Harrahs analysis

Okay, back to the action. Did well in the Harrahs and wanted to review some things to kind of burn them into my mind.

Noticed a couple of players throwing their bets in a challenging fashion toward their opponent (once it was me) in pots. Strong means weak? No, in both cases strong meant strong. I think the tactic is to antagonize a call.

On one hand, I had kings and pumped in a raise. Big Blind called. Flop brought the A106. Yes, pocket kings do scream for aces. He led out for a 1/4 of the pot firing the chips at me. I stewed and called deciding to see what kind of action the turn brought. All along I thought of that Chad Brown quote it's harder to get mediocre players (me in this situation I guess) off of second pair than it is top pair bad kicker. The turn bricked. He made the same bet and tossed it right at me. I had to think, was he weak and how weak, a weak ace weak... or weaker (that is some weak writing right there). Could he fold top pair?

The rest of the board was non threatening. Did he have a set and was milking me with a monster. What would he call with from the big blind and lead out with on an A106 board. I called the turn because the price was so low, with every intention of folding the river if he bet, if he didn't I might have the best hand. I thought I'd satisfy my curiousity cheaply enough.

River brought a King ball. Oh that changes things. He bet bigger. I raised. He called with two pair. Somebody said they folded a King. The old one outer. Really, even with the discount he was paying me, I think I mangled that hand to my good fortune. The anatagonizing chip toss threw me a little bit. Note to self, in two straight applications it's more of a taunt I got a good hand than acting strong when weak. That tell all depends on the player but I've seen it more for strength than weakness.

More good fortune: on the final table I woke up to aces in the BB when a guy shoved with AJ. The AA held. Earlier, a guy put a too large raise into my BB with two tables left. I looked down at Jacks and had the guy covered but we were both two of the deeper stacks. His bet screamed, to me, a steal or a middle pair (which is actually a steal in itself really) but not a hand he wanted action on. I shipped it and put him to the test. He folded, he was a good player so he might have had a couple of overs but thought my range was super limited in that situation. 10s or 9s are possible candidates too.

Let's see, I got into a battle of the blinds with a dude that pre-emptively ruled out chops because he's won too many of the wednesday things. He min-raised from the small blind. I had 4c3c. For some reason, I almost pitched without thinking and said to myself, whoa I'm getting a great price for a hand that has a ton of potential. I said out loud almost as much. Flop came out 9x5c2c. He bet. I shoved on him. He snapped called. Turn was the 7c. He held Q9 o/s. Not sure I get the snap call with that. He told me he put me on a draw. Yeah. But I could just as easily have two pair. I can see the call, but not a Phil Hellmuth style one.

It was a good lesson for me, though. Our stacks were both big. Probably had the depth not to shove but people sometimes lose themselves in the late stages of the tournament. He had decided his top pair was good and gave me 50k in chips because I shoved on his raise.

I miss a lot of value I think by not river-betting or betting enough in situations like that. Granted I shoved as a semi-bluff. I had a ton of outs and would either take the pot there or put my fate to the whim of a card if called. But let's say in a similar hand the small blind bets into me and I am holding two pair, there is some value to push at that point before any scare cards kill my action and if the SB believes his hand is genuinely strong. Also, if he's putting my on a draw I could have him crushed.

A couple of other lessons I learned recently and applied helped my positional raises a bit. I listened to Joe Seebok talk about how Barry Greenstein values suited hands. Two off the button, on an unopened pot, your suited K is probably good and deserves to be bet. One off the button and the button a suited Q is also good. Bet it like it's the best hand because most times it is.

Still have to work on my river bet strategy. I notice that in position when it's checked to me, too many times I check behind content with the size of the pot, but usually it's checked to me because the guy is weak. I let value bets go by. Have to improve that leak.


Darrell said…
bill, my blog won't post. check it for me. i wrote one yesterday.

C.S. said…
It posted.

I'll get it up on GCP when I get a second. Good to see you back in the mix.

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