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You Decide #47

I was all ready to prep You Decide #47, but as I typed it out, I realized that this was a different You Decide. There really was only one decision to make. So let's post the hand for you in classic HoP narrative (no hand histories for me!), and then we'll discuss what happened briefly.

We are in a two-table Tier II token SNG on Full Tilt, trying to win a token for the next Big Game. It is a regular tournament (i.e., not a turbo), but the top 5 spots out of 18 get a token, and the 6th spot gets $50+. The blinds are 40/80 (level 3 or 4, I think), and we have 1525, a mere 25 more than we started with. There are only 10 or 11 players left, so we are at a table with only 5 players, ourselves included.

We post the BB of 80 and proverbially look down to Qd7d. It folds to the button Crazy Larry (1385), who raises from 80 to 240 total. The SB, DoctorV (1510) calls. It's 160 to us, and we have a weak to poor hand. Now, here is the only real decision in the hand. You'll see why in a moment. We have Q7d, but that hand is not particularly strong. We are playing for 6th place, and we really have not made any progress in accumulating chips, so we have to really think about this call. 160 is not a huge amount, but then again, it represents more than 10% of our stack, and the upside potential is minimal. We need to hit this flop HARD. Otherwise, we are just throwing away chips in a game where 5th is the same as 1st.

So, what do you do? Do you call?

I did. The flop was 7h 5s 7s. DoctorV raised all-in. I called. Crazy folded. DoctorV showed 2c2h, and I doubled up.

Now, if you look at the results, its sort of a Duh hand. The thing is, mathematically or even game theory-wise, I'm not so sure its the correct move. If I hit a Q-high flop, I still might be facing a stronger Q. If I hit a 7, there are probably overs on the board. Post-flop, the pot is over 700, and I would only have about 1300 in front of me (actually I think a bit less). So, I'm really putting a decent amount at stake in a game where 1st place is not necessary. Is it safer here to fold? Is it smarter to fold? You tell me. And try not to be results oriented. Clearly the results are good, but I'm not so sure about the play.

Onto other things, I did place in that Tier II tourney, winning a token that I plan to use for a future Blogger Big Game. I also played some 5/10 LO8 (lost $5), and mostly 3/6 Razz and LO8, where I won over $70. I played a Tier I token and won a token, which I used for the Tier II race. I played a single table $20 SNG as well, but busted at that.

The Tier I Token SNG was a walk in the freakin' park. I was in the process of making a HUC 4 banner (it wasn't that great, but I still post it for you, below, and was barely paying attention to the tournament. Early on, I doubled up with KK, and so I just folded the rest of the way. I'm tempted to play one without playing a single hand, but I'm pretty sure that would result in a bubble finish, so I'm skeptical about that play. But folding until you get a premium hand is definitely a decent strategy, and if you can get to 4000 early, you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

Overall, I had my fourth winning day in a row, by no means near my record, but nice, nonetheless. The higher stakes are going smoothly, and I'm really enjoying poker again (okay, 'again' is a weird choice of words, because I've always enjoyed it, but lately I feel invigorated).

HUC4 is coming along, and we have 13 competitors, so we are looking for the final three. I think I may have forgot to mention that Surflexus is also playing, so if you didn't have a reason to play before, you do now.

In case some of you are on the fence, let me just put out some info that I've been asked. The most you can lose in the HUC4 is $41.50. The prize pool buy-in is $25. After that, first round consists of best of five $5.50 HU SNGs. Now, do the math. If you lose your first three in a row, you lose the tournament, the $25 prize pool buy-in, and the $5.50 (x3 = $16.50) from the three HU SNGs. That's $41.50 total. Let's say you win one of your first round games, but then lose three. You are out $25 + $15.50 - $4.50 (profit from your one win), or $36. So, the MOST you can lose is $41.50.

Oh, you are no good at HU? Well, mofo, this is your chance to get some practice. First off, its a very luck-dependent game, hence the best of five format, so you could very well surprise yourself. Second, you need the practice if you are no good at HU. What if you final table a tournament, get heads up and donk out. I can tell you that from past HUCs players improve when we have this sort of event.

You may worry about timing, but that isn't an issue either. Before each Round, you will get an email from me, sent to you AND your competition for that Round. Then you can Reply to All, arrange your own date and time, and schedule your game to fit your jet-setting lifestyle.

You aren't a blogger or you don't know a lot of other bloggers? Well, shit, here's your chance. We have quite a crew also, and if you go to the HUC4 website, currently with HUC3 design, you can see our current roster.

So, what are you waiting for?

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:37 PM,


At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you elect to play the Q7 as you did, I believe the optimal play is a squeeze play where you stick in a large re-raise.

The original raiser needs to have a very strong hand to call since there is still someone to act behind him. The caller of the original raise usually has a weak hand (as evidenced here) so he will not usually call, and it will be an incorrect call most of the time when he does do it.

I believe calling is a -EV and very weak play.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

What kind of players are Crazy Larry and DoctorV?

If they're loose players who've raised on the button before, have called a lot preflop and throw chips around a bunch, there's serious potential for this hand. If they've been prone to over-value their hands, or simply overbet the pot on the flop, there's even more potential for the hand. If they've folded hands to re-raises, it gets even better.

Let's see. You're getting 3.75:1 odds on your call. You have the chance for a flush draw to the third-nuts. Not bad, but not great either.

DefendtheBlinds advocates a re-raise squeeze play, but that goes against your "5th is the same as 1st" strategy.

What this will really come down to is my read on the other players. If I don't have a read or they seem tight-ish, I'll fold. If they're loose and call a lot, I'll call and see if I hit a flop.

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's just not much wiggle room in these things. Most of the time you're missing this flop and check folding unless you make a play with air, so that's why I think the squeeze play is better than the smooth call. Pretty hard to out finesse your opponents in a low starting chip Sit n Go with quickly escalating blinds.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger WillWonka said...

I'm folding..

At 1:44 PM, Blogger MrGoss said...

Hard to make an honest assessment with the results being listed so immediately after the question. I would probably fold then be hacked-off for missing the opportunity to take down a large pot.

I'm in on the HUC4. You should still have my email address.


At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm folding pretty easily here. I look at this hand and think "I can loose a lot more with it than I can win".

I much prefer your narrative hand descriptions, BTW. Nice job there.

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah I don't like calling here and I don't really like raising either. Even if these other guys are loose players, getting into a raised pot preflop with Q7s is not my idea of a fun poker situation. I would fold that without thinking twice. Even K7s I'm folding there. Even KTs I'm folding there. Sheeeeit, I'm even folding A7s or ATs there, what do you say about that?

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I'm with ya, Hoy and Wonka. I think this was a fold situation, but part of me also felt like the odds I was getting were decent, and it was an easy hand to fold if I missed. All in all, though, I'm for the fold, even though we see the positive results.

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like I play a lot looser than everyone here.

I probably fold it preflop, but if I decide to play it, I'm using the squeeze play instead of calling so I can check fold 90% of the time.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger lucko said...

Calling is pretty ugly IMO. I do think this is a very, very good squeeze play setup. I am jamming or folding here. Nothing in between.

And Hoy- Folding ATs there is very weak. What has happened in this hand to make you think ATs isn't the best hand?

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Lucko, are you considering the tournament structure. Top 5 pay the same (token) and top 6 pay out (6th gets some cash). So I doubt Hoy would fold normally, but in this type of tournament, it does make sense. Why put any chips at risk, let alone raise (!) in a tournament where you can wait for a better spot, steal some blinds here and there, and place in 5th place without really putting yourself in a position to bust.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger lucko said...

I don't play a lot of satellites, but this seems like such an easy place to pick up free chips. A button raise could mean any number of different hands, his range is huge. The small blind just flat calling a button raise screams weakness to me. Remember, you called from the BB with Q7s to show how wide a range people play from the blinds. A jam is getting called such a small percentage of time IMO that it is usually going to be worth the gamble.

Think about what hands you raise from the button with and what percentage of those hands you would call off all your chips with.

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with folding here. In satellites there is obviously more of a premium on survival, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with a squeeze play here either.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger NewinNov said...

Easy fold given your situation. I'd consider the squeeze play only in a cash game or something other than a token SNG with top five placing.

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet, someone agreed with me. Good on ya, Lucko.


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