Monday, August 06, 2007

Doing some Extra work

This weekend I played a few sessions at the MGM and the Wynn.

I'm also proud to say I sat down for the first time in the Hooters Casino poker room.

The players in Hooters were pretty bad. That's the good news.

The bad news though is the only game they offered was 1/2 no limit with a 200 max buy in.

So even on a good night there's only so much one can make at that level.

Still it was quite entertaining. Between the waitresses in the unflattering orange shorts and the guy to my left calling 30 dollar preflop raises with hands like king 3 and king 8....well lets just say I got my money's worth.

This king 3/king 8 gentleman infuriated the guy from Texas sitting to my right. This Texan was one of these guys who acted tough, told everyone that he's a pro, and then felt the need to explain after each hand how poorly everyone played.

So to be honest, it was some kind of wonderful to watch Mr. Texas get sucked out on by Mr. King rag. The truth is Hooters should have charged me money for my seat in between the two of them. But instead they brought me free drinks. I don't usually drink when I play but after all this was Hooters. It's almost as if I had to drink to get inside the other players' heads.

Over at the Wynn, one tough decision that kept coming up for me this weekend (like 4 or 5 times) was how deep to go in hands with my suited connectors that partially hit against an opponent with a likely overpair.

On more than one occasion I called a preflop raise in position with a hand like 4,5 suited.

And on more than one occasion the flop came out something like 2 3 4 rainbow.

So with my small pair and straight draw I'm basically 45% to win this hand against an overpair like pocket jacks.

And thus when my overpair opponent bets out on the flop it can get real tricky for me to decide how to play it.

-I can call a bet and hope to catch up with two pair, trips or a straight on the turn.

-I can semibluff and reraise.

-And of course I can fold.

And what makes this spot so tough is that none of these decisions are terrible.

When these hands come up once in awhile they're fun. Especially against good opponents. Unfortunately against mediocre opponents it can be tough to play.

Against a good opponent I don't mind reraising in these spots. Because I know there's a chance my opponent will fold.

Yet most of the players I sit with don't have the strength (or is it weakness) to throw away an overpair on this type of board.

Which is why I get paid off real well when I can actually hit something that beats an overpair.

But in terms of my hand chasing and still needing help, my semibluff loses all fold equity against these non-folding dudes.

Meanwhile, by far the best moment I witnessed Saturday night occurred on the post river betting with the board showing 4,4,6,6,3.

An over aggressive guy who had been betting out on every street bet once again.

His opponent, a novice woman player responds by pushing all in.

Oops. He can't decide what to do.

He takes a few minutes so I sit think thinking he must have the 4 and he's terrified that she has the 6 for the better full house. After mulling it over he eventually calls.

The novice lady turns over pocket 3's. She hit the 3rd one on the river giving her a pretty weak full house. She is losing if her opponent has a 4 or a 6. One of which seems quite possible here.

Looking back at the hand, she showed her lack of poker IQ calling his turn bet on the 4,4,6,6, board. What hand can she beat here with pocket 3's? Like even if he's holding 2,5 in his hand he's ahead with his 5 kicker. Her pair of 3's were counterfeited because of the board double pairing with bigger cards. Her official best hand on the turn was two pair with a 3 kicker.

She was a beginner so I don't really want to mock her play here.

Even though I did think it was one of the worst moves I had seen in awhile....or at least it was until the guy who called her all in here turned over 5,7 for a straight.

Oh dear.

I guess he figured he was beating her if she had an ace for two pair with ace kicker.

Obviously I was quite disappointed not to get any cards to play pots with these people.

My only job at the Wynn on Saturday was to fold for hours while all this crazy action went on around me.

I genuinely felt like I was an extra in a bad poker movie.

You guys have got to look for me when it comes out on DVD.

I'm the guy in seat 3.



ckbluffer said...

Against a good player, the minute you hit your straight draw, you're probably not going to get a lot more money. Same thing if the board pairs. I'd massage the pot with a post-flop raise here, just to make your opponent think a bit before calling with an overpair. Even if your opponent does make the call, you have decent odds to win. Then again, I have a reputation for being a bit overaggressive, but that move paid off for me in a tourney last week.

Check Raise Chin said...

Yeah Rob, playing those suited connectors can be tricky. I agree with Bluff in that raising or re-raising the flop with these low paired/drawing hands. The tough decision comes if he decides to re-raise your raise (and I mean a good decent raise). If that happens there's no shame in folding (if that's your choice) because you'll save money for another hand. If you're playing for big pots and calling a $30 pre-flop raise with tiny suited connectors then once you get a decent piece of the board I think you have to re-raise his initial raise. He could have A/K or A/Q or PP ranging from 66-99. He could have a monster but he'd definitely have to think that you popped a set if you're re-raising his raise.

If this was a tricky /good player maybe a call and catch (hopefully you will catch) is the best strategy post flop, then if he's holding an over pair and you hit trips or a straight, you can check raise his ass. I know calling is the worst option but if you don't hit on the turn you will have saved money, which is almost as good as winning a pot. It really depends on the player.

I think you said it best Rob in a earlier post, it really depends on the player and the situation. To raise or re-raise all the time with those hands isn't optimal strategy IMO. Mixing it up is the best way to go.

Willy's World said...

How were the chicken wings?