September 29, 2008

THIN! (Part 10)

Ok so as I'm sure you may know...we here at spritpot have a lil obsession with getting THIN value on hands.  The concept is simple and straight forward, but we enjoy getting thin value like a fat kid loves cake.  

The hand below defintely ranks up there in my all time favorites...sit back and enjoy!

Did you catch that?  9 high called by 4 high, ROR!  Granted my 67% equity did not hold...but whatever...let's try not to be results oriented.  Its hands like these that fuel your addiction for the game, it makes you keep coming back for more!  

Let me walk you through my thought process on this on the hand...

Prefrop - ok 89o UTG+1 is a BIT loose (TAG is not exactly in my vocab when it comes to my playing style)...but the table was INFESTED with shortstackers behind me, and I knew they would be giving my raise some respect based on my position.  

Frop - 1 caller...from the brinds, super.  Love me some HU pots in position...I'm looking to either outfrop him, or manipulate him based on having position.  He makes a SUPER weak donk bet.  My thoughts were - a) this dude does NOT have a King.  b) there are a ton of draws on the board which he might be donking with.  Flush draws, 34, 78.  c) this could be one of those situations where he is just bet folding something like 6x, 5x, or 77-88.  

I opt to SHIPITIN, I can credibly rep a King based on my pre/frop pray in hopes of getting a decent range of his hands to fold.  Villain tanks for a while and finally calls.  

I don't think I really need to go into how BAD his play, ROR.  Despite not having a pair or a FD, I had the WORST possible hand vs his hand...half of his OESD outs are giving me the nut straight!  This definitely highlights the concept of reverse impried odds (as recently mentioned by Bart Hanson on Cash Plays).  In this instance...he had the WOST POSSIBLE draw on the board - not only is there a FD which could arso nurify some of his straight draw outs, but his straight draw is NOT to the nuts.  His thoughts were probably - "I have 8 outs to make the best hand."  Well if I had a naked FD - then its only 6, and if I have a super sweet combo draw 78cc or 89cc then he is drawing even thinner.

I really wish the board woulda entirely bricked off for both of us...don't think I've ever seen a HH with two arr ins that says "x wins $y with 8 high" ROR.  

September 17, 2008

THIN! (Part 9)

Sorry for the lack of posts lately...been going through a rough stretch of late and haven't been in much of the brogging mood of late.

Had a brief little session and had this interesting hand...

September 15, 2008

Playing Out of Position, Cont....

Here are a couple of hands from a tournament where I used a player's actions in an earlier hand to make a pretty light call-down in a later hand. As a side note, every time I play a tournament I'm amazed by how bad the play is. Definitely worse than low stakes cash games. But I digress. Here's the first hand, in the very early stages of the tourney:

Seat 1: UTG+1 (1,455)
Seat 5: CO (1,335)
Seat 9: bruechips (UTG) (1,500)

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to bruechips [7h 7d]
bruechips raises to 90
UTG+1 calls 90
CO calls 90

*** FLOP ***
[4d Kd 4s]

bruechips bets 210 (Fairly standard up until this point, although I could make an argument for check/folding in a three-way pot early in a donkament. They're never folding a king or a better pocket pair, and they will probably just check down and give you a free showdown rather than turn AT into a bluff. On the other hand, they will often hold hands like QTo that you'd rather just get to fold now on the flop. Given that I'm only trying to fold out total air, I could probably have bet a little bit less too.)
UTG+1 calls 210
CO folds

*** TURN ***
[4d Kd 4s] [Jc]

bruechips checks (No point in trying to get him off of 99 or something like that. Another bet almost commits me to the pot, and there's just no point in going nuts early in a donkament.)
UTG+1 checks

*** RIVER ***
[4d Kd 4s Jc] [2h]
bruechips checks
UTG+1 checks

*** SHOW DOWN ***
bruechips shows [7h 7d] two pair, Sevens and Fours
UTG+1 shows [Kh Th] two pair, Kings and Fours

OK, so note that this guy checked behind top pair on the turn AND river. Granted the turn takes away his kicker, but I'm not going to have a worse king pretty much ever after raising UTG, so that shouldn't be a consideration. If he was ahead on the flop, it was because I had a QQ-55, not because I had K9. Anyway, the point is, this guy played his top pair passively in position when I showed weakness. Which leads me to the next hand, a few hands later:

Seat 1: Button (1,770)
Seat 9: bruechips (CO) (1,150)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [Qd Jd]
UTG calls 40
bruechips raises to 160
Button calls 160
UTG folds

*** FLOP ***
[Ac Js 7h]
bruechips bets 280
Button calls 280

*** TURN *** [Ac Js 7h] [5d]
bruechips checks
Button bets 980 (Up until this point the hand is pretty standard. Now he puts me all-in on the turn after I checked the turn. We saw on the last hand that this is not how he plays top pair with a marginal kicker. It's possible that he's mixing up his game, hoping that I noticed his play in the last hand and is now going for some thin value with A9 or something. But I generally don't give random tourney donks credit for that kind of leveling. Instead I'll pretty much assume that the only Ax he could have is A5. AQ+ raises preflop, AJ and A7 raise the flop, and AT and lower don't bet the turn, as we have seen. There are, however, all sorts of other hands he might peel the flop with which now might feel like they need to bluff to win. Any broadway cards make an inside straight draw or a pair. He could even have a seven. The only hand I'm really worried about is KJ, and maybe AA if he had slowplayed it preflop. My hand does well against a range of KJ, AA, and a bunch of 7- and 4-outters.)
bruechips calls 710, and is all in
Button shows [Ks Qs] (Now for the hard part, fading the river...)

*** RIVER *** [Ac Js 7h 5d] [5s] (Whew....)
Bruechips wins the pot (2,400) with two pair, Jacks and Fives


September 12, 2008

Art of the Min Raise (Part 13)

As you may have noticed from the hand histories I've been posting, I've recently been playing a lot of .25/.50 6-max. While it may be kind of lame to play that low when I play 1/2 full ring and am well-rolled enough to play higher than that, I am playing pretty much exclusively deep tables, so I'm in for 200 bbs pretty much all the time, variance in 6-max is greater, players, on average, are better - or at least more aggressive - in 6-max games, and I have less experience playing 6-max. So it seems to make sense to kind of start low and work my way up. As I've mentioned before, I like to play for stakes where I'm able to go with my reads and make what I think is the right play, and not worry about the amount of money I'm putting in or giving up.

Anyway, this leads me to one of the differences I've noticed between 6-max and full ring. In full ring, we have chronicled here many times the "donk method of playing AA and KK", which entails min 3-betting preflop and then stacking off on any flop. In 6-max, you'll often see donks min re-raising preflop with much more marginal hands. They will still stack off if they hit anything on the flop though. I think their idea is that they're repping AA or KK by min re-raising preflop (whereas full ring donks think that min re-raising is repping a weak hand since they're not putting in much more money), so they should get credit for an overpair after the flop. Here's an example:

Seat 1: CO ($50)
Seat 4: BB ($71.20)
Seat 5: bruechips (UTG) ($111.25)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [Qh Ah]
bruechips raises to $1.75
CO calls $1.75
BB raises to $3 (Note the out of position min re-raise in a multi-way pot. Kind of your first clue that a: this player is a moron, and b: this could be something other than AA or KK)
bruechips calls $1.25
CO calls $1.25

*** FLOP *** [Jd 4c Qd]
BB bets $9.25
bruechips calls $9.25 (BB makes the obbligatory pot-sized continuation bet. I have no reason to fold or raise here. If the CO raises, I will probably be giving it up no matter what the BB does.)
CO folds

*** TURN *** [Jd 4c Qd] [8c]
BB bets $58.95, and is all in (Now an overbet shove when the 8c hits. In a full ring game, I might give this more credit as "I have an overpair and the board is starting to look gross, but I know I'm not going to fold so I might as well just shove". But in a 6-max game, where players make wild bluffs much more often, there's much more of a chance not only that this guy has some legit big draws, like AcKc or AdKd, but also some dogshit hands like JT or 89. He could even have me beat with J8. But in a 6-max game, I think this is really a call, even when this deep.)
bruechips calls $58.95
BB shows [Qs 9h]

*** RIVER *** [Jd 4c Qd 8c] [8d]
bruechips wins the pot ($142.65) with two pair, Queens and Eights


September 11, 2008

THIN! (Part 8)

One of the first principles of poker education is that playing out of position sucks and therefore should be avoided. However, sometimes seeing a flop out of position is unavoidable, and moreover you do give up value by being TOO tight out of position. I have been working recently on playing better out of position. Again I think it's one of the more difficult aspects of the game, but essential to be a well-rounded player and be able to adapt to games where all the players are trying to get positional advantage. Position is important, but at some point a stronger hand range outweighs the advantage of position. A key element of playing well in position vs. aggressive players means making some pretty thin check/calls and check-raises. Here are a couple of examples in blind vs. blind situations where I was pretty much obligated to raise from the sb and got called by the bb:

Seat 2: bruechips (SB) ($125.90)
Seat 3: BB ($12.75)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [Kc Th]
bruechips raises to $1.50 (Pretty standard, although if I were deep with the BB and he were an exceptional player I might consider just folding. That's obviously not the case here.)
BB calls $1

*** FLOP *** [2h Qh Tc]

bruechips checks (The outcome of this hand probably would have been the same if I had just bet/called rather than check/raised, but possibly not. Anyway, my thinking was: if I bet and he raises, I have to call. Pretty much any hand he's going to raise a continuation bet with he'll also bet/call with if I check/raise. He's certainly not folding any hand that beats me, so bet/calling and check/raising both get all the money in against the hands that beat me or that have huge equity like Ah9h. Check/raising, however, gets more value out of hands that I beat like worse tens, and total air. The only danger is if he checks behind, and I give up a free card to a hand like A3 that then catches an A to beat me. But I decided to just take that risk and go for the check/raise.)
BB bets $2.50
bruechips raises to $12
BB calls $8.75, and is all in
bruechips shows [Kc Th]
BB shows [Td Jd] (Indeed, check-raising earns me so razor-thin value)

This next hand is a little more interesting since I'm deeper with the big blind, so there's 3 streets of action:

Seat 2: bruechips (SB) ($115)
Seat 3: BB ($84.90)

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to bruechips [Js Ad]
bruechips raises to $1.50
BB calls $1

*** FLOP *** [8d 3h 7d]

bruechips bets $2.25 (Standard raise and c-bet on a rag flop. He calls, which I think he would do with a pretty wide range, including hands like 55 that he thinks is probably good but doesn't want to bloat the pot with)
BB calls $2.25

*** TURN *** [8d 3h 7d] [8s]

bruechips checks
BB checks (This doesn't change my perception of his range that much except that I'm pretty sure he doesn't have an 8 now. I doubt he'd slowplay trips on a board that has lots of straight and flush draws on it.)

*** RIVER *** [8d 3h 7d 8s] [Qc]
bruechips checks (This is a somewhat close decision. I could bet here to represent a Q, which is well within my range, and try to make him fold 55 or 76. But I'm not positive that he'd fold those hands - 6-max players can be very sticky, especially blind vs. blind - and I think I probably get more value by checking and letting him bet air, which I beat. The key is that I DON'T think he could value bet 76 or 55 if I check. Of course if he himself rivered a Q he will value bet that. But that's really the only hand that I could see him value betting here, and the only hands with queens in them that get to the river are ones with diamonds in them. There are a whole host of other missed straight and flush draws that he would bluff with that I can snap off, so I decided to check/call. It's a weird situation where I think his hand range is stronger when he checks behind the river than when he bets it. If he could somehow check and then make a bet with me on whose hand his better, then I'd bet on his hand. But since there's no way to check and then make me fold, he has to bet, which then makes me think that I have the best hand often enough to call.)
BB bets $6
bruechips calls $6

*** SHOW DOWN ***
BB shows [Ts Jh] a pair of Eights
bruechips wins the pot ($18.55) with a pair of Eights


September 10, 2008


Usually when a player cold calls a raise he has a very strong hand. Here's a hand where I went with that read...I'm not sure what exactly is the correct play here...shoving the flop can't be terrible...calling the turn would maybe be terrible, I'm not totally sure. The villains in this hand are your standard 30/10 low stakes fish.

Seat 1: bruechips ($104.55)

Seat 2: MP ($59.10)

Seat 3: CO

Seat 5: SB ($77.65)

Seat 6: BB ($140.80)

CO posts $0.50

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to bruechips [Ac As]

bruechips raises to $2.50

MP calls $2.50

CO folds

SB calls $2.25

BB calls $2

*** FLOP *** [6s Ts 4s]

SB checks

BB checks

bruechips bets $8.50 (My hand is good enough that I want to start getting money in the pot, especially since MP was a total station and would certainly be peeling with, say, JT or even hands as weak as 87o with one spade.)

MP folds

SB raises to $24 (When I saw this guy raise, my thinking was that he was probably pretty strong since it's a multiway pot and he has to make a big bet in order to bluff. I also doubt he would bluff with absolute air. He would probably call with a T. I have the As, so he's not bluffing with that. But my hand is way too strong to fold, obviously. If the BB folded, I would have either re-raised and gotten in or called and shoved any turn.)

BB calls $24 (Then this happens. WTF. If I didn't have the ace of spades, I MIGHT consider the possibility that he were peeling with just the ace of spades, maybe a T or 6 to go along with it. But since I have the ace of spades, I think he's got a flush or a set pretty much every time. Given that I've got at most 35% equity vs. his hand and he's never folding, I don't see any reason to shove, especially since there's still the chance that the SB either has me beat as well or is holding one of my outs (a big spade). But I'm getting very nice odds to call, so that's what I did.)

bruechips calls $15.50

*** TURN *** [6s Ts 4s] [6c]

SB bets $35

BB raises to $114.30, and is all in

bruechips folds (Now it's even clearer that I'm drawing to somewhere between 2 and 9 outs, so I have to fold with only one card to come.)

I think most players would just get it all in on the flop and consider it a cooler if the other guy has a flush or a set and AA doesn't improve...and that might be clearly the best play against players that can make huge bluffs, but against almost every player $1/$2 and below, I think this is the better way to play the 3-way.


September 4, 2008

Putting Together a 3-Barrel

I figured I'd throw in a strategy post just so this brog doesn't turn into a bad-beat whine. Just kidding! Brackchips has been running bad enough to have earned a post about it ROR.

It used to be said that only "great" players could fire 3 barrels at a pot with total air.  These days you see random donks firing bullets at a pot fairly often. It does take some fearlessness to put in the big river bet with nothing, but that doesn't make it a good play. You have to pick your spots carefully, read your opponent's hand, and be sure you are credibly repping a hand. Here's one that worked out well for me, and I think this is pretty much the perfect spot for it:

Seat 2 (button) : bruechips ($261.40)
Seat 8: MP ($188)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [9h Kh]
MP calls $2
button raises to $10
MP calls $8 (40/13 donk limp calls....his range is random broadway cards, suited connectors, suited aces, probably some weaker unsuited aces like A9o, and some small pocket pairs.)

*** FLOP *** [Jh 2d Ad]
MP checks
bruechips bets $15 (Since I raised preflop, I can absolutely represent this flop hitting me. I can rep AK-AT, AA, JJ easily and - this is important - MP cannot represent these hands. The other monster hands on this flop - A2, 22, QdTd, etc., either of us could have.)
MP calls $15 (When he check-calls here, I'm already thinking three-barrel. My turn bet is only going to be profitable if I continue my story on the river and try to get him to fold his weak one pair.)

*** TURN *** [Jh 2d Ad] [6c]
MP checks
bruechips bets $38  (Continue representing huge hand. All of the hands above I would continue betting here due to the draws on board, with the possible exception of AT. Also I could have 66 here, since I'd be c-betting the flop with it, and he can't have that hand when he check-calls.)
MP calls $38 (When he check/calls again, with all the draws on board, the ABSOLUTE TOP of his range is AT. AA, JJ, AK and AQ he raises preflop, probably AJ too, and if he had limp-called AJ, he'd have raised either the flop or the turn. Same reasoning applies to A2, A6, and 22. More likely he has some other random crappy ace, a decent jack, or maybe a big draw that he just doesn't want to play aggressively.)

*** RIVER *** [Jh 2d Ad 6c] [9s]
MP checks
bruechips bets $125 (The pot is $126 and he has $125 left, so time to just put him all in. If he rivered A9, so be it. I think he'd lead into me on the river with that hand anyway. Plus, I have a 9, so that's a little less likely. Even though he's a donk, I don't see him calling down with A7 or the like. I have shown strength on every street in a credible way. I'm getting 1:1 on the bluff, which means that if he folds half the time or more, I show a profit. Given that there are really few monster hands in his range and plenty of marginal ones, I'm pretty confident this is a good spot to go ahead and fire that last barrel.)
MP folds


Not a bad beat post...

Dear FT RNG:

Please stop effing me in the ass.