Monday, April 7, 2014

The Night the Poker Gods Smiled On Me

The first Saturday of March Madness, I had a great session at BSC. There is one particular hand from the night that I'd like all the experts to chime in on.  It's the hand where I had pocket Aces, about half way down this post.

Our special guest-star for this terrific night was fellow poker blogger The Poker Meister.  TPM, as I’ll refer to him from now on for convenience sake, has already written about his Vegas trip, including the night we played together, here.  You should read his post, and when you do, please note that he mentions that, at the table we were at, there was a discussion of “prostitution and the regular flow of half-naked club-goers streaming in and out of the club behind the poker room.”

Sadly, this discussion took place after I left the table.  A discussion of hookers and half-naked club-goers at the poker table and I missed it?  How is that even possible? That is what’s known in Yiddish as a “shonda.”

Anyway, TPM and I agreed to meet at BSC and I arrived first, got into a game and had my pal Susan put TPM on the list as a call in.

When he showed up, he recognized me immediately (because I am, after all, quite famous).  We chatted a bit and I told him that I had put him on the list, something he had already noticed as he entered the room. In fact, he had checked in with Susan to tell her that he was there and ready to be sent to a table. TPM reported Susan responding, “Oh, you’re Rob’s friend.”

He was sent to a table with a few open seats.  My initial thought on the table I was at was that it might be a good one, and I told him that he should try to get a change to it.  And his first reaction to his table was that it was way too tight.  I played over half an hour at my table, and after awhile realized it wasn’t such a good table.  In the meantime, TPM had changed his mind about his table too.  He said it was pretty good and there was a loose aggro over there who seemed anxious to spew chips. 

So when a seat opened up at his game, I went to find a floorperson and get permission to join him instead.  There was a guy at his table I recognized, a regular.  An older guy.  I was pretty sure at the time that he was the guy who thought might have been angle shooting in the post I did here.  So when I had permission to move and sit immediately on TPM’s right, I went back to the other table to get my chips.  This older guy immediately asked TPM if I was indeed switching to this table.  When TPM confirmed this, the guy immediately asked the floor person, still in the vicinity, for a table change!  It was immediate and was certainly no coincidence.  TPM asked him, “You don’t like Rob?” and he did not respond.  But by the time I had settled in, this guy was already headed to a different game.

TPM told me this as I took my seat.  I had to admit this took me by surprise, I couldn’t recall any unpleasantness between us before.  I did convey my suspicions to TPM that I had blogged about this guy (the “angle-shooting” post), but I was pretty sure that, a) I never really called him on it at the time and, b) he had never seen the post.  Although about the second part, I’ve obviously been wrong before. Sometimes people I never would have guessed read my blog do indeed know about the silliness I publish here (see here,for example).

I’ve since become totally certain in my mind that this was the “angle-shooting” guy, but I still doubt that that had anything to do with this guy’s desire to leave as soon as I sat down. I think it’s one of two things. Maybe he recognized me and thought that because I’m a regular—and perhaps because of some memory of playing with me—he thought that I’m too good a player to take on.  Ok, ok, when you stop laughing, let me give you my other possibility, one that’s more likely.  He might have thought that I’m too much of a nit to be able to win money from.  I mean just because he’s a nit, that doesn’t mean he wants to try to beat other nits.  I’m thinking that’s it.  But really, who knows?

Before I had moved over next to TPM, he sent me a text that made me smile.  It said, “Dying to know who is who from your blog.”  Heh heh.   I was only to happy to oblige as best I could.

At the time, Rita was dealing to him and Ginger had just left my game, so I texted him that.  He missed seeing Ginger but I was later able to point her out to him from a distance.  He made a comment about her that made me realize that he had the totally wrong idea of why I dubbed her “Ginger.” Oh well, I can explain it on his next Vegas visit.

Before joining TPM, I had won exactly one pot my first table, the very first one.  It was a very small pot and so when I moved next to TPM, I had a bit under my $200 starting stack. 

My very first hand at the new table, Rita dealt me pocket 4’s.  The guy TPM had told me about, the LAG, raised to 11 and I called.  I think three of us saw the flop.  It was all spades, including a 4.  LAG checked, I made it $25.  He called.  I’m not sure about the other player.  You see, there  were a couple of really memorable hands very early in this session, and I was very busy schmoozing with TPM, and as such, it took me a long time to whip out my notebook and write down notes.  I could easily have a few details wrong.

The turn was a blank. I bet again—around $35, I think.  This time LAG check-raised to $75.  Damn, did he already have the flush?  I remembered TPM’s description of the guy being ready to spew chips.  That helped me decide to call.  That, plus the fact that I was pretty much pot committed anyway. Plus his raise was just barely above a min-raise. Not enough to get me to lay down a set there. Maybe I could lay it down if a fourth spade hits the river?  And of course, I did have outs if he had the flush.

I don’t remember the suit of the 10 on the river, but it didn’t matter as it paired the board.  Mr. LAG was kind enough to bet in front of me, more chips than I had left.  I snapped called of course.  He flipped over Ace-King of spades!  Ouch.  So he flopped the nut flush, which was good all the way until I sucked out him with my river boat (so-to-speak).

Nice to get a double up on your very first hand at a table, right?

A hand or two later, I raised with Ace-King of hearts, got one caller, flopped an Ace, bet and was called.  But my turn bet was not called.  A few hands later I had Ace-King again, raised, missed, but took the pot on the flop with a continuation bet.  Now I knew why that Angle Shooting guy didn’t want to play with me!

A while later I had pocket 8’s and called a raise to $11.   Four of us saw the flop, Jack-8-7, two spades.  Ok, it looked like this was gonna be the night for me to flop sets. I can live with that.  A guy led out for $15, another guy called and I made it $75.  Original bettor shoved for only $17 more.  Snap call.  It was just the two of us.  Here’s where I had a bit of bad luck.  The other guy had King-Jack, but the board ran out 10-9, putting a straight right on the board and leaving us to chop the pot.

Then I limped in from the cut-off with 10-9 hearts. The flop was 10-9-8, two diamonds.  A guy bet $5 (it was a limped pot), the next guy made it $10 and I raised to $30.  First guy folded, but the guy who bet $10 made it $60.  Was he betting the draw or did he already have the straight?  I just called, worried that my two pair was no good. 

But on the turn came another 10, giving me another boat.  I’m really liking this night.  The guy checked and I put out $100, which was basically all he had left.  He called.  River was meaningless and he showed me his Queen-Jack for a flopped straight.  So, first I took down a flopped flush with a boat, and now I had taken down a flopped straight with a boat.  You know, poker is sure fun when the deck is hitting you like that!  I’ve had good runs, but I don’t think I ever felt like I was “running like god” before.  I did right then.

The guy’s buddy was sitting near me and said that this was the second time something like this had happened to him tonight, flopping a straight and losing to a boat.  Hey, I’ve been there.  Being on the other side of it is a lot better, trust me.  BTW, TPM told me that he had folded the case 10 preflop. No sweat, there were still two 9’s out there that would have served me just as well.

I now had a mountain of chips in front of me, probably more than I have had in front of me before, except perhaps in a tournament that I was doing well in.  Of course, not the same thing.  This was real money.  Then came the hand that TPM is dying for me to talk about, and that we discussed at great length after my session was done.

I woke up with pocket Aces in one of the blinds.  A guy opened for $11 and two others called before it got to me.  I sure as hell didn’t want to play my Aces against three other players so I bumped it up just a bit—to $75.  It folded back to the original bettor.  He hadn’t been at the table very long, and had a stack of about $300, if memory serves.  I had him and everyone at the table covered, well over $600.

He took his sweet time deciding what to do. So he couldn’t have the other two Aces unless he’s trying to decide if he should just flat with them (highly unlikely).  Kings?  Most players with the dreaded hand there raise pretty fast, although some just call. Almost no one is good enough to fold pocket Kings. Was that his indecision?  Or was he wondering if his AK, QQ or JJ was worth much now?

But eventually he called.  Everyone else folded.  I didn’t want to see any paint cards on the flop, that’s for sure.  But sure enough, the flop was King high on a pretty dry board.

OK, folks, in my shoes, what do you do?  TPM, not having seen my hand (and saying it didn't matter what I had), clearly expressed reservations about what I did on the flop, so please, let me hear your thoughts. What would you have done there?

The King was probably the last card I wanted to see, but I bet anyway.  I put out $100.  As best as I can recall, here’s what was going through my mind.  Part of it was a bit reflexive.  I had been the aggressor preflop, I had to bet there, right?  Otherwise, I’m giving up control to the other guy.  I was almost on auto-pilot.  And to some extent, the bet is a bit like a blocking bet. 

If I check there and he bets, what do I do?  I have no clue where I stand.  Is he betting AK?  A set of Kings?  Queens?  If I bet, and he comes over the top, I think maybe I can still lay it down.  Or can I? 

Well, the guy took forever to decide, which was a good sign.  I don’t think he’s taking much time if he’s hit his set of Kings there.  Finally, reluctantly, painfully, he folded.  As I took in the pot, TPM whispered to me, “Remember that hand.  We have to talk about it later.”  At this point, he still didn't know what I had, as I didn’t have to show, and to this day, we have no idea what the other guy had.

We did indeed have a long conversation about the hand.  But I’m not going to report his thoughts, because I’m hoping he will comment and explain his thoughts himself.  I don’t want to misinterpret how he felt about the hand and how I played it.  Best to let him explain it, if/when he has time.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear everyone else’s take. 

This was the last hand of this particular dealer’s down and who was waiting to push in?  None other than my buddy Mike.  You all remember Mike, right?  Deals me pocket Kings all the time and cracks them.  Always complains that my blog posts are too long.  That Mike.

Earlier, Mike and my pal Abe were noticing that my stack was rather large this evening, and were joking that I stole or borrowed some chips.  Abe had come by much earlier to say hello and I introduced him to TPM.  And as he left, I told TPM, “That’s Abe on the blog.”

So Mike took the box and immediately said what he usually says when he sees me with a lot of chips. “No one’s cracked your Kings tonight huh?  I’ll see what I can do.”

I told TPM that this was Mike on my blog and also told him how Mike always complains about my posts being too long.  “I usually fall asleep reading them,” he told TPM. TPM expressed the same concern but then said something positive about how my stories intertwine and I put all the links in to tie everything together. Yes, TPM….that’s value added!  Which, of course, is the reason I am trying to put every possible link I can in this particular post.  It’s in honor of TPM.

This was a Slut Parade night, and unlike most of such nights, I was sitting with my back to the parade, being sociable, chatting with TPM.  This wasn’t lost on Mike.  Usually on such a night, I am somehow, by total coincidence I assure you, sitting at one of the tables closest to the walkway, facing out into the parade.  “You’re not watching the girls tonight, huh?  Maybe that’s why you’re doing so well.”  Was he implying that I am usually too distracted by the short skirts, tight dresses, and excessive cleavage to play good poker?  Like I could be distracted by that.  Hmmpph.

Anyway, I could barely see Mike over all the chips that were in front of me and it wasn’t very long into his down when he dealt me—what else—the dreaded pocket Kings.

Shit.  I had been having such a good night too.  But the double whammy of my Kryptonite hand and the dealer most known to crack it gave me some trepidation. Seriously, this was less than an orbit after the Aces hand. 

Someone made it $10 and the guy on my right called the $10 before it got to me.  Good spot for a fold, right?

No, no, of course not.  I bet $40.  The first guy folded but the guy to my right called, albeit reluctantly.  I should have made a note of how much he was playing, but sorry, I didn’t. I’m sure it was less than $300 but I don’t think he was short stacked.  Of course I had him covered.  I think I had the entire table in total covered.

To my amazement, the highest card on the flop was King.  This really was the night for me to be flopping sets.  The guy checked and I bet—$50 or $60.  I think it was another fairly dry board, but I wasn’t messing with both the dreaded hand and the dreaded dealer mostly likely to crack it for me.  Besides, I’ll never forget the time I flopped a set of Kings and didn’t get paid enough for them because I played my hand face up by not betting the flop (see here).  He folded fairly quickly.

TPM asked me if it was my “favorite” hand and I nodded.  Mike gave me the look asking me the same question without saying anything.  I nodded to him, to confirm that I had what he thought I had.  “Yeah, that’s what I had…the hand you always give me,” I said.

“You’re supposed to slow play that… someone could suck out on you,” came Mike’s reply.

I smirked in response.

It was getting late for me.  I had played a lot of poker this day.  Before this I had played in the Binion’s tournament for many hours—a story I may or may not get to some day.  I sure as hell didn’t want to lose any of my winnings because I was too tired to play right.  So I told TPM I was done for the night.

He came over as I collected my winnings and we had the discussion about the AA hand.  While there, he seemed to be noticing some of the young ladies going to and from the club, who we couldn’t really see while playing as we both had our backs to the pathway.  Suddenly, in the middle of our poker discussion, he interrupted himself to say, “That girl is wearing a bra.”

Now, the truth is, most of the girls you seeing going to and from the club are wearing bras dammit.  What he meant was that she was only wearing a bra, nothing else.  I mean on top, that is.  They were all covered below the waist dammit.  (Am I using the strikeout joke too much?  Yes dammit).  You see quite a few of the club girls wearing only a bra on top.  It’s becoming quite the trend. It definitely gets your attention (I think that’s the idea). 

Anyway, it was great meeting TPM and I thanked for the great advice and feedback he gave me on the AA hand, which he will hopefully air publically in the near future.  And apparently he brought me a whole lot of luck.  This was definitely the best cash session I’d ever had, turning $200 into almost $750 in about two and a half hours.  Not as big a score, dollar wise, as my best tournament score (see here), but a much better win-rate on an hourly basis.

It was a helluva night.

Edited to add:  I loved all the feedback I got on the Aces hand below.  I also want to let you know that I posted that hand on both All Vegas Poker and PokerAtlas and thus there's more feedback there as well.  If you are interested in reading more thoughts about the hand, see here and here.


  1. Nice touch with the "riverboat" photo. I think that you have to bet your aces on the flop - I'm curious as to what he TPM. I'm guessing that since the guy didn't play back at you pre, he thinks you should have reeled him in??? Great session anyway!

    1. Thanks, Coach. Hopefully TPM will give his response so I won't have to paraphrase him (and get it wrong).

  2. My opinion shovel chips in just like you did on the flop. Poker is all about having positive expected value over the long run and taking advantage of those situations. you are losing to sets and two pair combos...he could have AK. KQ or QQ...etc etc and you are crushing all of these combos...get the money in...if he flopped two pair or a set...then more power to him....the caveat to me is if the flop comes super coordinated like KQJ., QJT or that case I would probably check call and hope for a good runout

    1. Thanks bill. Yeah it was a dry board but in the heat of the moment, I couldn't remember the rest of it. The only scary card was the King.

  3. Ok. Sorry for the late post - I've been swamped at work for the past few weeks & haven't had nary any time for poker. Regardless:

    So let's recap; you flop a K high dry flop (I think it was 2 undercards 2-8 or some such, coupled with the King). The board is rainbow and the only plausible hand that has you beat is KK - afterall, you did raise to $75 from $11.

    My issue is the fact that you immediately lead rather than think about what he could have that could call a flop bet. Moreover, you have it in your mind that you're going ahead and making a pot committing bet ($100 with ~$100 behind would be a huge fail if you ever fold when getting raised all in).

    So I ask, what hands can he have that can call there and commit the rest of his stack? AK is the obvious leader in the discussion, but there are only 2 Aces x 4 Kings in the deck: 8 combos of AK (since you hold 2 Aces). He can call with KK as well. All of his other plausible hands, TT-QQ, have to fold to your suspected AA, AK which crushes his PF call range.

    Different question: What does this flop $100 bet accomplish? Remember, every single bet, call, check or fold has a purpose (or at least should have a purpose). You're making a committing bet on the flop that's only getting called by AK, KK, but folding out the rest of his expected range of TT, JJ, QQ - 18 combos - far more than the combos of AA, AK. My argument is more for a long-paused check here than anything else; i.e. give him a chance to bluff his hand. My argument is that you're committing your stack here regardless his action, so let him bet it for you rather than scare him off his hand and let him off the hook.

    If you absolutely have to bet that flop, then bet smaller - much smaller - $40-50. Don't worry about SPR or % pot bets in this case; you've already committed in your mind, so if he raises you, you're ready to call all in regardless. However, you're going to be crushing him given this flop so often that the name of the game here is VALUE VALUE VALUE. The last thing you want him to do is fold because you've missed the chance to get most of the rest of his stack after he committed $75 PF!

    I guess what I'm trying to say is you know as well as I that you're never folding this AA hand. Why give him the chance to fold his hand by betting so large that only a small part of his holdings can call and the rest fold? When you're in this situation, rather than reflexively barrelling the flop, think about what your bet accomplishes and then decide & act. The goal is value here, not folds.

    1. Great analysis, TPM, thanks. Pretty much what I remembered about our postmortem discussion, but no way could I have related it as well as you did.

      Would love to hear how others feel about your feedback.

      So, you're saying that the $100 bet I made commits me to play for stacks (his was a lot shorter than mine). Is there anyway you see it differently? I mean you wouldn't have made the bet, but would you be committed to calling whatever he bet all the way?

      Inotherwords, was I committed to play for stacks by the $100 flop bet I made, or even if I checked the flopped, should I have been committed to play for stacks in that situation?

    2. You're committed at SPR of 2 as suggested. I don't agree with a check though. At 1/2 most players will call with a pretty tight range $75 preflop (AA, KK, QQ, AK only). QQ is never betting on any street unless it improves, and the rest of the hands are getting it in with you. On a dry K high board I think bet/call $75. Yes you fold QQ but they are never calling or betting anyway. There are no bluff hands in the 1/2 player's $75 preflop calling range.

    3. I think this is spot on. You are stacking AK and maybe a stubborn KQ....but giving a free card to QQ, JJ type hands isn't optimal IMO

    4. @Abe: Thanks for the feedback and comment. The pot was $170 when I put the $100 out, so actually only a bit more than half the pot.

      You know, I was pretty surprised by his call of my three-bet. I expected him to fold....or re-raise if he had KK.

    5. @bill--thanks again. Love reading the varied opinions.

    6. I'm not sure of villain's bluff frequency at this point, but let's assume he holds all pairs TT-KK + AK. He's got you dead to an Ace with KK, obv, but he's drawing no better than 25% (KQ) - and more likely 8% with the pairs. I think checking the 92% edge for the chance that he may bluff / "value bet" his second pairs is worth it more than forcing out a fold. The last thing I want him to do here is fold his second best hand, and there aren't too many hands here that can call a bet. I look to show weakness and begrudgingly check to my loose PF calling villain. The fact is that there are very few hands that an call a bet here so I either check hoping to induce or bet really small hoping to induce a raise. After all, I have it in my mind that I'm getting it in no matter what the flop is, so does it make a difference whether I let him see a turn for free? What about seeing a river for free? If I take a check check bet line, I think it's more likely to get a curiosity call than a bet bet line.

    7. Thanks again, TPM. Just love the varied takes on this hand.

    8. But Rob can never rep weakness in this spot. If you've played with him for any length of time, you know he has a monster; if you haven't, you look at that sweet face and know he has a monster.

    9. LOL!

      Best comment I've gotten in a long time, thanks, Kat.

      BTW, one thing I remember TPM saying to me that night that he didn't mention in his comments was that I was basically playing my hand face up with that big preflop bet.

    10. Best way to cure that is to start 3-betting K7s ;-)

    11. Suited is too nitty, no? Might as well 3 bet K-7off, right?

    12. Baby steps, Rob. Besides, the suitedness will mean more boards that allow to you practice flamboyant semi-bluffs.

  4. I completely agree with a check to give him some rope. You were basically committed with the pre-flop bet. Give him a chance to make a huge mistake.

    A theme I've noticed with a lot of your posted hands has been a lot of level 1 thinking. For example, I have a set and I have to bet large because I don't want to get sucked out on....that's fishy style thinking at it's worst. You need to consider the range of hands that your opponent can have, and then tailor your strategy to attack that range.

    For example, say you have KK with the initiative, and the flop comes K82r, you almost have to check or bet small, since there are very few second best hands that can call you, since you have top set, there are very few top pair hands available. But take the same board with 88 and 22, now you can make larger bets, because there are a ton more top pair combos available that can call you.

    In closing, don't use a one sized fits all strategy for all of your hands, flop a big hand against a lag, don't be afraid to call both the flop and the turn, keeping their range super wide. Will you get sucked out on occasionally doing this? Sure, but your EV is much higher keeping the lag's range super wide.

    1. Thanks very much , stesser, great feedback. I know that I have a lot to work in regards to getting the most value for my good hands.

      You and TPM make a good case for checking. As I said tho, it's interesting to see other opinions. Never have seen a situation where everyone agreed on the right action. That's poker.

  5. I like that you bet here. If you do check, you have to do so with the strong belief that he is going to bet, and then you can re-pop it big (and even so, his action here may get you thinking that he does have K K). Giving him the opportunity to check behind you lets him see the free card that might allow him to hit any set or goofy two-pair on you, plus it might get him closer to a backdoor straight or flush draw. I like making him pay to see the next card. Keep in mind of course that every situation is unique... ;) You have to love poker! Interesting viewpoints, by the way (and that's what your blog was lacking, a comment thread that rivals the length of your entries)... Keep running well, whatever you're doing Rob!

    1. Thanks, Coach.

      Loved the varied opinions.

      I would like to have a comment thread longer than my posts. You know, like TBC's comment thread!

  6. Noone commeted your preflop action you can easily make it 55 and still end up being commited postflop and give room for people to make a loose call with w/e they called preflop.
    As played its ok to bet that flop but something like 60 its ok and shove anyturn.

    1. Thanks, Anony. I too am surprised that no one mentioned the preflop raise. As I explained, I really didn't want to face more than one caller. $55 might have been ok, but if the first guy calls, someone else, or maybe both, might thing they have odds to call and if I'm up against three players I'm not such a favorite.

    2. Im an online poker player found out your blog when i went on a trip to vegas :).
      Trust me if everytime I had AA and three people called 20+ bbs to see the flop I would be soo rich, my advice to that thinking is not to be afraid of variance.

    3. So you learned about the blog in Vegas? Were people talking about it at the table? :)

      Playing that deep is very unusual for me. It might be another three years to see that same situation again.

  7. Rob:

    Put in the "slow play" camp.

    My thinking is that most players are going to put your raising range as MUCH wider than anyone's calling range would be. While WE may all know you as a self professed nit, think about what table image you probably had at the time; you have a mountain of chips in front of you; you know most of the dealers and are firmly in the "reg" camp; you've been very active up to this point in the night and won some pretty big pots without having to show. I think most people, if they don't know you, are going to think you're going to be a player who will make some moves and could very well be squeezing in that spot.

    With that in mind, knowing he probably has you on a much wider range than is accurate, I would take my time, perhaps make one of those "comfort" tells, put some chips out like I'm going to bet (wonderful little stregth=weakness fake tell) and check. That allows him to bet out with a much wider range, thinking he can also rep A/K K/Q or better.

    I think there's a lot more value in checking there and that value outweighs the pretty slight chance that he sucks out. Of course, all of this is predicated on what I think of his play, but I think I'm checking almost everytime in this situation.


    p.s. - if checked back, I'm acting very strong and putting out about $125 and acting like I'm trying to steal, which also may get a call from QQ or even JJ. At that point, he's probably putting you on med/large pair, depending on his holdings.

    1. Thanks, s.i., very good thinking.

      I do want to make it clear he was fairly new at the table and probably hadn't seen me do much. But, the mountain of chips I had probably gave him a first impression of me that was maybe a bit scary. And he may have heard me talking the dealer and also call the waitress by name.

      Or...maybe he talked to that Angle Shooting guy I mentioned earlier in the post and gotten some info from him! :)

  8. Hi Rob,

    I am a friend of Vook and PM. A similar hand at MD Live today.

    Mr. Hyper Aggressive is at the table and raised to 17. I was on BB and put in another 15 with the good old "Grump". The flop was very rewarding to me with 443. I check he bet 45, I raised to 100, he went AI and I called and won. This guy was literally on me now.

    Every time I raise he was there.

    He raises to 17 and I made it 51. He flats.
    F: Q34 so, the only option that is beating me here is Q's. I wanted to see if he played a AQs.

    He religiously bets 65, I go AI and he puts in the rest of his chips ad expected exactly with AQos.

    So, as PM said why not give him enough rope to hang himself than pushing him out him out with a big bet.


    1. Thanks, GolfPro.

      Regarding the second hand, what did you have? Aces?

      Gotta a lot a feedback on my Aces hand and it's about 50/50 check and bet there on the flop.

      That's poker.

  9. We crack his big pair with 24s.

    He wanted to crack my big pair(A's) with AQ, but came a little short.


  10. Just wanted to let everyone know that I edited the post to add links to further discussion of the AA hand that I had at both AVP and PokerAtlas. In particular, Kat Martin, who did comment here as well, has some great feedback at AVP on why his view is a bit contrarian to most of the other comments.

    If you found this hand of interest, you should definitely check out the links I put at the bottom of the original post.

  11. You have to bet this flop, because you should be c-betting nearly 100% of the time in this spot, and the only way that works is if you c-bet your strong hands just like the ones where you do not connect with the flop. Given your kind of ridiculous preflop raise, a check on the flop stands out like a sore thumb to all but the most simple of poker simpletons. Not to mention that you give the free card, and suddenly they hit their set of Queens or Jacks on the turn and now you've just lost a big part of your stack, or they turn a straight or flush draw and end up sticking around to hit on the river. This spot is not close. Do yourself a favor and if TPM strongly feels you should check, try to find a way for you to raise twice if you can. Yet another example of why TPH could not extract his way out of a paper bag.

    To any sensible, aware player, your huge preflop raise combined with the flop check on that board can only be one of two hands: AA or KK. Don't make it that obvious -- while a check only means AA or KK there, a c-bet could be 33, 99, JJ, KQ, JTs, who knows. Why make it obvious, make it nearly assured that you do not get paid off in full, and give your opponent a needless chance to suck out on you with a free card? It is really not a defensible move from a poker perspective.

    1. Thanks, Anony....a bit rough on TPM, weren't you? I think it was pretty much 50/50 whether I should have bet the flop, a lot of good arguments supporting that position. His analysis was quite thoughtful and he and others who thought I should have checked made good cases.

      And as for my "ridiculous" preflop bet...Well, even someone who pointed out that they would have bet less said something to the effect that....since it was called, it wasn't too large!

    2. Meet my hater, Rob. This is my personal anti-fanboy; he follows my posts and writes contradictory things. See my post / his response for his contradiction.

    3. Thanks TPM....I did see his comment and now your response on your blog.

      I don't get the vitriol. As we can see from all the responses I got here, there's more than one (right?) way to play a poker hand.

      You can make a valid point without the insults. There's merits to both sides. Same with the hand on your blog that he criticized you for. I probably would have flatted on the flop myself. But I think his comment that he folds a King to your raise is not at all likely.

    4. You *do* realize that, whether or not the guy folds a King on the flop to TPM's raise, that does not change at all what a truly indefensible and backwards play the flop raise is there, right? He will certainly be more likely to fold his King on the turn then when TPM bets again, won't he? Or hey I don't know, maybe TPM's plan is then to check the turn, just to make sure he wins the absolute minimum possible with his flopped full house?

      You could ask 1,000 poker pros and I doubt you would find 2 who would advise raising in that spot. That raise is just plain thoughtless, and can only ONLY lead to less money than a slowplay unless you luck out like a biatch and the guy hits his flush anyway on the turn, in which case you make the same amount making the unthinkably poor play as you do with the obvious, smart play. Otherwise, you make less money by a significant margin in any other of the much more likely scenarios by slow-playing there.

      And you are right about being able to make a valid point without the insults. But sometimes the only way to help someone is to break through their wall of denial, which I've been trying to do for TPM for literally years now. Name me another poker blog where the person consistently chooses to post hands in which he made the obviously bad play 95% of the time but clearly doesn't get it. TPM is the only one I can think of. And I know a LOT of bad poker players man.

      PS, I can tell that you agree with everything I have said about the proper poker way to play the two hands but you just don't want to come right out and say it. That makes you ok in my book. For now.

      PPS, your commenter is wrong: just because someone called your preflop raise, does not mean that it was an ok amount. A raise of the size you made gives away far too much information about what you are holding, even if you get called. In truth, a player of my stature will often deliberately call a raise like the one you put in there, because now I *know* you have AA or KK, whereas you have no clue what I have at all, and I can play accordingly. See?

    5. No real response, Anony, but I have to say, your post got a few chuckles out of me, whether that was your intention or not!