Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Mookie, Running Bad, and More Hand Analysis

OK it's a Wednesday in the online poker world, and that can only mean one thing. The Mookie on full tilt. 10pm ET tonight, password as always is "vegas1". And it looks like just to change things up, Mookie has changed things a bit from regular nlh to 6-max nlh tonight. Mwaahaahahaha, one of my favorite games. So I'm looking forward to that for sure, and I plan to try to evoke some plays from my big WSOP cash this past summer in 6-max nlh to make another deep run at my elusive first Mookie title [Edit: My bad. I know Mookie is having a 6th child (yes he is crazy) but I mis-read his blog to say that tonight's Mookie will be 6-handed nlh. In reality that was just a pun from Mookie and the actual Mookie tournament will be remaining a full ring event. My apologies.]. I'm so sick and sad guys....I've won ten grand in a big online tournament. I've won 5k 3 or 4 other times, and a lot of smaller yet significant cashes along the way. I've won major once-a-week online tournaments, I've won 2000+-field nightly events, major satellites like the WSOP Bracelet Races which I have won three of in two years of playing on full tilt. But even after all these triumphs, all these affirmations of my play, all I fucking want to do is win a gush durned Mookie. I'm sick, what can I tell you.

Maybe Wednesday will be the night? If any of you saw how hard and how dumbly I donked out of the two tournaments I played on Tuesday evening, you would know I am in all-out donkey mode these days. I've finally been broken down after about 4 weeks of running bad, and now I'm playing like an abject donkey. Last night I pushed pocket Jacks on all three streets against a guy who I knew from his call of my preflop raise held an Ace in his hand, so even with the Ace flopping and me knowing all along I was behind, I donked off my entire stack about 90 minutes in to the nightly 28k guaranteed nlh tournament. Similar story nearing the bubble in the 9:45pm ET token frenzy that has been so good to me over time. And I'm already looking forward to spewing out early tonight in the latest Mookie tournament. So come join the fun where for only $10 + $1 you can play with all the major bloggers every week in the weekly Wednesday night Mookie tournament at 10pm ET on full tilt. And hey, maybe you get lucky and be at my starting table for some free-ass chips. Good times.

So back to the hand we've been looking at this week. To recap, I checked from the big blind to see a 5-handed flop with K9s in hearts in the very early rounds of the nightly 28k on full tilt. The flop came KT6, all spades. I checked and then called a 90-chip bet into a 150-chip pot on the flop from a player I suspected of being on a spade draw. One other player to my left made the call on the flop as well. The turn then brought an offsuit 7 and I was leading off from the big blind, and I asked for opinions on what I should do here on the turn.

Once again the commenters left some excellent thoughts on how to best play this hand. Basically the commenters to this part of the question seem to fall into two categories: the check-folders, who still don't want to risk anything to try to win with top pair 9 kicker, and the bet-outters, many of whom might not have called the bet on the flop but at this point seem to advocate betting out here.

I will admit up front, I am squarely in the bet-out camp here. In fact, I think this comment from Columbo pretty much sums up my feelings about the hand 100%:

Columbo's comment, with my thoughts embedded in red font:

"ok, let me admit something right now. I did not comment on part 1 because I play this exactly like Hoyazo does, but did not want to take any guff for it. Smart man. On the all spade flop with Top Pair, I want to check, not because I fear being behind, but rather to keep the pot small. I do this to "set up" my turn play when a non-spade falls. Exactly mofos, exactly. This hand actually broke down so far exactly how I wanted it to since the flop. I check-called a small bet on the flop (I would have folded the flop to any large bets or any raises), hoping no spade hits on the turn so I can take the pot away from the drawing hand when the odds are terrible, or at least make him pay way too much to draw to the river.

Now, when the non-spade falls on the turn, the only bet here is a pot sized bet. I might get called by a big spade, but if I am he is a big dog. No one else should call unless I am in trouble (like against two pair). I agree and disagree on this one. I think in general a standard pot-sized sort of bet is the way to go here. But, especially since we're so early in a fonkfest like the nightly token-buyin $28k guaranteed, I actually think a lot of high spades will call here -- most players with the A♠ or the K♠ in fact I think will call this bet, stupidly, as will most other flush draw+ hands, like flush draws with middle pairs, flush draws with gutshots, etc. This is a good thing for me, so that when I put in a well-sized bet on the turn, either everyone folds and I win, or some chasers call at bad odds, which is also a big win for me as long as no spade falls on the river.

The nice thing about the all spade flop is that you are not expecting to get re-raised on your leading bets. You expect call or fold. So you can control the pot size from around the front.

If you do get a caller of the pot size bet, then you must really think about your river lead. Maybe a blocking bet, maybe give it up, depending on the opponent." Very well said. The tricky part here is putting the turn caller on a hand here, and then acting correctly based on that read, adjusting for whatever the river brings.

So there's my view. When the all-suited flop falls and I have no part of the flush but I do have a probable best hand like top pair, I don't like to commit any more than I absolutely have to on the flop when there's still a 35% chance of any fourth flush card falling on the turn or river left in the hand. So I will usually check my top pair there, knowing I am likely best and that there is a big draw out there, and I will either call a small bet or fold to a big one or to any additional raising action. And then my move on the turn is to check-fold if the flush draw fills since I all but know I'm behind (and that the other guy isn't folding) at that point, but if the flush card does not fall, then I want to bet out sizeably in that spot to either chase out the guy with the flush draw who stuck around on the flop, or make him pay way too much to draw to the flush since there are so many soooted donks out there in online poker land.

So here I am, betting out for a nearly pot-sized bet on the turn:

The player to my left folded quickly (missed draw), but the original middle position raiser guy thought for a bit and then smooth called my 390 chips. This put 1200 chips into the now-huge pot, and the river came down another offsuit low card, another total rag. Now there are 1200 chips in the pot, my opponent has just 460 chips left and I have just 970 chips remaining in my own stack. Action is to me.

Do you bet out here? If so, do I have any reasonable options for bet sizes other than putting my opponent allin (minus one chip of course)? Or am I checking here in case my top pair 9 kicker is behind? If I check, am I going to call the inevitable allin bet from my opponent for his last 460 chips? Or am I check-folding at this point?

Let me know your thoughts, and tomorrow I will have the conclusion of the hand up as well as some more analysis of the comments and the issues facing us in this situation, which actually comes up more often than you think if you play a lot of no-limit holdem. In the meantime, if you haven't already registered for Wednesday night's Mookie tournament, WTF is stopping you? Let's get going already! See you there tonight.

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Blogger bayne_s said...

I think obvious course of action for you is bet 459.

Smooth call means donkey still drawing or made nut flush. When non-spade comes you are left in a position where you would have to call his shove anyways if you are committed to read so I would bet 400 or so like I am value betting a high flush.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

No bet here in my opinion. The only options to a bet are:

A) A call from a hand that beats you.

B) A fold from a hand that you beat (i.e. the missed draw)

C) An all-in (if you left any chips on the table.)

A bet really doesn't help you much here, except as a blocker. But if this guy has you beat, you can expect to make a decision for a big bet. Your river bet merely pot-commits you. If you're going to bet, bet all-in. But I wouldn't bet it here.

11:59 PM  
Blogger emptyman said...

Betting is only for value here, if we think K9 is good. If now we put him on QQ or AT (with a spade maybe), he will have to call. A blocking bet will likely induce a shove since he's so short anyways.

We can't get him to fold a better hand than ours by betting. The scary hands we could be seeing here are AK, KQ, or Ax spades for the SLOW-played nuts.

Check, and call the obligatory jam. There are certainly pot odds to justify the call, there is at least a 25% chance that our K9 is good. One piece of context information -- since he's already lost 400 of his stack this early in the tourney, he is much more likely to be LAG/donkey, so when he shoves after a check it really means nothing.

12:00 AM  
Blogger mookie99 said...

The Mookie won't be 6-handed...just "this" Mookie is going March 2008.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Hoy him. You cant give up now.

Still I think you've put way too many chips into this pot with the 452nd nuts.

2:02 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

I do not bet the river. You've done your best. You bet on the turn, and the guy was either drawing or he made his flush. If he bets big on the river, I fold, and if he was just calling to take the pot away, then nice job, dude. I don't think he was doing that, though, because it's early. It means he made his flush or missed his flush. Odds are he missed it. Am I talking myself into a call here? Not this early. 3rd hour? I probably shove.

2:12 AM  
Blogger stlphily said...

I think he prolly has the As. A made flush I think pushes on the turn as I can't see why slow play any longer and a set or 2 pair shoulda raised on the flop. I would check a non spade river and let him bluff the rest of his chips off.

2:21 AM  
Blogger stlphily said...

Oops, guess he couldn't raise on the flop since he bet. Guess he could have a set, 2 pair or a better k. Ur in deep doo doo.

2:36 AM  
Blogger jamyhawk said...

I push all in. My thoughts are a made flush re-raises on the turn. We came this far assuming top pair is ahead, better to be the aggressor. Maybe K10 or KJ folds to us. If you check and he shoves, then you have 3.7 to 1 on your money with top pair weak kicker, so you're going in anyway.

Of course, you could be facing AsKx. But that is poker. I'd rather go down fighting.

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That play seems over-aggressive ... just my thought after glancing at it.

That said, let me guess - he raised all in with a naked draw and won? I didn't read it thoroughy, but don't think you wrote about the result.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

Eh, I guess I'll check-call here. A bet would be fine too, I suppose. Folding isn't an option, whatever happens.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Check and let the busted flush try to bluff you. No point betting. No better hand is folding and you'd be damned lucky to get a call from a worse one.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Dajo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:55 PM  
Blogger crushmastac said...


1. If we lead, he'll fold his busted FD (if that is indeed what he has .. and by the action your line seems right). If we check to him, and he's dumb enough to think he has any fold equity, he jams and we get the rest of his chips (or lose an additional 460 when he shows us KQ or some god aweful hand like Kx, where x pairs the offsuit river rag you mentioned.)

2. If he checks behind us, our cards are going to be shown to the whole table, and they'll immediately think you're a donkey for playing TP crap kicker and open up when they're playing against you. Winning the pot at this point would be a bonus :D

10:33 PM  

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