Saturday, August 27, 2005

A couple of pocket aces hands from last night:

Mirage 20/40. UTG limps, MP raises. I'm in the small blind and find black AA. I three-bet. Call, MP four-bets and I cap. Call, call.

Besides the other two aces, there's exactly one hand that MP could have: KK. UTG is immaterial since he's a calling station donk; I'll worry about him once he starts acting up.

Flop comes Ts 9s 2d.

I bet, UTG raises, meaning he hit a pair or a draw, and MP three-bets. Here's where I'm unsure whether I played it correctly.

Obviously I could four-bet. UTG would call just about no matter what, and MP might at that point start getting the idea, and simply call. Assuming bet-call-call, bet-call-call, that's five BBs more going into the pot, unless one of them hits.

What I was thinking at the time was that, well, it's already a big pot, and so I'd like to drive out UTG if possible. I could smooth-call the flop, it'll check to MP on the turn and then I can check-raise, either driving UTG out or making him make as big a mistake as possible for calling. And even if he does call, that's six BBs going in. So I merely called.

Fancy play syndrome?

I finally got called to the big game. Mirage 40/80 (this is more of a "look at this donkey!" hand):

MP opens, once again in the SB I find black AA. I three-bet. He four-bets, I five-bet. He six-bets. Er...okay, no FPS here, seven bets! He eight-bets. Crap, I get AA and so does he. Well, if so, that's that. Nine bets! Finally he just calls.

852 flop. I bet. He calls.

Turn: A. What? He went nine bets preflop without AA? This is where I made my mistake of the hand. I bet. He folded, claiming to have KK. But as I found out from playing against him, his real range of hands there is: any two cards, one of which is at least a face card. Sigh.

I have to say, the Mirage 40/80 has got to be the least predictable game I've ever played at, as far as what to expect day-to-day. Maybe that's more the nature of games as one moves up in limits, but a lot of lower-limit games generally play pretty similarly. The Bellagio 15/30 has its crazy games and its tight(ish) games, but there's a pretty typical type of game you can expect when you sit down: loose passive. Same with the 30/60. In fact, same with most low-limit games. The Mirage 20/40 is often just plain wacky.

But the Mirage 40/80 is half the same players every night, yet every night it's a completely different game. Sometimes it's tight-aggressive as anything, and other nights it's loose-passive beyond belief. Just one or two players can make a huge difference in how the game plays. I imagine that's not a good quality, since that game takes me the longest to adjust to every time I sit down, despite the fact that its mostly the same players night after night.

Anyways, apparently the Wynn is changing their selection of games. They used to jump from 15/30 to 40/80. But last week, I was in there and the options were: 15/30, 30/60, 60/120! Hey, good stuff. They weren't able to keep a consistent 40/80 going, so maybe 30/60 is as high as they'll ever have going regularly, but a 60 game would be fantastic. I've been looking for a stepping stone between the readily available 40/80 and 80/160 games, and Phoenix simply isn't convenient enough for me.


Blogger d said...

1st hand: Coming back to you on the flop, there are already 21 small bets in the pot. Assuming MP has KK (or AA), the only hands that UTG can make a mistake with are AT or KT. Essentially any other hand that UTG could have with a piece of the flop will have correct odds to chase the rest of the way. When you check raise on the turn, he will be faced with an immediate 15:2 call (plus MP will call the turn raise, and then UTG will likely get at least 2 more bb on the river if he hits his hand).

This seems to be one of those borderline decisions where neither choice is significantly favored over the other. You can probably flip a coin to make the flop decision. The turn is where you are more likely to have to make a tougher decision.

What cards are going to be safe for you on the turn to check raise with? Any spade, any 8, J, Q, or K are probably scare cards; granted some are worse than others.
How do you plan to proceed when one of these cards hits, particularly the Q?

9:05 AM  
Blogger Madroxxx said...

What happened in the 1st hand?

9:28 PM  
Blogger eric said...

Good analysis, Dave.

I count scare cards as K or T, and that's it. A spade is fine because it's very unlikely UTG has a spade draw, and even so I have the As (I most definitely do not slow down or try to get tricky at all if I didn't have that card).

I figure UTG's hand is most likely a T with whatever as a kicker, so I'll only be worried if he acts up. I'll be unsure with a lot of cards, but this is poker and that's just how it is most of the time.

But you're absolutely right, the turn was a tough decision. It was of course:

Turn: (Ts 9s 2d) Tc.

I checked, UTG checked (!?!?) and MP checked. River was:

(Ts 9s 2d Tc) Jd. Well, let's see if UTG was going for a CR or not...I bet out, get called in two places and MHIG. UTG mucks, and MP shows KK.

I imagine UTG either had a 9 or QJ.

I hate being results oriented, but taking the more aggressive approach would have netted me more, and I would avoid the disasterous possibility of essentially giving two free cards.

I think perhaps in some games trying to get fancy in a few specific situations is good or even necessary, but at the Mirage 20/40 where they're all donks who can't lay down anything anyways, I should probably just ditch anything too complicated and pound away when I have a good hand.

6:27 AM  
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