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You Decide #46

I went to Genoa last night and played in a small 8-person tournament. The blinds move fast (18 minute levels, 2000 starting chips, 25/50, 50/100, 100/200), so its very much like an online turbo tournament. I was first out, after I felt committed to make a call with two over-cards and a flush draw post-flop. My opponent had a lesser flush draw, but hit a pair on the turn and knocked me out. Genoa lets your rebuy, but you have to pay the juice again ($50+10). I only brought $60 with me intentionally, but when they asked me if I wanted to rebuy, I responded, "Nope. I can tell this isn't my night." I meant it, too. The table was odd, almost too loose, so I couldn't tell if players were making moves with air or actually had the goods. This far into the tournament (50/100), a 2k stack won't do much good if I hadn't worked out any reads yet, so I was glad to go.

I returned home at 8:25pm, with 5 minutes to spare before the WWdn. I just made the tourney, but once the cards were dealt, I'm glad I did. I was a freakin' card rack, getting KK at least 3 times, AA once, QQ once, and JJ a couple of times. Even better, I was making some decent moves. In the end, I placed 3rd, after a late suckout when I flopped a set of 5s (I had 57 vs. QQ on a 55T board). I got him all-in with his QQ post-flop, but the turn AND river were Tens, and his hand consequently beat me. The very next hand, I pushed with any two, down to scraps. I was sent packing.

I'm sorta proud of moneying, but I'm a bit disappointed about being such a card rack. It honestly had me thinking if I need the cards to win. Not really ME, per se, but it does show me that if someone is a card rack, they can pretty much luck their way into deep money. Maybe I'm being a bit hard on myself, though. Let's look at a few hands for this installment of You Decide and we can discern if I was a lucky bastard or a smart one.

You Decide #45 (Hand 1):

We were in Level 4 of the WWdn, with blinds of 50/100. I had 4,437, the second chipleader at our table. In the SB, I'm dealt 4c6c. It folds to me and I call. Loki (L0k1) in the BB with 3,640 raises from 100 to 300 (200 more, for you mathletes). I decide to call, since Loki could be using position and regardless, I'm confident of my ability to take control post-flop.

The flop is an unimpressive 2d 5s As. I don't like the Ace, so I check. He checks as well.

The turn is a 8c. This gives me a double-belly buster, aka a double-gutshot straight draw. a 3 or a 7 will see me in great shape. So, I check. Loki bets out 300. This is where it gets interesting. The pot is 600 (now 900 with his 300). I decide that if I'm going to make my move, now is the time. I raise 600 on top to 900. Loki folds.

Do you see why I did what I did? It was a semi-bluff. If he called and I hit my 3 or 7, he'd never see it coming. But really, I didn't believe he had anything that would warrant a call. He probably didn't have an Ace or he would've bet the flop. Meanwhile, I wanted to portray someone with an Ace. The call preflop looks like an Ace-rag play. The check on the flop and turn could look like I am slowplaying. So, when he bets out small, I figure its time to see where I am at. If he calls, I'm happy to see a river and potentially get paid big if a 3 or 7 hit. If he folds, I win my money. And if he raises, I likely fold. But did I get lucky, or did I play this hand well?

(Hand 2):

We are in level 5, 75/150 blinds, and I have 5,637. I'm now the third largest stack at the table, but the players under me have about 2500 or less (except for one player with 3600). I'm in the BB with AA and rico, in EP with 2507, calls the 150. The SB, Decker with 1,135, calls. I make a standard raise to 450 (300 more), and rico calls. Decker folds.

The flop is 6h 7d Th. It's semi-coordinated, but nothing really scares me. With the preflop call, I don't put him on 67 and I don't have any reason to think that he hit a set. I raise 450, happy to take it there if he missed entirely. Instead, he raises 450 more to 900. I flat call.

The turn is a 5c. I check now, because he only has 1,157 left. I expect him to make a move on this pot no matter what (it's now over 2k). Sure enough, he obliges and pushes. I call.

The river is 5s. I take it down, as he has ATo, for TPTK.

I'm not sure what to make of this hand. At the time, I was confident I was ahead the whole way. I also had enough chips to take a loss, if needed. We see that the results were optimal (I stacked my opponent), but did I overexpose myself on that flop? Should I have pushed on the flop after the raise? Any other suggestions?

That's it for now. I've had a slew of hand history analysis lately, but these things come in groupings. If Loki reads this humble blog, I would like your input on the first hand. Otherwise, comment away, you critical bastards.

Wifey Kim is back in NYC tonight and I can't wait to see her. Two days without her saw me eating crappy food, making a mess of the apartment, staying up too late, and playing too much poker. In other words, I was in sheer bliss for about 4 hours, until I could see the depravity that my life would become without my lovely wifey Kim. She is my alpha and my omega, or for you card players, she is my 2d and my As. So her return is eagerly anticipated. Thanks for reading. Now go do something productive, damnit!

Until next time, make mine (wifey Kim and) poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:59 PM,


At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have too much to add because I would have played these similarly.

There isn't too much to be afraid of in hand 2 because a shorter stack probably pushes preflop with some of those hands that could have made sets -- 10's, 7's.

Most of the time he's got TPTK at best with a turn push here. Usually it's a drawing hand or stone bluff because he's hoping you have AK, KQ, or something else that whiffed.

With a smaller stack I fold preflop in hand 1, but that wasn't the case here. It was a good check raise on the turn because he's probably c-betting if he hit the Ace.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like the way you played the first one. You had good reasoning for why you did it on many different levels. Of course, the way the board was coordinated and the sequence of events that happened benefitted you, but I wouldn't call it "lucky".

The 2nd hand is pretty straightforward, and I think 85% or more of us would play it exactly the same.

No need to be hard on yourself.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I agree with the previous commenters for the most part. I like your play in the first hand -- you made a calculated move with a semi-bluff type of hand, and you had no reason to believe that LOK1 had an Ace or any other hand he would be willing to call a raise with. And what I like most about it is that you haven't raised so much as to be tied on to the hand if you get allin reraised or something similar. Well done.

With the Aces hand, again I like the way you played it overall. With pocket Aces against a coordinated board like that, you did the right thing to protect your hand by betting/raising, and I think you have to make the call there when he reraises you on the flop with your pocket rockets. I think you could have considered laying this hand down when he pushed on the turn, and it's great given his action on the flop that the 8 did not make him a straight that would have been very costly for you. But I would have called his allin push myself on the turn there -- you just have a too well-disguised hand given the action up to this point.

Well played on both counts me thinks.
Looking forward to the next DADI. Which also happens to be on my birthday, I believe.

At 3:32 AM, Blogger AnguilA said...

Hand #1 is a good move. By not c-betting and then betting so weak on the turn you have to think you have a fair chance of taking that pot down right there, and if he happens to call you still have tha chance to make your draw and bust him. Good place for a semi-bluff.

Hand #2 I think I would have pushed after his raise. No matter the card coming on the turn he is going all-in, so I prefer to be the aggressor and that way I don't have the chance to outthink myself. (Imagine a heart comes on the turn and you talk yourself into him having made a flush...)

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My word verification was ohyogodb. Heh.

Anyways, I disagree with the above poster. In hand 2, I think the guy just shoves on the flop if he's on a flush draw. Why would he leave himself with only 1100 in chips when he's just on a draw? If the turn bricks out he now has a tough decision -- whether to push with air or not. He can't check again because Jordan will either put him all in or bet enough where he has no choice but to call with air or fold and take a big hit.

I like waiting for the turn because Jordan disguises his hand strength better.

What makes you more nervous? Check raising someone with a medium pair top kicker and watching them come over the top, or check raising and having them just call?

I could be wrong, though.


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