Friday, August 6, 2010

value stacking

Thursday night live cash game with 10 players. Big starting hands appear rare, and the Limptoberfest starts early. Tons of limped pots featuring bad players, and good players playing badly.

I try to fight it but no dice. Example hand - 1 limper to me and I raise to $5 ($1 blinds) with AKs. 2 callers. The board is 78x, and the first limper bets $2. Into a $17 pot. I raise it to $10 on principal. Second limper calls. He is the ultimate calling station - he might have a piece of this board, or any pocket pair (he will call to the river with any pocket pair looking for trips. He will call with nothing but overs or runner-runner draw possibilities). I might be ahead with my AKs, but more likely I am up against a pair, and bluffing the calling station is the wrong play. We check turn and river - he shows Queen-Eight soooted.

So we can't lick the limpers without the premium hands, let's join them instead. 6c8c in sorta-middle position is good enough to ride the wave, right? I flip the chip in. We take the pot, oh, 7 or 8 handed.

Board comes 7c9c2c. Hmmmm. Not too shabby. Flopped flush with the 2 card straight flush redraw. I am about to attempt to break the rule "don't go broke in an unraised pot".

I lead out. There are roughly 1000 single club overcards that will call a bet, and I have to make them pay. I hear "raise" 2 seats behind me. The raiser is F.A. - habitual non-believer. A raise from F.A often means "you've got nothing, I've got it" (spoiler: He often doesn't have it). Simple, level 1 aggression.

His raise clears the field. I give it a second's thought and make my plan for the hand. I will call this bet, which will look like I'm drawing at the flush instead of having it already. If a fourth club comes that doesn't give me the straight flush, I will either check/call or check/fold depending on his bet size. Same thing if the board pairs. Any other card that comes will be a check/raise all in.

It's a great feeling to plan things out in advance - something that beginner poker players don't do and takes thousands of hands of experience to learn. I am just now getting there. There are no longer "surprise" cards that shock you into making mistakes or suddenly shift your fortunes. In fact, most of the surprises are good ones - like cbetting pocket nines on an A84 board, getting called, and hitting your two out set on the turn.

I waited for the turn card calmly. A red four, about a bricky as you can get. The plan called for a check-shove, letting F.A. protect his top pair/two pair/set. He did not disappoint and put a stack-committing $15 out there. I paused an extra two beats to "think" and then announced my all-in bet.

You usually know rather quickly if you've shoved into the nut flush - your opponent beats your chips into the pot and you see the gleaming suited ace face-up on the table before getting the last part of the "n" out when saying "I'm all in".

That didn't happen here. Instead, a sad exhale. Looking down. Counting chips. Looked like he wasn't folding. My guess was a set, or A9 with a club redraw. He makes his decision and says "well, if you've already got the flush...." and flips over seven-deuce for two pair. Seven-Deuce! I love it.

There would be no justice in the world if F.A. played a bad hand this badly and hit a full house on the river. None. Fortunately, that did not happen to me.

This was the big hand in a +95BB pull for the night. Not much else to go with. My cards weren't good enough to fight the limpfest, and I did not join them all-too-often.

1 comment:

The Poker Meister said...

Limtoberfest started early this year! I though were in Limpgust.

GREAT HAND! WELL PLAYED! I love it. You call knowing exactly what FA has, and let him do all the heavy lifting for you. You knock his odds down to half on the turn, knowing full well that you can get away from the hand if another club falls. WP, good job, sir!