Jul. 6th, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
Here was an interesting snippet from Day 1a of the Silly-Fest in the Rio.
One coup that caught the eye was between Maya Antonius and some random player in late position who made it 1,200 to go. Patrik’s missus called from the big blind and the flop came down Ts 3h 2s. Maya check-calls when the LP player bets. Same action on the turn which bought the Qs. The river was the 9d and Maya Antonius checked once again. Her opponent now went all-in and Maya insta-called with Ks 3s. Nice hand Mrs. Antonius, I guess when you’re married to one of the world’s top players you’re going to pick up the odd play or two.

Now, what do you think is going through Ms Antonius' mind at various points in this hand? You decide.

No real indication of stack sizes or blinds here, but let's assume its about 15K each and that the blinds are 200/400.

a) Defended blind for 8% of stack with Ks 3s

Thought scenario (a) "Well, this is a bit thin for blid defence early on, but it's suited and I have good trapping value if I hit my 3s or spades or if I get two pair.

(b) I'm suited. Call.

2,600 in pot, 13,600 behind.

On the flop or Ts 3h 2s. Assume a bet from raiser of 1,800

Thought scenario (a). The obvious play with this hand is a lead out or a check-raise. I'd check-call with something like JTo to KTo with a spade back-up. If I check-call here, he'll never suss out my hand.

Thought scenario (b) Hmm, I have a pair and a draw, but I don't want to commit my chips just yet. Let's see if I improve.

T$6,200 in pot, T$11,800 behind

On the turn of Qs, making the flush.

Thought scenario (a): Check-raise or lead out are the choices. He'll never p[lace me with a flush if I check-call. That might induce either a bluff or a value-bet on the river and I might end up getting all his chips.

Thought scenario (b): Good, I've made my flush. But what if opponent has a set? I don't want to risk all my chips only to go out when the board pairs on the river. I'll wait to see if the board pairs before risking everything.

Opponent bets an assumed $3,000.

$12,200 in pot, $8,800 behind.

On the river of a brick card:

Thought scenario (a): Good, the plan has progressed well. A check here should induce a bet.

Thought scenario (b): xcellent. But I still don't have the nuts. Perhaps I'd better check.

Opponent goes all in for $8,800

Oh, he's bet. Oh well, I can't fold this. Call.

Many is the time in the past that I used to get caught out by a certain passive type of player (live and online), who would not punt their nut flush on the turn because they are unwilling to go all-in if they think opponent has moere than very few outs. A set has seven outs, which is probably three too many for this kind of player. Then, if you have a set against this type of player (or a straight) and they bet big on the river, you say to yourself "well, he/she can't have the flush because he/she didn't bet the turn".

Once you see this as a weak-tight style of play, you can bet about half the pot if the board does pair (giving you a full house) and expect to get called. It's just a variant on the "WBWF" (won't bet, won't fold) type of player. It's not a deeply thought-out strategy or tactic. It's just the way that this type of person plays.

The fly in the ointment here is that it can be a very good play against a certain type of aggressive opponent. But if I see this play from an unknown player, my default assumption is not of canny strength, but of weak-tightness.


One of the reasons I think I have been performing less well on a Saturday is that when, during the week, a certain type of play is made on the river (a big all-in bet from a shortish stack ), it's fairly easy to fold. Once in a blue moon you might be right to call, but the fold is the right "default" play, unless you have evidence to the contrary.

At the weekend you get a higher proportion of "unknown" players and a higher proportion of possible desperation bettors. This means that when the bets go in on the turn and river, the range that you are facing is necessarily wider. This makes for trickier decisions. Here was one Saturday morning hand that I would have probably played differently during the week. For a start, I would have been less likely to misread the hand.

$50 USD NL Texas Hold'em
Seat 4 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: dmitrii86 ( $75.49 USD )
Seat 2: BountyHunterII ( $95.84 USD )
Seat 3: determined7 ( $42.83 USD )
Seat 4: Ado_Bo ( $42.50 USD )
Seat 5: Amber341 ( $9.50 USD )
Seat 6: pokerpods ( $46.75 USD )
Seat 9: Villain ( $24.06 USD )
Seat 10: budyboy1 ( $83.55 USD )
Seat 8: Hero ( $51.57 USD )
Seat 7: Olivanja1 ( $10 USD )

Amber341 posts small blind [$0.25 USD].
Olivanja1 posts big blind [$0.50 USD].

** Dealing down cards **

Dealt to Hero [ J◊; J♠ ]

Hero calls [$0.50 USD] (JJ utg is a pile of shit at the best of times. I'm balancing my raises and limps about 50:50, with limps favoured at this kind of weekend table).

Villain calls [$0.50 USD] (very wide range)

budyboy1 folds
dmitrii86 folds
BountyHunterII folds
determined7 folds
Ado_Bo folds

Amber341 raises [$2.75 USD]

((At this point I managed to misread the table – one of the perils of 4-tabling --. I thought this was raise from a post rather than from the SB. In retrospect this raise from a short-stack makes for an easy fold (in the week, it always represents Aces or Kings, whereas an all-in is AK or a lower pair down to about 8s). This is a good example of how much more expensive mistakes are at no limit than at limit. Winning at NL isn't about great play. It's about not making silly big mistakes. Winning at limit is about not making lots of small mistakes.)

Olivanja1 folds
Hero raises [$10.50 USD] (a response to a misassumed aqueeze play)
Villain is all-In [$23.56 USD] (oh hell. I know that that is likely to be. But, it's the weekend, maybe he's drunk and he's making some kind of insane play on six-four suited.)
Amber341 is all-In [$6.50 USD]

(At this point I know that I am probably fucked, but I'm only putting in another $13 to try to win $41. If I'm up against AK and AK (a scenario I would dismiss midweek), then I'm something like 65/35. If I'm up against AA/KK or any of the AA/KK vs AK combinations, I'm not far off 17/83. It's really a crying call.)

Hero calls [$13.06 USD]

** Dealing Flop ** [ K◊;, 6♣;, 5♣; ]

** Dealing Turn ** [ Q♣; ]

** Dealing River ** [ 2♡; ]

Hero shows [ J◊;, J♠ ]a pair of Jacks.
Villain shows [ A♡;, A♣; ]a pair of Aces.
Amber341 doesn't show [ K♠, A◊; ]a pair of Kings.
Villain wins $27.67 USD from the side pot 1 with a pair of Aces.
Villain wins $27.55 USD from the main pot with a pair of Aces.

Lesson learnt from hand. Pay attention to where the raise comes from.


After running bad for a week or so a month ago, ending a three-month period of getting nowhere, I made myself droip back to $50 buy-in until I reached $5K up for the year. I'm within a hundred bucks of this target until yesterday, when things didn't go particularly well.

Here's a typical example from Pacific (my macro hasn't been adapted for Pacific yest, so I don't know what will happen to the layout!

$0.25/$0.5 Blinds No Limit Hold'em
Seat 10 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 10: Villain ( $40.5 )
Seat 1: diaaiaie ( $9.69 )
Seat 2: Hero ( $50 )
Seat 3: szigma ( $17.89 )
Seat 4: tiu14 ( $10.22 )
Seat 5: TeraFish ( $27.14 )
Seat 6: Avalon11 ( $43.09 )
Seat 7: swstore1 ( $10.94 )
Seat 8: gxw290 ( $64.1 )
Seat 9: partymarty ( $120.01 )

diaaiaie posts small blind [$0.25].
Hero posts big blind [$0.5].

** Dealing down cards **

Dealt to Hero [ Q♣; Q♠ ]
szigma folds.
tiu14 folds.
TeraFish folds.
Avalon11 folds.
swstore1 calls [$0.5].
gxw290 folds.
partymarty folds.
Villain raises [$1.5].
diaaiaie folds.
Hero raises [$6].

I could possibly raise a dollar more than this, but villain only has a stack of $40 rather than $50. Play is very loose at this time of night - 40% or so seeing flops.

swstore1 folds.
Villain calls [$5].

** Dealing Flop ** [ K♠, A♠, J♠ ]

I think that I got queens four times yesterday and that an AK combination flopped on three of them. But I have a draw to a nut flush and to a straight. The argument for checking here is that I'm not going to make a likely better hand to fold and I'm not going to make a bad hand call. neither am I in a way ahead way behind situation. So, if opponent has something like 88, there's an argument for checking in the hope of inducing a bluff and then bashing in a check-raise.

However, I decided to bet.

Hero bets [$10].
Villain raises [$34].

Oh well, sums up the day. possibly a set of jacks, maybe AK. Queenn-ten suited would just be the icing on the cake of a bad day. But, no, it turns out to be none of these things. Its Ace-Jack suited.

One really has to question opponent's thinking here, which is at least encouraging. Is top and bottom pair a good hand against a reraise pre-flop and lead out from the small blind and then a lead out on a monotone AKJ board? Not really.

My call here is automatic. Even against a set of Jacks (I can't see opponent being the type to have raised with AA or KK and then just called my reraise) I'm not awful. As it turns out, against the hand that he had (Ad Jd) I'm only a fraction under 50%.

Hero calls [$24].

** Dealing Turn ** [ 7♡; ]
** Dealing River ** [ 2♣; ]

** Summary **

Villain shows [ J◊; A◊; ].
Hero shows [ Q♣; Q♠ ].
Villain collected [$77.75].

Only about $70 down on the day, despite nothing appearing to go right for 800 hands. Man, this level is stultifyingly boring. But, self-disipline is self-discipline. Only $200 more to win before going back to $100 buy in.


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