Monday, May 21, 2007

Running Well

I had one hand in a cash game last night that I'd like to share. I found it interesting mainly because it's the kind of hand that's real tough to play on the internet. But playing live I was able to gain additional information to make my decision. Here's what happened:

I limp in from the small blind with queen nine suited. (Diamonds).

Flop is king, 9, rag. Two spades.

I check. Aggressive guy in late position bets 10 bucks. I call.

If I don't improve on turn and he bets again I'm done with the hand.

Good news on the turn: another 9. I'm looking good. I'm feeling good. The only bad news is it also puts a second heart on the board. Now I gotta deal with two possible flush draws.

I check and let him bet. He obliges and bets 15. I raise it up to 45.

He calls me and of course a 3rd spade comes on the river.

I know if I check he's gonna bet. So I try to take the bluff away from him and lead out for another 45.

He pushes all in.

I won a big pot a couple of nights ago when I held the nut flush and some guy couldn't lay down his trips to my river reraise. This could be the same hand in reverse.

I stare at his bet. It looks like 95 more dollars for me to call.

Making folds like this is what separates the good from great players. Saving 95 dollars (if I'm beat) is just as good as winning 95 dollars when I'm ahead. I can absolutely make this fold.

I stare at the guy trying to get a read. Nothing.

I look at the dealer and say "95 more?"

At this point the other guy sort of shouts at me and says "YEAH 95."

Hmmmm. Something about it seemed a little aggressive.

Now the classic tell is to act weak when you're strong and act strong when you're weak.

And as far as I can tell it's almost like he's trying to scare me into folding with his "YEAH 95" remark. At least that's what my gut tells me.

And so I trust my read and call. He turns over his cards.

They're not suited. He only has a pair.

I was so ready to be the sucker. To beat myself up for making a donkey call.

Instead I'm suddenly so grateful to be playing live and not on the internet.

Winning a hand like this is so important to me. It's so crucial to my confidence. Much more important than winning or losing 95 dollars.

Meanwhile I've been running real well this week.

My personal definition of "running well" isn't getting good cards.

It's not even winning races. I've still lost plenty of those.

It's simply not getting outdrawn by two or three outers when I have the best of it. People hitting sets on the river to take down big pairs. People hitting two pair with their ace 6 when I have the better kicker with my ace king. People hitting runner runner flushes. Runner runner straights. Those kinds of hands.

Those are the hands that kill you.

And by you I mean me.


eric said...

Are you telling me you would have folded trip 9's online?

I don't buy it.

Robert said...

Online I'd have to call and my bot opponent would show me the flush.

Check Raise Chin said...

Trips are a hard fold. But then it was only 95 bucks to call plus he opened his big mouth...not to mention his all in reeked of desperation.

Correct me if I'm wrong Rob, but the only way that all in would work is if he had a large enough stack to scare you. Just my two cents.

ckbluffer said...

I think if the guy had a lot more chips and pushed all in, it would be an easier call than the 95 all-in. May seem counterintuitive, but the 95 all-in really only constituted about 3x the river bet, so it would be a logical raise. An all-in for 300 or something like that based on the pot size . . . well, that just looks kinda fishy unless the guy was prone to making all-in bets regardless of what he had. A flush would want to get paid off on the river, right?

Check Raise Chin said...

Not sure about that. If he is aggressive an all into bet might be the best move (provided he had a lot of chips) because he knows a good player would be able to lay trips down against a danger board. Sometimes I've gone all in on a made make it seem like i'm buying the pot. A smaller bet would be fishier IMO. It would be counter-intuitive to make such a large bet with a made hand. In this case he couldn't bluff with only $95 b/c that's all he had. Some guys love to throw their money away. He clearly underestimated Rob in this hand. But i can see why he bet $95, when in trouble bet your way out, in this case he just got outplayed. As for getting paid off when you get a flush i'd much rather play for a big pot when i have the goods then bet a little just to win a smallish pot (unless that's all i can win). If i put Rob on trips and i made a flush, why not go all in? Unless he shows a full house then i'm fucked....but that hasn't happened too often has it? lol

dave said...

I really want to know what comments rob deleted.

This call is made much easier by playing live and getting that read. We are talking about CALLING an all-in bet with trips with 3 to a flush on the board.

Robert said...

One other math thing I found interesting about this hand is how often my river call needs to be correct based on the odds I'm getting from the pot.

Since I led out for 45 on the river I created a situation where I had to risk 95 to win 295 after he went all in. Thus my call only needed to be right 1 time in 4 for me to win money.

However if I had checked the river and my opponent still pushed all in I'm suddenly facing a 140 call to win 250. Now I'd have to be right much more often. Like if I'm right 1/3rd of the time I'm actually losing money.

In the first scenario being right 1/3rd of the time is making me money long term. In the second it's losing money. Interesting.