Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top Pair / Big Draw Hand -- Concluded

Kudos to heffmike for his last comment on my hand question from yesterday. Basically everyone said they're not folding in that spot, which is what I figured. I did not fold either, and naturally the river came some raggy crap which did not fill any of my twelve outs twice, leaving me with just top pair Queens and top kicker with an Ace on a board of QJT52 with three clubs, and me holding the Ace of clubs and an offsuit Queen.

The reason I say kudos to Heffmike is he suggested I play it exactly the way that I did, while everyone else said I should basically be pushing on the turn. I opted to do it the heffmike way and just smooth called the turn raise. The river came raggy, and when my opponent led out enough to put me allin -- another 750 chips or so -- you know what I did? I folded.

Think about it. With something like 4500 chips in the pot and only about 750 chips left in my stack, when this guy led into me at the river, that's all it took for me to stone cold know I was beat. It took me all of maybe five seconds to see it clearly from his perspective. With those kind of pot odds -- better than 6 to 1 -- and with only 750 chips left in my stack, this guy had to know I was calling with any kind of an even semi-reasonable hand. How could he ever think I would fold to that teeny tiny bet in that spot? There's no way. So, the fact that he led out anyways told me that my TPTK was clearly beat. I would bet good money that this was AK for the nut straight, or maybe even a flopped flush. I do love to lose to flushes, and he played it awful strong. But if he even had two pairs, would he really lead out on the river there? Quite improbable. But what hand that my TPTK could beat is possibly leading out for my last 750 into a 4500-chip pot in that spot? Answer: nada. There isn't any way.

Could someone make that kind of play with a stone bluff, or with KQ for top pair second kicker and the oesd? I suppose. But not this guy. It would take an extremely high-level trickster, someone of which there is maybe only one guy in this entire blonkament who thinks on that level to begin with (including me, I would never ever bluff or bet with just one pair in that spot, because I'd know without a shadow of a doubt that my opponent was calling). And more than that, this guy would have to have the absolute utmost respect for my play, which I don't think a single guy in this tournament does. I mean, you would have to read me for such a thinking player that I would actually think that you would never bet without a near-nut hand in that spot. Nobody in this group as a rule thinks that deep, on that many levels.

So when this guy led out on the river, I laid it down and did so right quick. And I know -- and I do mean know -- that I was beat. So why give up my last handful of chips, even though it was only 750? I managed run it back up over 1000 once or twice, pushing with a bunch of bullcripe but hoping to get called my a medium pair or something I could be racing with, and eventually maybe 20 minutes later I got exactly what I was looking for -- a chance to more than double with my KQ against another player's pocket Tens. Now of course I didn't win ther ace and IGH early in the tournament, but that is neither here nor there as far as the outcome of my earlier decision to fold and preserve my last 750 chips. I laid it down, and I managed to get back over 1000 and then get allin to more than double in essentially a 50-50 shot. I win that and I am right back in it.

So even though I pretty much butchered the hand in one or two spots, I do like the way I played that river. Far stranger things have happened than coming back to cash in a blonkament when down to 20 big blinds early. Now if I could only go back in time and make that monster draw hit, or better yet, not make that TPTK on the turn so I could lay that down with ease....

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