Wednesday continued...

In the cash game I took my $220 buy-in to $500 quickly. Got bluffed off a hand (not the last time it would happen on wednesday) to a guy I played with in the tournament. The few hands I saw him play there he bet big only when he made his hand, so I chose caution. I showed my terrible laydown and he showed my a gutter ball draw he shoved on the turn with. Then the very next hand I flopped a king high flush. Bet it twice with two callers each time. River brought a heart, and I couldn't fold (still sort of steaming from the bluff) to an 80 bet. Even though I knew I was beat. I don't just get bluffed the hand before I might be able to lay second nuts down. The guy had the HAND, it was like he it was written in neon on his head.

Then in short order I took my chips up to $900. The big hand to get there I luckboxed a win. With AQ, I flop trip queens. On the river, after calling two bets from a very good player I hit my ace. He checked. I bet most of his stack, he shoved, I showed AQ and he showed pocket 5s having flopped the boat. He had $8 more than me but gifted it to the casino because he was out the door when he saw I rivered him. I feel his pain. The ace doesn't come I don't know if I check behind.

Shortly thereafter, I requested twice to get the Champions League game on TV and it was like I was asking for them to change the name of to the casino. Nobody was watching ESPNews rehash the draft results of the Raiders for the 4 billionth time. Davey and Eddie quickly petitioned the casino to not change the channel because it was soccer. By the time Ronald came over to oblige me the game was about over. As I would have predicted Man U was up 1-0. I think I should be a soccer prognosticator, either I'm running on dumb luck and an uptick in variance or I can predict those games far better than American Sports. Maybe next year my lock of the week sports betting picks will be for EPL and Champions League games. Somebody should profit off my skills.

Later the big hand of the day, which reinforced a lesson I'm slow to learn. As Alex T told me, i just value money too much. A lot of truth in that, as I did something similar when he chopped a tournament (or cashed) at the IP and I was playing cash as I did today. Odd, the situations were very similar.

Davey and I were talking about grabbing dinner, but there was one incredibly weak player who had luckboxed his way into a big stack. We each had a ton of money and were looking to get involved in a big hand with the guy when he'd make a mistake. Only one or two eye exhanges told us we were on the same page he was our target. Most of his weakness was calling any bet with any draw to the river and then hitting it (hence the chips). He'd also call with no draw and river a pair for a win. Yeah, he was a big target.

I thought I had him one time when my open-ended straight draw turned into a pair of 10s on the river (top pair). I checked, he led out with a big bet. I contemplated re-raising him. Then decided it was flat or fold. I put him in cooker for a little bit, trying to get something for later. He seemed at ease. I called. He showed bottome pair (5s) that became two pair with his 10 on the river. His 10-5 (two pair). Beat my 10-4 (one pair). But now, I thought I had a read on him. BTW, I started the hand in the blinds, 10-4 isn't in my wheelhouse very often. And did you see where I said, I thought I got a read on him. Shouldn't be missed because...

Umm... no.

Here's the hand I trapped myself in. To start I made a play that was risky, but I was using my stack a little bit and it almost worked out. I believe the target straddled, everybody called, one short stack in early positon I could tell was considering raising but didn't it got to me in the hi-jack. I look at pocket 10s. I'm about to raise and I see a short stack in the small blind fiddling with his stack. Alright, I'll flat, let him shove maybe get some callers and then pound it with my 10s to isolate with probably the best hand.

Now, I don't remember who made it 15 more. It might have been the short stack or the target. I'm fairly sure it was the short-stack. The other short stack mulled again and flatted. Oh well, I think the shorties are now pot committed. Everybody calls. It gets to me and I make it 100 on top. I think I have the best hand and I'll isolate the two little stacks. That was the plan.

First short stack with about 50 or 60 something calls all in. Nice.

Then the target (who wasn't the target in this hand) says something I didn't pay enough attention to later, "I'll gamble." He throws out the $100. That wasn't in the plan. But alright, I'll play a big hand with him. Bonus.

The other short-stack has about 75 of it and shoves.

Flop comes Q98. I got second pair and a straight draw. Target leads out for $100. To his credit, he let out a little smile like he hit his hand, maybe knowing I was studying him. It appeared incidental but I wasn't sure. It was a little more obvious than an micro-expression but it was close to one (micro-expression being something FBI lie detectors look for where an initial reaction is incredibly brief but honest--even skilled liars and actors emit micro-expressions but they are tough to catch). Again, the fact it was just a little bit too obvious made me doubt the
reliabilty of it. But good play for him, because it got me thinking. I wish he kept the smile a little longer and I would have thought STRONG MEANS WEAK, but it was short enough to make me doubt.

So, I call the $100. Basically, I either have the best hand or I may let go on the turn depending on the action... but I wasn't leaving this pot for $100. The turn is a jack. My gutterball hit.

He surprises me by checking... I was ready to shove over the top. I bet out $175 (as I discussed with Parfait a bad bet size there). In the moment, I felt like I wanted him to push on me, but as they say "Don't let others bet your hand." He calls. Hmmm.

River is another jack. He contemplates than shoves. Argh. I almost just say call but it's another ~$350 and decide to take my time. I'm a big believer in playing through the hand and being sure (probably a mistake here). I say "I don't think i'm good enough to lay this down." No reaction from him. I say, "If I had shoved on the turn would you call." Can't recall what he said, but Davey confirmed the guy said he would have called anything on the turn. Hmmm. Strong means weak.

How could I be beat here? Pocket queens. No way he plays them that soft. QJ? Aiee. That fits the fact pattern. So does J9 or J10. Maybe K10 or Q10 but not really, I got two of the 10s too. I ask if he has pocket 9s. He says "I have better." STRONG MEANS WEAK! Somehow my alledged people reading skills whiff on that one. As Davey points out sets need to protect their hands and he might shove the turn. I agree but I don't always credit bad players for making the correct play earlier in the hand, but most of the time that's exactly right with the board getting scary.

I ask the dealer if I can show him a card. I turn over one of my tens. I GET NOTHING. Actually, he faces me the exact same way when I put him in the tank earlier and put into the vault. Almost identical. Plus, this call station rarely bet out except when he had a hand. I kept getting the feeling I should call, but I was all over the place on where I was in the hand. I stew and study him and get nothing...

Here in my self-reflection, and considering how badly I played this hand (and I'm almost embarrassed to post this for fear of ridicule), the simple answer is the pot dictates a call. I'm getting almost 4 to 1 on my money. Call. I just have to be right 1 time out of three in this situation and I profit long run. The rest of the reads and all the little things I look for in live poker don't apply so much here. Sorry for wasting your time with the last four paragraphs. Plus, it wasn't overwhelming one way or the other.

Recently, I went through a run where a paired board on the river beat me in 5 or 6 hands running and I called because I knew I was supposed to call. It made me gunshy (a terrible place to be in poker). That was running through my head. Like a weak-passive player I talk myself into believe he's got the better hand.

Then I do a terrible thing. I look at my stack in front of me. I got my buy-in for the tournament, my initial buy-in for the game, and a profit. If I fold I still am winning on the day. Why that's relevant for any reason but me being an farking kittycat I don't know. Even more relevant is I still got the guy covered and will have enough left over that I don't have to make a full rebuy. I was wiling to lose two buy-ins on the day... so why not call.

Yes, I'm Hamlet, even worse a vacillating kitty cat, who looked for excuses to fold and I found plenty of them. I can rationalize them all i wanted but I ignored what was directly in front of me. No way, i should get away from that hand.

Yes, I folded.

He showed K9 for a pair of 9s. AQ was flipped the second short stack. Who I'm stunned didn't premept me with a shove preflop took the main pot. Target obviously raked the much bigger side pot.

I got up steamed. Walked around for a bit. Came back to the table and cashed out with a profit on the day. Some people were nice enough to encourage me to focus on a winning session and I appreciate that. That's probably what I needed to hear yesterday. But a day out, I need to learn from my mistake. I think a call on the river, and more importantly a bigger bet on the turn (marrying me even more to the hand), were better plays.

Not only that, you can go through my fact pattern, and I included a lot of things in there, some I didn't even point out, that dictate a call with maybe even a lesser hand.

Being a "read" player is good for making medium size hero calls, or playing a short stack, but I have to be willing to make BIG calls as a read player--if I am one. In the absence of being certain... I need to just rely on math dictated decisions. Go back to what Alex T, I value money too much. Some truth to that in this decision.

There was information there dictating a call. I chose to focus on the pattern that suggested a fold. The guy had a good poker face, Davey was next to him and might have caught things I missed as I stared at the table and replayed all the bets and hands, but when my eyes were on him he played it well. Still, there was not enough to throw it away.

Anyway, lesson learned. Every day is a new day. Yesterday was a profit, back to the office later today I'll make another one. I won't chase the massive pot I whiffed on.

But next time, I'm in that situation the chips are going in. I don't thinking I'm being results oriented about the decision either. Sure, I could have pointed to all the little things that I "read" on the guy and beat myself up for calling if he had me beat. But, I think a call is the right play there win or lose.

Not to say, I won't get bluffed again or desert my reads in big decisions, but this was a case of mixed information. Therefore call.

Man.... I just reread this, what a whiny kittycat. My apologies to anybody that made it through my mundane self psycho-analysis.

Good luck everybody.


Southpawrounder said…
Ok, Where do I start about this hand that almost made me throw up at the table, so I know how it made you feel!
First off there is one thing you did earlier in the session that could have led to his bluff that I think is a terrible idea, but I'll get to that in a second.
The thing I said about protecting if he had a set: I think most novist type players will usually shove there stack on the turn b/c they are scared of every type of draw imaginable just like the moron that says he doesn't want aces b/c he never wins with him so he just shoves when the flop comes. He doesn't realize he will only get called if he's beat. (this guy fit that category for sure). If I were him I may have checkraised you all in on the turn with a set, but I doubt I would have just open shoved the turn. Maybe I'm wrong, but I want to try to get as much value as possible. If I get outdrawn then I just have to get over it and move on.
Secondly, the guys answer to the "would you call if I shoved the turn" was " I am not going anywhere" as he motioned toward the huge pot. That was the tell tale sign for me right there that there is no way that he would give up on that pot if he had anything and he was willing to gamble if that is the only way he thought he could win it and he has definitely displayed the willingness to gamble. This leads me to my 3rd point.
Your folding of ACES face up when you were bluffed an hour before.
This is precisely the reason I hate showing this laydown face up. I do not want people thinking they can run me over and bluff me off of hands. I personally love when I see people make these laydowns b/c I will hammer then for it later. This game is hard enough to make decisions; I dont need the added problem of people thinking I am the one they can bluff. That is just my 2 cents about that for what it is worth.
As for the rest of the stuff; you know your bet size was to small on the turn...if you bet 250 ish there is no way you can fold the turn no matter what he does, and the whole looking at your profit is terrible and you know that as well. Remember it is all just one long session that pauses from time to time!
Another thing why does no one ever call anymore? Everyone just flats now. I hate that!
Just chalk it up and move on.

As for my comments on the hand with Gene. I do have a few, but I would prefer to hear what he has to say first. I think that is only fair considering I had postion on the hand so I should have it for the comments as well!
C.S. said…
Appreciate the feedback. Very helpful.

Valid point about folding face up. I don't remember folding aces (am I forgetting a hand?) but I did fold a big hand when I was bluffed... that I led the post with.

You are right it invites bluffs and that might outweigh any value I get from the majority of the time the opponent shows his hand.

I used to play tight enough I didn't mind people making plays at me because it created my big pots. For a while, the big overbet bluff by my opponent was a big moneymaker for me. They'd always be surprised when I'd call. It's kind of making money in reverse... but it's harder then the conventional way.

Course if I talk myself out of calling in those situation that's clearly a bad strategy to employ.

The thing that sucked is we were just waiting for that guy to make a mistake with his stack. Then he did and I didn't capitalize.

Talking to Joe Beuche last night about a similar strategy he has going after the little stacks made me realize I was a bit thrown by the TARGET getting involved. My 10s were good enough to isolate and try and win all that free straddle money and desperate short stacks, but not what I'd want to start off playing a big pot with the guy.

Except that's where it was heading. Turns out 10s were just fine against that moron but I definitely was thrown off kilter when he got involved. I had a plan to gamble with pretty good odds against two short opponents and suddenly that changed.
Southpawrounder said…
My bad when I read that I thought the big hand was Aces that you folded face up, but it is really the same thing I suppose.
I agree we were both waiting for him to blow up and it sucked, but I also thought it really sucked b/c if you wouldn't have come out of your shell w/ that reraise then I would have been in there w/ A10 and we would have priced eachother in and we would have chopped up his money equally!
Reid said…
Bill - why not just shove over him on the flop? I'm not sure exactly what the stacks were, but a flop shove seems like the best play against the player you described. And it seems like the stacks set up perfectly if the Target was like $500-$600 deep.

You have the best hand most of the time, you have a redraw, and you have loads of fold equity against him, which will generally reward you with his dead money in the middle + it will now allow you to iso the short stack.

Just a thought.

Also, think about this. If you just call the flop and the turn bricks with an offsuit 3 or something, what are you going to do if he leads into you for $200ish?

If your answer is to shove, then you should just be shoving the flop for obvious reasons - not allowing him to take control of the pot like he did; not allowing him to outdraw you; and maximizing your fold equity in the hand.

Popular posts from this blog

Million Dollar Heater, CryptoCurrency, Weight Loss Bets

Bullet Points and a Crazy Hand. What would you do?

Discovery Channel Poker Pilot in New Orleans