Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What do they put you on?

An interesting session at the Cleveland Horseshoe last Friday night, netting $505 profit in 6 hours. And that was with getting pocket aces cracked twice for a total $200 loss.

The most interesting hand was a little King-Jack that I raised in middle position. My image was fairly wild by this time (at least for me), I've had some success recently opening up my game preflop and avoiding trouble spots better.

Both of the blinds called my $10 raise. The small blind was a bad player who kept losing the kicker battle with things like king-six. He had about $100. The big blind was my friend Tony, a player in my home game.

The flop brought me an 8 out straight draw - Queen-Ten-Four. All different suits. I had been playing the flop fast due to having solid values like top pairs and overpairs, and I was going to play this flop fast also, both against the bad player or against Tony. But the action unfolded in front of me in an interesting way - the bad player lead out for $10, and Tony raised pretty quickly to $30.

My initial guess was that Tony had pocket fours or tens and flopped a set. I ruled out pocket queens because I was sure he would squeeze preflop with a hand that strong. Queen-Ten wasn't something he would play from the blinds.

I didn't think I could play fast anymore. Getting all in with a draw against a set is a bad way to try and make money. His raise was offering me over 2:1 odds, I had to hit about 30%, which I would if I got to see both cards. If Tony did have a set, I probably wouldn't get to see both cards, though - he would bomb the turn and I would have to fold. However, I countered this thought with the thought that it would be awfully hard for him to fold if I did hit. Finally, the donk might call in between us, padding up the pot some more. (though I admit I would be in big trouble if he decided to re-raise). A somewhat sticky spot, but I made the call. In doing so, I took a few extra seconds and stared at the pot (I was counting it and figuring pot odds, which takes me longer than most). The bad player ended up folding

I was thinking how unfortunately obvious it must have been to Tony or anyone else paying attention what my hand was, after sitting there figuring out pot odds. I was thinking that I may have cost myself those extra implied dollars with my obvious action and imagined Tony snap-folding to a nine or ace on the turn. I got to test my theory out immediately when a black ace did in fact hit the turn. The ace also brought the fourth suit, so no flush would be possible on this hand.

Tony lead out for $50, which cemented my theory that he was holding tens or fours. Since I had the lead-pipe nuts and wanted to win his stack, a raise was in order. I made it $125.

Tony's demeanor changed from confident to that "you've got to be fucking kidding me" look that many of us get with a strong hand that faces bad news. He looked upward at the sky, shuffled his chips a couple times, then announced "all in" and slid them into the middle. I called.

I wasn't quite correct on my read - Tony held ace-queen. A weaker hand than I thought, but in one way even harder to fold because it started off pretty strong on the flop (top pair, top kicker), and then improved to top two pair on the turn. In my experience, it gets awfully hard to think about folding when your hand improves.

Two pair is one of the hardest hands to play in hold-em. Against a decent TAG opponent that isn't shoveling chips into the pot at every opportunity, two pair is often no good. Tony was mad at himself for being unable to get away from ace-queen here - I wonder how I would have fared in a reversed situation.


Memphis MOJO said...

I assume the river was not a Q or an A.

matt tag said...

Reuslts don't matter! But yeah, I held.

sevencard2003 said...

to make ur blog a lot more exciting like mine is, uve got to talk about other things besides just poker. thats boring