Tuesday, July 24, 2007

MATH Recap, and Hand Analysis Question

33 players at the Hoy on Monday night, another big turnout to start the week. And included in the mix were at least two first-timers, RaisingCayne and hoops15mt. I told Cayne early on in the chat, and in fact even before the tournament in a comment here from Monday afternoon, that I thought he had a good shot in his first showing in this tournament, and in the end I got to watch him from the earlygoing and got to see Cayne slowly but surely growing his stack as he edged ever closer to the elusive MATH final table. Me, meanwhile, I ran JJ into TT, which promptly gave way to a (2-outer) Ten-high flop, and the rest was history as they say. Not my best play ever given that I had pocket Jacks -- only slightly more profitable for me over time in nlh tournaments than its bastard cousin the JackAce -- but a hard one to get away from the way it unfolded.

As far as the cashers this week go, as you may have noticed, at Mondays at the Hoy we have experienced a lot of beginners luck, with first-time MATH players taking down the entire tournament on at least four separate occasions during 2007 alone. And this week's tournament did not disappoint on this front either, as hoops15mt ended the day in 4th place, cashing for $95.04 in his first ever Hoy tournament. In third place was Irongirl, earning $142.56 for her efforts as Iron made it to her third consecutive final table. And the beginners luck theme continued with this week's 2nd place finisher, as Cayne busted out with a big stack early, added to it and at various points held a slight chip lead when down to three- and four-handed, but in the end Cayne fell victim to some very bad luck when heads-up (and earlier at that final table) and ended the night in 2nd place, winning $198 in what was also his first ever attempt at Mondays at the Hoy.

And who was the man, the myth among all bloggers, who managed to Bayne time and time again with lucky flops, turns and river cards on his way to victory last night? It was none other than Waffles, fresh back from World of Dorkcraft fixation to slide into his first MATH in weeks and take the whole thing down. Waffles has a nice writeup of his performance this week on his blog, so go check that out. All I will say is that the final hand saw Waffles get allin on the flop with nothing more than an inside straight, and then hitting his 3-outer on the river to take down the weekly title and the $356.40 first prize from his heads-up opponent in Cayne.

And here is the updated 2007 MATH moneyboard including this week's exciting action:

1. Bayne_s $1175
2. Columbo $974
3. Hoyazo $849
4. VinNay $775
5. cmitch $774
6. Iggy $745
7. NewinNov $677
8. Lucko21 $665
9. Waffles $650
10. Astin $616
11. Tripjax $561
12. Julius Goat $507
13. mtnrider81 $492
14. Chad $485
15. scots_chris $474
16. Fuel55 $458
17. RecessRampage $434
18. Otis $429
19. Miami Don $402
20. Jordan $382
21. Blinders $379
22. Pirate Wes $372
23. lightning36 $371
24. PokerBrian322 $365
25. IslandBum1 $357
26. ChapelncHill $353
27. Zeem $330
28. Mike_Maloney $326
29 oossuuu754 $312
30. leftylu $295
31. Emptyman $288
31. Wigginx $288
33. ScottMc $282
34. Fishy McDonk $277
35. Irongirl $252
35. Manik79 $252
37. Wippy1313 $248
38. Byron $234
39. wwonka69 $216
40. Omega_man_99 $210
41. Pushmonkey72 $208
42. RaisingCayne $198
43. Buddydank $197
44. jeciimd $195
45. bartonfa $180
46. 23Skidoo $176
47. Santa Clauss $170
48. Iakaris $162
48. Smokkee $162
50. cemfredmd $156
50. NumbBono $156
52. lester000 $147
53. LJ $146
54. Heffmike $145
55. brdweb $143
56. DDionysus $137
57. Patchmaster $135
58. InstantTragedy $129
59. Ganton516 $114
60. Fluxer $110
61. hoops15mt $95
62. Gracie $94
62. Scurvydog $94
64. Shag0103 $84
65. crazdgamer $82
66. PhinCity $80
67. maf212 $78
68. Alceste $71
69. dbirider $71
70. Easycure $67
71. Rake Feeder $53

So there you have it. 71 players have now cashed at least one time in the weekly Monday night MATH tournament, including again this week's two first-time entries onto the moneyboard in hoops15mt and RaisingCayne. And congratulations to Waffles for not only winning it all for the second time this year, but for climbing into the top 10 on the 2007 moneyboard with the performance as well. I look forward to another fun time next Monday night at Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt.

Alas I bubbled in the Avatar Race satellite for the second straight time last night. I have had a lot of mtt satellite bubbles recently, and it is really pissing me off. At least I did manage to win my way last night into the $50 super satellite to FTOPS Event #7. That is that juicy $1000 buyin 6-max nlh event on Monday August 13, and the sattellite I am not registered for is at 9:30pm the night before the big event. At only $50 a pop, this is not much of a satellite in that seats to FTOPS #7 will only be awarded to one out of every twenty players in the satellite, and frankly if I had really understood that I was playing a low-dollar rebuy super satellite into a satellite that itself only had a $50 direct buyin I might not have played it at all, but at this point I am happy to be in on at least something related to the upcoming FTOPS tournaments since again I do not expect to be able to play in most of the events this year due to other engagements.

OK before I go today I would like to show you a hand from my cash game play this week that I think illustrates a bit of a rare situation, but one which comes up in some form or another more often than one might think if you play enough no-limit holdem, whether live or on-line. I would love to hear how you guys suggest playing this hand, what you think of the way I played it, and what you think my opponent might have to have played the hand the way that he did. I will be back tomorrow with the answer to show what the other guy was holding and how the hand ended up, but really it is the process and not the result that I am more interested, as is usually the case.

So here's the setup. You're playing 2-4 6-max nlh, and you have 88 in middle position. Action folds to you and you put in a standard pot-raise to $14. The cutoff to your right calls, and then sadly both blinds call as well. There is $53.20 in the pot, and here comes the flop:

Both blinds check to you. You have just flopped top set, but it is on an all-suited board, a suit of which you have none in your hand. The board is also connecting, of which you also have none even though somebody could technically have flopped a straight with the 468 flop. So how do you like to play this here? Are you going to push hard to get all the flush-chasers and straight-chasers out of there? Or do you bet meekly in an attempt to seem like you are on a draw or at least are weaker than you actually are? Anybody like to check here and see what develops, either if the cutoff bets out on this flop or otherwise you can wait and see what the turn card brings before committing a lot more chips?

I opted to go for the check here. I reasoned that with four opponents, the odds of nobody having a decent, playable spade were probably very low since we all called a preflop raise and thus probably have some or mostly high cards. Also with the straight possibilities out there, I figured anyone with any kind of a primary draw is going to stay in for any reasonable-sized bet. Generally with a strong hand on a very draw-heavy board I do try to bet big, in this case with four of us in there I felt it very unlikely that I could push everyone out from all the possible draws, and thus it seemed most prudent for me to check in this spot. The cutoff bet out $50 into the $53.20 pot, the small blind folded but the big blind called, bringing the action back to me, to call $40 into a pot that now contained $133.20:

What do you like to do here? Call, raise or fold?

Following the same logic as above, I went for just the call here, reasoning that I was about to get beat if any spade or any further connecting card came off on the turn (assuming the board did not pair up, giving me the nut boat).

The turn brought an offsuit King, which I reasoned was good for me in that clearly neither the flush draws nor the straight draws could have filled with that card. With still two opponents left, how would you play this now that the turn has not hurt your near-nut hand? How worried are you about someone flopping the flush or the straight, given the action so far?

I decided to check the action again, maybe being a little bit fearful and maybe being a little bit trappy. I'm not really sure how I could put someone specifically on the flopped flush or the flopped straight at this point, so I figured here let's see if one of the other two opponents will bet out on this non-scare card on the turn, so I can raise them unless I get a specific read from when or how much they bet.

The cutoff led out again, this time for $140 into the $173 pot:

and the big blind folded his hand. Now what?

What does this guy have, given his betting so far in this hand?

Answers and my thoughts on Wednesday.

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Blogger L'artiste said...

Ugh, I absolutely hate being in this spot. I'll play two pair on a one suit board the same way I'll play a set on a one suit board: Hard and fast. While it's possible you'll be up against a made flush, more often than not you'll find a donkey over playing his suited ace or a pair + flush draw. I don't like check-calling at all here. Bet it out, if you're raised, you have two options: 1. Jam right now or 2. Call and re-evaluate on the turn. Unless you have a sick read here, I don't think it's ever a bad play to get all your chips in on the flop since you can still fill up on the turn or river.

So I'd go with the bet out and jam if re-reraised.

1:44 AM  
Blogger emptyman said...

Feels like 9s9x to me. I push here, it should price out 1-card flush draw. Can't see him playing flush this way, and 75 for straight, god help us all if that's true.

1:58 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

I"m with you on the check on the flop. I like that move. When I face a really scary board with a flopped set like that, I try to get a paired board as cheaply as possible. You almost have to think of it as a drawing hand. Yeah, it sucks that you might wind up giving the guy a flush with a free card, but not every set has to earn you a lot of money. This is not a good situation with three others in the hand. Plus the betting will tell you what they have.
I still like your call with two others in the hand. I almost thought about pushing here, given that you've narrowed the field. The bet, a protective bet, smells like an overpair to me, and the call smells like a draw. So given that, a call is OK because you are drawing too. You don't want to ruin your "draw" by raising here.
On the turn, another check is good. No problems there because you'll get more information. The guy bets almost the pot again. So no way did he flop the flush. I think he'd slower play that (not that that's the right play all the time, but that's what most online players would do). The K didn't help and may have helped you, given that one may have A,K here.
Did the other guy flop a straight? Not bloody likely. He called a raise with 5,7? I suppose it's always possible, but I don't think so, and if he did, he's a fool who got lucky.
So when the guy bets the turn like that again, I shove my chips in the middle, hope the second guy folds (or if he calls, I fade his outs) and watch the other guy show me QQ or JJ (maybe with a spade) and fade his outs too.
I spike a full house on the river, then write a self congratulatory post about how brilliant I am.

2:20 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

I think he flopped a small flush based on the way he played it. But there is no way you can dump top set here..... When in doubt, push and pray :)

2:57 AM  
Blogger crazdgamer said...

His range is too big at the moment.

He could have AsKx, a lower set, an overpair (99 or TT, you'd get re-raised against JJ+), a middle or low flush, or complete air. By checking the flop and the turn, you haven't defined your hand to him, so it is a trappy play, but you haven't defined his hand too well, either.

I'd push. I don't think he has the flush, and I wouldn't want to see the river on this hand. Too many cards can make this hand more difficult.

3:15 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

1) The green markings indicate you have some notes on these players. Hopefully this gives your reads some insight especially into suited donk tendencies

2) Like the flop check, like the flop call.

3) To me the turn fold Phwap indicated he had a high spade. Phwap could have small flush or lower set, since I hate calling rvier bet with set on board like this I go ahead and push turn while I have outs.

4) If it was me you were up against I would be playing a 5s7s and luckboxed into straight flush but I would bet smaller with flopped straight flush

3:15 AM  
Blogger Goat said...

Straight means he called a raise with 57 and the table yet to act. I don't put him on a straight.

I think an overpair with a high spade or maybe As-x for his holding.

A flopped flush is a cold deck. A set of Kings is a REAL cold deck. Cannot see laying this down, so a call will be criminally weak/tight. Push for the (modest) fold equity, and if he has a flush, you have 10 outs for about 20% re-suck value.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Zachary said...

The bet on the turn seems like it's hoping for a fold. I'd push.

3:32 AM  
Blogger cmitch said...

"I opted to go for the check here. I reasoned that with four opponents, the odds of nobody having a decent, playable spade were probably very low since we all called a preflop raise and thus probably have some or mostly high cards. Also with the straight possibilities out there, I figured anyone with any kind of a primary draw is going to stay in for any reasonable-sized bet. Generally with a strong hand on a very draw-heavy board I do try to bet big, in this case with four of us in there I felt it very unlikely that I could push everyone out from all the possible draws, and thus it seemed most prudent for me to check in this spot."

Isn't this flawed logic. You think you probably have the best hand and are pretty sure that you can't push the draws out. Why wouldn't you bet big here and give them incorrect odds to call, thus extracting max. value with what you believe to be the best hand?

I think after the bet and BB call on the flop, that you push (or essentially bet big enough to commit yourself) when the action is back to you. Why would you flat call and then fold if a four flush hits the turn?

After the turn bet I am pretty much shoving on the guy. From the cutoff's POV, the way that you have played the hand makes it look like you are on a flush draw. He may call a shove with a draw, overpair, AK, etc. If he flopped the flush then it is just a cooler for you in a 6 max game imo. In a full ring game, I don't mind playing it more tentatively.

I am not a big fan of giving free cards if you think you have the best hand.

My guess is that he has AsKx (possibly AxKs). If he has the flush, then you just got unlucky.

3:35 AM  
Blogger Poker Brian said...

Personally if I raised pre-flop and I flopped that board, I'm betting out. I'd put in a nice 3/4ths pot right there. Assuming the people you are playing with aren't total donks this will rid you of any Qs on down, 1 card flush draws.

I doubt any of those people called a raise with some weird straighty type crap and even if they did, they would probably be more scared of a flush beating them anyway. A call here by any of the drawers is more indictive of a made flush then someone raising. A raise after your bet would probably either be an out right bluff or a draw to the nut flush. A made flush (in position) would just call your bet since he wants to maximize his profits.

The K on the turn certainly did not help anyone, but by just checking, again you are saying I have a weak hand. Heck if I had managed to get here and check again Id bet with anything, even no spades to try and force you out. I'd try a re-raise right here to see where you are. If he doesn't have the nut flush at this time he may think you slowplayed As-Xs. If he calls, you are beat.

Looking at how this played out I would definately put him on the As. By his betting and his call of your raise (pre-flop), I might even put him on As-Qx, As-Jx, or As-10x.

So what happened Hoy? Hope you won man.

3:48 AM  
Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

I think the play is fine up to this point. I'm definitely shoving into his turn bet, though. Cmitch said he put him on AsKx or AxKs, and that's my feeling as well.

4:11 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

AsKx. Push him and hope the spade doesn't come.

I base this on nothing but my gut. If he has KK or the flush, well... shit.

4:12 AM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

If he has a flush, we still have 10 outs to improve to a full house or better (unless he has KK but he doesn't). Our hand is really live and might still be the best.

Check calling the flop to push a non spade turn is really weak tight play. If he has a flush, we're beaten anyways and all we've accomplished is giving the vilain a free shot at nailing a one card flush. Bet out + jam is the way to go here.

4:38 AM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Hoy, thanks for the MATH breakdown. And thanks for the warm welcome into the community... Lookin' forward to more bloggerments in the future.


Regarding the situation you posed... First, you're correct that I believe this occurs A LOT more than people may think. If/when I'm in your position holding top set on an all-suited flop, I'm either raising big out of the gate or if I have a read, checking with the intent of making a large check-raise. Honestly your check-call here seems real fishy to me, as you've essentially provided the means for a spade to hit the turn and you simply cannot consider there's any significant chance that you're behind here. (Although, I will say I recall winning a huge hand in the MATH last night with my flopped flush vs. top set, so I guess there is a small chance of being behind, that may well indeed merit consideration.) Personally, I would ignore the tiny chance that you're up against a flush or a straight and jam with a huge check-raise on this flop essentially hoping to not even see the turn. But your call is definitely understandable to learn more on the turn.

And as far as post-turn, I think you have to raise villain all in here. As KsKx is the ONLY hand which makes the turn a scare card, and I think villain would've bet out smaller with this holding. I put villain's range as including hands like: AsKx, AxKs, 99-AA with one spade, etc. Yes there's now a significant possibility that you're beat by a two spade holding, or even KK, but them's the breaks. I think you have no choice but to see the hand through, given the large chance of a 99-QQ, or AK holding... I re-raise villain all in here.

But before you go paying too close attention to anything I say, do remember that I'm a donkey! Lookin' forward to finding out what happened...


5:01 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

You know I HATE calling post flop. I c-bet that flop for sure, but smallish (1/2 to 2/3s pot). I want them to pay, and will price them out on the turn if I get callers. Also, I can fold to a jam on the turn after a 4-flush if required. The guy is betting too much for a straight or even a baby flush, unless retarded. You are ahead here.

5:16 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Oh wow, didnt even notice waffles won..... This confirms my theory that any luckbox can win a bloggament.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Here's my two cents:

The likelihood of AA-QQ is low since there was no preflop reraise. Of course, I know nothing about this opponent, and maybe your notes show his tendency to do this. IMO his range is huge.

On the flop, it doesn't seem like he really wants callers, nor does it narrow his range all that much. He could have hit a flush and is trying to price out anyone with AsXx. He could have an overpair too or have the As himself.

His turn bet is says to me one of two things: either A) he's got AsKx or B) he's got a set or flush (ok, maybe 3 things). KK is the only pair you're worried about, which seems unlikely. Flush is still possible, but with your smooth call, would he really be betting big with something like JTs, KQs, etc.? It seems more like he's trying to push you off the pot than it does a value bet. Even against a set, you got 7 outs to the full house. I go with the ol' push & pray move. Not only might you be ahead, but it's also consistent with flopping the nuts, which unless he has it, he has to be concerned about.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Bet the flop hard. Giving a free card or allowing the flush draw to size the bet is retarded. It doesn't matter that you don't push out all the draws. They are paying too much and that is what you want. You think way too much about the present pot in isolation, not enough about profit over the longer term. It's not about winning pots, after all, but about winning money.

Failing that, checkraise the flop. You are showing a lot of strength and if he pushes, you can be reasonably sure that you are beaten, although you might well call it for pot odds. You don't say how much you have behind, so it's hard to say.

Your action on the flop has left you in a bad spot on the turn. Your hand is not "near-nut".

I think his most likely hand is a small flush. He can't slowplay it on the flop because he doesn't want to give the free card to a bigger spade. On the turn, he is putting you on a likely big spade and is making you pay to outdraw him. He thinks you'll call a decent bet. But other hands are possible.

I don't know what I'd do on the turn. I'd hate folding, but I hate having to call another bet on the river. You can't put in a blocking bet on the river because a missed draw simply folds where they may have bluffed and made flushes raise you: in other words, you have the typical spot where a bet cannot be right. And you are going to find it difficult to interpret a bet from villain.

I'm guessing you called, the river was the K of spades, and you won a monster pot.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Dillo said...

Great hypo again Hoy.

There's soooo many ways to approach this hand, it's sick.

Firstly, I'm NOT going to bust out with a hand (and flop) like this. It's just too likely that some Donkhead has called the preflop raise with suited crap, even if he's not looking at the nuts. My guess is either overpair, (9's 10's or J's?)... he's caught part of the board with a decent 1 flush card draw ... or As rag. Like Matty said, I reckon his range is wide and weird.

I don't think you played it badly at all, as Peaker defined it. Nice to see if you can fill up cheaply. But there's nothing wrong with betting your top set hard and representing part of that flushy flop either.

But I'm not going broke with that hand.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

It seems I'm a little late to the party but here's my thought. I like the check call on the flop. No need to get crazy yet with two cards to come and two players in the hand. On the turn, I like the check again but that big bet smells more like a spade draw with a high spade like As7 or something like that. He'll probably call you but I'd checkraise all in. If he has me beat, I've got outs. If he's drawing, it would be hard for me to believe that he'll fold in this situation.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Stanislav said...

I see now that checking the flop is much better option than betting out. Initially I would have bet donkishly, so hopefully I learned something from here:)
I wouldn't count realistically a straight, more like a flush(+straight) draw or a flopped flush. I'd either fold or push on the turn, more biased towards pushing, because of the folding equity. Figuring out if he has the flush, it might be a small one and maybe he would get to his senses to fold that. My move of course would be based on his past play. And if beat, we have 10 outs for a boat + quads. Not sure though if 10 outs + possibly best hand + fold equity justifies one buy-in...

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your check on the flop, however after the cutoff bet and the blind called his bet, I would have raised to $160 ($120 more) and then called if they went all in right then (probably) or led out for 2/3 the pot on the turn if they just called the $120 raise on the flop.

It's a somewhat sticky situation, but in cash games variance is irrelevant if you're bankrolled sufficiently, so although the way I would have played it might be a high variance line, you are not allowing people to draw with the many many draws possible and you are extracting the most value out of a great hand that will still win 1/3 of the time against the unlikely current nuts should you get it all in on the flop.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Rob1606 said...

To me his bets look like he is trying to give you (and the other opponents) poor odds for calling. This suggests he has some sort of made hand and thinks that you are drawing. I would raise him all-in on the turn. I think you just have to hope that he doesn't have a low flush or a straight - in those cases he just got lucky.

I don't like the turn check. I have lost too many hands by checking the turn and having my opponents draw out on the river. Although I guess if you assumed the cutoff had a made hand, he would have to continue to protect it by betting.

So I am not very happy about playing this hand, but I would put all my money in.

5:09 PM  

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