Poker Plumbers, Plugging a Leak.

MrDaMan

MrDaMan

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I think I have a hole in my tournament game, which I need to analyze. This is the hand that knocked me out in a 10-dollar tourney on pokerstars. I’ve been experimenting with aggression and have over the long run been fairly successful at it. Let me run through this hand then let’s see what you guys think.

PokerStars Game #9689795447: Tournament #48887754, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit -
Level XI (600/1200) - 2007/04/30 - 21:45:34 (ET)
Table '48887754 129' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
Seat 1: mbvfn (21004 in chips) <<<< I have a note on this guy from PDB 27 Final tables 50K plus in winnings. So I know he’s a good and savvy player.
Seat 2: Felicis (60244 in chips)
Seat 3: duffer2262 (54565 in chips)
Seat 4: lindsay55 (12740 in chips)
Seat 5: headache1969 (26130 in chips)
Seat 6: Diamonddawg (16615 in chips)
Seat 7: Sprayed (36798 in chips)
Seat 8: MrDaMan (19641 in chips)
mbvfn: posts the ante 75
Felicis: posts the ante 75
duffer2262: posts the ante 75
lindsay55: posts the ante 75
headache1969: posts the ante 75
Diamonddawg: posts the ante 75
Sprayed: posts the ante 75
MrDaMan: posts the ante 75
MrDaMan: posts small blind 600
mbvfn: posts big blind 1200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to MrDaMan [Ad Js]
Felicis: folds
duffer2262: folds
lindsay55: folds
headache1969: folds
Diamonddawg: folds
Sprayed: folds
MrDaMan: raises 2400 to 3600
DrZebra is connected
mbvfn: calls 2400
*** FLOP *** [8d 9c 6h]
MrDaMan: bets 3600
mbvfn: raises 13729 to 17329 and is all-in
OK I know he’s a savvy and good player. I think either he re-raised because he hit a set or he’s put me on A/K and was trying to push me off the pot. I didn’t think about it long, (first mistake) I went with my gut thinking he was just trying to push me off the pot since we were so close to the bubble. I figured if he has hit one of those cards on the flop at minimum I have 2 over cards and 6 outs. I called.
MrDaMan: calls 12366 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [8d 9c 6h] <font color='red'>4♥</font>
*** RIVER *** [8d 9c 6h 4h] <font color='red'>5<font face="arial">♦</font></font>
*** SHOW DOWN ***
MrDaMan: shows [Ad Js] (high card Ace)
mbvfn: shows [Qd 9d] (a pair of Nines) He called from the BB 2400 caught a 9 probably putting me on A/K and tried pushing me off the pot. A pretty daring move on his part, I could have had anything with the way I pre-flop bet, then bet the flop from pocket 10’s and up.
mbvfn collected 39732 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 39732 | Rake 0
Board [8d 9c 6h 4h 5d]
Seat 1: mbvfn (big blind) showed [Qd 9d] and won (39732) with a pair of Nines
Seat 2: Felicis folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: duffer2262 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: lindsay55 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: headache1969 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Diamonddawg folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: Sprayed (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: MrDaMan (small blind) showed [Ad Js] and lost with high card Ace

You finished in 294th place (eliminated at hand #9689795447).

151 hands played and saw flop:
- 8 times out of 17 while in small blind (47%)
- 8 times out of 17 while in big blind (47%)
- 15 times out of 117 in other positions (12%)
- a total of 31 times out of 151 (20%)

Pots won at showdown - 6 out of 12 (50%)
Pots won without showdown - 13

I’ve been thinking about this hand over and over and truthfully if I’m not getting all my chips in and being drawn out on and knocked out that way. Then this is the type of hand that either gets me in trouble or knocks me out.

I would say 80% of the time It’s the getting drawn out on that knocks me out, and something like this 20%

What I’m wondering about is aggression, most of the time when I make that continuation bet, especially at these blind levels I don’t get challenged. Even in the lower blind levels because of my tight aggressive, position and selective aggression image I rarely get challenged. Usually when I feel resistance or the opponent has too many chips or my opponents image/betting pattern gives me the right impression I’ll fold.

One thought I had was that I have notes on this guy, he’s a good player he’s probably got notes on me. He had a read on me or hasn’t played me since I’ve stopped playing a tight/passive game. He might have thought from his notes that I was very conservative and could be pushed off the pot. I’m thinking that maybe it’s good that I called even if I lost because he’ll have to update his notes that I am the kind of guy who will call his all-in when challenged. Or conversely that I’m a “donk” and will call his all-in without hitting the flop. LOL I guess that’s up to him. I don’t recommend he does that though I took more notes on him and the next time were in a pot together, I’ll have more information to work with.

In the mean time I have to work on this leak. First I realize I had enough information on this guy to fold after his re-raise all-in, an all-in raise is one heck of a significant tell. It was a dumb call. My bad I’m responsible for that.

What I’m wondering now is if I should change up my betting aggression. When I lead out on a pre-flop raise like this one, I have A/J in the SB and everyone has folded around to me it’s 3 to 4 X the blind. Early in the tournament I’ll often bet the size of the pot as a continuation bet, but as the blinds increase like it is here in this hand at 1200 a pot sized bet can represent easily 1/3 or half your stack if your average to below average stacked.

I need to put enough of a bet out there to convince the opponents that I have either hit the flop or that I’m sitting on an overpair to the flop or a set. I need to do this without putting too many of my chips at risk. I was wondering if anyone here has a formula or betting style/trick to help with this kind of action.

I used to play my A/K and A/Q with a 3X pre-flop raise and if I didn’t hit, I wouldn’t bet, I would hope it gets checked down, and fold to any bet. Since I’ve changed my style to tight aggressive I have doubled the amount of cashes and final tables over what I’ve done in the past. So I know I’m doing this part right, aggression is really key to winning but I’ve got to learn to temper it a bit I think. Think more, still be aggressive, tight but risk less chips for the same effect. Any ideas? :D
 
joosebuck

joosebuck

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sometimes check. sometimes bet. sometimes fold if they bet into you. sometimes call if they bet into you. sometimes raise. sometimes checkraise them if oop.

it really depends. the art of poker is being unpredictable & putting pressure on. if last time i was PFR i check folded and this time i check/shove, that's going to send warning bells off. you cant c-bet every time just because "youre supposed to" and you cant check down every time. if they dont know what you have, they are less likely to challenge you like this.
 
hott_estelle

hott_estelle

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Uh what are you doing in that hand??

You called with A high for all your chips, hoping--just hoping--it was good?? Are you serious? You made a continuation bet, then he comes over the top of you, easy fold. Nothing to think about with the stack you have left, plenty to play with, you have absolutely no draws, and your A high there, is not good. Easy fold.
 
A

alan1983

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When you raise from the button, you could have anything. So you shouldnt assume opponent has you on Something as strong as AK. You can easily raise button with A8, 109, etc..... Which is why he called preflop.

So i dont think his move is that easy to make with nothing.
 
Debi

Debi

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Uh what are you doing in that hand??

You called with A high for all your chips, hoping--just hoping--it was good?? Are you serious? You made a continuation bet, then he comes over the top of you, easy fold. Nothing to think about with the stack you have left, plenty to play with, you have absolutely no draws, and your A high there, is not good. Easy fold.

I have to agree with Estelle. I know I am a tight player and perhaps get out of some hands I should stay in - but I couldn't make that call at all. As she said you still had a nice stack left and should have waited on a better opportunity.
 
MrDaMan

MrDaMan

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Uh what are you doing in that hand?

Uhhhhh EGO! hey man this is MY pot you can't have it! How dare you chalenge me! :rolleyes: LOL

I was and wasn't right on this one. My gut told me that he was trying to push me off the pot. He didn't want me to call, he had paired a 9 high on a ragged board. We're both averaged stacked 50 seats away from the money, if I fold now I will be challenged for the rest of the bubble period, If I call and win I can terrorize the table until the bubble.

This is the time in a tournament where I used to get pushed, pushed and pushed around. I don't get pushed around anymore nearly as much since I've changed up my style from TP to TAG. Let these good players know I'm moving up, if they are going to push me this late in a tournament, I just might call rather than roll over they might think twice about trying this kind of call to my raises or all-in push's that risk all of their chips on marginal catch's.

If he takes notes on players, if the other good players take notes, is that the kind of guy you really want to push at this time for all of your chips?

Anyway no I'm not trying to justify this play, it was a bad call on my part I've already said that. I had a good read on the player, my gut was right he called looking to pair the board and push me off the pot.

Ego and the aggressive spirit made the call over intelligence. But was it ego and aggressive spirit on his part to get into this hand with me pre-flop? Was I outplayed by his intelligence? I don't think so, he made a courageous move yeah but risked all of his chips on a paired 9 high flop against a tight and aggressive player who could have had anything. Which makes me think that he had a read on me, a tell of some kind or he's willing to gamble all of his chips at a critical stage and this is part of his playing style.

I'm always trying to learn from the better players, this guy is one of the better players. What are they thinking? What are they thinking I'm thinking? etc.

I've used his strategy before, calling heads up with a nominal hand hoping just to pair the board and push. But only against short stacked, weak, passive or maniac players, against someone who's been too aggressive and has shown down weak starting hands. But never at this critical stage of a tournament against a TAG player with enough chips to devistate me. So yeah he's a good player not a "donk" I want to learn from this.

Perhaps I should add this play to my bag of tournament tricks for this stage of the game, it's risky but not as risky as my dumb call. I wonder how many times he's tried that and got whacked. He felt he had an edge, heads up hitting the flop and maybe a good read on me. A risky play on his part but it paid off well for him.

Thanks Joose I've been thinking along the same lines. I need to mix up the continuation bets whether I hit or not, some low, some high, some higher, some pot sized. Consistant change-ups to put the potential caller in wonder.
 
dj11

dj11

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At the poker table, I have almost totally stopped listening to my gut, after all, most of the time it is trying to tell me I am full of shit!
 
MrDaMan

MrDaMan

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Yeah DJ I've heard that too. LOL

It's easy to listen to your gut, if your heads up your ass! :eek:
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

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Your play pre flop was spot on. Your play on the flop was the drip, drip, drip. This is the where you need to apply the plumbers tape. You had the correct read on the guy but the wrong cards. You sound like you are getting the message though. Bury the ego and fold the cards. Play on your terms. You made your play for the pot but he topped you. If you wish to make the final table you are going to fold a lot of nice looking hands. When you hit nothing on the flop and he was buying the pot, let him. You will have another chance to get his chippies, but with you calling the shots. Someone once said that AK is a monster pre flop but just two cards on the flop if it didin't hit.
 
J

joeeagles

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Slow down on the steroids, MrDaMan!!!! Just joking with you sir. Tough situation here having put already over 7k into this pot, this is the type of scenario that gives me trouble too, as I'm not perfect either; if the flop had a Q or a K you would have been much more willing to fold.

I don't want to sound like an expert here, but when you analyze this hand and your thought process there is an evident flaw. When he reraised you all-in you said you thought he either hit a set or put you on AK and is trying to push you off the pot; and you figured if he hit 1 of those cards off the flop you still had 2 overcards and six outs. You also mentioned he's a good and savvy player. When you add this up it all = fold. Here's why.

To make this call you have to put the rest of your chips in the pot, and you would be doing that with A high. It seems to me that by all your reads you figured yourself with a high chance of being behind. Now, when he raises all-in the pot is 27441 and you have 12366 left. You are getting less than 2.3 to 1 and you had figured it was very likely you needed help to win this pot, and you were more than a 3 to 1 dog to get this help. So, odds were against you.

I know that many times players don't consider odds to much when it comes to all-in situations, and you go more by gut feeling (is he bluffing?) as you mentioned. But even that, you had a read on this player as being a good one. Was his play risky? It certainly was since he can't discount the chance you raised with an overpair. But I think the better question is: would he go all-in with nothing just because he figured you missed the flop? The answer is most likely no, he must have something and you're behind.

Your read of him trying to push you off your hand was correct since he went all-in with a marginal holding. But your read on this player was also correct yet you still called. That is the flaw I mentioned above.

Since I'm not immune to mistakes like this, there is a quote from Phil Gordon that fits here. It goes something like " being able to lay down a good hand in the face of evidence it has become 2nd best is the sign of a good holdem player". I try to remember that every time my testosterone suggests me to dare too much, which still happens by the way, so I feel your pain sir. Good luck on your next tourney.
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

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This may not be a skill thing at all but a patience thing. This is about the stage of a tournament that most start to get distracted and start to lose interest. The good tournaments players can play through this but average ones will slip.

You made the right play except hitting the fold button on this one. You did not pick the right spot to make a stand. You were not shortstacked so why risk you tourney on this hand? This is the time of the event where you need to pick and chose when to make moves to increase your chips. I think you just lost site of the overall tournament for one hand and it cost you.

You can make that move in a cash game all night and not bat an eye but in tournaments you can't make slips like this.
 
ChuckTs

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Classic BSB play :/

I raise more preflop here. We don't want to be OOP against a tough player with a marginal hand like AJ. With the situation (both in blinds, antes adding to dead money) you're giving him great odds to call PF. If he's a savvy player (which you say he is), then he'll probably defend his blinds pretty aggressively.

Pop it up to like 4500 and maybe call a shove. As played, I don't think we can call; we're getting 1.9:1, not enough to call vs a pair smaller than JJ which is most probably what he has (good players rarely put all their chips in the middle with nothing unless they have a very good reason to).
 
joosebuck

joosebuck

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playing against better players than you you should be shoving more. pressure them, make them make the move for all his chips. he forced you to decide, and it worked out for him. if i know im playing against a better player ill either open shove preflop or limp there. i dont like raising without having a good idea of how a solid player will defend his bb.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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Agreed, joose. Actually with our stack having only an M of 8, I don't mind a push at all.
 
MrDaMan

MrDaMan

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All great replys, which is why CC is such a great forum. A lot to think about and mull over besides the main point which is fold to the the all-in dummy. :D

Thanks all.
 
joosebuck

joosebuck

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ya i figured you knew the fold was standard so i didnt even need to address it. what's important [moreso than the fold even] is the play up to that decision.
 
skoldpadda

skoldpadda

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OOP with this hand you make a standard raise which makes your M < 10. Since you don't want to be in this situation and would shove with AJ if M<10, you should shove pre-flop and avoid the situation all together.

As played, it's check-fold the flop. You don't have the chips for a continuation bet.
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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I would like to add that if you NEVER call off all your chips (without the nuts or close to it) you wont be making too big of a mistake in the long run.

If you are going to c-bet, shove (or shove pre as others said). He might fold the nine, as you are really representing a bigger pair now: if you are going to call a shove you are usually better shoving yourself (and he will not want to call off all his chips!)!

You are correct in thinking that he doesn't want a call here, not because he missed, but because he doesn't want you to suck out.

You are also right that he is risking that you have have him beat, but that's a calculated risk, based on the math of poker (more ways for you to have big cards than a big pair pre, 2/3 chance you missed if you do).
 
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