Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Poker Taketh Away and Poker Giveth

'Tis always a good feeling to get back on the poker horse and climb out of the hole you'd dug for yourself the day before. I shouldn't have even been playing last night, due to approximately 172,192 other things that need doing, but I managed to quintuple up at the 2/4 NL table at Titan that I had open while watering the grass straw outside, popping in and out to readjust sprinklers periodically.

It helps that I've been on a hell of an upswing of late, but I'm still enjoying playing NL, much more than I'd have imagined. I definitely don't regret all the LHE grinding, and would probably even recommend that people cut their teeth on LHE first before seriously stepping into NL games, but it's hard at the moment seeing myself ever going back to LHE full time. Assuming that the solitary goal in all this pokering is to exploit weakness and make money, NL definitely appears to be the way to go, and the direction that poker everywhere is skewing, as far as available games.

No real noteworthy hands from last, as most of the dinero came from big hands that fell into my lap (flopping the nut flush versus the second nut flush, flopped full house with a junky hand from the BB versus an AA pre-flop limper, etc.), although the last big hand was pretty interesting, especially in retrospect:

$2/4 NL 6 max (with one player sitting out). I've got about $1,200 and am sitting fat and happy having tripled up. I'm also UTG and have already clicked off the auto-post button, ready to book a nice little quick hit and run and go paint some walls. I look down to find JdQd and start to hit fold and close the table but for whatever reason I don't, raising to $15 instead, with the rationale basically being, oh, what the hell, it's my last hand, let's ramble and gamble (and, you know, fold immediately if anyone re-pops me big pre-flop or if I whiff the flop.)

The button and BB both call. BB has about $250 behind and the button has $900 or so. No real reads on either but they've seemed fairly solid and not crazy, a little tight if anything as neither has been involved in many pots. Three of us see the flop, which is 8h 9h 10s, which I obviously, umm, like a lot.

BB fires out a $40 bet. I think about slowplaying to possibly suck the button in but I've pretty much sworn off slowplaying these days, especially with the flush draw out there, so I just go ahead and make it $120 more. I was expecting the button to fold and (hopefully) for BB to shove with his two pair/flush draw/straight draw or some combo thereof.

Button just smooth calls my $160 bet, though. Hmm. And then BB shoves all-in, lumping his last $210 into the pot.

So I'm sitting on the nuts, with a $617 pot sitting out there. It's $50 more for me to call, which I'm obviously calling, but the real question is how do I proceed given that button has $750 or so left, especially since he just smooth-called my initial hefty raise on the flop. I could very easily be up against a flush draw and a set (and actually not be that big a favorite or even a favorite at all, depending on BB's hand), or chopping at least some of the pot with QJ. Rolling around in the back of my mind, too, is the fact that I was ready to call it a night and be done, and suddenly I'm entangled in a hand with the only other stack at the table that could do me serious harm.

My first impulse was actually to shove, to punish the button if he's on the flush draw and wants to keep drawing. But even if I raise enough to put him all-in, he's faced with calling $750 into a ~$1,400 pot, and might have the correct odds depending on his actual holdings. There's also a distinct possibility that he's got a weaker hand that I'm way ahead of (something like QQ, JJ, maybe AA or KK if he's prone to slowplaying pre-flop) that I don't want to drive out by shoving all-in.

So I hemmed and hawed and talked myself out of shoving. Then I hemmed and hawed some more and talked myself out of even re-raising, finally deciding to just call the extra $50 from BB's all-in. Probably dumb of me, but my thinking was that if he really was slowplaying a hand like QQ-AA, he might take an additional shot there, when I backed down and just called the extra $50 from the all-in. (I don't like this line in retrospect as it sets me up for a really difficult turn decision if a heart comes, as he has position on me. Re-raising a hefty amount is probably best, as it makes playing the turn much easier, since I'm committed at that point even if a heart comes.)

So I just call, and then button proceeds to shove all-in. Heh. I reach for the junk protector and sit there for a second, shaking my head at the absurdity of the situation, in what was my "last hand" and could have easily been folded pre-flop with nary a penny risked. But even my tightbox self can't fold the nuts so I call, holding my breath. Turn is 4s and the river is the Jc, putting 8h 9h 10c 4s Jc on the board.

Titan, of course, doesn't immediately flip up hole cards when players are all-in, so there's that horrible moment of agony replaced by joy when I see that lovely lag when it's giving your opponents the choice to muck or show their losing hands, and the last guy finally mucks and a +$2,000 pot slides my way.

BB had AhJh and button had 10d 10c, which was pretty much as bad as it could have been for me and my flopped "nuts". Here are the numbers on the flop according to PokerStove:

Board: Ts 8h 9h

equity (%) win (%) tie (%)
Hand 1: 28.7191 % 26.25% 02.47% { AhJh }
Hand 2: 35.6958 % 33.22% 02.47% { QdJd }
Hand 3: 35.5851 % 35.44% 00.15% { TcTd }


Kind of interesting in that I was slightly behind on the flop. Button got all of his money in as the favorite and I made the "donkey" call with the nuts.

4 comments:

StudioGlyphic said...

Damn. Nice pot.

Absinthe said...

You still have the highest equity of anyone at the table - the only reason your win percentage is lower than the set's is because the two non-heart queens give you a tie with AhJh, but you're still making good money on those ties.

I do think this illustrates a good point about the power of a set, though, which is that in a multiway pot you can often raise the flop for value even if one or more players flopped a made hand.

kurokitty said...

Nice pot. Welcome to the future. (NL, that is).

Fuel55 said...

Very nice dude. Cant really fault anyone. Just one of those hands and you won it. About as scary as when I dodged 20 outs twice:

http://fuel55.blogspot.com/2006/08/dodging-20-outs-twice.html