Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Live Poker Hand Question

This past weekend, after an absolutely brutal week of work, on a whim I decided to head down to AC for some live poker action, in what will be my final live tune-up before I depart for Las Vegas and the 2010 WSOP.

**As an aside, holy shipe my plane leaves three weeks from today! Am I excited about that? Maybe just a teeny little bit?**

Anyways, when I got to my casino of choice on Friday night, they happened to be running a $400 buyin turbo tournament, which picked up somewhere between 30 and 40 runners and featured 15-minute blind levels. A horrible structure for a live tournament for sure, but one of the fun things about me playing a live turbo tournament like this is that it is likely that I have logged more hours playing turbo structures online than anyone else in a field like this on a given night, so theoretically I should have an advantage over most of the other players who will not be properly adjusting their play to the faster than normal blinds and antes.

The tournament started with 10k in chips, and late in the first hour I called a preflop raise from mp with T8s, and the big blind called as well which brought us a flop of T84 rainbow, three-handed. With 1250 in the pot, the big blind led out for 400 chips, and the original preflop raiser thought for a few seconds before just calling. Now, normally I'm not a big fan of slow-playing with more than one other player in the pot, but this was a fairly innocuous board, and while I would not have checked if the action had not been opened in front of me, I thought just smooth calling with top two pairs here was an acceptable move. I've mentioned this here many times before, but my general theory on flopped two pairs is that it's not worth slow-playing unless you flop the top two. It's just too easy to get counterfeited when someone else hits their kicker and you end up losing a big pot, but with top two the chances of that are much less and it makes for a hand that I thought simply calling along on the flop was a nice idea.

The turn card was an offsuit Queen, making a board now of T84Q. The big blind surprised me by leading out again, this time for 1000 chips into a pot of 2450. The guy to my right thought it over, for a little longer this time, and eventually slid out a purple chip as well for the call. So now I have T8 on a QT84 board, and it is 1000 chips for me to call into a 4450-chip pot. I did not love the fact that the big blind led out again, and I especially did not like the fact that the original preflop raiser had smooth called those lead-out bets, twice in a row now. But getting around 4.5 to 1 odds, how could I fold the hidden two pairs? So I reluctantly called, swelling the big early pot to 5450 chips.

The river card was an Ace. An ugly, vicious, despicable Ace as far as I was concerned. The big blind hesitated a bit and then slid out another purple and some yellows, a 1400-chip bet for his third lead of the hand. The guy to my right had a kind of disgusted look on his face, but after a few seconds he too slid out 1400 chips to make his third postflop call of the hand. The action was to me on the river to call 1400 to win 8250 in the pot.

What do you do?

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Blogger Mondogarage said...

I raise to 1600 or so on the flop and hope I'm 3-bet shoved. Happy to get it in here, but want to discourage the gross draws. The board may have been rainbowed, but there's about a million gutshot straights possible there.

And donks play KT and AT often enough that a two-paired T8 isn't really that strong in that spot.

Basically, if 1st or 2nd to act put their 400 out there to protect their draws, your flat call didn't make them pay the wrong price to chase.

The only real drawback of this play is running into a set, but given your top two, the most realistic set is bottom set, and you've still got some outs...

8:45 PM  
Blogger DDubya97 said...

What can you tell us about the original raiser and the BB? How much was the original raise? 3x? Was the BB getting a good price to call with something like J-9 sooted? Was he/she playing many pots?

J-9 makes sense here for BB. Set of 4's also makes sense as does A-10. If you were BB how would you play any of the above? Make a blocking bet for your draw, value bet with your set or probbing bet with TPTK. I think you need to raise that flop for value and to price out any draws. If the guy flopped a set he'll let you know.

As played, you're in a sick spot on the river. I don't see what you could beat here and for the BB to continue betting says that Ace didn't change anything. I think at this point you have the second maybe third best hand.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Astin said...


When top two on the flop is T8, it barely counts as top two. Middle pairs flopping a set, the Q bringing a straight, and that A bringing better two pairs are all very possible.

A raise on the flop would have been the better move IMO, at the very least for information. Now, you're 2.4k more comitted.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Shrike said...

If your live reads are accurate - hesitation, disgust - a good play is to raise in an attempt to punish these two villains for the weakness you're sensing. If you're not confident in your live reads, I'm calling with this ridiculous price I'm getting with two pair.


12:21 AM  
Blogger BadBlood said...

Against competent players, overcalling is generally bad. But here the price and pot are so tempting. Tough one. It's a turbo too, so I suppose I call here.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Thorn said...

I'd call. The PFR's hesitance and flat calling on the flop, turn, and especially river says he slowplayed JJ or KK. He'd probably have raised AT, a set, or a straight somewhere along the way if he had any idea what he was doing. 90% sure he isn't a threat to you.

The other guy I'm worried about, since if he's a solid, thinking player that doesn't overplay his hands, he's just using small bets to reel you in and you're toast against anything he could have on the river. Then again, it's a super turbo live tournament, you're getting a great price, and there's a large chance that he really doesn't know what he's doing and just bets that out with overcards, second pair, or something completely random. I've seen weird stuff turn up in AC before when people tried to bluff but sized their bets too low, just like that. The $400 buy in isn't always indicative of skill level.

Given that and the size/odds of the pot, I'd definitely call there.

1:45 AM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Fold. Some jag has Ace Ten. Probably the BB, and his hesitation on the river is merely him working through how to bet given his improbable rivered two-pair.

1:55 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

Ah, the river value bet......how I love theee. But how the hell can anyone just fold here? 1400 into an 8250 pot??? Even a call, and you still have 2/3 of your original stack.

The only decision is call or raise/jam.

I think you can assume the "disgust" guy isn't going to call if you shove, so it's the BB you worry about, obviously.

You don't have much on him at that point.

So I would probably just call, and move along.

I don't like the flat on the flop either in a 3 way pot......but that's me. I get your reasoning, I just don't like messing around with 2 pair when that fucking 4 hits the turn......or at least it always does against me.

5:27 AM  
Blogger CB said...

You absolutely need to raise the flop here. On this flop think about how many more hands you are ahead of that will probably call your raise as opposed to how many you are behind--this is a conservative count:

you are ahead of:
J9 - 16 combos, you have 65% equity
AA - 6 combos, you have 75% equity
KK - 6 combos, you have 75% equity
QQ - 6 combos, you have 73% equity

16 x .65 + 18 x .75 = 10.4 + 13.5 = 23.9

23.9 / 34 = .70 = 70% equity

you are behind:
TT - 1 combo, you have no equity
88 - 1 combo, you have 9% equity
44 - 3 combos, you have 17% equity

(0 + .09 + .51) / 5 = .12 = 12% equity

34 * .70 + .12 * 5 = 23.8 + .6 = 24.4

24.4 / 39 = .63

You have 63% equity here getting it in on the flop, plus position to make good decisions on later streets. Raise is a no-brainer in my opinion.

9:47 PM  

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