Friday, April 25, 2008

Hot Grinder On Grinder Action!

Thursday night at the Venetian.

Loose guy raises in early position to $15.

I have $162 in front of me and reraise to $45 from middle position with pocket 10's.

Grinder guy in the blinds takes a little while and then smooth calls my $45.

Early position raiser folds. It wasn't worth it to him to spend 30 bucks to win at least $105 plus whatever amount I continue bet on the flop.


(Yet it was worth it to him initially to spend 15 bucks to win just $3.)

I guess I like to gamble more than he does.

Why does any of this matter? Well because I expected to play this hand against the loose early position raiser. Not the big blind grinder guy. The big blind is a regular at the Venetian.

How regular?

I've seen him every single time I've played there.

If I recognize him, he must recognize me. We're both too good to play many hands against each other. In all my hours at the Venetian I've probably played 2 or 3 pots against this guy. Mostly we're both sitting there looking to get involved with crazy tourists. But now suddenly, we're heads up.

His smooth call here is interesting. I think it freaked out the early position raiser. As if a smooth call must mean that the big blind has aces. Since it seemed like he was begging for action from the early position guy.

I however did not put him on a big pair. I put him on ace king.

I think he wants to see a flop. If no ace or king comes he can fold, and if one comes out he can make a decision.

By smooth calling preflop he's giving himself some room to still fold (preflop) if the early position raiser comes back over the top and I follow by pushing all in.

In other words, this isn't a hand that the big blind wants to push all in with. He wants to see a flop first. He's being careful. At least that's my take.

So when the flop comes out queen,6,3 with two diamonds I still feel pretty good. Sure the overcard wasn't what I was hoping for, but if I put the guy on ace king, I'm still good.

He's too good of a player to have called 45 bucks out of position preflop with ace queen. King queen. Anything with a queen.

He looks at me. I look back. He checks.

I only have 117 bucks left. There's a little over 100 in the middle. I suppose I could have bet 80 or something but with such a small stack remaining, I just threw it all in the middle.

Now keep in mind this is the first hand I've raised preflop in the past 30 minutes.

As far as I'm concerned I have pocket aces.

And I know that he knows that.

Still, he takes a moment and asks for a count.


What could he be calling me with here?

If he has ace king off I'm a 3 to 1 favorite and he's too good a player to call with just overcards.

But call he does.

He tells me he's on a draw.

And for me it's the worst one possible. Ace King of diamonds.

Oh dear.

So my read was sort of right. He did have the Ace King. The problem for me is that combined with his flush draw, he's actually a 54.44 to 45.56% favorite.

This coming on the heels of my being a 53.71 to 45.92% favorite preflop.

Things change quickly around here.

Regardless of what comes out on the turn and river, I think we both did what we had to do. Like if we saw each other's hands on the flop, neither of us would fold.

We're both getting almost 2 to 1 in a hand that in poker speak is basically a coinflip. (If it were an election it would be a huge difference. And in reality it is a huge difference- 54-46% edges are the way they build casinos.)

Yet folding would be incorrect for either of us. Thus all we can both do is get our chips in the middle and have the audacity to hope.

This hand stood out to me because it's not too often you get to see two grinders racing like this.

Yet we both made correct reads.

Well almost.


MorningThunder said...

who won dammit?

Anonymous said...

That's what I was going to ask!