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Session Review #13: It's all in the flop


I managed to put in about an hour at Titan Poker's $100 NL tables last night. Although I made a few good plays here and there, I ultimately ended up down about 10 BB. The main obstacle that stood in the way to untold riches was my oppponents' insistence on not laying down their cards to my continuation bets. We've all had nights like that, though, and I recognize that this is just a part of the game we all know and love. Sometimes you just need the cards...

I've got some hands for review today. The first few are from my adventures at InterPoker's 6-max $50 NL tables a couple nights ago. I had a good session and just feel like discussing three of the hands that all but determined my session's outcome that night. I've also got a couple hands from last night's play at Titan Poker: in particular, I wanted to focus on a neat little play I made with a guy who loved to defend his blinds.

But first, let's start with InterPoker. This session took place after InterPoker/InterCasino gave me $20 to take to the poker tables. Although I was the short stack at this 6-max $50 NL table, I still had enough money to make a go for it. After sitting down, I quickly ascertained that two of my opponents were pretty loose and I was hoping that either one of them would be able to double me up.

It didn't take me very long to kick off the festivities...


InterPoker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
UTG (LAG): $157.60
UTG+1: $94.55
CO: $14.75
Button (Hero): $19.25
SB: $54.75
BB: $61.30

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is Button with T♣ T♥
LAG calls, 2 folds, Hero raises to $2.5, 2 folds, LAG calls.

(With an SPR of 4, I was willing to commit post-flop with a set or overpair. I was still new to the table and hadn't seen the LAG play many hands.)

Flop: T♦ 8♦ J♥ ($5.75, 2 players)
LAG checks, Hero bets $5, LAG calls.

(I hit my set but the board was pretty scary. I bet close to pot in the hopes of taking it down but the LAG called. With two likely draws, I figured to push on the turn as long as I didn't see a diamond, a seven, a nine, or a queen fall.)

Turn: 9♠ ($15.75, 2 players)
LAG bets $1.5, Hero calls.

(Yuck! I didn't like the nine but the LAG's bet was small enough to give me odds to draw to the boat.)

River: 7♣ ($18.75, 2 players)
LAG bets $5, Hero raises to $10, LAG calls.

(They say "think long, think wrong" and I'd tend to agree. My first instinct was that I was beat on the river to my opponent's Queen-high straight. But then I thought that the LAG's bet on the turn might have been bigger had he held the Queen-high straight. In the end, I decided to simply raise on the river hoping for a fold that I knew would never come. )

Results (in white):

Final pot: $38.75
Hero shows Tc Th
LAG shows 9d Ac


With a terribly played hand behind me, I set out to take advantage of the LAG's poor choice in starting hands and questionable post-flop play. And let's not forget that I was seeking a little redemption myself after having embarrassed myself with my awkward river raise.


InterPoker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
UTG: $42.72
UTG+1 (LAG): $160.14
CO: $93.58
BUTTON (FISH): $30.03
SB (Hero): $16.67
BB: $53.46

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with Q♠ Q♦

UTG folds, LAG raises to $1, CO folds, FISH calls, Hero raises to $5, BB folds, LAG calls, FISH folds.

(Now this is what I'm talking about: holding QQ with a raiser and a cold-caller already in the pot! I raised to $5, hoping to get two callers but I was quite happy that the LAG decided to stick around for the flop. With an SPR of about 1, I was committed to this pot no matter what happened on flop.)

Flop: Q♣ A♥ A♣ ($11.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $5, LAG raises to $10, Hero raises all-in $11.67, LAG calls.

(Normally I'd slowplay such a strong hand but my stack was so small that I doubt the LAG would have given much thought to folding. I find that playing the short-stack in a no-limit hold'em cash game seems to be an invitation to my opponents to try and stack me.

When the Villain raised my bet, we were both committed to the pot and I simply raised my remaining $1.67.)


Turn: T♥ ($34.84, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $34.84)

River: K♠ ($34.84, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $34.84)

Results (in white):

Final pot: $34.84

Hero shows Qs Qd
LAG shows As 7s


I've got to think that the LAG knew he was behind when I pushed behind his raise on the flop; however, he can't fold for $1.67 more. He got lucky in his A9 hand above and I caught a dream flop with my Pocket Queens. The moral of the story is that playing ace-rag from early position, even in 6-max no-limit, can be a tricky proposition - especially when facing a raise or re-raise from a tight-player who has position on you.

In this last hand, the FISH at the table decided to get in on the action.

InterPoker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50
6 players

Converter

Stack sizes:

UTG: $51.21
UTG+1: $49.15
CO: $142.17
Button: $50.70
SB: $34.88
Hero: $30.14

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with 8♣ Q♦

4 folds, SB calls, Hero checks.

(I love seeing a free flop in a blind vs. blind situation. I knew the SB didn't have anything and I'd have position on him for the rest of the hand. Even if I completely missed the flop, a pot-sized flop bet would probably win me the pot.)


Flop: 3♦ 8♠ Q♣ ($1, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks.

(I flopped a monster but I decided to hold off on betting. On a previous hand, I'm checked the flop in position and bet the turn when checked to a second time. The FISH had then check-raised me and forced me to fold my hand. My plan for this hand was to follow that same betting pattern of check-check/check-bet-raise. This time, however, I was planning to 3-bet the turn instead of folding.)

Turn: T♣ ($1, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $3, SB raises to $6, Hero raises to $17, SB calls.

(Continuing with my plan and hoping the ten on the turn or possible flush draw had conected with the FISH's hand, I overbet the pot. As before, the FISH raised and I re-popped him in the hopes of getting all the money in. Instead, the FISH simply called forcing me to wait until the river to give this pot my final push.)

River: 4♥ ($35, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero is all-in $15.64, SB calls.

(Although I didn't know whether the FISH was on a busted draw or whether he held a monster hand, I was committed to my hand. I figured that the FISH would just as soon call a large bet as he would a small bet so I jammed. The FISH called so quickly that I was a little worried that I'd be shown QT, J9, or a set.)

Results (in white):

Final pot: $66.28
Hero shows 8c Qd
SB shows Ah Ad


How many times have you heard that slow-playing Aces pre-flop is silly? Although the SB would have only won my 50 cent blind had he raise pre-flop, he could have saved himself from losing $30. Still, I like the way he played this hand...

--

The next couple hands are from last night's session at Titan Poker.


Titan Poker 0.50/1.00, hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

saw flop | saw showdown

Button ($99.00)
SB Hero ($53.65)
BB Villain ($30.49)
UTG ($100.00)
UTG+1 ($72.40)
CO ($102.20)

Preflop: Hero is in the SB with 9 Q
4 folds, Hero raises to 3.00, Villain raises to 6.00, 1 fold

(After sitting down at my first table of the evening, everyone folded to me in the small blind on just my second hand. Even though I knew nothing about the big blind, I figured that my hand deserved a raise. Unfortunately, the big blind liked his hand even more and pushed me off my hand. Oh well...)


Whenever someone plays back at me like this, I start to watch them closely. Over the next fifteen minutes, I watched the Villain defend his big blind at least 80% of the time. I don't really care about defending my big blind all that much in no-limit hold'em but there are others who view a blind steal as a personal affront.

I also noticed that the Villain seemed to pride himself on being tricky and outsmarting others at the table. He'd shown down some big bluffs and seemed to be having a little too much fun pushing others around. It was only a matter of time before knocked the Villain down a peg.

Titan Poker 0.50/1.00, hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

saw flop | saw showdown

Button ($111.78)
SB Hero ($50.65)
BB Villain ($34.86)
UTG ($97.50)
UTG+1 ($69.40)

Preflop: Hero is in the SB with T K
3 folds, Hero raises to 3.00, Villain raises to 5.00, Hero raises to 12.00, Villain calls 9.50.

(I was pretty sure that the Villain would re-raise me if I tried to "steal" his blind. My plan was simply to 3-bet the Villain pre-flop and have him fold after being called out. When the Villain called my re-raise, I could only hope for a good flop.)

Flop (31.00) A 4 5
Hero moves all-in for 35.15, 1 fold

(With an Ace on the flop, I saw my chance. I didn't want to do anything fancy. If I'd gotten greedy and tried for the check-raise, the Villain may have felt more tied to the pot and called with a variety of hands that beat my KT. In the end, I decided to open-jam the flop. Luckily, the Villain's brave facade crumbled before the might of my $35 bet.)


This last hand seemed to deflate the Villain and he busted out a few hands later. Although I don't make plays like this very often, it's always nice to find the right opponent and right situation to try out a move or two.

--

It's the weekend and I'll be starting it off right! Tonight, I'll be doing a little post-birthday drinking and gambling! Wish me luck!

I'll be back on Monday with more hands and more poker-y goodness. Until then, why not enter yourself in the contest I'm running. Come on! Free poker analysis software! What else do you want?

2 comments:

AJ "The Triple Threat" Martino said...

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Right now there's only 34 players signed up, the top 4 advance to a single-table semi-final in February. The fields aren't going to get any smaller as word of this promotion spreads. So if you want in, you'll want to play some of the earlier events to have less competition.

Hope the tables & life are treating you well, and I hope you’ll take a shot at winning this prize!

AJ
President
www.RakeReport.net

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