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Silent Right

I played at the Tuna Club's weekly Sunday $160 tournament again yesterday and won the thing (chopped 1st and 2nd place money) for the third time in a row. It feels good to be on a hot streak, although admittedly, I had to hit a couple of 3-outters and I won more than my share of cointosses and 60/40's (4 or so total). But a win is a win, and my poker goal that I failed to meet last year is definitely attainable. My poker wallet is also swelling from my good fortune. I just need to keep the momentum moving.

I faced some interesting situations last night at the game and today at work that were oddly analogous. At the game, during the final break, I was chatting with a few of the players at the table. One of them was Gi (pronounced Jee, but I like the spelling as Gi, so work with me) and a female player. The chick was a bit surprised by a play (and some discussion about the play) that involved Gi and I.

In that hand, blinds were 150/300, and there was a 25 ante, with eight or nine players remaining. I had 3,000 chips exactly. Gi had probably in the 4,500 range. He was playing with selective over-aggression. In other words, he wasn't pushing every hand, but when he was randomly making huge bets when he seemingly didn't have to. In this hand, he pushed all-in from UTG. It folded to me in middle position and I called all-in for less with AQd. Players were pushing with all sorts of crap cards, including lesser Aces, and I figured that I was in good shape against Gi. Frankly, though, since I had exactly 10x the BB, I considered myself in push-or-fold mode, and with AQd and this crowd, I was planning to push no matter what.

After I called Gi's all-in, a shortstack with probably 1k to 1.2k called all-in from mid-to-late position, and everyone else folded. I showed AQd, Gi showed AJo, and the other guy had Q9o. Yeah. I guess the other guy was just hoping to get lucky and triple up. For what it's worth, I probably had a semi-loose image, too.

After I won the hand, the chick basically stated that I would not have pushed all-in if it folded to me. What? I didn't want to educate her, so I just shrugged at the time, but since we were discussing the hand during the break and she gave me some insight on hands I questioned her about, I felt comfortable discussing it with her and Gi. Of course, I also am constantly aware of the information I am putting out there, so if anyone wants to make the proper argument that you should never share with your opponents, I accept your argument, but that's not the point of today's post.

The thing is, she just couldn't comprehend how/why someone in my position could open-push with 3k. And I just couldn't comprehend how she couldn't see the obvious play. I even said, "I don't see any other play that makes sense there." I mean, assuming it folded to me, I'm not folding AQd. I also am not putting in a raise, because any raise would be for near 1/3 of my stack. Then, once I am re-raised, I have to call. At least if I push, I get some of the weaker pocket pairs to fold (22-66 surely, 77-99 possibly) and maybe get calls from lesser Aces (AJ only, although with some of these donks, AT possibly). Sure, I might get picked off by dominating hands (AA, KK, QQ, AK), but I am going to be priced in to call them anyway if I just raise preflop.

So, after a while of trying to explain it to her, I just gave up. "Look, there are a million different paths to the same place in poker. Let's leave it at that."

The same thing happened to me at the office today. I am playing 2nd Chair in an upcoming trial that will be tried by one of my colleagues, so the colleague, Big Bossman and I met to discuss strategy. I can say with certainty that I know this case and the law better than either of the other two. My colleague just started reviewing the case recently and Big Bossman only knows it from broad strokes. BUT my ideas just were not getting through. Both of them had a certain perspective based on their past experiences, but neither realized that the specific facts of this case rendered those perspectives skewed. Basically, they wanted to attack a problem head-on, whereas I thought the facts of the case lent itself better to sidestepping the issue and focus on other issues that would render their concern moot. Of course, I could've explained it until I was blue in the face, for all the good it did. In the end, I literally had to tell myself internally to just shut up. My colleague will be First Chair, so its on his head, and while I will help him, he ultimately will dictate what he feels comfortable with.

I'm not one to bite my tongue, particularly when I feel in my heart of hearts that I am right, but sometimes it's all we can do. People will ultimately do what they want to do. Nothing, including my debating skills, will change that in certain instances. So if the chick insists that the right play with AQd and less than 10 BBs is to raise-call, or my colleague wants to face a problem head-on when it may just emphasize that issue instead of de-emphasize it, well, that's just how those things will be.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:54 PM,


At 3:55 PM, Blogger BLAARGH! said...

Heh, you're not getting G to fold any pp or paint or Ax with a shove. I think it was a perfect move given your stacks and the dynamics of the table. You're ahead of G's range probably 99.9% of the time. Nice job.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Actually, Blaargh, we were discussing what I would have done if it was folded to me (i.e., if Gi had folded). I think she was trying to argue that if Gi didn't push there, I wouldn't have gone all-in, and I think she's batshit crazy.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger FkCoolers said...

Still plenty of soft play out in the brick & mortar world and someone raise/folding AQs there is a perfect example of it.

I guarantee her mentality was to raise a small amount in order to "get away from" a shove.

If she happened to actually tell you her idea was to raise/call there, she is begging for her money to get separated violently from her purse.

Shoving AQ if folded to you is super standard. This ensures you see all 5 cards and increases your odds of a worse hand calling, whereas raise/calling is basically you always calling behind.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger BLAARGH! said...

Yeah HOP, I was aware of that, I was mixing up 2 different ideas - 1. that G is a maniac, 2. that your shove was good as it was and 3. (which I guess I didn't write down, so it's your fault for not reading my mind... stupid humans) that a shove when folded is absolutely standard.

But no one here is going to argue that either the call you did make, or the shove you discussed with those 2 are bad, so lets all enjoy the bad play. Unless they suck out on you. Which G has done to me. Damn humans...

At 9:11 AM, Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

I have that same problem where it sems like im trying to get my point across but nobody is listening, I call this "life".

:) Congrats on the hot streak, may it go a long time.

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Dave said...

Great post! You write really well. How did the case go?


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