Tuesday, August 19, 2008

High Variance Session

Yesterday's session was absolutely nuts. There are no other words to describe it, and I definitely did not play optimal. It was a session which gave me a lot of food for thought. So much, I decided not to play today but go through the hands.

So first of all, let's skip towards the end of the session on one of my tables where someone tried to own me by using the BluffCall strategy.

$1/$2 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at weaktight.com

UTG ($70.15)
UTG+1 ($200.00)
CO ($488.95)
BTN ($135.75)
SB ($424.50)
Hero ($921.80)

[UTG+1 posted $2]
Pre-flop: ($5, 6 players) Hero is BB

1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $4, CO calls $4, 2 folds, Hero raises to $21, UTG+1 calls $17, CO calls $17

[UTG+1 posts $2]. Let's stop here. What does this mean? Fireworks!

Someone posted his blind out of position after the previous fish busted. This is an incredibly fun situation normally since it will generally lead to the regulars going absolutely insane with isolation raises, resteals, re-resteals and 5bet shoves with 69s. So after seeing I hold the nuts preflop the regulars decide to disappoint me and absolutely fail at creating a large pot before the action gets back to me.

So what is the story here from the fish's perspective? He posted $2 out of position without giving any thought to it, and after posting he realizes he wants to protect his $2 with any two cards. He obviously considers his options, which are minraising, open shoving, and checking (there's no open fold button on FTP) and he chooses the first one.

CO is a decent regular and he chooses to just call. Vs fish's range, any two cards will be playable, but him not isolating instead is a bit suspicious to me. The range I put him on is actually quite strong, so more like a pocket pair, decent strong aces and not much else. Perhaps some random low suited connectors between 56s and 78s. I think if he had a random connected crap he would just iso-raise here preflop.

My raise here is obviously standard, though I do not want to let out what the bottom end of my raising range is here. It's close to any-one-card though.

($64, 3 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 bets $64, 1 fold, Hero raises to $256, UTG+1 calls $115

Here I have a dilemma. I flop the nuts vs Fish and I do not care what he has. No matter what he holds here, he posted out of position which is a big mistake, he minraised preflop which is another mistake, and me stacking off with TPTK is not a mistake vs his range. So I am going to own him regardless of the results.

But CO is still in the hand. If I bet here, Fish calls/monkey shoves and CO calls, I am forced to pay his sets of because I have to assume hands like AQ/AJ are actually in his range here. And we're over two buyins deep.

Yet if I check, this hand becomes easier to play. Should I check Fish will see yet another opportunity to protect his $2 which he posted out of position, and will generally lead out with their complete range because my check obviously implies I do not hold an ace. Now if CO raises, I am quite certain he will be doing this with a large part of his range since he should be quite certain Fish is betting out his complete range here, meaning CO's range will be wider than sets and AQ/two pair, so I am more than willing to get it in.

CO folds and I complete the stack-a-donk move here, which Fish tries to counter by making a bluffcall. Its an advanced play from the Fish's arsenal, which is done to show sharks that they cannot be bluffed off no hand to inspire fear into them in future hands.

All in all he put in $198 to protect the $2 he posted out of position...

($499, 2 players)

River: ($499, 2 players)

Final Pot: $422
Hero shows:
UTG+1 shows:

Hero wins $496 ( won +$219 )
UTG+1 lost -$200.00
CO lost -$21.00

But before Fish claims the Stupid Play Of The Day Award, I somehow decide to improve my chances on another table:

$1/$2 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at weaktight.com

UTG ($118.65)
UTG+1 ($244.20)
Hero ($483.95)
BTN ($211.15)
SB ($715.15)
BB ($400.00)

Pre-flop: ($3, 6 players) Hero is CO

1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $7, Hero calls $7, 1 fold, SB raises to $35, 1 fold, UTG+1 folds, Hero calls $28

Here I see some normal-stack dude open up UTG, and I got a suited-crap hand which is not +EV to play vs his stack size, especially not while there's a big-stack behind me who just can't resist squeezing every bloody time I decide to cold-call someone.

Somehow I decide to call here, to trap mr. Big Stack into joining the pot. I know he can't resist squeezing, so my trap succeeds here and he squeezes here as planned so I can call him in-position with suited-crap.

($79, 2 players)
SB bets $55, Hero calls $55

Hitting a pretty good draw here was not part of my plan. I wanted to flop something like a gutshot at best so I could bluffraise and feel good about myself. Yet here I end up IP with a well disguised draw in position vs mr. Big Stack which is the best I could hope for preflop. I mean, put a 5 and a 7 on the flop when I got a 4 and a 6 means the poker gods must be on my side. I cannot raise here though since I do not want to get raised off my draw in this spot. Which was the ony correct play I made during this hand.

($189, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $101, SB calls $101

So after improving to a pair and OESD I hold somewhere about 30% equity vs a real hand villain may have, like an overpair, but my hand also has a decent bit of showdown value. Because we are this deep, I have a few options here. I can bet hoping to fold out worse or hands with 6 outs at best, or I can check behind and hope to hit one of my million outs. I obviously decided to bet here because no other reason besides that I would get a decent price on calling a shove should he do so, and villain's call screams that he holds an overpair.

($391, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero goes all-in $292.95, SB calls $292.95

In this spot I try to think of a single hand in villain's range my 4 can beat, and I can think of none since it's bloody obvious he was pot controlling and inducing with a high pocket pair at this time. Yet I get a somewhat decent price to bluffshove this river, which I decided to do before considering what on earth I could be representing here. I'm representing a set, that's it. Villain should know by now his JJ/AA beats any of the hands I could be betting here other than flopped or turned sets, and I somehow oblige by throwing 1,5 buyins more at him?

Final Pot:
Hero shows:
SB shows:

SB wins $973.90 ( won +$489.95 )
Hero lost -$483.95
UTG+1 lost -$7.00

On the bright side, it seems my stupidity seems contagious, as this hand happened later on the same table vs another player, after I succeeded building up a stack again:

$1/$2 No Limit Holdem
5 players
Converted at weaktight.com

UTG ($164.90)
CO ($556.80)
Hero ($1660.35)
SB ($346.65)
BB ($413.05)

Pre-flop: ($3, 5 players) Hero is BTN

UTG calls $2, 1 fold, Hero raises to $11, SB calls $10, 1 fold, UTG folds

Flop: ($26, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $18, SB raises to $56, Hero calls $38

Villain in question played quite taggy, somewhere around 19/15, but my image was quite loose here. On this flop, there was only 1 hand I was really behind to, which is 66. Other than that, I do not see villain not 3betting TT or QQ vs me, nor calling OOP with QT because he's a nit. So what his flop raise means is that he holds 66, a very strong draw which may be close to a favorite over AA, or hands he turns into a bluff.

Reraising here is absolutely no option because it extracts no value from his worse hands, and getting it in here means I am actually a large underdog to his range, because 66 is a decent part from it and the rest of the hands he willingly puts his stack in will have sick equity vs aces.

($138, 2 players)
SB bets $90, Hero calls $90

A very nice blank (J9 is not part of his range), villain leads out again and at this time I am much more comfortable about my hand. I do not like to mix it up between raising and calling here, because I expect villain to actually be checking some scarecards to me should be hit as I've seen him do before. Again I just call, and am perfectly fine with paying off 66 as long as I make money vs the rest of his range.

($318, 2 players)
SB goes all-in $189.65, Hero calls $189.65

With another blank arriving, the call here is standard I think. Villain did not show 66 and called me a fish for making such bad calls...

Final Pot:
Hero shows:
SB shows:

Hero wins $694.30 ( won +$347.65 )
UTG lost -$2.00
SB lost -$346.65


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