Sunday, October 30, 2005

Champ or Chump

Two interesting hands from the PokerStars $50 Pot Limit Omaha tables. One where I knew exactly what I was doing; one where I was absolutely tied in knots.

Hand one is pretty simple, and a great example of how playing it fast can work well.

Hand two needs the full hand history, as my own words would simply fail me.

The first hand was uneventful pre-flop. I'm in the blinds with Axxx suited in clubs and there are five or six limpers. A typical Stars field.

The flop comes all clubs, with no straight flush possibility. I have the nuts, but am first to speak into a big field. What to do?

Some players in this situation make a min bet into the field to try to pick up several callers. Some players will check and try to induce a bet from a smaller flush, or a bluffer.

I don't like either option. Option 1 doesn't get much extra cash in the pot and flags up what I'm holding. Both options give anyone with a set or two pair the chance to fill up, as there is fair chance it will be checked around if I don't bet.

I decide to bet the pot. Making it look like a steal, and charging a full price for anyone who wants to draw.

Fold...fold...fold...not looking good...fold...reraised the maximum!

Fantastic. Suddenly a $3.50 pot has hit about $20 and I can now reraise all-in as I have a little more on the table than my original buy-in.

The reraiser calls and shows a K high flush with no redraws, and I'm in the money with a double through. Very satisfying.

Now for hand 2. First the history, then the discussion.

PokerStars Pot-Limit Omaha High, $0.50 BB (9 handed) hand converter

Hero ($44.35)
CO ($32.80)
Button ($13.75)
SB ($48)
BB (Foe 1) ($38.75)
UTG ($23.60)
UTG+1 (Foe 2) ($33.85)
MP1 ($51.75)
MP2 ($33.60)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with Qd, 9c, 8c, Kc.
1 fold, UTG+1 (Foe 2) calls $0.50, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.50, CO calls $0.50, Button calls $0.50, 1 fold, BB (Foe 1) checks.

Flop: ($2.75) 6s, Jc, As (5 players)
Foe 1 checks, Foe 2 checks, Hero checks, CO checks, Button checks.

Turn: ($2.75) Tc (5 players)
Foe 1 checks, Foe 2 checks, Hero bets $2.65, CO folds, Button folds, Foe 1 calls $2.65, Foe 2 calls $2.65.

River: ($10.70) 7s (3 players)
Foe 1 checks, Foe 2 bets $2, Hero folds, Foe 1 raises to $7, Foe 2 calls $5.

Show Down:
Foe 1: shows [5c 6h 9s 8h] (a straight, Seven to Jack)
Foe 2: shows [9d 2d 6d 8s] (a straight, Seven to Jack)
Foe 1 collected $11.75 from pot
Foe 2 collected $11.75 from pot

Final Pot: $24.70

Where to begin? I folded the best hand to two people who both drew to a lower straight on a flushing board!

Pre-flop I've got half a hand and average position. Worth seeing a cheap flop.

On the flop I'm ready to fold to any bet. The only card that can meaningfully improve me is a ten, and it can't be a ten of spades.

I get a free card and hit one of the three magic tens. The nut straight. Perfect, but with spade and club draws out there I'm not home yet. Of course I now have a draw to a King high club flush, so I'm in a good position.

With two callers to my obvious made nut straight, I can only assume they are both flushing. So, I'm hating that spade on the river. It didn't even occur to me that being a seven was significant.

I reluctantly fold to the Foe 2 bet, and am happy with my decision when Foe 1 makes a small check raise. Obviously the nut flush.

Except, of course, it wasn't. They both drew to make a smaller straight with two flush draws out there.

When the straight/flush card came on the river, Foe 1 thought a check raise was the best move.

Am I being harsh in thinking these guys are both complete mongs?

My analysis is pretty simplistic, but having closely observed their play over several more orbits of the table, I don't think either was trying anything so sophisticated as representing a different hand to that which they held.

Foe 2 in particular was a total clown who just bled chips. If only that had been a red seven, I'd have made a fine profit on this hand.

Many notes were taken.

1 comment:

Drizztdj said...

Hand #1) Love the pot bet, you'll get called by 2nd best and boat chasers (the whole "money-in-with-the-best-of-it")

Hand #2) I think 1/5th of the time (pot odds) you're good here and worth the $2 call, however the check-raise definitely would put me back in the tank... not sure if I'd call that.