Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Play Along with Rob—What Would You Do in This Spot?

I returned to Player’s Casino (see here) this past weekend for my second session there.  And there was a hand—a situation—that I can’t get out of my mind.  So rather than just present it as a done deal and tell you exactly what happened, I thought I would try something that Lightning did recently.  He posted a hand up to a certain point, then asked for feedback from his readers as to how he should have played it.  After I get some responses, I’ll post what actually happened, along with a description of the rest of my day of poker.

Here’s the setup.  Same game as last time, 2/3 NL.  I bought in for $300.  At one point, fairly early, I was up almost $100, but as things sometimes go in poker, I had dripped back down to even, and then a bit below, and I had about $290-$295 in front of me when this hand happened. 

The three “villains” in my story will be referred to as “Left,” “Right,” and “Lady.”  Left was the guy to my immediate left.  He had me covered by at least $50, maybe a bit more—the biggest stack of the four of us.  He was the only player I had any kind of information on, and it was limited at that.  The most notable thing about him was that he made a few really big preflop raises opening pots, as much as $20-$25.  There was another guy at the table who did the same thing.  They almost never got called when they did this.  One time, after not getting a call, one of them showed pocket Jacks, and another time the other one showed pocket Queens.  I don’t recall which was which.  But aside from that, nothing noteworthy about this guy, he wasn’t particular aggressive after the flop, limped in about average for the table.  I seem to recall one hand where he called on the river and mucked when the other player showed a fairly weak hand, for what that’s worth.

The other two players were both very new to the table, and I really had no read on either one.  Lady was the only female at the table, and in fact she had taken the place of the other guy who liked to open huge that I just mentioned.  She had bought in for $150 or perhaps less, and had maybe $125-$130 when the hand started. Right was to my immediate right. He bought in for $300 and had me covered by just a few bucks at this point.

I was in the small blind with King-7 of clubs.  There were a fair amount of limped pots and this was one of them.  I completed for a dollar and Left, the big blind, checked.  I think 5 or 6 of us saw the flop.

The flop was pretty damn nice.  Ace-5-3, two clubs.  And one of the clubs was the Ace.  So I had the draw to the nut flush.  First to act, I checked.  Note:  I suppose this could discussed as well, whether I should have bet my draw or not, but that’s not really the point of this post.

Left started counting out chips.  I couldn’t recall for sure, later, how much he bet.  I know it was an overbet to the pot.  It might have been $25-$30.  I remembered thinking that, if folded to me, I really wouldn’t be getting the right odds to chase my flush, and so I was starting to wonder if the implied odds would make it worth the call.  Before I decided, Lady went ahead and called, and it folded to Right.

Right tanked, started counting chips, and so I was thinking, well he’s gonna call, so I definitely have the odds to chase. 

But he kept counting those chips.  And when he finished counting, he put out a raise to $116.

Damn.

And so that’s where I want the feedback, right there.

What’s my play?

I could fold.  I’m only in for $3.  No big deal.

But I do have the draw to the nut flush.  And we’re looking at what could become a monster pot.

So call?

Or raise?  With that bet and my stack, would it make sense to raise anything less than all-in?

So shove?

Do you think I have any fold equity?  After all, a raise here is a semi-bluff, I have King-high at the moment.  Does a shove get players to fold?

I want to point out that this was fairly early in the session.  I was on my first buy-in, and I had a second buy-in in my wallet, ready to go.  I was not going to leave if I busted out there.  I was still going to play.  So the situation I described in this post here, where I made a play because I was almost done playing anyway, does not apply.  I’m at least two hours from wanting to leave no matter how the hand plays out.

So, what is the proper play here?  Please let me know your thoughts.  Thanks.

Now, since this is a fairly short post by my standards, and not all of my readers are into poker strategy (honestly, the way I play poker, I’m impressed any of them are), I thought I’d flesh out this post with a few totally gratuitous pictures.  Something for everyone, I hope.

(Follow up: Okay, the wait is over, please see the follow-up post to see what I did and how it played out.  Go here, but you should really read all the comments below first.)


41 comments:

  1. Ok, so not "everyone". It didn't come out the way I meant it. Apologies to straight women, gay men, and people who don't like poker.

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  2. Most "everyone" is close enough; nice pics, tyvm. IMO, your tight azz folded to fight another hand, too early in the session, and you didnt have a srt8 draw to go with the flush draw.
    GL @ Colossus, hope to see you @ FT.
    Big L

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    1. Well now you know.....definitely gonna see you at the Rio!

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  3. So as I mentioned on Twitter I'm folding here. It's just too easy to get stuck with really bad odds for your investment in my opinion. As I also said on Twitter I'm not the greatest cash game player so take my advice for what little it is worth.

    It's really unfortunate that you're facing that last raise but I really don't like shoving a potential he playing heads up when you're odds don't justify that. I wouldn't be happy about folding but I would do so.

    Dan (Zourah)

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    1. Pretty much everyone agreed with you, of course.

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  4. Too rich for me, I fold. Of course, I'm a nit so sue me.

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  5. Easy fold, my guess is you're probably up against at least one set and probably a combination straight/flush draw. If your kicker paired the non club, or was the 2 or 4, an all-in semi-bluff might be a good play.

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  6. Hey Rob. I have a term for people who start shoving like this over a wholly unspectacular flop like this one: "playing with their dicks."

    Also, too bad you didn't have Rakewell aka the Poker Grump with you. That would be a great flop for his "most powerful hand in poker," the Deuce-Four.

    But seriously folks? I admit that if I had your ability to just buy in again, I'd either call the $116 (you'd still have what, about $180 left if you don't get reraised?) or go ahead and shove. Right or wrong, your other players sound pot-committed to me; in my experience, once players have placed any kind of serious amount of money on the line, their fragile puffed-up egos are out there with it, and they won't fold under *any* circumstances. My two cents. :-)

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  7. A shove commits the other players...you have no clue what the original raise will do after you act. Right is practically committed, and if you call, what if Left shoves? Your only two choices are to shove and hope it folds Left so you isolate, or fold. Based on your situation positionally and how it basically locks you into one move, i would fold this hand.

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  8. In this situation I would fold. You only have $3 dollars invested at this point.

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  9. "I thought I would try something that Lightning did recently." Well, at least you are learning from the best!

    I like the comments most made. If Right had just called, sure - chase the nut flush for the chance at a good pot. However, with only King high and a double belly buster for the straight, you are likely chasing the flush only with few other backdoor outs. With only $3 invested, this is an easy fold and not worth stacking off.

    My prediction: you folded and would have hit your flush on the river. Maybe the board paired and you would have lost anyway.

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  10. Rob
    I would say with the information provided this is a fold. You have invested $3 in a pot that you have a 33% chance of winning. If you shove, left and lady could fold leaving you called by most likely a set. You won't be getting the odds unless left calls and that can't be guaranteed. There are better spots to get your money in than this IMHO.

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  11. Easy fold. Probably looking at a set and/or two pair in front of you so a few of your outs fill up a two pair. Fold and live for another day.

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  12. This sitiuation smells like he flopped a set so you have to decide if you're going to gamble...

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  13. So let's do the math. There is about $150 in the pot and it will cost you $110 to call.....lets call your pot odds 1.5 to 1 and you are 2-1 against hitting the nut flush....not good. Factor in that you likely would have to call off your whole stack if you brick the turn here at even money and it's even worse. Also...if you are up against a set....even if you hit your hand on the turn Villain will have a redraw to a board pair.

    Bottom line Villain used correct bet sizing to cause you to be making a mistake if you call....so don't. You have one bb invested...fold the hand and move on.

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  14. I come to gamble, and this smells like A rag two pair play to me, easy shove, double up or bust.

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  15. Fold.....not enough outs and odds against it.

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  16. Fold - improper odds; You're calling $116 to win $196 outright. If anything, why would you shove here to discourage others from drawing? You want / need everyone to call along with you / shove over in order to be profitable in this pot.

    Of note, you can't reasonably be mathematically profitable in this spot because you need roughly 2 shovers for the size of your stack in total in addition to your shove to be profitable; i.e. you have about 33% equity on your hand to complete the flush - let's reduce that down slightly to accommodate for a flopped set and you drop to around 30% equity.

    Therefore, in order for this hand to be profitable for *NEED* both left & right to shove / call for stacks and then you can show a profit of the overlay short position.

    I know... clear as mud... Well, in my brain, I get it...

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  17. Easy fold. You have almost exactly zero fold equity here in a re-raised pot, and the wrong odds to chase.

    Alternate line: If there were a bunch of limpers, and you say a $20 bet is usually taking it down pre, why not make it $20 pre? Reasonable blind steal attempt if table isn't limp-calling wide.
    If 1 caller, probably shoving flop in that case.

    But as played, snap fold.

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  18. Since you were stuck, you should have shoved your small blind. But, having not done so and, instead, played your hand dumb as fuck, you have to fold the flop, of course.

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  19. A++++++++ FUCK POKER!!!!!!!!!!!! Baseball OVERS except overs on the RedSOx BCUZ p3 JINXED THAT ON TWITTER. Happy Post Cinco De Mayo!!!!!

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  20. I only glanced at PPP's suggestion so don't know what the conventional wisdom has evolved to in these comments but this is sooooooo easy for me to say ALL-IN since I am an action player and that is the way I roll...

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  21. Nobody else mentioned this, but does the fact that you have a rebuy in your pocket make any difference? I don't see how.

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    1. As you can see, I've refrained from responding to individual comments,waiting to do the follow up with the rest of the hand. But I'll make an exception here since this is an informational question.

      It could have made a difference, MOJO. Let's say I had been there just a short time and didn't have a second buy-in on me (or had already gone thru my first buy-in and wasn't about to go for a third one). In that case, one could surmise I might be more risk-averse and be more likely to fold since it busting out there would end my day of poker.

      Just mentioned to give everyone the total picture.

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  22. I'd shove, turn the nut flush, and lose to a rivered boat against a/5 suited. Then I'd rip my cards in half, storm out of the poker room and lose $900 more on VBJ, Oh wait...wrong blog!

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    1. I dunno who you are, Annony, but this totally cracked me up. Thanks.

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  23. The amount you currently have "invested" is completely irrelevant. Folding is standard. If you think you're gonna get 2 calls and then run over the table if you triple up, a shove is okay.

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    1. Thanks, at least you offered the possibility that my play was ok.

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  24. Screw poker, i'm the blog for the great pics only. This one was great, front, back and boobalicious. Please consider some camel toe shots in the future.
    thanks

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    1. Hmmm......tits and ass not enuff, huh?

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  25. Rob - you're making it extremely difficult to bring up your blog on my work computer. Ahh, screw it...

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  26. Bernie the AttorneyMay 7, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    I think it is easy to say fold here as per above comments and I admit that is the standard tournament play, BUT this is a cash game and I would be looking to the next Buy In and what ultimately you want to accomplish for the session. If you think that way, I don't think a shove is completely out of order here, if the players at the table have the right stuff. The numbers don't work perfectly but I am not adverse to gambling now and then if it aids the ultimate goal.. What really matters, given that you are not leaving, is what happens after this hand, especially how players will look to your play. Shove and look for the 8 outs or rebuy, but with the table looking at you a bit differently...then use that in the next hands.

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    1. Thanks for sorta seeing it my way, and also, I love the name "Bernie the Attorney:

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  27. And as I said in the followup post, thanks to ALL of you who commented, sorry if I didn't respond to all individually but it would have been redundant.

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  28. I read through all the comments up to MOJO's, where my opinion was finally expressed (and I've seen this thought process in several of yours posts Rob). I don't think that whether your session is about to end or what you have left to rebuy should ever influence your decisons - play the hand that you're in. Right out of the gate, I know that we play very differently, because I don't see the merit in chasing long odds (one-outers, two-outers, etc)... There's no chance that you're ahead after the flop, so you must catch to win, and even if you do catch, a paired board could still kill you. But yeah, the one thing I'd say is to focus on playing the hand you're in, in the best way possible, disregarding other factors...

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    1. Thanks, Coach.

      I recently did a post about the leak I have...playing differently depending on where I am in a session.

      And this is a perfect example of it. If this had been my last orbit, everything else the same, I think I would have found a shove much sooner. It was the fact that I wanted to keep paying that made me almost fold.

      Like I said, something i need to work on....

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    2. Yep, just surprised more responses didn't echo Mojo's or mine. Lots of advice, but I'd eliminate the outside stuff (drawing tix at MGM being different, as they can add some equity).

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