Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another Mookie Flushed Away, and the All-Suited Flop Concluded

Wow. A crazy thing happened to me on Wednesday night about 30, 35 minutes into the Mookie on full tilt. So I'm sitting on my bed with the laptop on a pillow on my lap (those of you with laptops will know why I choose to have a pillow between the bottom of the laptop and my merely 98.6 degree skin of my legs), and as usual I haven't hand a single playable hand yet, through probably 30 hands. Annoying. But standard. I mean I haven't even sniffed a hand. I might have had QJs one time, and I think 44 at one point in the first couple rounds. But that's as good as it got.

So I'm sitting there, I'm playing the Mookie, and my starting stack of 3000 chips is probably somewhere around 2800 or 2900 or so. I had been up a couple hundy, down a couple hundy, but nothing major in either direction as I recall. Eventually I limp from the cutoff with 96 of diamonds. The flop comes...all three diamonds. Now, you would think this would excite me. But I know better. I say to Hammer Wife "Wow. I flopped a flush. And this is where Hoyazo busts out early from the Mookie." Now, when you flop the flush, in all but the most unusual and runnerrunnery of situations, the only way you can lose is to a guy hitting a higher four-flush on you on the turn or river, so of course that means my big objective here is to get one of the two other players in this pot to either lay it down or get it allin when I am a 2-to-1 favorite. So imagine my happiness when someone in early position bets out, and then another player raises, all ahead of me. Now I basically "know" that one of these guys has some kind of pair or two pair or set hand, and the other guy must have the Ace or King of diamonds along with some other kind of hand or draw. I pause the requisite few seconds to fake-think, and then I push allin. Firsty folds immediately, and riggstad in middle position instacalls. I'm bracing to dodge a fourth diamond on the turn or river, and with just 7 left in the deck I am going to be around 70% to win the pot, which I've already known from the minute the flush flopped for me I was not going to win.

At least full tilt made it easy on me. Riggstad flips up his cards, and he, of course, has also flopped the flush. The King-high variety. IGH among the first handful of players out. Nice. And that's when the strange thing happened.

At first it was just something I felt lightly touch my hair on top of my head. My first thought was a fly or something must've landed on my head and be walking around on my head or something. Not usual but nothing so unbelievably crazy or anything. But then I felt it again, on the other side of my head. And suddenly right in front of my eyes, a streamer or something flew past. And that's when I heard the trumpets. It was a festive beat, kinda like what they used to run at the end of Let's Make a Deal. And all of a sudden, there is confetti all over the fuckin place. My bedroom is completely beseiged with party gimmicks and party sounds. Just as I start to wonder what the hike this is all for, Wink Martindale comes through my bedroom door and announces that I have just lost for the 2 millionth no-limit holdem hand with a made flush on full tilt poker! Yay for me! Who knew, I thought, who knew. What an exciting time for me.

I've written about it here before, but I cannot win with a fucking flush to save my life, and it's not for lack of aggression, due to slow-playing or for not respecting the presence of a pair on the board. My Poker Tracker stats show it all, where I have still lost over $1500 in total with made two-card flushes, and that's just in cash games. Again, this is situations where I've made a flush with both of my hole cards, and only 1 out of 14 losses with made flushes was to a full house. That means I've lost thirteen effing times just in cash games and just in the past 4 or 5 months or so that I've been running Poker Tracker, where I made a flush using both of my hole cards, but ran into a higher flush from my opponent. I submit to you all that nobody out there can come up with a more recockulously unlucky statistic than that about their own play. And I'm not even touching how many times I bust out of tournaments with these same two-card flush hands, including this week's Mookie. Bahh. Full tilt has been absolutely lambasting me lately. What else is new. Congrats to leftylu for yet another Mookie victory, blahblahblah. Eat it.

Oh yeah, I also got talked into playing the Dookie this week, pot-limit holdem, but then some no-name called my allin on the flop with absolutely nothing but an inside straight. It filled on the river.

Did I say "Eat it" yet? Cripes.

So on to the conclusion of this week's hand analysis. To recap one last time, I checked out of the big blind to see a 5-handed flop with K9 of hearts. The flop came KT6, all spades. I checked and then called a small bet on the flop, thinking my top pair is likely good but not wanting to commit much with a 3-suited flop out there and still two cards to come. Then when an offsuit 7 came on the turn, I bet out nearly the size of the pot, and just one opponent, the original flop bettor, called my nearly pot-sized bet to see a river card. The river came another rag, the 3 of hearts, and I asked what do you do here (my opponent has 460 chips remaining in his stack):

The comments to yesterday's post interestingly tended more towards checking than betting here, and in fact the majority of the commenters appear to think I am likely behind here and certainly should not bet. A few of the comments took the opposite tack, which is the side I came down on, and I will explain why, although again some of the comments I think pretty much hit my analysis head-on.

Of course, there is always the possibility that I am up against a flopped flush. That possibility is always going to be there, and I'm never going to be able to make that possibility go to zero. It's there, it's possible. But in terms of probability, I simply was not worried at this point about my opponent having either a flopped flush or a stronger King than mine. Let's review the action and put ourselves in this guy's head as best as we can:

On the 3-suited flop, he bet out small from late relative position after a few guys has already checked the action to him. This could mean a lot of things, but to me seems most consistent with either some decent pair on the board, or more likely a flush draw. Maybe a little bit of both. The made flush might also bet out small here, if he's a real man, but that's still a fairly remote possibility odds-wise (forgetting my Mookie story from last night, of course). Then on the turn when a raggy card fell, I bet out and bet out solidly. I bet nearly the size of the pot for a very good reason -- only a bet that size will tell me what I need to know about my opponent's hand at this point in the action. If I bet out a third of the pot here, he may again call with second pair top kicker, top pair shit kicker, or any number of flush draws. But by betting nearly the full pot on the turn, as soon as my opponent called, leaving himself just 460 chips into a now 1200-chip pot, I felt I had formulated a very reliable read on the guy. If he's got the made flush here, as at least one of the commenters mentioned, there is aboslutely no point to him not pushing allin here. Of course I'm calling based purely on pot odds, and he can only lose me on the river, not get more chips from me than the allin he could have clearly gotten on the turn. So no way I put him on the made flush here.

Similarly, I feel his just calling (not raising or folding) on the flop made it highly unlikely that he held some kind of a King in his hand. While I suppose a very specific (and thus very unlikely) holding very close to my hand might have just smooth called there with the 3-flush on the board -- something like K8 or K7 perhaps -- put yourself again in his position for a minute. There's 3 spades on the board, and I check-called his smallish bet on the flop. He has got to put me on a flush draw here. Now, with just 460 chips left in his stack after calling my 390-chips turn bet, why on earth would he just smooth call with a hand like, say, KQ for top pair better kicker than me? What if he had a set, or two pairs or something like that? He's going to smooth call me with the 3-card flush draw sitting out there, while leaving himself an almost unthinkable 460 chips left in his stack? He's going to make it that easy for me to draw out on him, even when he has just that few chips left to put into the pot that is now nearly 4 times as big as his paltry pile of chips over there? When I thought quickly about it that way, I just did not think at all that this guy had top pair or better, which I think would either fold (if he's a Man) or raise (if he's a donk), or the flush which I'm sure he would have raised there on the turn. Thus, I felt very strongly that my K9 was ahead, and in fact my biggest concern was maybe him misplaying a hand like KT or KJ by failing to raise me allin on the turn. And that just seemed very unlikely to me overall.

All of this analysis led me to just one obvious option, as inuited by Bayne in his comment -- this was a clear candidate for the reverse hoy:

Anybody want to guess how he responded to this river bet by me? I'll give you some space to formulate your guesses, and then you can scroll down for the final screenshot and see what happened:

Foldy foldy! Can you believe it? And believe me, for his last 460 chips he was not folding any top pair hand there, not after calling off most of his stack on the turn with that hand. Nope, this was a good old fashioned flush-chasin' donkey, who had nothing else in his hand but probably the Ace♠ and some other junk. So I really enjoyed reading all of the analysis on this hand, and hopefully most of us can at least learn something from the way that the others who commented would have played this hand. Feel free to post your thoughts on the way I played the hand, but FWIW I like the way that I played it, and despite careful reading and consideration of all of the commentary, I would play this hand the exact same way again. I think the all-suited flop ends up being a specific situation that is somewhat unique, but calls for a somewhat unique strategy for taking on a multiway pot when I also manage to flop a hand that I assume to be best right now.

See you tonight at 9pm ET for Riverchasers on full tilt. Password is "riverchasers". Show up tonight if for no other reason than to be at my starting table and you can flop the nuts against my second-nuts in the earlygoing. There's just nothing like that feeling of knowing that there are donkeys literally seated all around you like you will feel tonight if I am near you at the virtual tables. 9pm tonight means probably no gym for me, but I will I'm sure hit up the Wii Tennis for a bit tonight as well as I continue to work my rating up over 1800. That's right you Wii Heads, you read that right. 1800 and change, and counting. I'll dominate you anytime in Wii Tennis or Bowling, whoever you are.

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Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Actually, the reason I check is not because I think you're behind, but because you only get called by a winning hand.

However, a check could induce an all-in bluff from a winning hand, which you're probably calling. But at least you'd have the option to fold if you thought you were behind. Maybe a bad spot, but not if your read is correct (and it was)

Either way, you got most of the money in the middle. The check may have gotten it all.

10:50 PM  
Blogger jamyhawk said...

Great hand! Even better that you didn't have to show, so he can only guess at what monster hand you had. That's another advantage to the aggressive river bet.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Blinders said...

Flopped Flushes never hold-up. It is one of those golden rules of poker. You are either already behind to a higher flush, about to lose to a 4-flush, or against a set that is going to fill. Mucking a flopped flush is the only way out, but thtas a tough one.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

The thing is, anybody who folds a flopped flush in the early rounds in a blonkey donkament is the worst kind of moron. I could see laying down a flopflush in some scenario, but really I find it to be almost impossible if all the money gets in on the flop. Least of all early in a blonkament.

12:54 AM  
Blogger Irongirl01 said...

wow are all those flopped flush loses on FTP....??

And I want to know why..... I never ever have the Ace or King and some other fonkey does?

Playing live is so much gooter

1:28 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

dude that was some funny shit. i got through half your post and couldn't stop laughing.

all at your expense btw.

weeee poker!

3:11 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

The rest of the hand is arguable but your river play sucks arse. Julius explains why. You read the guy for a busted flush draw so you bet the river? Sure he'll call with that.

And I want you to post some of the hands where you put 2/3 of your stack in with top pair and the other guy has flopped the flush or has a better king. Because they are often going to. Posting hands where you play atrociously but the other guy is worse isn't helpful at all. You win so often that you must have many hands that you actually play well too. Post one of those.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

jamyhawk: "he can only guess at what monster hand you had"

A guy who puts that many chips in with just a flush draw doesn't care what hand you had.

6:19 AM  
Blogger SubZero said...

The river bet was a mistake. You want to stick with your read (weak hand/flush draw) and tempt him into bluffing allin. Then you call and stack him.
Well done on making a good read though.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

FWIW I definitely thought he would call off the rest of his stack there even with the busted draw. I actually figured he probably has something else going there along with just the naked flush draw, so for just his last 460 chips I think he almost surely would have called off the rest of his stack. Hence why I liked the bet here. Only reason it didn't work was that I'm assuming he was so horrible that he really had only a naked flush draw the entire time in the end. Just terrible.

And btw Dr. Zennie Boy, if you can't remember the countless hands I post here where I misplay things -- including several of which you yourself have commented on here -- then [fill in the blank, I'm too lazy].

8:44 PM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

funny Hoy... I thought for sure I was losing that hand. I even said outloud, F**king A, F**cking Full Tilt! as, or right before I shoved.

Wifey sitting next to me said, "you're dead" as i did it...

Can't believe It was actually goot!

12:05 AM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

I'm going to agree with the Goat and say that the right move on the river was to check to induce an all-in by your opponent. If you bet out, like you did, an inferior hand will fold and a superior hand will likely call. If you check, an inferior hand will be tempted to bet out, since you suddenly look weak, as though you missed the flush draw. A superior hand would also bet out, but his stack is so small at this point, you should be willing to call his all-in no matter what.

11:04 PM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

How in the world do you get stats on flopped flushes in PT? I have tried everything outside of switching to the DB version and running SQL queries. I am dying to see how often FTP has a three card flush flop and can't figure out how to do it. If you know - leave me a comment will ya?

1:17 AM  

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