Wednesday, September 26, 2007

PC Attack and Maniac Hand Wrapup

So I get home Tuesday night after a long day fighting with other dick lawyers at work, and after a delicious home-cooked dinner I sit down to see what's up with online poker for the evening and hopefully to log in to the latest WPBT even that I forgot all about until the evening (as an aside, man did I luck out with Hammer Wife -- although she does not cook as much as she would like due to other distractions running screaming around the apartment all day, dam she is one fiiiiiine cook when she takes the time to prepare meals at home). So I open up my laptop screen and see an unusual message on an otherwise black screen: "Error. Hard Drive Failure Samsung HM0601-(S1)" or something like that. Followed by a warning that I am about to lose my data and that my computer's "SmartFailure" feature is warning me before the hard drive crash occurs. Oh shit.

Fast forward literally 120 minutes later, and I'm just hanging up with Dell support, with an agreement that they will send me a new hard drive right away and that a technician will come out to reinstall everything and get my laptop in good working order. So fortunately, allegedly my pc will be ok. Eventually. But unfortunately, I won't have a computer for the next two weeks or so it seems. That's not good given my daily nighttime hobby. We still have the "old" pc, the one that I always used up until the new one arrived just a few months ago, but since that time the old bugger has unofficially become Hammer Wife's domain, and I'm sensing that it's gonna be next to impossible for me to win back any online poker time at anything resembling a good hour in the evenings for a little while.

So I'm sure I'll still make have my chances to play, but for a few weeks those chances may be a little few and far between. For example, I would really like to play the Mookie tonight as usual on Wednesday at 10pm ET on full tilt (password as always is "vegas1"). Other than while Lost was on in originals on Wednesday nights, I don't think I've missed a single Mookie tournament in a year and a half. I love that thing. It's fun seeing how I'm going to get donked out tonight, yknow? With the way the full tilt server has been lately, and given the play you fonkeys usually come up with during our regular weekly get-togethers, I'm ready to expect anything. Most weeks lately in the Mookie, I have the chiplead at some point in the event, most commonly when down to around 15-20 players left, so I'm hoping to continue that trend tonight, and maybe finally make my run all the way to victory lane. But all of that rests squarely on Hammer Wife's shoulders, as it will require her to very generously give up her own computer time in favor of my hobby that she isn't so into. So we'll have to see, who knows. I'll keep everyone apprised of the status of the computer issue, but for now hopefully it won't change my playing too much and won't change my blogging at all. I still love this game and love to write about it every day, so there ya go.

So back to the hand I've been profiling this week. Thanks again to everyone for all the comments. Speaking of which, I have tried to be clear about this in the last few posts but just to make it official, for the record, this is not the way I recommend to anyone that you play AQ. I don't even play AQ in this way, and this is literally probably the only time I have ever limped utg with it in my entire life (literally). There is just so little use to ever limping utg with a hand like AQ, especially at a shorthanded table, that I don't recall ever doing it before and I probably never will again. This is not one of those posts where I'm trying to show you guys a clever way to play two high cards from early position. Do not attempt this yourself at home. You will get stacked. It's -EV, bad poker.

But I did it for a reason. This is the way I like to play my poker, and it's worked out pretty well for me in my cash and tournament games. I think I play different from most people, in that I never go into a tournament or even a given hand with any kind of a plan. I don't worry about a thing like position as much as some other good players do because sometimes I like to bet out on flops from up front instead of always from the back, and sometimes I like to be the guy raising behind the early position lead bettor on the flop. I make up my mind as I go along, and if I have a particular read or a particular play that seems like it will work against someone, I'm likely to try it in a spot that I think makes sense for me.

Similarly, I am all about targeting the weakest player at the table. It's a bit of a poker cliche at this point, but I've literally sat at poker tables -- most often in casinos but even in homegames on occasion -- where there were one or two horrible players at a full ring, and the rest of us were basically just staying out of each other's way and all trying to isolate and then dominate the donkeys. On this I think I am actually quite similar to a lot of the good players I know, in particular the good cash players. Give me a seat at a shorthanded table with myself, three strong players who are all solid historical winners, and two utter fish who are solid long term losers at the game, and an hour later I will have a stack and a half from just the two weaklings. That's how I play. I remember playing at the WSOP Circuit event at Caesars in Atlantic City this past spring, and amongst an hour or two of card death to start things off, the only two pots I won were nice-sized ones where the obvious calling station donk at the other end either limped or minraised, and then one of the tricky guys in middle position put in a big raise (or reraise), clearly attempting to isolate. In both situations, I reraised big -- once with pocket 7s and once with AQo -- and got everyone to fold. I was actually hoping in each case that the donkey would call and the trickster would fold, but I'll take it. It was very clear to me that the tricky guy was trying to isolate on the weakdonk with what was probably a less than premium hand, and that was my same strategy myself in making both of these moves. My point is, I absolutely do always figure out at every poker table I ever sit at where the money is likely to come from, and to the extent that I know the player's game, what is the best way to obtain it.

So with all that in mind, let's conclude the hand. To review, there was a tremendous drunkdonk at the table who had just sat down and had gotten his entire $300+ stack allin at some point in the hand in 4 of the 5 hands he had played at the table. In my mind there was no way he had been strong in all of those hands, and to me he just seemed like a tilting, drunk mofo who was about to spew off his chips like a giant supernova. I always see guys like this and I can't stand it when I don't get the cards to take those chips before someone else does when the donk busts out in a tremendous bluff of glory. I wanted that to be me, so when I found AQo utg at a 2-4 6max nlh table, I limped utg in the hopes that the donk in the small blind would see a flop with me and he would give me an opportunity to take his chips. The button then raised the $4 bet to $22, and my target donk smooth called the bet. Since I felt the button was probably making a position play and certainly could not have known I had a strong showdown hand given my utg limp, and since I wanted real bad to get heads-up with just the donk, I then reraised it up to $86 to play. My plan worked as the button folded and then the drunkdonk called, which I basically knew he would given how he had played his five hands so far.

At this point the flop comes down T62 rainbow, about as raggy of a flop as possible, and the target aggrodonkey immediately moved allin for his last $237 into the $195 pot:

on Tuesday I asked whether you call or fold here.

Now again, there is no doubt that under different, more normal circumstances it is an absolute, obvious must-fold situation with AQ unimproved on the flop and facing a sizeable allin bet. Hopefully that goes without saying for all of you reading this out there. But here, let's think about what has happened so far. I picked a strong showdown hand to play against a guy who I knew was moving in lots of chips -- all of chips in every hand but one since he sat down to play, in fact -- with basically anything / nothing, and yet no one had required him to show a single hand yet. As far as I was concerned, he would have and did call the preflop raise and then my reraise with literally Any Two Cards (ATC). I mean, to be fair he probably wasn't calling $86 preflop with 53o. But literally my range for him at this point given what I'd watched for the first few minutes was any hand in the top 90% or so of possible hands he could hold. 65o, he could definitely be in there with that. 98o, he's in there. 53o maybe not, but 98o or J8o I felt sure of it.

And, as some of the commenters pointed out, I absolutely knew from his previous actions that he was pushing allin blind on the flop, regardless of what it was. As much as I knew that my AQ was the best hand preflop. So, what it basically came down to here was whether or not my opponent happened to be holding either a Ten, a 6 or a 2 in his hand. If yes, then he was ahead now and I had 6 outs for a total of nearly 30% equity in the pot (you pokerstove donks could probably confirm this if you want, but for now my estimate should do fine). If he did not hold a T, 6 or 2 in his hand, then I was ahead, and he would have those same 6 outs to draw against me, giving me roughly 70% equity in the pot. Thrown in there are also some possibilities of some other draws he could have to beat me -- inside straights, back-door stuff, etc., where my equity was probably closer to 60% than 70%. But in the end, here was the super-quick estimation math I did in my head:

The odds that an opponent with just one hole card holds one of three random value cards in his hand are roughly 3 in 13. That is to say, a 2, 6 or a Ten represent three of the 13 possible card values he could hold for either card in his hand, and thus I think the odds that he has one of those cards are roughly 3 in 13 or 23% if he had just one card in his hand. Since he has two holecards and not just the one, the odds of him having at least one 2, 6 or Ten out of two cards chosen at random (again I understand these choices are not fully random, they would have to be adjusted for the AQ in my own hand, etc. but this is still a useful approximation) would climb to somewhere slightly less than 50%. Now, I felt that it was literally impossible that he had a pair or AK, so with no primary straight or flush draws possible on this ragboard, I estimated very quickly that I probably had somewhere between 50 and 60% overall equity in this pot against his likely very wide hand range. Plus, it could be that he has a lower Ace or a hand like KQ or QJ since he called my preflop raise and now moved so strongly at the flop. But this allin overbet did not smell like a monster hand to me, that's for sure, and in the end I simply could not find it within me to lay this hand down. With $195 already in the pot, and it costing me another $237 to win a $432 pot, there was just no way I was going to lay it down when I honestly felt I had more than 50% equity in this pot, and that he was going to monkeypush allin on that flop no matter what two cards came down.

So I called. I'll skip a few lines if you want to guess what he had, and then scroll down for the screenshot:

Egads! What a donkey! So I'm actually dodging 10 outs (ignoring my redraws) twice, giving me in fact the 50-60% equity I had been envisioning in this pot. The situation was actually worse than I expected since he had the four outs to the inside straight, but still the equity was right where I figured it to be and I think I made the right call at that point in the hand as a result. And if you're interested in how the hand ended up, you can check that out here:

Woohoooo! It really is hard to believe some of the stuff you run into on a regular basis once you get up out of the microlimits, especially at the shorthanded tables, where making moves seems to become more a part of the game. And everyone out there should be on notice, if you somehow werent' already -- if I think you have nothing and I think that the pot odds are there, I'm not going to be shy, and it is not winning cash poker to be shy when you believe you have pot odds to stay in pots. Yes this is the literal first time I have ever called a large bet in a cash game with AQ unimproved on the flop, and it will probably be the last for a long, long time, but just take it from me, that's how big of a pushmonkey donk this guy had been acting like, and for once I got fucking lucky playing AQo in a -EV way and living to tell the tale about it.

Now go register for the Mookie already, willya? See you tonight at 10pm ET, I hope.

Phillies Playoff Chances Meter: 2%. What did I tell you about believing the hype?

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Blogger pokerpeaker said...

NH Hoy. I got to thinking later that if I did indeed play this hand the way you did I would in fact call the last bet. I'm glad he wasn't rewarded for his poor play. To be honest, I'm still on $25 NL as a challenge to me to build up three Web sites (after a year of playing .50-$1 successfully), so I rarely this kind of aggro poker, so playing this way would indeed get me stacked. This is the part of my game needs to be improved, however.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

First: Bravo, You stuck with your read, made a ballsy call while you were ahead, and it worked out, and that's wonderful. It would have been too sick to see something like T3 get rewarded. Obviously, that kind of a player is a cash player's dream opponent.

Still, you were unimproved. How much of your call was predicated on the worry that he'd get stacked by somebody else and leave? If that's not a factor (in other words, if you knew he'd just reload upon getting stacked), do you fold there and find a better spot?

DID he go away, or did he reload?

Another potential -EV to the AQ call is that now you've shown him that you know he's full of it. Even drunk, this might (I say MIGHT) slow him down.

On the other hand, you won. Winning is +EV, if I've read my Sklansky correctly (unlikely).

On the other hand, you have more fingers.

Finally, I'd just like to say I actually used his holding of 97 prominently as an example in my previous comment. Called it? Called it.

What? I used 15 other hands as examples in my comment, too? Shut up, let me bask.

2:02 AM  
Blogger lj said...

you must be sooo excited for 6-handed moooookie!

2:32 AM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

Ironically, the push is the only thing that this moron did that wasn't completely terrible. His call pre-flop is beyond retarded but if he puts you on over cards, pushing here is not all that bad.

What I don't like about hands like this is the sheer amount of result oriented-ness that they generate. Already I'm seeing a few Nh on the comments above. There's nothing nice about calling this flop push. You won't win in the long run by calling your stack on flop with nothing but AQ high. It worked off quite well here but that's not winning Poker.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Goat, the guy sadly went away as soon as I stacked him.

And everyone take l'artiste's advice and don't play AQ this way. I cannot say this enough, I did not play this hand in a smart poker way.

But I do find it to be a fun hand to look at.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Well, I'll still say 'nh' because I'd rather Hoy won it than dummy. But I wouldn't have called there. It's a ballsy call, but it's without question gamble-y. It's not for me. That sick feeling is shared by all the people calling against dummy when he did have some part of the board.

Bummer he didn't reload. A drunk chipspewer is gold. A drunk RELOADING chipspewer is platinum.

3:36 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

The worst part of this call is that if this donk had Ace-rag where the rag is a ten, six or deuce you are only drawing to 3 outs.
I don't love this call with AQo after the flop, but poker is a situational game and you thought it was the right play for that particular situation and were right.

On the other hand, I have seen people call me down with AQo unimproved so many times in the last two weeks that I figure one of two things will happen:
1) Some of your thousands of readers will read and learn.
2) Some of your thousands of reader will keep calling with AQo unimproved.

3:42 AM  
Blogger iamhoff said...

Nice takedown Hoy. Glad to see I guessed right on his hand. I agree with Artiste...his shove was the correct move. For once, though, the suckout was averted. As you say, not the correct way to play AQ unless you're on a situational read. Nicely done, amigo.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

It would have been more interesting if you lost the hand, but I doubt you post about why you make that call when you actually lose the hand. I think you misplayed the hand at every decision point, but I like to play cash for low variance and never play 6-max. Just seems like a bunch of gambooling donks playing 6-max.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Klopzi said...

If there's anything I learned about AQ over the past little while is that you can safely call someone's all-in bet with it. Pre-flop, on the flop, river, whatever: it doesn't seem to matter. AQ always seems to win...

Sorry about the laptop. Hopefully you didn't pay for the primo Dell service agreement: 2 weeks for a new HD is pretty bad.

By the way, any chance of getting linked up on your site? I hate to ask but I really need some more traffic over on my end...

9:01 PM  
Blogger Gnome said...

Blinders: Yes, there are a bunch of gambooling donks playing 6-max. That's a good thing.
Hoy: I believe that the odds of any two unpaired hole cards hitting the flop are about 40 percent.

10:53 AM  

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