Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hand Analysis Follow Up

So here's the hand from my last post, this time with the hands included. Both commentors were able to place me on the kind of hand that I had, but neither was able to come very close to what the other guy had. Anyways, here's my thought process on how I played the hand:

Full Tilt Poker Game #4212802136: $5 + $0.50 Sit & Go (31957411), Table 7 - 400/800 Ante 100 - No Limit Hold'em - 1:05:13 ET - 2007/11/18
Seat 1: raf37 (10,030)
Seat 2: RUUDROB (27,585)
Seat 4: jouno (22,570)
Seat 5: TKehoe (14,505)
Seat 6: hossmopp (15,895)
Seat 7: mclarich (38,535)
Seat 8: vincent_1968 (6,640)
Seat 9: ornette (18,875)
raf37 antes 100
RUUDROB antes 100
jouno antes 100
TKehoe antes 100
hossmopp antes 100
mclarich antes 100
vincent_1968 antes 100
ornette antes 100
mclarich posts the small blind of 400
vincent_1968 posts the big blind of 800
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [4d 7c]
ornette folds
raf37 folds
RUUDROB has 15 seconds left to act
RUUDROB calls 800
jouno folds
TKehoe folds
hossmopp folds
mclarich calls 400
vincent_1968 checks

I know, I'm sitting on a virtual monster here. I'm OOP, but getting 8:1 with a stack like mine, I'm not folding this.

*** FLOP *** [5c 2c 3s]
mclarich checks
vincent_1968 has 15 seconds left to act
vincent_1968 checks
RUUDROB bets 1,600
mclarich calls 1,600
vincent_1968 folds

ROB's bet of 1\2 the pot doesn't seem that strong to me. I don't think he's on a complete bluff, maybe on some kind of draw. I didn't go into detail in my last post about what I'd seen from him other than saying "big hands are played fairly standard". I probably should have given a little bit more info because it definitely played into my thought process here. I'd seen him reraise showing AK, raise & call a reraise holding the JackAce, and calling a reraise preflop then reraising all in on an A high flop. So I really didn't see him trying to be tricky preflop and read his bet as a sign of weakness. I call with the OESD but I'm also thinking I might be able to bet him off the hand.

*** TURN *** [5c 2c 3s] [8s]
mclarich bets 3,200
RUUDROB calls 3,200

I don't see the turn card as being very helpful to either of us. It certainly doesn't help me any, but I decided to lead out anyways going on my read of weakness on his part. I bet half the pot here and he still calls.

*** RIVER *** [5c 2c 3s 8s] [8d]
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act
mclarich bets 8,000
RUUDROB has 15 seconds left to act
RUUDROB calls 8,000

The river is a bad card for me - like Alan mentioned, if he thinks I have two pair then I just got counterfeited. But, I really believe he is on some kind of draw here, I'm just not sure what. What I am sure of is that the 8 can't help him here other than a counterfeit, so most hands I put him on he probably has to fold. I bet about 2\3rds of the pot to make it seem like a value bet, like I'm enticing a call. I'm only going to win this pot by betting out anyways so I have to bet here. He takes his time, and I think he's legitimately thinking about folding, but decides to make the call.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
mclarich shows [4d 7c] a pair of Eights
RUUDROB shows [2s As] two pair, Eights and Twos
RUUDROB wins the pot (28,800) with two pair, Eights and Twos

When I saw what he had, I couldn't understand how he could call my bet on the river. To call that, he has to do one of three things:

1. Put me on a pair of 2s with a worse kicker
2. Put me on a busted draw of some sort
3. Develop a case of the "awfuckits"

I felt that he was one of the better players at the table but I was surprised he was willing to make that kind of call. Either he's better than I thought or just made a donkey call that paid off.

In his situation, would you have made that same call holding A2? Both commentors included drawing hands in my possible holdings, although I'm not sure if either of them thought that was more likely than a legitimate hand. I think I played it fairly well but made a couple of mistakes:

1. Check raise the flop. A strong argument could be made that this is a bad idea, but here's one way I look at it: If I'm putting him on weakness, why not try to win the pot right there? My range from the SB is pretty much ATC, so a check-raise could look like a flopped 2-pair or a straight perhaps. I don't like to check-raise a stone cold bluff, especially at these stakes, so I went with the delayed bet instead, hoping that would work.

2. I didn't bet enough on the turn. I should be betting at least 2\3rds to 3\4ths the pot here to make this play work. Of course, the turn gives him flush draws as well, so like a donkey he's probably calling anything but a push here. But only betting half-pot gave him odds to stay in the hand.

3. I took too long to bet on the river. I probably could have come out with a bigger bet here as well, maybe like 10k, but I shouldn't have taken so long to do it. IMO, it showed a bit of weakness on my part and may have played a factor in the call.

In this hand I feel like I took my play to Level 3 thinking but not Level 4. I tried to create an image of a strong hand, but I didn't consider very well how he was going to interpret that image. I was fairly correct on my read of weakness on his part, but I didn't execute as well as I could have to win the pot. Your thoughts?


At November 20, 2007 at 11:40 PM, Blogger meanhappyguy said...

Great hand analysis here! The biggest thing that leaps out at me in this hand is #2 the weak turn bet. Sure, you could have reraised on the flop, but I like the call, with the intention of putting him to the test.

I'm still very much a beginner when it comes to poker, but I have found myself if your same situation quite a few times over the last year--where I'm just not quite which "level" of thinking I should be using. Figuring out what level your opponent is thinking on, and what level he thinks you are thinking on... is a skill that must take tens of thousands of hands to master.

Looking at it again, your call on the flop pretty much rules out any monster for you. What is the best hand on the flop? 6c 4c? for the flopped straight with a flush draw? That is pretty much the only monster hand I can see calling with on the flop. If you flopped a set, you'd be scared of letting the flush or straight draw hit cheaply--and you'd raise. If you flopped a straight, you'd be scared about the flush or boat hitting and raise the flop.

From an astute opponent's perspective, your flop call might scream, "I'm calling and planning on taking this away from you on the turn or river." If the board is much less scary and you call a bet, your range for monster-trapping hands could be much wider, or more likely.

When I read the hand history the first time I wondered why you bet half the pot on the turn. I've made the same bet in the past, against some opponents it works, other times it doesn't. If you can peg an opponent as weak/tight, I think this bet is great (although it would work much better on a less-scary flop--where it makes sense for you to be slow-playing).

His call of the turn bet tells you something. I didn't put him on a pair of twos, but I did think he had to have some piece of the flop or turn to call you.

I think you are right about the river hesitation as well. He's thinking by now that he might just have you beat with his pair of 2's. You don't do much to dissuade him. Again, sometimes the slow-bet on the river is full of strength, but he might just read you as "Jamie Gold'ing it" and think that you are forcing yourself to bet, because that is the only way you can win the pot. The 3/4 pot bet can be read as a value bet (how you wanted it to be read) or as a fake value bet (how he read it).

I think besides the turn bet, I like your play a lot in this hand.

I'm not sure about the opponent's flop bet, but I really love how he played the hand. He had a read and stuck to it. He felt like the story he was being told was fake, and backed it up by calling (although he should have raised your turn bet if he thought this then!).

At November 20, 2007 at 11:41 PM, Blogger meanhappyguy said...

oh, and csommarstrom at gmail dot com

At November 21, 2007 at 8:05 AM, Blogger jamyhawk said...

Great hand analysis. And I think meanhappyguy did a great job commenting. I won't be quite as detailed.

I hate playing hands like these. I will see flops from the SB like you did but if I don't hit, I get out quick. I like to play aggressive poker, but you have to pick your spots carefully.

On the flop, I think the check call is wrong. Unless you are willing to check or fold on the turn you can't check call here. Fold or check raise him is the right thing to do. By calling you get zero info. And I believe he folds A2 to your re-raise from the flop. Your call says "I'm on a draw". And then he can play the turn and river according to that.

I think it will be obvious to him that the 8 did not improve you. And a 1/2 pot bet is easy to call with 4th pair. You may be able to push him off with a pot sized bet but you are getting in pretty deep on just a draw with no overcards.

I wouldn't bet on the river, unless you are shoving. His call on the turn means he doesn't believe you hit your draw, so another 8 means he is probably calling you again. The only value to the shove is he has to be 100% sure of his read to call you. If you were on a 43 or 45 he would be dead, so couldn't call an all in bet, IMO.

Of course, I would shove and he would show A4. LOL. That's why I hate playing those rags.

At November 21, 2007 at 8:11 AM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Obviously he put you on a totally busted draw or else he is not calling there. Possibly he made a great read, eh? A lot of good players make marginal plays like that. I have seen people I respect call huge river bets with Ace high AND WIN because they thought the hand through and put their opponent on a busted draw or something of that sort.

At November 21, 2007 at 11:39 AM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

What everyone said. And before I forget, happy thanksgiving.

I'll disagree with one thing MeanHappyGuy said. And it's a very small point but an important one.

"He had a read and stuck to it. He felt like the story he was being told was fake, and backed it up by calling (although he should have raised your turn bet if he thought this then!)."

The part I disagree is where he said if the opponent thought you were faking (which you were), he should have raised. But I have no problem with him calling here and keeping the pot small. He couldn't stand to too much pressure (on the turn is fine but unless he's shoving, what if he raises you call and you still bet half the pot which is now currently a lot bigger than it would be had he called) then he would be committing so much more chips than he needs to. So, he sensed something, the river was a fairly safe card, he thought through the hand and called. I think the opponent played it well. The only thing I don't like is how he limped. I woulda just raised and this hand would have never happened...

As for the way you played it, I don't think there's anything too wrong with it. Your opponent made a good read. Shoving the river would have been the only way for you to win this hand.

At November 27, 2007 at 12:09 AM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Matt, just catchin' up, as I haven't been reading my blogs lately. Nice hand analysis man, enjoyed the post!

I'm with jamyhawk as I really think your call of the flop bet is where you went wrong here. Your play thereafter told a different story then what you alread told villain with your check call on the flop.

If I'm villain and see you just smooth call that bet I'm FIRM with my read that you're on a draw, and I put you on a 4 or two clubs right there. Given the nature of the flop there's NO other holdings that make any sense to just check call that bet. None. Any set would want to raise with such a scary board, as with any made straights, or two pairs, etc. Any overpair would not have simply called from the SB. And any weaker holding that had villain beat, like top or 2nd pair, would've likely bet out on the flop. (MAYBE not something like ThreeAce, but that's about the ONLY other holding I can think of that your play makes any sense for.)

Your smooth call there told villain you were on a draw. In fact it screamed it to him. He just had to hope for no Ace, no six, or no club to come, and when that was the case post-river I believe he had to make the call of your 8k bet. (But yes an all in jam on the river would've had to lead villain to the assumption that you held 8cXc, and lead to a fold... but that was the only post turn play that could've lead you to a win, and was likely much too risky to justify.)

As far as your three perceived mistakes, I'd probably scratch off #2, as I don't think the amount of your bet on the turn had ANYthing to do with the outcome of the hand. In my opinion, a bet of one fourth, one half, or three fourths of the pot leads to the same call from villain. Don't kick yourself for your shot on this street. Mistake #3 is worth some thought, as I know I personally put a lot of stake in the time villains take to act and read into that. Worth some thought to consider your timing as part of the story you're tryin' to tell. Mistake #1 was your big one, as it illustrates the flawed play on the flop... but a check raise wasn't your only other option from check calling. A little blocking bet likely would've resulted in the hand playing out much differently. Just a thought.

Anyway, again, really enjoyed the post! It really illustrates some of the different levels of thinking that can take place. I think you nailed it on the head with your last paragraph... your read of weakness was spot on, but it doesn't appear you bothered to consider which EXACT holdings villain could put you on. You take the same read of weakness, and execute a gameplan with more thought as to what villain is putting you on, and you'll be more likely to come out on top in the future.

Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one man! Hit me up sometime...


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