Friday, March 26, 2010

The Aggro's Lament

It appears that my image is officially shot in my Thursday night cash game. All my limper iso-raising and 4x raises with 67s have got people convinced that I'm usually full of shit. Last night, Mr Pietzak lead into me on a dry flop with a nearly pot sized bet. I had called a raise on the button with ace-ten suited in my attempt to play more position pots postflop. There was so little on this raggy-high board for him to hit, and so little for him to continue with - I felt a raise was in order. I made it $15 - 2.5 times his bet, and he raised it yet again, committing himself to the pot. Of course I folded my ace-high, and Mr. Pietzak decided to show his hand - jack-nine, a complete whiff for him too. Caught bluffing with the best hand!

The way the aggro player gets paid off is to finally hit a big hand while someone is taking a stand with top pair. I'm still waiting for that to happen. My biggest hand of the night was pocket kings, but the flop and turn were so nasty that I ended up checking out of position and shooting for a small pot. The river king filled me up on a straighty and two-pairy board, but my slight overbet didn't get called, so I won the minimum with a monster hand.

Certain hands occur that make me stop and realize that my skills are improving, which of course is so hard to tell between the non-stop waves of variance washing over you. In tonight's hand, I had raised up two limpers with king-queen, and had missed the 3-5-7, two spade flop. I fired out a big $10 c-bet trying to clear out the queen/jacks and the ace-rags. Mr. Pietzak called me - telling me he had some part of this board, some part, and then Bill shortstacked his last $14 into the pot. I called the mandatory $4 raise, as did Pietzak.

The turn brought a brick - I still had nothing, but I had a plan. To this point I had raised limpers and fired big into two opponents, and also called the $4 baby raise. If not for that last part, my line looked pretty strong so far. I checked the board one more time - if Pietzak had three of a kind, or even a bizarre 4-6 straight, he would have likely raised b/c of the two spades on the flop. I felt his hand was more in line with a pair/gutshot type of thing.

Bill, on the other hand, was so shortstacked - he could have made his stand with a baby overpair like pocket eights, or top pair (67/78), or a flush draw. I had 6-out equity against most of his range, and I felt like Pietzak's hand wasn't strong enough to stand a big bet. If I could clear out Pietzak and force him to give up his equity, I would basically take it for myself against the all in player, and get a free showdown into a $50 pot.

I shoved all in, with king high.

Pietzak folded as I predicted, and I got to see a showdown with Bill with what I figured would be a 25% chance to win a giant pot, heads up. What he showed was even better than I could expect - he had a nine-ten flush draw, and I was a 70% favorite to win!

Sadly, I did not win the hand - Bill spiked one of his pair outs on the river, but I was not deterred. I had gotten myself a chance to win a very big pot by getting BOTH a better hand to fold AND a worse hand to call, and I had nothing myself. Over the long haul, that type of play will be rewarded.


Nomad said...

Nice play. Gutsy you went with your read and you were right.

Memphis MOJO said...

Shows your poker maturity.