Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How would you play this?

Above: The Horseshoe Casino Tunica has an entrance from the parking garage.

"At 200/400/50, I defended my big blind to the LAG on the button. I knew he was stealing, so I just called his 950 with A-10 suited."
This was a text message from blogger Sherry (Jusdealem). She had played in the satellite Friday night to the main event of the Magnolia Mini poker tournament.

There were 20 players left and six would get seats. I don't know the stack sizes, but she was third in chips at her table. The flop was A-9-6 and Sherry led out for 1500, and the villain called. Sherry bet 2700 on the turn with the board reading: A-9-6-x.

The villain shoved, and our hero called. The villain turned over 9-5 for middle pair. The river was a 5 giving him two pair.

Me: "Sounds like he was all in with five outs which is excellent for you."

Sherry: "I've been getting rivered relentlessly, and I think if I will up my preflop agression, I can avoid some of these unlucky rivers. So frustrating."

Sherry: "I'm pretty sure he thought he could outplay me post-flop. He didn't, he just got lucky."

Forget the unfortunate outcome - this isn't a bad beat story disguised as a "How do you play this hand." Was she just unlucky or did she create some of her bad luck by not being more agressive? Does the fact that it's a satellite make any difference?

Eye in the sky: Most people know that casinos have cameras everywhere for security. I guess I hadn't thought about it, but they have them in the parking garage as well.


  1. There are lots of ways to play this hand, but we don't want to change our play to "avoid getting unlucky". That's not correct poker thinking. If we wanted to avoid getting unlucky, we would open shove with aces every time. Problem solved! The only time we would get unlucky is when KK or QQ would mistakenly call us and suck out.

    That said, she could have also reraised or shoved with Ace-ten preflop, if she is very sure this is a LAG that's going to fold most of the time. Fold equity is very powerful in the late stages of a tourney. I don't say this is a better play because it prevents her from getting unlucky postflop - it's a good play because we accumulate chips most of the time, plus we let the LAG know that he can't steal with any two cards next orbit.

  2. Overplaying AA is a common failing. Not a big problem here though. It might have help to consider low ball play. Not sure what was behind though to make that useful. And the shove negates that idea anyway.

    I think the best move would have been shoving ahead of the jerk post-flop. That's a bit of hindsight, I admit. Is he calling with second pair then? Who knows...

    Mojo is right that he just got lucky with an 80:20 loser based on the flop. That a good race.

  3. I think the way I played it is ok, I guess. Afterall, I did get it in ahead and if he hadn't rivered that 5, it would've doubled me up, put me among the chipleaders and I would've been in a great position to pick up a seat for the main event. So maybe (probably) I was being results oriented when I made the remark about trying to reduce 'unlucky rivers' with aggression. But afterwards, I just thought it would've been better to take control of the hand by 3 betting him preflop. If he folded the 9-5 there, fine and if not, I shove the flop. Like Matt said, I could've picked up some chips and let him know not to be so quick to steal my BB. Also, I wouldn't have been in a race situation in what I feel was an unnecessary spot. Even if he had lost the hand, while I would've been thrilled, I would've still felt that he put himself into an unnecessary spot. I mean blowing your whole stack on a blind steal? Come on now. Pick on the short stacks for that, not someone with an even stack.

    Oh well, on to the next hand. Thanks for the input, y'all. :)

  4. After the turn, you want a pair of nines shoving against your pair of aces EVERY TIME - I hope that you start running well soon jusdealem...