Bad Plays


I folded a set. Post flop. Yes, I folded a set. Three twos. I told the people next to me I had never done it before, and a guy quiped "Well, now you are a member of that club." Yeah, it's a school of donkfishes.

Truth be told I can rationalize the play with pretty good reasons, but ultimately as Dan Harrington said in his book... Only an idiot folds a set, it doesn't matter the rationale. If you lose set over set, you go home and don't think twice about it.

Here's the rationale, again... realize I already know I am an idiot. I doubled up on the first hand. I had chips to spare, but if I lost the pot I would be back to even with everybody. I wasn't looking to give up my chip lead. If I fold, I'm still big stack. With 2s and ample chips I limped. Multi-way pot. Bingo there is my third two. EP bets it, one caller, I come over HARD, take this pot right now. EP insta-shoves. MP sits for a while and mucks. EP is on the edge of his seat begging for a call.

I deliberate. He's sitting on the nuts. I stew. F'n three ducks. I get an overwhelming read of strength. Finally, I fold face up. Guy's eyes almost pop out his head and he said he just had top two pair. Discussed this with Big Smooth, what do you do when you get the right read on your opponent but he doesn't understand the value of his hand. He thinks two pair are the nuts?

I ended up taking 5th in that tournament so that hand didn't really hurt me and I got away from it. However, I found it interesting the guy never showed his hand but was happy to talk about it. Plenty of times this past week, I should have gone broke and I didn't, but that may be one where I was too cautious. Probably next time, I'll go back to being faithful to Harrington and take my lumps if it's set over set and just call--ESPECIALLY WITH CHIPS TO SPARE.

The other terrible play I made was in Friday's tournament. I hate it when people overvalue middle pairs and low pairs and always think to myself they got what they deserved when they go busto with it. Course, sometimes a pair of 8s look like Ks to you when you've been card-dead for so long. In EP I 3x it with 8s. Big Stack calls, and then the Big Blind shoves. BB's stack is almost as big as mine. I call hoping for him to have two overs, preferably the same two as the big stack.

What's my mistake? One calling might have been a bad idea, though I was short enough stacked that blinds, antes and a three way pot might justify playing, but 8s are a bad hand in a possible three way pot. Two I should have thrown my extra $300 with it. I didn't because I knew big stack would be obligated to call. If the board came out faces I could get away from it. Yeah, dumb I know. This is titled bad plays for a reason.

Flop brings an ace. I check, he checks. Another ace comes on the river and the big stack kept checking behind me. Meanwhile BB has gotten up. KJ, KJ maybe? I turn over my 8s. Big stack mucks and BB shows pocket queens (well, he did have two overs).

So, why not have a sidepot with one player. I'm of course going to have to call so might as well get it in. If he gets any part he's going to put me in. If he misses then I'm just saving him the lagniappe. Yeah, I R STUPID.


Goondingy said…
Ahh...don't beat yourself up too much brah! As long as you learn from it and do as we talked about. Walk back in time, put him on a level(1,2 or 3) and go from there. day, WPT Winner Wild Bill!!!

I called it!
GeneD said…
take 2....Ditto...wild bill is destined for greatnest!!!!! go get em brother!!!
Anonymous said…
first of all, i've never heard of a player having chips to spare in a tournament, espicallay a close to the vest acknowledged that it was a bad play, so therefore there is no justifaction for laying that stated u wanted to protect your chip lead, there is no such thing as a chip lead in the first level of a tournament...if there is ever a chance to triple up on the first couple levels of a tournament and u decide to fold and not risk becuase u don't wanna be back to the starting chip level like everyone else that means you're playing entirely to scared....those opportunities to have that kind of chip advantage in a tournament are very few and far between and almost no pro would ever consider themselves good enough to lay a hand down like that, atleast the pros i've read that talk about playing a set on the flop early in a tourney...i'm not sayin u can't have a correct read on someone but what makes your play wrong is that it is not profitable in the long run and making a hero fold was more important to you than making a good fold...i've never understood folding face up to players that u don't have much repect for in the first place...the only benefit is for the good player at the table and the bad players will keep playing bad no matter what
C.S. said…
Thank you anonymous. Criticism is desired here. Only way to get better. I think we agree on most of these points. We especially agree it's a terrible play. We also agree that there is no justification for laying it down. I wasn't trying to justify the decision--I was only giving you the justification I used to make the mistake at that time.

I do disagree with you on the preference of folding face up. I do it for a variety of reasons--though I do it only rarely. It was also one of the first hands he had played and I hadn't classified him as good or bad--yet.

I didn't think of it as making a hero fold and that wasn't the impetus for showing. Though i am certainly guilty of making hero folds and calls when I maybe shouldn't. In this case, in the moment, I felt the guy had me beat. I trust my reads and my read was of immense strength. If anything I was frustrated in deciding he was so strong I was going to lay down a hand I probably should never lay down. The principal part of exposing it was to get him to return the favor or to get a read from him.

And btw... I think you have heard of tournament players "with chips to spare" ie a player with a huge M, has more than 10 times a short stack that is all in. Another would be on the bubble in a mega (where everybody gets a seat or the same prize) with a ton of chips and a ton of short stacks. I'd certainly lay down bottom set there against a big stack who pushes on me and would never call it a mistake. Course I wasn't in either spot.

However, I agree, I did somewhat decide I didn't have to win the hand--perhaps, that is playing scared. I will self-reflect on that. Thank you.

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