Been moving my sister all week and haven't played thought, I'd discuss a hand my friend (the guy in the picture showing off his Dead Money second place plaque) played on the AOL qualifer for the WSOP. He had to finish top 100 out of 5000 to qualify for this event. And in this one only first place got the 10k seat.

His email:

was up in top 15 at about 2/4 blinds, playing well, hitting cards, being aggressive. went relatively card dead or missed flops and got bet out of hands, only to make the hand on the turn, etc. Maybe should have played more aggressively but was still in good shape at the break, 274 of 746 left, with 4800. First hand, under gun, draw pocket 9s (3/6 blinds) raise to 1300, one caller to my left. Flop comes A, 7, 7 I bet 600, he goes all in for his last 2200, would have left me with 1300 I think, so I thought about it but folded, figure he had A,K or something. Hell maybe A,7. Not upset with how I played it, if he calls 1300 preflop he probably calls most anything, and would have hit his ace on the flop anyway.
My inane response: Let's see to call it's 1600 to win 5600. You got two outs with two cards to come (if he doesn't have As or 7s). 3.5 to 1 with maybe an 8% chance to win. At this point a no-brainer lay down. Especially if you think you can still do something with your 3500.

Now we have to factor in what if he doesn't have what he's representing. Questions you have to ask in that 15 second window... Have you see him resteal any pots? Do you put him as a good player? Have you been checking top pair while at the same table as him? Even if you haven't, if I were him and I was heads up with you, I might put your $600 bet as a braking bet (allowing you to see another card cheaply) or a continuation bet. I wouldn't put you on a 7 and since you bet I wouldn't put you on a hand like AK because you wouldn't be worried about the 7s either. You'd have two pair with top kicker--so why bet? He's only 4% to hit his outs on you to the turn so why not check (reasons why I might check here and hope for a 9 on the turn).

He'd probably rule out you pushing a weak ace from early position preflop. In fact, he knows you don't have Aces, because you'd check that flop. You could have kings but your 600 is weak so he might think you could fold them. So, there are a world of possible hands he might do the same move on you and be able to profit from doing it. Anything from KQ to pocket pairs Js, 10s, 8s, 6s, or 5s. If he had the weak ace (and by weak I mean aj, a10), he'd be resigned to getting his chips in if you have AK, AQ. He could also have been pulling a stop and go on you because you are tight and planned to push after the flop no matter what came.

So now I'd say (best case scenario) there is maybe a 25% chance you have the best hand. That bumps your odds up to 33% that you win the hand. Uh-oh. You are getting ~3.5 to 1, with a 1 out of 3 chance to win. Overlay is in your favor you should call.

BUT... that's slim. I being a tight ass tournament player lay down like you did, because you still got enough chips to do some damage and you still have time to search for odds more favorable to you. Plus, i'm sure I'm being generous with that 25%, it's probably less.

On top of that you got so little time to decide that math is unwieldly. Good lay down (imo). What's surprising in a hand like this, if you have a bigger stack you probably should call.

Of late I've been playing middle pairs from early position with a limp. If someobody raises and I have Js I consider the situation and maybe jam them if the chips merit that and I think the guy might buy I'd limp with Aces. If I have 8s, 9s and usually 10s I just call and hope for a low flop. They are so tough to play. If you and your opponent both don't have deep stacks you can't find out if your opponent has a higher overpair without crippling yourself if he just calls preflop. Here is where the value of position is magnafied. You could raise and an unconnected AK may reraise on that low flop and you might have to lay down the best hand.

If it's a loose table (doesn't sound like yours was) I definitely limp 8s and 9s and play them like a low pair hoping for a set. I probably raise whatever amount it is that the table of loose players will fold to-- to thin the field with Js or 10s (which sounds like you did). If I'm on a table where guys are going to call no matter what, maybe a min raise to confuse them and to allow you to see the flop somewhat cheaply. Tough hand and the epitome of why position is paramount.


C.S. said…
I reread this and I have to wonder why I didn't mention the $600 bet. It's probably because I make similar mistakes. Big picture the pot is $3500 and you are betting $600 into it. Unless he thinks you are trying to draw him in this bet indicates weakness. Even in the exception, a low bet bluff that looks like you want a call is effective after the river but rarely on the earlier streets. What happens if he calls? Do you fold up shop on the turn? Raise again? If you are going to raise again, why not raise all that on the flop to put the pressure on him.

I've played these AOL free rolls and the betting is out of whack. I've seen big preflop raises and then small postflop bets so I understand there's a different culture/betting structure. Still, I'd much rather check there, as you yourself said there's not too many situations where he might not push so why commit another $600 if you aren't going to call when he does push.
Damn c.s. you are thinking poker so much you actually answered your own post. I think you might be the next Mad Scientist of poker.

p.s. Do you know if the chic in that picture likes mustache rides?

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