Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, February 16, 2007

How bad did I play this?

OMFG! Poker Content! Warning, Warning, Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

I sat down for my first cash game session on the internet poker machine of 2007 last night. Yep. So far this year my only online poker activity has been one Mookie and one hour of play last night. So an interesting hand actually came up at the $3/6 table on Full Tilt. Hand histories suck, so here's the narrative version.

I'm in the BB with 5h7h. There's one limper and the button raises. He does this a lot, and I caught him once doing it with T7o, so his hand range is wide, to say the least. I like suited one-gappers, and I'm getting good odds to draw (currently 4:1 with the implied 5:1 that the limper calls if I do) so I call. Limper calls.

8dAhJh - a pretty good flop for me, with the flush draw and a backdoor straight draw, but I'm only really looking at the pretty hearts at this point. I check, limper checks, Button bets. Call, call. In retrospect I coulda bet here to see where I was, but I was pretty sure the limper would call and the button would raise regardless, given past hand experiences, so I don't think I would have actually gotten any valid data.

6d on the turn give me the straight draw to go with my flush draw and I figure I can really garner information on the expensive street. I check, limper checks, button bets, I raise. I figure the limper isn't going to call 2BB cold with just the flush or straight draw, so if he calls he's got at least an ace. Which then means that all my 13 outs are good, at least as far as he's concerned.

He calls, button makes it 3 bets. there's good intel. He's led out every street, but putting the third bet out on the expensive street screams real strength, so he's got two pair at least, or maybe trips. I haven't seen anything to show me that he will bet a draw that hard, so again, my 13 outs are good. If I hit, I'm gold. So let's maximize my potential. I cap it. Limper calls, button calls.

River is 3h, one of my many gin cards. I bet, limper folds and button makes the crying call. I'm right, my 13 outs were good v. button's AJo for top two. So here are my questions on the hand -
1) how bad was the call of the preflop raise? I know it was a touch loose, but again, if I hit I'm paid off huge.
2) how bad was capping the bets on the turn? I put an extra $18 in the pot by check-raising and then calling and then capping. This was definitely the risky part of the hand, but if I'm going to chase, why not make the most money possible when I hit, rather than just trying to minimize losses?

I await the wisdom of the masses. I felt like it wasn't horrible play, just a little LAGgy. Obviously the guy I drew out on thought it was pretty horrible play, but I don't really care what he thought.

And anybody wanna buy some Full Tilt dollars? I'll happily transfer to someone for money I can actually use in the real world, especially since I don't play much online anymore and certainly won't have any time to play in the next several weeks.


F-Train said...

1. The call of the preflop raise is fine. Button raises (even after one limper) shouldn't be given too much respect unless the player is pretty tight. I probably defend there even without the limper in the hand.

2. Capping the turn wasn't tragic, but also not the greatest move. Some things to consider:

(a) When the button 3-bets into two other players, you should realize that you have no fold equity. He's taking his hand to showdown.

(b) If all 15 of your outs are clean, AND button doesn't have a set, you have about 35% equity. This is the BEST CASE SCENARIO.

(c) If the button has a set and the other player has some sort of diamond draw, you have about 26% equity. This is the WORST CASE SCENARIO.

(d) If you think the 9d and 4d are bad cards for you, and the button has a hand like top two, you have about 31% equity. This is the MOST LIKELY SCENARIO.

Knowing all of this, capping the turn isn't the greatest EV play for you (it's slightly negative) and all it really serves to do is increase your variance. In the long run, however, the -EV implications of capping may be outweighed by the +EV implications of your table image. That is, you're now "the guy who capped the turn with a draw". That may get some of your bigger hands paid off later in the same session.

By the way, I say all of this assuming that there is no chance that the other player in the hand folds to your cap. If he folds to your cap, capping the turn is a -EV disaster. Given that he has already called two cold, he'll probably go ahead and call two more cold, but it's something to keep in mind.

F-Train said...

By the way, I'm not sure how I feel about check-raising the turn in the first place. If the hand were heads up, I like the check-raise much more, given that the button can have a very wide range here. I think you have a decent amount of fold equity and will cause him to fold lots of hands that have you beat (as long as he's not a total donkey calling station). And if he calls, well you have 15 outs to fall back on.

On the other hand, in a 3-way pot with the pot laying 5.5 to 1, and with you not having the greatest equity situation, I'd be more prone to call and hope that the other player overcalls. Yes, it gives your hand away a bit more, but if the button is halfway decent, he's not betting the turn in the first place without at least an ace (two players called his flop bet). If you make your hand, you just lead out on the river and he makes a crying call. It seems to me that all a check-raise accomplishes here is it causes the other player to fold his marginal hands, and given that he probably has the worst equity in the pot, we don't really want that.

DadWarbucks said...

Wow... that sure is a lot of words from f-train to say.... YOU GAMBLED...
First... if no heart draw flopped you would have folded.
Second.. The turn was a blank and the button bet...and U raised on a draw? Big gamble there.
Finally, if the you didn't hit the river this story would probably not be here now would it?

Pokerwolf said...

I don't mind how you played the hand at all. I don't mind taking a stab at a raiser in the BB with marginal cards, especially when the raiser is on the button and he raises a lot in that situation.

I personally like the check-raise on the turn because you're looking for information and you were given what you were looking for. If the initial raiser only had a pair there, I think he'd fold due to your pressure (unless the guy was an overly aggressive yobo, but then I'd do it to build a pot).

Capping the turn was really, really smart in my opinion. If I can end the betting action with either the nuts or a draw to the nuts, I'll do it every time.

Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Here are my 2 cents: I forget the questions, but here are my anwers anyway.

I'm a lag, so I love the play, and see it as one of the most powerful in poker. My gut tells me the cold call on the flop makes more sense against an agrtessive player, since he is likely going to defend his button move with a call or 3 bet, whether he hit the flop or not, so I don't see any gain of information by betting the flop.

I like the check raise on the turn, since you did get a boat load if intell, but just what the hell was the limper chasing. As a matter of fact, he missed his chance to define with every cold call, thats how morons get pot committed with an OESD.

Too bad the river made your flush and not the straight, since he is sure to bet his whole stack to teach you a lesson not to chase a flush and he'll bitch about pot odds if you hit your straight. Nice hand.

StB said...

F-train is on the money. Based on what you have seen the button do, making the call preflop isn't bad to see a flop. I would have bet out on the flop. No way I am check-raising the turn without a made hand. That is just me. I would have taken a chance on the check-raising the river.

HighOnPoker said...

I think you played the hand very well. There are other ways to play it, but I really think you maximized your profit, here. While there was a bit of a gamble to your play, the payoff was clearly worth it. The bottom line is, the fact that you have support for all of your actions is a sign that your actions are well thought out and therefore intelligently done. Some people might play the hand differently according to their styles or their reaction to a narrative, but with all the info you had, you played this hand especially well.