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Birthdays, Weekends, and Answers

Tonight marks the beginning of my wife's birthday weekend. My wife has told me that she'd like me to take some time and play a bit of poker this weekend. So I'll probably hit the tables for a little bit over the next few days; however, I'm well aware that this could be a trap of some sort.

All kidding aside, I think I'll be able to put in about 1,000 hands. A few sessions of poker will leave me with tons of time to watch the kids and spoil my wife silly with gifts and fancy birthday meals. But the proof will be in the pudding (or birthday cake, in my case).

I didn't play any poker last night: I was too busy hanging mirrors on various walls in the house. I hope that these will stay up though I'm not holding my breath. I'm cursed when it comes to manual labour and mirror-hanging is not one of my strong suits (see here). In any case, I thought I'd take this opportunity to review the "quiz" hands from a couple days ago.

Without further ado...

PokerStars
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
UTG: $200.10
Hero (UTG+1): $175.55
CO: $108.15
Villain (Button): $150.35
SB: $24.70
BB: $138.50

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with K♠ K♥
UTG folds, Hero raises to $4, CO folds, Villain calls, 2 folds.

(Villain seems pretty good. He's been playing quite aggressively but seems to have a good handle on the table. He's prevented me from winning a number of hands by three-betting me liberally pre-flop or raising my post-flop bets. My table image at the time of this hand is solid although Villain may see me as being pretty weak-tight given how I've handled myself against his liberal raising schedule.)

Flop: 4♣ 2♦ 4♠ ($9.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $7, Villain calls.

Turn: 3♠ ($23.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $20, Villain raises to $60, Hero raises all-in $164.55, Villain calls all-in $79.35.
Uncalled bets: $25.2 returned to Hero.

(I ended up three-betting the Villain all-in on the turn. I thought that he was likely screwing around with me. I couldn't put the Villain on many hands that beat me and figured that my KK was in pretty good shape against his range. Of course, when Villain insta-called, my cowboys were in bad shape.)

River: 6♥ ($302.2, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $302.2)

Results:
Final pot: $302.2
Hero showed Ks Kh
Villain showed 5h 4h

(Where did I make the mistake on the hand? I should have slowed down on the turn and played for pot control. The SPR for this hand was around 16. An SPR of 16 not great for top pair and overpair hands. And this is never more true than while playing out of position against a good, aggressive opponent.

In fact, the SPR really favoured hands like 54s being played in position against tight, straight-forward opponents. The Villain had me in his sights, poked and prodded me until I reached my breaking point, and waited for me to take a stand at the wrong time with the wrong hand. Villain played this hand perfectly.)


Steeser's analysis of the hand was probably best: "I think I fold, though it's close. Most of the times in these situations I tend to call and hate it. I don't think he takes this line with something that you beat."

PokerStars
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
UTG: $102.25
UTG+1: $100.50
Villain (CO): $214.55
Hero (Button): $100
SB: $64.15
BB: $23.70

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is Button with J♠ J♦
2 folds, Villain raises to $3, Hero raises to $9, 2 folds, Villain calls.

(Villain is pretty loose-aggressive. Fifteen minutes ago, he stacked me when my KK ran into his AA all-in pre-flop. Since then, I've been three-betting Villain's pre-flop raises quite liberally. His VP$IP was around 43% with a 35% pre-flop raise percentage.)

Flop: K♦ T♥ 6♦ ($19.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero checks.

(I could have bet this flop but I didn't want to let the Villain check-raise me off my hand. The board has some draws possible and Villain is capable of check-raising with two diamonds or hands like AQ, QJ, Q9, J9, etc.)

Turn: 7♦ ($19.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $10, Villain calls.

(Unless the Villain was holding a 98, the turn card was safe. When the Villain checked a second time, I knew that I could safely bet despite the third diamond. I interpreted the Villain's call to mean that he was still drawing or had a medium strength hand. My plan was to call a bet on the river from the Villain or check it down if given the opportunity. I'd be too afraid to bet the river against this particular Villain out of fear of getting check-raised off my hand.)

River: 4♥ ($19.5, 2 players)
Villain bets $21, Hero calls.

(Villain's betting range on the river was pretty wide. I imagined that he'd take a stab with a whole slew of medium strength hands and various busted draws.)

Results:
Final pot: $39.5
Villain showed Jc Qd
Hero showed Js Jd


Zanekinetic made the right call with this hand: "To me that river bet is [full o' crap]...But overall I think I call here since he is a LAG."

PokerStars
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
Villain (UTG): $99.50
UTG+1: $57.30
Hero (CO): $120.30
Button: $172.80
SB: $216.30
BB: $103.20

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is CO with A♦ A♠
Villain raises to $4, UTG+1 folds, Hero raises to $12, 3 folds, Villain calls.

(Villain is pretty loose-aggressive. Fifteen minutes ago, he stacked me when my KK ran into his AA all-in pre-flop. Since then, I've been three-betting Villain's pre-flop raises quite liberally. His VP$IP was around 43% with a 35% pre-flop raise percentage.)

Flop: 5♥ Q♣ Q♥ ($25.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $20, Villain calls.

(SPR was an outstanding 3 for this hand. There are zero flops that are causing me to slow down.)

Turn: K♠ ($65.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $60, Villain raises all-in $67.5, Hero calls.

(Both Villain and I were committed to our hands, whether he knew it or not. Time to get it all in and hope that the Villain wasn't playing AQ, QQ, KK, or 55.)

River: J♣ ($200.5, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $200.5)

(I didn't like the river card but I wasn't necessarily beat.)

Results:
Final pot: $200.5
Villain showed Qs Qd
Hero mucks Ad As

(Given the Villain's playing tendencies and SPR, I don't mind my play in the hand. I was trying to get all the money in and I succeeded. Unfortunately, I was way, way behind...)


Comments were divided on this hand between checking the turn/calling a river bet and betting the turn/betting non-heart, non-King river. This is a tough hand. Do I think Villain would have called on the flop and turn with a single pair or pocket pair? Given the size of the pot and my read, I thought that there was a good chance that I was ahead. When the SPR is as favourable as it was in this hand, I find it quite hard to lay down my hand against this type of opponent. And although I could say that I wouldn't play a hand similarly in the future, I'm worried that this take on the hand is too results-oriented.

Again, thank you to Zanekinetic and Steeser for their answers.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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