Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cooler or bad play?

Above: The Horseshoe Casino Tunica is the site of a 10-day tournament that is wrapping up this weekend.

I hadn't made it back to the Horseshoe this week until yesterday. One day a doctor's appointment, one day a meeting and one day something else. I thought I was supposed to have all this free time when I retired. What's up with that?

Yesterday, I played again. The tournament began at noon, cost $340 to enter, gave 12,000 in chips to each of 93 runners who decided to give it a try.

After seven hours, we were down to 16 players. The average stack size was ~55k and I had 45-ish. We had just reformed to two tables, so I didn't have an image with many of the players. The blinds were 1600/800/200 so there was 4000 in the pot before any betting.

It folded to the button who raised to 3600. The small blind mucked and I checked my hole cards to see A K.

Obviously, folding is out of the question, so I have three choices. I could just call to see a flop. I think this is weak. I could raise to 10K or so. The problem with this is you're almost pot-committed. I mean if he re-raises to 25K are you going to fold? I could just shove. This has the advantage of (possibly) folding out a hand like J-J or 10-10. The disadvantage is that you might be racing for your tournament life or you might be behind A-A or K-K.

If you just call, the flop is K-7-4 rainbow. Now what? Would you give up the hand now? Of course not.

At the table, I shoved, and the villain had A-A. A king came on the flop, but a second one didn't, and I was walking to the rail. It always seems like a bad play after you've shoved into aces.

Was I always destined to be stacked or could I have avoided this? If I had a good-sized stack, maybe I could have gotten away from it, but being slightly short-stacked means (I think) I was destined to lose and whine in my blog.

Photo taken yesterday with my P&S.


  1. Just one hombre's opinion:

    You were a little below the avg stack but you had ten full orbits, I wouldn't really call that shortstacked enough to shove with AKs. I'd have maybe called a bigger raise, but that was what, 2 1/4 BB's? Likely I'd've re-raised to maybe 8K or so, and MAYBE could have folded to the inevitable re-raised, but maybe not.

    However, since the K came up, you were likely destined to be felted no matter what you did.

    My verdict: cooler. Nothing you coulda done.

  2. Tough situation. Button raise looks like a steal. I agree with Gary. If you raise to 8-10K a re-raise would at least give you the option of folding if he shoves. You'd still have 35-37K left. But if you see the King on the flop you have to pull the string anyway. Looks like this hand was destined to lose no matter what.

  3. Depends whether you're playing for first or not, I guess. I would've reraised and called his shove.

    Unless you read him as very tight. But from button, I'd naturally give him a much wider range of hands, and he should be giving you a wide range for your reraise.

    In your spot, I couldn't get away from being all in preflop, nor would I want to.

  4. Tournament Holdem: 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime of frustration.

    There isn't an answer. Give me your hand/situation and I can defend any move on your part. Some may be weaker than others but they are all defensible late play.

    It is better than K6 and the other hand is better than 77. If we can learn anything from Lamb's play is that there is limited benefit to retrospection.

    I remember playing a weak player on my left and a decent one on my right. Lefty raised small early; Righty pushed; I went over the top to isolate and the weak player had AA to both of our KK. That's a hand I still remember but with a laugh. That's really the way to approach premium hand disappointment. A weak, timid calling station busted what was, for that table at least, the two better players.

    Use the mantra that the Mahatma taught us to chant on such hands: Oooooommmm Hummmm Shit Happens.

  5. Thanks to those who commented. I'd probably play it the same next time, but it feels so stupid when he has aces.

    @Ken: re the mantra comment, lol, too funny.