Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Poker Monday, and a Cash Game Question (Whaaa? Did he just say "cash game"?)

Well it's Tuesday and that means we had another fun night of Mondays at the Hoy yesterday. It also means that I busted early, failing against another typical recockucall that ended up turning from beautiful to hideous with the drop of a few cards on the virtual table. We're about 10 minutes in to the event, and I am just a bit below my starting stack, having seen a few flops and then folding when I did not hit anything out of the first several hands. I look down in the SB to find KK. Middle position (I won't use names to protect the guilty) raises it up 3x to 120, it folds around to me, and I reraise him to 300. Everyone else folds, and when the action gets back to -- let us call him the Victimizer -- he re-reraises me to just 600 chips.

What are you all thinking now? That's right. This guy has Aces. I've got the Kings, and we all know how commonly I tend to run into Aces with my Kings (or lose with my Aces to pocket Kings, that also counts). Even though the minraise is weak, that's the typical slow-raise move that I myself have repeatedly illustrated in the blog. Since this is my tournament, I tend to get mostly players who read here most days, and against those guys I need to play a little different. I need to adjust because I know that they know how I play certain hands, and they often try to play similar hands in similar ways to how I play them. In my mind, although the Victimizer hasn't been playing the Hoy long, he clearly knows my slow-raise strategy with pocket Aces, and he is using it against me. So I know he must have Aces. But at this point, even facing the third raise preflop, with still a solid 600 or so chips left in my stack, I'm not going to fold the Kings. So I move it all in. And he calls.

And flips AQ.

Sooooted.

So let's review. The Victimizer raised 3x preflop with AQs. A perfectly correct move as far as I'm concerned. Then I reraised him to 8x the BB from the blinds. Facing that reraise, one which screams a pocket pair or AK, it wasn't even enough to just call with the AQ and see if you can flop a monster. Nope, instead here the response is to min-re-reraise. With AQ. Against a guy who has just reraised his MP raise preflop. Then when I re-re-reraised him allin, again the Victimizer chooses to call off his last 600 chips.

With AQ.

Sooted.

Against a fourth raise preflop.

With AQ.

Sooted.

Don't worry, guys. The board didn't come with an Ace on it.

It came with two Aces on it.

Cheesus Christopher.

Bad beats are one thing. But to me, with the pride I take and effort I put in to reading players' hands and outmaneuvering them once armed with that knowledge, it's a whole other thing when I get bad beat by a guy who I have explicitly outmaneuvered by making a particular play. You tricky guys know what I mean? I mean if I am dealt Jacks, someone raises preflop, I move in with a reraise and they call me and flip 8s but then an Eight falls on the turn and I lose, that is one thing. But it's a whole new level of pissmeoffy when I have the Jacks, say, on the button, and it's folded around to me, where I purposefully quickly put in a 4x raise, going out of my way to look like I'm trying to steal the blinds with a weak hand. Then the BB senses this "weakness" and moves in on me. I quick-call and he flips pocket 8's, against my pocket Jacks. Then, when this guy sucks out an 8, it is much worse to me. Sure the result is the same, but the second one feels much worse. I just abused a guy into doing my bidding and likely doubling me up with not even a great hand, but in the end all my strategy and deception bought me is an early exit from the tournament. Highly frustrating.

Anyways, congratulations to PhinCity, who came in third place for $88 in Mondays at the Hoy last night, for Phin's 4th Hoy cash in the last 7 weekly tournaments. Second place and $132 went to Surflexus, the man with more blogger final tables than Adam and yet who, paradoxically, just one week ago switched exclusively to live poker and away from all online play. And first place goes to NewinNov, capturing I believe his first Hoy title (and $220 in the process) with his particular brand of aggro yet smart play. Congratulations to our three weekly cashers in the MATH tournament, and see you next week for more of the same. And again, remember, I do not plan to take the Hoy away anytime soon. As long as I am playing online poker, I plan to run the Hoy. If pokerstars decides to cowtail to the recent U.S. "anti-gaming" legislation, we'll find another place to play. I'll always keep everyone updated right here at the blog.

Anyways, my night continued in a similar vein yesterday when I also got knocked out early from the 20k guaranteed tournament on Full Tilt in a similar way to my Hoy elimination. In that one, I was dealt QQ in the SB about 20 minutes into the tournament. It was folded to me, I put in a purposefully stealy-looking raise, again along with a very quick bet from me which I believe makes it look to the average online player that I am not raising based on the strength of my cards but rather just my position. The BB responded by reraising me about 3x my bet, I believed at the time putting me on a steal-reraise. After about 10 seconds of fake deliberation, I pushed allin with a re-reraise. And he called.

With QT.

Soooooted. Two clubs.

Flop: three clubs.

This is not a joke. And I haven't even mentioned yet the mis-click that had me bet out $64 in a $.50 /1 nlh cash game with my boy drraz and with me holding nothing but 6 high on an AK9 flop. My opponent instacalled with pocket Kings, showing me trips and relieving me of my stack due to my accidental error. So that's how my night was last night. Not good.

Nonetheless, I will admit I have been having a lot more fun lately playing no-limit holdem cash games with people I know. Nothing big. Usually somewhere between $.10-.25 and $1-2. What I've found is that as long as I play carefully, I do have the ability to take people's money in cash games. It is a very slow process for me, and I think I could count the number of times I have doubled up in my life in online cash games on one hand, certainly on two. So there is still something I'm missing as far as winning with my big bets in cash nlh, but in general I've been doing well and profiting. And more importantly, I've been enjoying the cash games for the first time in a long time. So much so that I've even started playing cash with bloggers again, including this past weekend when I took part in a fun game one night with a really fun group of guys and gals. It got even more fun when I moved in on a flop of KT4 with my AK, and got called by KT, K4 and TT, and ended up sucking out a runner runner flush on the river to quadruple my stack early.

And that was when the hand came up that I want to ask you all about today. I am dealt AJo in MP. Kat is in for $.10 in the SB, and the BB is in for $.25, and then cash gamer extraordinaire JJ limps in for a quarter from UTG. That scared me a bit, so I just limped as well with my AJo.

The flop comes A87 rainbow. Kat and JJ both check to lead off the betting, and I bet out $.75 into the $1.05 pot. All fold but for JJ, who calls:



The flop comes the beautiful Jack of diamonds, giving me top two pair. This is where I like to be tricky, especially against an experienced guy like JJ. I had led out at the flop, and he smooth called my bet from the back. This tells me that JJ either has (1) some kind of an Ace, but most likely not as high as my Jack kicker because he only limped preflop from EP and only check-called on the flop, or (2) a decent pocket pair (not Aces), and is hoping I don't have an Ace in my hand. But with my preflop raise and then my lead out on the Ace-high flop, JJ has to assume now that I do, in fact, hold an Ace. So this time when he checks to me, I bet less than the size of the pot.



$2 into a $2.50 pot. This way I'm still giving JJ horrendous odds for any draws with just one card to come, and yet I'm not betting so much that he will be compelled to fold the Ax or pocket pair hand that I have him on here. I'm secretly hoping that I am appearing to JJ like I am just taking a second stab at this pot and yet might not have anything, so that hopefully he is holding something like A8 or QQ or JJ and thinks he might still be good here. And yet, I also don't mind taking this down now, although the two pairs I made on the turn make this a decent candidate for seeing a showdown since it will be very difficult for JJ to put me on exactly two pairs here.

Anyways, JJ thinks for good while, and eventually calls my $2 turn bet. As McDonalds says, I'm lovin it. Now that he called my turn bet, I have to reassess the situation. He had to call $2 into a $4.50 pot, giving him pot odds of 4.50 to 2 or 2.25 to 1. With one card to come, he would need at least a 30% or so chance of hitting his outs in order to call this with any hand that is behind or drawing, and there's no way he has that here. Thus, I have to raise my analysis of what JJ is holding, from Ax to something more like AK or AQ, or maybe I guess the same AJ as I have. JJ knows his shizz, and he's not calling my preflop raise, flop bet and now my turn bet with A6 or something here. So I'm thinking AK, maybe AQ, and he has no way of knowing I just made my two pairs with the Jack on the turn, so I'm gonna have a lot of his stack in a minute. It's just a question of how to get there.

The river card comes down and it's the 3♠. While I'm contemplating my bet here, suddenly JJ leads out for $3.75 into a $6.50 pot, right around half the pot.



I note that this is the first time JJ has taken the lead in the betting in the entire hand, and it comes after I have shown strength on every street along the way in the hand.

How should I play this? I am especially interested in hearing from you cash game guys out there (not JJ obviously since he was there) as to how you would go about playing this hand? How sure are you that you're ahead here? Do you just call JJ's weak lead-looking bet, just in case? Or do you raise for value? How much? Is this one of those push all-in situations, given the way the cards fell? What exactly is JJ holding here? What do you think of my AK/AQ read now?

25 Comments:

Blogger L'artiste said...

jjok is an experienced cash game player so I figure this call-call-lead river probably means something. Nobody makes post-oak bluffs online. I figure he has a set; I won’t give him credit for 2 pair since I believe he would have been more active with it beforehand. What about 9-10 for a flopped oesd that came in on the turn? I’d just call right here and hope that my hand is best.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Falstaff said...

I put him on a set of 7s, with him putting you on a weak Ace the whole way, thinking maybe you're running A8 or even A3 soooted for the preflop limp. If I'm right, and it were me in his place, the value bet on the river is better than letting you check it down, and it's about the right amount to get you to raise him, to increase his EV.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He either has a set (maybe 8's or 7's) which would work with his limp preflop and his smooth call on the turn. The half pot bet on the river is a value bet to get you to pay off to his made hand.

The other option is that he has 10-9, probably suited and he made an OESD on the flop (that's why he called) and the nut straight on the turn (also the reason for the smooth call). This hand is also an easy limp call pre-flop at these levels.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been playing cash games on FTP for three years now, and I think it's safe to say that you MAY be beat here. It's possible that he has a set here, but I also think it's possible that he has two pair, 8's and 7's, maybe Aces and 8's. His weak river bet is both an attempt to maximize the value of his hand, but it's also a semi-feeler bet where, if he were raised, he would know where he (and you) stand.

Now I don't know how jjok plays, but based on what information you have on him, you should act accordingly. Is he the type of player to play a set in this fashion? If so, take the safe road and call. If jjok is the type who would execute this move with a weaker hand (such as with a weak two pair or weak top pair), I think a raise to $7 or $8 is ok.

Now, if you raise on the river, you are maximizing the value of the hand, but you are also going to find out where you are in the hand. If jjok puts in a third raise, I think it's ok to fold, but if he just calls, you not only get full value for your hand, but you are ALWAYS going to just be called by a weaker hand than yours.

Looking back on this, I can tell my thoughts seem scattered, but I'm too lazy to edit the post, hehe. GL

10:36 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

So everyone thinks I must be behind here? No love for the idea that JJ was trying to see a showdown for cheap with a mediocre hand like TPTK? I would love to understand the reasoning that goes into that determination.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Wes said...

If JJ is playing like a maniac (which is my experience when he is playing a microlimit blogger cash game), I would put in a small reraise here and expect to get paid off by a worse hand.

If he's playing solid, I would lean towards calling since I think it would be unlikely that he would call a reraise here with a worse hand.

10:46 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I agree with you Hoy.. JJ is a tool. He limped in pre-flop with A3o.. thought his hand MIIIIGHT be ok on the flop.. so checked the weak kicker.. and called your small bet because your in position, and if you did not try and take the pot he would lose all respect for you. The turn bet again, like you made it, seems weak.. so he is like fuck man, he is still trying to buy it.. I must be ahead right? So he finally calls but does not like his hand.. now the river gives him the nice 2-pair.. now he likes his hand alot more and pops it. I do not think just cold calling him is a bad move, but you could probably raise him here.. Two pair is SOMEWHAT vulnerable so if you raise him and he pops you back your in trouble.. which is why I (as a wimp) cold call here, but a raise might be the right move technically.. raise him 6$ more and see what he does..

10:48 PM  
Blogger Wes said...

Hoy, it's not so much that you think you are ahead of his range after he bets out right now, it is what you think his calling range after you reraise his bet here. That is why I am leaning towards calling, although if you think that he thinks you would attack this weak blocker bet with anything and would then call you lightly, go ahead an reraise. Otherwise, call.

10:48 PM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

Well put yourself in his shoes. Would you have played AK this passively? Why would you wait until the river to finally show some kind of strength with a marginal holding like TPTK? I’d like to believe he would have put in a bet or a raise with this hand before the river.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Blinders said...

Glad to see you at the cash games. There is real money to be made there. First off, you need to play uber-tight preflop. I actually do not like the call preflop with AJo from MP. AJo is a horrible cash game hand from MP. You can get raised from behind and have to let it go preflop. If you do get to see the flop cheap, you will win a small pot or lose a big pot with AJo nine out of ten times. It is not a hand you can go to war with post flop with confidence. AJo is -EV for me according to poker tracker, and I know to fold it from EP or MP. Opening up for a raise from LP is fine.

Once you see the flop, I think your line was correct. I just call the river bet, because I would be thinking a set is a huge possibility. There are not too many hands that you would beat that would call a river rereraise in that situation.

Based on your typical examples, I would say that JJ has next to nothing, but that is not typical in cash games. Call flop, Call turn, Bluff river practically never happens at .10/.25 nl, but there is a first for everything.

The key to cash games is to push you big edges hard, and manage the pot size when your edge is slim. When you picked up two pair, your advantage got bigger, but not against a flopped set.

10:52 PM  
Blogger DuggleBogey said...

I have a personal policy of not going broke with two pair at the river. Two pair is not nearly as strong a seven card hand as it is a five card hand.

I pay as little as I can to JJ's set here.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Falstaff said...

I didn't figure he was running with TPTK because you said he was good. Good cash game players just don't get themselves stuck with one pair against real competition, and from the post JJ knows a little about your game, and you about his, so I'm inclined to give him more credit for a real hand than I would random internet donkey #347.

That's kinda where I got the idea of a set from - your read of him as a good cash game player, which would lead to his not overvaluing TPTK.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps from JJ's Perspective...

So, I'm playin some FT .10/.25 with some of the boys and I limp in with my beautiful 910 S00ted! I know jesus don't like limpers but gd if I don't love it with 910... Not to mention the added strength of the beautiful beautiful s00tedness!

The flop comes A87 rainbow. Kat and myself both check to lead allow hoy to lead off the betting which we both know he will. He doesn't let us down with a .75 raise into a 1.05 pot. Everyone folds and I know at the moment I'm beat but heck! Hoy left me close odds to call with, I'm lookin at what, an oesd and a back door flush with my beautiful beautiful 910s00ted. I smooth call.

The flop errr Turn comes the beautiful beautiful Jack o Diamonds. Well, I've lost my flush but in turn I've just made the Nut Str8, Yay me! I figure I'm up against a thinking madman who will pour money out into the pot with his ace little. Heck maybe I'll be even luckier and he'll have AJ, lol. This should get interesting! After I check, Hoy throws away another 2 bucks into the 2.50 pot. I of course sit there max time to portray calling with tptk hoping hoy does in fact have two pair or perhaps tptk and think I'm going with AQ or A10. I'm just praying he's got two pair so he'll have to call my value bet and not get put off by my call here.

River comes a blank and I am considering a check hoping that hoy will bet again but Its my thinking here that hoy must know by now that I've something big. Perhaps he's got tptk and thinks I have 2 pr, perhaps he has 2 pr and thinks I have a been slowplaying a set or str8. Either way we go I am thinking at this juncture, hoy is up to nothing except checking so at this point all I need to do is determine the maximum bet hoy will call and hopefully push with. I decide to go with half pot bet hopefully portraying tptk or perhaps 2 pair to his set. Either way hoy must call, hopefully with all his chips...

Stay tuned for the dramatic conclusion!

12:08 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

I would hazard a guess that he has a set 60-70% of the time and A3 the rest of the time. You cant raise, but you cant fold. Just call and hope to hell you win. 2 check calls out of position and betting a "safe" river card is pretty weak even for an experienced floater since you know you are getting called 9 out of 10 times on the river. He doesnt have air.

12:11 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

as aggressive as JJ normally is, i think he's trapping you with a set. i would just call here.

1:02 AM  
Blogger 23skidoo said...

JJ flopped 2 pair with J8

And thanks for not featuring me in the 'Donk play of the week' again!

1:10 AM  
Blogger Miami Don said...

I think either a set of 9T sooted.

When good players call the check and turn then fire on the river warning bells go off in my head.

The half pot bet would have me wondering also. Is he making a weak attempt to steal the pot of is he trying to feign weakness hoping he'll get a re-raise?

I'd have trouble throwing this hands away so I'd probably just call the river.

Of course you're playing $25 NL so all the fine analysis that's been posted might not mean shit.

2:38 AM  
Blogger Donnie (aka Shadowtwin) said...

I really don't see a set there. Unless he has 3s that connected on the river, I don't think anyone really plays the hand that weak along the way; two smooth calls and a half pot lead bet on the river is really not getting a lot of value for a big hand. Although if someone knew your style well enough, they would know that you would probably put all the marbles in on the river if they played it that way.

I am going to guess that he limped with a suited 7-8 and hit two pairs on the flop. I haven't played with him enough to know if he would play flopped two pair that way, but I could see someone playing it that way. He figures you for an ace based on your betting, but probably isn't putting you on two pair. Your bet on the turn was weak enough that it still looked like someone playing top pair with a decent kicker, and he probably knows your style well enough to know that you are going to raise his bet on the river if he makes it look weak.

I think you may as well put him all-in on it, since any raise (barring the min-raise) is going to get the same result. Like I say, I don't know his play well enough to know if he would play two pair that way, but just about anyone would have raised you somewhere along the way if they had made a set (or a straight).

2:46 AM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

I'm seeing T9sOOted or bottom set also.

Leading on the river generally is please-for-the-love-god-catch-something-so-you'll-call-or-raise type bet.

Or he didn't want you to check it down.

3:52 AM  
Blogger DWC said...

I say he has pocket 7's or 9/10 soooted. I agree with most people here. You don't call, call, lead bet a bluff or with a marginal hand. Also, even if he was under the gun, many cash players raise pre-flop with AK or AQ just to test the field. I would just call here. If by some chance he DID do all this with an ace, I say he has A/10.

4:15 AM  
Blogger AnguilA said...

It's one of those times where you have a good hand but you don't know for sure if you are ahead. It's obvious that you have to call getting almost 3 to 1 on your money.

What hands could he be holding? If he's a tight player I'd be inclined to think that he has a set of 7s. If he's tricky aggresive, 78s or 89s are good possibilities. I would not put him on AK or AQ.

3:08 PM  
Blogger AnguilA said...

Obviously I meant 9Ts not 89s.....

3:10 PM  
Blogger Mattastic said...

I'm confused a little as you say you limp with AJo after JJ does but then throughout the rest of the text you refer to raising preflop then leading out with an Ace showing?

I don't know his playing style but a limp UTG to me would say PP, suited ace A8+ or maybe suited connectors JT-76 if the tabel was passive enough. I'm worried here about 77 or 88, especially when he flat calls both the flop bet and the turn bet. His bet on the river is a little too big for a blocking bet I think and in my eyes has been made as he either doesn't think you'll fire at the pot again or he think's you have a decent hand and one that you would raise this bet with and he can take your entire stack.

I flat call here and see his set.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what the fuck did he have? Hehe...

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grrr, nvm, just read your last post. Disregard my last comment.

7:13 PM  

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