First, let me thank you in advance for considering this post. I have read about 75% of your previous posts, and find them very insightful. It was in reading one such post that i discovered a discussion on play v. flush draws. You indicated your preferece for making the big bets on the turn as opposed to the flop, where your odds go from 30-40% to 20% of opponent completing a four flush. I was considering that, and being aggressive late ("GO TIME") when the following came up:
11 player left,of 115 in Paradise $30
I had about 16k in chips which put me 3rd overall
Blinds 400/800 with 50 or 100 ante
1. Dealt A3sd in SB. folded around. Made it 3000 to go. BB called (slightly smaller stack, but still top 6). flop J 9 rag no diamonds. Check fold by me. i know weak. What type of action may be required here? Hand above is basically an overview, but wouldn't mind hearing strategy there out of position. felt the dude would call a bet and didn't want to waste more on really a bluff.
2. Very next hand. K9 offsuit on button. Again fold to me (Table had 6 players). I raise again to 3000. same player in SB now calls. With this call i felt that my hand at worst was a coinflip. did not sense strength by his call.
flop: K 9 x -- 2 clubs
now i really think i have the best hand after the flop, i put him on a flush draw at best. I am thinking about getting to 4th street where assuming a blank, i can get my chips in. He bets out 10, 500 putting me all in. I still think i have the best hand, but its now or never for this hand. I called. He hit flush on turn, i went out 11th.
Did i get tunnel vision on this hand? was the pot giving me the right odds to call his all in? I think it did, but 60% of the time i get 26k to play with at the final table, and 40% of the time i get $37 and 11th. Does a true survivalist fold the top two pair? even feeling strongly about being ahead after flop?
Any insight would be hugely appreciated.
Unless you put him on a set, play in the second hand was correct...lets review...not only did you have the best hand when all the money went in, but even if he DID catch the flush, you still had 4 outs to make a boat. And if you King was a club, it makes the call even easier...so, you played the second hand correctly and ou pretty much explained the right reasons why in yor post.
The first hand is a little easier, but with NO draw and such a weak kicker (meaning you cant even count on an ace to save you...I think you made the right play..I would have done the same thing!
Hey man , I'll try to give ya some advice on these. On that first hand , you could of played that hand a number of ways , including the way you played it . I don't mind the chk and fold since you did not hit the flop . That doesn't mean you should always chk / fold there but given ur chip stack - I think it was ok for you there. Other times a bet might work to take down the pot .
Another move in the same situation would be to limp in with ace-high . Now if he raises , you can re-raise him for all your chips assuming that you think your A high is ahead . Most of the time he prob will raise just to take the blinds , thinking that you want to see a cheapie -- if he just checks , thats fine . Hopefully , you flop something like a pr of aces , which he'll not put u on since you just limped in, ------ something to think about.
Second hand is easy : Call , Call , Call . Your opponent isisnt going to have a flush draw everytime - most of the time you'll be up against a king or even nothing at all. Its a GREAT spot to chip up and kings up is way ahead the majority of the time .
Hope this helps . Curious to see other responses though.
When you have the best hand (meaning you have the largest pecentage chance of winning the hand), the pot is always laying you odds to make a call. It's impossible for you to call a bet that is larger than 50% of the pot. Remembering that the bet from your opponent, i.e, the bet that you are calling, is PART of the pot, how would you make a call that is greater than the amount on the table?
What you bring up, however, is very important - chip management. Is it better to guarantee more playing time and a chance to finish in a better position, or take a 40% chance of busting out right now. This is a question that many players struggle with, and the answer may be one that separates good players from great players.
I dont know how you dont make that call.
I think its more likely this guy is bluffing, has a K or maybe a set with the "x" (I say that cause that's a big preflop bet w a sh***y flush draw). At the time of that call, you have chips around 5x the starting pot which puts you in a situation where you welcome an all in with apparent good odds.
Read that last line again b/c its key. Even if you know he's on the flsush draw, you were now so low on chips that you HAD to call a pot that gives you a 60% chance.
I really think this is a hand where you are beating yourself up with hindsight. I also would wager, (not having read the aaawnutz post u reference on this) that his post was on putting a player who loves the flush draw all in on the turn with a big bet rather than on the flop. But that wasn't what confronted you here.
Your opponent made the bet, not you. If you were right about him being on the flush draw, I dont think its close on whether to call there.
Life late in a tourney puts you in bet your life situations sometimes. This was a good bet imo
He had K5 of clubs. Hand gets a little better for him. I can see his point of view as well. He probablly thought i was steaming and had something like i had the previous hand A3. in hindsight i like the limp with A3, but i was trying to steal blinds, not see flops. Good solid input so far. Thanks.
-- i just re-read the thread and realized i didn't add anything to this conversation with my post... disregard ...
in very good or very weak chip position in tournaments my normal blinds play is quite passive, i will limp the small blind when it's folded around to me once or twice to get a read on how aggressive the guy on my left is. if i think he is overly aggressive i will not go out of my way to get involved with anything other then very good starting hands (AK/AQs) or pocket pairs, especially when the blinds are not worth it. i will occassionally limp with the purpose of folding to his constant rases as this sets up your play for later when you pick up aces (or whatever you deem is "good enough" to move over him with) in the small blind.
the more tournaments i play the more i realize that the best players dont make moves because they feel like they have to make a move based on a number of chips or players left or the blind size, they make the move because the timing is perfect, and the timing is perfect because they have spent the last 1+ hours setting up the timing.
(i left it here because i am vain, sue me)
on point 1, no arguments with your play. You may want to occasionally open with a bet in this situation after the flop though. Odds are that the flop didn't hit him either, so taking a stab with a 50% pot bet is a good play when used sparingly.
on point 2, in general I think you had to make the call. There's 6600 in the pot after the flop, and he's betting 10.5 at you. you have to risk 10.5 to win 17.. even if it were a coin flip you have a very profitable call, but it's much better than a coin flip for you. The only reason to fold here I believe is if you and your opponent both had a very healthy chip stack and by folding you're leaving yourself in a great position to play the final table rather than risking your tournament life on a 70% favorite. However, in these online tournaments where the blinds are so large, odds are that before long you're going to have to get all your money in a pot where you aren't even this much of a favorite... so I say take the chance now when you can be fairly sure you're well ahead .. unless the next pay grade up is substantial to you, in which case just fold and hope to outlast some of the lower stacks... and continue to fold because at this point you're essentially giving up on winning the tournament.
1. I actually think a bet is almost mandatory in this situation. You said that you checked because you felt he would call, but this is very bad thinking. After all you have no way of knowing what the guy has here. He could have a King thats true. But you put him in a difficult spot by betting if he just has the Jack and if he has an underpair or two other high cards you make it very hard for him to continue. I would have bet about half the pot. Its a good value play. 2. I like your play in light of the hand before and I don't think you could have even considered folding. Its not like he had to have the flush draw. I don't think many "true survivalists" win tournnaments and you certainly aren't going to win by folding top two pair there.
Many people struggle with what they want to accomplish in MTT's...and this could be part of the problem. I have been hearing more and more people that are in love with online MTT's (I am definitely one of these people) and the number of people that participate in all money denominations continues to rise with the popularity of poker. However, many people are making the mistake of playing in MTT's that have high costs relative to their bank roll. For example, there is a recent post on here that talks about a guy that had $130 dollars and played in a $30 MTT that had a very large number of people in it. So basically this guy risked almost 25% of his bankroll on a MTT, which can be very discomforting if you do not place in the money... ...this is my personal rule on MTT's that I have recently set. My goal in MTT's is to win...I have had a great deal of success in $10 MTT's with about 200-300 people in them, so I have no desire to just place in a MTT ever again. Therefore, my rule is "Never play in a MTT that will take a large chunk out of your bank roll and leave you frustrated if you don't at least get in the money." I have no point in just slipping into the money because the money I am making per hour is not what I could be getting playing either SnG's or ring. Basically in a nut shell...figure out what your goal is before you start playing your MTT. Therefore when you are confronted with situations similiar to this one (I didn't comment because I agree with everything all the other people have said about your second call) then you won't be disappointed in hindsight. My opinion, you were ahead, and you prolly would have been chip leader going into the final table, I might consider calling even if i thought I was slightly behind........play to win!!!
Generally, I think the raise to 3,000 makes most people inclined to think that you are stealing. I would, personally, dial the raise back into the "does he want action range?". Maybe make it 2400 to go, even consider 2000. It's still a big enough bet to make him have something, plus it puts in his head the fact that you are not really scared of a call. This smaller bet will also give you more options after the flop. It will make a continuation bet a little easier to stomach.
At this stage of a tournament, YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO FOLLOW UP WITH A CONTINUATION BET. He does not have a pocket pair that can beat the J on the board because he did not re-raise you. He is under the same pressure you are under from the blinds.
Personally, I would raise to 2400, follow up with 3600 continuation bet. I know it's tough to do some times, but this is what is required.
He did not re-raise you. There is a good chance that he did not start with a pocket pair. An excellent chance that he doesn't have 99 or higher. He ONLY CALLED your bet.
When I talk about "MOVE TIME", this is it. If he calls your flop bet, you shut down. You still have 10k. You can steal a couple of blinds or find other opportunities. At this stage 6k is not a big deal.
There is simply no way to avoid going broke on this hand. That's poker.
The other player made the mistake mathematically, but when you consider the fold equity, it's not a bad play by him either, especially if he had the A. He was actually playing pretty good "move time" poker, but got unlucky that you had such a good hand. He then got mildly lucky to hit his flush which now had reduced odds because of your boat draw.
Feel free to ask questions any time. I enjoy analyzing the situations.
As it often is in poker, the hand that looks more harmless is the one where improvement can be made. I absolutely see the point of the continuation. In relation to the size of the bet, i also gotta say you are spot on there as well. I partially built the stack i had by making rasies of 2200 -- 2600 earlier. I was thiniking of Harrington's advice on raiseing the blinds by up to 5x from sb. I thought the number sounded good the next time, and thought both times that the bet was big enough to chase people out. If i would have won the continuation hand, i probably take the next also. Makes sense now.
I look forward to asking you questions about play in the future.
Thanks for answering.
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