Sunday, April 11, 2010

Friday's hand revisited

I cant stop thinking about this hand... You are chip leader with 36 / 1800 left and have JJ in MP. You raise to 15k (2.5x) with 500k behind. The cutoff makes it 40k. With $300k, the cutoff has an above avg stack and is the second largest stack at the table.

1. Chip value (DV) is very high now. The avg stack at the final table should be about $500k, which you already have. There are plenty of shorter stacks at the table. You can fold here with little loss. But what does that say to yourself? To your opponent?

2. You can call, avoiding running JJ in QQ, KK, AA. But will have to play post-flop OOP. You could also check-fold the $40k and still be the chip leader.

3. You could raise to $120k, but this creates a pot odds issue. Unless he is on a re-steal, he calls here and now you are playing a $250k pot OOP. In the case he is on a re-steal, he may (probably) fold.

As I weighed my options, I did not give enough credit to #3. AFTER the bubble, especially "down the stretch" (as they say in horse racing) with 5 tables or lss remaining, players start using the re-steal more often. But I did not think of this for a couple of reasons:

A. I had not been re-raised like this yet at the table, nor had I observed any re-steals.

B. We did not have similar stack sizes. Its rare for the second largest stack to re-steal from the big stack.

As reported, I opted for Option 2. I wanted option 1, but did not want to be weak, be perceived as week, or fold a premium pair because I didn't have a pair. Not the best of thinking, but honest. But I picked #2 OVER #3 because I did not want to get re-re-re-raised all-in by AK and be forced to race.

The flop was, as reported, 443 (two toned).

Now, I have an over pair and the pot is $90k or so. Again, I have options:

1. I can bet out my overpair and expect hands like AK to shrivel up and fold.
2. I can check and wait for the aggressor in position to make his play.

I opted for #1. I feel this was the real, fatal mistake.

A. I bet $50k, and made the pot $140k. The pot is becoming epic. All I have is a pair that may or may not be bigger than my opponents hand.

B. I did not respect position enough in this hand. I really believed he had Ax and I was ahead. My hand read was good, but my luck was bad.

He moves all in now. Options:

A. I can fold and keep my chips, avoiding throwing valuable money away. I have lost $90k and still have $400k and be 2nd or 3rd in chips.

B. I can call because I beat so many hands here and I feel he is resigned to his fate.

Before the late stages of +EV. But LATE in the tournament, down the stretch, one must look for these potholes. The EPIC bloody hand that may be a turned set, or top-two played tricky, where players are trying to trap and extract max value.

I think I need to continue thinking about this...


Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Personally, I find this to be a fairly easy question as far as determining the proper way to play it. With that huge chipstack and this deep in a large-field mtt, there is no way I would re-reraise another large stack -- one of the few guys left who could actually hurt me -- with the JJ. His reraise to me indicates he is likely either ahead of you or racing (how likely is he to reraise in this spot with 99 or TT? How about lower pocket pairs than that?). To me I think this is an easy call, knowing going in that you're going to play the flop slow-ish unless you flop a set.

When the raggiest of raggy board hits, again to me I think this is a very easy decision on the right way to play it. You bet out here, with the intention of folding to any raise. His preflop reraise indicates possibly a high pocket pair, you're only in there for 40k out of a 500k stack, and so you make a nice-sized bet on the flop, which is far better than checking in this spot since you want to find out now if this guy had a higher pocket pair than you. So you ask him, by leading out here.

He responds that he has you beat. Yes, sometimes he has AK here, but I see this line of hugely-overpushing allin on the flop with AK unimproved much more often when the overpusher is the first player to move at the pot on the flop. I think when you bet out and he raises you, you are beat about 85-90% of the time, you have not sunk a lot of money into the pot at this point, so you just fold and it's almost like the hand never happened.

Did you call on the end there in the actual hand? What did you think he had?

I see people bust all the time with overpairs to higher overpairs, and I used to do the same thing all the time. Now I make sure not to get stoopid with a medium pocket pair like Tens or Jacks preflop against another big stack, and I especially know the importance of leading out to define my hand when I do get the raggy flop I think I am hoping for.

Jay said...

Hey dude..found your poker blog on the top of the google search page! Wow..How did you do that? Your poker site is pretty cool..i like all the hand histories you have on there..Im a fellow poker player myself both online and live..i mainly play on FTP and I like to play live cash games in Los Angeles..Ive been playing NLHE and PLO for the last few years..i hope we can become friends...keep in touch..u can email me at and PLEASE tell me how u got so many visitors to your blog!! take care


Jay said...

Oh and to leave a comment about the JJ hand as chipleader in the MTT...How did u end up playing it? Did u fold to his all-in on the flop? I definitely think u were beat the whole way. His preflop raise to 40k definitely seemed like he wanted a call preflop..and his re-raise on the flop after you appearing very strong definitely smells like kings or aces...Anyways id love to know what happened in the rest of the hand and the mtt for you..Ive actually self excluded myself from FTP for 6 months and ive got about a month left to go after i built up a 60k bankroll and lost 40k in a period of a week playing way over my head.. I was multi tabling 4-6 tables of medium/high stakes PLO 10/20$ , 25/50$ with internet pros such as cole smith, emil patel, di dang and all those crazy dudes lol...i cant wait to start playing again this summer and i want to start a blog similar to yours..keep in touch ..hope you run well this month

columbo (at eifco dot org) said...

I played it just like HOYZAO said, except I CALLED the shove instead of folding and was shown A4 for trips.

I really thought it was AK.

Wel said...

wow that is sooo sick...

Csajbi said...

I would call preflop and think my JJ as a draw. If I flop a set, then attack, otherwise give it up. That means I would check on the flop, and if he bets and it isn't too big I would call, if his bet big enough, then fold.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Wow....A4. What a horrible monkey of a player.