Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"What? I Always Dress This Way!"

This session took place during EDC, 2015.  For a recap of EDC 2014, see here.  There wasn’t that much new for EDC this year, just more of what I reported on last year.  Not that that’s a bad thing, but it means I can’t really do an entire post about it.  Trust me, I saw a lot of attractive young ladies (emphasis on young) revealing various parts of their bodies in, well, let’s just say, some interesting ways. 

I passed one such lady on the way out of the Men’s room and I wish I could better remember her outfit.  It was bizarre, but because of the line she had, I almost completely forgot what it was.  I mean, it was some kind of bikini-type outfit, maybe had some fur.  I think this gal also had some body paint and something odd in her hair that stood out. So, it probably wasn’t just from the amount of skin she was showing (which was plentiful) that I must have given her a “WTF?” look.  Also, this gal seemed a little older than the average EDC girl you see.

Anyway, she obviously noticed the bemused look on my face and she said directly to me, as she passed by, “What?  I always dress this way.”

Anyway, this was the day after my Day 2 at the Golden Nugget tournament (see here) and I decided to not play another tournament so soon after the grueling (but successful) experience of the two-days at Golden Nugget.  So it was late afternoon when I got into a cash game at MGM.  There were a couple of guys at the table who were in town for EDC and just killing time waiting to head back for the Saturday session.  They complained about the parking over there—they said when they (tried) to leave the venue at 5AM that morning, it took them nearly three hours to exit the parking lot!  Yikes.  I don’t think I could have survived that with my sanity intact.

There was an older couple at that table, and they asked the two guys what the attraction of EDC was.  One of them explained, “There are lots of beautiful women there.  Some of the most beautiful women in the world…..there’s like 50,000 beautiful women there.”

The guy added, “I mean, how can you resist a place with 50,000 beautiful women?  Now do you want to go?”

The older gentleman was not exactly the target demographic for EDC. And he replied to the guy, “No…..I already have my own beautiful woman,” pointing to his wife. Ahh, very sweet. Bet that guy got some that night.

The EDC attendee continued.  “There’s 50,000 beautiful women there….and only 40,000 STD’s. So that’s pretty good odds, right?  You got what…a 20% chance of not getting an STD!!”

We all got a good laugh out of that, and then he said, “You know, they say, ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,’ but that’s not true with an STD.”

The two EDC guys left, presumably looking to hit on a 4 to 1 shot.  There was this older Asian man who played a hand extremely odd that almost led me to make a bad play later in the session.  On the earlier hand, there was no raise and four people saw a flop of Ace-Ace-Jack. It checked around.  The turn was a deuce and it checked around again.  The river was another Jack and again, no one bet it.  One player showed King-high, thinking that based on the action—or lack thereof—that was probably the best hand.  But the older Asian man turned over Ace-rag for a full house.  Huh?  How does he go three streets without betting?  And also, since there was only $8 in the pot, he didn’t qualify for a drawing ticket.  If he had bet $2 and gotten a call, he would have gotten a ticket. Or he could have bet more, hoping to make a little money with his boat. The player next to me and I couldn’t believe he never bet.

So a while later I raised to $8 with Ace-3 of spades and had three callers, including the older Asian man.  The flop was great, Ace-high with the other two cards being spades.  I bet $20 and only the Asian gentleman called.  The turn was a red King and we both checked.  The river was another low non-spade.  This time the guy led out for $45.  I almost folded.  This guy hadn’t bet a boat on the river earlier, so he seemed like an unlikely candidate to be bluffing here.  I figured he had an Ace and his kicker almost had to be better than mine.  But I thought it over and decided it was worth a call—it just wasn’t a big enough bet to get me to fold top pair.  I made the hero call.  He said, “You’re good, I have nothing.”  Actually he showed his hand and he did have a pair of 4’s. 

Sometime after that, I called $7 with pocket deuces and it was five of us seeing the flop.  I caught my set, but the flop contained two clubs.  The preflop raiser checked and I was second to last to act, so I bet $20.  Only one player called—he was not the preflop raiser and he had checked in front of me.  The turn was a second 5, and I checked behind him with my boat (I was still in the mode of slow-playing monsters, something I need to correct). There was a third club on the river and this time he bet out—$40.  I made it $100.  He called without much thought, but folded when I showed my full house.  Since he knew about the drawings, he must not have had a flush or he would have shown it for the ticket.

I raised to $8 with pocket Kings and had three callers.  The flop was low and no one called my $25 c-bet.  Note: I only included that hand here to remind everyone—especially myself—that I can win with the dreaded hand. 

On the button I had Ace-King off.  The guy I just mentioned—who paid me off for my deuces full hand—opened to $15 and I called.  It was heads up.  The flop was Ace high and he led out for $25.  I called.  He led out for $50 on a blank turn and I called.  He checked the blank river and I checked behind him.  He showed pocket 8’s, unimproved.

I’d like some feedback on that hand.  There was a guy at the table who I’d played with a lot who was visiting from Europe and I heard him say once that he was trying to get good enough to become a pro.  He was talking to some buddies who were just watching.  He said, “Some guys just don’t want to lose.”  In other words, I played that hand too meekly.

I can see his point, but on the river, I can’t help thinking that if I bet, I’m only going to get called by a hand that beats me.  Wrong-headed?  I would have bet if he had checked the turn, but he showed strength firing a second bullet. And yeah, I could have raised his flop bet.  But I’m thinking I don’t want to make the pot too big with just a top pair hand where I have lots of showdown value.  I know this is something I need to work on.

Anyway, after a long, long day of poker, I finished up over $200 and I settled for that.


  1. Thanks i also a player and ready to read more on poker and your images are attractive keep updating

  2. That's a good question about what to do with that AK hand on the river when you flopped the Ace.

    Some times I do the same thing you did and check the river with it after it has been checked back to me because I fear only getting called by a better hand or raised off my hand.

    I have bet the river in that situation before and then the guy pushes all in and I fold and then he flips over a bluff. That is annoying.

    I have also seen people make some real good money by betting big on the river and get called with AQ, AJ, KK, etc.....

    So it depends on how much money they have behind. If they are very deep then I may just check behind. If they do not have much left then I will raise the river.

    It also depends on the board and what hand I put them on and there play style.

    The guy you described seems to not bet his strong hands and only bet his bluffs or weak hands. So if he was not very deep then I would have bet out the river on him.

    1. Some good thoughts there, Nappy, thanks. Another possibility is, regardless of stack size, I bet the river and he doesn't shove, but he check-raises me 3X or 4X. Not loving life right then if that happens.

      But....he could call with his pocket 8's thinking I may be trying to steal the pot since he checked the river.

      In this case, I think he would have called me on the river, but I say that now knowing what he had.

  3. When you think about his range I think medium aces and pairs make a lot of sense from his play. A lot of players who hit the ace with AQ/AJ/AT/A9 will often bet-bet-check to get to show-down, and will make the crying call of a medium-small value bet on the river. It would be very different if you'd shown aggression by re-raising pre-flop. But a guy with a mid ace likely thinks his ace is good since you didn't re-raise pre.

    Obviously player dependent but it seems like you should be making a small-ish (1/3 pot?) value bet. It doesn't sound like he's capable of making the river check-raise bluff, and not too many players are.

  4. Sorrry to break this up in to two posts, but its often important to look at this bet in isolation, i.e. what's in the pot isn't very relevant here. This is much more like a limit hold-em river bet situation if you largely discount the possibility of a river check-raise. This bet only affects your equity in the existing pot if he's capable of the river check-raise bluff at a semi-optimal frequency.

    With a bet on the end you're really only concerned about the money you're putting in with the bet. It can never be the case that "you're only called when you're beat" here. He can definitely have some hands in his range that will call, and even if that's a small percentage of hands it just has to be a larger percentage than the times he checks a better hand.

    The question is really how often he checks hands that beat you on the river? Without a real straight or flush possibility would he check a set or two pair? He'd have to 1) read you as having a biggish ace or weaker 2 pair and 2) expect you to bet the river for him. If he believes 1 and has you beat is he really going to risk his value by letting you do the betting? He might check a really weak two pair if he's the kind to raise a small suited ace, but that's a pretty specific circumstance.

    I would say in this situation something like %10 of the time he checked a some weird better hand like a small suited ace or maybe even goes for a check-raise. %20-%30 (call it $25) of the time he'll pay off either because he has a middle ace or he thinks something along the lines of "I checked to him so he might just bluff the river, I'll call with KK." The remained of the time he folds.

    So your approximate EV on a $50 bet is (-50 * .1) + (50 * .25) or 7.5 bucks. Now if we add in the possibility of a checkraise with a 5 percent chance it looks like this (assuming you always fold to a cr) and rounding to 180 in the pot on the river before betting -

    (- 230 * .05) + ( - 230 * .1) + (180 * .6) + (230 * .25) or $133.5 Without the river bet its (-180* .1) + (180 * .9) = $144, so the bet is actually negative if he can river check-raise even 5% of the time because it kills your equity in the main point.

    Now if he's a real show-down monkey, then we adjust the %10 better hand rate up to may %40. We get (-50 *.4) + (50 *.25) which is now a $7.5 loss. Add in the checkraise possibility and it gets even worse. Basically as soon as we think his "attempt to show-down" rate closely approaches his "pay-me-off" rate then the bet becomes negative.

    ok. I've rambled enough.


    1. Wow, awesome comments! Thanks. I dare say, your comment is almost as long as one of my blog posts.

      Lots to think about here, very good analysis.

      The more I think about from here....a month later....I think he would have bet the river with anything that beat TPTK. We'd played together a long time and since I was largely card dead, he hadn't seen me make any out of line moves, like trying to bluff a river....so he wouldn't be checking to try to induce a bluff.

      Oh well. I'm gonna reread your analysis a few more times and try to learn from it, great stuff.

  5. Same Anon that replied with Ed Miller's "streets of value" here.

    I think Ed would say you played it perfectly. You're not getting any more value from this hand and only losing money playing it more aggressively.

    1. Thanks. Are you just channeling Ed Miller or are you actually Ed trying to keep a a low profile? :)