Friday, May 22, 2009

Deuce Four rears its head and almost starts a fight.

Thursday night game - not much in the cards, as it were. Lots of pocket pairs that don't set up. I win some small/medium pots with Queens, Jacks, and Aces, but no big pots on the night. I hit a big-blind special two pair with 9-5 and earn a flop bet with a checkraise. I end up $1.50 in the black for 4 hours work - ha ha.

An interesting hand ensues when I get TT in the small blind. There are 3 limpers and I consider raising them all up, but then one more idea gets into my head. Tony is on my immediate left in the big, and is not against "punishing the limpers" with a wide range of hands. I think it's time to try a little move of my own - I complete the small blind, and decide that if Tony goes for the punish, I will put him all-in. If he checks, then I'm just setmining.

I pat myself on the back when Tony raises to $6. That bet is too big for Aces or Kings, and I'm willing to get coolered with JJ or QQ,
I'm thinking he's more like Ace-x (at best), and I think he'll lay down everythng except Ace-King. Before it's my turn to act, though, Kevin announces "I'm all in".

Kevin counts it out, he's got $9.50 more. This makes the pot around $30. 3-1 odds on tens? Sounds pretty good on the surface, but let's try and put some ranges together. Kevin might have been trapping with a big pair - I have never seen him limp/reraise all in, but I have seen him limp with aces and then play them slow to the river. Maybe he just never got reraised preflop and couldn't try this move. I think he might do this with any pair (even twos), and say Ace/ King. This isn't an exact guess - I'm not comfortable with his range here.

Now for Tony. Tony punishes limpers from the blind seemingly once per session. Once he did it and showed Ace-Jack - not a fantastic hand for this move. I put him on two connected broadway cards, and pairs down to say 88.

I can't Pokerstove in my head, of course, but I felt like I was getting the right price. In the end, though, I just decided to bail on the hand. There was a chance I was dominated by a bigger pair, and I thought that even if they both had a big Ace and were interfering with each other, one could have AK and the other AQ, and I would have to dodge all kinds of broadway cards for my tens to hold up.

It was up to Tony. He was now getting the 3-1 odds. He said to Kevin, laughing - "if I call and win, you are not going to be happy with me". In the end, the price was too good - he called the extra $9.50 and shows - the mighty deuce/four (offsuit, no less).

Kevin is increduous - how could Tony call with 2-4? You can see his face turn red. He flips over two red sevens and is a big favorite. The board starts to help Tony with the wheel straight early, but he fails to connect as a seven hits the river and Kevin doubles up.

Kevin is still hot. He has already lost an AQ vs. KJ hand tonight, and he can't understand why Tony would call any bet with 2-4. He's not a big math guy and isn't buying the pot odds concept. Tony tells Kevin that as long as Kevin doesn't hold a pair (which he was), then Tony was getting the proper odds to call. I open my mouth and try to help explain it, but this just irritates him more. It also brings out some chiding from the other "non-math" guys at the table, both right after the hand concludes and long afterwards. No more trying to prove how smart I am for me.

Now, back to my hand. If I knew what each player had, obviously, I would have snap-call-fistpump-my-hand-in-the-air called with my Tens and been happy about it. I was 69% to win vs. both players as the cards lied (although Tony might have folded his crap once I called, making me 81% to win vs. the sevens).

Looking at some realistic ranges, though, with Kevin on any pair and AK (a weak read but turned out to be true), and Tony on a reasonable range of 88+,ATs+,KJs+,QJs,ATo+,KQo (any medium/high pair, any Broadway Ace, and some KQ/KJ combos), I am still 36% to win vs. both of those - easily the right price to call with 3-1 odds.

So, in the final analysis, I made a poor decision. However, my poor decision saved me money this time around, because I would have been 2-out-sucked-out-on if I had called, so I suppose all is right with the world.

We also know that Tony is capable of trying the punishing the limpers move with any two cards. Of course, the next time he tries that, he'll have the goods. Or will he?

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