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HighOnPoker vs. BoofDiggity

I crashed and burned in the Mookie on Wednesday night, but I luckily saved a few hands, all of which were between me and BoofDiggity (Boof, if you have a blog, lemme know). I've never played with Boof before (that I can remember), but he appeared very aggressive, and this eventually led to my downfall.

It started off normal enough, with Boof raising preflop and picking up my blinds on two occasions. In both cases, I merely didn't have the cards, but I took it as a sign that Boof was playing aggressive poker. My suspicions were confirmed with this hand (which, incidentally, set up my demise):

Boof was in the BB (20/40 blinds) with 3240, up 240 from his original 3k stack, mostly from aggressive play. He hadn't made a showdown yet. I had 3385, from much the same technique, and opted to raise from the cutoff after it folded to me. I had J9c, but the lack of action and that fun drawing gap hand led me to bet out to 120. IslandBum with 3355 on the button, and Boof in the BB called.

The flop was an utterly useless Q87, rainbow. However, when Boof led out with a 200 bet into the 380 pot, I opted to call. On one hand, I was floating, hoping to see what he would do on the turn to discern whether he was bullshitting or not. On the other hand, I was also hoping for that Ten. Truthfully, drawing to an inside straight is stupid. However, if I hit it, I was confident that it would be well hidden, and the deep stacks allowed me to gamble for a mere 200. IslandBum called as well.

The turn was an Ace. If I shouldn't have been in the hand after the flop, I DEFINITELY shouldn't be in the hand after that turn. Boof bet out 200 again, and while that looked suspicious, I had to fold because of IslandBum behind me. To my delight, IB raised to 600 and Boof folded after waiting for the 15-second warning.

In my head, I figured that Boof was bullshitting the entire hand. The 200 flop bet was probably a probe, and then when everyone was passive, the turn 200 was just a weak 2nd bullet. So, I had mentally established that Boof wanted to win every hand he was in. His over-aggression was going to pay me off, or so I hoped.

If there was a theme to these hands, its that I was perhaps playing too many speculative hands against an overaggressive player. In the grand scheme of things, I didn't even really know if Boof was being overly aggressive. In Tao of Poker, the author explained that even though someone may seem overaggressive, it does not mean that they are overaggressive. Sometimes, luck is merely in their favor and they are getting great cards. It is all too easy to assume, "He's just trying to run over the table," and go to battle with sub-optimal cards. That said, I continued on with the assumption that Boof was being overly aggressive.

Still at the 20/40 level, Boof (2700) limped UTG. I (3845) called on the button with 97d, another speculative hand. I was happy to get in a hand with position on Boof, now that I was formulating a read. The two blinds joined as well for the K29 flop with two clubs. The blinds checked and Boof bet out 160, the size of the pot. It felt like just another bet from the overaggressive Boof, so I called with my middle pair, hoping to get more info on the turn.

The turn was another King. Immediately, this put me at ease. It was suddenly less likely he had a King. This was supported by his weak 160 bet. Recalling his hand against IslandBum, I reasoned that Boof didn't increase the size of his bet from flop to turn because he was weak. Still, I didn't want to chase him off if he was bluffing into me, so I flat called. The river was an 8. Boof bet out 400 after waiting for the 15-second warning. To me, these were signs that he was bluffing. I thought that maybe he missed his flush. Ultimately, I decided to just call once again. After all, if he was beat with the mere 9, he was going to fold to a raise. If he was ahead of the 9, he was not going to fold, from what I saw. At showdown, he had K9o, for a full house.

I wasn't too unhappy with the outcome of that hand. My read of Boof, overly aggressive and trying to win every pot he was in, actually stopped me from making a fatal error, i.e., raising. Still, that marginal hand I played was all my fault. Still, I was around even for the tournament and I was getting a feel for the table. As I've said, I don't mind losing chips early, especially if I can use the knowledge to my advantage later

And then I die a sad death.

Here's the fun action. We are up to 25/50 blinds, and Boof (3660) raising UTG+1 to 150. It folds to me and my KK in the SB. I have over 3000 chips. I decide to raise to 500. Only Boof calls. Sweet.

The flop was T99. I wanted to make sure I kept Boof on the line. I knew he liked to bet out, so I checked and tried to get him to bluff in position. I only feared the 9 (he couldn't have Aces based on the preflop action), and the 9 didn't concern me much. He obliged by betting 500. I called.

The turn was a Queen. There were no flush draws. I checked. Boof bet out 1000. I min-raised to 2000. Boof raised to 2660 total and was all-in. I called. He showed QQ for a full house. I lose.

It was a humbling experience, but there was no doubt we were getting all-in KK v. QQ. If it happened preflop, on the flop, or on the turn made no real difference. I had already decided that I could take Boof and had to take Boof to establish dominance over the table. In the end, he got a little lucky on the turn, but I don't begrudge luck. It was a fun back-and-forth with Boof, and it reminded me of what the Red Lion told me at the Nice Look Club:

"There's a reason why lions and tigers don't fight in the wild. No matter who wins, they both end up seriously injured."

I'm not sure if Boof ended up injured, but I guess I tussled with the wrong lion. GG, sir. In the end, I should not have jumped to the over-aggro conclusion. In the K9 v. 97 hand, he WAS loose preflop (calling UTG+1), but he had cards when he bet out. Looking back, that meant he probably hit something in the hand against IslandBum, where he folded to the reraise late. I was able to effectively adjust to his style, allowing him to hang himself in the KK v. QQ hand, but ultimately, it didn't work out.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 8:20 AM,


At 4:39 PM, Blogger KajaPoker said...

I used to think that timing of bets, long pauses, running out the clock and asking for time were important. But they are all false reads because of things like, multi-tabling, bad connections, crappy software that locks up, etc.

Boof was catching a lot of primo hands that night. He took me out when I played a bad hand against him holding AK.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Riggstad said...

Boof is my partner at Riverchasers... He was certainly cardracking that night and got out to a monster chip lead...

I forwarded a link to your post for him to read... I'm sure he'll respond.

I am putting together a trip to the Borg with Al for the bloggers sometime in Oct/ Nov... hope to meet you then


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