Ok last week i improved my record to 8 for 9 in money finishes at these fire hall tournaments. I wrote down my strategy and some observations but I didn’t talk about any of my big hands that night. In most of these tournaments I stay away from trouble early on but this past week I played alittle bit risky at the beggining. This hand that i’m about to discuss is not really that big of a deal in terms of number of chips, people getting knocked out, or lucky cards. I think this hand is just interesting if you look at it from each players posistion.
Blinds 20 / 40 I’m in the small blind. The 2nd person to act calls the big blind of 40. He has won 3 out of the last 6 pots by betting big and not showing any cards. His chip stack is probably close to 2000 while mine is just around 900. It is folded around to me in the small blind and I look down to find QsQh. There is 100 in the pot right now and I raise my small blind up to a total of 120. the big blind folds and the early posistion caller calls another 80 chips. With high pocket pairs I want some action but not too much action, so one caller is a pretty good situation, just as long as a King or Ace don’t come on the flop. And the flop comes down Kc 6d 7d.
ME QsQh HIM ??
Board Kc 6d 7d
Crap. That’s not the type of flop I like to see, but i’m happier to see a king than an ace. People are a lot more likely to play any Ace-x then they are to play any King-x. The guy who called preflop is first to act and he bets 300. If he had checked I would have bet the pot trying to win the hand with a continuation bet. Now i have to decide what type of hand does this guy probably have. Well he could have a King and another high card. If that’s the case then his bet makes scense since he would be trying to force out any flush draws. He could have a pocket pair. That doesn’t make a lot of sense since he probably would have raised preflop with a pocket pair. The only possible pocket pair he migh have here is pocket 6 or 7. If he had a pocket pair of JJ or less he probably wouldn’t bet the flop with the king there. If he has Aces he wouldn’t have just called my preflop raise. If he has KK then he probably would have reraised pre flop as well. He could have suited connectors and have either a flush draw or a striaght draw. This sounds about right since it would warrant a preflop call and a semi bluff after the flop. Infact if he has a straight flush draw he would have a 53% chance of winning the hand at this point.
This sounds like it should be an easy fold but I don’t like the prospect of being down to 800 with the blinds soon going up to 50 / 100. Plus you can’t always play like your affraid of someone else having the nuts. Another factor that made this a tough decision is the fact that this guy had been raising a lot of pots and winning a lot of pots without showing any cards or for that matter strength. Still i knew there were too many hands that had me beat and that if I called I would only have 500 chips left, and basically be pot commited. I fold my hand face up to let him know, and more importantly, the rest of the table know that I was playing a premium hand with my preflop raise. What I really wanted to get from showing my hand was my opponent to show me his. Which he did. He had K8 of diamonds. So not only did he have top pair, but he had the 2nd nut flush draw and a back door striahgt draw. I on the other hand only had one out since the Q of diamonds would have given him a flush.
This isn’t a great or amazing play by me or anything I just think it was a missed opportunity by him, and I’m not sure I agree with the way he played the hand. Let’s look at the hand progression from his point of view.
Blinds 20 / 40 I have about 2000 chips and have one 3 out of the last 6 hands by being aggressive before and then after the flop. I’m in early posistion and have K8 of diamonds. With 7 people still to act I probably don’t have the best hand right now, but it has some promise if I can see a cheap flop and either hit the King or get a flush draw. I call the 40. Everyone folds around to the small blind who raises it to 120 total. So far the small blind has only played 2 hands, both times cause he was in the big blind and saw the flop for free. This is his first pre flop raise and he’s raised off about an 8th of his stack. The big blind who has been calling everything folds and now it costs me 80 to go after 200. I’m getting slightly better than 2 to 1 odds but chances are that my K8 is more than a 3 to 1 underdog here. Maybe the raiser has a low pocket pair like 77. if that’s the case then I’m almost even money with him. If I am up against a higher pocket pair than I can make up my bad pot odds preflop by getting more money out of him post flop. If he has JJ or QQ it might be hard for him to lay that down to a flush or king on the board. I call and now there is 280 in the pot.
The flop comes down Kc 6d 7d. This is a great flop for me. If I’m up against AK or AA I’m smoked unless I get another dimond or 8. If i’m up against A-x of diamonds then I’m ahead right now and there aren’t as many diamonds left in the deck for that person to hit the nut flush. If my opponent has pocket 66 or 77 then I’m behind but can still make my flush and take the pot. I’m first to act so I need to decide how to act. If he has a made hand like a high pocket pair then I should check assuming that he will bet, and I can check raise him. If he is on a draw I should bet so that he doesn’t see free cards that will beat me. The only way that he could be on a draw is if he had A-x suited. If he had AQ of diamonds than his play preflop made scence. Maybe AJ of diamonds make scence, but none of the other A-x hands make scene for him to raise preflop. So chances are slim that he’s on a draw.
If he has hit a set then he will probably bet after I check so that I don’t see a free card with a flush draw on the board. If he has a king with a higher kicker it would have to be AK or KQ to make scence with the preflop raise. With either of those two he will be if I check, and I can semi bluff with the flush draw. If he has a high pocket pair less than KK then he might bet if I check, thinking that my check shows that I don’t have a king. Then I can reraise and probably take the pot right there. I bet 300 just to play it safe. It’s early in the tournament and 280 is still an important pot. I’ll go over 2000 chips and be in strong posistion to pick on shorter stacks preflop.
The small blind folds showing QQ. Dang. He was basically only drawing to one out unless he hit runner runner for a full house. I should have checked to see if I could get him to bet. Well this is the 4th hand in 7 that i’ve won. without showing my hand. People will probably start to think i’m bluffing all the time. I show my hand so that everyone sees that my raises are a sign of good cards. This should hopefully allow me to steal some pots later on with my big chip stack. The small blind nods his head as if he knew exactly what hand I had. He didn’t of course he’s just some abnoxious tight assed player who thinks he’s better than everybody. I know they type. He’ll play tight then loose some all in race where he had a 1 or 2 % advantage and then he pulls a hellmuth and complains about how the other player played the hand. Chances are that guy only makes it into the money one out of every 6 tournaments.
ok back to being biglazy. If that guy had checked after the flop i would have bet 200 and probably have called an all in raise. Either way he risked 80 preflop to go after 200 with a hand that should only be played if you know that when you hit the hand you’ll make an extra 200 or more out of the hand. It’s like when Doyle talks about playing suited connectors in NL Holdem. The best time to play suited connectors is against AA or KK. The reason is that if you hit the flop your oponent will probably go all in, while you will easily fold if you don’t hit the flop. This gives you the proper expected value pot odds.
I gotta get back to work.