Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Obligatory poker post

Since this is a poker blog first and everything else second, I felt compelled to write something poker related since a lot of my posts recently have nothing to do with poker. Being that my trip to Montreal is coming up in a few days, I imagine there would be less poker material to write about. I hate it when social life comes in the way of poker... ah hell, what am I talking about. I'm having a freakin blast.

Well, last night, I played some poker. Not much. Just 4 tabled for about two hours I think... I was only going to play for an hour but then I was stuck a buy in and I knew I was playing well so I didn't want to stop. The only reason I was stuck a buy in was because we got it all in post flop... I had 99, villain had AA... flop was A-9-x. I eventually made it all back though and ended the night positive.

However, there was a hand that I don't have the HH for right now but it was a hand that I could have gone broke in but decided to cut my losses on the turn. The basic idea of the hand was that there was an EP limper, I raise with KK, EP limper calls, and we see a flop. On the flop, it was an uncoordinated, all low/mid flop and he checks to me, I bet about 85% of pot and I get mincheckraised. I took this as a sign of strength. After much deliberation, I called. Now I believe the flop was like 7 high or 8 high. On the turn, it was a J and he bets out about half his remaining stack. At that point, the pot was approximately $250ish. I had about $340 remaining. If I call his turn bet, I am obviously committed to calling the river bet so I felt that I was making a decision for my entire stack on the turn. I thought long and hard and eventually found the fold button. Now I don't know if that was a good fold or a bad fold. But it also made me think whether the flop call was a good one or not. And it reminded me of something about big pocket pairs preflop which doesn't directly tie to this HH but an interesting concept nonetheless.

Few months ago, when I was in Vegas, I played some with Weakplayer and Don. At one point, Weak comes and tells us about a hand he was involved in where he had KK, the flop was all low (like 7 high maybe) and he folded to a jam. At that point, Don pointed out that if he was gonna do that, he shoulda mucked KK preflop unless he was set mining. What does he mean? Well, this is how the hand played out preflop.

There was an EP limper, Weak raises, another guy calls, and the EP limper reraises a pretty big amount. At that point, Weak thought it might be aces but he wasn't sure so he called and so did the last guy. They saw an all low flop, EP limp reraiser jammed, Weak mucked his KK, and the last guy called. Turns out EP limp reraiser had QQ and the other guy had JJ. But we're not trying to judge based on the results. The interesting part to me was Don's comment.

In other words, if you are going to fold your kings on an all low flop, without set mining odds, why do you even need to call preflop? (and in this instance, I don't think weak had the set mining odds after the reraise) In other words, you need to make the judgment preflop about what to do if the flop is ______. You obviously can't totally plan ahead because you don't know what's coming. But you do need to run a few scenarios. In the hand above, it is definitely worth considering a fold preflop if you know that you're gonna fold to a flop jam on an all low board. The reason is that after showing that much strength (limp, then reraise), there's no way the guy is not cbetting. So, knowing that the cbet is coming, you have to consider what your actions are. If your thought is folding to a cbet, then you're essentially turning your pocket kings into presto or pocket 7s or whatever middle pocket pair you want to set mine with. In other words, it's no longer a big pocket pair for you.

The hand I was in is totally different and yet similar in the sense that I had to think through the action of the latter street and make a decision on the prior street. When I called the flop bet, it was because he minraised and I felt that if I can catch my two outer, I will stack him. If his hand wasn't all that great, it would be hard for him to bet out. Based on the preflop action, I pretty much eliminated TT+ so on the flop, he either overvalues 99 or 88 (assuming flop was 7 high) or he hit a set. My mind was that I'm drawing for the 2 outer and on the turn, when a J came and he bets out about half the pot (which was also half his remaining stack), I knew that even though the bet was for half his stack, my decision was for his entire stack. There was no sense in calling so it was a shove or fold decision and I felt that I shouldn't overcommit with just one pair, albeit a nice one. I probably didn't have the right odds to draw to a two outer, even on the flop minraise but I also thought maybe he's not quite as strong as he indicates. What I failed to recognize was that he was gonna fire out a turn bet regardless after that checkraise so potentially, it might have been a better move to fold on the flop. Nonetheless, I felt that the turn fold was not so bad and in the end, I was able to capitalize on better situations instead of playing for stacks in a very marginal situation which I have caught myself doing in the past month or so when I was playing overly aggressive (read: BAD).


Loretta8 said...

your KK play is def very opponent dependent, but theres no way you can fold on that flop to a minraise without an incredible read. the turn is a lot trickier though. theres a decent chance the guy fires again with 88,99 or maybe even some smaller pair that he check-raised on the flop with for information or some such weird reason. but if you call on the turn he's gonna have a tough time firing a third barrel on the river unless he has you beat. i'm not sure the exact stack sizes but calling the turn then folding to a river shove could be an option.

i totally agree with you about needing to have a plan and anticipating future action. def a mistake I see players making all the time. but folding to a min-raise there is just too exploitable and not an option imo.

spritpot said...

Here's another question: if you're going to fold to the turn bet after calling the min check-raise, why bet the flop? His hand looks a lot like a mid pocket pair, and a lot of those just hit. If he has one that didn't hit, he's not calling down three streets anyway. You can get your 1-2 streets of value on the turn and river if you are in fact ahead. I'm not saying checking behind would be definitely the right thing to do here, especially without knowing what your read on the player was, or what the exact flop was, or stack sizes, but just a thought.

Weak Player said...

FWIW, My opponent in that hand is very unpredictable. Against most other players, my line would have been clear one way or the other. I saw that guy again last night. He was putting on his donkey act but I was not buying it.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Weak, I think you know but bringing up the hand was certainly not a knock on you. It was just an interesting poker concept that I've been meaning to post since... well, since I last saw you in April. :)