shipitfish: (cincinnati-kid-betting)

I've been playing reasonably well lately, and been able to make pretty big laydowns. Here's a case where I failed to lay down the third nut full house when there was a reasonable chance my opponent held the nut full. However, I don't think that I made a mistake, but would like some input.

This hand is from a 10-handed tight online game, with $.25/$.50 blinds and no maximum buy in. This game was tight and passive, most flops were heads up if raised, but there was a good amount of limping. I started the hand with $213 and have the table covered. spcome, my heads-up opponent on the flop, had $59.90 behind.

UTG+2, I raised with 8h 8c. RoyRFlush called me, and spcome from the small blind made it $5.75 to go.

I've been raising lots with any pair, any suited connectors and two-gappers, and pretty much any hand I play, and I play tons against opponents this tight-weak. However, it's not common for someone to reraise from the blinds, so I actually gave him a tight range: JJ, QQ, KK, AA, AQ or AK. There is really no way he has something else.

I called for set value, since it's only 10% of his stack and most players on this site will stack off with any overpair. I flopped gin with 8 s 5d 5s. spcome bet out $9. I basically have him on an overpair or an AK continuation bet. I call with celerity, trying to represent a flush draw, and hoping it doesn't come if he has an overpair. The turn fell Kc.

spcome thought for a moment and bet out $7.50. This bet is basically narrows to three possible things: As Ks, KK, or a scared QQ, the last being unlikely.

I figure I should call to try to trap the As Ks.

The Ts brings any possible flush draw home on the river, and spcome led all-in for $37.65 into $45.25. I called immediately, figuring he's made a flush or he has kings full. My “muck or show” window popped up; he had Kh Ks.

I'm curious if others think this was just plain bad luck. I think the only other decisions I could have made were: (a) raise the flop against the obvious two-outer, (b) fold the river. It seems to me the spade falling on the river forces my auto-call because As Ks becomes as likely a holding at that moment as KK, given the action. I also don't mind my play on the turn, because I'm enticing him to keep coming at me if he does have AK. As for the flop, again, I think just calling is better in case it's just AK or AQ.

[ Update: for those who don't read comments, I'm convinced by [livejournal.com profile] swolfe's arguments that I should fold the hand on the river if I chose not to move in on the turn. ]

shipitfish: (cincinnati-kid-betting)

Although my wife cannot understand why I refuse to remove it from the TiVo, perhaps my other readers can. My wife is the biggest film buff that I know, and keeps a online movie review journal, so perhaps even she can reap some benefit from my discussion here of this film. Perhaps it will make up for it floating around the TiVo for as long as it has. A few months ago, The Cincinnati Kid aired on Turner Classic Movies. I've saved it, watching parts of it from time to time over the past few months, and I watched parts of it again this morning. I have seen it more times than any other poker movie, and I have seen just about every one of them. I do have a bit of goofy, pointless pride about my connection to this one, though, as I first saw it in graduate school while sitting in my living room in the middle of the actual Cincinnati, just after returning from a conference in New Orleans. (The actual action of the film takes place entirely there; The “Kid” himself is a transplant, hence the name.)

This movie has often been criticized, because for some, much of the “poker isn't real enough“. I actually disagree pretty strongly; I frankly think that everyone is quibbling about the wrong things.

I am going delve into some analysis of the movie, but not from the perspective you usually see it. The poker accuracy isn't all that bad, frankly, despite the years of debate about it. I think most tend to look too much at the technical details and not its thematic study of poker. I am going to hide it the bulk of the discussion behind this cut, because while the movie was released in 1965 and spoiler time has long since passed, I know that some of my regular readers haven't seen the movie, and you should before poisoning yourself with the age-old debate about it. )

The last word on the subject is that I have yet to see a better poker movie. The Cincinnati Kid shows with nuance and depth what poker is. Poker changes people's lives; it becomes a confined space where their deepest fears and aspirations manifest. The Kid, both the film itself and the character (played flawlessly by Steve McQueen) gives us a window into how poker takes hold and subtly changes people as they face the personal challenges that were once concealed, and are now made obvious in the game. If you see only one poker movie in your life, see this one. BTW, leave Rounders last on your list, as it's deeply overrated even if the poker is more “accurate”.

shipitfish: (clueless-donkey by phantompanther)

Most of my readers will probably think I am insane for considering this laydown in this situation. I think, however, that I misplayed this hand. I also have somewhat of a moral obligation to post this, as [livejournal.com profile] nick_marden once lost a big pot with a very similar situation and I told him what I am telling myself at the end of this post.

I was playing $1/$2 NL HE, $200 max online at Full Tilt Poker. Historically, these games are the types of tight weak games I've written about so often. However, lately, they have been more loose-passive.

I was at a six player table, and a few people had busted. We were dealt a hand with three people suddenly after two people left simultaneously (one busted and one left on his own). I was in the BB with Jc Jd. The button, Quyzzie, raised to $7, which was a standard preflop raise. I hadn't been at the table but for a dozen hands, but Quyzzie was playing pretty loose from what I saw, but not with his preflop raises. His vice seemed to be bad one-pair hands on the flop.

The largest stack at the table, who seemed to be a strong player (named Mikechike) made it $20 to go from the SB. I gave Mikechike credit for a big hand here. I figured he had a pair between TT-AA, AK, or AQ.

I had a tough decision. I felt that it was a tough laydown to make three-handed, and a reraise from Quyzzie meant I had to fold preflop. I had $252 behind, Mikechike had me covered ($258), and Quyzzie had only $87. I decided to call the $18 cold, and be done with the hand if Quyzzie reraised or if I missed the set. Quyzzie just called.

The flop came Jh 5d Ah. Mikechike paused for a moment and bet $18 into the $60 pot. I actually considered a set of aces as a possible hand. AK was the other very likely possibility, making his bet hoping that someone with a weaker ace would raise . But, I was realistically worried about AA (for all the good it did me).

I decided to set Quyzzie all-in. This way I could look to Mikechike like I wanted to be heads up with Quyzzie, and force him to a decision knowing one player would be all-in. (I expected Quyzzie to call with any Ace, and it seemed somewhat likely he had one — my feeling about his preflop raise was Ace-high.) I made it $67 to go. Quyzzie insta-called (yes, I usually try to avoid that cutesie online poker term.). I really felt he would have thought some about putting his stack at risk with KK or a flush draw, so I was pretty confident he had an Ace. Mikechike called somewhat quickly behind him.

I thought Mikechike might have a flush draw here, but I realized after the hand I couldn't put him on this. The only one that made sense is Kh Qh, and it would have been pretty odd preflop behavior for that holding. In a sense, I think I have to put him on exactly AA at that point, because he'd take the opportunity to protect AK. (Remember, my only read on him is that he's a pretty good, reasonable player.)

Therefore, when the turn falls Td, Mikechike checks, and and the pot stands at $261, I think I can check instead of betting my last $166 (which is what I did). Of course, Mikechike "insta-called" in his own right. Mikechike had the only hand that made sense — Ad As. (For the curious, Quyzzie had Ac Qc — overplaying one pair again. Again, for all the good it did me, my read on Quyzzie was right.)

If I instead check the turn, and that 7d that came on the river arrives, Mikechike likely puts in a value bet. I may have to call up to $100 there, but I might be able to fold for all-in. Indeed, AK seems even less likely when he just checked the turn. Meanwhile, if I check the turn, and the flush doesn't come, how much if any should I call when he value bets top set?

Finally, is this all just a stupid marginal discussion? Should I have made the "more obvious" right play of folding preflop, even though we were three-handed?

I have to admit Mikechike played it as I would have — trying to sell it as a flush draw to two obviously made hands that can't have anything but runner-runner flush outs, and therefore they are left drawing dead on the turn. Even if Quyzzie does have the flush draw, Mikechike can safely check the turn, because I conveniently already charged Quyzzie the maximum to see the river. But, I should have seen past it because no flush draws coincide with the preflop action.

I think I should be ashamed of myself. If it's the 5h Jh Ac instead of the Ah 5d Jh , maybe the flush draw with an AK becomes more likely and I have to just take the beat. But the board the way it was, I should have walked away $166 richer than I did.

Anyway, all I have left to say to myself (on Mikechike's behalf) on this hand is: Ship It, Fish!

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