More to come about poker, from cash game grinding to WSOP tournaments.
My analysis of two hands I played back in 2008 (No Limit Hold em Cash Game)
It was a small game, 22 players and the buy-in was $25. The group of guys were very cool and it was a lot of fun. I drank my fair share and busted out of the tourney after being early chip leader. Take it from me, drinking and poker do not mix at all. I thought it best to go home and play some online poker. I did vow to play smart and only play one table (I usually play 4-6). Long story short, I played 1:15 and played awesome. Played a complete pro style 17/13/5. That means I entered 17% of all pots, raised pre-flop 13% and I was very aggressive. We played a full-ring 9 seat cash game @ $5/10 No Limit Hold’em. There was also at least 2 professionals and everyone had a full buy-in or more. Fun!
Here are the hands:
http://www.pokerhand.org/?3382063 – 3-barreling with garbage on $5/10 NL
This is an interesting hand. I am in the cutoff (right before the button). The action opens to a raise under-the-gun (a very strong raise) and it folds around to me. I have 5c5h and I opt to call and set-mine. I have position and this is an easy call with any pair. Everyone folds (table has been tight, unusual for these stakes) and the flop comes 10,10,8 rainbow. Opponent is first to act and fires a $61 bet into $85 pot. That is a typical continuation bet, on that flop he will fire with any two cards, especially at the mid-high stakes. Knowing this, I put him on 22-99 and some A high suited hands and maybe down to 10,9s. He is a good player and he is also aggressive. He raises 17% of all hands and that is high, therefore his range is somewhat large. This means there is no way he hit this flop and I have position (the most impt thing in poker). I decided to float him and call. I am playing his cards and betting style, not mine.
Turn comes 6, so the board is 8,10,10,6 rainbow. He checks, as I expected. He must be concerned, because my call looks very strong. That brings up another point. I could have raised the flop on his $61 bet. But, on that board it looks very suspicious. If he calls my raise, say to $169, I cannot put any more money in the pot and basically lose no matter what to a good player and that’s a huge loss. So he checks the turn and I bet big $155 into a $205 pot. That is a large, it means business bet. He calls, which makes my heart sink (love online poker). BTW, if he bets out on the turn, I fold nearly all of the time.
The river is a 6 and the board = 8,10,10,6,6 – lol. My hand (5,5) is dead, I can only play the board. He checks again. I think about it and because he checked the turn, a huge sign of weakness after he raised pre-flop. That is an 80-90% obvious sign that he will not call a big river bet, even after check-calling the turn. I believe he wants me to check down the river and his Ax or pair of 77s can show down. I opt to fire a third bullet betting $380 into $520 pot. That looks very strong to a good player. If I bet $450 or overbet $575 he would call with A high in a lot of cases or like 77,99,JJ. My bet screams that I have a 10 and was betting for value the whole time. He thought about it (as I was kicking myself for loosing $600 on one hand with garbage) and he folded, giving me the pot. I think I played it correctly, although I could have also folded to his flop bet.
I think given my opponents line, this move (player dependent) works about 80-90% of the time. So if you bet $380 to win $520 and win 75% your EV = very high and profitable. Note: at lower stakes ($10-200 buy-ins), my play would have never worked. Its easy to call with an A high for $8 or $35, but $380 is different. Low stakes players typically think everyone is bluffing (most often they are not) and call with the worst hands ever. Like calling all in pre-flop with J9s and beating KK, it’s sick and wrong and happens all the time.
http://www.pokerhand.org/?3382064 – Continuation betting with nothing after 3b (rereaising) preflop @ $5/10 NL
I had been playing fairly aggressive, but not out of line. I had AKo in the small blind. There was a mid-position open for a raise. It folded around to me. His raise is standard and he’s a good player that will open (first to act) raise with a very wide range of hands; maybe down to like 6,7s or worse. This is a tough spot with an unmade hand. Calling here is really the wrong move, because you have absolutely no idea where you stand in the hand and you are out of position. I make a standard 3bet (reraise) and he calls. I’ll take a fold there every time. His call means he has prob any 55-AA, AKs-AQo, a narrow range.
Flop 55Q two diamonds. I am first to act. Because I reraised, I control the hand. I absolutely have to bet a good sized bet here. I also have to bet on most flops, no matter what. If I fold, I loose the hand every time as he bets and I have to fold with nothing. I fired $205 into $250 (80% is a stronger than usually bet) pot. Luckily he folded. Given his narrow range discussed above, the only hands I am afraid of were AQ, KK, AA, Ax diamonds. He has no 5 expect for 55 equaling quads. My preflop reraise range in the SB is typically 10,10-A,A through AQs-AKo. I sometimes raise here with 56s and up and that is how you win; you throw people completely off. My reraise is very strong and most players that open raise (if they are somewhat loose) will fold to a preflop reraise.
This is a spot that will get you into a lot of trouble. Though, odds are (high) that he did not make a hand. That board nullifies all his pocket pairs 22-JJ and AK, AJ and he simply cannot call. If he does, we most likely will be playing for stacks in his mind. You have to be careful here. If he calls my bet, I am done, even if I hit a lucky A or K. Usually, if he checks that flop (a sign of strength given how this hand plays out) and you hit on the turn, he has you soooo beat (like he has KQ, better 2 pair) and you loose all your money.
Good Luck at the tables!