12 person shorthanded (6-players per table) SNG on Stars. These must be my favorite type of SNG, at least lately. As it turned out, I took 1st, replacing my $50+5 loss and a portion of the $22 Hoy buy-in. And all was right in the world.

Let's get into You Decide #43. This was straight out of the Hoy. This hand will really focus on following a read. Let's see what you all think, though.

We were in the second level (15/30 blinds), and I was in the Small Blind with 47h. I had 1565 in chips. Phin City, who I regard as a fairly sophisticated player, was in the Big Blind with 1965. The very last hand, I had folded preflop to a raise by the SB Iakaris (I was the BB). When it folds around to me in the SB with 47h, I decided to limp. Phin, though, min raises from 30 to 60.

Now, I can fold here and lose 30, which is fine. But I decided to call because, (a) it was a small bet and I could afford to lose another 30 if I miss the flop, (b) I have a feeling he is on two high-cards, like KJ, AQ, etc. He has position, and the min bet doesn't tell me much. I don't think he has a monster, but if he is holding AA, I can call 30 and fold even if I hit a 4 or 7 on the flop and face a re-raise. So, I call the small amount, figuring that I had implied odds of getting paid off if I hit.

The flop is a Hammerific 7d 2s Ks. I hit middle pair (with a shitty kicker, but realistically heads-up, the kicker doesn't matter for much). I bet out 60, 1/2 the pot, in order to figure out where I am. Either he has something like KJ and hit the K, or he had two high cards and missed. Maybe he had that high pocket pair, but if he does, I'll know it soon enough. If he has a lower pocket pair, like 99 or even 66, the bet might scare him off. It doesn't, though. He min-raises me, from 60 to 120. Once again, its a small bet, and its worth calling 60, because I still don't believe him 100%, and if he does have it and I turn a good card, I can get a lot out of him.

The turn is an innocuous 6c. I check, and Phin bets 230 into the 360 pot. Now, this is where I start analyzing why he is doing what he is doing. What could he have that would warrant an obvious value bet. If he wanted a call, he'd bet smaller. If he bet too high, it would appear as a bluff and also induce a call. His bet though seemed too-value-betty too me, mostly because my check indicated my weakness. At this point, I'm confident he has an Ace-X, maybe two high cards, but also maybe A8 or something similar. After all, preflop, he min raised from the BB against the SB, so he didn't need much. I call.

The river is a Kh. Its an ideal card for me. Either he has the K, in which case, this extra card didn't help him beat me any more than he already did, or he didn't have the K, in which case it doesn't help him at all. I check, and Phin bets 530 into the 800 or so pot. I call. He shows AQo (Ace high) and I win with 47h (pair of 7s).

Did I just donk my way into this hand? I give my reasons for my actions, but are they enough? Do you see the value in these small gap suited cards, especially against unpaired high cards. If that flop came down A72, how would the hand play differently? I think I could've folded a lot more easily. Thoughts?

Until next time, make mine poker.

posted by Jordan @ 10:27 PM,


At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't like playing weak hands out of position during early stages unless you're up against a feeb or someone you have an excellent read on.

I don't like your turn call. If you read him for nothing, why aren't you raising to blow him off the hand? If he has two overs to your pair, he still has river outs and now you'll be losing a decent amount of chips on a crappy hand.

The river makes it easy for you. He's either got you crushed, or he's got nothing. You went with your read and you were correct.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

1. Thanks fer the kind words J. It's certainly a case of mutual respect, which is really the only kind that means anything. Wish I could have gone farther with your chips, but you know the story, "it seemed like a good move at the time..."

2. Just read your 9/11 post and have to recommend it for both its honesty and its original thought. I've never heard anyone discuss having that reaction to the phone calls, and I have a bunch of friends who were in NYC - one right in the thick of things - that day. It gets me wondering how they felt about the rest of us "touching base". Fascinating.

3. The hand. EP is the thing that's problematic, but the whole minraise thing is a pain in the ass for just this reason - it is only a little bit more to about primrose paths. Once in the hand, you do what I've seen you do: trust your read and go with it. A turn reraise might have been more effective, and given the size of the river bet you called, might have risked less chips. I like hands like this too, but try to play them from the button or the cutoff.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Iak, I have to say that I don't know how many people felt the way I did about the phone calls. As you may be able to tell from my blog, I'm in many ways an introverted crumudgeon with spouts of extroverted excitement. After the tragedy, I really just wanted to hide away from it all. Speaking to people about it made me re-live my experience, which wasn't actually all that harrowing at the time, although the fallout took weeks if not months to make things back to normal. So, don't read too much into my distaste on the subject. I'm just one man, with just one crumudgeonly opinion.

As for my play, I know that the hand history looks stupid, and I know that if it weren't for my read, I wouldn't have called down like that. But, yeah, I probably did more than a few things wrong, and Tom seemed to get that. Thanks.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'll say this. If you were very confident in your read that he didn't hit anything, there's the alternate perspective.

If an Ace doesn't peel on the river, the only way he can win the hand is to throw out a bet. If any other card comes, you can either choose to lead out, or you can check call and get paid off.

That is a bigger moneymaker than blasting him off the hand on the turn. Makes me realize just how important reads are in tournament play.

I used to play tournies with a cash game mindset, and I was getting smashed to pieces because I wasn't in there mixing it up and taking chances.

Good luck.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Tom, its probably why my cash game is so hit-or-miss. Different mind- and skill-sets entirely.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

No open limping!!!

Fold or raise even with 4h7h.

Unless you're open limping based on past plays, you're giving up fold equity on a c-bet since you're leading out.

This works for tourneys and cash games.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Drizz, I realized last night that I raise more than most people preflop (as opposed to limping). In this hand, though, I disagree that it makes sense to fold or raise preflop. If its just the BB and me, I want to see a flop for cheap, and get away from it if I can. There is a lot to be said about not open limping (and not calling, for that matter), but in some situations, including this one, I think passive play is better. He kept betting BECAUSE I was so passive. I got value out of a 47h because I was so passive. Also, preflop, if I raise, he re-raises and I fold, most likely. If I limp and he raises big, I can fold as well and only lost 15 more than I would've if I open folded. If I limp and he checks, then we see a flop for cheap (good) or if he min-raises, then still it is pretty cheap. So, yes, I agree that in general, its always best to raise or fold, but I think there is HUGE value in making these open limps with certain hands in certain situations.

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I think the guy brought you into the hand with his stupid min raises both pre-flop and on the flop. At that point, you made a good read and had the guts to trust your instincts, something I doubt I would have done. The other guy has no one to blame but himself. Nice work.

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No open limping!!!

I disagree with this, too. Someone who has done well using a lot of limping into pots is Gavin Smith. He either limps or he'll raise 2.5 the BB a lot.

I love play small pot poker and controlling the pot size in tournaments and cash games alike.

If I am making the pot grow, it's because I have a big hand. For some reason, a lot of players never pick up on this.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

There's two way to see it:

1) If the person is aggressive, you're giving away chips by folding when they raise enough and not gaining any information

2) Building pots with by hitting with sub-prime cards by limping

I hate giving away chips and not gaining any information (thus no open limping *usually* for me)

I do agree with building a pot, but that's not the case here because you really didn't hit a *monster* hand. Instead you went with a read (or got stubborn like I've been known to do), which is different.

The latter situation can cost you a tourney early when you really didn't need to risk those chips on second pair.

Save the big (and very good) reads for later on when the money is involved.

At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it - you got a good read on him, and followed it through. Although I agree with the first commenter about the turn - if you thought you had him beaten, why not raise for value?

I think he played it badly - should've raised more PF, and more on the flop. If he had, you (probably) would've gone away quietly(?). Min-raising is rubbish :)


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