KKing David

Ruminations on poker

Archive for the month “February, 2018”

I’m Not Talking To You

Let’s say two poker players get all pissy with each other.  For purposes of this blog, imagine Player A lost most of his chips to Player B.  Later, Player B loses all of his chips.  Player A, still steamed from losing, mutters to no one in particular something like “he just lost all of MY chips!”

B is also steamed, and tells A “they weren’t your chips anymore; they were mine.  If you weren’t such a bad player, those chips might still be yours, but when I lost them they were in fact my chips.”

So here is my question:  How many times can Player A shout at Player B “I’m not talking to you!” without it being the case that he is, in fact, talking to Player B?

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The Worst Rule in Poker

“I want to see her cards.”  Who knew such a simple sounding request would nearly lead to an all out brawl?

For purposes of this blog, I’ll call the player making this request “Larry.”  We are at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa casino poker room, my first trip here. I had just flopped a set of deuces on a very wet board (Qc Js 2c).  The other player, who for purposes of this blog I’ll call “Daryl,” (spelled like the actress Daryl Hannah) had a fairly short stack and seemed like she might be on a draw.  On the turn, I bet enough to put her virtually but not fully all-in.  Thankfully, she obliged but putting in her full stack, and after the dealer counted her chips, I owed one more chip to call.  I didn’t do this intentionally; she had a lot of small denomination chips that added up to more than it looked.

This is relevant.  Technically she made the final raise and I called.  According to protocol, I can wait for Daryl to show her hand first, having paid for the privilege of seeing her cards before deciding whether to show mine.  If the river card gives her a flush or straight, I can muck my hand and no one will know what I had.

When the river card is the 4th deuce, the protocol becomes irrelevant.  There is no reason to inflict extra pain on Daryl, so I roll over my pocket 2’s very quickly to claim the pot.  As an added bonus, my four-of-a-kind qualifies for a $250 high hand jackpot that is paid every half hour, and holds up just long enough for me to get paid.

Larry was never involved in this hand, but still demands to see Daryl’s cards.  According to Robert’s Rules of Poker, he has that right.  Rule 5 in the Showdown section says:

5.  Any player who has been dealt in may request to see any hand that has been called, even if the opponent’s hand or the winning hand has been mucked. However, this is a privilege that may be revoked if abused. If a player other than the pot winner asks to see a hand that has been folded, that hand is dead. If the winning player asks to see a losing player’s hand, both hands are live, and the best hand wins.

In poker’s war for information, some players are maniacal about pursuing every possible edge.  Larry turns out to be one of those players, hoping to learn something about Daryl’s play that he can use to his advantage later on.  Unfortunately for him, the dealer had already pulled Daryl’s cards into the middle of the muck pile and we never found out.

But that’s not why the rule exists.  It exists to prevent cheating, particularly in tournament poker.  Sometimes in tournaments, huge imbalances exist between one player’s chip stack and another’s.  Unlike in cash games, the shorter stacked player cannot buy more chips.  If two friends are at the same tournament table, Friend 1 with the larger stack might be tempted to dump a few chips off to Friend 2 with a desperately small stack to help Friend 2’s chances of making it to the prize money or the next payout increase.  The easy way to do this is for Friend 1 to make a large bet, Friend 2 to be the only caller, then Friend 1 mucks his cards and says he was just bluffing.

That’s cheating.  Rule 5 allows any player at the table to ask to see Friend 1’s hand.  Not for information, but to ensure he isn’t cheating by dumping chips to Friend 2.  The language in Rule 5 says “this is a privilege that may be revoked if abused.”  Well, I’m here to tell you that anytime this so-called privilege is invoked for any reason other than suspicion of cheating, that’s an abuse!

In cash games, Rule 5 isn’t needed.  When I grow up and have my own poker room, the house rules won’t include this one for cash games, and for tournaments the player involving the rule will be forced to explicitly state (and convince a floor supervisor) that cheating is suspected.

I’m not the only poker blogger who feels this way.  At Rob’s Vegas Poker Blog (one of the best of all poker blogs!), Rob also calls this “one of the worst rules in poker,” noting that every use of the rule is actually an abuse of it.  Rob describes another abuse of the rule here.  Last summer PokerNews featured an article by Tommy Angelo – one of the game’s greatest thinkers – describes the rule as “bad for poker” as it fails its mission while “encouraging petty behavior.”

The next rule, Rule 6 in the Showdown section, says

If you show cards to an active player during a deal, any player at the table has the right to see those exposed cards. Cards shown during or after a deal to a player not in the pot should be shown to all players when the deal is finished.

This is different.  In shorthand, “show one, show all” is simply an information equalizer.  Rule 6 only applies after a player has voluntarily shown cards to another player.  By contrast, Rule 5 applies to cards that haven’t been shown to anyone, provided that player’s final bet was called by another player.

Rule 6 comes up later when Larry is involved in a hand with the player on Daryl’s immediate left.  For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Darrell.”  There was at least one other player in the hand too.  According to Larry, while contemplating a large bet Darrell flashed his cards towards Daryl (who had already folded), and she made a comment like “nice cards” or something similar.  Darrell then folded, and Larry asked the dealer to keep Darrell’s cards out of the muck pile so he could see them after the hand was over.  This wasn’t the first time Larry had invoked Rule 6.  He seemed obsessed with information FOMO.

This time, however, was a tipping point.  Darrell denied showing his cards to Daryl.  Daryl denied seeing them and further denied making any comment.  Larry was insistent, and asked the dealer to call for a floor supervisor.  Before you knew it, Larry, Darrell and Daryl were all standing and pointing and yelling and swearing at each other.

It became apparent that Daryl was still seething from the earliest hand, when Larry wanted to see her cards after she lost her entire stack to my quads.

“God strike me down if I said anything about his cards!” she screamed loud enough for half of the room to hear, standing with arms outstretched.

“Don’t tempt Him,” responded Larry.

“I protected my cards properly and you don’t have a right to see them,” protested Darrell.

“I make more money playing poker in one week that you make in a full year,” Larry hurled back at Darrell, who earlier had revealed that he lived in Las Vegas for several years and recently moved back to Florida.

This went on for several minutes.  What started as a war for information nearly proceeded to an all out war between Larry, Darrell and Daryl.

Larry actually seemed to be enjoying himself through this exchange.  Darrell and Daryl were not.  Despite the floor supervisor’s efforts to calm Daryl down, telling her she wasn’t accused of doing anything wrong, she was in full poker room rage, or academically speaking, what might be called an episode of Intermittent Explosive Disorder.  I thought she might need to be physically restrained.

I can imagine Larry telling his friends he had the best time at the casino today, even though he didn’t win any money.

Without Rule 5, this never turns into such a brouhaha.

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Rope-a-Dope

Most poker experts will describe two reasons for betting:  Value Betting and Bluffing.

Betting for value happens when you think you have the best hand, and want to get called by someone with a worse hand.  When they call, you make money.  When you make a good hand, one that is likely or certain to win at a showdown, you want to get as much money as possible in the pot and the way to accomplish that is by betting.

Bluffing happens when you think the other player has a better hand than yours, but will fold it if you make a strong enough bet.  Maybe both of you have weak hands.  Or the board fits with a narrative you can tell that represents a very strong hand.  When they fold the best hand, you make money.

In this hand from last night, however, the best line turned out to be checking for value.

This is poker’s version of the rope-a-dope, made famous by Muhammad Ali in the 1974 heavyweight boxing title match against George Forman.  Boxing in Zaire (now Congo), Ali backed up against the ropes in a protective stance and let Foreman flail away at him.  With a defensive posture designed to deflect Foreman’s power, combined with letting his body bounce against the ropes, Ali’s body absorbed very little pain.  After five rounds, Foreman began to look worn out.  After seven rounds, Foreman was spent.  Ali won the fight with an eighth round knockout over the younger and heavily favored Foreman.

In a casino game last night, I had KJo in middle position.  Not great, not terrible.  I put in a raise to 5 BBs and got two callers.  One will act before me on future betting rounds; the other will be after me.

The flop was K43, rainbow.  This is a really good flop for me, but probably terrible for the other players.  The first guy checks.  This is what makes a hand like KJ difficult to play for value.  What hands can be in my opponents likely ranges that will call if I bet again here, and I can beat?  KT?  Kx with weaker kickers?  Pocket pairs 55-QQ?  The player who will act last is a younger, somewhat aggressive player.  For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “George.”  This is my first trip to this casino, and he’s only been at the table for an hour or so, so I have no history and very limited information.

I also check, and George bets 8 BBs.  The first player folds.  I definitely think I have the best hand here.  If that’s true, raising will only get him to fold.  I fiddle with my chips to try to look uncertain, and call.

Turn (31 BBs):  5d.  This puts two diamonds on the board (including the king).  I check again.  George looks like he’s trying to size me up.  I would like for him to think I have a hand like QQ, JJ, TT or 99 that will have to acknowledge that he has a king in his hand for a better pair.  I would like for him to think he can bluff me.  He bets 15 BBs.  I shuffle my chips again as if I might call but I might fold.  The only hands he can have that beat me (other than something very deceptively played) are KQ, 44 or 33.  There are three combinations of 44 and 33, and eight combinations of KQ that he can have, for a total of 14 combinations out of his entire pre-flop calling range (which might have 100-200 combinations (7.5 – 15% of all possible hands).

Let’s assume his flop bet was just a simple stab at the pot leveraging his favorable position.  If he has nothing, but the first player and I both seemed to miss this flop, or are scared of the king, that’s a reasonable play.  In fact, it is one of the benefits of being last to act – you get to take down small pots like this that nobody else seems to want.  Then I called his flop bet.  That makes the pot larger and worth fighting for.  How frequently will George fire a multi-barrel bluff?  Given my image as a middle-aged white guy (MAWG), and the way I’ve played during his time at the table suggesting a fit-or-fold style, I think his bluffing frequency is high enough to warrant calling again, and so I do.

River (61 BBs):  7d.  At first this looks like a scary card.  Now there are three diamonds on the board, making a flush possible.  And there is a 345-7, so any 6 makes a straight.  I check again, knowing this looks scary enough for many aggressive players to take a final stab.  In my mind, I’m Ali and he is Foreman.  (Friends, just let me have my moment here, OK?)  I’m backed up against the ropes, with my (muscular?) forearms in a vertical position protecting my upper body and face.

George fires out a much larger bet of 43 BBs.  Let’s assume he actually has a hand that is better than mine.  Would he bet that much?  After I’ve shown (or tried to…) hesitancy in calling his flop and turn bets, and a scary looking card falls on the river, what can I possibly have that would call again.  I raised pre-flop, then turned passive on a king-high board.  Would I play this way with AA, AK, or KQ?  Or KK?  If so, would I call a bet that is nearly triple the previous bet when the river card cannot possibly have helped me?

At the table, I don’t need any time to process this.  George’s bet is begging me to go away, so I quickly flip a single chip onto the felt and announce “call.”  Ryan sheepishly turns over As Ts.  He was bluffing with total air the entire time.

Had I made the more straightforward continuation bet on the flop, George has an easy fold and I would have won a very small pot.  Rope-a-dope for value!

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The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King

My last post dealt with the concept of Reciprocality, which refers to differences in how you handle something and how your poker opponents handle the same thing.  The difference in your approach either adds to or takes away from your bottom line (when considered over the very long term).

One aspect of that is Bankroll Reciprocality.  If you partition your money better than your opponents do, you gain another small edge.  You may not see it, but it’s still there.

I was reminded of this last night at a table with two players who appeared very well bankrolled and played with a hyper-aggressive, borderline maniac, fearless style.  The house policy at this private game allows players to top off their stacks up to the biggest stack on the table.  Early on, these players bought more chips several times to keep up with whoever was fortunate enough to build up a deep stack.

In a cash game, this style wins over the long haul by putting other players to frequent decisions for all of their chips… with monster hands, medium strength hands, missed draws and total air.  Their all-in and bluffing frequencies are so high that you have to call with lighter and lighter holdings.  Once I called an all-in river bet by one of them – for purposes of this blog I’ll call him “Gabe” – with JT on a board runout of T85-A-3 to double up through a busted flush draw.  Do I really like putting my whole stack at risk with less than top pair?  The really interesting part of the hand was rewinding back to the pre-flop betting, where Gabe had open-raised in middle position with 7h 3h.  If we have to put hands like 73 suited in his pre-flop raising range, we might as well not even try to develop a range at all.

Eventually they will make big hands and will get paid off more often than the rest of us.  With such deep stacks, those payoffs put them in a position to run all over the table.  Gabe had earlier called a pre-flop raise from the big blind with T2 (the “Doyle Brunson” hand) and saw a runout of K62-T-2 to make a full house and crack my pocket AAs.  Later the other guy playing a similar style woke up with his own AA when I had AK.  Given the high frequency of his having something weaker, I decided to push my AK extra hard and got flattened.

That’s poker.  With their bankroll leverage, every time they make a winning hand, they’ll with take someone’s entire stack or double up what is already a deep stack.  That increased their leverage and other players who aren’t comfortable playing for large pots with draws or medium strength hands start surrendering more and more often.

Michael Craig’s book The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time, tells the story of a billionaire Texas banker, Andy Beal, who went to Las Vegas in the early 2000’s to challenge the top professional poker players.  Beal insisted on heads up matches and repeatedly insisted on raising the stakes. Before long, the pros decided to pool their bankrolls as they realized Beal’s bankroll edge offset part of their poker skill edge.  He could force them into tough decision after tough decision, and with a run of good cards push we would present an existential threat to each of the pros’ personal bankroll.

It’s a fascinating story, well researched and written.  The pros, led by Doyle Brunson, Howard (the “Professor”) Lederer, Chip Reese, Ted Forrest, Jennifer Harmon, Todd Brunson, Chau Giang and others, referred to themselves as The Corporation.  Beal’s bankroll edge forced the top poker players in Las Vegas, each accustomed to operating as a lone wolf, to pool their money and acknowledge that some of them performed more poorly against Beal than others did.

The real lesson is that deep pockets matter, especially when combined with a reasonable amount of skill (which Beal worked hard at developing in between his battles with The Corporation) and fearless aggression.  This concept plays out at all levels, and the power of the deep pockets should never be underestimated.

Bankroll Reciprocality.

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Water is Good for You, Even if You Don’t Know Why

While drinking a beer and talking poker with a friend, the conversation turned to various aspect of “being a poker player” in terms of things that we do away from the tables.  It’s great to talk through specific hands or handling specific situations that come up often during the games, but this was different as we stepped back discussed topics that don’t start with “My hole cards were…” or “I bet and then she…”, such as:

  • why we play
  • game selection and seat selection
  • bankroll management and buy-in amounts
  • emotional stability
  • diet and exercise
  • quitting

For purposes of this blog, I’ll refer to the aforementioned conversation as the “Beer Meeting.”

This brought to mind Tommy Angelo’s Elements of Poker, the best book I have read about being a poker player and thinking about and approaching the game like a pro.  Tommy introduces the concept of “reciprocality,” which he describes as “any difference between you and your opponents that affects your bottom line.  Reciprocality says that when you and your opponents would do the same thing in a given situation, no money moves, and when you do something different, it does.”  An entire article on his website is devoted to the topic of reciprocality.

Bankroll Reciprocality – if you partition your money better than your opponents do, you gain another small edge.  You may not see it, but it’s still there.  On the subject of bankroll, I found this helpful article by Jonathan Little (and other excellent strategy content).  While the article focuses on funding an online poker account, the principles apply to all poker environments.

Quitting Reciprocality – in tournaments there is no way to be better at quitting than your opponents.  The decision to quit is made for you, usually rather abruptly.  In cash games, however, Tommy says “there are many ways to outquit your opponents.  If you consistently quit before your skills are dulled when you get tired, bored, irritated or tilted, and your opponents play on despite sub-optimal conditions, money will move in your direction over the long haul.

Tilt Reciprocality – the opposite of tilt is emotional stability, a much more benign term used at the Beer Meeting.  Tilt reciprocality is the difference between your tilt and others’ tilt.  Whoever tilts more often, stays tilted longer, and tilts the hardest loses; whoever tilts less or recovers fasters gains a reciprocal advantage.

Betting Reciprocality – most players fold their worst garbage hands, so no reciprocal advantage is gained or lost.  But approaches to checking, calling, betting, raising and folding vary widely.  The differences in these actions creates betting reciprocality.  Simply stated, consistently taking actions that result in the highest Expected Value (EV) is the way to gain a betting reciprocal advantage over players who pursue lower EV betting lines.  Each hand or situation that you would play differently than your opponent would results in a reciprocal advantage or disadvantage.

Position Reciprocality – part of what I love about Tommy’s writing is his ability to laser in on the very essence of a complex topic.  Either you are last to act, or you are not!  The reciprocal advantage goes to the player who acts last most often or leverages their favorable position most effectively.  This quote is a gem:  “Acting last is like taking a drink of water.  We don’t have to understand why it’s good for us to know that it is.  And the benefits are unaffected by our understanding of them.”

Shut up already!  I’m perfectly aware that this post extolling the benefits of drinking water was inspired by a Beer Meeting.

But seriously, if you’ll stop snickering for a moment, most of the things we discussed at the Beer Meeting suggest ways to improve the odds of success at the poker table that don’t require an understanding of how they work.  Randomly picking a good game or seat is profitable.  Playing within your bankroll is profitable.  Emotional stability is profitable.  A healthy diet accompanied by regular exercise is profitable.  And yes, drinking water instead of beer is profitable.

Information Reciprocality – in a game of incomplete information, getting more information from your opponents than you give them creates a reciprocal advantage.  This is another reason to shut up already, at least with regard to your hands that aren’t required to be shown and your thoughts that aren’t required to be explained.

The concept of reciprocality applies to anything else we might do differently from the other players at the table that creates an edge.  Study or sleep habits, meditation, exercise, larger bets and disciplined folds all are ways to improve our edge.  I suppose even a Beer Meeting to bring awareness to the connection between what we do away from the table and our long-term results can create a reciprocal edge.

And if that’s true, a Water Meeting might be even better!

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Great Flop for Me

It was Saturday night, which means I’m playing poker in someone’s garage.  Just about everybody is a regular player, so we get to do some higher level thinking.  Level 1, of course, is just thinking about the strength of our own hand.  We like it, or we don’t like it, or we’re not sure.  Level 2 is thinking about our opponents’ hands.  The more we have played with somebody, the more we should know about their style and tendencies and use that information to our advantage.  They should be doing the same.  Level 3 is thinking about what our hand looks like to our opponents.  While we know our exact cards, they don’t, so we can consider what our hand looks like from their perspective.  Level 4 flips back to their hand.  What will they think we are putting them on?

On the button, after several players just call the big blind, I look down at JJ.  I like my hand (Level 1).  So far, no one has a hand worthy of raising.  I don’t know their exact cards, but any hand better than mine would have raised already (Level 2).  When I raise, some of the players will think I’m just attacking the limpers and won’t give me credit for a hand as strong as JJ (Level 3).  So I can raise more than normal and still get called by worse hands.

I raise to 8.5 big blinds (BBs).  The BB calls and so do two of the limpers.

Flop (37 BBs):  4d 4s 2d.  This is a great flop for me.  There are no over cards to my JJ.  While there is a diamond flush draw and a possible straight draw, a paired board makes the flush draw less attractive to anyone who has it, and the straight draw cannot be open-ended unless someone limp/called with 53.

Everybody checks to me.

I still like my hand.  It should be best here (Level 1).  While no one has shown any strength (Level 2), any of these players could have a single A, K or Q, or two diamonds, or a lower pocket pair that could turn a set, so I’m not giving them a free turn card.  I bet 20 BBs, just over one-half of the pot.  Some weaker hands will call another bet, including flush draws and low-medium pocket pairs like 55-88.  They would expect me to make a continuation bet on this flop with close to 100% of my pre-flop range, which they would think includes a lot of unpaired hands (Level 3).

The BB folds, but the next guy raises to 60 BBs.  For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Myles.”  Myles likes to see lots of flops and is willing and able to be bluffing here if he thinks I’m just trying to steal a pot with my favorable position.  He knows his check/raise would look very strong, and I would have to consider the possibility that he has trip 4’s or better (Level 4).  As I start to ponder the meaning of his check/raise, the next guy announces that he’s all-in for about 180 BBs.  For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Rob.”

Wow!  A big check/raise from Myles, followed by Rob’s check/re-raise shove.  Similar to Myles, Rob likes to see lots of flops.  Even moreso than Myles, Rob will try to steal a pot with a big bluff when the board gets scary or he thinks his opponent is weak.  Both of them initially limped in, then called my largish pre-flop raise, which makes both of them more likely than me to have a 4 or pocket 22’s.  Myles has Rob covered, while I have the smallest stack with about 75 BBs remaining after my flop bet.

Let’s try to figure out where we are (Level 2), while trying not to wet our pants.

I can rule out AA, KK, QQ based on the pre-flop betting, so the only holdings that beat me are any 4x or 22.  That’s it.  And most 4x hands are pretty junky and would have folded pre-flop.  Calling hands might include A4 (suited or unsuited) 64s, 54s, and maybe 43s.  That’s not many combinations: after eliminating the cards on the board, there are 3 possible combos of 22, 8 combos of A4, 2 combos each of 64s, 54s, 43s.

I don’t think Myles would have called my pre-flop raise with A4 off-suit, but he might with A4s, 64s or 54s.  Not with 43s.  Not with K4, Q4 or worse.  He also could have a diamond draw, with Ad2d+, Kd8d+, Qd9d+, or suited connecting diamonds from JdTd down to 6d5d.  He also could be on a pure bluff, or could have a medium pocket pair that he thinks is the best hand (55-99).  But that assumes he always check-raises with his flush draws.  In reality, sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t.  I’ll eliminate about half of his flush draws (including AdKd, AdQd, AdJd and KdQd all of which would have raised pre-flop), resulting in a range of 99-44, 22, A4s, AdTd-Ad8d, Ad5d, Ad3d, KdTd+, QdTd+, 6d5d, 64s, 54s.  Heads-up against that range, my JJ has 77.4% equity and I should call.

But Rob went all-in, AFTER seeing Myles’ check/raise.  That scares the shit out of me.  He could have the same 22 or 4x hands as Myles could, plus I have to include K4s, Q4s and 43s in his range as I’ve seen Rob surprise the hell out of people before when he makes a junky call and hits the flop hard.  I’ll also include A4o.  He too could have a flush draw, but if he does in this spot, it should only be an A-high flush draw (as with Myles, excluding AdKd, AdQd or AdJd as he would have raised pre-flop with these stronger suited aces).  Rob shouldn’t be shoving here with weaker flush draws because he should know Myles might be on a flush draw too, and shoving a non-nut flush draw and getting called by a nut flush draw would be disastrous.  Rob’s resulting range is stronger than Myles’ range: 99-44, 22, A4s, A4o, AdTd-Ad3d, K4s, Q4s, 64s, 54s, 43s.

Against both of these ranges, my equity is 39.7%, compared to 35.8% for Rob and 24.5% for Myles.  Something about a check-raise following by a check-re-raise makes me feel quite certain that I’m crushed here on this flop that initially looked so good for me, and I expected the math to be even worse that this.  It will cost me 75 BBs to call, for a chance to win (assuming Myles also calls) approx. 320 BBs.  If my equity is greater than 75/320 = 23.4%, calling would be the mathematically correct play.

I take my time, and finally fold.  I couldn’t work out all of the math in my head at the table, so I went with the old “Hashtag: they always have it” and concluded that at least one of them had me crushed.

Myles takes his time, asks Rob if he has a 4 and if so how good is his kicker.  Then he declares that he might as well gamble and calls the all-in bet.

The turn is Qc.  I don’t recall the exact river card, only that it wasn’t a high card or a diamond and didn’t change anything.

Rob turns over Ad6d.  He did indeed have the A-high flush draw.  We can debate the merits of shoving over the top of Myles’ check/raise there, but that’s what he did.  Myles turns over Qd9d, a weaker flush draw.

This burns me up when I first see it, as I was ahead of both of them when I folded.  Later I entered their exact hands and my equity was 53.7%.  Putting in 33.3% of the money and having 53.7% equity is a profitable play all night long, and I definitely should have called.

Then Myles sees that the queen on the turn paired one of his hole cards, giving him 2-pair queens and fours, and he scoops in a pot that totals over 415 BBs.  My JJ would have lost anyway.  That doesn’t change the conclusion that I should have called, however.  Against the ranges I constructed and against the actual hands, calling would be the correct play.  If both Myles’ and Rob’s cards were face up, I would call, especially knowing their flush outs partially cancel each other (and I was holding another out with Jd).  But I folded instead, then got the reverse of “lucky” since part of the draw hit anyway.  What looked like such a great flop for me cost me about 1/4 of my stack and I was lucky not to lose all of it.

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