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Handy Plays

I'm running hot!

I played three tournaments last night. The first was the Bodonkey. I haven't really written about it before because I usually couldn't play. I had no fundage on Bodog, but once I worked around that, it's been good times. Truth be told, the Bodog software is as horrible as everyone says and the players are pretty aweful too. But the real reason I love the site is the damn Bodonkey Blogger tournament every Tuesday night. When Bodog first set it up, the tournament offered less than $200 in prizes added by Bodog. I didn't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I felt that the amount was minor compared to what Bodog stood to gain from the patronage of a loyal, poker-addicted group with a wide audience. But lo and behold, Bodog has since changed the format, and there is $600 in freebies added by Bodog each week. Man, I feel like Smokkee, but Bodog has been good to me, so I might as well spread the word on this gem of a tourney. The game is every Tuesday at 9:05 EST, password bodogblogger. T$11 (i.e., an $11 credit that can only be used for tournaments) is given to the top 5 people to bust before the money, and T$109 is given to the top five players in the money.

I also had the opportunity to play the Skill Series last night, hosted by the Skilliest of Them All, Chad. It was a knockout Razz tournament, and I think a few people got to see the wrath of my Razz skills even though I eventually bubbled in 6th out of 40+ people.

The final tournament for the evening was the $75 token frenzy. Same old fold until I get a premium hand strategy, but I fell short this time. Still, its one of the easiest wins around.

Sadly, Bodog's software doesn't allow for easy access to hand histories and I missed some of the hand histories I wanted to keep from the Skillz tournament, but my memory is decent enough to discuss a couple of hands.

My favorite hand of the night had to be against Woffles in the Skillz tournament. He berated me for a good 20 hands after his one, but it was either tongue-in-cheek or he doesn't know as much about Razz as he thinks he does. I was the forced bring-in with a Queen showing and two low cards underneath. They must've been 5 or lower, and likely 4 or lower, but certainly not any bit higher. After the bring-in, Woffles, to my immediate left, raises. He gets one caller to my immediate right. I believe it was a 15 bring-in and maybe a 50 completion. In other words, I had to call 35 to see another card against two players who both apparently had good three-card starting hands. Most people expect to see a Queen to fold, and I'm one of those people. If I see someone calling a raise with a Queen exposed, I think, "Mark!" and start to lick my chops. But in this case, the call was 35 into a 150 or so pot, when antes are accounted for. Those odds aren't horrible, so I opted for the call and figured that I could decide my next move when the fourth street is dealt. Woffles and I were dealt low cards, but the other player paired up or got a King. I think Woffles bet, and now I decided to take one off. Part of the reason was that Woffles' card, whatever it was, looked like it may've paired him, based on his preflop bet and the totality of the circumstances. That possibility, combined with the fact that I now had a nice three-card hand started, led me to call the measely 50 bet. The fifth street brought a King or a pair for Woffles and gave me the fourth card to my low. I believe we both checked here. The sixth street paired one of Woffles exposed cards and paired one of my hidden cards. But by now, the situation looked a lot better for me. I had three low cards showing, and any Razz player would assume that I could only call the 50 completion if I had two low cards in the hole to go with my Queen door card. So, for all intents and purposes, it appeared like I got lucky and hit a low. Meanwhile, any logical Razz player would assume that Woffles started with three low cards, may've paired early, definitely took a brick with the King, and then took another brick when he paired his board. In other words, Woffles had a King-high hand at best, and was likely still drawing to a King-high hand if his fourth street actually paired him. If it didn't pair him, then at the very least, his check on fifth (when he hit the King) suggested he didn't like his hand all that much. If I were in Woffles' situation when that King hit, I would bet out regardless if my other four cards are a strong draw. So, since Woffles checked, I assumed that his hand was even weaker than it appeared. At best, he had to draw and at worst he had no draw at all. So, the only logical move for me was to bet. If he calls, I still have a strong draw. If he folds, easy money. He folded and then berated me for calling with a Queen in the first place.

Yeah, I'm the donkey. Hahahaha!

Another hand developed that made me look a lot smarter than I truly was. There were two shortstacks in Razz, and I started out with an 8-high three card hand. One of them completed and I opted to play, since it was obvious that the shortstack would end up all-in and I was willing to go the whole way with a starting 8-high. Another shortstack had called or raised between me and the initial raiser, so it looked like I was going to get both stacks all-in.

Once I decided that we were all going to end up all-in, I went very passive. One of the most frustrating things about Limit tournaments is when you are a shortstack and just want to push all-in. Obviously, you can't do that, so you have to do it one bet at a time. Usually, your opponent will raise you back and give you that opportunity. But since my hand was shaping up nicely and it was clear that my two opponents were trying to throw themselves onto the sword, I simply called until they were both all-in by sixth street, at which point I already had the hand locked up. After the hand, I got a bunch of "NH" in the chat box, likely because everyone thought that I slowplayed the two shorties. The reality was that I was protecting myself.

Let's assume that it is a given that both players are trying to get all-in. While Razz is a game of imperfect information, there is still a shitload of information to be had. Unlike Hold'em, you and your opponent are not playing the same board. The independent boards offers a lot of room for comparison. Let's assume I started with 35/8 and my opponents had XX/3 and XX/7. They complete and I call. I could raise and allow them to re-raise and get all-in, but if they are going to try to get all-in anyway, why not gather more information first. I call and get a 9 (again, for example) for 35/89. They get a King and an Ace for XX/3K and XX/7A. Now, XX/3K is going to keep pushing, since, for all intents and purposes, this is where he has to make his stand given his shortstack. He probably has two low cards underneath and he is desperate, so he is going to keep trying to get all-in since one brick does not a dungeon make. XX/7A probably will raise also, but at this point, it's still worth it to me to call, since my potential losses are capped by the shorties' stack sizes. Basically, unless I start pairing up or hitting all monarchy, I'm calling the shorties down. In the end, this is essentially what happened. One guy got a King and the other got a low card. I continued to check-call until I had an 87 low. The King guy was behind and the guy who didn't brick actually had a Jack in the hole. I won the pot and looked like I was milking the guys. But the truth is, they were milking themselves and I was just holding the bucket. After all, this allows me that little escape route (I might only save one bet or less) if I end up with an unwinnable situation.

Meanwhile, at the Bodonkey, I had a great hand against lightning36. I was in the BB and blinds were getting high. Lightning, in MP/LP raises, and in the BB, I opt to call with 35d. The flop comes down 773 and I check. Lightning is short, and while I considered betting out with my pair of 3s, I decide to let him do it for me. After all, for all intents and purposes, he cannot think I hit that flop, just as I know that he did not hit it. So, if I check to lightning, it is only logical for him to push with any two cards...unless he has a monster. If he has a high pocket-pair, he is going to bet small or check to try to help me "catch up" enough to call from behind. I.e., if he has AA, why raise all-in there. Just check or bet small and hope that I call and see a turn card that will get me to commit my entire stack. Lightning, naturally, pushed as soon as I checked, and I called after contemplating the action. He shows AQ and I turn another 3 to bust him. After the hand, I got some "good calls." The key to the call, though, was lightning's post-flop action. I was able to see the flop for relatively cheap, and even though I barely hit it, lightning's push told me that he had a weak hand. Plain and simple, his continuation bet was over-aggressive, and it indicated to me that he did not want a call. So, I called. It was a ballsy play on paper since he may've pushed with 44-88 or even 99, but his range warranted the call, since any two high cards are pushing there.

Now, without hand histories, I'm going on memory, so feel free to correct me on any of these hands. But whatever the case, in all of these instances, I was on my game. I was making smart decisions based on the information at hand.

In the end, I bubbled the Token Frenzy and the Skillz tourney. I placed 4th in the Bodonkey for enough money to cover my other two losses, not to mention the T$109 I can't wait to use. Good times!

I've got a busy day ahead of me, so I'm out for now.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:39 AM,


At 5:29 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

god your stupid.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I'm not getting into a flame war with you Woffles. I played you. You lost. Get over it.

You can't refute anything I've said in the post regarding that hand. If you can, I'm all eyes.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger smokkee said...

glad you finally got some $$$ on Bodog. now you got some T$ to donk around with too. FYI - their 8:30ET DS tourneys usually have a decent overly. cya next week.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger lj said...

that's a lot of razz hand history.

w/r/t your comment on chipper's blog re: similarities b/w bsg and terminator, i guess it's not surprising that the machine revolution is a common theme in sci fi, but i almost didn't watch bsg b/c of its sci fi slant, and i don't have a huge depth of knowledge when it comes to sci fi themes. i've never even seen an episode of star trek! :-)

At 7:05 PM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Ooooh... nowhere in Waffles' rant did it mention you were the bring in. That does change the perspective significantly.

Don't let his banter bother ya!

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

The fifth street brought a King or a pair for Woffles and gave me the fourth card to my low. I believe we both checked here.

This was badly played here if it was a K, not a pair. Too bad you don't remember if it was a pair or K. Because if it was just a K I would be betting.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Joaquin, what's the difference? In both situations, he's drawing to a better hand. If he had A2/34K or A2/344, isn't he still playing his draw to an A234X hand? I can't think of another card that would really impact the hands differently from there on. Even if the A2/344 hand pairs again, its not much weaker than the K-high hand.

Do you think you could elaborate?


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