Monday, June 18, 2007

How you say... jacks??

Couple of interesting hands all involving me having pocket jacks...

Part 1 - Betting too much

FullTiltPoker Game #2702574091: Table Hollow Pine - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:42:14 ET - 2007/06/18

9 handed - villain only has $170 before this hand

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jd Jc]
RecessRampage raises to $14 from MP
Villain (from the big blind) calls $10

*** FLOP *** [Kc Kd 9d]
Villain checks
RecessRampage bets $25
Villain calls $25

*** TURN *** [Kc Kd 9d] [5h]
Villain checks
RecessRampage bets $70
Villain raises to $134.10, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $64.10
Villain shows [Qs Kh]
RecessRampage shows [Jd Jc]

*** RIVER *** [Kc Kd 9d 5h] [7d]
Villain shows three of a kind, Kings
RecessRampage shows two pair, Kings and Jacks
Villain wins the pot ($345.20) with three of a kind, Kings

In reviewing the hand, I'm not sure I misplayed it... well, maybe I did. This is where I might need to be more concious about bet sizing and pot control. The K-K-9 flop looked fairly innocent. It's checked to me so I bet. However, in hindsight, maybe his call should have been a red flag. So, I am fine with everything until the turn card comes. Now at that point, it's another safe card. The pot at that point has $78. I guess I bet $70 because I was thinking if he is drawing to a flush, I needed to make him pay. The only problem is that since he only had $64 behind him if he pushes, by betting $70, in effect, I was betting $135. And, if he's drawing to a flush, he only has 8 outs since I have a diamond. So, that means he's drawing to about 18%. So, in a $78 pot, technically, I can just bet $30 and it will still be a) incorrect for him to call and b) leave myself with outs in case he wakes up with a better hand. Now granted, I'm not sure that I could have gotten away from this hand but that is certainly something to keep in mind... that I don't always have to bet so big. Will I potentially be leaving some chips by not aggressively betting against a worse hand? Possibly. But on that board, what hands that I could beat would call my bet? TT and maaaaaybe 88 or 77. Aside from that, there aren't too many hands that would call my preflop bet and my c-bet on the flop.

Part 2 - Trusting your reads

Full Tilt Poker Game #2702813562: Table Marietta (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:09:33 ET - 2007/06/18

6 max - I have $400 and Villain here has $300

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jc Js]
Villain calls $4 from UTG
RecessRampage raises to $18 from the button
Both blinds fold
Villain calls $14

*** FLOP *** [7c 3c Ad]
Villain bets $36
RecessRampage calls $36

*** TURN *** [7c 3c Ad] [2d]
Villain bets $60
RecessRampage calls $60

*** RIVER *** [7c 3c Ad 2d] [9c]
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $128
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage calls $128

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain shows [7d Kh] a pair of Sevens
RecessRampage shows [Jc Js] a pair of Jacks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($487) with a pair of Jacks

This was another interesting hand. After the hand, the villain showed his classy side by typing in the chat box "nice f***'n call." So, generally, I don't respond to things like that and I especially don't like giving free lessons but I couldn't resist... so I told him "Check out the hand history and then tell me what you think I think you had." That actually calmed him down, actually said "Damn, I didn't know I was playing against a pro. Just so you know, I didn't think you had the ace though." I told him I wasn't a pro... but that was nice. But anyways, that's neither here nor there. The river bet admittedly was a scary one. There was so many ways for me to lose... and yet, I made the call. Is this because I can't lay down a pocket pair? Come on. Hopefully, those of you who read this blog frequently know better. So, let's go back through the hand.

Preflop, he limps UTG and then calls a raise after everyone else folds. This could mean he has a monster and is good enough to slow play a big pocket pair since he knows it's heads up. Or, he's got some sort of a drawing hand or a mid to small pocket pair. So in other words, at this point, his range is pretty big. Flop comes A-7-3 with two clubs. He actually thinks about it and then bets $36 into a $42 pot. At this point, I immediately narrowed his hand down to either a draw or a pocket pair. Why? I just couldn't see a guy with A-x not raising preflop or reraising. In other words, if he had AK, I'm 90% sure he would have come over the top when I raised preflop. So, I was convinced my hand was good there. The only thing I was worried about was that he was doing this with a flopped set and I don't know anything about the guy so that was certainly a possibility. So, I didn't want to unnecessarily build the pot so I figured I'd call and if he doesn't have an ace or trips, he'll check the turn, I'll bet and take it down.

Well, he continued his aggression on the turn when a blank fell (sure if he had 45, he has a straight but I can't worry about that). This is probably where I made my first mistake. I just smooth called again. Why? Because I still felt I had the best hand but again, I didn't want to build the pot too much. But what if he had a draw? Yeah, exactly... I think that's where I made a mistake. And as such, the river comes another club. And the villain was courageous enough to be a fairly big amount. $128, leaving himself $56 into a pot that contained approx $240. This is where I made my second mistake... I think. Calling here should not have been an option. Considering he only left $56, it's either a fold or raise situation, I think. What do I mean by that? If I think that I'm ahead the whole time then that shouldn't change here. If I think the flush card beats me, I should fold here. But if it's enough for me to think that my jacks are still good, I need to push in case he was doing that with a hand that I initially thought which was a smaller pocket pair. That way, I could take all his chips. But calling wasn't the worst thing I've done. That was definitely a tough call and I made it tougher for myself by not raising on the turn. However, again, I knew he didn't have the ace so that made my decision slightly easier.

Oh and one other benefit to doing that? I noticed quite a few. I got bluffed at a lot less after that and at the same time, they started respecting my raise and c-bets which are key at a 6max table where you are generally more aggressive than usual.

Part 3 - Helps to get lucky

Full Tilt Poker Game #2703094206: Table Marietta (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:41:14 ET - 2007/06/18

6 max - another confrontation with a small stack
Villain has $190 here

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jd Jc]
Villain raises to $14 from the CO
RecessRampage calls $12

*** FLOP *** [6d 4d 9h]
RecessRampage checks
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $25
RecessRampage raises to $85
Villain raises to $172.30, and is all in <--- woah...
RecessRampage calls $87.30
Villain shows [Ks Kc] <--- oh snap!
RecessRampage shows [Jd Jc]

*** TURN *** [6d 4d 9h] [8d]
*** RIVER *** [6d 4d 9h 8d] [9d]
Villain shows two pair, Kings and Nines
RecessRampage shows a flush, Jack high
RecessRampage wins the pot ($373.60) with a flush, Jack high <--- better lucky than good :)

Nothing much here... since it was only $85 more to call, I had to make the call. On a 6 max table, high PP vs high PP is pretty much disaster esp with all low cards. I mean I've seen clowns push preflop with a hand as bad with AJ...


Mike Maloney said...

I don't think I'd be much good at 6-max.

Hand #1 is rough, I probably play that just like you did most of the time. The flush draw really screws you over.

Hand #2 is a hell of a read by you. Nice analysis.

Hand #3 is why I'd hate 6-max, because at a regular full table I'd probably be more inclined to get away from a hand like JJ, although even still that'd be a tough fold to make.

lj said...

you get lots of jacks!!

Fuel55 said...

You're growing. Nice thinking. Although beware limped AX hands for deception as the games get bigger.

AnguilA said...

I've been playing less and less cash lately, but the first hand after the check-smooth call, I would be more inclined to control the pot size in the turn by checking if I didn't have any info on the player. I mean, by betting pot size you commit yourself against a hand that has you crushed (as it happened), and by betting weak like you suggest later you are opening a window for a good player that was floating to come over the top with a worse hand.
These are the types of hands that make NL cash so interesting and so different from each other (it's almost impossible to escape from an overpair against a small stack, while you should be able to lay down to aggression if playing for a full buy in...)
Nice post.

Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Alan, thanks for the comments, I have PT and you are right, I do not take the time to analyze the results, so I'll add that to my self evaluation.

By plauteau I didn't mean I'm break even, I'm very on the plus side, and played and traveled to the 2K WSOP on my on line earnings from January, but by plateau, I mean get off the even playing field of good players into a top player, regardless of on line, wpt or wsop. I just feel my game is missing some element. I know all the odds, all the moves, adjustments to style, just feel like there is something top players know that I don't

My guess is well timed agression, my aggression seems to be too random and based on my mental state rather than the board and my opponenet. And I'm too passive in live and big dollar events. These are the areas I need to improve on.

Astin said...

Not entirely sure on your plays here.

#1 - I'm thinking as soon as he calls the flop here, you've got to be careful. The all-in is also suspect to me, but for only $64 more, it's tough to lay that down. If it's two queens on the board, then I'm less worried.

#2 - Good call. Obviously didn't have the ace, but the flush draw is a definite possibility, but the pot-sized bet on the river discounts that. K7o is all kinds of dumb. My concern is more on your "push or fold" on the river thought. There's nothing wrong with the call here. You're not risking any more and still taking down a significant pot. Yes, you'll get his last dollar, but that's only assuming you're right. I can see "fold or push" on the turn though.

#3 - If it wasn't for luck, there'd be no donkeys. It's always nice when it works in our favour.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan, who do you think are the good players at Full Tilt NL400 full ring?

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

To answer the question about who I think are good players at Full Tilt NL400 full ring... I'm not sure anymore. To an extent, I guess the ones who are always there are probably decent such as stylistic, nsewell21, happythoughts or something like that. I used to be worried about some of them but now, I'm not. I respect their game but not in a "I want to avoid them" type of way. But they definitely employ the general rule of big pots = big hands. I had a set over set situation where I both times had a lower set against nsewell and stylistic. Both times when they reshoved, I pretty much knew that they had a better set... only because I knew they're not stupid enough to go all in with an overpair against me. So they're pretty good. Aside from that, I think some of the better ones have moved on to 3-6NL cuz I don't see them as often anymore.

Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

you are crazy with those jacks, i just fold them pre-flop.

In jest, for hand 1 I have been using Fuel's approach to try to re-steal paired flops. In this case, he checked, your check would of kept the pot smallishy. I'm sure he would of bet the turn, here is where I learned from fuel to re-steal, if he calls, or pushed, I know I'm done. I like that approach better.

Hand 2 was a great read, and I like the thought you put into it, although I could of seen him limp with a sooted ace - 7, but then again, i'm not sure he fires a near full pot bet at 2 pair. nice play.

hand 3, we all dream of those, get your money in behind and find the miricle.

nice hands.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Interestingly I don't think I would have played any of these three hands the way you did (or at least I hope I wouldn't have). In the first hand I think that once the guy calls you preflop and then calls on the flop, I would already be thinking about checking the turn instead of betting. Aces, Queens or obviously any King have you crushed, and he's indicated strength on two streets. The way I play it is entirely possible that I might have seen the turn on this hand, but once he raises me allin, I'm folding even for just the $64 save into that large pot.

In the second hand, your read was right but I play 2-4 6max all the time and I would say there is little doubt that the players there would play many Ace hands as a limp-call preflop. Just like in the first hand, once he calls me on the flop, I would be check-folding the turn (and in this case, missing out on a big pot because I did not have the quality of read that you had here). If I somehow found myself betting again at an Ace-high flop with pocket Jacks against a guy who's played both streets so far as if he's holding an Ace, once he calls the turn bet I can't possibly imagine calling his $128 push there. Nice read I guess, but I swear over time if you play like this on Ace-high flops you're going to get hurt. In 6max play people will play any Ace quite often just like this -- try to see a cheap flop and then call a preflop raise. Not that I would play Ace-rag like that, but plenty of players at 6max $400nl would and do.

On the third hand, I think generally speaking it's a bad idea to get it allin with just an overpair Jacks on a raggy flop against a guy who raised it up preflop, but the bottom line is that in this situation a lot of the 2-4 6max donks will push here with any medium or higher pocket pair, and some even with AK on that kind of a short stack. IMO that's not a great play either but to me it's more defensible than the earlier two hands.

In all I think Jacks are a very tough hand to play in all forms of nlh, and in my experience (as someone who laughs at the tightydonks saying you have to foldfoldfold to aggression all the time), you need to be able to get away from them on raggy boards to extreme aggression (as in, if the guy in the third hand was pushing for another $250 instead of just another $87, I think you have to fold), and especially when Aces flop and guys are in who called preflop raises or who raises themselves, and are betting out on Ace-high flops.

Nice post, love to see more hands and more situations like these to analyze.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Hoy, thanks for the comments. Very interesting how your read and mine were very different. I felt that the massive overbet seemed like a weaker pair. In hindsight, I see now that he read me for a mediocre pair and pushed, so good play by him. Part of me wanted to be in a pot with him (so I guess I was pseudo tilting) because earlier in the evening, I flopped a boat with 67 (flop 667) but I dropped a buy-in when he rivered a K, giving him a higher boat with his pocket kings.

As for the 2nd hand, I understand that there are players who do that. I think that just depends on the read you have for each individual players. For this one particular player, I knew he would have raised with Ax. It wasn't a case of not being able to fold my jacks for the slight possibility that I was ahead. It was knowing that I was ahead but didn't want to swell up the pot. Nonetheless, very interesting to see your thoughts on that. I'll try to find more situations like this to post. All the feedbacks given to me so far have been very helpful.