Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How NOT to play AK

This hand came up a few days ago and personally, I wasn't too proud of the way I played it. However, the fact that the villain was a donkey helped. Another thing to keep in mind is that I had a decent read of this player since I've played with him in the past at the 1-2NL tables... looks like he hasn't improved too much. But he was a decent player at the 1-2NL level... but decent at 1-2NL means weak tight right? At least from my experience it does. Again, I said decent, not awesome or great.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2968669670: Table Canyon Run - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:37:35 ET - 2007/07/16
Seat 1: cmckid ($500.60), is sitting out
Seat 2: qual0044 ($430)
Seat 3: adult_diapers ($402)
Seat 4: JensPikenes ($382)
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($490.60)
Seat 6: czarcaesarxx ($315)
Seat 7: jgruner ($371.10)
Seat 8: fred1941 ($540.90)
Seat 9: Villain ($469)
RecessRampage posts the small blind of $2
czarcaesarxx posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [9s 9d]
jgruner raises to $12 <--- from UTG
fred1941 folds
Villain raises to $40 <--- AA-QQ, AK was my guess
qual0044 folds
adult_diapers folds
JensPikenes folds
RecessRampage calls $38 <--- set mining
czarcaesarxx folds
jgruner folds

I'm convinced that unless the board is insanely scary (like all coordinated with same suit or all connected), I can stack my opponent if I hit a set. So, my odds that I had in mind was $38 to win $900 pot. I wasn't too scared of the UTG raiser... because I pretty much knew that the villain had the AA, KK, QQ, or AK. I'm just surprised UTG raiser didn't call.

*** FLOP *** [Qh 8d 5h] <--- whiff!
RecessRampage checks
Villain checks

I didn't like my check on the flop but I didn't want to get involved any further in this pot considering there's only one hand in the range that I've given him that I can beat. Plus, I'm out of position so he bets out, I'm gone. I guess I could put out a feeler bet but... actually, now that I think about it, I like the check. I'm minimizing my loss here so betting here would be spewage. The interesting thing is the villain checking. All of a sudden, I was able to narrow his range to QQ or AK. In other words, he either flopped a monster or he knows that I have a pair and gets scared so he's not betting. I'm sure trips came to his mind too. So he checks. That's too much info he's given me.

*** TURN *** [Qh 8d 5h] [Ts]
RecessRampage checks
Villain bets $46
RecessRampage raises to $92
Villain calls $46

This is where I'm now sticking to my read that he has either AK or QQ. Check call I guess was an option here but I really wanted to find out where I stood before I got in more trouble. If he has AK, my gut shot straight draw is no good but my hand is currently good. If he has QQ, I have a gut shot straight draw... if he lets me get there. I figured I'd checkraise here to find out. You might be thinking "wait, that checkraise makes no sense. You checked twice already and all of a sudden you're raising? Seems like a steal to me." Well, if you thought that, you are paying attention and if the villain was paying attention, maybe he could've made a move here by reraising. But with him calling, I was now convinced he had AK. Gut shot for the broadway and two overcards for what it's worth.

*** RIVER *** [Qh 8d 5h Ts] [4d]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $140
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain folds
Uncalled bet of $140 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($277)

As I look at this hand history, this is the one part of the hand I hate. I made a mistake here, IMO. What was the point of that bet? A value bet? I think not. Because if he's calling me here, I'm clearly beat. I mean even if we expanded his holding to JJ, I would think he would call here. If he folds JJ, good bet by me. But again, if my read was now solidly on AK, I should've checked here. Sure, he might fire out a nice sized bet and I would have to make a tough call but I've gotten this far to shape my read, if I can't stick to it, what good am I? This is an instance where I potentially left some chips on the table. Of course, he may have checked but at least I would've given him the opportunity to fire out some more cash on a bluff.

It seems like a subtle thing but I truly believe that squeezing every little bit out of your opponent is so important. And the villain grossly misplayed this hand by not betting out on the flop. It would have been perfectly consistent with an overpair and he would've taken it down there. I mean why else would you reraise with AK preflop if you're not gonna represent an overpair after the flop? I told you. Weak-tight.


Gnome said...

I agree that you may have squeezed some more value out by inducing a river bluff. But nice hand and nice read nonetheless. I wonder about the min-check-raise though ... it seems like such a steal/information bet, and you wouldn't have been able to call a raise. Even jacking it up $20 more or so would make it look less suspicious.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

That's a good point and forgot to mention in my post. After I clicked that min check raise, I kinda regretted the min bet. Gotta love the donkeys who let me get by even after I make a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff like always.

Like Gnome a little more on the check raise.

If he plays back over you do you let it go?

Good example of weak-tight too. AK in position against nines should be scooping every pot.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I would let it go if he came over the top. Which is probably why my min check raise was very dangerous. I almost gave him a green light to get aggressive. That's something I'll remember in the future. But in this given example, if he came over the top, I would let it go. At that point, he wouldnt' have fold equity so I had to win a showdown and I'm not comfortable enough to do that.

Fuel55 said...

Turn CR was bad. You pick up so many outs and then risk getting RR'ed off the pot. Either bet the pot or smooth call.

I'd bet river 35% and check 65% here.

Sia said...

Nice analysis. Agree on the minimum check raise comment, but then again, if you did that against me....it would have scared me because I wouldn't expect you to pull a play like that. Would make me think that you're trying to induce me to come over top with a 'seemingly' weak play. Did that make sense?

I really liked how you narrowed his range from A/K to QQ after the post flop check(which is what I would have assumed he was on too...although I may have included low pocket pair as well).
And how you stuck with that read even after he bet out after the turn. Good read.

SubZero said...

Solid analysis of a non-tricky player. Obviously QQ would smash your turn minraise, but his call of that raise declared his hand. I think if you want to induce a river bluff you can't raise the turn, as you need to appear weak throughout the entire hand. A raise will either confuse or scare an opponent, and uncertainty results in checking.
Keep up the good posts...