Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Gah, The Poker Bonuses, They Are Too Strong For Willie!

Despite my recent lemur activity in the degenerate challenge, things are cruising right along poker-wise. I'm nearly done with the Bowmans signup bonus, and am pretty solidly in the green. I'm going to try to blast out the TopRankedPoker one I mentioned yesterday, finishing it up in April hopefully, and went on a tear there yesterday, mainly at the baby .50/1 NL tables.

The following hand came towards the end of the run, and I thought was fairly interesting. It's a 6 max .50/1 NL table, and I have €150 or so. The button is the only player that's been remarkable at all, as everyone else seemed fairly weak/tight and nondescript, but the button has been pretty active, overbetting marginal hands pre-flop (re-raising to €10 or €15 pre-flop with hands like 85s or J10o), and bluffing at a lot of pots, especially when he has the button/position.

I'm UTG and get dealt 1010. Which I'm obviously happy to see, but it's got the potential to be problematic, especially with the hyped-up monkey on the button. I'd normally raise to €3 or €4, but he's likely to come over the top with all sorts of hands, and I'm not sure I want to invest €20 with 1010 and bad position, just to see a flop, as I have to fold on lots of flops if he plays back hard at me.

I end up just limping, as does UTG+1. Folds to button, who bumps it up to €8. Folds to me. I call and, surprisingly, so does UTG+1, who had the habit of limping a lot pre-flop and folding to a raise. I've got around €140 or so at this point, UTG+1 has €125, and button has €70.

Pot is €25 or so, and the flop comes 4c 5h 7s. I check, planning on check-raising, UTG+1 checks, and button insta-bets €25.

Hmm. Button is capable of having just about anything, and only has €50 behind after his flop bet. I'd be more than happy to shove here if it were heads-up with the button, but UTG+1 is lurking, and his smooth-call of a sizable raise pre-flop worries me a bit, as the only other time I'd seen him do that he had QQ.

Shoving here might clear up some outs by folding out UTG+1, as well as generate some fold equity versus the button. But the button's €25 bet is likely enough to fold out UTG+1 anyway, even if I call and sweeten the pot. If I just call the €25 bet and UTG+1 does have a bigger pocket pair, he'll likely check-raise, at which point I can possibly (maybe) find a fold, depending on button's reaction.

I end up just calling, as does UTG+1. Damnit.

Turn is 8d, putting 4c 5h 7s 8d on the board. Pot is €100 or so. I check, UTG+1 checks, and button checks. Hmm.

River is 2c, for a board of 4c 5h 7s 8d 2c. I check, UTG+1 checks, and button insta-bets €30 of his remaining €45.

Do you call? Fold? Shove?

I dwelled for forever and finally folded. Yeah, I know, the pot is laying me pretty juicy odds with my overpair and a crazy monkey on the button who loves to bluff at pots, but UTG+1 is still hanging around. I didn't like the size of the button's bet, either (or the check on the turn, for that matter), as he's perfectly capable of having a 6 in his hand, as well as some sort of junky two pair. Heads-up, I probably make the call, clutching my junk. With UTG+1 lurking, though, I'm not certain that it'll just be €30 to call, and I think I have to fold if I call and he comes over the top for €70 more.

I fold, and UTG+1 ponders for forever, and finally calls. Button rolls over J10o for jack high and UTG+1 has Q5s, taking down the €160 pot with a pair of 5s.


Still not sure how to play that flop, given the way things played out. In hindsight the easy answer is to check-raise it up, like I planned on, but nothing in UTG+1's play to that point suggested he could have anything like Q5s, so I'm still not sure that lumping in more than the button's €25 bet gains me much either in the way of position or information.

But, you know, I have the capacity to suck at NL, too, so there is that.


kurokitty said...

I think the mistake was not raising pre-flop. In shorthanded NL games you must be aggressive with decent hands, as you have the edge with TT because not many cards are dealt out. (On plane rides I often deal out six hands and play them out like Doyle and others used to do. You really get to see the suckzor nature of shorthanded hands).

Sure you have bad position but you're still a favorite to win. Let someone else try to take the pot away from you -- you would have a better chance to win and will lose less than you did in the hand.

By limping you are not the aggressor and really have no idea where you're at in the hand. Plus a preflop raise here will also induce players to fold later when you're open-raising with lesser hands, such as KJo...

ScurvyDog said...


I hear you, loud and clear.

The button is a bit problematic, though, given his love of raising/re-raising it up pre-flop with a wide range of hands. If you make a standard raise of 4-5bb (or even more, say 10bb) and he pops me back, say to 15 or 20, what do you do?

If you're willing to shove pre-flop with 1010 against him, then I think a raise is great. You raise, he re-raises, you shove and put him to the test.

Should you be willing to shove with 1010 against him pre-flop, giving his wide range of hands? Probably, but I usually feel like I can find better spots than that to outplay people like the button post-flop.

If you're not willing to shove pre-flop with 1010 if re-raised, and he pops your standard raise, you're basically reduced to calling or folding. Folding seems horrible, given his range, and the fact you have 1010. So you call.

I'm not sure that scenario really buys you that much more information, given his style of play so far. You're playing for a larger pot, out of position, with 1010, against an opponent that loves to try to bluff at pots.

But yeah, I hear you. I'd also probably fold KJo UTG in a game like this, too, so maybe I just need to grow a set of testicles.

El_Stuntman said...

Hi Scurv,

sorry to use you as my personal site reviewer! Last question I promise...are there many Full Ring NL games available at these kind of limits or is it primarily short handed?

Nice hand write up by the way - Ithink I would have kept that one to myself!

el S

kurokitty said...

If you call, I think call followed by flop c/r oughta do it. You can't let yourself be bullied by a toaster.

Fuel55 said...

Well played thir. Good grief! If you cant handle the heat move to another table!

Boardet said...

You lack a lot of information in this hand, and heres how I see it:

A raise on the flop would have given you some info about button and UTG+1, so I guess thats my preferred play in that situation. Turn would have been a good move also, as you tend go get ppls hands defined a little better, as ppl often let their hands/air go easier on the turn than the flop.

Btw, ppl in your seat checking flop and turn in this situation is often looking for a way to get away from the hand, so they dont have to make any marginal decisions. If an overcard falls its easier to fold and thinking you made the right play than trying to get involved.

Boardet said...

and btw, I like the limp preflop by the reasons that Scurvydog has allready stated.