Thursday, September 01, 2005

Flopping the Nots

Quick night out after work with FTrain and the Korean ATM, who looked snazzy and just over 12 in his Fisher Price® My First Suit©--I wish I had come up with that line but in normal self-deprecating mode, the ATM was kind enough to pass on his neighbor's wit.

We went for a quick dumpling infusion in Korea town and then off to one of FTrain's old clubs that neither ATM nor I had visited. Nice place, much smaller than Playstation, Aquarium or the other club that ATM and I have been frequenting.

With two 1-2 NL tables spread (first time I've seen 1-2 no max), for a brief interval, the floor was forced to split up the three stooges musketeers and I was sent to the "main" table (no must move so I don't quite get what main means). After one orbit a winning 1 dollar, I was able to move to the other table with the guys. I was at the far end across from and two seats to the right of one of the owners whose name I don't know but who is French. In completely inapposite, degrading shorthand, I'll call him LeBeau.

The table was really quite tight and only 7 handed, so I straddled UTG with just below my buy-in of 300. LeBeau, who had me slightly covered, limped as did two others. I looked down, saw a nice straddle hand, Q♦J♦, and raised it to 24 to go. LeBeau called and the table folded. I declared, "I need some help from this flop".

Flop came AKJ rainbow and help had arrived.

With the nuts, I wanted some more money in the pot so I checked to LeBeau. Imagine my surprise when he went all in. Not wanting to slow roll, I insta-called, creating serious doubt in LeBeau's mind that his AQ off was good. Imagine my greater surprise when I realized that I had not actually flopped the nuts.

This brainfart cost me 280 and some degree of dignity as neither a jack nor a ten fell.

I did leave on something of a high note however as was able to climb halfway out of the hole and only booked a 140 loss in our 2 hour session, which is not that bad after subtracting my donation to the greater glory of France.

Side note, I really wonder what Lebeau was thinking with an all-in raise there. Not a terrible flop for AQ, worthy of a value generating, hand protecting raise for sure, but certainly one rife with some possibilities of being quite far behind. Even if he puts me on a random hand, assuming he's not playing against an idiot (I realize that's not a trivial assumption in this case), the only hands from which he can expect a call of 280 all-in raise of a 50 pot are AA, KK, JJ, AK, AJ, KJ (and maybe not), QT against each of which he would have been drawing mighty slim. The only positive aspect of the all-in raise that I see is that it removes the possibility that I will make a move on the pot if he bets a moderate amount, but I think he could have probably accomplished that with a 100 or certainly a 150 bet.

Interesting conversation with FTrain while drinking the post-mortem beer.

Assume the following (numbers are loose):

You are playing 1-2 NL in a NYC club, 2nd UTG with 400 raises to 12 (standard table raise), you, with 212 behind) call with 8♦7♦ and big blind with 112 calls.

Flop is T♦9♦8♣. BB leads out 30, 2nd UTG raises to 100. Assume both opponents are solid players. What do you do?

It's true that you have to put BB on a good hand that's probably not a draw (too short stacked for a tricky play, early-position does not favor semi-bluff, and he has to think he's going to get called here), and 2nd UTG on an even better hand (he knows the former and has to expect the BB to call and he's clearly betting to force out any draws you might have).

You almost certainly don't have the best hand, but you have a fantastic draw with in theory up to 20 outs (2 straight flush outs, 7 flush outs, 6 straight outs, 2 trips outs and 3 two-pair outs). Of course, it's very likely that many of these outs are not good: extremely likely that your straight flush draws are good, quite likely that your flush draw is good, fairly likely that your bottom straight draw is good and possible that your top straight draw is good, and at least possible that your trip and two pair draws are good. It's true that against certain hands you are all but dead in the water, but I'd guess against the weighted combinations you have about 13-14 outs, basically a coin flip to win.

You've got two pot committed opponents and can thus expect that you're betting 200 to win 337--even if the BB folds, this drops to 267, still slightly plus EV, and your drawing hand really needs to see both the turn and the river.

FTrain ran one iteration that I believe actually happened to a friend of his that presented him the hand (BB has top and bottom and 2nd UTG a set of 99s) and came up with the number that an all-in raise was about plus 20 EV, but still questions whether an all-in move is the right play. Certainly there are iterations where the EV is a little less, and a few where it has got to be negative (God help you if you are facing J♦ Q♦), but assume conservatively for the sake of argument that an all-in raise not knowing exactly the hands you face is a plus 10 EV move.

FTrain says that since you are playing generally against bad players in NYC clubs (notwithstanding you face two decent ones in the hand in question), you are better off waiting for clearer plus EV situations for such a large investment. I must disagree--this is not a tourney and unless you are playing with too small of a bankroll, you have to push those edges every damn time. Assuming your roll can take a few 200 hits now and then, folding here is giving money away. Indeed, you want to have money for those higher plus EV times, but the answer for that is (a) rebuy and (b) push those hands too.

In addition to fact that by definition not making a plus EV move when available is minus EV, you should further consider that at least with observant opponents, if you only push with massive leads, you are going to get paid off less often than you should.

Anyway, thoughts as always are welcome.


At Thu Sep 01, 11:49:00 AM 2005, Blogger F-Train said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Thu Sep 01, 11:51:00 AM 2005, Blogger F-Train said...

[Wanted to revise my comment slightly.]

When your bankroll is not infinite, I think you need to consider these types of questions - questions aimed at minimizing huge swings.

It's true there are worse places to get your chips in. However, you could easily be up against a straight here, and at the very least you're definitely up against a hand for which your two pair outs are dead.

In the given situation, it is probably more often +EV than -EV to move in, but my guess is that you have 0 fold equity, so even in the +EV situations your EV isn't that big. All it takes is losing a few of these in a row to make a significant dent in your roll and/or put you on tilt (negative implied tilt odds).

Given that you have less than 50% equity in this pot, losing a few in a row is not terribly difficult to envision.

At Thu Sep 01, 01:27:00 PM 2005, Blogger SoxLover said...

I think you are exactly right in isolating the issue as bankroll. I posit, however, that if a 200 swing (or even 4 or 5 of them) is enough to wipe out your roll, you might consider staying out of NL cash ring games other than 100 max (oh but the rake!) until your roll can sustain them.

Still, I suppose you may be right and there is a middle ground where it is reasonable to play tighter than is optinal to allow you to get in a juicier game bigger than your roll would normally permit.

As for tilt, well there is that. Still, believe me or not, though I certainly have a tilt issue from time to time, I don't typically tilt from losing coinflips or less than coinflips with good odds though I suppose losing 5 all-in flips in a row can test anyone.

At Fri Sep 02, 10:47:00 AM 2005, Anonymous War said...

I can attest to the fact that it is quite possible to lose on 12+ out situations over and over again.

But, in a cash game, I gotta make the EV+ play every time. Otherwise, I should stick to SNG online (maybe what I should do anyway).

At Fri Sep 02, 11:45:00 AM 2005, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

I re-read the part about you FTN against Frenchie...then I saw that you read the board wrong...haha! I thought I was the only one who did that. I love it when I read it wrong and win...then I act as if I knew, but there is always one sucka who calls me on it.

At Fri Sep 02, 11:52:00 AM 2005, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

I'm pushing all in here myself...but that's just my take...getting good money even if everyone falls out and the guy who went in for 100.00 is probably trying to win it right there with an overpair and scary board.


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