Friday, January 9, 2009

a fortunate turn

Thursday night live game, .50/$1 blinds, second hour. No cards yet, but mood is fine. National Championship football is on, conversation is good. I'm thankful to be playing because I didn't think I would be able to fit it into my schedule this week, but my schedule shifted at the last minute and here I am.

A pair of eights on the button. KD limps in before me. KD can be a tricky player, especially preflop. He's not afraid to play lots of different cards, and uses position well. I could use my own position well here and raise with eights, but instead I decide to take a flop. The small blind folds and the big blinds checks - we're three handed.

The flop comes Ten, Ten, Ace.
KD opens the betting for $3. Paired flops are much more likely to miss people, and therefore a pocket pair is much more likely to be good. Also, KD will easily stab at any pot that he thinks has missed his opponent. Following my "more flop aggression in position" strategy that I've mentioned here many times, I make it $8. KD looks at the board for a few seconds and calls the raise.

Ok, that sucks. Let's work through what he might have.

A ten. I'm in big trouble if he's got a ten, obviously.
A decent Ace. I think this is much more likely. Also, if he's calling an $8 bet here, I'm pretty sure he likes his kicker as well. - he's probably folding Ace-rag here to a big bet.
Limping with AK/AQ/AJ is a possibility.
Ace Ten - like any other Ten, I'm dead meat.
Pocket Pair. - Maybe, if he simply doesn't believe my raise, he might call with a pocket pair. I would slightly (but not completely) discount AA down to JJ, figuring those are more preflop-raise-worth. That only leaves tens (for quads, egads) and nines that beat me - I'm ahead of all the rest.
A draw. Only one draw on the board - a gutshot straight draw (cards were all different suits), and KD wouldn't chase a gutshot to a flop raise.

I was working through some subset of these hands in my head, when someone reminded me that it was my deal. Ooops. Ok, let's see what the turn brings us....

And what a fortunate turn it was - a red eight. I had the underboat.

KD checked. I'm not big on slowplaying the turn - I think you need to get money into the pot when you can, before your opponent knows he's beat, or before a scare cards comes and shuts him down. Not only that, but an underboat is not an invulnerable hand - let's see how his range of hands I listed above fare against it...

A ten. I'm ahead of everything right now except 8T and AT, to which I'm drawing dead. Any other ten has six outs to beat me - they can pair their other hole card, or the Ace can pair and overboat-me.
An Ace. I'm killing his two pair, until an ace comes on the river...
Ace Ten. Uh-oh.
Pocket Pair - No probs here, unless it's AA or TT. I have already been on the wrong end of
quads against boat at this table. If he's limped with Aces and flopped the overboat, well, that sucks. If he's got 99, he's got 2 outs to beat me. Any other pocket pair and he's drawing dead.
A draw. The red 8 put a flush draw on the board, but I'm still discounting that. I hope he's drawing to a straight or flush against my boat, but I don't think it's likely.

So, I bet $12, and KD pretty quickly goes all in, for $29 more. (It's actually less than that, because he has me covered - I only have about $17 left). I get that sinking stomach feeling that I'm about to lose again with a monster, second best hand, but I need to take one more look at his range, and at the pot. I'm calling $17 to win about $60 - better than 3-1 odds. The odds are great, but I still feel like I'm probably beat. But can I actually lay it down? With this new information (his checkraise all-in), let's look one more time at his range.

Ace Ten/Ten-8/AA - I'm dead. See-ya.
Another ten. Likely, probably the most likely. holding, besides the above.
A big ace. I don't see KD going all-in on this board with two pair.
Pocket pair. No way he's all in with a PP, especially with an ace on the board.

One final thought - what does KD think that I have? In truth, my hand is extremely-well disguised. I reraised his flop bet on a TTA board - he's got to think I've got a ten, or an ace. A pocket pair must be well out of his mind for me, and therefore there's almost no way he can think that the 8 helped me.

This thought is the final evidence that leads me to call. I can see what he has, but I'm pretty sure he can't put me on the hand I have. This makes me think there's a better chance I'm ahead of him. Take this, along with better than 3-1 odds, and I've got to make the call. If I've underboatted to the overboat, well ok-then.

I announce "Nope, I can't lay it down, I call" and look up at his face as I flip over 88. His face scrunches up as he sees my eights - I've made the right decision. He's got QT suited (a surprisingly loose holding for KD to play, but I'm glad he did now!). I've got to fade a queen, an Ace, and the case Ten - seven cards in all, which puts me about 85% to win the hand (although, in the heat of battle, I didn't see the Aces, so I thought it was just 4 outs to beat me).

I deal the river - a wimpy 5, and I drag a nice big pot.

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

"One final thought - what does KD think that I have?"

Yes, the key question! Good analysis, good recap.