Friday, February 15, 2008

Donking After a Score, and Common Preflop Odds

Same old pattern. I make a big tournament score on Monday, and then I play like uberdonk for who knows how long as I wallow in my own superiority. I don't get it. I know I do this every time I make a big score -- almost no exceptions here -- and yet somehow I still don't seem to be able to stop it. Now, to be sure I've only lost a total of around $150 since the other night, thanks mostly to those juicy-as-shit turbo sitngos on full tilt, but I cannot seem to play too well in anything big since my run in the 50-50 the other day. If this didn't happen all the time, or if I was not aware of it or something, it might be different. But I know it all too well, and I expect it all too much for me to just accept that it's happening again and that I have nothing I can do about it.

Last night I skipped the Riverchasers to watch The Best Show of the Millenium, something which I think a lot of people must be doing as the RC crowds have shrunk somewhat in the past few weeks since Lost returned to the air in its new time slot on Thursday nights at 9pm ET. I checked in a few times, saw a bunch of my favorite donkeys got eliminated early, and in fact I can't even remember what happened until I saw everyone's skillziest poker player swimmom get to heads-up against Zeem with a decent chip lead. Fast-forward about 5 minutes, and Zeem had come from behind to take the whole thing down, wtg Zeem. Although I contend that any Riverchasers win without me in the field is a tainted victory at best, if even a true victory at all. But Zeem is a great guy and a great poker player to boot -- something you won't hear me saying about many poker bloggers in general -- so I'm always happy to see him ripping up the field in one of these things.

I only played three tournaments on the night, as I got a late start due to Lost and since I am literally still trying to get fully caught up on my sleep after my 1-hour sleep marathon on Monday night - Tuesday morning. First I played the $15 buyin mtt on pokerstars at 10pm ET, where I actually played great until I got recockusetup 3 spots short of the money positions and busted in 102nd place out of 1200-some runners. I had had a top-35 or so stack at the time, and I limped with pocket 2s from the cutoff into a 3-way pot. The flop came KK5, and the action checked around. The turn was a 7, and again the action checked around. Then the river was a glorious 2, which with all the checking obviously gave me the best hand. It checked around again, I put in a full pot-sized bet, trying to make my rivered boat appear like a steal, and when the only other stack at the table bigger than mine raised me allin, I laughed in his face as I beat him into the pot for all my chips.

When I saw his pocket 7s, I wasn't laughing so hard anymore as I was eliminated right on the tournament bubble in horrifying fashion. I'm trying to think if there is any way I could play this hand any differently, but I think I just got set up. I mean, if pokerstars wasn't literally chock full of dinkheads moving in on the bubble at the river with just one or two pairs, or even donkey-raising with pure air, maybe I can find a fold with half my stack already in the middle at that point in the tournament. But how could I do that when most of the chips I have won and the stacks I have amassed in stars mtts over the past few weeks are in these exact situations against unsuspecting donkeys. I had just rivered a completely and utterly hidden boat for crying out loud, and with the possibility of any slow-played King clearly putting me allin in this spot in addition to a whole slew of other hands, I just think it has got to be horribly -EV for me to lay down there, especially just to coast with a then small stack to a $4 profit for the early cash positions. I think it's an obvious call, and I did not want to push crappy deuces into two players with any pocket pair, any King, any 5 or any 7 beating me up until the "miracle" river card appeared. Ahhhh pokerstars. Always a friend of the river.

I also played a fun 4-handed PLO turbo mtt on stars on Thursday, which I guess was only there as a result of pokerstars' tremendous server troubles they have been having lately, which have caused the cancellation of all sitngos for several nights in a row and on Thursday night even caused all mtt's to be canceled for at least an hour in the early evening EST. That sucked, but what was fun was all the weird-format mtt's they were running as soon as they got their tournaments back on line in the evening. Four-handed PLO was fun stuff, and I managed to cash in I think 11th place out of the maximum 200 runners. Shorthanded PLO is good times fo sho, so much action and so many possibilities, and unlike ring Omaha, you don't actually need to hold the mortal nuts in order to put in some bets or even to call some raises. Good times, small cash but nice to get back into the money in something at least.

Lastly, I tried that $109 satellite to the FTOPS Main Event at 10:45pm ET again last night, and once again I got donked by some anus who called my preflop raise from MP with his A6s from the blinds and then managed to hit his shit on the flop to overcome my Ace-face. Heh heh. I was never able to get back to even the starting stacks from my early loss, and in the end I restole from the big blind with K5 against the small blind's AQo, and I could not hit my roughly 35% shot and busted out early. This is a perfect example of a tournament that I would have been killing a week ago -- and in fact I did kill it a week ago to win my seat -- but ever since winning that ME seat as well as the 5k in the 50-50, I just don't seem to have that edge. I'm like Rocky in Rocky III, I've lost that eye of the tiger and I need to figure out how to get it back. I still do feel like I'm playing ok in some things, but I am just typically not as sharp as I was earlier in the week and I am not cool with that.

Speaking of losing my 35% shot with K5 against AQ, I wanted to post some common allin preflop odds here today. This information is available in a number of different poker books, but it's not something that I think that many people really know with much specificity. And yet, these odds I think are absolutely crucial for anyone to know well if you expect to be effective in late-stage mtt play, and they are equally important for anyone who even thinks about playing sitngos, both situations in which allin preflop action becomes totally commonplace down near the end game. So, if you don't know these odds, learn them now. And for those of you who are already familiar with this stuff, read it anyways, it is a key refresher for anyone serious about doing well in poker tournaments:

Allin Preflop Hand Probabilities

Preflop handsExamplesOdds
Two overs vs two undersAK vs 72
AK vs 54s
One over, one undercard vs two middle cardsA5 vs K8
A5 vs T9s
One overcard, one in-between cardA6 vs Q2
A6 vs Q2s
Pair vs two overcards22 vs J5
22 vs T9s
Pair vs one overcard66 vs K6
66 vs K5
Pair vs two undersKK vs Q6
KK vs 54s
Overpair vs underpairKK vs 3381%-19%

The key points from all this from my perspective are a few. First and foremost, it is rare that it is correct to lay down almost any hand to an allin when you are getting approximately 2-to-1 on your money to call. This gets back to why I made the call the other day when down to three players in the 50-50 with 87o against the allin reraise. By that point in time I was getting approximately 3-to-1 to make the call, and I probably had somewhere around a 35-40% chance of winning the hand, so I felt I had to make the call in that spot. Also notice -- and this is particularly important for the sng players out there -- that even a two-unders vs two-nonpaired-overs hand like QJo vs AKo is really only roughly a 40-60 dog in most cases. That means you can often push somewhat hard as the aggressor late in the game with a two-high-card hand without too much concern of being a huge underdog, and it also means that you ought to be thinking twice before just auto-calling with a hand like AQ if you have a big stack already, say, on the bubble in a sng and are facing an allin reraise from another biggish stack. Just something to think about.

OK that's all I got for today. Lost kicked ass as usual yesterday, and I assume all of you Lost fans will be heading over to the best Lost blog there is, otherwise known as Julius Goat's blog -- to see his take, as I will be presently. And don't forget the donkament tonight, 9pm ET on full tilt, password as always is "donkarama". Nothing like getting sucked out on 84 times in an hour to start my weekend off right, especially when I've already been donking like a mofo all week since my big score.

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Blogger Jake said...

66 vs K6 69-31
66 vs K5 70-30

you sure thats right? I would think K5 had the better odds with another live card.

1:12 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Cutting the odds of the 66 hitting set in half when hitting the King is a slight improvement over the odds of hitting two 5s

1:19 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Exactly, Bayne. The two hands are basically the same, but the two-pair type of hands that K5 might hit will not get beat quite as much by a set when the third 6 is already out as in the first example. The 5 is not really "live" in the 66 vs K5 example because even one five still leaves you behind the pocket 6s of the other person.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Thanks good points I didn't think of that.

The 50-50 tourney I'm guessing you mean 50 buy in and 50 add on right?

2:33 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Where does "Survival" and "Making more money" by moving up a spot remove the idea you are getting 3:1 on your money?

3:05 AM  
Blogger Zeem said...

I feel so dirty after an empty, hollow "victory". Thanks for the kind words. Crush!

3:42 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Sorry Jake, the 50-50 is the name of the nightly tournament that runs on full tilt every night at 9:30pm ET. It is a $50 (+ $5) buyin and a $50k guaranteed prize pool.

4:24 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Waffles, I don't understand your question. At that point in time in the 50-50, though, I was down to just about 200k left in chips, facing two 1M+ chip stacks, and was facing a decision to either fold or call my last 200k into a 650k-chip pot at what I figured (correctly) was probably a 40% shot. This is a call I had to make at this point in time, which hopefully the chart I posted today makes clear.

4:32 AM  

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