Tuesday, 19 February 2008

losing creatively

So I've been experimenting with raising any two in late position and seeing what happens. Mostly, good things. But not always, because you cannot underestimate how dumb the fish can be on PokerRoom.

So at t200 I raise to 500, and a fish in the big blind calls. I have Qc3c so I don't feel ultraconfident, but of course I know that most players miss most flops. The flop comes fairly uncoordinated, jack high with two clubs. The fish bets out 500. I figure he has nothing much and puts me on a stealraise. I shove over him. I have a flush draw and an overcard, so even if he calls, I like my chances.

Unbelievably he does call. I say unbelievably because his hand is so poor. He has Td2d and paired his 2. Thing is, maybe he puts me on a flush draw trying to push him off his hand, but even if he did, I'm still a favourite. So wtf? I mean, obviously, wtf at calling the raise in the first place. His hand is suited but you are rarely going to hit your flush, and I don't offer the implied odds for it. He has no reason to believe I would stack off if he did hit his flush. And hitting his 2 is no good for him because he cannot be confident that he's ahead. Maybe pairing the T is okay.

So let's say that he had actually thought about it, put me on a steal, called with the notion of betting any flop and taking it away. That would be okay. But when I shove over, he has an easy fold. I had 3K more chips, and even though he had me covered, it wasn't by much. My hand is most likely a flush draw, but given that I raised preflop, you can't count out AJ-QJ or a mid pair. And as I note, I'm going to be a favourite with most flush draws.

The gods of poker favoured the retard, as they do, and he turned a T and rivered the 2c, which gave me a flush that was second best. I felt good about my play though. I'd like to receive the rewards some of the time for creative and aggressive play, but so long as I'm playing okay, why worry?

Last night, I played a small tourney and was going quite well when some guy limped in middle position. I'd noticed a couple of hands earlier that he'd minraised on the button to steal the blinds. This marks him down as a weak player, particularly coupled with his playing quite loosely. I woke up with QJs in the BB. With antes, the pot was quite decent, so I shoved, expecting him to fold. I mean, what does he limp with? His range is very much small pairs and crap hands like small suited aces and weaker kings (K9 maybe, K8s), QT, that kind of thing, and even those he might have raised. So he probably folds to the push and even if he doesn't, well, I'm a favourite against the small pairs and I'm not crushed by the crap hands.

So he calls, and shows A9. This kind of play by the fish is so awesomely wrong that it truly mystifies me. You have a hand that you don't consider good enough for a raise but you'll risk your whole tourney with it? Does he think, well, he's in the big blind so he's probably bluffing? I mean, he's right if he thinks that, in this instance, but generally he will be miles behind. When he calls, I'm just astonished (I never learn!). Okay, with the table dynamics, I can see playing the hand. You put in a raise and take down the blinds. We were in the money but not deep, with the blinds quite high, so they were worth stealing, but not so high that players would not fold their blind.

I was left wondering whether he was "trapping", feeling that his hand was strong enough to limp and play against action (no, really, he might; you see fish all the time call pushes with raggy aces, so you know that they overvalue them, especially if they're soooted); whether he figured that I was likely to be on a steal or at least was unlikely to have a hand that had him crushed (you or I would of course fold in this spot, because we are not beating the range that pushes, even if it does include hands that we fare well against); or whether, and I think this is most likely, he limped it because he felt it was playable but didn't want to put the chips in with it, and then when faced with a push thought, I wanted to play it so I'll play it. This is a type of player that the poker books don't discuss. The play I made was decent, and should work against most players with a clue, but against this kind of guy, it's probably too risky. The problem with online tourneys is that you don't know you're up against the guy who thinks bottom pair will beat a PF raiser who shoves over your bet or the guy who thinks that if he's in, he's in, until you've made the play. You can, of course, avoid making plays. But then you find yourself shortstacked and miserable. You can't assume that most limpers will call in that spot, because most actually won't. Generally, they'll often call if they hold 66/55, and probably also KJ if they limped that, but fold if they limped Kxs or something truly crap like that. They'll agonise some over KT but for the huge overpush, probably fold that too.

Sigh. Learning slowly, I guess.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

You have to laugh

played at "Ibadan" for USDTC from 2008-02-03 06:00 until 2008-02-03 06:02
Seat 1: _fuy_ ($1,500 in chips)
Seat 2: Dishlard ($1,500 in chips)
Seat 3: Lucky62 x ($1,280 in chips)
Seat 4: aporos11 ($1,460 in chips)
Seat 5: zbai7 ($1,460 in chips)
Seat 6: Dr Zen ($1,500 in chips)
Seat 7: Mario016 ($1,400 in chips)
Seat 8: Yelldell81 ($1,930 in chips)
Seat 9: wowiko ($1,490 in chips)
Seat 10: Jewoso ($1,480 in chips)
Jewoso posts blind ($10), _fuy_ posts blind ($20).

So I am dealt AA early in a STT.

Dishlard folds, Lucky62 x calls $20, aporos11 folds, zbai7 calls $20, Dr Zen bets $100

A bit light but I couldn't be bothered typing in a figure.

Mario016 folds, Yelldell81 folds, wowiko folds, Jewoso folds, _fuy_ folds, Lucky62 x calls $80, zbai7 folds.

Not likely he has a good hand here but I've never seen him play.

This is perfect for AA. One caller.

FLOP [board cards:JHQH8S ]
Lucky62 x bets $60, Dr Zen bets $300, Lucky62 x calls $240.

Not a great flop, but I doubt he has me beat, so I raise decently.

TURN [board cards:JHQH8STH ]

A horrible turn. The flush draw came in and so did a straight.

Lucky62 x bets $700

But that's a bit odd. He didn't push, but left money behind.

Dr Zen bets $1,100 and is all-in, Lucky62 x calls $180 and is all-in.

Usually, you'd fold AA on a board like this but it felt wrong.

So what does he have? Astonishingly, Q2s. He has top pair, that's all. He can't think it's good on that turn, surely? So he must have been bluffing. And I can feel good now because I picked it off and will double u--

RIVER [board cards:JHQH8STH2D ]

Oh no, you don't.

Dr Zen shows [AHAS ]
Lucky62 x shows [2SQS ]
Dr Zen wins $220, Lucky62 x wins $2,610.

Just incredible. I eventually lost those few chips by pushing over five limpers with 44 at t30. Two called. One bet huge on a Ah9h9s flop and my heart sank. But he had JhTh, making him barely a favourite. Sadly, he rivered the flush.


So I get AA again in another tourney. There are a couple of limpers so I make it 200 to go. A couple of guys call. This is quite normal in turbos. The players are just awful.

The flop is Qs8s5d.

The BB pushes. I push over. It's not likely BB has me beat on this flop. The guy behind me calls. Oh shit.

BB has the nut flush draw and no pair. The other guy has QQ.

That sucks. He doesn't have set value for the call preflop, but obv. he got it afterwards. I am left just crying. A huge favourite crashing and burning yet again.