Monday, November 8, 2010

Tiny Adjustments

Part of getting your winrate up is adjusting from your "standard" play to take advantage of a favorable situation. Here is a hand I played last night that exemplifies that.

Feral Cow Poker
Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em $0.05/$0.10 - 8 players

HJ: $5.00
CO: $16.02
Button: $25.18
SB: $11.97
BB: $12.47
UTG: $11.80 (Hero)
UTG+1: $16.89
MP: $8.22

I've got me a nice fishy table here - a spectacular 78/16 on my left, as well as a 32/2 and a 44/3 over on the other side.

Preflop: ($0.15) Hero is UTG with (8 players)
Hero raises to $0.50, 6 folds, BB calls $0.40

My target is the 78/16 to my left, so I make my UTG raise a 5x. Strangely, he folds - pretty rare for him, obviously. I end up getting one customer in the blinds - he's a 44/3 with a 0.8 aggression factor. (61 hands observed).

Flop: ($1.05) (2 players)

Ok, middle board with a flush draw and a broadway straight draw. I make my plan for the rest of the hand right now - bet any card until this passive player raises, then fold. I'm finding that formulating and following your plan beforehand is a key element to removing tilt at the tables. Just follow the recipe, which has been put in place for a reason. If a 0.8 aggression guy raises you, your overpair is no good. It's easy and straightforward. Follow the recipe and profit.

Next decision - how much to bet. My default bet is a little half-potter - keeps the draws in when ahead, doesn't lose as much when behind. This situation requires an adjustment, though. Chances are very good that I'm ahead with my overpair, and I've got a calling station as my opponent. I up the bet size.

BB checks, Hero bets $0.70, BB calls $0.70

Turn: ($2.45) (2 players)

Three of hearts doesn't complete anything obvious. Follow the plan again. Bet and fold if he raises. We bet even bigger this time, 4/5 of the pot. Maximize value.

BB checks, Hero bets $2, BB calls $2

River: ($6.45) (2 players)

A happy card for the most part. No flush draws. Straight draws are A5 and 56 - both unlikely unless they were spades to go with them. That's only one combo of each that's possible. Two pairs? Sure, a 44/3 can have 89, maybe 43s if he's in love with the sooooted connectors. Always gotta wonder about a set.

The situation is common but needs to get drilled into the learning player - you rarely have the immortal nuts, but you have to try and maximize value when chances are good that you're ahead. This guy might have ace-nine or nine-ten and simply can't fold "top pair" (put in quotes because it's the weakest top pair ever). Or he's been bluffed all night and he's taking a stand with pocket sevens.

BB checks, Hero bets $8.60, and is all in, BB folds

Didn't work this time - I guess villain was drawing and didn't get there. Fine. We charged the correct amount to make his draw incorrect, and our plan said that we weren't paying off if he got there. A 30 big blind win with an overpair is a fine result.

Hero won $6.02
(Rake: $0.43)

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