Poker Interlude, Timelion Timeout ii

As humorous as some people find SB's bender in Vegas, and I'm glad to know somebody's laughing, even if it's at me, I don't want to totally forget poker, so some quick hands from today's Harrahs tournament.

I make one move today, in a battle of the blinds. I thought I represented a hand pretty well and the kid agreed with me but he said if I bet the turn he'd fold. Which I'm a little confused over. Tell me what ya'll think. Am I overthinking this and missing the obvious. My hand is irrelevant, because it never connected, in the small blind. I think it was J9. Folded to me. I just gave him a walk an orbit earlier. Considered raising but wanted to see a flop and despite being OOP I thought I'd know where I was in the hand. I complete he limps. Flop comes KK7 (no draw). I check. He bets. I don't buy a king but maybe a 7. I think I can get him off with the right turn or river cards. Turn is 10. Would he buy me chasing a 10? Maybe, but I decide to check and he checks behind. River is a brick, maybe, a 2. I figure my play could represent king and it's time to bet. My mistake was I bet too little, I believe. At the time, him being one of only two credible players on the table, I didn't want to look like I was buying the pot, so I reduced my bet. Probably shouldn't have as he's got such a weak holding (I think) better to make him think about it.

He called. I mucked. He showed a flimsy 7 with a decent kicker problems.

I asked if I bet too little. He said had I bet the turn he would have folded. I said I checked the turn to bet a good river or represent the king. If had a king I'd let him bet the turn for me, right? He told me on the river he knew I had King or nothing.

So, why would he fold the turn?

I guess instead of thinking my check represented me wanting him to bet again, it represented a chasing hand--but what was I chasing in that scenario--a 10?

Want to give Floorman Ray at Harrahs a compliment for another hand. To set the stage I get moved tables after having two ladies river three straights on me and halving my starting stack. One checked the river to me and I check behind with a set because something was rotten in Demark after I had been betting the flop and turn. She showed rivered straight. The other lady I had top pair I think Queen kicker. Bet the flop, ahead, bet the turn ahead (in position after her checks), fold to her all in river bet. She says she had a straight. Other hands beat me so I'll accept the straight. Tilted me a little bit them chasing. And the last one, I had JJ, 10 high board. Bet, call. Brick. Bet, call. River brings a 8 spades making an open-ender and/or a flush. She bets. I fold. Table says she caught a flush, I say 5-6. She shows me the straight (5-6).

Somehow I'm not tilting though I am frustrated. I sit down at the new table and two hands in, the dealer tosses a card between the two guys after me. Guy to my left picks up the wrong card and she declares a misdeal (Is that a misdeal--anybody know the rules?) even though there were only two cards to left for her to deal out. I normally don't look but I pick up two black Queens. Oops, I'm boiling a bit now. Needed a double up hand. I remind myself I could have gone broke and chill out.

An orbit later two more ladies. Sweet. I'm UTG. I bet out a $500 chip and clearly say "$500" (50-100). Guy in MP throws out a $500 chip. Couple of people fold. Button throws out 4 hundred chips. I tell him he needs one more. Dealer says "What?" I said "I said $500" my side of the table agrees. She didn't hear me and thought I called and whispered it to the guy next to her in MP. Now here's where it gets weird. She lets the MP fold and take his chip back. Then she says action to the button who promptly goes all in. Meanwhile, the guy after him had already folded (out of turn) during the rewind portion of this affair.

The dealer is a good dealer and a nice girl, but I decide I'm just going to call floor and get a ruling on it, rather then have her ruling which seemed to be that guy's all in bet was legal be clarified and than me protest. Ray comes over and gets it right I think. The first guy, who the dealer told I only called, acted as if it was $100. Then the two people that folded acted on the same action. Therefore the button's action to raise it to $400 stands. Technically now the MP guy who tossed his cards in the muck could still be in the hand with $100 out there. Focusing on the button I forget to get his $100 back into the pot (kind of dickish but the rules).

So it's agreed the button raise to $400 (and my $500 raise was void). Now I'm looking weak and one of the blinds calls. I say to myself, he's either got AK, AA, or KK. If AA, KK, so be it, I'll commit if the flop doesn't bring a card above my Queens and lose to those two hands. The blind calling made me think AK was the most likely (possible he's got one of those Aces). So I only call the $400. Didn't have to coin flip right here. I got $2100 behind. Flop is AA7. Blind checks. I check. Button checks. I feel he's slowplaying AK. Sweet I saved my tournament by calling the floor. Turn is a brick. Check, Check, Check.

River: Miracle queen. Check. I ship my remaining $2100. Button flat calls. Big Blind calls.

My full house beats AK and 1010 (yeah what the f was he thinking). AK (button) goes ballistic to his neighbors saying I screwed him out of the pot by calling floor. He says to me, "You were weak you would have folded." I told him "If you think I was folded Queens preflop you are crazy. I'd rather not put all my chips on a coin flip sir. But, if I had to I would have... with so little left. In fact, my actions were the best possible thing for you. Had your bet stood. I have to call and you'd lose on the river. But here, if you had just bet you'd have dragged a pot." I understand slowlyplaying top trips with a K kicker but I at least bet the turn vs. two people. He steams for a while. Oh well. I hit a two outer and tripled up, shame my stack was only $2500 at the start of it.

Later, I'm getting short and after shipping it to steal the blinds two hands later UTG 8 handed I look at AJ. I don't like shipping it with AJ here but blinds are 300-600. I'm about to be BB. I notice One of the big stacks wasn't in his seat, 7 handed it's not that bad a shove. I push $3200 in. Folds to the big blind who has about $4000. He's commited $600 with the blind. He counts out $3200 leaving him with $800 left (forgetting $600 already in). Gets his nerve up and calls.

I say to myself, that's why you never ship it with AJ, A10 UTG, somebody will wake up with AK, AQ. I'm almost embarrassed to show my hand. I playfully try to peek at his. He shows KQ o/s. I'm stunned I'm a favorite. DaRock fires out a K on the flop and gives me a bit of sweat on the turn with a gutter to go with my Ace draw, but empty.

I leave the casino wonder what people are thinking playing KQ so strongly. AJ other than a small or mid pocket pair is about as good as he can hope for. AK, AQ got him crushed. Otherwise he's coinflipping to protect $600 and basically putting his tournament on the line with KQ o/s. I could have him crushed again with QQ or KK or even AA (though i'll buy somebody thinking I wouldn't shove AA there or maybe KK).

Maybe, I'm bitter. But that's not where I'm making my stand, with KQ o/s against a guy who's only shown premium hands when raising EP since he came to the table.

Speaking of sour grapes, I also watched another kid call all the way to the river, big bets, with only overcards and hit every time. He did it to me once with KQ which he raised in early position with. I got 98 clubs suited on the button. But, position, blinds and antes justify they call. I think he's got a big hand but let's see a flop. Two clubs Jack high. Check, Check. Turn is 9 spades, now two spades too. I bet fairly big. He calls. River is a King ball. He checks. I've seen this movie. I check and he shows KQ. I gave him too much credit thinking AK, after his flop check, but either way I knew where I was in the hand. I wonder if guys like that ever know "where they are" in the hand. Kid to my left who I battled in the blinds said this was going on all morning before I got to the table. Oh well.

Going to Boomtown now. If I thought I saw silly this morning I'm about to find out what silly really is.


Reid said…
Bill, first things first. When some random idiot starts talking sh*t to you about winning a pot b/c he allowed you to get there.... just think WWSBD. What Would SuperBill Do? And I think the answer would be to add insult to injury (or would it be injury to insult) by backhanding him in plain sight of the table. Right? This def seems like a SuperBill move.

As for the BvB hand, here's my opinion. This might be long. And it all assumes that both stacks are deep enough for playing all 3 streets fully. First, I hate the limp from the SB. If you want to play a flop with your hand, then just raise it! The pot is unopened and both of you are deep. Who cares if he thinks you're stealing? See what he does about it. It's much easier (and cheaper) to fold to a PF 3bet than to get involved in a potentially bloated pot OOP when you hope your opponent is savvy enough to see what you're representing. And if he is indeed savvy enough to see what you're representing, then he probably understands that you may simply be representing (and not holding) and react accordingly. This makes your task even more difficult!

Also what Kx are you limping with? I like sometimes limping AK/KQ here just for variety and deception as these hands are much stronger than a random BB hand. But normally are you raising AK through maybe K9? But limping smaller K's? I think you are better off raising the weak Kx's PF in an effort to win his blind, right? Any suited K is probably worthy of a raise too in this situation. I guess what I'm getting at is that there are more raise-worthy Kx combos here than limp-worthy Kx combos. I know people do limp K-rag here, but that just seems really, really terrible to me. Like, why would you limp K4? It's trash, it doesn't flop well and you're OOP. I think a good player would be more likely to have raised with it PF to try and win the blinds. And this dude certainly sees you as a good player. So I think it's hard for him to put you on K-rag or something stronger like KJ.

As for the 3 streets, if I'm in that guy's seat, I'm basically confused when you check-call, check, bet. Like he said, it's usually nuts or air (or maybe a 7). If I'm confused, relatively deep, have some sort of hand, and the bet is small-ish (like half pot), then I'm probably calling to see what you are up to.

As for the specifics, the flop check-call indicates strength. I think the turn check is fine (assuming you are planning to check-raise the turn). But he didn't cooperate. On the end, I would probably only be making the small bet if that bet represented like 50% of his remaining stack. That makes it more believable that you want a call - b/c in your mind, you don't think he'd call off his entire stack with 2nd or 3rd pair. But maybe you can get half of it.

Otherwise, I think if you want to win the pot here, you have to nut up and pot that sucker. Or just bet a sizeable percentage of his remaining stack. Put him to the test! And hope like hell he doesn't raise you!! If you trust your read, then him raising is not very likely. If he has 2nd or 3rd pair, he still may not believe you but he also may not be willing to call a big bet either.

On a good note, at least you went for it! And your read was right. That's really the key.

See you next week.
C.S. said…
Thanks Reid. Good advice.

Especially raising the blind. I read, Ted Forrest maybe, saying he rarely raises from the blind or the button because nobody buys it anymore... but that's against better players than these donkaments. These guys don't recognize position raises (or an OOP raise preflop because you are OOP). Even more important Ted Forrest's style is about as opposite of mine as you get. So why do I abide by that. At some point, I decided I can outplay guys after the flop and yet I find myself betting too small and getting called by a 7.

SB raise in an open pot, used to be standard play for me, now that I think about it. Too many times recently I've tried to see a cheap flop OOP for no good reason. I end up losing money on a pot I probably could have just stolen.

Good point about King rag, too. Makes his play make a little more sense.

Hmmm WWSBD? Definitely need more of him in my game.
Southpawrounder said…
I agree w/ Reid postflop; I am just not as crazy about raising preflop as often. I tend to limp more in that situation just to keep the pot small. I also would be very curious of your river bet after checking previous streets. The big blind imo will bet the flop almost all the time if you check in front of him. Usually, when you call this signifies that you have something and we already established he could be betting w/ absolutely nothing. If I call here I will lead on turn into almost all the time and more often than not he would have to fold. I think the reason is this: if he is weak he knows that he will likely have to call a bet on the river as well as the turn bet he is facing to see if you are in fact strong are not. By waiting until the river to make your bet there is nothing else for him to fear except that single bet. That is just my opinion. I personally would never wait that long tot bet a king. First off if you did have a king and you bet the flop would he give you credit for betting it out? Probablly not and he may call w/ the 7. If you bet the turn though he might start to become a believer. By the river he would have to have a good read on you to continue to just call off bets w/ a 7 and no kicker. And one thing about raising preflop. Not sure if the antes had kicked in yet? I definitely am in favor of raising much more once they kick in and limping when they haven't. Just my 2 cents worth.

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