Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fun Stuff Happens When You Post Behind

When you enter a limit hold em game, you have to post a big blind. You can do this from any position, but in the Bay Area you have three logical choices:

1. Your natural big blind.
2. Between the small blind and the button (the button skips you next hand).
3. In the cutoff, to the right of, or behind, button.

I typically choose option (2), and try to avoid (3). The problem with posting behind is that you just sat down, aren't really in the flow of the game, and are putting yourself into a position from which it is often strategically correct to play very aggressively with sub-standard hands. For example, if the action folds to you preflop, it becomes correct to raise with literally any two cards. This increased aggression can lead to tilt when things go poorly, which is no way to start a session. For the record, I got this from Tommy Angelo's book, and I have become quite convinced it's solid advice.

There's a problem though. As a prop you sometimes don't have unlimited time to enter a game; if a customer shows up before you've posted in, the floor can (and rightly should) ask you to surrender your seat. So sometimes these days I find myself posting behind, which brings me to last night.

I am fortunate enough to get in a 20 game right at the start of my shift, and on top of that Pete is in the game, making a late night appearance in honor of the holiday weekend and my banishment to vampire land. I post in the cutoff of an 8 handed game to ensure this situation doesn't get fubar and am dealt pocket 5s.

Pete opens UTG and the action folds to me. 55 is not enough to 3-bet him under normal circumstances; Pete is snug up front, and his post flop skills leave little room for me to get in a hand behind his range, even with position. But the post....the 4 chips I already have in play swing this decision from a fold to a raise. Calling would be an option with a few other stragglers in between, but with just Pete in the pot a 3-bet is mandatory. Things don't go well, though. The blinds both call and Pete caps it. This is gonna be expensive.


And by expensive, I mean spectacular. The blinds check and Pete fires. I raise right away and the SB, Elvis (not of Oaks fame....the other Elvis) calls them cold. Pete thinks for a minute and just calls. To the turn.

A95r-7, putting 2 diamonds.

They check to me and I fire a shot with which I hope to take down the $440 pot. Instead Elvis calls and Pete raises. I tank for a second, partially for effect but also to consider my options, and then 3-bet. Elvis calls and Pete tanks before meekly tossing in 8 more chips. The pot has grown to 20 big bets, and I take a moment to relish all of Pete's dead money. His AK is likely drawing completely dead (unless he has the diamond varietal) and all I have left to do is dodge whatever bullshit draw Elvis is on (if he even has one and isn't drawing almost dead himself) and I'll be up over a rack on my first hand.


Elvis donks. Pete finds a fold with AKhh, and I pay off like a slot machine. Elvis rolls J8dd and as I reconstruct the action I realize the only hope I had to keep my $280 was to not post in the first place.


Yodaman said...

that 7d turn was the nuts card for him lol

Nick said...

Where I play, you cant post between, and so I often find myself in this situation that you and Tommy Angelo describe: facing a raise with money in the pot when i have position. I disagree with him that its an auto 3bet with almost any holding, im fine seeing a flop 3 or 4 ways for 2 bets, but then i often find myself raising the flop anyway when i have any peace. Ive taken his advice and started posting the BB when were 7 handed or less, but if its a full game, i cant bring myself to do it, and normally start the session going to war with crap.