Thursday, July 3, 2008

Flipping a coin... and poker wins!

I was torn between going nonpoker content route vs discussion of hand histories... ultimately, since this is a poker blog, the hand history discussion won out. So, for all you degenerates out there, enjoy. For all you nondegenerates, have a nice 4th (or for some of you, I'll see you tomorrow)!

Without further ado, here we go:

1) "No point in betting the river since a worse hand will fold and only a better hand will call you."

That's such a cliche isn't it? So many people tend to lose value on the river because they are afraid to fire out that last bet without a monster. But sometimes, you have to try to read your opponent even if he's not the one putting you to the decision so you can maximize your value there.

FTP 6max 4 handed
Seat 1: Villain ($648.50)
Seat 2: ($432.40), is sitting out
Seat 3: SB ($400)
Seat 4: ($1,018.90), is sitting out
Seat 5: BB ($96)
Seat 6: Hero ($439.80)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qd As]
Hero raises to $14
Villain calls $14
Both blinds fold

*** FLOP *** [Kh Ac 2h]
Hero bets $23
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain calls $23

The flop is obviously a very good one considering AQ is a very good hand 4 handed and I just hit my top pair. Villain could be calling here with a wide range, including any A, any K, possibly middle pocket pair, or a flush draw. Since it's 4 handed, he would give me less credit for a hand here because I would obviously be raising and cbetting with a wide range.

*** TURN *** [Kh Ac 2h] [6d]
Hero bets $65
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain calls $65

I bet $65 into a pot that has about $75. This call usually means that he doesn't have a flush draw since the villain did not seem like the type to chase with poor odds. As such, I figured that at this point, he either has a A or a K.

*** RIVER *** [Kh Ac 2h 6d] [9s]
Hero bets $145
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain has requested TIME
Villain calls $145

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Hero shows [Qd As] a pair of Aces
Villain mucks [Ah Td] - a pair of Aces
Hero wins the pot ($498) with a pair of Aces

Villain really took his time to call the river bet. He had to know/feel like he was beat but 4 handed, it was really tough for him to fold his A. This was an instance where I wanted to make sure I got value out of my hand. I could have easily checked the river, thinking only a better hand would call me but in this case, I knew that that wouldn't be true. I thought through the sequence, was convinced he had an ace (so be it if he had A9) and so I fired out another bet. Now some of you might say, what would you do if he shoves here? I would probably fold, based on the read I had on this player. The chances of him having air here would be very slim if he shoves over my bet on the river. Of course, if he does, some of you might say that I shoulda just checked but you really need to look at the sequence of the hand and really think through before defaulting to checking on the river. You could be missing a lot of value there. I did consider an OBFV on the turn but I wasn't exactly sure what he had at that point so I didn't want to overbet and kill the hand. It is possible that I would have gotten called but I'd like to think that the villain is not THAT stupid to stack off with top pair ten kicker, even 4 handed, in a cash game.

2) Seemingly thin calls on the river

Here's another hand that illustrates some thought on the river:

FTP 6 max 2-4NL
Seat 1: Villain ($398.40)
Seat 2: SB ($90)
Seat 3: BB ($775.90)
Seat 4: ($392.10)
Seat 5: ($522.90)
Seat 6: Hero ($577)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Td 8d]
2 folds
Hero raises to $14
Villain calls $14
Both blinds fold

*** FLOP *** [5s 6d 8c]
Hero bets $23
Villain calls $23

This is a pretty good flop for me, obv since I hit top pair. I obv hate that he called...

*** TURN *** [5s 6d 8c] [Ks]
Hero bets $55
Villain calls $55

I thought about checking here but because the flop is so draw heavy, it's quite possible that he was just drawing so I wanted to fire out another bullet to see what he does. Strangely, the villain calls again so I'm starting to wonder if he also has an 8 (like A8 or something). I figured this pot will be going to him at this point.

*** RIVER *** [5s 6d 8c Ks] [Kc]
Hero checks
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain bets $120
Hero has 15 seconds left to act
Hero has requested TIME

This is where it gets interesting. The river is another king and I never thought he had a king to begin with. He smooth calls two streets and I felt that if he had a set, he would have raised on the turn after I fire out my second bullet, hence indicating a pretty strong holding. It just didn't make sense to me that he fires out a bet here. I was worried about A8 but if he had that, wouldn't he just check and be happy with a showdown? I mean value betting A8 here seems like a very very thin line. Also, the no raise on the flop seemed kinda weird. Of course, he could have had an overpair like 99 or TT (surely JJ+ woulda reraised me preflop) but even those hands may not value bet river. All in all, it seemed very fishy and the bet seems more like a bluff with a busted draw than a value bet. So, having said all that...

Hero calls $120

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain shows [Qh 7h] a pair of Kings
Hero shows [Td 8d] two pair, Kings and Eights
Hero wins the pot ($427) with two pair, Kings and Eights

Q7... I mean... if you're gonna play shit like that, be aggressive with it... That was just a poor play by the villain. (granted... he was ahead preflop)

Have a nice 4th everyone!


Gnome said...

In your AQ hand, there is a point in betting the river because a worse hand will call.
So you're proving the cliche to some extent.

MackemPlus1 said...

I think second hand illustrates the "story doesn't add up" thing.

Looks like he's chasing on the flop and turn, you apparently give up, opponent knows he can only win by bluffing his Q-high.