Monday, February 12, 2007

FTOPS Event #1 Recap, and a Hand Analysis Question

Well, FTOPS Event #1 was this past Friday, and it turns out my estimate of 1000 players +/- 10% turned out to be (happily) way, way off. In the end, 1930 or so of my closest friends all joined tournament host Erik Seidel in the 200k guaranteed event, which ultimately sported a prize pool of over $380,000 thanks to a huge influx of signups in the last hour or so before go time. I took this as a very good sign, both for the amount of money to be won in this particular tournament as well as hopefully for the amount of fundage that people still have to play with on full tilt in general, and so I went into my first FTOPS event with optimism, determined not to do anything stupid early and only to make plays for which I have the correct odds and a good reason to believe will be profitable ones overall.

Now let me begin by saying that I busted early. I want to use this post to explain what happened, and hopefully to get everyone's thoughts about the play that knocked me out. I've thought about it quite a bit myself and have come to terms with how it all went down, what if anything I wish I had done differently, etc. But I'm really hoping to get some good analysis and thoughts from you all, as the ability to analyze these hands in a common group on the blog here has undoubtedly contributed majorly to all of my tournament wins as an online poker player. That said, I want to congratulate Raveen for finishing in 111th place, the highest of any of the bloggers I saw playing in this event, as well as Lucko who I saw cashed in the low 200s, and brdweb who I believe also finshed ITM, just behind Lucko again in the low to mid 200s. I was not one of them of course, but congrats to these guys who got the FTOPS started off with a bang with their solid performances, most of all Rav, who needs a shorter blog address but otherwise put in an impressive performance just one or two days after taking down the 9k guaranteed tournament on full tilt for what might have been his first-ever major mtt victory. And while I'm on the topic, I did not see any blogger cashes in FTOPS Event #2 (HORSE) -- Badblood was the highest finisher I saw and he was out of the money somewhere around the middle of the pack -- and in Event #3 on Sunday ($300 buyin nlh which ended up having over an 850k prize pool), the only significant blogger cash I noticed was the venerable Otis from UpForPoker, who ended somewhere in the low to mid 200s for a nice score of around double the buyin for the event, which paid the top 405 finishers in the largest-yet FTOPS field this year. So congratulations to all these guys who are starting off perhaps the last big FTOPS (for American players, anyways) there may ever be on a real high note. I hope to be joining you all soon.

Anyways, back to my performance in Event #1. As I sat down to my starting table, I noticed one of these third-tier full tilt "pros" sitting two seats to my right. You all know these guys -- they show up in red on full tilt in the tournament or table lobbies, and they have their own custom avatars, and yet, you've never fucking heard of them in your entire life. That was me on Friday, as someone named Eric Froehlich was seated with me. Now, let me tell you, I watch a lot of poker on television. I watch ESPN's WSOP coverage, I've been an avid WPT watcher since the very first show of the very first season. I watch High Stakes Poker on GSN quite a bit, and I've even managed to catch most of the episodes of Poker After Dark on NBC, thanks in no small part to my DVR from Time Warner Cable. Anyways, with all this poker I've watched, I have never heard of this fucking guy. I've never even heard his name mentioned, anywhere. Ever.

Edit: I just looked up Mr. Froehlich. It appears he is a bit more renowned that I initially gave him credit for. He won a WSOP bracelet in 2005 in limit holdem (pussy), at the time the youngest-ever WSOP bracelet winner. And then he won another bracelet in 2006, this one in PLO + rebuys. I believe full tilt's website also says he made the final table at the Borgata Open last year. So, although he is more accomplished than I had thought, his lifetime winnings are basically those few cashes there, and it appears he has no major no-limit holdem tournament wins under his belt. So anyways....

Nonetheless, there is this full tilt pro seated two seats to my right, and I was happy if nothing else because I knew if I eliminated this guy, according to full tilt's policy, I would get a bounty of my $216 buyin returned to me for this event. Which, since I won my seat to Event #1 via that "Avatar Race" on my second try, that means I spent a total of $150 qualifying for Events 1, 5 and 8 combined, or $50 to qualify for each of these three events on average. So, even just $216 back to me would mean a 300%+ ROI on Event #1, which is all good. So, I'm thinking about Eric Froehlich, bring it on.

Which he didn't. In fact, I think Eric only won maybe 3 pots in the entire time I was seated at his table, two of which were obvious preflop steals from the button or one off the button which he managed to take down without any resistance from the blinds. This guy played tight and lame, and I was generally unimpressed for a full tilt "pro" but I can't say very unimpressed since I've never heard of the guy anyways, and from watching him I can see why. He's not winning anything big the way he played that night, I'll put it that way.

Anyways enough ragging on a guy who I've never seen, heard of or met before in any way. So we're about 30 minutes into FTOPS Event #1. I've taken down a couple of small pots, and haven't received a good starting hand yet. A9o is the best thing I've seen, and I've managed to steal a few blinds and win one pot where I flopped top pair decent kicker and everyone folded to my potbet on the flop. I'm feeling a bit frustrated at the complete card death, but at the same time it's early and I don't want to lose my mojo. I am right around 2700 chips (blinds are 25-50), and I find 77 in the big blind. Preflop the action folds around to Eric Froehlich, who bumps it up to 150. Now, although I've seen him steal a couple of blinds here, I've also seen him fold in similar situations several times, so I'm putting him on something good but not great here, basically another blind steal attempt but probably with a King, an Ace, something like that. Anyways, it folds to me in the big blind, and I decide to smooth call with my pocket 7s. No need to get a "pro" involved in a raising war with a hand that is likely at best 60% over his hand, and quite possibly just a 51% favorite to two overcards. 7s suck, after all.

So with 325 chips in the pot, here comes a very interesting flop:

As you can see, with just the ass end of the OESD, three overcards on the board, and two suited cards, I opt for the check to the preflop raiser. Eric responds by betting out 2/3 the pot:

What should I be doing here? Folding? Smooth calling? Raising? What would you do in this situation?

I'll tell you what I did. I decided with my draw and my pocket pair, and the fact that I was basically sure he had been on a preflop steal with an only decently good hand with at least one high card, I would go for the raise and try to take this down right now:

In retrospect, I surely wish I had just called here (or folded, though that move seems a bit too pussy for me in this spot), but even as I review the screenshots now, the raise seems fine to me. Thoughts?

Anyways, he almost instantly responds with this:

So here we are. It's 30 minutes in, I am now facing an allin reraise for all my chips with 77 on an 89T flop with two clubs of which I have one. I'm figuring I've got 10 outs (four 6s, four Jacks and two 7s) to win, which gives me about a 40% chance to beat him even if he has a pair so far. Plus, remember I had him on a steal before the flop, with probably at least one high card but nothing great. So I'm not putting him on an overpair here. And, he moved so quickly with the reraise there, I had to figure he's got something here but nothing too great. The instant move is very typical, even among pros (when they don't respect their competition), of trying to give off an impression of strength, which 9 times out of 10 actually means weakness. This all the more true when the player doing it is a 22 year old kid who's won a couple of bracelets (a couple more than I've ever sniffed, mind you) but who's never won a big nlh title. Anyways, as I thought about the right response here, I found myself wondering what would my fake internet friends think I should do here. Of course there's the Smokkee's who I cannot imagine laying down here with this many outs, and there's the Kajagugu's who I'm sure think I have to fold here since I am currently likely behind whatever he has to be pushing like this. But I am interested in your thoughts. Do I call this allin push? Do I have to fold? Should I even still be in this hand at this point? Let me know what you think, and I'll leave some space and then let you know what I did below.

So, I thought and thought and thought about this move. In the end, it was his instant push I think that put me over the edge. I mean, it was me calling 1825 to win 3820, or just better than 2 to 1, and at a 40% chance to win, I figured the pot odds were basically there. He just pushed so fast, I thought he was most likely (1) on a decent pair (but nothing great), or perhaps (hopefully) (2) on a flush draw with at least one overcard. In the end I made the decision to call the allin with my 10 outs on the flop, and he flips over (you wanna guess? I'll leave you some space below):

QTo. So, my preflop read was more or less right. I figured he had something decent but not great, and this certainly fits the bill. And, my flop read was pretty much correct as well, in that he did in fact have top pair and a pretty decent kicker. But I basically knew where I was at all along here. The one big problem, of course, is that four of my outs just disappeared, in that the Queen in Eric's hand suddenly means that any Jack makes me a Jack-high straight but makes him a Queen-high straight. So, down to 6 outs, I was actually more like 25% to win than the 40% I had figured, but I'm not sure how I can put him on a Queen there so I can't kill myself for that aspect of things. But suffice it to say, my 25% draw did not come through:

and IGH in 1679th place. Just like that. Busted.

So, what do you all think of the way this hand played out? Where, if anywhere, did I go wrong? Should I have folded my 77 and ass-end OESD to his 2/3 potbet on the flop? For that matter, should I have raised this guy out of the hand before the flop with my pocket 7s when I felt fairly sure he was stealing like he was? How about my raise instead of just smooth call on the flop? Also, what do you think of Eric's play here? Was this good poker by him? I'd love to know your thoughts on that question in particular as well. And naturally I imagine a lot of you will take issue with my allin call of Eric's insta-allin reraise after my flop raise. I would really love to hear everyone's opinions on how I played this hand. I have my own thoughts, but maybe I'll save them for a comment, or maybe for tomorrow's post, once everyone else has weighed in. All I ask is that you don't evaluate the play based on what you know happened. Instead, be sure to look at it as if you were there, live, and think about how you would have played the hand without knowing what your opponent ended up having, and without knowing how the final board came down.

OK that is all I wanted to focus on for today. A few other quick administrative announcements as usual before I close up here:

Come out tonight for the usual Monday night Hoy donkery on pokerstars at 10pm ET! Come take your shots to get on the 2007 Hoy money leaderboard, where I currently sit perched atop all others with my two Hoy wins so far in 2007. Get ready for the week in blogger tournaments by starting things off right tonight at Mondays at the Hoy.

Also, I don't have any screenshots yet for you since my internet was quasi-down late last night and this morning, but take my word for it, I qualified for FTOPS Event #6 this weekend in Omaha Eight or Better, rounding out all of the FTOPS events I can possibly play in this year. In the end I qualified for all 6 of the events I'll be playing in, and I figured it out, I spent around $350 to qualify for about $1830 worth of buyins through Events #1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10, so I'm really psyched about that. This weekend's qualifier was a 1-seat-awarded job for a $26 token buyin and 20 players vying for the seat. I entered final table play in 3rd of 8 players remaining, and hung around, hit the few big hands I needed to vault into the lead, and then withstood a late push from my heads-up opponent to take the thing down when he flopped trip Queens but I managed to flop a boat with my own Queen at the same time.

One other quick note -- last night I found myself with some time to kill earlier in the evening than usual, so I ended up logging in and playing in both the $26 buyin and the $69 buyin satellites to the Sunday night weekly HORSE guaranteed tournament. Long story short (again, no screenshots up yet though I have plenty on my pc), I ended up qualifying in both of them, for the first time I've ever qualified twice to the same event. My 2nd place and 3rd place finishes in the two events netted me my $216 entry fee into last night's 9:30pm ET 20k guaranteed tournament, as well as another dose of $216 cash money for my efforts, so that was sweet in these days of payment processor troubles as they are. And in case anyone out there was wondering, that's apparently what happens if you qualify for the same tournament twice -- one buyin, and one cash payment. Sweet! What wasn't sweet though was me finishing in 29th place overall in the HORSE guaranteed out of 115 players, when only the top 16 got cash, and when it was 7 of the worst suckouts I've ever seen in my life that ended up keeping me out of things in this tournament. Including a gorgeous hand where a guy who was behind me on both the high and the low side through 6th street hitting a miracle 2 on 7th to give him both the high and the low halves of a huge pot to eliminate me. Effing sick. Typical. But sick. Still, I'll take the extra $216 I made last night in those two HORSE sats, and be happy with that.

One last note: go check out Blinders' post today which details the changes he is seeing in his online cash games as a result of the Neteller withdrawal from the U.S. Lots of good stuff in there, and interesting conclusions he draws. I'd love to know if others agree or disagree with Blinders' findings.

OK that's all for now. See you tonight at Mondays at the Hoy!!

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Blogger jjok said...

I'm a simple sorry that my comment is crap.

I'm just not a fan of one card ass-enders. I might have considered calling on the flop, but even then I might just consider it best to dump the hand right there. Just isnt' worth it to me.

11:06 PM  
Blogger lucko said...

His hand played itself IMO. QTo is fine for a button raise. Top pair and a gutty on that board against the BB, I am jamming that too. I can't see anything I would do any differently.

I hate your preflop call. Pocket 7's is a premium hand in the button-blind battle and not a hand that plays easy post flop out of position. I am defintitely RR that.

C\R'ing that flop, when you know think it will commit you isn't good poker either IMO. You need to factor in future moves similiar to chess in poker. What was your plan with the C\R other than hoping he would fold?

Think about how the hand plays out if you either lead out, check-call or check-fold. Your hand wasn't that strong to want to get committed with it. Once you C\R the pot is so bloated, that it is hard to fold.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I was going to type up some lame explanation about how I would have done what you did, only folded when he pushed, blah blah blah, but then I read Lucko's post, and realized his plan of action sounds about a million times better than what I would have done.

So, I would have called preflop, check-raised as you did, then folded to the push. But I think Lucko's right.

11:40 PM  
Blogger TRACAS said...

As you mentioned, you are pretty sure he is a weak player. And you thought he had a marginal hand to start off, which might include a J or a Q. I a not saying that you think monsters under the bed, but at the same time you still have some chips to do some work, plus position on him. I just think there are better ways for you to extract chips from him, specially if he will make this instapushes that you know are weak. I think your train of thought here was fine, but discounting a marginal hand that turned into a better draw on flop may have been a mistake.

11:40 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

First off even I have heard of that guy.. donkey..

Secondly.. Ass end straight draw and less than bottom pair against a tight player.. mmmm hmmm.. you totally fucked that hand up bad. I guess thats how you win these things though.. best case you can really hope for here is that he does not have the straight, so you got that.. but it did kill half your outs.. worst case here he has the made straight.. bad place to put your chips in..

11:54 PM  
Blogger Goat said...

Nothing much to add to the above, except to say that I put him on Ace Jack offsuit.

Because that would be too perfect.

See you at the MATH.

12:16 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Lucko, interesting that you focus on the preflop call. To me, I think that was the best part of the way I played this hand. I think reraising that preflop with my 77 is obviously perfectly acceptable, but just checking and see a flop seems perfectly acceptable to me as well. Pocket Jacks and it's a different story, but with so many possible overcards (ie, Froehlich had two of them), I thought and think that just checking with the 77 was ok.

I'm also interested that you think he played his hand correctly. Frankly, I think his jam on the flop was an incredibly amateurish, basically horrible play that ended up working out for him because I made a poor call of his allin reraise. He's committing all his chips against a guy whose hand he knows nothing about (I just checked from the bb preflop) other than that I check-raised him on a scary flop. He's pushing allin on a RE-reraise with just top pair 10s and a Queen kicker on just about the scariest board imaginable, when he should clearly be thinking I am strong with what he's seen from me so far. Not only did Eric have just 1 pair, but 1 pair with third kicker, and with 4 possible overpairs that was also beat him, plus the flush draw and the high-card open end straight that flopped. The more I read these analyses, the more convinced I am that he played this hand like the nlh donk that he is, and that's why he's never won shizznot at no-limit holdem. IMO he made a horrible play, and got lucky that I donkeycalled him, and even luckier that I didn't already have him beat on that flop or draw out on him by the river. Needless to say I was happy to see him sit around and do nothing for another couple hours before busting well out of the money in 650-something place.

Now, your comments about my play on the flop I basically agree with. Again at the time I thought he's got nothing and I've got at least 10 outs if not already being ahead in the hand, so I thought the checkraise was a good move and yes I thought it would take it down right then and there. But you are 100% correct, I was not at all prepared for the guy to insta-reraise me allin. And you're also right that the fact that I felt basically committed with my "10" outs definitely factored in to my decision in a big way. I recall looking down at my stack, seeing I was at basically 1800 chips left if I folded, and seeing nearly 4000 chips in the pot and I felt like I was priced in to call the rest of the way.

And ultimately I agree in retrospect, my hand was not that strong to want to get committed with at that point in the tournament. I think I effed it up. Later in the tournament is a different story, but this early on, with the assy oesd draw and 4th pair on the flop, I effed it up. Fuck!

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to why you didn't reraise preflop also. It's HU, you're out of position, and in all probability you'll be behind after the flop.

What info where you sending him a check raise? In most cases my read on a check raiser is either he's drawing/semi bluffing or he thinks the other guy doesn't have a hand to call him. Here I would guess Eric thought you were on a draw and he was willing to take his 60-70% advantage and put all his chips in.

It's not entirely my choice of styles but lots of these tournament donks make the same move as Eric, double up early or go home. TP any kicker with a gut shot is worth the risk.

1:06 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...


Pre-flop calling with 77 at that stage of tournament seems fine to me. But I prefer to play small pots early in big buy in tournaments and gradually chip up.

Post flop I think you bet out, 4th pair + OESD looks nice but if he calls or raises you are behind.

Don't think hand was strong enough for check raise and would not have called Eric's all-in unless he was all-in because you did not have "bust the pro" equity.

It was bad luck that you ran into QT as the only hands worse for you are 76, J7 and QJ and I think 76 is only one of those hands where he doesn't just smooth call your raise.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Raveen said...

I agree with miami, when i think a guy is raising to steal the blinds I will RR in order to take control of the situation. By just calling his raise you showed weakness yourself. At that point he bets out and you CR (did you hesitate and check raise or was this an instant move) cause for someone like me that would be huge indicatations on whether or not you had a real hand. I do agree though that his all in repush to your raise was a bit crazy considering he probably had no information on you and your hand range could have been...well anything under the moon including 89,88,99, 910 or even QJ. All of those hands have him dead/slim so i dont know why he would push there.

After you get RR however I think its a matter of do you feel lucky knowing that your probably behind (I know math was right to calling with what your read on him was before he showed)or do want to fold out and leave urself with 1800 chips (enough) to pick a better spot. I would have folded out personally cause its too early to take a risk like that IMO but then again I'm a cash player with not enough tourney experience to say I would have done something differently.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I should have folded to his reraise. At that point, believe me I knew I was behind but I let the pot odds trick me into calling off the rest of my stack with what I figured was just a solid draw. In the end I say the pot odds "tricked" me, because, as I've written about several times before here at the blog, the only reason I had those odds to call Eric's allin reraise there was because I had already committed 750 chips on my flop reraise. Only because of those 750 chips did I have the apparent pot odds to continue. That was a bad move on my part and a bad decision to call the allin reraise. I'm still not sure that my checkraise on the flop was bad -- frankly I don't fully understand the comments here that ask what message my checkraise was sending. To me the answer to that is quite obvious -- I was sending the message that I think my hand is strong, and that I think it's stronger than whatever hand he was stealing with preflop and then betting 2/3 of the pot with as a c-bet on the flop. I checked to get some money of his into the pot, he bet it and then I checkraised his ass because I was stronger. That was the message that I was sending witht the checkraise, which I assume is the message with maybe 90-95% of the checkraises I see in my poker play generally. So I'm not sure I understand the objection to my checkraise.

Where I do think I went wrong though is calling Eric's allin reraise, even though I (correctly) put him on not much of a hand. I had a lot of outs but 4th pair and some outs is even less of a hand than "not much of a hand", and when the guy puts me to the test for all my chips, I clearly could have picked a better spot to get it allin there. I hate that I made a move like this, but I realize it with a little bit of perspective, and I sure as shiat won't be doing this again in any of my other FTOPS events.

Thanks for all the great comments, keep em coming!

1:44 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

Preflop, that is actually an auto-RR for me. The RR takes that pot down enough times to be +EV in itself. Having control of the hand and some idea what your opp is holding make it the clear play. Any flop with overs you leave yourself guessing. You also set yourself up to be outplayed, a lot.

And his hand, what do you do with QTo in his spot facing a RR from the big blind? Its jam or fold. He really has no other option. Folding seems very weak to me, I am jamming that 100% of the time. This isn't cash. He is good enough times and has enough outs against most hands he is behind against, to making pushing there a fine play IMO.

1:46 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

First, thanks for mentioning me in the same sentence as Smokee (although I think you were actually saying I am the weaker end of the spectrum, but it's still ok, cause I probably am).

I think your mindset here was a bit off, focusing on your impression that E-Fro is a "third-tier" pro (even though he was the youngest person to have one bracelet and then the youngest to have two until Madsen did took it away last year). You could not bust him and get your buy-in back because he had you covered as well.

So back to my pesimistic view of poker. I would not play 7s out of position like that. I agree with Lucko that you need to re-raise pre-flop and let the hand go if you meet resistance. Worst case scenario is he has QJ and you are drawing dead to a flush or a boat (I wouldn't even call those long shots).

His play, to me, indicated that he had a made hand (QJo) and was trying to protect it from a flush draw. The pre-flop bet looked like a probe. Your check raise could possibly be interpreted as you trying to make him go away. What can you hold to make that move? 88, 99, TT? With those hands you probably re-raise pre-flop. Two pair? If he thinks that and pushes then he's an idiot (with two bracelets).

All that being said, there is no way I call the all-in and put my tournament life on the line. No way Hoyze.

Good luck with the rest of the series.

1:51 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

OK Lucko that is a good question, what do I think he should have done there? For me, I would have folded the QTo to my checkraise. Not a doubt that's what I would have done. He has absolutely no clue what I am holding, and I've just checkraised him on the scariest possible flop. At most I would have smooth called and seen the turn card, but most likely I would have just folded if I were him. I would be assuming I was beat already, or up against some big draw that basically has me only 50-50 or very close to it. That's what I think he should have done. QT on an 89T board facing a checkraise early in a major tournament is just not a great situation to be in there. I guess pushing alliin is probably a bit better than smooth calling now that I think about it, but that's all the more reason to just fold to the checkraise there. In fact, getting to what I said earlier, I actually think getting it allin on that board with that hand is really the wrong play. He got lucky not to be eliminated with it this time, but pushing allin against a checkraise on the flop on the worst board in the world and with only top pair 10s and a Queen kicker. Gross.

The presence of the gutshot draw is the only thing he had going for him that I think helps mitigate the badness of his push. Without the gutty I think it is truly the worst push I've ever seen by any alleged "pro". With the gutshot, and the knowledge that even if I hold a 7, any Jack is going to make him the nut straight instead of give me a win, that's the only thing I think that argues strongly in favor of the push. If he would have made this same play without the Queen in his hand, then I really laugh at him.

And Kaja, if you're really worried about QJ there, then I don't really know what to say to you. I'm an odds guy, and the odds if him having flopped the stone nuts there are just so atronomically low. I'm just hopelessly not one of those guys who always fears the nuts. Yes on occasion I run into the nuts (like last night when I ran into pocket Aces on six separate occasions), but from a mathematical odds perspective that is just so remote, that to say his play made you think he was on a made hand like the nut straight is just completely foreign to me.

And to be clear, I did not mean to suggest in any way that you're weak. I had just read your comment to my previous post referring to me having "overplayed" this hand (which I agree with btw), so I used you as an example there because I already knew that's what you thought.

Too bad I'm not like you and Lucko and didn't just fold there, even if I had already checkraised that flop. I made a stoopid error there and paid for it with my tournament life.

But I still say mr. pro should not be wanting to put his tournament life on the line with a generally mediocre hand very early in a large tournament, on just about the worst board anyone could think of. Froehlich if you're reading this, I think you're an nlh donk and need to stick to limit holdem and PLO. In fact, I'll kick your ass at PLO too while we're at it. You can have limit poker because I am too manly for that.

I could have had KT, AT, JJ, QQ, KK or AA. I could have had two overs with a flush draw. I could have had an oesd and a flush draw. A pair and a flush draw. A pair and an oesd (which I did). What about 88, 99 or TT? 89? T9? T8? Since I had only limped and then checkraised, the prudent move for early in a big tournament like this -- not some donkey $10 blogger tourney where I think a push like his is probably just fine, even if not the best possible play -- has got to be for him to fold there to a huge number of potential hands that I could have that are ahead of him with two cards to come. I have little doubt I would have folded in his shoes. I almost folded in my shoes, and I believed I had 10 outs and was already priced in odds-wise to the hand. I'm folding in his shoes 95 times out of 100.

2:28 AM  
Blogger slb159 said...

You got a lot of great comments here , so thanks for the question, so I can learn some things myself.

Personally, I have no idea what I would have done in that situation, but hindsight's always 20/20, so here's my take after seeing how it unflolded.

You say three things in your post/comments that sound a bit contradictory:

1. "I think Eric only won maybe 3 pots in the entire time I was seated at his table, two of which were obvious preflop steals"

2. "This guy played tight and lame"

3. "To me the answer to that is quite obvious -- I was sending the message that I think my hand is strong" think the guy is stealing, but don't RR him pf?

You think he's tight, but don't put him on a strong hand when he shoves all his chips in?

And finally, to agree with most of the commenters abot RRing pf, you think you're representing a strong hand with your post-flop play? Then why not represent a strong hand pf?

These pros know that everyone at the table wants to bust them so they could have the "glory" of being able to tell their friends they busted a pro. He should figure, in his mind, that a pf RR means you have something that can beat his QT. If you RR'd pf, he would hopefully get the message he was behind...which he was.

Post-flop, I'm sure he put you on some flush draw and anted you out of the pot or, at least pay for trying to hit.

Now yes, I've seen this guy win that Limit event and I agree with your take that TP3rd kicker isn't something he should have felt was enough to go to war with, but as Rav said, you showed weakness pf, so he most likely doesn't figure you for an OP and just some kind of draw, like I said...which you indeed also had.

His mentality that TP was good was a very limit-poker-type mentality and reflects your saying that he's not won anything considerable in NLHE. Inexperienced (bad) players like me learn the hard way that TP is good. So agree that he didn't play the hand very well himself. Just don't agree with either of your plays I guess.

But like I said earlier, I have no idea what I would have done in your situation, but that this is all in hindsight after seeing the results.

Best of luck at the tables.

2:52 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

I did some work on his call, I have him at about a coinflip against a reasonable range for you. With dead money in the pot and some fold equity, I still don't think its a bad push. Its a little thin, but gambling for a stack early isn't a bad thing.

2:55 AM  
Blogger slb159 said...

Oh, and it does seem to contradict your middle pairs post where you said that you usually will RR people pf in LP and said something to the effect of, "in all the above screenshots, everyone folded to my RR".

Take care

3:04 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

One other thing. I obv didn't mind his jam. I wouldn't have hated a fold there either. Calling however, would have been absolutely horrible IMO.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

I call preflop like you, and would lean towards folding on the flop. You really don't have 10 outs. Thats a very scary flop. Decent chance you are already way behind agianst a higher set or flopped straight. You can't count the (4) jacks as outs because he could reasonably have a Q. If he has a J your (2) 7s are not outs. Your best hope is to hit one of the (4) sixes, and have him not have flopped the straight. I might have somehow talked myself into a CALL on the flop, but I am gone on the turn without improvement, and there is no way I call the push there with what you had.

Also E-Fro may be unknown to you, but he is a solid player. You said he was super tight up to this point. I would be giving him tons of credit, possibly putting him on something like QJ, JT, QQ or JJ, or a higher set, so I am not playing this for a big pot until I improve. I think he played it great.

3:39 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

sux to go out that early to sum clown named E-Fro. but, he does have a coupla bracelts. so, he deserves sum respect.

you should reraise preflop to what appears to be a button steal. then come out firing on the flop. but, i don't like jamming that flop. bet 2/3 the pot and insta fold to a reraise. a flop jam just looks too weak and you're chasing the ass end of a straight. just hope he folds to the aggression pre/post flop.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Lucko, I agree with you, Efro should not have called the flop. I would have folded. Obviously he made the right play since he was not only ahead, but he got me to call him with what turned out to be only 6 outs. But I would have folded there, and done so quickly. What do I have to be putting in a third of my stack with? Top pair Tens and a Queen kicker on a horribly coordinated and flushy board? I'm outta there like Vladimir.

4:23 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

Since I was watching the table from the first hand until your elimination on the 43rd hand of play I can tell you the E-Fro played 2 hands previous to the fatal one and had a VP$IP of 4.76%. This was the first hand he played on the button (thank you PokerTracker). The other two were from CO+1 and CO+2 (which he won after he raised). He never showed down a single hand.

That's pretty tight. Out of position, this early in a deep stack major, against a super-tight player, I let this hand go after the flop, or maybe call the flop and let it go on the river.

I obviously haven't played as many tournaments as you have at Flush Tilt but I can tell you two things I've learned:

1) Expect people to flop the nuts. It happens ALL the time.
2) If there are two clubs on the flop, someone is going to end up with a club flush.

I don't have the stats (or the energy to check them) but I have never seen so many flush flops, four-flushes and rivered flushes as I have at Flush Tilt.

4:52 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I also want to say one other thing here. Many of the commenters are hitting on the fact that I should have reraised him preflop. In any event I would never be putting in a big reraise there with my 7s -- I still think calling is a better play than raising IMO, even if I do think he's on a steal, but anyways -- I don't see how this is a big factor in how the hand played out. My shitty call of his allin reraise, and probably my checkraise in the first place on the flop, are the big factors in how I effed up this hand. But, think about it, he bumps it from the button from 50 to 150. Folds to me in the BB, and I reraise to what? 450? Let's just say I make it 450. I'd say the odds are over 50% he makes the call at this point, and sees the flop. Not 100%, but he's probably calling with two high cards and seeing where he's at. And, I also doubt he plays this differently on the flop, once he flops the top pair Queen kicker that he obviously was madly in love with.

I think there was some chance that my preflop reraise gets him to lay down his hand, and then this whole post never gets written today. But I would put that chance at less than 50%, and I don't see him playing the hand any differently on the flop just because I had reraised preflop. Either of those are possible but both seem more unlikely than likely to me. I just think that focusing on my preflop play, while subject to reasonable debate as to whether or not I played this right, is not where I really messed things up. I could have gotten out for real cheap on the flop or certainly after his allin reraise on the flop if I hadn't played like such a pussball.

5:26 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

Out of position, I am RR more than to 450 here. I think you could argue that folding is better than calling here actually. I don't see calling and guessing on the flop as a profitable long term play.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

OK Lucko I'll accept that. Surprised you'd want to put more than a sixth of your stack in with pocket 7s against a preflop raiser, but that said, I accept that such a move would be much more likely to have gotten him to fold here. Very good discussion and analysis. Clearly I misplayed this hand and I can use the help.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

This is an interesting post, hoy, but I think what everyone's saying should make sense to you - especially given your own position on middle pairs strategy. I'll offer my own weak opinion.

Reraising a steal-move (which is what it seems to have been) with (probably) the best preflop hand is the correct move, and as you said yourself in your middle pairs post, the aim is to take the pot down right then and there. However, I think here you decided to play coy with the best preflop hand and hoped to catch a monster on the flop (trips or better) and then you could potentially "trap" him for all his chips. I think the bounty was factoring into this preflop decision, "bring it on" you even said.

So, if we think that the preflop call was a mistake but are willing to let things slide for the intent of trying to bag this guy, let's analyse postflop play.
You do not flop a monster. You flop the idiot end of a straight draw, three cards to a flush draw, very little indeed. You *can* check here, but you're not really getting the information you want - you want to test if you're ahead, your pocket pair are dwarfed by the three overcards, and it's a scary board. So leading out here is the best move in my opinion, if he raises, you can release the hand easily without much of ado - why?

Well, any of the three overcards has you as a dog (a dog with outs, but a dog nonetheless), and that's without factoring in if he had drawing possibilities to boot. In fact, he could already have the made straight - QJ is a reasonable stealing hand. But aside from the "what hands beat me" Daniel-Negreanu-style guesswork, this is fundamental mistake in middle pair postflop play.
Your pocket pair are essentially in danger, so you either lead out and fold to a raise, or you check and be prepared to call a pot-sized bet on the flop to see if your draw fills out (a club could hit and provide the necessary scare card for you to bet, or maybe the 6 hits). If you'd called, you would've seen the 9 fall, essentially counterfeiting your pocket pair and you could've gotten the hell out of dodge.
Instead your check-raise sends very mixed signals - did you flop a straight, or the nut flush draw? He'll be thinking about what hands you called the preflop raise with. It's possible you called with JQ suited, but more likely he's putting you on a low pocket pair (below the board cards, because you didn't reraise?) or high cards. Also, you'd probably smooth-call the flopped straight to milk him, so maybe he puts you on the AK/AQ/AJ of clubs and is putting you to the test. In any case, when he pushes, regardless of HIS analysis and play, it now comes down to you and you do NOT have a hand worth calling all of your chips off for at this stage in the tournament - he's played very little hands, so you don't have any read on him or your range, whereas he perhaps has a read on you.
There are any number of cards he has that kill your action, the queen stole some of your outs, but he could've easily had the jack, more outs gone for you and more for him, or maybe he has the nut flush draw and your arse-end of the straight means nothing if another club hits.

I think you had some sort of brainfart here, a bit of ego perhaps (he's going to steal-shove ME off a hand? this nobody pro?) mixed with greed perhaps (mmm, bounty)? In any case, there was a lack of respect flying both ways here and you came off the worst - but that should've been obvious from the cards on the board.

7:46 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

Hoy- I would always rather make mistakes being too aggressive than to passive. Not that that should surprise anyone. LOL

11:44 AM  

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