Friday, July 23, 2010

getting pushed around.

I got pushed around a couple times tonight in my cash game, and both times I felt like I had the best hand. Both times I was right, by the way.

The first time, a limped pot brought an AQJ board. I was sitting in the big blind with king-jack. Everyone checked, including the button, who had limped into this pot. The turn brought a 5 and a second diamond. I decided to lead out with my jack+straight draw, and the button raised me. The beginner poker player simply folds in this spot, but my range-finding radar was on alert. What was the button representing? This was an aggressive player - so any two broadway would have been a preflop open raise on the button as far as I'm concerned. Or any ace. Or any pair.

So I've ruled out every two pair except for Q5 and J5, which I don't even think he's playing. I've ruled out all pairs of aces, and sets. I've ruled out everything! At least everything that can stand a reraise.

Lastly I consider one other idea - a limped monster. What if he limped with aces and hit top set, or with AK and hit two pair? Would he have checked the flop with the all broadway board? I say no. So now I've ruled out any logical hand for him.

But I folded anyway. It was a small pot and not worth going to war on 3rd pair + gutshot. He shows a king-rag of diamonds. Flush draw. My radar was on.

In the second hand, I raised limpers with KQ, and the board came Q72, the bottom two cards spades. I bet $10 and got raised to $25 from Mr. Hanno - a player who buys in full and likes to swing his chips around. It could be a move. He could have pocket eights and just doesn't believe I hit the queen. The only logical things that beat me right here are the sets, AQ, or slowplayed KK/AA. I rule out KK/AA because I had raised up limpers - a monster hand wouldn't risk flat calling and starting a chain of limper calls behind him.

So once again, my range for being beat was very narrow, but I folded to the bet anyway. I decided AQ logically fit all of this actions and I was about to get outkicked. Don't got broke on one pair and all that. He never told me what he had at the time, but at the end of the night he said "do you really want to know? A flush draw". Again with the flush draws. I folded two winners.

I ended up the night down 15 big blinds. 4 of the nine players who played went home with zero, so having any money at all was a small consolation. I played pretty well except for getting pushed around a bit. But in each case, my brain was working ok and I could see that my opponents were representing a very narrow range of hands. I just need the guts to start acting on those reads now.


The Poker Meister said...

"I just need the guts to start acting on those reads now."


It appears as though people are picking up on your weak tight nature. All people are doing is raising you when they sense a showdown-worthy, non-monster hand, and they're semi-bluffing. Not that you should go crazy with a spaz shove, because you shouldn't, but it seems like you are playing as scared money. To some of the players you are playing against, they realize that they can run you over because they know the slightest aggression towards you has a ton of fold equity.

Try to be a little more confident in your hands. "I bet $10 and got raised to $25 from Mr. Hanno" Really? A 2.5x raise? On a 2 flush board? If he's a knowledgeable player, he knows you're priced in with a flush draw. And why are you folding and not at least "floating" a practically min raise? He's pretty polarized to monster or draw in this spot. You did an analysis and came to a good conclusion, yet folded to a nothing little raise. You ranged him properly. Don't be afraid.

matt tag said...

I agree with you 100%. My weak-tightness comes out in live games (mostly postflop).

My issue with calling the small raise was stack size - I think I started with 80-85 big blinds. If I call that bet, that leaves me a single pot sized bet. I suppose I could have called and got it in on a non-spade, but at the time I was thinking I had to decide to go with the hand or not right here at the flop raise.

The Poker Meister said...

There you go again though. He knows full well that a raise could take you off your hand... He's not so worried about you coming over the top of him.

It's a win-win for him: when he raises you, you call & check the turn regardless and he checks through for a free river card OR he pushes you off the best hand.

"a player who buys in full and likes to swing his chips around. It could be a move." You can't be afraid of this player.

Everyone has these types of players at their tables: I play against a guy who is totally reckless and unafraid. He's shoved into me with a turned flush draw + 1 pair combo and been surprised to see me call TPTK... His range is so polarized there with a much heavier weight to draws and bluffs that I have to call him almost every time because he'll just steamroll me if I play weak. I want him second-guessing every time he wants to put me to a decision. I want him to know that I'm going to look him up & I'm not afraid of him.