This week, I posted the following hand on the blonde poker 'Poker Hand Analysis' board:
Event: ECOOP Main Event $1,000+$60
Starting Stack: 5,000
Prize Pool/Runners: $1,000,000/992
Average Chips: 50,000
Our Current Situation
The bubble has just burst after an extremely drawn out process, there are exactly 100 runners left and you find yourself on 131k. You are 3rd out of the remaining 100 and have been extremely active in the last 2hrs whilst the last 30 players left with no money, in that time you showed 0 hands but moved from 25k to 70k before having the joy of calling a 40k push with K-K. Because the bubble has burst, 2 new players have joined the table, one of whom is the chip leader. He is sitting on a 170k stack, you have never played him before.
You post the 1,500 small blind and are dealt . It's a 10-handed table, UTG+1 on a stack of 45k limps, he has been extremely passive in the past 2 hrs and you have been taking extreme liberties by raising his blind every round, he managed to get a double during the bubble period with A-A but other than that has not played a hand of note. UTG+2 is the CL and new to the table - he also limps for 3k. It then comes to the button who has given you walks for the last 2hrs, he hasn't done anything in 2hrs, he is on 50k and also limps. The BB is playing 40k, you have really been having fun with him, raising his blind every round for about 4hrs, he has even taken to begging you not to in the chat - the guy started using his full time every hand 2hrs before the bubble burst, he is the pure definition of scared money.
My action pre flop:
We have multiple street decisions in this pot so I am going to skip ahead to the flop. I decided to raise this pot to 15k, I thought I might get one of the limpers to shove or pick up the 15k in the middle, obviously the only man I was worried about was the CL. Of course, poker is a bitch so they all pass except the CL who flat calls the 12k more.
The flop comes down as good as it gets:
The action is on you and there is 39k in the middle...
matt674: "Bet 12k, make it try to look like a weak continuation bet that's screaming to be reraised because you've got A-K and missed the flop."
LuckyLloyd: "24k. If he raises that I would shove over the top. Let's go."
TightEnd: "Definitely betting, no need to get funky and give free cards/let draws in. I bet c20k, standard c-bet type bet (I could have it or I couldn't type bet) and hope he shoves."
Ironside: "I bet 18-24k. Slightly more than the preflop bet but small enough to let him think he has fold equity and that you are weak."
bhoywonder: "Well you're hoping he has Q-Q or J-J... looking for a non- Ace or King on the flop... he will raise A-A or -KK probably, can't see him chasing you away on his perceived rebluff when you C bet. Why get involved with a big stack like yours at this stage? (But we don't have that much info yet.) If that's the case you might get his stack so I'm gambling on a check-raise (falling short of the all-in.)"
doubleup: "He very likely has a drawing hand of some kind so either a medium to small pair or a connector. So there really isn't any point in trying to suck him in. He has either hit a set or has picked up a draw, so bet the pot or thereabouts. "
AlexMartin: "I check."
celtic: "I check too. What are you scared of? If he has JJ-AA or a set he's going nowhere, he is only folding an under pair that hasn't made a set or A-Q/A-K etc so no need to scare him of. Check call the flop and bet the turn is my thinking."
NoflopsHomer: "Standard c-bet of 25k. Checking here is horrid as Flushy needs to bet his monsters to get his bluffs through and get his big hands paid."
boldie: "Raisey daisey pre-flop is fine and I'm sure as hell betting out on the flop more often than not. I always lead out with my sets, simply because it builds pots. there is about 40k in the pot, let's make it 25k to play (which leaves you 90 ish behind) and hope he comes over the top."
byronkincaid: "Bet to find out where you are"
OffTheRadar: "I'd normally put in a c-bet here whether I hit the flop or not, the problem here is you have such a big part of it and it's hard to put your opponent on anything he can play back at you with other than 9-8 or a possible under-set. I know it looks suspicious but I'd check and hope to induce a bluff or if it goes check-check I don't mind giving him a free card and hope he catches up. Very unlikely he's going to outdraw you on the turn."
Berbatov: "I'd bet at least 20k into the pot, my reasoning is that if he has Q-Q/J-J he may raise to find out where he is, or if he has a draw of any sort you don't want him to hit it cheap and then see what 4th street comes."
Flea: "I'd jam it in with a big over-bet maybe all-in so it looks like a scared bet that doesn't want a call - that way you're more likely to get a call from any number of hands. If he folds - show the hand then when you do play subtly they really won't know what to put you on!!"
I decided this was a terrific chance to get a monster stack and I didn't want to miss out any value with this hand. Given how nobody had played back at me all comp I decided to check hoping he either took a stab now or could catch something on the turn to have a go with.
He checked behind....
Ironside: "Do what you should of done on the flop and bet out, but this time bet the pot. Make him pay if he wants to draw out on you."
Longy: "Meh, I don't like the flop check. We are now going to struggle to get our stack in, which is surely the ultimate goal. Also the overcard may kill our action here (it may well help it), is a non setted-pair going to have trouble paying us? Checking again is losing even more value from our monster. Bet. I make it 25k to 30k, and hope he comes along."
boldie: "I hate the check on the flop. It now means that on the turn you have a small pot you're playing with (at least not as big a pot as it should be). In the name of all that is holy bet out here and get the pot up to a size where we can see all the chips in the middle and get ourselves a very big stack."
LuckyLloyd: "I wanted to bet the flop. But we didn't. We checked the flop to hopefully get him to do something on the turn. Silly stuff IMO, but whatever, if that's the plan for the hand we should now check again."
OffTheRadar: "Nothing wrong with the check at all IMO. People talk about building a big pot but if you bet out I think most of the time villain is folding - you need to give him a chance to take a stab or at least catch up on the turn. I'd now be betting around 25k on the turn and hope the Q has helped his hand in some way."
MANTIS01: "OK. Some of the theories about this hand are losing me.
Firstly, the cl has just arrived at the table and we have never played with him before. How do we even begin to put him on a hand, where would we start? I don't think plucking a range of hands from thin air and pasting them into this situation is at all helpful. The cl could have anything and his style of play is unknown.
So what do we KNOW? We know he is the cl and he has been winning pots-a-plenty, so he will be feeling confident about now. His eagerness to carry forward what was happening on his previous table to this one is clear because he limps into the first available pot he can. He is not looking to settle in and size the table up, he wants to get involved and he wants to do that by limping early. He does not choose to get involved in his first pot aggressively. I think that is an important fact.
When the raise comes in everyone gets out of the way (because they don't have raising hands) apart from the cl. He calls with a hand he wouldn't raise with. The information we have is scant for sure, but we can assume from what information we do have that the cl is not the most aggressive player. He is limping and calling rather than betting and raising. What's more, his cl status and current high confidence mean that he is not going to be pushed out of a pot he wants to play.
So with this in mind where does the check on the flop come from?? I would bet the flop regardless of any other information actually... for all the reasons that have already been stated. But using the information we do have suggests pot-building can begin immediately. Why check to the caller hoping he suddenly finds the balls to take the lead when he has already shown he doesn't do this? But if you take the lead he has shown an inclination to follow! Information is there to be used and this is the ONLY information we have. He is CALLING your bets so why wouldn't you bet?"
So now my turn action:
I fired 19k into the 39k pot and my opponent flat called. The river came the
Making the board
I now fire 32k into the 77k pot.
My oppo now makes it 64k, a raise of 32k. I have 65k back at this stage.
TightEnd: "All-in, baby."
Glasgowbandit: "I'd probably bet a wee bit more TBH, 32k looks a bit milky, it's almost inviting a call and sometimes that's a bit transparent. I probbaly make it 45k for him to go as soon as he's plays back I ship and he calls with A-Q. Good night vienna."
sharplea: "I push. He's the CL in a $1k tourney, and as you say, it's been 7 hours. I can't see him calling with K-J preflop to be fair, and A-A/Q-Q, he bets the flop. There's no flush draw, so I have to put him on A-Q/A-Ts. These are the only 2 hands I can see him calling with preflop on that board that will pay you off. Anything else, he passes."
Alex Martin: "Ship and laugh when he shows 8s-9s or 4s-6s. I think your bet looks a bit milky too. I'd rather a lot less or a fair bit more."
LuckyLloyd: "Flushy, get the rest of your chips in with a fistpump. You can probably stand away from your screen and do some manner of pelvic thrust celebration dance as well while you're at it. I like the betsize btw."
boldie: "Push for me."
bolt pp: "Apart from him having 5-5 or 7-7, I dont see how you think CL is getting all his money in on turn or river against 2nd CL without flush or straight and I don't know how much action he's giving you if the board pairs so i didn't like the line but now we're here, shove it in and hope he mangled his A-Q or watch him fold his 9-8."
booder: "I like the 32k bet on the end, it could appear to your opponent that you have a hand that you don't want to commit all your stack to, leaving enough behind to get away if he plays back at you on the river. Perfectly sized for him to pressure you if he has been floating you with air/weak holding"
Junglecate03: "I call here. Yes, you miss out on value off lower sets but that's it really. I think Flushy's range of set or straight as the only likely hands that call a push is likely and given the depreciating value of chips factor, and that the extra 32k or so chips you make are not that significant to your stack whereas the 32k chips you lose are significantly more valuable to you, it makes the conservative play correct here imo.
The way he plays the hand is significantly weighted toward K-J too imo. The way the hand pans out almost exactly fits the profile of how he would play K-J. Ok, so the preflop call is marginal, but he has chips and it's not impossible he's decided to take a chance with this as he holds position on the preflop raiser. Every action post flop fits K-J perfectly.
If his range included hands like A-T A-Q A-K, I think a push would be better but as these hands are extremely unlikely given the lack of preflop raise and lack of flop bettage, I think by the end you can virtually put him on nothing (not that likely), a set or the nuts. I would expect a player to normally play the turn on this board with a set a little more aggressively too so it's probably close to a 50-50 if he has set or straight here.
So call and if he turns over a set, no worries you've lost a little bit of value here, if he turns over a bluff, well you've lost nothing and if he turns over the nuts, hard cheese, but you have 10 BBs and are no where near out of it given the average stack of 15 BBs..."
With the board reading and having my 32k bet raised to 64k i didn't think too long before jamming for my extra 33k, as soon as i did it i realised what a horrible mistake this is.
I can narrow his range of hands that call a 3 bet shove pretty easily to a set or straight, this puts him on 3 hands, K-J, 7-7 & 5-5 - all are possible given his action on the flop and turn. Even though it's weighted to a set and possible 2 pair scenario, the straight is still here quite a high percentage of the time. Some might say as long as its not 50% of the time we should shove, unfortunately it's not that simple.
If i shove and win a showdown, I have acquired an extra 33k, that's great but in reality it doesn't make a lot of difference, 240k or 273k, the 2nd chip stack would be 145k. Those extra chips in terms of $ value are not that high.
If i shove and lose a showdown obviously I am out, not a good scenario.
If I flat and lose have 33k, at 1500-3000 I still have a good chance in this comp, I have enough chips to still re-raise light. I can definitely come back from this.
The question here obviously comes down to how often he has the straight in this situation, if it's a tiny % then it's a value shove, if its even as low as 20% I think we are correct to save that extra bullet, this is of course an exceptional circumstance due to the size of the pot compared to the average stack but it's certainly a point that's worth discussing.
Like i said at the beginning of the reveal, I made what in hindsight is a mistake and shoved, as it happened my opponent had 7-7 and it was a lovely extra 33k, that in reality made no difference to the rest of my tournament.
Next time i will flat call!
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