Friday, December 16, 2005

A few hands from the WPBT Weekend

Hand 1. Thursday night, MGM grand 2-5 table:

Started out with full 500 buyin, whittled down to just over 300 on a table with occasional 50+ opening raises and multiple callers plus one French luckbox who a) bet 3 of 4 hands like he had the nuts, b) had the nuts 3 out of 4 hands (the same 3) and c) got paid off every freaking time (nastiest I saw was when his 47 boated up to beat the nut flush). He was up over 2k in less than an hour. I never got into a confrontation with him, but the table was definitely playing weird. So I hunkered down and waited through card deadness.

Finally, with bonne chance caisse folded UTG, I found AQ spades in middle position and made it 25 to go. The cutoff, who had me covered, called behind me. Flop was AK6 with 2 clubs and a spade. I bet out 30 and cutoff raised me to 80. What to do?

I pushed. He had AK. Could I have folded here? Could I have called? I didn't put him on slick with the call behind given that he had 3 players to act after him, but I certainly should have considered it when he popped me. I guess I have to lay down unless I put him on a bluff? Or can I put him on a weaker ace as I did? Result: AQ is in the doghouse once again.

AQs only good if you board quads with it like Kid Dynamite and win with the ace kicker against kings (well played sir).

Hand 2, Friday afternoon. Wynn, 2-5 no max:

800 dollar stack, Weak Player with 1600 on my left (after some fucktard doubled up his aces like a slot machine) and several other 500+ stacks at the table. 3rd to act and find 34 hearts. I open for table standard 20--I've not been playing too many hands. Weak and 2 calls behind and we're heads up. Flop is 2s 5d Js. I bet out 30. Weak pauses, and makes it 100. Am I going lay down my sneaky sneaky OESD? I probably should have, but that's no fun. What to do? Call and pray for an ace or a six on the turn?

Fuck that.

300 to go.

Into the tank Weak goes. "Do you want me to bust you?" he asks.

Response, natch: "Not particularly."

Old man on his left who has been watching us banter like old friends (we actually met face to face at this table for the first time, though we've played and chatted many hours together online) "This could be it for your friendship."

After of eternity of making me sweat (I know he's either going to push or fold here), Weak finally lays down his two spades with middle pair.

Why I like this bet (other than the fact that it worked) is the amount of pressure it puts versus the amount risked. With two spades on the board, all the money has to go in to get the two cards his draw needs to see. If he is facing an overpair or a bigger draw, he's essentially being asked to risk 680 to win 920 on one coin flip or the other, which he should want to call when speaking strictly math, though that's still quite a lot of variance for that much money (this play works better with relatively big stacks). If he's facing a set (probably jacks under the circumstances), he's not getting the right price as a more than 2:1 dog.

As it was, he was very far ahead, but only had a comfortable call if he can put me on an outright or semi-bluff. Others may have, but at least Weak hasn't found my big tell yet.

Of course, it would have worked less well if he had flopped a set...

Hand 3. Sunday morning, Wynn, 2-5 no max:

Weirest hand I can remember in a long time. Game just formed, starting short with five players. I'm in seat 5 with 500, other stacks between 300-800, including the same old man from the last hand in 9.

Player in seat 1, with 800 behind, looks straight from central casting. Asian with spiky, blonde tipped hair, replica Jerry Rice 49ers jersey, massive gold chain and Versace sunglasses. Oh brother, I'm prepared for a rough ride from Mr. Bling.

Very first hand, me in small blind, it folds around to Mr. Bling in the cutoff, who makes it 20 to go. Button folds and I look down to 99. Crap, just the kind of in between hand you don't want to be shooting in the dark with. Certainly worth a call here. Make it so.

Heads up on the flop of 764 rainbow. Not a bad flop at all for my hand, I bet out 30, somewhat afraid I'm going to be forced into a tough decision. Call. Ok, I'm either way ahead against overs, or way behind against an overpair or worse. Against a solid player, I'm thinking way behind, but I'm just not sure with this guy, who could also be setting up a move.

Turn is a 3. Not able to put him on the straight, I'm taking one more shot. I bet out 50, with the intent of probably folding if raised right there or checking down if called (with another tough decision possibly ahead if a scare card comes up on the river). This is really not where I want to be for my first hand of a session, but that's poker.

He sees my bet and thinks for a few moments. Then he folds. Face up. Aces.

Yes you read that right. Aces.

I don't absolutely hate the fold there given the board and the stack sizes--not that you'd ever see this in a New York club in a million years. What I don't get are two things:

First, why not raise me on the flop? Greed I suppose. Second, why, and I really mean WHY fold this hand face up? Iggy thought this was the hand's biggest mistake and after further thought I'm inclined to agree. I mean his image sitting down was pretty well cultivated as aggro boy typecast and here he's bought 3 years of fold equity from the whole table (which he never used as he remained about that tight for the six hours I played with him).

Hand 4: Same session, in the afternoon toward the end, full table.
Built up to 800 behind, somewhat card dead, I have only played 2 hands in previous 3 orbits. Same old man, also with about 800, opens for 15 2nd UTG, solid player with Yankees cap (lived in Cali for many years, not interested in jawboning about Sox/Yanks despite my hat) who plays more hands than most but shows signficant discipline after the flop (he's avoided paying me off or betting into me twice where I really wanted it) with about 1,000 calls immediately behind. It folds around to me in the SB and I have AK off. Perhaps remembering my ugly hand at the MGM, I decide to do something I rarely do in this situation: I call.

Flop is KsJs6x with two spades. Ok, I've hit my hand and the fact shouldn't be clear. What to do? I don't think I want to see a turn, but I don't think betting out is the best way to avoid one. So I check with the full intention of check raising. The old man obliges me by betting out 40. But then the plan goes awry when YankeesLover makes it 80 to go. Crap. What to do?

Fold is the safe move and not a terrible one. I've only got 15 in the pot and I'm facing a reraise. Calling is clearly not an option. But what about raising? Nothing crazy like pushing, not with these stacks. I may have the best hand and if I don't, you pretty much have to put me on a set (hard to put me on slick) as I am represnting a monster with a check re-raise, so maybe I can get a better hand to fold? Also nice is that the escape hatch is still open--I can lay this down without tears if I'm raised or even smooth called and raised later (unless no spade falls and I decide to push, but that's another story).

The old man folds with a mutter of disgust, later claiming to have had AK. Then YankeesLover went into the tank for well over three minutes (I watched two series of downs of the football in the game on the Plasma behind him). I knew he really had a hand, very likely better than mine. He really really studied me, I stayed quiet, shades flipped down, watching the game. Finally, he folded, claiming to have flopped bottom two and to have been really concerned I had KJ. I would have thought a set more consistent with my betting, but then again, if he really had KJ, it's going to be really hard to put me on 3 sixes, jacks or kings. At any rate, I won the hand and did NOT show the cards.

These were the serious NL sessions I had in Vegas, and I am more or less happy with both my decisions and my results. The rest was low limit donk poker + booze with bloggers (somewhat -EV), low no-limit donk poker + booze with bloggers and others (very -EV and my main leak for the week), two tourneys I played (no cash) and the small craps session I tried for the first time with FTrain after his big win (minus 100 and +EV as it will also be my last time). All told, I was down a bit for the five days in Vegas, but I certainly got my money's worth.


At Sun Dec 18, 11:31:00 PM 2005, Blogger Veneno said...

You are my Weak with 34..lmao..excellent!!!

At Mon Dec 19, 11:19:00 AM 2005, Blogger Kid Dynamite said...

I just got the memo that A-Q, it turns out, is NOT the nuts! who knew...

In the games i play, your move with 3-4 would not work.. people take their draws to the FELT!

nice recap.

At Mon Dec 19, 01:46:00 PM 2005, Blogger SoxLover said...

With you guys, I only bet the nuts.


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