Friday, October 12, 2012

Unbalanced Ranges

I had been waiting for months now for a certain thing to happen at the poker table.

One of my regulars, who I'll call William, sits on my left most of the time. Several months ago, I realized something about his hand selection. He would three-bet fairly often, and would often show a small pair. "There goes William overplaying his small pairs" I would say. "It's the only way I win with them" he would joke.

Then, one day, he flatted one of my opening raises. The board missed me but was dry, and I cbet. He raised the cbet. I had nothing and folded. He showed his hand - pocket kings.

So, we three bet small pairs, but flat our big ones and then wake up on the flop... Hmmm. Can you say "unbalanced range"?

Fast forward to last night, William is losing tonight and fairly short-stacked, I'm a modest winner with about 160 big blinds. We are playing 6-handed. I am trying to LAG it up a bit more, and I get dealt queen-ten sooooted, both clubs, and raise it up to 3 big blinds.

William makes it eight.

That's my cue. William has a small pair, a small stack, and can't take the pressure. I make it $20 to go.

William isn't happy. "You got aces?" he asks. I force a smile. He makes the call.

Board is king high. Check/check.

Ace on the turn. Good card to barrel, but I've already bloated this sucker up, and I hate throwing good money after bad. Maybe I'll hit my jack, and I'm even pretty sure hitting a pair will put me ahead. Check/check.

Brick river. Check/check. He wins the pot with pocket nines. A bit bigger than I thought, but my read was right there. I don't show. I'm sure the observant people at the table wonder what the hell I had, since the board ran out with an ace and a king in a four bet pot.

My read was good, my plan was good, but I couldn't follow through. It's a problem I have. There was no way his nines could have withstood the pressure. I ended up building a big pot and then leaving it out there to be won by a crappy hand. And I knew he had a crappy hand. But my gun ran out of bullets, and I'm not real happy with my play.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Sounds like you did almost everything right, but what you did wasn't believed by him. I'd start with that assumption and see how you would have played this differently if you actually did have pocket Aces.