Monday, March 17, 2008

When you forget to hit the breaks... disaster strikes

First off, I have to thank Bayne... he probably unknowingly untilted me last night when he sat at my 2-4NL table where I was able to win back 2 buy-ins after a pretty treacherous weekend where I felt like everything I did was the wrong thing. Now, for some of you that know me, you're thinking "but you never tilt." (or so I claim). I generally don't... but last night was an exception when I was victim to another shorty all in and he sucks out, that just kinda put me over the edge. Fortunately, I was able to refocus quickly and ended the table that Bayne was at up 2 buy-ins. Thank goodness.

Also, I am psyched to be included in the blogs mentioned here. We all know I'm a shameless fan of lucko right? So yeah, that's freakin awesome. My blog rules!

Ok, so on to the main topic here. Work sucks. Way too busy for the "nonbusy time" that I have to wait till 6:30 (and I'm still at work) to finally get to blog. I just know that if I go home, I'll eat dinner, go work out and start playing poker... so I better blog now or it will be tomorrow before I actually post... and with all the meetings I got tomorrow, who knows when that would happen. So, anyways, here I go.

Part 1 - Blind v Blind

I actually need help here. In blind v blind, 4 handed, should I be playing small ball poker? I obv overplayed AK but I am not convinced it was totally a bad play by me. Part of me is convinced it was bad. The other part is trying to make me feel better by throwing in terms like metagame value...

Full Tilt Poker Game #5652851624: Table Burdell (6 max) - $5/$10 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:28:09 ET - 2008/03/16
Seat 1: life_v_kife ($533) <--- SB
Seat 2: RecessRampage ($1,702) <--- BB
Seat 3: sharkfish76 ($2,773.50)
Seat 4: philuva ($2,127.50), is sitting out
Seat 5: moi_rhums33 ($1,871.50), is sitting out
Seat 6: surfer of poker ($792.25)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ac Kh]
sharkfish76 folds
surfer of poker folds
life_v_kife has 15 seconds left to act
life_v_kife raises to $30
RecessRampage raises to $90
life_v_kife has 15 seconds left to act
life_v_kife raises to $220

Ok, let's stop here. On a blind v blind situation, you're dealt AK in a 4 handed match. Pretty much a monster. Yeah, yeah, say what you want about how it's a drawing hand but it's ahead of a lot of hands. So, reraising preflop, to me, is a no brainer. But then the guy 3 bets me. So what do you do now? Call? The guy after bumping it to $220 has $310 behind. Do I call and fold if I don't hit A or K on the flop? Isn't the pot now too big to fold? Or do I just fold? Folding here would seem insanely weak. But then now that he 3 bet me, he clearly has a strong hand. What range would do that? I guess now that I think about it, TT+ and maybe AK?

RecessRampage raises to $1,702, and is all in
life_v_kife calls $313, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Ac Kh]
life_v_kife shows [Jd Jh]
Uncalled bet of $1,169 returned to RecessRampage

Reason I shoved was again, I thought this was an instance where I shove or fold. If I just call and I miss the flop, I would have to fold but the pot is too big. AK is a hand where you wanna see all 5 cards (only if you could see 5 cards then the chances are, you are a slight dog to the coinflip). So was this shove inevitable? Should I have folded preflop? Call and fold to his jam? Even as I think about it, I'm not sure what the best thing to do would be. Just curious on what everyone's thoughts are. It was unfortunate that my profits from this table disappeared in this one coinflip...

*** FLOP *** [2h 7c Js] <--- fawk
*** TURN *** [2h 7c Js] [4d]
*** RIVER *** [2h 7c Js 4d] [Ks]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Kings
life_v_kife shows three of a kind, Jacks
life_v_kife wins the pot ($1,064) with three of a kind, Jacks

Part 2 - Overplayed my overpair

As I review this HH, I can only sigh and shake my head. This was clearly a big mistake... such a fine line between stacking off against a set v calling it an overbet for value...

Full Tilt Poker Game #5659645497: Table Evergreen (6 max) - $5/$10 - No Limit Hold'em - 14:52:48 ET - 2008/03/16
Seat 1: DeuceOnTheRive ($610) <--- BB
Seat 2: BleuberryMuffin ($1,015)
Seat 3: RecessRampage ($1,052)
Seat 4: TheTaker ($1,132)
Seat 5: Villain1318 ($2,355)
Seat 6: moi_rhums33 ($1,005) <--- SB

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ks Kc]
BleuberryMuffin folds
RecessRampage raises to $35
TheTaker calls $35
Villain1318 calls $35
moi_rhums33 folds
DeuceOnTheRive calls $25

No respect! UTG+1 raise, people!

*** FLOP *** [5d 9d Qh]
DeuceOnTheRive checks
RecessRampage bets $115
TheTaker calls $115
Villain1318 folds
DeuceOnTheRive folds

I think this smooth call shoulda set off warning bells. I mean if the guy has a Q, with two diamonds and a straight draw possibility with all these limpers, AQ surely woulda raised here right? No way they would smooth call and allow others to draw. Well, I didn't hear the warning bells until now when I'm reviewing this HH.

*** TURN *** [5d 9d Qh] [5h]
RecessRampage checks
TheTaker has 15 seconds left to act
TheTaker bets $250
RecessRampage raises to $902, and is all in
TheTaker calls $652
RecessRampage shows [Ks Kc]
TheTaker shows [9s 9h] <--- of course

As I mentioned above, I didn't hear the warning bells. I figured him for a Q so I went for a trap... little did I know that I was falling into his. So, the question here is, should I have lead out on the turn to see what happens? Or should I have just check called? For those of you advocating check call here, what do you do on the river? The reason I ask that is the pot if I call here would be $875. Do I check fold to his river shove of $652? Some might say that he might not bet his entire stack so I can save a few hundred dollars. Maybe. If I lead out, how much should I have bet? I would still have to bet a fairly decent chunk in case he's on a draw too, no? At what point do I find the fold button?

Or was it just inevitable that I stack off here? Overpairs are so hard to play in a 6 max game... at least for me, this is my biggest leak. Now that I rethink this though, I shoulda called and then check on the river. If he shoves, I'd have to fold because no way AQ would shove on the river. No need to. Showdown would be good enough. I would probably have to call a value bet if he bets like half the pot but either way, I shouldn't have stacked off here.

*** RIVER *** [5d 9d Qh 5h] [Th]
RecessRampage shows two pair, Kings and Fives
TheTaker shows a full house, Nines full of Fives
TheTaker wins the pot ($2,176) with a full house, Nines full of Fives
RecessRampage adds $1,000

My parents are probably gonna puke when they see this... don't worry Mom, I still got plenty of money in my acct. Despite this loss, I'm still doing ok.

Part 3 - If not an overpair, how about TPTK?

Another one... such a thin line between overbet for value and stacking off to a set...

Full Tilt Poker Game #5666083181: Table Marietta (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:02:08 ET - 2008/03/16
Seat 1: LittleDix ($640.30) <--- BB
Seat 2: SexyJoLinda ($395.60)
Seat 3: RecessRampage ($400)
Seat 4: DoAho ($475)
Seat 5: BriFri77 ($474.60)
Seat 6: GiVeMeTheCake ($646.60) <--- SB

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ks As]
SexyJoLinda folds
RecessRampage raises to $14
DoAho folds
BriFri77 calls $14
GiVeMeTheCake folds
LittleDix folds

*** FLOP *** [6c 3h Ah]
RecessRampage bets $24
BriFri77 calls $24

Another instance where the guy just calls when there's a flush draw out there. Maybe he'd raise if he had an A? I don't know. Should I be more wary of smooth calls? I've seen other idiots "smooth call" with worse hands so it's so hard to tell who's smooth calling with a monster and who's calling with a worse hand.

*** TURN *** [6c 3h Ah] [3s]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $72
BriFri77 calls $72

Another smooth call. At this point, I am literally convinced that I am ahead. I'm thinking this guy has AQ and so any safe board and I'm betting, trying to get the most out of this guy.

*** RIVER *** [6c 3h Ah 3s] [4d]
RecessRampage bets $165
BriFri77 raises to $330
RecessRampage calls $125, and is all in
Uncalled bet of $40 returned to BriFri77

This is where it's sick. A fairly harmless card comes so I bet, hoping for a call... instead I get raised. Now I know I'm beat. But with the pot being what it is, I can't fold here... or can I?

*** SHOW DOWN ***
BriFri77 shows [6d 6s] a full house, Sixes full of Threes
RecessRampage mucks
BriFri77 wins the pot ($803) with a full house, Sixes full of Threes
RecessRampage adds $400

For a change, I wanted to show all of you out there the hands where I got stacked off. My buddy JT requested that I post some hands where I lost and maybe write why I lost so much. All three of these hands have one thing in common. I forgot to hit the breaks and I mistakenly read their calls as weakness instead of sensing a trap. In hindsight, I think I was pressing a bit and that's what caused my downfall. Shockingly, the above hands were also mitigated by the other tables where I was actually able to piece together some nice wins. I just feel like it's such a fine line. If my AK beats the JJ or if the guy has AQ instead of a set (in both hands 2 and 3), I woulda been able to post a "I had another unbelievably profitable weekend" post but instead, here I am, barely breaking even (or maybe down a little, not sure) due to these big pots.

I want your input but also keep in mind the context that it happened in (as in 6max table or in that blind v blind instance, 4 handed, etc). I still obviously overplayed some of those hands but just as a general question, against a good opponent who knows how to bet on every street to maximize value, can you not stack off when you have an overpair on a ragged board where the other guy has a set? I don't want to turn into a passive player from fear of stacking off. Where and how do I draw that line? Any thoughts are welcome.

See you all tonight at the MATH.


Gnome said...

Hand No. 1 is fine against many aggressive opponents, where you want to get it all in shorthanded in a blind v. blind situation.
I'm also OK with Hand No. 2, especially when that 5 pairs the board. You already know that your opponent doesn't have QQ, and 55 is unlikely considering the last two fives are out. So there's not a whole lot to worry about here.
I don't like Hand No. 3. I just don't see you getting called by many worse hands, and the Ace on the board makes your holding somewhat transparent. You have to slow down, at least on the river.

spritpot said...

Just my $0.02...

No. 1 is the right play, I think. The only other play you might consider employing occasionally is flat calling his initial raise. This really disguises the strength of your hand. His raising range probably includes a lot of weaker aces and kings, so you could win a big pot if you make top pair. The downside of course is that you give him a chance to catch up with a worse hand. Since you have position, you should be able to extract a lot of value when you have the best hand and get away cheaper than your whole stack when you don't.

Hand 2, the 5 pairing the board is pretty much the worse card for you given what he has. As gnome said, very hard to put him on a set there. I think bet/fold might be better than crai. It is good to crai there sometimes to protect against floats or maybe even get some thin value. But if you lead, I think you can very easily fold here if he shoves over your turn bet. If he just calls the river is very tough though.

Hand 3, I think it really depends on your opinion of the opponent. If it's a donk, I think a bet is good. I've gotten called down by AJ or AQ or even worse there a lot. Even more so if the 6 were a heart instead of the A, because it makes pair-and-a-flush-draw more likely. I think you can fold to the raise though, even getting gross odds.


Fuel55 said...

Play any hand weaker and these guys will run you over. I dont mind trapping a little more with AK in hand 1 though since you are more than likely racing.

Klopzi said...

Hand 1 is fine. Villain's stack is too small to consider making any other play. And folding AK is not really an option here.

As for hands 2 and 3, you run into tough spots as predicted by SPR (I'm an SPR guy so you know I'm gonna bring that into play).

In both these hands, the pre-flop pot size dictates that you'll usually be behind if you get all your money in without improving to two-pair or better.

In the first hand, your in a multi-way pot and out of position. Your opponents have odds to draw out on you and one did. It happens. At the lower stakes, I'd say call the turn bet and fold to a river shove. At the higher stakes, I'm sure there's some sort of meta-game trickiness that forces you to stack off with bottom pair or better.

In the last hand, your turn bet commits you to a pot where top pair may not be enough to win. If you think you're ahead on the turn (ie. your opponent will stack off with less than TPTK) then the hand played out perfectly. If you thought you might be behind (SPR is 12 with a standard Villain), then you need to keep the pot small or fold to too much heat.

Again, I have not experience playing $400+ NLHE so I don't know what plays are "standard". I can only tell you that, from a math point of view, Hand 1 is great and Hands 2/3 ended up poorly as expected by the terrible SPRs for your given hands.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I have no clue what SPR (stack to pot ratio) is...

lucko said...

Hand 1: I have to think the sb's 4 betting range has to be a bit wider than TT+ & AK BvB. I think stacking off here is completely standard.

Hand 2: I hate The Taker, very, very tough guy to play against. I don't mind your line at all. Just a gay spot.

Hand 3: Another tough hand. I think weaker aces are here and calling enough that betting is fine. You are ahead most times, so you are probably leaving money on the table by not betting. Getting raised is so gross.

I don't have any issues with any of your plays.

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

Most of the money transfered on line is big pairs vs. set or big pairs all in against a draw.

First hand, he only has 50BB, its 4 handed, its all in pre-flop. If you can't afford a 50BB hit then don't play 5/10; as I will always take a 50bb race with ak blind vs. blind.

Hand 2. KK against 3 callers, that really sucks. You have to think that 1 of the 3 hands has likely out flopped you or has the draw. tough hand, no problems with the flop bet, if you smooth call the turn he is just going to fire again all in on the river, so I agree its push or fold. Still think I'm getting felted here too. (see 1200 transfer to weak player). But it would be very decipline for you to flod the turn, again this is cash so you have time on your side with no blind pressure.

3 hand suxs just as much, paired board, flush draw, he could re-pop you here on the river because he missed his draw. Since he called 2 bullets, I might slow down on the river, and hope for just a small value bet to see I'm still beat, just not for my entire stack.

The cardinal rule is don't go broke one 1 pair, especially in the cash game. But if the assclowns are being aggressive, you also have to defend your hands.

These hands show why poker can really suck.

Klopzi said...

"I have no clue what SPR (stack to pot ratio)is..."

Divide the size of the smallest stack seeing the flop (effective stack) by the size of the pre-flop pot. This gives you the stack-to-pot ratio.

-SPR of 5 or less is good for big pair type hands (AA-22, AK-AT, KQ, etc.)
-Any SPR is good for pocket pairs, although for smaller SPRs you need a lot opponents in pot to justify seeing the flop.
-SPRs of 11-15 are terrible for big pair hands (which just happens to be the SPR when you raise 3-4 BB playing 100BB effective stacks).
-SPRs of 11-15 are good if you are in position with good steal equity.
-SPRs of 20+ are good for every hand assuming that you know how to play big stack poker. This is also when the saying "Don't go broke with top pair" totally applies.

You can read more in Professional No-Limit Hold'em - great book!

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

IMO, you just have to be careful balancing out your fear of going broke with just TPTK or overpair vs getting max value out of those hands. I'm assuming the book talks about SPR in cash game situations since you're bringing it up in a cash game example but it sounds more tournament speech to me. If you're constantly folding overpairs to a ragged board, I feel more value is lost than gained when you're not paying off a set.

MackemPlus1 said...

I think you played all three hands horrendously.

Only kidding, hands like those are why I'm playing almost exclusively omaha these days.

Good post though, keep em coming.