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Marginal Edge or Donkey Play?

After reading RecessRampage's recent post, "Pressing marginal edges - cash v tournaments", I figured I'd put up a hand that shows my feelings towards gambling in poker.

While there are times when I'll play tight and choose my spots carefully, I also like to take crazy chances. I'm more inclined to playing a little crazy if I'm tilting, if I have a good read on my opponents, or if I'm trying to establish a crazy table image. Of course, there are also times when I like to play like a complete donkey and put my entire stack at risk for no reason.

Take this hand, for example. I'd just sat down and posted in the big blind. Right away, I'm faced with a button steal. Although I could play carefully and re-raise, I'm not too keen on playing a big pot out of position against an unknown player. Time to gamble!

PokerStars, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

Villain (BTN): $298.30
SB: $207.95
Hero (BB): $100
UTG: $831.25
MP: $260
CO: $429.60

Pre-Flop: A K dealt to Hero (BB)

3 folds, Villain raises to $8, SB folds, Hero raises to $100 and is All-In, Villain calls $92

Flop: ($201) 6 8 A (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Turn: ($201) 2 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: ($201) Q (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $201 Pot ($3 Rake)
Villain mucked K K and LOST (-$100 NET)
Hero showed A K (a pair of Aces) and WON $198 (+$98 NET)

Not my proudest moment but hey - I'll take it. The Villain could have any two here for all I know and my AK matches up quite favourably against a random range of hands. Although I'm usually behind if I get called, this hand did set me up with a nice table image. Unfortunately, the table broke up shortly thereafter since nobody wanted to play with the trigger-happy donkey.

Good times...

I'll be back tomorrow with a full session review from my most recent session. I'll review this hand and many others that I played over a fairly lengthy session at PokerStars' $1/$2 NLHE tables.


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Unless you knew that other guy, that's as bad a play as I can think of. You get all the hands that are worse than yours to fold and only hands that are better to call. That's not a marginal edge. That's just bad play.

Klopzi said...

Alan -

After doing some calculations, I can see how moving in with AK is marginally +EV. There are, however, much better plays that result in a higher EV than by simply moving all-in pre-flop.

The reason that the play is +EV is because if my opponent folds too much, my bet is a semi-bluff that will earn me money in the long run. If my opponents call too much, then my push becomes a value bet that earns me money in the long run.

But as I said, there are higher EV plays to be made with AK.

In the hand in question, even calling out of position would have set up a favourable SPR for my hand.