Sunday, October 16, 2005

Just got done with an eight-hour session last night. 2:30am - 10:30am. What a game. I got stuck a small car and made most of it back.

I have to say I'm really enjoying the 80/160 if for no other reason than it's really giving me an opportunity to play against better players and isolate leaks. Also, it's giving me a chance to work on moves and become more fearless. Since any tables beyond the first are always must-move, I find myself short-handed quite a bit. I've played probably half my hours five-handed or less (with a long session heads up one night) and that's been quite educational. You simply will not beat the game if you can't sit there and either bet or raise the river with absolutely nothing and be able to stoically take a twenty-second staredown without breaking a sweat.

The games can be fierce. At some games, a preflop raise is relatively rare. Games like last night, not only is every hand raised preflop, probably half or more of them are three-bet.

It's not surprising, then, that I nosedived to start. Although some poor decisions helped in that. A few pots, a bet or raise on the river would have won them for me, and a few others I was clearly beat yet threw in that final call.

I made most of it back thanks to a nice run of cards when we got five-handed. Three hands in a row, I got AA, QQ and then KK. I've never had that happen before. And, amazingly, all three held up.

Anyways, here's a hand that I want to see people's opinions on. At the time, I made a good read which should have led to the obvious play, but alas, I choked under pressure. I think my three options are clearly ranked 1, 2 and 3, and of course I chose #3.

It's a time-pot, so people are playing tighter than normal. The SB is a very solid, winning player who respects me.

I open in MP with AhQc. Folds around to the SB who three-bets. BB folds, I call. SB's three-betting standards are probably any pocket pair down to 66, AK, perhaps AQ, but probably AQs-ATs.

Flop: Kd 8c 8s

SB bets, as she would with any hand on any flop. I call, intending to raise the turn.

Turn: (Kd 8c 8s) 4h

SB now checks. I bet. She grits her teeth and calls.

River: (Kd 8c 8s 4h) Ks

"I don't believe you have three kings," SB says as she bets.

What does she have? What's my play?

(PS--I just wanted to point out an excellent article by Peter Birks that features a hand I so lovingly screwed up and posted here.)


Blogger Stacy said...

I'm not sure what to make of the physical "tells" she gives during the hand, the teeth gritting, the comment about trip kings. But assuming she's being straight forward...

I would think she's holding a mid pocket pair, 99, TT, JJ. For obvious reasons, she's not worried about the 8's. She's not happy with the kings, but since there are two on the board, she seems inclined to think you most likely don't have one.

Your choice of actions is call, raise or fold. I think calling is the worst. You're possible splitting with AQ or AJ, but those hands seem on the unlikely end of her possible holdings. More likely, you're behind, either a mid pair, or her own AK or AA.

Raising could work. She seemed a bit worried about her hand on the turn, and if she has the ability to fold, it could win you the pot.

Or folding, because you appear to be behind.

How'd I do? 5 more years of hard study before I glance at anything over 8/16?

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

Raise, fold, call.

You called.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

I gave the obvious auto-pilot answer.

There are 6 BBs in the pot. If you call, you only beat AJ and 22-77 and split with AQ. Are you good 12.5% of the time here? Probably doubtful. Is she check-calling the turn and then valuebetting the river with any of those holdings?

If you raise, you put 2 BBs in, but she folds AQ, you win whenever you would have called, and she'll fold 99-QQ. Perhaps she'd even fold AA every now and again. You'll need to win the hand 22.5% of the time if you raise and she doesn't call. I think you will, and thus you should raise.

This is the obvious answer, of course, given the parameters you gave us. Unless you think she was reverse tell-ing you, in which case that might swing you back from a raise to a fold, if you're confident in that read.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Peter B said...

It's her comment on the end that makes this interesting.

At most levels I play, the opposition is virtually incapable of laying down to a river raise after they have bet out if there is any chance of them winning. The raise only gains over the call if (a) you can get a call from a weaker hand or (b) you can make a winning hand fold.

I really don't see either of these happening here, even at this level.

You are either splitting this hand or losing it unless she has made a desperation bet with 77/66. I think that she would have remained silent if this was the case.

I really favour her having a pocket pair 99 to QQ. But her comment almost indicates that KK is possible (although that probably constitutes a bit of a moody).

No, I'm going for the mid pair.

My preferences are fold (by a long way), call, raise (which is bottom by a long way).


11:21 PM  
Anonymous Peter B said...

Let me guess how it went down.

You had a dwell, and then raised.

She had a dwell, sighed, pushed the money in and turned over 99.

You mucked your hand.

She said, "I thought you had me beat, but I had to call.".


4:58 AM  
Anonymous kytyn said...

gratz on the "excellent blog" description in that article :)

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say she flopped quads and was being an ass at the end.
I like insta-muck option, of course I would be curious to see the cards.


11:32 AM  
Blogger eric said...

Two things:

1) Ya'll are smart


2) you give me too much credit.

Of course she has 99-QQ. Of course calling is the worst option, folding is okay and raising is super-duper.

Ok, raising is certainly the arguable move, but here's my analysis:

After her river bet, there's 7BBs in the pot. My A-high here is good, what, maybe 5% of the time (okay, maybe 10%, but I'm calling for a split, so that's a 5% return). So if I call, costing me 1 BB, I get 5% of 8BB's back, which is 0.4BB's, so calling is a -0.6BB move.

If I fold, obviously that's a 0BB move.

If I raise, well how often does she have to fold? Call it X. I'm putting in 2BBs, and so I'll get X% of 9BBs back. So as long as X > 22.2% I've beaten the folding option. And, if X is something like 50%--meaning it still only works half the time!--then I get back 4.5BBs, for a 2.5BB gain.

(FWIW, I think X is definitely greater than 22.2% and is in fact probably closer to 50%.)

So the difference between raising and calling is perhaps 3BB's.

That's not a small difference. Even if I've over-estimated my folding equity, call it 2BB's. That's massive. There aren't many opportunities in hold 'em where you're in a situation where two different choices give you a 2-3BB disparity. And if one is to be a professional, I think one should be able to recognize such opportunities and pounce on them.

I of course didn't pounce in this instance, and as I said I chose the absolute worst of the three options. Yes, I essentially gave her 0.6 BBs or $100.

So everyone come to Vegas. I'm literally giving money away.

But yeah, you guys were spot on. Come by and I'll back you in the 80 game, while I go back to 4/8 and try to learn how to play.

4:55 PM  
Blogger eric said...

PS - since I didn't say, she specifically had 99. I knew exactly where she was, even as I was calling. Yet I did it anyways. Grr.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Oooh, you'll back me in the 80 game? Sweeeet.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous D said...

So let me get your take on this. To my mind, the only play there is to fold. My reasoning is that your estimation of her actions are wrong. Here is my thinking.

Let's look at it from her POV, and let's assume you do raise on the end. There are now 9BB's in the pot. And she has to call 1BB. So she is 9-to-1 odds on her money. If she calls, she only has to be right 1-in-10 times to break even on that call. So your saying that people in her position are going to lay down 9-to-1 odds, given the play of that hand? If you had a K, for example, don't you think you would have usually raised the flop? You hadn't really been playing like you had anything.

Tell me what I am missing. Are people really likely to lie down 9-to-1 odds with what amounts to a pretty good hand with a respectable chance of winning?

11:53 PM  
Blogger eric said...


No, I wouldn't have necessarily raised the flop with a K, and she probably knows that. If she thinks I would usually raise the flop with a K, then I should have done that, but I was trying my hardest to represent AK there and if I had AK there, I would have played it exactly as I had (ahem, except I would have raised the river). She just foiled my original plan of raising the turn by checking.

On the river, people do like to make big folds,more often live than online. The reason is that people are generally less aggressive live and so a raise means so much more--ie it's much more likely that you're beat. I make folds all the time live that I wouldn't even consider online, and I think I'm right in doing so.

So to answer your question about whether or not she makes that fold, I think my estimation that she makes that fold a large minority of the time is correct. 30-50% is my estimation. I could be wrong, but remember I'm still admitting that she probably makes the call more often than not.

10:23 AM  
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10:32 PM  

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