Friday, February 6, 2009

In the other's shoes.

I'm the big blind in the Thursday .50/$1 game. There are 8 at the table . The player to my left raises it to $3.50 from under the gun and it folds around to me. I check my cards and have Ace-8, both spades. I could be dominated, but my postflop play is excellent and I think I can outplay this player after the flop, who is tight and fairly straightforward. I make the call.

The flop is about dry as dry can be - 2 2 6, two clubs, one spade. I have nothing. My tight, straightforward opponent leads out. This can be a straight continuation bet, or it could be a pair. Because he raised under the gun, I would put the pair in the 99s and up range (lower pairs might limp and setmine, no?). There are not many prospects for my hand, so I decide on a new course of action - let's see if the turn is something I can bluff at. The old Johnny Chan play (check/call the flop, lead the turn). I call the bet.

The turn is a 4 of spades. This gives 35 the straight, and I could always be representing a deuce, of course. My image is loose-aggressive - there's no guarantee that I don't have small cards here.
I'm pretty sure I I could get two unpaired high cards to fold, but get an overpair to fold here with a big bet? Interesting...

One more check at the board gives one other consideration, though - I've got the nut flush draw! So, if I lead out, but get raised by an overpair, I've denied myself odds to chase my flush. I think another check/call is in order. After my check, my opponent leads out for $10 into a $16 pot. Looks like he doesn't want my flush (or the possible club flush) coming. I call anyway, with 9 clean outs, plus maybe 3 more for the ace.

No flush on the river, damn! A red eight. I have actually improved to a pair, but I don't think that it's good the way that tighty-tighterson has been firing. I check the river. He checks behind, and I start to exclaim "I think you're good...." until I see his cards - two sevens! My little inconsequential pair on the river gave me the winner. My opponent looks a little steamy for a lap or two around the table.

A nice little $36 pot to add to my pile.... except for one thing. I was not Mr. A8 suited from the big blind (I'm such a liar, I know...). I was Mr. 77 under the gun and got my pair cracked at the end.

Mr A8s was Mr. Pietzak - a player I have discussed before - a loose aggressive player who is not afraid play low cards and outplay straightforward players postflop. In this hand, he was technically wrong to call a continuation bet with 2 overs and no draw potential, but his goal was to make a move on me on the turn, so his cards didn't matter. When the turn gave him a flush draw and an ace, he felt like his draw was strong enough to call a big bet. (In truth, his draw was even stronger than that, because the three eights were clean outs, as well. 15 outs = 30% to come up with the winning hand, plus some bluff outs on various scary rivers).

We both played the hand well, I think. I raised UTG with 77 - a bit more aggressive than my usual style, but my numerous pairs were not setting up and I felt like the raise would disguise my hand a bit. With the 226 flop, I was pretty sure it didn't hit my big blind caller - even Mr. Pietzak didn't have a deuce unless it was A2 or a pair of deuces for quads now (just my luck). I needed to lead out strong though, here, because over half the deck was overcards that would put me a in goofy situation, plus there were 2 clubs there.

The turn stayed under my sevens. It completed an unlikely straight (even for Pietzak), but now there were 2 flush draws to protect. I bet big into the pot and he called again.

The 8 on the river didn't look like it could have helped any draws, but when he checked, I decided that I had gotten enough value from my 7s, and didn't want to invite a checkraise in case he did have a disguised monster. As he said "I think you're good", I was relieved that my pair had held up, until I saw the eight in his hand. Damn!

Damn! Damn! Damn!


bastinptc said...

As soon as you wrote that you were a LAG, I smelled a rat.

matt tag said...

we discussed this hand at length afterward - I couldn't understand why he (a good player) would call a bet on the flop with Ace high and no draw. He told me he was planning on firing on the turn on any high card or any club and putting me to the test. That would have sucked, to be sure.

I found his logic interesting and replayed the hand in my mind from his viewpoint - it was interesting enough commit to writing.