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We All Psuedo-Float On

Here's another one for the trophy case. After wifey Kim nodded off in a Nyquil-induced slumber, I crept up to the laptop to see what was going on in the wild world of online poker. I knew I had missed the WWdn, but didn't know that there is a new WWdn Second Chance tournament that started at 10:30 pm. By 12:50, I had beat all 25 competitors and took down first place.

My win seems to mirror my other recent win in the Hoy and Mookie Second Chance. Basically, at the final table, I started in 2nd place, but most players had much less than me and the chipleader. Before then, I was dominating the game with obnoxious raises and re-raises. But moreso than any move, I found that in this particular tournament I was able to make my most money from floating, especially in the middle levels.

For those uninitiated, floating is essentially calling with the intention of making a move in later rounds. I've cultivated (cough cough) a reckless image in some of these tournaments, but in reality, I was playing fairly tight to start off. Until the middle levels, I had only played 99, TT and AKo from a position not in the blinds, and I didn't aggressively defend my blinds either. But when the blinds started to matter, I began stealing more, and as I realized players were, well, putting on plays, I began floating a lot more.

I'll start with a hand that, I believe, help set my image for the later rounds:

We are on Level 3 of the tournament. I have 2025, which is good for fourth at my table. I post the BB of 50. Wil Wheaton is on my immediate right and posts the SB. His chipstack is 2480. I have Tc4c.

It folds to Smokkee on the button (with 1235) and he raises from 50 to 200. To me, this looks like a suspicious bet. First, he's in blind stealing position. Second, if he had great cards he'd want to get action, and, I presume, would bet less than 4x the BB with only two players left to act. Third, he needs those chips, since he is down to 1235.

Wheaton folds and I call with seemingly terrible cards (Tc4c). My plan is to hopefully hit, but even if I don't I'm looking for a board that likely missed Smoke.

The flop is 5h Qc 6d. I missed entirely. The pot is 450 now, and I review what I've seen. Basically, I only fear two things from Smoke. One possibility is that he has a Queen. The other is that he has a pocket pair (including the possible 55 or 66 for a set). He has about 1k left in front of him, I have about 1800. The pot is 450. If I bet out and he doesn't have a Q or pocket-pair (and really most low pocket pairs fold here), then I'm golden. If he does have it, I can shut down and fold if necessary. So when I bet out 400, I'm really betting 400 to win 450, and I'm actually wagering on the probability that he doesn't have a Q or significant pair. My wager was right, too, and he folded.

I have a lot of respect for Smokkee's game. I hope he realizes that because my next move after he folded was to show my cards. I figured that it would help me control my image by showing on my terms. I also was proud to have pushed a skilled, aggressive player like Smokkee out of a hand. So, no disrespect intended, Smoke. I showed out of respect and also to reinforce my image. Before the T4c, I really was playing much better cards.

As I progressed to Level 5 (50/100 blinds) I kept on the pressure. I was up to 2225 when I was dealt 3d5s in the BB. Ironically, 35 would be a great hand for me yesterday. The table folds around to Wheaton in the SB. He has 2730 in chips and has been running over the table with well-timed aggression. He raises from 100 to 300 and I decide to call with my crappy cards. This is a classic float situation. I don't have anything, but I'm in position.

The flop is 4T6, rainbow. I flopped an open-ended straight draw. The pot is 600 and Wil bets 400 into it. Rather than fight him, I opt to call.

The turn is a 2d, giving me a 6-high straight and a possible diamond flush draw. Wil checks, and I bet out 800 into the 1400 pot. He folds and says, 'gh.' While I hit my hand and then failed to get paid off, that really isn't the important thing about this hand. Really, any card on the turn, except for a card that matched Wheaton's hand, which is presumably only 6 cards max in the whole deck (if he has a pocket pair, he only can match his cards with 2 other cards for a set; otherwise, if he has two unpaired cards, he has 6 outs total for a pair, assuming his cards are decent like AK). So, when he checks, I know I'm probably good. I try to price him in, but he missed totally so he folds, and I've earned some easy chips by floating with terrible cards in position.

On the very next hand, I'm dealt a monster in the SB, 35s! It folds to me with almost 3k in the SB and I call. The BB is Spock, with 1620, and he decided to raise from 100 to 300. I have him covered by a decent margin (something that makes a lot of difference in a situation like this), so I flat call, floating OUT of position.

The flop is 9TQ, rainbow. I decide to bet 500 into the 600 pot. This is a much trickier bluff. But the key is that if he had any lower pocket pair, he's going to run scared. In fact, if he has anything less than top pair, he's likely to fold. On the flipside, if he hit it, he's going to raise or maybe call. Whichever one he does, I'm folding once he bets out, so the most I can lose is 500 to win 600. The fact that he has 1320 after his preflop raise makes the bet even easier. No one likes going busto, and the 500 to call is a big chunk of his stack. He folds. More easy chips.

We are still in Level 4, but we are a couple of hands later. I'm in the BB again, 2890 chips total. I'm dealt Qs8s. It folds to Wheaton in the SB with 2230 and he calls. I check.

The flop is KQ9. I hit middle pair, so my only real fear is top pair, or perhaps middle pair, bigger kicker. Sure there are other possibilities, like two-pair, but that's essentially the same thing as top pair or middle pair better kicker here. He may've made the straight, too, but we'll know soon enough.

Wheaton checks, and I bet out 200, which is pot. Wheaton decides to check-raise to 600 and I call in a semi-float move. The truth is, my image is shot, so he may think I'm raising with crap and is trying to force me off of my hand. Wil is nothing if not clever.

The turn is a harmless 4d, creating a flush draw. He checks, and at this point, I don't have a good read on what he has, so I'll see one more card to get more information, since I'm in position.

On the rivered 2s, Wil bets 800 into the 1400 or so pot. I definitely take my time here. However, the "value bet" on the river looks too value-bet-like, and I know that Wil (a) thinks I'm a maniac with probably crappy cards, and (b) is very smart and capable of making a play here. 800 is doable, since I will still have over 1300 if I'm wrong. I can work with 1300. In fact, short-stacks is my specialty. So I call and he announces "greal call, High" before saying that he must've been crazy for trying to get me off of second pair. When people "say" things like that, like I'm some silly donkey, my immediate reaction is to get defensive. In this case, though, it was a product of my table image, and that is exactly what I was trying to do (and what I was exploiting in this hand). So, the blame is all on me, but frankly, I'm here for the money.

This is the last hand in our floating tour. We are still at Level 4, and now I have 4390 in chips. I guess floating works best in the blinds, since I'm in the SB in this hand when I'm dealt 34d. Incidentally, the blinds are the best spot, since I'm not forced to cold call with a hand like 34d. In most positions, it's an easy fold.

In fact, I think this is the very next hand, because Smokkee calls me a calling station in the notes. I'm sure he kids, but if not, well, you know the policy. If my table image is that I suck, then I'll use that to my advantage.

Le Beulette calls in MP with 4798 in chips, my only real competition, stack-wise. Ricky (1790) calls immediately after him. It folds to me and I call in the SB. This isn't quite a float. I'm calling because the 50 is good pot odds to potentially win 400. Spock checks in the BB.

The flop is 368, rainbow, and I hit a baby pair. I'm in first position, so with 400 in the pot, I bet 200, a seemingly harmless bet from out of position. Everyone folds. Why? Because (a) they don't have a piece of the board and (b) they don't have a pocket pair. People most often miss. I could've checked there and hoped to see another card, but since I was out of position, a bet is preferable. First, if they call, I can afford the 200 if I miss and fold. Second, if the fold, I win outright, as we see, with nothing. Third, if they raise, I can fold, unless the implied odds are right (in this spot, very rare). Meanwhile, if I check, I'm praying for it to check around. I rather bet 200 than call 200, but I might call here. I would probably not call a bet of 400 though, and this is all the more likely. This is a defensive bet and the rest of the table is probably thinking that I lucked out and hit two-pair. The 200 bet is deceptive, since it seems to invite a call.

This is essentially the way I chipped up in the middle rounds. I've noticed that I have a leak in my tournament games. I don't tighten up against short stacks late in the tournament. I worked on that last night, and as a result, I dominated when my stack was huge at the final table. When we were three-handed, my two opponents were the tightest (according to Poker Tracker) out of anyone at the table. It was a wet dream.

There you have it. I have some other great ideas to share but Floating will do for now.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:32 PM,


At 10:47 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

It's interesting that I've known about this sort of play for awhile, and that I use it from time to time, but I didn't know the term "Floating" applied to it. Learn something new every day, I guess.

The hand with Wil where he check/folds on the turn is quite a brain turner as an observer. Thanks for posting on this subject.

Can you talk a bit about when to fire a second bullet on a bluff or your thought process behind that move? I'm currently trying to delve into the "why" for advanced play and hearing from other people is a great way to think about things.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger TripJax said...

I've never really thought of floating as a pre-flop play. I've always thought about floating as a flop or turn play (flop setting up for turn or turn setting up for river).

Of course, I also haven't read much about the move either...I just use it when it feels right and I feel I have a chance at the chips.

Nice job in the tourney last night J. I may have to check the Wheaton tourneys out again now that I have a couple dollars on Stars...

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Jordan. I enjoyed reading it.

Got a little confused at the end though. The last hand You have 34 and the board is 368 giving you an OESD?

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Whoops. Maybe I got that messed up, jl. I'll fix it.

As for the whole Floating thing, I hope I'm not butchering the concept. This is my understanding of floating. I would think that it is MORE useful preflop (in a blind) than post-flop, since I am floating to see three cards.

Wolf, I'll keep an eye out for hands in which I fire the 2nd bullet.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger L'artiste said...

Floating is pretty much calling a bet with absolute crap, no pair or no draw, with the intention of taking the pot away with a bet on a later street no matter what your holdings may be. It’s a pure bluff. Calling a flop bet with an OESD is not a float, you actually have outs to form a powerful hand. Calling a raise from the button in the big blind is not a float either, that’s defending your blind.

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HoP...your a silly lil boy.

First, I read this blog for comic relief. I read this blog for the same reasons I watch Police Chases Gone Bad. I'm not watching cause of the skillful display of driving skills. I'm watching because I get a kick out of people making an ass out of themselves in public...exactly what you accomplish everyday with this useless, depth-less blog.

Second, TripJax is correct. Floating is NOT a pre-flop play. Floating is when you call a suspicious continuation bet of a preflop raiser AFTER the flop has been dealt with the intention of making a move on the pot on the turn or the river. Just like Labor Law 240…you got this concept all wrong. Thanks for the mid-afternoon laughs….haha.

Third, there is a continuous trend prevalent in your posts. You constantly feel the need to pat yourself on the back. You like to self-promote…constantly. Coming from a psychological background, I'll let you in on a lil secret as to why you do this. You suffer from a psychological disorder resulting from the belief that you are flawed in a way that makes you unacceptable to others. This belief exists below your conscious awareness…meaning, you would deny thinking such a thing if questioned. The BEST part is, in order to protect yourself against the intolerably painful rejection you imagine would follow if others recognized your defective nature, you make strong attempts to control others’ view of you.
That’s why you tell others that you are Superman, that you are a great lawyer, that your wife is hot, etc. The truth is…you are definitely not Superman…more like a member of The Ambiguously Gay Duo. You are definitely not a great lawyer…this became evident with your uneducated description of Labor Law 240. And finally, your wife is definitely not wack-off material. How about this…post a pic of her and let the readers decide. I promise you that you wont comply…I promise.

If you need any additional advice, just ask in your next post. Ill try to respond between laughs.

- Anonymous King

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AK, the fact that you "float" all day looking for a chance to put your unwanted two cents in says a lot about you as well, doesn't it. Now that we all know your e-penis is huge, go find something else to do.

I'm pretty sure 95% of the world's adult population has this psychological "disorder" you've mentioned. Fearing that they are not adequate, and supplementing with "Reasons why I'm the best" rants. You're doing the same thing with your corrections.

Just shut the fuck up, you're unwanted here. Flex your e-muscles somewhere else.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Anonymous King, the difference between you and Trip is that he explained it in a way that makes sense. I make mistakes. Alert the media.

Apparently, you are a lawyer and a psychologist. Your parents must be proud. Let me ask you this, then, Dr. AK, what is the psychological make-up of a person who spends his time visitng blogs just to talk shit? My guess, althought I am no psychiatrist/lawyer, is that whoever would do such a thing derives their self-esteem from trying to pump themselves up on the Internet by writing about how great they are on other people's blogs. These people find themselves so worthless that they choose to focus on small details in someone else's life to build up their weak self opinion. By focusing on minutaie in individual posts and creating nothing worthwhile independently, this person does not have to put themselves out there, but can remain hiding behind a silly moniker, often with a term denoting their greatness, such as, of, say King.

King, I don't think you and I are all that different at all. Apparently, we both like to be Devil's Advocate, and we like to shock the masses. The only difference is that I have a blog for my outlet and you, well, you have my blog because you are my bitch.

Thanks for reading. Your bumpersticker is in the mail.

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The only difference is that I have a blog for my outlet and you, well, you have my blog because you are my bitch"

nh sir, well played!!


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