Monday, February 19, 2007

FTOPS Wrap, and a Hand to Analyze

Lots of pokery action this weekend, I have got to say. Even for me. But first, let's start with a familiar refrain:

Mondays at the Hoy. Tonight at 10pm ET on pokerstars. Hopefully many of you are like me and have the day off today as we celebrate some of the most glorious leaders in our country's history. Strangely, I'm noticing that these guys who have holidays in their honor in the U.S., whose faces are carved into mountains here, etc., never tried to prevent our citizens from wagering on games of chance skill. My how things change. Anyways, so take your time today with your families, with your friends, sleep in, whatever you do on your days off. Then come home and log on to pokerstars tonight and join your friends in the run to climb onto the 2007 Hoy money leaderboard, or increase your leaderboard standing, in what is always a fun time for everyone in our weekly Hoy tournament.

So, this weekend concluded the FTOPS, and I actually played a lot more than I expected this weekend in connection with the big series on full tilt. Basically, Friday night was FTOPS Event #8, pot-limit holdem, and much like my earlier FTOPS performances this week, I couldn't hit a flop to save my life. Also much like the rest of the FTOPS for me, I still managed to last pretty long into the event, ending in 205th place out of 970-some players, based just on my wiles and my thievery, ending up losing when my AK did not improve against 88 and I busted some 70 spots out of the money. Although once again I lasted far, once again in this year' FTOPS I managed to end slightly out of the money in very frustrating fashion, playing and losing with one of the best hands I saw all night after barely hitting a flop over three or four hours.

Then a strange thing happened. Early on Saturday morning, Hammer Wife, sensing my frustration, out of the blue tells me I should play the HA event on Saturday night at 6pm ET. Yes, despite it being a weekend and all. I was floored. I'm pretty sure at least part of it was related to her wanting to cancel our dinner plans that night with a bunch of people we don't really know (long story there), but hey I'll take it. It took me about 2 hours (and exactly $101) to satellite in to that event early on Saturday afternoon, and I was in. Unfortunately, my FTOPS run continued that night much as it had started in the rest of the FTOPS, as early on I lost almost my entire stack after getting some guy allin from my big blind special where I had AK but played it slow all the way through. By the time the turn card had fallen on a board of A963, my heads-up opponent had sunk almost his entire stack into the hand with what I was sure was a just a lower Ace than mine, and when he moved the rest in on the turn I happily called him, showing my AK and he showed me A5. Horrible, horrible, smelly play by him. The 5 on the river, though, made him feel like a genius I'm sure, and I was basically done in the first hour. Gross.

In the meantime, I also managed to satellite in once again to Saturday night's 30k last night, as well as satelliting in to Saturday night's Winner's Choice tournament on full tilt. In both of these events I played very well, busting from the 30k in 106th place out of 330 runners when my AK could not improve against TT, and more painfully, busting from the WC in 27th place out of 101 runners when my AK could not hold up against Ace-fucking Queen. That one really stung because it was one of my deepest runs yet into the Winner's Choice tournament that is sort of an informal goal of mine to win sometime this year, and it's always hard when you manage to trick the big stack into giving you a quarter of his huge pile of chips just by slow-playing and stalling before making your bets or raises. Dammit that one still hurts today to tell the truth.

So, after having a lot of success once again in the satellites over the weekend, but running out of luck in the actual events, Sunday night saw the FTOPS Main Event. I don't plan to spend a ton of time rehashing all that here, but suffice it to say that our boy Iakaris ran deep, ending I think in 137th place for a cool $1449 in his second solid FTOPS run of career, and a fun guy to rail on the girly chat since I personally owned 0.83% of his total take (i.e., 13 big ones with a little generous rounding from Iak). And the big winner among the bloggers was brdweb, who is on a huge run of late after winning the Daily Double B on full tilt last week, and then finishing last night in 38th place in the main event for over 3 grand and change. I only stayed up to rail him until maybe 1am ET or so so I don't know how it ended, but I can say having played in this field of 3271 players that it is quite a feat to last as deep as brd did (or Iak for that matter), so go stop by both of these guys' corners of the blogosphere and give your congrats to both for a job well done.

Me, I ended up out of the event around 2300th out of 3271, as I never saw a hand better than AT or TT the entire night. This in stark contrast to Iak, or especially to luckbox I mean Rav who must have seen pocket Aces, pocket Kings, pocket Queens, AK or AQ at least 15 times during the 2 hours or so I railed him. Must have been nice in a big tournament like that, I gotta say. Well for me, no good starting cards was an obvious problem, and then there was the one flop I finally hit for the first time in almost the entire FTOPS run, and that's a hand I would like to get everyone's thoughts on today.

Here's the setup. I'm in middle position, with a stack of around 4800 chips (started at 5000 in this super-stacks event) and I look down to find ATs, the best Ace I saw in over 100 minutes of play in the Main Event. UTG+1 raises the 15-30 blinds up to 90, and I call his raise, knowing I'm going to need either a monster flop or a flush draw in order to continue, but also knowing this was the best hand I'd seen all day and I had to try to make something happen here. The big blind also puts in another 80 chips to call, and we see a flop 3-handed:


Boom! Just the monster flop I needed. As I said, it is legitimately the first flop I've hit hard in basically the entire FTOPS, and I'm juiced to finally win some fucking chips for a change. UTG+1 is first to act and bets out 240, a little over two-thirds the size of the pot. I go for the minraise to 480, hoping to get some more chips into the pot and at least get rid of the big blind from the hand. Before I can congratulate myself on the nice move, the big blind minreraises it to 960 chips. Hmmmm. UTG+1 insta-folds, and action is back to me.

What would you do here? Is this a push situation? No way I was folding, but do I reraise, or just call and wait to see another card? Let me know your thoughts

In the end, I went ahead and smooth called his bet. I had minraised, so I figured that actually gave me a bit of deception here that perhaps my hand wasn't actually so great, and I had already managed to build up a nice pot with a top two pairs including an Ace, so I had to feel great about where I was at in the hand right now.

The turn card is a King, for a board now ot AT5K. I pause, continuing with the feigned weakness, and then bet out half the pot, which I believe was 1230 chips (almsot exactly a third of my remaining stack) into the 2460 chip pot. My opponent responds by also pausing for a short while, and then moving the rest of his chips into the middle, enough to cover me.

Now what? What would you do here? What do you put this guy on, and what is the proper response? Again I would love to hear your thoughts, as this was legitimately the only big hand I've played in almost the entire FTOPS series this time around, and I found it very interesting the way it all played out.

As always I'll tell you all what happened after I've had a chance to read some of your comments.

I guess that's all for now. Hope everyone had/has a nice holiday weekend, and see you tonight for Mondays at the Hoy!!

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Blogger Christopher said...

I'm going to go ahead and say that he either had pocket fives, making a well-timed play at a strong hand, or he was a donkey on some kind of draw and tried to muscle you out with his minreraise/push. You haven't mentioned flush, so I guess that's out, not to be the nuts-fearer again but maybe QJ - though that'd be pretty sick. Maybe another kind of straight draw.

8:58 PM  
Blogger FishyMcDonk said...

I put him on QQ, JJ, AQ or AJ. In other words, a decent hand pre-flop that depsite what he sees on the flop, he remains madly in love with. On the flop this smells like you have the best hand. After his rereraise on the flop I probably would have jammed, trying to end the hand there to avoid a suckout. After the turn I might have paused a bit given he could have AK. But, again this smells like high pocket pair or top pair crap kicker. I would have bet exactly the same as you after the turn, and would have called the allin. (Last thought, he might actually have AT too.)

10:00 PM  
Blogger brdweb said...

Thanks for the comments Hoy. After I got into the money I experienced the same kind of card-deadness that you have in the FTOPS. In the last hour I got JJ with no action and that was about it, stealing a pot or two with like Ax. I finally went out on the same hand as Iak, pushing 55 over the top from LP and ending up against 99.

Oh and I finally bothered to fix the poker portion of my blog so if you want to update the link... :)

11:23 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

your minreraise gets minreraised back to you on the flop? it feels like your up against a set. he had pot/implied odds to call the 3x preflop raise and set mine. without a read on the guy, i might give him credit for the set. if i've seen him minreraise marginal hands before, i push on that flop. otherwise, i woulda played it ultra-conservatively hoping to spike an Ace or T on the next two streets. he may slow down if you just check/call unless you're up against a set.

was this guy sitting on pocket 5's?

11:56 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Christopher -- I thought the pocket 5s was a very real possibility there. But realistically how could the guy have QJ? What was he min-reraising me with then on the flop? Just an inside straight draw and two undercards to the Ace on the board? I just can't see that. Not as the second raiser and third bettor on that flop.

Fishy -- Same reasoning, I can't really put the guy on QQ or JJ on this flop. AQ or AJ I think is possible (less so AJ), because at least then he's got top pair good kicker. With the min-reraise on the flop, I thought AK was a much more realistic possibility than AQ or AJ. Curious why you didn't include AK in your hand range there, especially given that push on the turn.

Smokkee -- I like your analysis a lot and definitely thought it was a warning sign that he min-reraised (a very rare thing to see no doubt).

So what would you have done in my situation on that turn bet (I had never seen him min-reraise anything before)? Do you bet out half the pot like I did? Assuming you had, what do you do when he push-raises me on the turn?

1:30 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

This is why poker is so great. Min-raises either mean "I'm gonna try to steal the pot but I dont' want it to cost me too much" or "I like my hand but not enough to push" or "I LOVE my hand and I don't want to chase you off but I also want to put more chips in the pot."

If he's tight, I'd say you're up against and monster and just have to hope that you get lucky, unless you fold now for one more push monkey hope-to-get-lucky fest for you. If he's loose, I'd say he's making a weak attempt to steal and I'd push him back. After the turn you've gotten enough value from your hand and there's a good chance he'll call anyway. If he's solid you just have to decide if you want to take a chance now or if you want to fold and try to win by shoving and doubling up at one point.

Obviously that wasn't much help, but without a read on the guy, that's my thinking.

1:53 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

OK Peaker thanks for the comment. So what would you do in my situation there when he puts me allin on the turn? You sound like you'd call it and hope you're not beat, right?

3:12 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Or maybe we're all wrong and it's something silly like 10 5 two-paired and he's over-valuing. In any case, I can't see how you get away from the hand unless you have a solid read that the guy is tight.

4:03 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Doesn't sound like the bad guy hit anything on the turn, otherwise you would have expected him to do more than call. Of course, he just may be into some passive calling tactic.

My vote: hanging around, hoping for something on the river that gets him the set.

4:13 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

There is ZERO chance I am folding this hand after putting in half my stack.

4:17 AM  
Blogger PokerFool said...

uggg, thats ugly.
What do you beat? QQ, JJ, AQ, AJ?

Unless he is a total donk, he won't have QQ/JJ. So that leaves AQ or AJ for hands that you beat. You're gonna call the all-in hoping he has one of those two hands?

He has 55 or AK (Or I suppose TT). I could see either one of those just calling PF. If he has QJ, then he is a donk and got rewarded. Nothing you can do about it.

I really don' like your call PF, especially in MP. If you are gonna play that hand in that position you gotta raise so that small pocket pairs and other drawing hands fold PF behind you. If I'm in the blinds, and see a 3x BB raise and then a call, I'm gonna call with a lot of hands (small PP, suited connectors and one-gappers, etc...).

Personally, I hate playing AQ-Ax, so I either raise or pitch em.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

tough run there bro...

I won't comment since I know how it went down.

tx fer tha shoutout and glad you enjoyed the yourself something pretty with it.

7:15 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i don't mind the smooth call of his minreraise on the flop. but, i wouldn't have bet half the pot on the turn. once you do that i think you're committed to call his all-in. which, i assume you did.

9:09 AM  
Blogger crazdgamer said...

Lots of people have already said it, but my guess is that he has an Ace. It is possible he has trips, but I'm gonna say he has AK, AQ or AJ.

But, then again, this is a Hoy post, and we know these situations end badly, so he's probabaly a total donk and has QJ for the straight.

7:08 PM  
Blogger R Eldred said...

My fear in that situation is AK, however, after reading the other posts, it makes more sense that he has 55. (he would probably re-raise PF with AK)
For some reason you don't seem too steamed about the hand, so can't wait to hear how it went down.


11:01 PM  

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