Sunday, April 4, 2010

Earning your keep

Sitting patiently among the multiple shortstacker, limp-in-wait-for-a-pair-then-shovers. My aces got cracked earlier when I had three callers and crazy action on a connected board, I escaped while a straight and 2 pair banged into each other. And I escaped with minimal damage - a river ace would have had me paying off a big bet.

The great hands weren't coming for me, and the strong preflop hands were getting cracked, so I was going to have to earn my money some other way on this night. Like with a good read.

Cutoff raises - he's one of the few solid players with 12/10 stats and high aggression. His steal stats are pretty low, too, so I put him on a real hand here. I've got pocket nines on the button. Because his range is so tight, I call for set value. My call also lets the small blind in - he's playing at a spectacular 59/0 clip - seeing over half the hands and never raising. Postflop, he's pretty aggressive, though.

The three of us see a board of 5 A 6. No set for me, and a lovely ace to go with the TAG on the cutoff. The small blind, however, Mr. 59/0, comes out swinging for exactly a pot size bet - obviously insta-clicking on the POT button. TAGgy cutoff folds (cursing his pocket queens).

I take an extra second, though. This dude has been buying his way into 60% of the hands, either by limping or calling a raise, and then betting like a nut. Do I have to give him an ace here? It seems the most obvious - guys with these stats often come into hands with AQ/AK, but not for a raise, and then take you by surprise by the strength of their hand. But his bet was soo big and so quick, something just seemed fishy to me. I decide to call on the button and see if he fires again.

4 on the turn. 78 has a straight, so does 23. 59/0 answers my question by instantly firing pot again, 8.40. I suppose he has told me all I need to know, but I'm still not convinced. I glance at his stats one more time and consider all the utter CRAP that a 59/0 can be in the pot with. K6. 69. 35. Hey, my nines beat some of those. Of course, he could also have 46. Or A2.

My final thought is how this guy just smashed the pot button on the flop with a tight, non-stealing preflop raiser as the opener. There's every expectation that THIS guy had an ace, but our friend here wasn't thinking about that, He was just pounding away. For many players, that's a clue that he likes his hand and HOPES someone has an ace. For 59/0 droolers, though, I think it means something different - someone who isn't thinking about what his opponent has at all. He's just betting, betting, betting, and hoping nobody has anything. This actually works pretty good in Texas Hold'em because, in large part, nobody ever does have anything.

Well, I've got pocket nines this time, and I think I've got a realistic shot of being ahead. It's probably a suicide mission, and it's probably not the best poker play on a table where the fishies will pay me off when there's much greater chance of being ahead, but I point the nose of my Zero down, and head straight for the battleship. I reraise him, all in.

His call is as instantaneous as his two bets were, and I wait for the little uppercase "A" symbol to appear on one of his cards. Instead, I see a "Q", and a "T". Queen-Ten. Both are green (clubs on my four color deck). I glance back at the board - the ace and five are green too. He's got a flush draw, and two overcards to my nines. He has 9 club outs to nail me, and his 6 pair outs too - a sizable 15 cards I have to avoid.

Avoid them I do. K on the river gives me his stack. As is often the case, I'm not sure I was poker savant or just idiot this time around, but it worked out for me.


PAPro_SandMan said...

Interesting thought process. I might have read the insta-bet after the flop the same way you did, but I'm fairly certain I would have folded after the turn completed a few draws and added the flush draw as well. I have a hard time playing over-aggressive "droolers" like this when the board isn't hitting me and my good preflop hands are getting cracked.

I don't post details of single hands to my blog much... Maybe I should do more of that.

Side note, what software are you using to get player stats?

matt tag said...

I use PokerTracker 3. Works great for me.

Here's a little secret - while I'm glad that a few of you out there like my blog, the primary purpose of writing it is for myself. This is especially true of the hand descriptions - I like to double check my thought process of the hand by writing it down.