Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Blogger MATH, and Playing AK on the Flop

OK, lots to cover today. First let's talk MATH. Last night was Mondays At The Hoy, every Monday night at 10pm ET under the "private" tab on pokerstars, password = "hammer". As most of you probably know, I have still never cashed in the MATH tournament, now out of I think 8 tries, since I opened up the game to my imaginary internet blogger friends. And meanwhile my recently tight-lipped buddy drraz has cashed I believe in 6 out of those 8 events. Disgusting. Anyways, tonight was supposed to be the night that that all changed for me. 20 players joined the fray for our regular $20 buyin format, playing for a first prize of $200 and three total payout spots. And the field of 20 did not include many of the usual heavy hitters who have made some noise in this tourney in the recent past. No Jules, no SoxLover, no Gary Cox, no Miami Don or the lovely Carmen, no Iak, and not even either of our two favorite trashtalkers. So I figured for sure this was the night for me to (finally) make my move.

But I forgot about one thing: CC. Yes, he of the phat new blog address. And yes, he of the top-flight WSOP coverage and picture galleries. And yes, he of the thrice-confirmed huge pile of WSOP swag. Anyways, a few weeks ago at the MATH tournament, on his way to taking down the entire event, CC reraised me allin preflop from late position with KJo. I took one look at his raise and my instincts told me he was bluffing. So I called him with my pocket 7s. Presumably to make that move with KJo, CC must have put me on a flat bluff. But despite my quality read and my slight favorite hand going in, CC flopped a King and IGH in the middle of the pack.

Fast forward to last night, the latest Hoy tournament. Once again we're somewhere in the middle of the pack of the 20 participants. I have been up a little, and down a little, and right now I'm sitting on around 1150 chips from our starting stack of 1500. Not great, but I'm doing fine and still have plenty of chips to make a move and get into great position. I find AJs in middle position, it is folded around to me, so I raise it up 4x, my standard preflop raise for this situation as most of you know. It is folded around to CC in late position, and the guy cc-hoy-reraises me (allin but for two chips) preflop. This was more or less exactly the same situation as when cc knocked me out a few weeks back, and once again I instantly got that same weak read. Weak as in, this was not some KK or QQ hand cc was reraising me with here. I had AJ, I was suited, I thought cc was weak and I was a little short, so I went ahead and called the allin. I flip my AJs and cc flips his...

KQs. Again with almost-surely-behind-but-reraising-preflop-anyways move. And again I've read it perfectly. Again I'm ahead for all my chips preflop after again calling down a bet from cc when he held inferior cards, both inferior to my own cards, but also inferior to what should be his starting hand requirements to make this kind of a move. But would I get to punish cc this time for once again playing far too aggressively here against me? Well, the flop had a King and an Ace, so I was still styling. Then the turn card comes, and it's a Queen. Two pairs for the new MATH luckbox, and then the river came another Queen just to add insult to injury. And IGH, once again in the middle of the pack, once again wronged and shamed in my own tournament.

And once again, CC went on to win the entire event, emboldened by hitting his 9-to-1 underdog five-outer on the turn to take my chips and vault to the top of the leaderboard:

Congratulations to CC for his $200 cash in the MATH tournament, as well as to jeciimd for his 2nd place finish, and Bobby Bracelet for cashing in 3rd place, for Bobby's first Hoy cash that I can recall.

The second thing I wanted to post about today involved an elimination I watched from a small mtt last night. I spoke with one of the players involved, and he is absolutely insistent that he played this hand properly. I would like to know everyone's thoughts.

So Mr. Victim is in early position and looks down to find AKo. He raises it up 3x preflop from EP. It is folded around to the button, an aggressive player who has been known to play all kinds of junk even for small raises preflop. Mr. Aggressive calls the 3x raise, and we go to a flop heads-up. The flop comes 9-9-7. Mr. Aggressive checks. Mr. Victim moves allin with his Ace-King high, and is quickly called by Mr. Aggressive, who flips over 96o for a set of flopped trips and the victory, eliminating Mr. Victim from the tournament in a most unceremonious fashion.

I'd like to know your thoughts on how this hand was played, by both players. Should either, or both, have played this hand differently?


Blogger jjok said...

sorry I missed last night. Mondays are a tough night to play in my household......

Good luck at the felt this week.

11:03 PM  
Blogger John G. Hartness said...

Not crazy about the button call, but I've certainly done worse. 96o is a little low for my starting hand requirements, I prefer to have at most one gap between my crappy middle cards if I'm going to call a preflop raise. But if I think I can take the pot away on the flop with strength, I'll go there.

I HATE the open-push with nut no pair. AK is a drawing hand, and with that board, it's no pair, no draw. Bad pushmonkey, YGHN. Why go broke with nothing more than playing the board, top kicker?

11:04 PM  
Blogger jeciimd said...

***sorry if this is repetitious***
First--Congrats to CC in the hoy. Sadly, my post-flop call with bottom pair failed to hold up against your suited hammer river suckout. Consider my cap tipped.

Second--I agree with falstaff re: the button call here--a little dicey, but not so much for an aggresive player in position. As for the push with AK--weak, weak,weak. Although the description of the scenario has some holes--how exactly was it checked to Mr. Victim after the flop if Mr. Aggressive was on the button? Does that mean the push came after the turn? Also, I have to think a check from an aggressive with position is much more worrisome than a bet in the same spot.
Either way, Mr. Victim needs to let Anna go here.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

96o is a pretty dicey hand, but if you're playing an aggressive style, it'll work. See the flop and if it's not friendly, let it go.

The AK dude was a TOTAL IDIOT. Plain and simple.

12:02 AM  
Blogger slb159 said...

Wow! Post flop push with a whiffed big slick. Hey, that's my move. I agree with wolf. No way do you push there.

12:42 AM  
Blogger CC said...

Hoy, I think I need to pay more attention--I think I was looking at Hachem's starting hand at CardPlayer at the time. gg all, and thanks for letting me luckbox away as always.

Interesting that this hand knocked out Isabelle Mercier yesterday but in a different fashion. Jean Gaspard told me that the flop came 3-3-2 after Isabelle had raised and then was called, she shoved and was called by A-J. Of course a jack spiked on the river. I think that was a horrible call by the other player for sure. In your situation, I see people move in but I think I don't 90% of the time, either betting the pot 1/3 of the time or check/call or check/fold. For what it's worth from a luckbox.

Thanks again, later.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

I am slowly beginning to get why I go broke with AK so often. It's from information negating moves like that push. It isn't that I hate it (I you put the button on two high cards, your two high ones will put you ahead), but that there's so much unknown before you sacrifice your stack. I like cc's ideas of an aggressive stab at the pot. I just wish I could bring myself to do the same more often.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

BTW...sorry about the no-show, ya know I'm a regular, but took much longer than I thought it would to get the kids down. My bad.

1:11 AM  
Blogger Marxst1 said...

There was, in my view, so many damn mistakes on this hand, I'm not positive who I think is the bigger idiot.

1) Calling 3x preflop with 96o is really a retarded play no matter how you slice it (except in this 1 case where the flop trips you up... but you'd have to have your buddy, the mechanic, dealing for you before you should ever attempt it).

2) I absolutely HATE the all-in on a whiffed AK... Its just stupid... The guy already called your 3x, so you need to be weary of a mid to high pocket pair in his hand, or depending on the blind levels... he may have played a FACE9 suited or even gambled a low suited connector like 89 or 910. Hell, if the guy has been playing aggressive, he may have played a gapped connector for that 3x preflop bet an now hes looking at the inside straight draw. Doesn't really matter, the point is that after a 3x preflop bet, everybody and their monkey KNOWS you didn't hit any part of 9 9 7... The "all-in" move just tells the other player that you are NOT playing a higher pocket pair since if you were you would have slowed it down right here. It completely telegraphs "Hey I have Ace Face and I really Don't want you to call me".

Now, that being said... Its really hard to say who was the bigger idiot without seeing chip stack size or watching the two players in previous hands to know what they were either playing or bluffing that they were playing. I've sat in a similar situation before and folded the AK to someone who I KNEW didn't "hit" the flop, but was bluffing the pot out because they may have a draw hand on me. Of course you can only guess that after you've seen them play a few hands. Otherwise, on the face of it, and only looking at one single hand, I'd say they were both idiots

1:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Horrible push by the AK unless he/she doesn't at least has a 4 flush. The range at which he/she is behind is HUGE especially if Mr. Aggressive doesn't offer any fold equity.

The pre-flop call sounds like a boredom call or implied odds type call as long as the stacks are deep.

2:21 AM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

The all-in is bad especially on a flop like this since you're only gonna get called by a hand that kills you.

Bet half the pot and go from there.

2:58 AM  
Blogger aquaverse said...

It's not just the odds at play here. The playing style of Mr. Aggressive clearly dictates Mr. Victim's decision to raise all-in post flop. So while the odds may not have been in Mr. Victim's favor, he correctly called the pre flop bluff. And were it not for Mr. Aggressive's blind luck, Mr. Victim would have been your winner for that round. Hindsight is always 20/20.

3:03 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

AK. Ace high. For all your chips. When a feeler bet would tell you exactly where you are. Stupid. Do it pre-flop if your going to. Even then. Stupid. 96o guy was looking for a weird flop and he got it. Weakness against strength is a good strategy even in MTTs as long as you do not do it all the time and you have chips to be able to do it.

3:26 AM  
Blogger slb159 said...


Start posting!

3:56 AM  
Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...


The possible difference here is that Isabelle was short stacked at the time. Without knowing the chip stacks in this situation, it is tough to compare the two. If the victim here shoved with anything above a remaining M of 4 or 5 (after the preflop bet), he is a complete moron. If it's less, then I think he played the AK just fine.

5:12 AM  
Blogger CC said...

Matt, that was much more thinking than I'd put into it about her short stack and all. Watching all this shows me how little I know about poker.

By the way, cc is a donkey.

3:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home