Thursday, May 7, 2015

Play Along With Rob—The Outcome

This is the follow-up to my previous post (see here) wherein I will tell you what happened with the hand I posted there.  You must absolutely read that post first before reading this one.  And, you really should read all the comments you good folks left there too, before proceeding.

I got a lot of great comments and I want to thank you all for your input.  Because I didn’t want to give anything away, I didn’t respond to the comments individually like I usually do.  But I do thank all of you who took the time to give me feedback.

Those comments were almost unanimous in telling me the right move was to fold.  Now, since I’ve always considered myself a nit, you all must be wondering why I would post a hand like that and ask for feedback.  Surely I folded.  I bet you might have thought I folded, only to see my flush hit, and this I was posting the hand to kvetch about this monster pot I should have won.

In fact, Lightning even suggested that in his comment, although he added the kicker that someone boated on the river and I would have lost anyway.

But it turns out, I guess I can no longer consider myself a nit. 

Just a donkey.

I thought long and hard.  I couldn’t see just calling.  The guy behind me could easily re-raise anyway, and I sure didn’t like the idea of putting $116 in the pot only to fold to a re-raise.  Besides, if I did call, and it wasn’t re-raised, what would happen if my flush hit?  Maybe the others would be reluctant to put more chips in the pot with a third club on the board.

I tried to do some quick calculations if we got it all-in right then.  The rule of two and four gave me 36% equity, roughly. And if everyone called, that would be sufficient.  But that doesn’t take into account redraws.  I figured I was up against a set—or two—and/or maybe two pair.  So yes, I could hit my flush and still lose. Maybe I was up against a smaller flush draw, that would be nice.  Except in that case it meant that two of my outs were not available, reducing my chances of hitting the flush and no longer making the play priced right.

And there was no guarantee everyone would call. Of course, if everyone folded to a shove, that would be just fine, I’d gladly take the pot as is.  But that was a long-shot.  OTOH, maybe just the player who would have beaten me would fold (also unlikely).

Then I started having flashbacks to previous hands.  The truth is, in similar situations, making a big bet or a big raise with just a draw has never worked out for me, I never hit the draw, at least as far as I can remember.  I’m talking about cash games; it has worked when I’m desperate in tournaments.

And then for a second I recalled a big pot I was a part of some time ago, when someone was in a similar situation that I was here.  That story is here, but briefly, I flopped Broadway, and a guy with a small flush draw raised huge, another guy called, we got it all in preflop.  And of course the guy with the baby flush draw hit it on the river and I lost a huge three-way pot.  It was an $800+ pot and it is the biggest pot I was ever a part of.

Until now.

So after all that tanking, I swear I was just about to fold when I suddenly heard myself say, “all-in.” 

Left wasted very little time, announcing “all-in.”

Lady took a long, long time.  She had the smallest stack, and I figured that should make it fairly easy for her.  If she won the main pot, she’d be looking at a pure quadruple up, not bad for a stack that was under $150.  Of course, I didn’t know what her hand was.  If she had a flush draw, for instance, it would surely not be for the nut flush, and it might be easy to think she could catch her flush and still lose.

She asked for time, apologized for taking so long, asked for more time—no one called clock on her—apologized again…..and finally called.

Right, the guy who had made it $116 took a little bit of time.  He shook his head, groaned, sighed….and finally said, “All right.  All-in.”  Then, before the dealer could put out the turn card, he added, “I have to dodge a lot of bullets.”

None of us showed our hands.  So I just prayed for a club, and instead I saw a red card hit the board.  Worse, it was Ace, pairing the board.  I kind of felt I was dead at that point—surely someone had a set that had just boated up—but no one reacted.  Usually in that situation, even if the person who caught the boat doesn’t show, he or she gives off some tell that he or she really, really liked the card.

So I thought maybe it still mattered if a club hit the river.  But no, it was another red card, a low to medium one, I can’t remember, and all I had was King-high.  I was reasonably certain that wasn’t any good.

I didn’t flip my hand over, the other three did.  Left had pocket 5’s, so yes, that Ace on the turn gave him a full house.  Lady turned over pocket 4’s, so she had a gutshot to the wheel.  Well, that explains why she didn’t snap-call.

And then there was Left, who had the best hand on the flop.  Yes folks, he was playing the Grump, the mighty deuce-four, aka, the most powerful hand in poker.  He flopped the wheel, but it didn’t hold up.  The boat crushed him.  I ask you, how could deuce-four fail like that?

But it did.  Didn’t matter to me though, I didn’t care who I lost to, I just cared that I lost.

Left took the entire pot with his boat.  It was indeed a huge pot…..over $1,000.  I’ll bet he enjoyed every minute of stacking those chips!  I really wasn’t bothered that much by losing the $300.  But I couldn’t stop thinking of the $1,000 I could have won there.  So it was now definitely the biggest pot in a cash game I’d ever been a part of.

Here’s the thing, as the day progressed, I started thinking that, as unhappy as I was about losing that hand, I believed I would have felt worse if I had folded and it turned out my hand would hit and won that big pot.  To me, that would have been worse than losing the $300.

And that kind of scares me.

And that's why I posted the hand and encouraged comments.  I was more upset about missing out on the pot than I was about making the bad play.  So, as I suspected, I would get hammered in the comments for my play there, and I am hoping that all the feedback I got telling me what a bad play I made will help me in the future in similar situations.  

So thanks for helping me with those comments.  And of course, you are more than welcomed to comment back on this thread and let me know what a donkey I am.  Let me have it.

Anyway, as I suggested I would last time, I did indeed re-buy for another $300 and carried on.  The game I was originally at, where the $1K pot happened, actually broke and I moved to another table.  I only want to discuss one other hand from this day, because I got an interesting criticism of my play.
I had King-Queen of diamonds and raised to $12; there were two callers.  The guy on my immediate left was straddling my big blind and a bit of aggro.  The flop came Jack-10-2, rainbow.  I c-bet $20, the guy next to me called, the other guy folded.

An Ace hit the turn, giving me Broadway on a board where no flush was possible.  I had started the hand a little bit under $300, I bet $55.  My opponent thought for quite a bit, but then called. 

A damn King hit the river.  I still had the nuts, but now a measly Queen would chop the pot with me.  I shrugged and moved all-in.  Not sure why I didn’t bet less, I think I knew instinctively it didn’t matter.  He snapped called, I flipped my hand and said, “You have a Queen?”

Yep?  He turned over the evil hand, as Coach calls it, Queen-10.  Offsuit.  Yes, I got counterfeited.

But another player, never in the hand, piped up.  He said, “Of course he has a Queen. He’s not calling if he doesn’t have a Queen.  If you shove on the turn, he folds.”  The guy with Q-10 agreed.  “True, I don’t call there.”  Well yes, that’s true.  Duh.

But did I make a bad play?  I don’t think so, do you?  Yeah, I could have bet a lot bigger and gotten a fold on the turn.  Probably less than a shove (this guy had me covered).  But I gave him bad odds to call with his gutshot (and still bad even if he thought he had outs with the Queen or the 10), and he called.  Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work?  You give someone bad odds to call, but you want them to call—for value.  Sometimes they make a bad call and they catch their card.  In his case, he had four outs to chop the pot.  He had no shot of winning it outright.  And so if he knew what I had, he didn’t just make a bad call, he made a horrible one.

But this guy thought I made a bad play by not shoving the turn?

I didn’t say anything, I certainly wasn’t about to explain poker to this guy (who seemed like an experienced player).  I just found it odd.  And a bit annoying.  But the real annoying part was chopping the pot I should have won. 

Anyway, a few observations about my second visit to Player’s Casino.  Angerisagift  will be happy to learn that I checked, and they do have Mountain Dew!  But not diet MD, or any other variation.  They also have Diet Dr. Pepper, which surprised me and which I’ll have to remember to ask for next time.  They even have Orange Crush.

The other thing was, they were a lot less busy than the Saturday before.  Much more parking, few tables going when I got there, more tables not in use.  They opened a third 2/3 game just as our game was starting to lose players, so we ended up being short-handed for awhile, and as I noted, our game eventually broke.  When three of us wanted to continue, we all went to the same table and there was still one empty seat.  So that was a big difference from last week. And I had gotten there about the same time as the week before.

Not sure how to explain the difference.  The weather was a lot nicer this time, did people want to do outdoorsy things instead of staying inside playing poker?  The other thought I had was that this was the Saturday of the big fight up in Vegas, plus the Kentucky Derby, so maybe some of the regs were up in Vegas for that?

Oh and one more thing. I did learn that they do allow the normal, Vegas-style, chopping of the blinds.  No house fee taken out like at the Bike.  I chopped the blinds twice myself.  One time I had pocket Jacks, exposed them and said, “I didn’t want to play these anyway.”

Anyway, I ended up losing a bit over $300.  Could never get any traction after the big miss.  But I still really like the room, and for sure I will be there again in the not too distant future.   

28 comments:

  1. "And then there was Left, who had the best hand on the flop. Yes folks, he was playing the Grump, the mighty deuce-four, aka, the most powerful hand in poker. He flopped the wheel, but it didn’t hold up. The boat crushed him."

    I've always suspected that you lie a lot in these little stories of yours. Now I KNOW it.

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    1. I know, I know....but it's true Grump. Even the mighty deuce-four can't win 'em all.

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  2. I'm certainly not gonna call you a donkey Rob. Like I said before, I probably would have gone ahead and shoved as well. Like you said, missing a big pot by folding can oftentimes feel even worse than staying in and losing a big pot.

    And, I appreciate that you share great stories about both when you win *and* lose. Too many poker bloggers IMHO have turned their sites into giant brag boards. I learn much more from people who are willing to tell me what they did wrong, rather than gloat about how they always do everything right. Thanks. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Steve. I actually find it helpful to write about hands or sessions where I lost and where I played less than optimally. Just thinking about them enough to put them into words is somewhat educational, and the feedback I get about how I screwed up is really helpful.

      I don't have illusions that I'm a great poker player, so no reason not to be honest.

      Poker is tough.

      Delete
  3. on the nut flush hand....if the $300 doesn't mean more than missing out on a big pot.....then shove away. If you look at poker as a residual source of income...and want to make correct plays leaving emotion out of it.....then you have to fold the hand.

    on the KQ hand....you put in a value bet that got called....there is about $80 in the pot and you bet $55....so he has to call $55 in a $135 pot...with 3 outs (6%) with one pull of the deck....he is getting 2 1/2 to 1 and he is 17 to 1! That my friend is a profitable situation....if you shove the turn you don't get that $55...I think you played it perfectly...unless of course you had a read he would call more with his pair and gutshot

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    1. Thanks, bill, appreciate the feedback.

      I did feel that my play on the KQ was pretty standard so the comment surprised me. I mean, yes, you could shove preflop with Aces everytime to reduce the number of times you get them cracked, but that wouldn't be very profitable.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and I don't think he would have called much more. He tanked for a long time as it was. He clearly wasn't doing the math, so I guess he was looking into the future and trying to convince himself that he was about to get lucky. Still, all that got him was half the pot.

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  4. The KQ hand you played fine. You have the nuts on the turn and you value bet $55. He foolishly calls you and gets lucky on the river.

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    1. Thanks, Nappy. That's what I thought, that's what the math told me, but it was just a strange comment to get, especially since the guy seemed like an experienced player.

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  5. Missing out on a big pot? At the time you went all in, the prospects for the pot reaching $1,000 seemed pretty slim. Is the "missing out on a big pot" a bit of an ex-post rationalization?

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    1. Absolutely and I thought I made that clear. It was seeing the guy to my left stacking all those chips, and counting them past $1K, that had me thinking, "Why couldn't that have been me?"

      I never brought up the subject but....did he make a bad call? If he knew there was a made straight already, did he have the right odds to draw for his boat?

      I never had a claim on that pot, it's true. But you know, on the turn he had 7 outs to beat that straight and I had 9. Of course, if he hadn't filled up on the turn, he would have had 10 outs on the river.

      Delete
  6. The KQ hand- I like your sizing on flop and turn but I'm not a fan of the river shove. What are you trying to accomplish by shoving River? The only hand that calls is a queen for a chop. You're much better off betting $50 on the river and hoping he calls you with two pair or something like that. You got unlucky but don't miss out on a spot to pick up value in case he doesn't have a queen.
    -Benton

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    1. Thanks Benton, appreciate your input.

      I said in the post I dunno why I bet so big, I think it was just frustration from seeing that I was likely counterfeited and I was sure it was gonna be a chop anyway.

      That said, I feel that in most cases, I tend to bet too little, not too much when I have the stone cold nuts. I never get it right.

      However, my shove was just a little bit over the size of the pot, so I don't think it was that absurd.

      Delete
  7. Sucks that the evil hand works both ways... I have no problem with the way you played the hand. You want the 4-outer to call on the turn with only the river to come. Lots of people bluff the river with shoves, so I don't mind that either. Glad you found another poker option in your area...

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    1. Thanks, Coach. I've seen that bluff-shove tried myself, but I wasn't really thinking of that, it was just a reflex thing.

      Delete
  8. one comment on the K-Q, hand to many times it has been my experience that many players are scared to let someone draw. If you are giving him inappropriate odds to draw let him. If he hits his hand so be it. Other wise you are missing value. I think the play was standard except for the river over shove. What did you think would call you other than the queen. Perhaps a bet of 110 might have gotten 2 pair to call.

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    1. Thanks, Anony. As I said in my response above, it wasn't really a thought out play, I guess I was just upset about the fourth straight card.

      Maybe that's why the guy said I should have shoved the turn? Because I shoved the river instead.

      Delete
  9. D+++ no BOOBIES!!!!!!!!!!!! but u get a + for telling me they have Mtn Dew

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    1. yeah....I'm thinking I may be overdoing the boobies, there were three pics last time so I figured I'd take a break. People may be getting tired of them.

      Boobies return next time, however.

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    2. "ppl may be getting tired of them " WTF???????? Heresy!!!! name names ,sir

      Delete
  10. Well you mentioned "donkey" but "action player" sounds so much better!

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    1. I like that!

      But I'm so unused to being an "action player" that it feels like being a donkey to me! :)

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    2. Normally I start off asking myself: "Is this a hand I want to go to war on?"

      Somewhere between 8 and 9 times out of ten the answer is YES...

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  11. IMO,the move was really uncharacteristic of your play, which may or not be a bad thing, as it's good to mix it up a little. But in the long term, this was too much gamble.
    GL, see you at Colossus!
    Big L

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    1. Thanks, Big L. I guess the days of me being a full-time nit are over. See you soon.

      Delete
  12. First hand was waaaaaay too much gamble for me but I've played with plenty of guys and some gals that push all in with that hand and draw. It all depends on your tolerance for variance and how much gamble you got in you. The second hand outside of the push on the river I see no problem with your play. The only way he calls that turn is if he doesn't believe you can beat a pair of 10s. He's certainly not getting the odds to draw for the gutshot. Which means to me he probably calls a bigger value bet on the river if a low card hits the board. He may even reraise the river if another 10 hits.

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    1. Thanks, Neo. In retrospect, I'm kind of shocked myself I risked the $300 that way....I just hope next time I have that much guts, it's a better spot!

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