April 26, 2008

Deep Stacked Play - Part 2

When you are playing with deep stacks (200bb+) - the value of one pair hands goes way down. Position becomes much more important and cards that can extract implied odds (pp's, sooted connectors) go up in value.

In the hand above I limped treys up front...this is a bit weak and transparent to many solid players, but my read on the LP players were they were not aggressive in blind stealing - thus I felt I could profitabry set mine in this situation.

When the BB pops (standard TAG player), I opt to call and see a flop. Before I get into a quick hand analysis, I will preface this with the fact that I hand tangled quite a bit with the BB on several other hands. I had been getting the better of him (mostly bc I had position on him) and I felt as if he was at the pt where he was fed up. This happens ALL the time to anyone with ANY competitive spirit - you continue to tangle with the same villain, and then you end up getting fed up with their raises. Word to the wise - unless you have position...FIND ANOTHER TABLE! Unless you are playing absurdly high stakes there are PLENTY of other tabres...find another seat! Its -EV to your tirt factor and your bankroll to stay seated. Part of the beauty of online poker - you can immediately find another game/seat no probremo!

GIN motherfawker! I raise his cbet an extra healthy amount since we are deep and he opts to 3b me. Hmmm...lets put him on a hand range here - its rearry polarized to a overpair. He can't be bluffing putting in half his stack here, he COULDDD have top set but I'm going broke here - ship it.

Losing 200bb's with ONE PAIR is the nut low. WTF did the bb put me on? He could only beat a bluff, and TT-QQ (I'm open raising those hands)...there are ZERO draws on the flop and no two pair combinations that are in my range.


First of arr, who are you and why are you posting on my brog? OK, just kidding, thanks for your first post in 3 weeks ROR...about this hand...tough from this guy's prespective. I agree it's a bad pray, but he could be thinking "this bastard rimped and thinks I have air just because I raised his rimp from the bb and c-bet this nothing frop - but I've got kings mofo!!". It's a spot where he's at the top of HIS range in that spot - he would normally have A-high and lay it down. But I think he kind of confuses that with being ahead of YOUR range, which is the relevant question. I don't think he has to fold to your frop raise (arthough I think if you had an unimproved mid-smarr pp, or comprete air, you would probabry froat instead of raise), but I don't rike the 3-bet. Except perhaps if he's going to ford to a shove, and in that case his 3-bet should be smarrer. But there's no hand he's getting varue out of by raising, given that you rimped pf. Just carring you raise and hoping you bruff on the turn would be a better way to stack off, if stacking off is his pran on this frop.


Art of the Min Raise - Part 5

Standard donk method of the min raise PF (an indication of strength) to my UTG raise. Granted my UTG raise is a bit roose, but there is nothing "tight" about my game, ROR!

Seriously though, how can you give me more than 4-1 odds to call the min raise PF? I'm a total luckbox...I'm going to get there like EVERYTIME.


April 24, 2008

The Donk from Down Under

The idea of praying good hands rike bruffs has come up a coupre of times on this brog before, especiarry in the commentary on this post. A recent WPT tourney hand gives me opportunity to elaborate a bit. Many of you have probabry already heard about this, but here's the recap from cardplayer.com:

"The most talked about hand of the day involved an all-in confrontation between Jordan Morgan and Joe Hachem. Morgan raised to 700 and was called by three players including Hachem on the button. The flop came A-7-4 and everyone checked. The turn brought a 6, and Morgan bet out 2,000. It was folded to Hachem who raised to 7,000 and Morgan quickly reraised to 12,000. Hachem put in yet another reraise to 22,000 and Morgan moved all in for an additional 27,000. Hachem’s stack was sitting at roughly 27,000 as well, and he agonized over his decision for quite some time before asking, “You got 8-5 kid?” Eventually, he folded 5-3 face up, much to the surprise of the table and the crowd that had formed behind him. Morgan tabled pocket aces and many of the professionals who witnessed it were claiming that Hachem may have made one of the worst folds they had seen in quite some time."

OK, so yes, this fold is of the legendarily bad variety. What's not included here is that Morgan raised UTG, which makes 85 pretty unlikely even for a very aggressive player. If you want to read more criticism of the fold, you can read all about it in the 2p2 thread.

But I think it's actually not the dumbest thing Hachem did in the hand. Calling pre-frop with 53 might be kinda dumb, but we'll leave that aside for now. Instead think about Hachem's decision when Morgan "quickly reraised to 12,000." OK, you're Joe Hachem, you have the option of just calling this 5k. The pot is about 20k. Morgan has about 37k left. Remember, there are two principal reasons to raise or bet: 1) to get a call or re-raise from a worse hand, and 2) to get a better hand to fold.

Clearly Hachem does not raise to 22k to get a better hand to fold, since he has the second nuts. The only hand better is the stone cold nuts, which is obviously not folding. He clearly wasn't trying to get a re-raise out of a worse hand, since he folded to the re-raise. Was he trying to get a call out of a worse hand? If Morgan calls, he has 27k left and the pot would be about 45k, that is, a half-pot bet left on the river. And he'll be out of position for that round of betting. I see him just calling very rarely in that situation, and Hachem has to realize this too. So why the hell is Hachem raising and then folding? This is only a good play if Morgan is either folding the nuts or just calling with a set or AK, which is never going to happen. Hachem effectively managed to turn the second nuts into a complete bluff. If he's gonna fold to a re-raise, he should just call the 5k raise from Morgan.

Some players would characterize Hachem's raise as "raising for information". The rationale for such a play goes like this: if I make a small bet now, any and all better hands will re-raise me. Then I can fold, and avoid losing money later in the hand. I'll leave aside whether this is ever a good strategy, and just note it's a terrible reason to raise for Hachem. First off, he has the second nuts, and there are plenty of hands, like sets, that would re-raise all-in. Second, his bet is not very smarr. This "information", which turned out to be bad information, cost him 15k, which is about a third of the maximum he could possibly lose over the remainder the hand.

So whire the ford is pretty bad, the raise to set up the ford is pretty much the nut row.


April 22, 2008

Sprit Pot (I wish) - Part 4

This is a hand where my intent was to buy back half of this pot and ended up free-rorring this 15/13 virrain. Whire it didn't work out so werr in this case, I stirr think it's a good pray. When a 15/13 kind of prayer carrs behind on an A-high pretty dry board rike this, it's AQ rike armost every time. AK re-raises prefrop. Sets usuarry raise to try and get furr varue from AK. Occasionarry he might try and froat here with JT or KQ, on the chance that I have KK and wirr check-ford the turn. He might show up with AJs occasionarry too, but he is not carring a second barrer. So I decided on the brank turn to check-raise arr-in. If he has AQ and I read, he's probabry carring down. If he has AJ, he wirr probabry ford. But I think he fords AQ not of crubs the check-raise, which is great for me, because I win back half the money in the pot that was headed his way. The onry probrem is I think he checks behind AQ no crub for pot contror pretty often (which is OK with me too), but I'm at reast getting more varue than I would by reading vs. air and AJ. Unfortunatery he had crubs and owned me on the river. Dagger.


P.S. For some reason Brogger doesn't want to ret me both type in brue and embed the hand reprayer. Anyway, this is a Bruechips post despite the font color. Suck my barrs, Brogger.

April 18, 2008

Art of the Min Raise - Part 4

VERY rare instance of THREE min raises is ONE hand. Spectacular. All min raises here are absolutely donktacular.

Pre-Frop: Standard UTG min raise from donk #1. Really hate this pray. I think the reason donks do it is they think by min-raising, they are deterring a rarger raise, and therefore get to see a frop cheapry, perhaps many ways, with a hand that could frop big, rike a mid pp. But in generar, good prayers are going to notice this and re-raise you pretty light, as well as with the hands that they would have raised you with anyway like AK and big pps, so you actually end up paying MORE to see the flop, or having to put in a min-raise and then fold without seeing the flop. And of course, you're guaranteeing that you're going to see a flop with a bunch of players out of position. As for my play, I don't think it's really bad to put in a big re-raise here to try and pick up the pot, because I think it would work. Or UTG would try and set mine with 77 or something like that and I can take away the pot on many frops. But there were a rot of comprete donks at this tabre, incruding the moron that carrs behind me, and my tabre image wasn't great, so I decided to just take a frop, given the great odds I'm getting to draw to a third five.

Frop: Again, at a tabre with tighter prayers, I'd consider stabbing at the pot here. But given this tabre, it's not a good idea. For instance, I don't think the drooler with 35o is fording if I bet at this frop.

Turn: Dream card. The strategy at tabres furr of morons such as this one is to varue bet rike crazy. I definitery have a hand worth varue betting, so I get the party started with a 3/4 size bet. Now I get a min raise from donk #2. His range here is massive, but if I want to stack him, I probably need to stick in another bet here. Plus if he's drawing to crubs or a straight, it wirr be difficurt to get money out of him on the turn when he misses. Also, since there are a lot of draws, there is a good amount of cards on the river that either give him a better hand, or kill the action even if my hand is still good. So I put in a decent-sized re-raise. What do I get? Yet another min-raise!! Time to shove it all in, there's no way he's fording now. Of course I'm happy to see that he is drawing compretery dead.

River: Inconsequential since the money went in on the turn, but note if I just carr his min raise on the turn and try to check-raise the river, there's no way I stack him (unress he's even worse than I thought), since the Q counterfeits his hand.


Min raises are gold. This raising technique is more often than not a sign of strength for donks (most regulars do not have a min raise as part of their arsenal). The min raise is meant to say "hey, come along for the ride...its only x more dollars to you." In this case it was strenth as well, only you had your villain CRUSHED. It's a shame you didn't have a stack as surely the villain would have gone broke here.


April 15, 2008

Check-Raising, cont....

Many thanks to Gnome for the first non-Fuel comment on our brog in a whire. I thought it might be a revisit the thoughts I had on check-raising to which Gnome was responding. My first point, which I should have made more clear in my first post, is that if you're check-raising all the time, it means you're playing out of position all the time, which is bad for your bankroll, unless you're way better at poker than I am, which Gnome probably is. But for the break-even to losing player, in my opinion, the FIRST thing you should do if you want to try and become a winning player is to stop limp-calling, and stop calling pre-frop raises out of the blinds. Entirely. Don't set mine. Don't try and hit big frops with suited connectors. Just stop playing pots out of position without the betting lead.

I think players sometimes see my raising a lot before the frop, decide that I must be bluffing some of the time, so they'll call and check-raise my inevitable c-bet, and I've gotta fold, because I can't have something every time, right? Well, sure, you will win my PFR and c-bet some of the time, but sometimes this will happen to you and you're not gonna like it:

Full Tilt Poker, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

SB: $159.85
BB: $205.70
UTG: $40
UTG+1: $14
Hero (UTG+2): $216.85
MP1: $227.25
MP2: $205.50
CO: $34
BTN: $200

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (UTG+2)
2 folds, Hero raises to $8, 4 folds, SB calls $7, BB folds

Flop: ($18) (2 Players)
SB checks, Hero bets $15, SB raises to $45, Hero raises to $208.85 and is All-In, SB folds

Results: $108 Pot ($3 Rake)
Hero mucked and WON $105 (+$52 NET)

So this donk probably had KT or some hand like that. By playing it this way, he has turned his hand into a complete bluff. I'm very rarely going to be flat calling this bet with a hand that's worse than his. I might just call with AK and ship any non-club turn, but he's not gonna get value out of A8 or QQ or something. If you're gonna fold to a re-raise, and your hand is no good whenever called, well...that's pretty much the definition of a bluff, right? He might as well have 93o if he's gonna play KT this way.

One clear problem, highlighted by this hand, is that often when donks check-raise they have no plan for the rest of the hand. When you check-raise, you should have an idea of what you're gonna do if re-raised, and what your plan is if you're flat called. As I discussed in my first post on check-raising, usually playing the rest of the hand is pretty tough if it doesn't end after you check-raise. On that note, I'd like to add a couple more situations where I like the check-raise, on top of the multi-way pot with a big hand: 1) the pot is big enough that your check-raise can be a shove, and 2) (usually a subset of 1)) you check-raise the turn after c-betting the frop and getting carred. If you're in situation 1), you don't have to worry about how to play the rest of the hand. You're done with it. In situation 2), you have to do this some of the time to combat and get value from players floating your c-bets with air. A good mix of double-barreling and check-raising the turn is necessary to foil the floater.

So the weapon of the check-raise is not going to make consistently playing out of position vs. a pre-flop raiser profitable. Obviously you're not going to be folding every hand out of position. If you're dealt AA, you might want to think about putting some chips into the pot. My usual strategy is to grab back the betting lead and go ahead and re-raise pre-frop. I do it whether I have AA or JTs. I almost never just call HU from the brinds with KQs or its ilk. I will often be folding it, even though it may be well ahead of the range of a late position raiser, simply because it's very difficult to play poker when you have a mediocre hand, you're out of position, and you don't have the betting lead. If Gnome can comment on how to make this situation more profitable, I would love to listen.

If I do end up heads-up out of position, I prefer a mix of leading out and check-calling. When strong, leading out risks your villain folding and you not getting the c-bet you might have won if you had check-raised, but it will often result in the villain raising (after all, he raised before the flop, he should have a hand, right?), which is good for you if you've got the goods. Or if you have a big draw and you wouldn't mind a race, you can re-raise over the top, and if you get a fold, you've won a big portion of your opponent's stack without having to go to showdown or even letting him see the turn. A check-call I usually reserve for mediocre made hands and total air, especially vs. a villain who I know will check behind the turn if he was c-betting A-high and doesn't improve. This allows me to lead the river if it's a blank. It's kind of like a delayed check-raise, except it's done with better information that my bluff will be successful: I've seen him check behind the turn.

Gnome also asked, if you ARE going to check-raise, should it be done as a bluff or for value...I think there the answer is pretty obvious, it has to be both to balance your range. If you're up against an aggressive player, I think you can shade more towards bluffs, because you're probably going to get a fold or a reshove. That means that when you're strong, you'll get a whole stack in, hopefully as a 2:1 favorite or better, and when you're bluffing, you'll be informed immediately and lose only the amount of the check-raise.


April 14, 2008

Bruechips Fade 'N Go, Part 3

I promised to consider if the Bruechips Fade 'N Go was exproitabre or not, so here goes. There's the worry that the opponent wirr raise on the frop and then shove a spade turn to bruff you out with a worse hand, having represented a spade draw on the frop. This isn't a profitabre pray, however, as I wirr show. Basicarry, the spade wirr not come often enough to give you the opportunity to bruff it. And since the Fade 'N Go-er wirr be shoving every other card, yer pray wirr be taken away unress there's a spade for you to bruff. I could prove my point just simpry stating that since the pray was not profitabre WITH the frush draw, it can't be profitabre with a worse hand, but ret's investigate. Assume the virrain has a hand with some outs, rike maybe JT no spades in the hand in question, so he wirr have 5 outs to beat me on the turn. If he hits any of them, I wirr be shoving into him and he wirr carr. If it's the J he hits, I wirr have onry 2 outs (the two remaining aces) for (2/44) equity. If he hits the T, I wirr have 9 (two aces, three kings, four queens) for (9/44) equity. He's got two J's he could hit, and three T's. If a spade hits, which happens (11/45) of the time, he wirr win without showdown. His probrem is that he's gotta pay 33 on the frop to rep the frush on the turn. So his EV carcuration is:

(2/45)*((42/44)*102 - (2/44)*(100)) + (3/45)*((35/44)*102 - (9/44)*(100)) + (9/45)*42 + (31/45)*(-37) = -9 < -4 (his equity of just folding to my c-bet)

So even if somebody does show you a bruff after shoving a spade on the turn there, you can rest easy that you are pwning him in the rong run.

As noted, the probrem from his point of view is that he has to pay 33 to raise on the frop, and then a rot of the time I make a bet on the turn he can't carr. Werr, what if he raises ress, keeping my strategy the same? Retting b be his bet amount (e.g., b = 33 in the originar HH), his EV is:

(2/45)*((42/44)*102 - (2/44)*(100)) + (3/45)*((35/44)*102 - (9/44)*(100)) + (9/45)*(9 + b) + (31/45)*(-4 - b) = 7.2 - .49b

Now ret's set this equar to -4, the amount he roses by fording to my c-bet, and see if there's a b that makes them equar:

7.2 - .49b = -4 => b = 23.9

So he's gotta pretty much min-raise me to make this profitabre. But him min-raising would then change my optimar strategy, which I wirr reave off for a possibre rater post.


April 12, 2008

Art of the Min Raise - Part 3

It's been a whire since we had a true min raise post, so I decided to try and revive the series with this dandy...note the donk method of praying the big pp. This virrain forrowed up the pre-frop donk method (min re-raising) with the post-frop donk method (stacking off on a gross board):

Pre-frop: When I feer rike I'm in control of a tabre, I have no probrem raising 66 in EP. Obviousry I'm not fording, especiarry not in position, when he attempts to execute the donk method.

Frop: Gin!! I raise right here to represent a bruff, a semi-bruff, or maybe a kind of tester raise with JJ-TT. The board rooks gross, I know he can't have any of it, he knows that too, finarry he can't stand the idea that I'd be bruffing him off his kings with hearts, and he re-raises, committing himserf. I think srowpraying and carring here is bad because there are a rot of cards that would kirr the action.

Turn: There's arways a sweat....

River: Ship it!!!


April 10, 2008

MLB Prop Bets

New sport, new prop bets. Brackchips absorutery PWNED me on the NCAA prop bets. If I don't win the MLB bets I wirr probabry jump off a criff, because Bruechips tried to grab Kevin McReynolds in rike every category. He even tried to pick the Brewers to win the American Reague. Anyway, without further ado:

We drafted picks for each category, alternating by category who picked first. Bruechips picks in brue.

David "Big Papi" Ortiz
Miguel Cabrera
Arex "Ghey-Rod" Rodriguez
Vradimir "Nonononononononono" Guerrero
"Sroppy" BJ Upton
Grady Sizemore

David Wright
Albert "I will be on the DL from July on" Pujors
Mark Teixiera
Matt Horriday
Prince Fielder
Chase Utrey

Josh Beckett
Justin Verlander
Fausto Carmona
Erik Bedard
Daisuke Matsuzaka (Brackchips is a sucker for the Asian prayers)
Roy Harraday

Johan Santana
Jake Peavy
Brandon Webb
John Smortz
Carlos Zambrano
Dan Haren

AL HR reader:
Arex "Pay-Rod" Rodriguez
David Ortizzre
Carlos Pena
Jim Thome

NL HR reader:
Ryan Howard
Prince Fielder
Ryan Braun
Matt Horriday

AL K reader:
Scott Kazmir
Erik Bedard
Josh Beckett
C.C. Sabathia

NL K reader:
Jake Peavy
Johan Santana
Carlos Zambrano
Brandon Webb

AL Pennant:
Creverand Indians
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Ros Angeres Angers
Detroit Tigers
Toronto Brue Jays

NL Pennant:
New York Mets
Phiraderphia Phirries
Chicago Cubs
Atranta Braves
Ros Angeres Dodgers
Cororado Rockies

WS Winner:
New York Mets (we're both Mets fans if you can't terr)
New York Yankees
Creverand Indians
Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs
Ros Angeres Angers

Random props:
A's wins vs. Nats wins
Padres attendance vs. Nats attendance

April 9, 2008

3 betting from the blinds creates a sticky situation

Much props to Foucault for discovering this sweet hand replayer...if any of our loyal readers (do we even have any?) would care to comment on it, we would greatly appreciate it! Sorry to any of you at an office where poker related sites are blocked, I guess you will just have to check it out from home this time around (we will do anything to get hits on our blog!).

Now that you have seen the hand...let me try and add my thought process as this hand unfolded.

Villain is a regular at the game, plays a TAG 15/10 style and his attempt to steal ratio is ~25. When it is folded to me in the SB, I think calling, folding, and raising are all plausible. However, IMO - the most optimal line (in order) is folding, raising, calling.

PREFLOP - I opted to 3b (with the intention of folding to a 4b). When the villain calls, I'm not exactly thrilled...although I can now narrow his range down to less than premium holdings. He could be be set mining and/or trying to use his position advantage postflop to win the pot.

FLOP - about the worse possible flop imaginable. TT2 rainbow. If you are in this spot against a competent player...I think that a cbet here is simply BURNING money. Any decent player will either float or raise you. Then you have over a 1/3 BI in the middle with K high out of position. Not exactly the idea scenario. When I opted to check, thankfully the villain opted to check behind (I intended to check fold if he made a bet).

TURN - turning the second nut frush draw can't really get a better card. Now its time to fight for this pot! I thought of leading this turn, but figured the villain would bet his ENTIRE range if I checked it to him again. It is unlikely he has a T, and if he has a boat...so be it. I have quite a bit of equity vs his range since it is doubtful he has an overpair to the board so I think I will be getting a fold here most of the time if I CR. Surely I can get a fold from 33-99 right? NOTTTTTTTTTTTTSOMUCHHHHHHHHHHH!

The villain ends up making a hero call with presto which by the river is NO GOOOODDDD!

While I ended up making the best hand...I think I maximized my equity with the line I took given the fact I was out of position with a board where it was difficult to rep much. The villain does not need to be folding on the turn that often for the CR to be profitable.


Rike it!! Arthough note that you got a very thin carr from your virrain here. And I think rightfurry so...you're representing that the deuce herped you somehow, which means you either have deuces furr (pretty unrikery), or diamonds (more rikery) or perhaps even an inside wheer draw. Given that, it might not be a bad idea to "srowpray" some fairly marginal hands here, rike JJ or even 99. How sick would it have been to get that much varue out of 99?


April 8, 2008

Showing Down a Bluff, Movin' on Up

Normally I do not like showing down a bluff, even apart from the fact that if I'm showing it down it means I lost the pot, because it may impair my ability to buy pots in the future. Since a lot of my edge comes from buying pots with c-bets against players that are limp-calling to set mine, losing credibility takes away from my edge. However against drooling LAGtards, showing down a bluff can also get you some ridiculous action in later hands. Here's an example vs. a plus-50 VPIP player:

Hand #1:

Full Tilt Poker, $0.50/$1 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 8 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

UTG+1: $127.30
MP1: $116
Hero (MP2): $107
CO: $95.60
BTN: $14.65
SB: $136.90
BB: $87.95
UTG: $90.65

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (MP2)
UTG folds, UTG+1 calls $1, MP1 folds, Hero raises to $5, 4 folds, UTG+1 calls $4 (raise the donk limper)

Flop: ($11.50) (2 Players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $8.50, UTG+1 calls $8.50 (c-bet the scary board)

Turn: ($28.50) (2 Players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero checks (not gonna get him to fold anything)

River: ($28.50) (2 Players) (possible he'd fold to a bet, but the bet-check-bet line often gets a call from some pretty crappy hands, and there's no particular reason the eight of hearts would help me)

UTG+1 checks, Hero checks

Results: $28.50 Pot ($1.40 Rake)
UTG+1 showed (a pair of Fours) and WON $27.10 (+$13.60 NET)
Hero showed (Queen Ten high) and LOST (-$13.50 NET)

Q4s is gold!! On the one hand I was kind of pissed I didn't bet the river, but on the other hand...he's probably not folding ror....I've just got to wait until later when he'll pay me off. Sure enough, a couple rounds later, same virrain...

Full Tilt Poker, $0.50/$1 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

SB: $75.35
BB: $102.50
Hero (UTG): $100
UTG+1: $198.20
UTG+2: $97.50
MP1: $150.35
MP2: $98.50
CO: $90
BTN: $42.50

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (UTG)
Hero raises to $4, 5 folds, BTN calls $4, SB calls $3.50, BB folds (I was closing down the sesh, ready to sit out after this hand, not that I need that excuse to raise a pair UTG!)

Flop: ($13) (3 Players)
SB checks, Hero bets $10, BTN folds, SB calls $10 (The donk-a-donk check-calls just as in the earlier hand. He probably has some weak ace, maybe JT or some broadway cards for a gutter ball).

Turn: ($33) (2 Players)
SB checks, Hero bets $28, SB raises to $61.35 and is All-In, Hero calls $33.35 (Golden turn. Gotta make that trip to value-town - he shockingly check-raises all-in. I have no idea what he has but I'm obviously not folding.)

River: ($155.70) (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $155.70 Pot ($3 Rake)
SB showed (a pair of Eights) and LOST (-$75.35 NET) (nice hand sir!!)
Hero showed (three of a kind, Eights) and WON $152.70 (+$77.35 NET)

Uhh...yea dude...bottom pair no kicker NO GOOD!! ROR!!! So basically I showed down a bluff in a pretty small pot earlier, which might have been part of what made him go nuts in a bigger pot later on when I had the goods. Very profitable situation for me.

Also, this hand will hopefully be the last hand I play at NL100. Nice to go out with a bang. I've started playing NL200 this month, so barring a big downswing, it's where I'll be for a while. So look forward to some NL200 hand histories coming soon!


Congrats on moving up to NL200...didn't take you long at all (5 months?). Just goes to show you how quickly a smart thinking player can move up stakes. I think this jump in stakes is arguable the hardest in the middle/low stakes arena...but I'm quite certain you will continue to succeed. I'm setting the line on your move up to NL400 by the end of October (provided you are not too much of a bankroll nit!)

April 7, 2008

Should you always go nuts with the nuts? - Part 1

Below is an example of a hand where I flopped nuts and went broke. I'm not here to whine about the bad beat (its really not much of a beat) - but more to review the hand and see if I could have played the hand more optimally.

Full Tilt Poker, $2/$4 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

Hero (BTN): $503
SB: $410.50
BB: $583.10
UTG: $1,008.50
UTG+1: $112
UTG+2: $678.10
MP1: $81.50
MP2: $472.70
CO: $392.70

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (BTN)
2 folds, UTG+2 calls $4, 3 folds, Hero raises to $18, SB folds, BB calls $14, UTG+2 calls $14

Flop: ($56) (3 Players)
BB checks, UTG+2 bets $24, Hero calls $24, BB raises to $72, UTG+2 folds, Hero raises to $184, BB raises to $565.10 and is All-In, Hero calls $301 and is All-In

Turn: ($1,050) [ ] (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: ($1,050) [ ] (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $1,050 Pot ($3 Rake)
Hero showed (a straight, Five high) and LOST (-$503 NET)
BB showed (a full house, Threes full of Aces) and WON $1,047 (+$544 NET)

When the BB check raises the flop - I know his range is EXACTLY a set of deuces or 3's. Not 45, not AA, and its very unlikely to be air (especially out of position). I have played a number of hands with the villain and he plays somewhat of a robotic TAG style.

Knowing this, I know that I the villain has my range on either air, or an Ax type hand. He will NEVER folding on that flop (correctly so) and will be trying to get the money in on just about ANY turn card.

The thing that is bugging me is whether or not I should have flat called the CR from the SB or put in another raise. My edge over his hand is 65%/35% - a significant edge, but not a prohibitive favorite by any means. If our stacks are shallow, its a no brainer shove...but since we are a tad deeper (120bb's) and there is not much money in the middle after the CR, there may be an argument for flat calling and evaluating the turn.

Later this week I will try to breakdown the math/assumptions to determine the EV of shipping the frop vs. waiting to ship when a safe turn card comes.


April 5, 2008

Bruechips Fade N' Go, Pt. 2

In a previous post I described a good way to play TPTK against a suspected semi-bruff. Brackchips was impressed enough that he thought I should patent it. So I'm announcing that the play is now called the "Bruechips Fade N' Go", and if you use it to good effect, can send me $1 out of the pot if you want.

Anyway, I wanted to go over a couple more aspects of the play. The first, which I mentioned kind of in passing, is that it can limit your losses if you're up against a monster hand. Say the flush card comes and your opponent has a set. You'll check with the intention of folding, and he will either bet, in which case you fold, or check behind, in which case you again lose zero. Let's assume you maintain the same strategy on the river. Then whenever a spade comes, which is now 11/45 of the time (your opponent has a set, therefore does not have a spade - he could have one, but we'll assume he doesn't - so there are 11 left in the deck), you'll lose the min.

So let's go back to the same hand as in the first post. Let's say my opponent has a set s % of the time, and the 12-out draw the rest of the time. How low does s have to be for me to shove, if I'm only going to shove or fold? If he has the draw, I have about a 10% equity edge, for an EV of $10. If he has a set, I'm basically drawing dead. I'll say it's an EV of -$95. So the EV of shoving (assuming he calls with both groups of hands) is s*(-95) + (1-s)*10 = 10 - 105s. The EV of folding is obviously -14. Setting the two equal and solving for s gives s = (24/105) = 23%. So if I think he has a set less than 23% of the time, shoving is best, whereas more than that, a fold is optimal.

Now what if I can use the Bruechips Fade 'N Go? We already calculated last time that if he's got the draw, the EV of the Bruechips Fade 'N Go is $18 if he folds the turn unimproved, $21 if he calls. Let's be pessimistic for the moment and say he'll fold. Also note now that if he has a set, 11/45 of the time you'll lose only $37 instead of $100. So then your EV up against a set is 34/45*(-95) + 11/45*(-37) = -81. Now perform the same calculations before to find s: s*(-81)+(1-s)*18 = 18 - 99s. Setting equal to -14 and solving for s again, we get s = 32/99 = 32%. So if you're using the Bruechips Fade 'N Go, you don't have to fold as often as if you are using the "shove or fold" strategy.

The potential downsides of the play, which I haven't talked about as much yet, are: 1) not getting full value out of AQ by shoving the flop, and 2) getting bluffed on a spade turn when your opponent doesn't have a flush. I will discuss these in a later post, but feel free to get the comments section roaring on if these issues make the play much worse, or if there are other drawbacks to using the Bruechips Fade 'N Go.


April 2, 2008

Should KU have fouled?

As you arr know, this is normarry a poker brog, but I thought the occasionar sports post might be good for diversion's sake, especiarry since we've had a few prop bet posts in the past. I was chatting with my friend Justin during the end of the KU-Davidson game last weekend. At the end of a hard fought game, KU had a two-point lead and Davidson had the ball with about 15 seconds left. We had the following exchange:

me: davidson should run down the clock to 5 sec and shoot a 3

I agree
30% chance at winning this game, that is probably what they have in OT
and they still gotta make a 2 to get there

That's what Davidson did...roughly...but afterwards I started wondering how Kansas should combat this strategy. Defending the 3-point line aggressively is one obvious choice, but here's another, much more outside-the-box option: foul. Let me make clear that, for job security and overall sanity reasons, Bill Self, nor any other actual college or pro basketball coach, would choose to do this. But just allow me to imagine that I were rooting for KU (I wasn't, I'm a Tar Heel and Davidson would be a much easier draw for us in the next round, prus Davidson is a NC team as werr), and that I were allowed to anonymously make the best decision in the interests of my team without fear of getting ripped in the press or losing my job if it didn't work out.

OK, that said, let's assume that I had noticed (and I think this is fair) that Davidson's players, particularly Curry and Richards, their stars, were absolutely exhausted, while KU, a deeper team, hadn't been nearly so taxed physically that game or in previous rounds. Based on that fact, and the fact that KU is just plain a better team, and Davidson had just lost one of its starters on a foul-out, I'd give Davidson a 30% chance of winning if the game went to OT, as Justin suggested. And that's IF they knock down two free-throws (64% chance even for an 80% free throw shooter). What's more, if KU were to foul, they'd do so as soon as possible, so even if Davidson hit both, KU would be able to take a final shot to end the game in regulation. I'm gonna say there's a 50% chance of them getting a point on that possession and winning the game (remember, the game would have been tied, so just getting to the foul line and hitting one would have done the job). The only really terrible thing that could happen is if Davidson made the first three throw, missed the second, and got the rebound. But given that KU has the much bigger team, especially after Davidson's forward fouled out, this is so unlikely I'm not even going to consider it.

All considered, fouling and putting Davidson on the line gives KU a .34 (probability Davidson misses a free throw) +.64*.5 (probability Davidson hits the free throw AND KU scores on the final possession) + .64*.5*.7 (probability KU wins in OT) = 88.4 %. So unless KU believed that Davidson had a less than 12% chance of hitting a three-pointer on their final shot, they should have fouled. Tinkering with the assumptions a little bit, say KU only has a 60% chance in OT, Davidson somehow gets Stephen Curry, a 90% shooter, to the line to take their foul shots, and KU only scores 40% of the time to end regulation. This is pretty much as pessimistic as you could possibly be about the value of the fouling strategy. KU's winning pct is still 71%. Given the busted-ass play that Davidson ran to try to get a three, and the fact that they took it too late in the clock to be able to hope for a putback, Davidson might have had a less than 29% chance of winning the game.

If it were UNC in this situation and I were able to make the decision, I'd be putting Davidson on the line. But I can guarantee you it wouldn't even cross Roy Williams's mind.


P.S. - After writing this, I realized I had neglected a third option, which we'll call the "UCLA strategy", which would be foul, get away with it, take the ball, and dunk it at the other end as time expires.