Thursday, February 21, 2013

Light On My Feet

Here is the post on 2p2.  And for those of you who can't follow that link because you work for a place that frowns upon reading about gambling at work (but somehow hasn't figured out that my blog is exactly that), here is the content of the hand, and some of my ensuing commentary:

Midstakes game in LA. I open two kings in early position, and the player on my immediate left 3-bets. We will call him EP. It folds around to the big blind who opts to cap it. I obviously call and we see a flop three ways.

EP is pretty average preflop. His three betting range in this spot should be rather strong. If I had to guess, I'd say something like 99+ and AQ, maybe KQs. He could go a little lower, but I see him cold call raises quite a bit, and I'd imagine he's doing that with the next tier of hands (things like 77, QTs, etc), and as you'll see none of those hands matter on the board we get.

The big blind is an old white guy I've never seen before. I've been playing with him for about 30 minutes and I don't think I've even seen him 3-bet yet (although I have seen him cold call). The only hands I'm sure he can have are QQ, KK, and AA. AK and JJ need to be discounted, and TT and AQ seem very far-fetched. And again, once you see the flop action you'll be able to discount anything but premiums even further.

So in short...we have very, very narrow ranges already. 


The big blind leads and EP sends me a telegram that he's raising, so I just call. EP raises, and the big blind three bets. I again just call, now because honestly I no longer like my hand. EP caps it, and we both call.

At this point things are looking pretty grim. There is no flush draw on the flop, so I can discount either player having UI high cards almost down to zero. For EP that's a pretty devastating thing to say, since he chose to cap the flop. At this point I'd be shocked if he didn't have QQ+. It's also worth noting that there is a pretty good chance he'd slow play the 99; while he may have raised with it once, there is almost zero chance he'd cap with it. As for the big blind...he's pretty much got what he started with, which is QQ+. I mean sure, he might have JJ, but that needs to be discounted pretty heavily by now, and 99 is also far-fetched for him (both because of the preflop action and my guess that he'd slow play at least a little with it). To the turn, which is meaningless:


The big blind checks, I check, EP bets, the big blind calls, and I push call for the 5th time in a row.

EP still has a big mitt, obviously. BB is now less likely to actually have the AA, since there is some chance he'd just "donk" the turn with that strong of a hand. I'd say he's more than 50% at this point to have exactly two queens. I'm just planning to call one more river bet and occasionally get shown all four queens, or get half the pot, or have a gross misread. But then the river comes.


The big blind checks and I...donk!


I'm donking for a few reasons. On the river I trust EP to play perfectly against my hand if I check. He will certainly check back QQ-, he'll bet 99 and AA, and I'd assume he'll even check back that one niggling combo of KK. So in theory I should do what captain R says, and probably check and not over call except that the BB's hand and call would be close to meaningless and in reality I'm probably not going to fold the river getting 17:1 here. So if I bet and fold to a raise, it doesn't cost me very much, if anything.

But if I bet...what does my hand look like? Remember, I've pushed the call button five times in a row. It looks like exactly AK, so much so that I think there is a chance the other two kings will fold! It's only a single combo, but the ranges have gotten SO narrow that it might be enough. We literally have 3 combos of AA that I lose to, 1 combo of KK, and then 6 combos of QQ. If something else shows up I have a misread, and if I do it's got to be a bank error in my favor because of how many combos of JJ and TT there are.


This kind of gets at the reason I posted the hand; it's not super interesting, as Mr John champion of the deuce to seven Locke has already stated (well done btw). The point of the hand was to illustrate the concept I mentioned in a thread a little while ago, the idea of staying light on your feet during a hand. The question "was my river play premeditated" was a good one also, and I have to admit it was not. During the course of a hand as players drop out, ranges narrow, and the board grows drastic u-turns of strategy can be required. In a sense this is probably the only part of "many way, exploitative, big pot" poker that is actually more difficult than "heads up three bet pots vs experts" poker. 

I have seen live players who seem to have had amazing results for a long time (MikeL comes to mind, obviously, but there are others included) do stuff like this rather frequently. It's very, very hard, and I felt like I took a (perhaps misguided) crack at doing it in this hand. The next time you play, try to stay light on you feet during every hand you play; look for spots where drastic u-turns could show big profits, and don't be afraid to try them out.

We're all here to make money, but if you stop learning and the game isn't fun anymore, you won't last long 

1 comment:

avoidthe9to5 said...

i think the ace is asymmetrically in your favor... supporting this line

i love the way you played this hand.