Thursday, March 4, 2010

It just didn't happen

I played in the Super Stack tournament at the Horseshoe last night. Sixty-seven players plunked down $110 to enter. I busted out 12th, unfortunately, and nine were paid. As best I recall, first was $1850 -- now that would have been sweet. Ninth paid $107 -- so you play your heart out, finish ninth and lose $3 for the night! LOL, but that's tournament poker.

I had this key hand when the blinds were 2000/4000/200: A K. I had ~55,000 in chips (we started with 20,000) and raised from UTG to 12K. It folded to the small blind who thought for a while and called. The pot now was 30K (12K + 12K +2K in antes +4K from the BB) if my math is right.

The flop was 10 8 7. The villain moved all in for 23K more. What would you do?

First of all, the villain could be making a stop and go, and I'm ahead. He needs chips just like I do, so he might be making a good move with air. Even if you assume he has something good, I have nine cards that give me the nut flush, and my overcards may be outs, so it's a trivial call.

The villain showed 9 8 for a pair of 8s and an open ended straight draw. I used the Cardplayer magazine's odds calculator to see what it thought: I was a 50.1% favorite, the villain was 48.69% favorite and there would be a tie 1.21% of the time. Too bad he didn't just have A-10 for one pair -- his open-ended straight draw made it close.

The turn was a pretty card for me: K moving me up to a 77.27% favorite. The river was a brick, and my hand held.

"Nice catch," said the villain in a mean-spirited way. He made it sound like I sucked out even though I was ahead. I'm glad to say I don't give anybody any sarcastic shit grief when they bust me. Players like that need to grow up. I'm just sayin'.

On the flop, It cost me $23K more to win a 53K pot, so even if he flopped a straight, it was right for me to draw to my flush (36%) from a math standpoint.

There was one other similar hand that I wasn't involved in. When the blinds were 100/200, there were three limpers to the BB who raised to 1200. Two of the limpers called. The flop was: J 7 2. The raiser moved all in and one of the others insta-called.

The raiser showed: A A. The caller turned over J 10.

Players at the table oohed and ahhed that the caller would risk her entire stack with a flush draw. Not so fast -- she had other outs as the turn showed: 10 giving her two pair and her hand held.

I ran it through the odds calculator, and, sure enough, she was a favorite on the flop! She would win 50.71% of the time, the A-A would win 49.29% of the time, and there could not be a tie.

Busto: With 12 left, the blinds were 5000/10,000/500. We were six-each at two tables and the dynamics were this: someone would shove (no use making a 3XBB raise, you were pot committed) and the others would fold. It was all decided pre-flop. I hate a shovefest, but that's often how it plays out.

I had 50K (so my M was around 3), and it folded to me in late position. I had A 5 and shoved. At this stage, you need to shove with any two -- the ace was just the lagniappe a bonus. The BB woke up with Q Q and called and I was toast when he flopped a set. No problem. I played well, it just didn't happen.


  1. On your Big Slick flush draw I would have made the call everytime. Glad it worked out. Some people are just bad losers. Too bad on the near cash

  2. Sorry you busted out, but as poker players say, "There's always another table on another day."

    What? They don't say that?

    Well, they should!

  3. If I'm ever in your area, I'm definitely stopping by the Horseshoe! From the sound of it, these players are downright ignorant in terms of odds and how & when to call! I'm calling all day, every day, with overs + flush draw + backdoor straight draw with AKs (assuming you don't put the V on a set)... Likewise for JTs with TP + flush draw + backdoor straight draw. I think you could make those calls in your sleep!

    People are in amazement with the guy "chasing a flush draw?" Wow...

    I can't wait for the casinos around here to add poker; I'm in the DC area and the closest is an hour away. I figure the level of competition there will be about what you get out by you.

    Do you play cash there? It seems like you would do very well at cash games there - despite your poor runs lately in the tourneys.

  4. The AsKs hand (to me) is a snap call. You have 15 outs twice and the 9 flush outs are to the nuts.
    Too bad you missed the money. It would be really great to read about the Mojo winning big.

  5. I agree with previous comments about the As Ks hand. Villain made a huge mistake, in my opinion, calling with a suited 98 out of position with the stack sizes as they were. What could he possibly have been thinking?

    What's even worse is, if memory serves, you make it sound like villain paused to think about calling there. I just absolutely hate his play.

    Aside from that, I'd snapcall with AK and assume that I'm ahead against most of villains range.

    Your A5s shove was a no brainer. Too bad villain woke up with queens.


  6. I predict one of these days you'll win the whole goddamn thing.

    If you were $3 down, why not sit down at a cash game for a little while?