Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2 for one

Picture this - you're on life support with 1100 chips, but get AK and shove over a limper. His sharkscope stats say he's a good player, but you have your doubts when he calls your shove-over with.... JTo? Odd, but you still have to dodge two live cards as only a 3-2 favorite. You win this race and are back in business.

You're awash in the little adreneline rush of a race gone your way, but the poker gods aren't ready to let you come down yet. You get dealt pocket Queens.

Full Tilt Poker, $20 + $2 NL Hold'em Sit n' Go, 50/100 Blinds, 6 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

MP: 2,250
Hero (CO): 2,630
BTN: 2,475
SB: 935
BB: 1,225
UTG: 3,985

Pre-Flop: (150) Q Q dealt to Hero (CO)

2 folds, Hero raises to 350,
I make my raise a bit bigger here. Even though I'm playing tight and have just showed down AK one hand ago, some people seemingly forget the details and just remember things like "he's throwing chips around" I'm hoping for max value from my Queens.

BTN folds, SB calls 300,
The small blind is a bad player, I'm not worried about this call. I'll slow down if an ace comes on the flop, of course..

BB raises to 1,225 and is All-In,
Uh, oh. Now I have a decision. The small blind's call puts extra money in the pot, and my current odds are just under 2-1, which are a pretty nice thing with Queens in the hole. This player is a winning SNG player - I would put him on TT-AA and AK here. I'm pretty sure I'm well over the 33% break even point necessary here to call.

Hero calls 875, SB calls 585 and is All-In
The small blind comes along for the ride as well, bloating the pot even more. My guess before I see his hand is that he has something like 66-99....

Hero shows Q Q
SB shows J K
BB shows A K
Standard race with BB, I can take that. The SB is obviously a donkey and just called and all-in with JK after seeing a raise, shove-over, and call all-in in front of him. Hooo, brother. His dead money makes both my decision and the BB's decision to race a trivially easy one. It's like the BB and I are at the starting line, in our souped up cars, with pink slips in hand, and this guy has decided to hand his car over to the winner, even though he's just sitting in the stands.

The further added bonus is that SB he has stolen one of BBs King outs.... a bit of sugar in BB's gas tank, if you will....

I am 57% to win vs. both players - basically the same percentage as if I was up against AK only.

Flop: (3,385) T 8 Q (3 Players - 1 is All-In)
Back to live action - my head was spinning at this point about a hundred miles an hour. I was still pumped from the hand before, and now I was in another three way all-in, vs. two players no less.

When I'm in a QQ vs. AK type of race like this, the main thing I look for on the flop is one of the two overcards, an ace or a king in this case.... I don't see either of these on the board so I feel pretty good.....

Turn: (3,385) K (3 Players - 2 are All-In)
Oh, no, a king! How is that possible?!! Damn, Damn, Damn....

oh, wait... I check the flop one more time. I have a set of Queens. Whew.

River: (3,385) 4 (3 Players - 2 are All-In)
And I'm spent....

Results: 3,385 Pot
Hero showed Q Q (three of a kind, Queens) and WON 3,385 (+2,160 NET)
SB showed J K (a pair of Kings) and LOST (-935 NET)
BB showed A K (a pair of Kings) and LOST (-1,225 NET)

The hand was moving too fast for me - I couldn't keep up looking for cards and outs and whatnot. As it turns out, I had indeed hit a queen on the flop, but this was still a really disgusting flop for me - as Mr. JK donkey had an open-ended straight draw! Post game analysis shows that I had a 68% chance of beating both players at this point - good but not great considering I had a set. Mr. JK Donkey had shot up to 22% to win, and the BB was down to 10%.

The king on the turn didn't help either player's chances of winning even though they both had a king in their hand. I'm now 76% to win, Mr. Donkey needs an Ace or a nine for his straight (17%), and
the BB can only win with a jack to complete his gutshot (7%).

The 4 of spades is my new favorite card. I knock out two players in one hand and take a commanding chip lead, which I turn into a first place finish.

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