Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ok, a few hands this post. And not one of them limit hold em.

First, a trio of NL AA hands. The first two are almost the same exact hand. I've never really been in that position before, and then it happens twice in a day.

Hand #1:

2/4 NL on Ultimate Bet. I have $356, BB has me covered. Three limpers and I'm in the SB with AA. I raise to $20. BB raises to $40. Everyone else folds. I go all-in.

Hand #2:

2/5 NL at the Wynn. I have about $520, SB has me covered. Four limpers and I'm on the button with AA. I raise to $25. SB raises to $65. Everyone else folds. I go all-in.

Hand #3:

2/4 NL on UB. SB has $310, I have him covered. I have AA UTG. It's been a fairly aggressive game, so I limp. The table spoils my plan of limp-reraising when there's one other limper, the SB completes and the BB checks.

Flop (4 players, $16): K 6 2, rainbow. SB bets $16. BB folds. I raise to $40. Other limper folds, SB quickly calls.

Turn (2 players, $93): (K 6 2) Q, completing the rainbow. SB checks. I bet $60. SB check-raises all in for $266 total. I fold.

Hand #4:

2/5 NL at the Wynn. MP has $800, I have him covered. UTG limps, I limp UTG+1 with 8d7d. This has been a fairly unaggressive game preflop, obviously. MP limps, a few others.

Flop (6 players, $29): Ad Tc 9d. Checks to me. I bet $20. MP raises to $60. Everyone else folds. Now normally, people like to pump OESD+FD on the flop, assuming they're over 50% to hit one or the other and they have fold equity so if their opponent doesn't fold, they've still got a great shot of winning the pot.

I couldn't do that here, though, for one reason: there was no doubt in my mind that MP had either two pair or a set, and there was also no doubt that he wouldn't fold one of those hands. So I had zero fold equity. The only non-pair hand he would possibly play that way was Qd Jd which just totally destroys me, so my best bet was I was about 50/50, with the latter hand making me as bad as a 75/25 dog.

So I called. Since he can't fold, I can get a nice value-bet should I hit.

Turn (2 players, $147): (Ad Tc 9d) Ks. Check, check. Wha?

River (2 players, $147): (Ad Tc 9d Ks) 6d. Dammit, couldn't you have been any other 6? I bet $100. He called, and mucked after I showed down, saying he had A9 and that he was afraid I had AK, which is why he checked the turn. Any substantial bet on the turn and I would have had to fold there.

I also played in the 10/20 mix game at the Wynn. They had quite a lineup of games tonight, including Crazy Pineapple 8-or-better. Yes, a split pot crazy pineapple game. The first hand I didn't even know it was hi-lo, until my opponent rolled over his utter crap and the dealer gave him half the pot despite my protests. Then it was explained to me. Whoops.

To further my donk image, I check-raised the river in Razz when I made what I thought was a 6-perfect low, but what turned out to be an 86 low. My opponent thankfully had an 87, but wasn't too pleased when I called out "six!" then turned over my hand and quickly amended, "err....uh...ok 86." Lesson: always double check one's hole cards on the river.

So anyways, for more donkilicious action, hand #5 (this actually happened before the above two donkey hands):

10/20 2-7 TD at the Wynn. Six-handed.

UTG folds. UTG+1 raises. MP folds. I three-bet in the CO with 234TJ. Button folds, SB folds, BB calls, UTG+1 calls. As bad as I am, the BB seems to have no clue at all. On the previous hand he limped UTG, it was raised, he called then took four cards. His cold-call didn't mean anything to me.

BB takes 2, UTG+1 takes 1. I think and remember that a J is a favorite with one draw over anyone drawing a card (someone who read Daniel Negreanu's 2-7 section in Super System 2 told me that a J is a slight favorite over someone drawing one). So that means I'm a favorite to be a favorite, right? Not to mention that I can represent a real strong hand. So I stand pat. Heh...anyone laughing yet?

They both check. I bet. I figure if either of them make a hand, they'll CR me and I can probably call and draw two. Otherwise, they missed and I'm still good. They both call and I figure I'm still good. This time, they each draw one.

Once again, I'm stuck with the same logic. I'm a favorite to be a favorite. I should stand pat and simply fold if one of them comes up betting. So once again I stood pat. (Have I mentioned I have no clue how to play this game?)

Check, check, I bet. Call, call. Yeesh. Once again, they each draw one. At this point I knew my right play was to stand pat, fold if bet to and check behind if it's checked to me. So that's what I did.

BB kind of shakes his head, UTG+1 turns over K-perfect and my J-high takes the pot.

"I could beat that TWICE and I broke it!"

"Same here!"


Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Although, looking back I think I might have inadvertently actually played the hand kinda well. But obviously I have no clue whatsoever, so perhaps someone who knows something (anything, really) about 2-7 TD can give me an opinion.

All I know is that my lesson from that hand is the same as the one I've learned over and over again: position is critically important in triple-draw. I'm not sure I've played another game where it's so important, although I guess some people would argue for NL hold 'em.

All told, it was a fun night. At some point, I should just go a whole week playing anything and everything except limit holdem and see how I do.


Anonymous Samarkand said...

Top blog and superb 2-7 hand. I make plays like that in that game, which is why I head down towards the $1 (to be paid by 2010) stakes.

I might be wrong but aren't hands 1 & 2 rather different? In hand 1 you'll have to act first on flop if you call his reraise / bet less than all-in. On hand 2 foe is first. I'd be particularly tempted to raise an about-a-third-of-my-stack amount on hand 2.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous eric c said...

i'm not very experienced in TD either, but aren't you only a favorite with a J high against one player drawing to one card? I think if you're up against two players drawing to one, you have to have a nine high to be a favorite.

8:09 AM  
Blogger d said...

Finally an interesting post on this blog! (haha, just kidding every post is a great one...)
Are we still on for the Wynn mixed game next month?
In regards to the TD hand, I don't have a warm fuzzy feeling about standing pat on the first draw in a 3 way hand. UTG+1 raised and called a three bet and is only drawing 1!? (and in all likelyhood both opponents are calling a bet on the next street given the size of the pot and the number of cards they drew; UTG+1 is definitely calling after the 2nd draw given the projected size of the pot)
By the way, your post only seems to mention 2 of the draws?
You played the hand with a consistent strategy in mind representing an 8 or better all the way, forcing both players to break any 9 or worse. I suspect neither player will give you credit for a huge hand though and will call you down if they make any 8.
Your comment on position is very relevant though, as it helps guide decisions on betting and drawing.

9:49 AM  
Blogger eric said...

Yeah, 2-7 I'm almost positive that my J-high with 3 draws left by two players is looking pretty grim. I knew that at the time. But I also knew that BB was pretty clueless and that UTG+1 was pretty solid. I was pretty sure I could keep UTG+1 drawing. So I figured it was a HU match with my representing a pretty strong hand.

I'm not saying it's the best way to play the hand--I really have no clue whatsoever--but I am saying that I planned to keep going as long as I could keep him drawing, and fold/check/draw/whatever were he to suddenly wake up and bet or stand pat. And it worked. Either because of or despite my total inexperience.

Dave, we're definitely still on for the mix game next month. And I do mention all three draws. I don't think I presented the hand very systematically so it's easy to miss, but they're all there.

4:11 PM  
Blogger 787Style said...

In Hand #2, did you get a caller? My second hand at the Wynn was almost identical, except I got called by Queens for a nice $1200 pot. That was, in fact, my first time playing $2-5.

8:18 PM  
Blogger eric said...

So about the first two AA hands...

I apparently found them more interesting than other people. I understand that going all-in preflop with AA isn't exactly earth-shattering, but the way I did it seemed interesting at least to me. I'm hugely overbetting the pot, heads up, and one would think the opponent would fold the majority of the time.

Yeah, the two hands are different, in that hand #1 I'm the SB and therefore OOP, and in #2 I'm the button and in position. But the thinking that led to my decision was similar (although better done in the first situation than the second).

The first hand I raised out of the SB and the BB came over the top. Not big, mind you, but essentially a min-raise. He wants other people out, but not me. The second he did that, I had visions of KK. What else could he play that way?

I was out of position anyways, and I figured people's biggest weakness is not folding, so I decided to see if that was his, too. I went all-in; I asked him, can you fold KK? I fully expected him not to.

He couldn't. He called with KK, my 80/20 edge held up and I doubled up.

The second hand had almost the exact same betting pattern, just now I was in position. But once again, I thought, well this guy must have a big hand. Can he fold it preflop? Especially at live 2/5, people can't fold. I've seen people going all-in with JJ and QQ with two other people already all-in for decent-sized stacks. People cannot fold a pretty hand, period.

So, it had worked once, can lighting strike twice? I went all-in.

He turned over AKs and started yapping. "Can I really fold this? These are the hands I've come to play! This is a hold 'em hand. These are the hands you play in hold 'em!"

Dude, you have AK. Just fold. There is one and only one hand you should be agonizing over, and that ain't it.

Finally, "You have jacks, you must have jacks. I call."

My 90/10 edge held up.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous bil said...

Not to be too much of a wiseass, but given that I read your blog with some consistency, I got where you were heading, so to speak.

You've written before about being amazed at the delusion/stupidity/optimism of NLHE players, so I figured by your silence that it meant you got called and got paid.

Remember, I'm the one who had to make sure your previous Kings and Queens hand was good, so I didn't want to look foolish twice in a row.

The tough thing with the first hand is that your read is pretty straightforward. He has to know his min-raise screams KK (or maybe QQ, couldn't it?), and so he has to think you could be putting a play on him when you overbet.

7:10 AM  
Blogger eric said...

The tough thing with the first hand is that your read is pretty straightforward. He has to know his min-raise screams KK (or maybe QQ, couldn't it?), and so he has to think you could be putting a play on him when you overbet

See, if he thought this, then I don't understand. If his min-raise screams KK, why would I put a move on him? Who puts a "move" on someone who has KK preflop? That's suicide. Put a move on the guy with TT, or the guy with AQ, not the guy with KK.

I think a good player would think this, "I just screamed I have KK (or, I guess, AA). He's going all-in ANYWAYS. Therefore, since I have KK, he must have AA and I should fold."

Not saying I could necessarily find a fold there, especially since those huge overbets I guess often are attempted bluffs, but if there's one thing I've learned it's that if you've defined your hand real well to the point of nearly turning your cards face-up and your opponent STILL raises're beat.

Anyways, Bil, if you've looked foolish at some point I've missed it. Your comment was good because I think it does point out a flaw in how some of these guys think.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous bil said...

I don't know, brother, I'm just trying to find a way to justify his (incorrect) play. Justify it in KK's mind, I mean.

Doesn't this turn into a "I know that you know that I know that you know" sort of thing?

Mr. KK: "I told him I have KK, he went all in. He's telling me he has aces. Therefore I should fold. But wait. If he has aces, why does he want to drive me out? He's leading me 4-1. Hmm. Seems suspicious. Better call to make sure."

I mean, if you feel your all-in would absolutely make him fold, you wouldn't have done it, right?

Fact is, lots of people think: "I have kings. If he has aces, so be it."

1:08 PM  
Blogger EstonB said...

You sure do like the semi-"move of honor" with your AA. However, I don't like it at all in Hand #4, and I would have raised more initially I think. But you've got the freakin' button, why end the hand preflop? Hand #3, the limp RR is for fish. I don't think any play violates the Fundamental Theorem of Poker more than that move, unless you're going to do it with other hands, and that can get nasty.

"I couldn't do that here, though, for one reason: there was no doubt in my mind that MP had either two pair or a set, and there was also no doubt that he wouldn't fold one of those hands. So I had zero fold equity."

You always have fold equity, my friend. Also, against good players, you WILL get shut out on the turn. One of the main reasons people pump those hands on the flop isn't just fold equity, it's because that's when their equity is at its greatest. You are 44.9% against a super hand like a set. Not only will your equity drop severely on a blank turn, but your opponent should also make a correct play against you and bet big.

10:56 AM  
Blogger eric said...

Hi Eston,

about LRRing, I agree that it's a debateable move. I don't mind doing it OOP though for the simple fact that I don't mind pretty much broadcasting that I have AA and having everyone fold. Playing a big pair OOP sucks. So if someone raises, there are a couple callers (as is typical in the smaller NL games) and I come over the top big I can either win a decent-sized pot right off the bat or get someone HU as an 80/20 favorite or better.

When my alternative is to raise 5X the BB and have four callers and often enough play a one-pair hand OOP in a big pot...ugh...maybe the more skilled NL players enjoy those situations, but I like to keep my decisions nice and easy.

FD+SD--I agree 100% with your assessment except "you always have fold equity." No, I don't. I often have fold equity. But not in that case. I knew the player, I knew how he played and so I knew 100% he either had a set or two pair and I knew 100% he was not folding either one. I am a dog to his range of hands, although not a huge dog. But simply put, there is no reason for me to put any additional chips in as a dog.

If he had raised bigger on the flop, I would have had to fold. If he had bet big on the turn, I would have had to fold. I agree with all this. I was in a crappy, crappy position. But he made a smallish raise, and I knew if I hit he would pay off a value-bet.

A good player I would have been SOL. I knew all this at the time. But I think I played the hand about as well as I possibly could.

I got real lucky with the turn check.

6:24 PM  
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