Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Under The Microscope 001: A Feul And His Money

"If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again."

OK, so Hoyazo asked for a recap of a hand I alluded to last post, in which eventual MATH winner Fuel berated me for a play which, though marginal, I think was justified. Hoy asks, I deliver. Who am I to deny one of my three or so readers?

I do want to state from the outset that I don't consider this a great play by any reach of the imagination. And, though I did think the play is acceptable, I expect that some comments (if there are any) will not be complimentary. But I did have my reasons. Let's see if I can explain what those are.

First, the hand, without comment:

*********** # 108 **************
$20+$2 Hold'em No Limit - Level VI (100/200)

Seat 1: Julius_Goat (3519 in chips)
Seat 5: Astin (2590 in chips)
Seat 6: Fuel55 (10820 in chips)
Seat 7: NewinNov (5571 in chips)
Fuel55: posts small blind 100
NewinNov: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Julius_Goat [9c Qc]
Julius_Goat: raises 400 to 600
Astin: folds
Fuel55: calls 500
NewinNov: folds
*** FLOP *** [2c Jd 6c]
Fuel55: bets 4200
Julius_Goat: calls 2919 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [2c Jd 6c] [4c]
*** RIVER *** [2c Jd 6c 4c] [7c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fuel55: shows [8s 8c] (a flush, Eight high)
Julius_Goat: shows [9c Qc] (a flush, Queen high)
Fuel55 said, "fawk"
Julius_Goat collected 7238 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 7238 Rake 0
Board [2c Jd 6c 4c 7c]
Seat 1: Julius_Goat showed [9c Qc] and won (7238) with a flush, Queen high
Seat 5: Astin (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Fuel55 (small blind) showed [8s 8c] and lost with a flush, Eight high
Seat 7: NewinNov (big blind) folded before Flop


NewinNov said, "arghhh"
Fuel55 said, "you putzes and your draws"
Astin: raises 400 to 600
Fuel55: folds
NewinNov said, "this game will last forever"
NewinNov: folds
Julius_Goat: folds
Astin collected 500 from pot
Astin: doesn't show hand
Fuel55 said, "you do realize that drawing is bad poker"
Astin said, "but it's good pictionary" <---- Line of the night.
Julius_Goat said, "if it weren't for bad play, I wouldn't be able to play fuel"



OK, the first thing we'll notice is that I'm pretty frisky in EP pre-flop. Queen-Ten sooted? Rags. I'm not going to deny it. However . . .

(1) A steal from EP even with fugly one-gapper can be a very successful move when you're trying to steal the blinds (which, obviously, I was).

(2) The better your opponents are (and all these guys are solid to scary from what I've seen), the more obvious the steal is the closer you get to the button.

(3) We're four-handed. I have to loosen it up.

(4) We're at the bubble. Time to loosen and steal.

(5) If I hit this flop hard, it's going to be harder to put me on this hand.

Fuel calls me. I am not happy about this. He's the big stack, he has me way covered, and he's very aggressive. Because of these factors, he could have any number of hands.

However, I'm not upset about this, for the very same reasons. A good flop could get me paid, because Fuel isn't a check-folder. He's more of a 'open your belly and see if you have guts' kind of guy.

As it turns out, he's got a pretty decent calling hand, pocket eights.


2 clubs, Jack diamonds, 6 clubs.

OK, now I have a nice flush draw. I pretty much like this flop, because if Fuel checks, I'm going to take control of the. . .

Oh. Never mind. Fuel just put me all-in.

So, I'm in the tank, which online means I think for 45 seconds.

Here's what I come up with:

1) Calling all your chips with only a flush draw is typically a donkey move.

2) I'm behind. Obviously.

3) I don't think I'm too far behind. Fuel has just given me a 'you go away now' bet.

  • Possibility 1: Fuel has a monster, and is over-betting for value. I've seen him do it to Hoy already tonight, so it's totally possible. Sixes or deuces fit the bill, Queens through Aces are a possibility. He's raising me pre-flop with Jacks.

    Verdict: Rejected. Fuel is going to milk me for the inevitable continuation bet if he's flopped a big hand or smooth-called with a big pair. I put this at low probability, let's say 10%.

    Goat's Note: All percentages are horribly arbitrary and made up after the fact. I didn't do ALL this work in 45 seconds.

  • Possibility 2: Fuel has a Jack. What kind of Jack hand does Fuel just call with? AJ, maybe, KJ or QJ more likely. If this is the case, it's the 3 remaining queens and 9 remaining clubs as outs. 12 outs twice makes it about a coin flip. I'm behind by a hair.

    Verdict: Fairly Possible. This explains the bet pretty well. But I think that with just top pair, Fuel makes a bet to define a hand. Fuel mocks those who think TP is gold, Jerry, gold!

    Let's put this at 30%.

  • Possibility 3: Fuel is bluffing or semi-bluffing at the pot. The semi-bluff scares me the most, because that could mean a better flush draw.

    Verdict: Rejected. I respect Fuel's game, and don't see him committing half of his chips on a pure bluff. And I'm simply not going to factor in a higher flush draw. If that's what it is, so be it. Hopefully I have 2 live cards.

    Let's put this at 10%.

  • Possibility 4: Fuel has a pocket pair lower than Jacks. I'd say 77 through TT.

    Verdict: Ding ding ding ding ding ding! This explains the confidence of the bet (he's got me on high cards), AND his reason for not wanting me to draw any more and just end the hand there. It's a good play for him to make, and he's still got plenty if I just caught my Jack.

    In other words, this is the hand that fits the play. And it's a good play (remember, my read is based on the fact that I think Fuel is a good player).

    Unfortunately or fortunately for Fuel (depending on if I catch up) . . . if my read is correct, and unless it is TT (the least likely combo, as I've got one of those), I have 15 outs twice. Which means, I am behind, but I'm favored.


10% possibility that I am behind to a big pair or a flopped set. I have 9 outs.

10% possibility that I am WAY behind to a high flush draw, esp. AJ clubs. I have 3-6 outs and have to dodge the very clubs I hope to catch.

30% possibility that Fuel has a Jack with no flush draw. I have 12 outs twice, and am basically in a coin-flip.

50% possibility that Fuel has an underpair. I'm favored.

And there's one other thing.

Fuel has an enormous stack compared to the rest of us. Unless I chip up significantly, he is going to money-whip us like sad little puppies until the water is eight feet high and rising. Forget that action. I want to win. My read says call.

So, I call. He shows eights. One is a club. Curses!

Turn. Club.

River. Club.

Ship it.


Now, I realize that I got lucky, or 'lucky', or whatever. I think Fuel played the hand just right. And I think this was a marginal call. But, as I said, I had my reasons for making that call.

And now you know.

Edited to Add: OK, anybody paying attention will notice that throughout this writing I forgot what hand I had and thought I had been holding QT, not Q9.

Easily explained. I was tired when I wrote it. Also, I'm a big donkey.


Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Hey Goat. I actually think this hand was a pretty simple one the way it all came out. And I'm surprised the way you seem to be backpedalling and expecting the worst from the comments. Ok, from the comment. Heh heh.

In short, I love your raise with Q9s at a 4-handed table. I'm sure that's quite a playable hand at a 4-handed nlh table, especially with the aggrodonks still left at the table with you. Not only would I undoubtedly have played and raised it (probably 3x just like you did) there, but I am more or less positive that each of the other 3 guys at the table with you at the time would have done the same thing in your shoes.

#2, I fully support as well the allin call on the flop when Fuel monkeypushed on you. In fact, I agree almost entirely with your analysis of Fuel's likely holdings. The only significant thing I think you missed was what I actually think of as the most likely possibility of all, which is that Fuel either had nothing, had nothing but two big cards, or maybe hit a small piece of the board like middle or third pair. If you know Fuel, and you know how he plays with a big stack, he is undoubtedly pushing with mostly any hand there in that situation. He wanted to use his big stack to make you fold, and that means putting you allin in a situation where he doesn't care much if he loses to you anyways. If I had to guess, I would put him on some kind of middling 6 (76, 86, 65 maybe) or just two cards Ten or higher (no Jack). That, to me, is actually far and away the most likely holding for Fuel, given what I'm seeing here and the situation at the table at that time.

Either way, I think with not only the flush draw but the one overcard, and maybe even 2 overcards as you point out, this was just about as easy of an allin call as you're going to find anywhere. Again I will say that I bet any of the other three guys at the table would have called in your shoes as well. Short stacked, facing aggresion from a highly aggro huge chip stack, and with at least 12 outs and quite possibly 15 outs, to me it's a very clear and very easy call.

Oh yeah one other thing -- with 15 outs twice you are clearly the favorite in the hand if it goes through to the end, even with no "made" hand yet. In fact, I believe the math is such that even 14 outs twice is just barely a mathematical favorite over a made hand on the flop. So especially given that, again to me you clearly made the right move from the get-go to the end here.

I can't see Fuel busting you too much for this play. He should know he got outplayed here, and I am positive he would have played your hand exactly the same way.

FWIW, if Fuel had played his cards right (pun intended), he should have raised you allin preflop with his pocket 8s and a huge stack. You'd have almost had to fold then with a hand that is most likely dominated and basically definitely behind if your opponent is reraising you allin preflop and all you've got in Q9s.

Nice play, nice hand review.

Goat said...

Hoy, thanks for the comment.

As for the back-peddling, I have trouble being too definitive in poker. It's a humbling game, so I keep my statements about my play modest.

Also, Fuel really didn't unload on me. He made one little comment.

But it was that comment that made me feel that I'd arrived, which made me happy, so I mentioned it, and here we are.

After that, I played the bully until I caught Aces and slowed down and thus -ARGH - gave all those chips back to Fuel.

Fuel55 said...

Great writeup Goat and good after-the-fact insight.

I don't begrudge you calling off your chips with a flush draw and likely 1 over card. If you put me on AJ, KJ, QJ or a middle pair the call is correct. You are getting 4319/2919 to make the call which is clearly mathematically correct.

In reality you had 2 overs and the flush draw making you a 53:47 favorite to pull ahead by the river.

The reason I did NOT push preflop is that I was in the SB. If the flop came down favorably I could push (Stop and Go) and give you another chance to fold since I didn't really feel you'd fold preflop unless you had total rags.

When the flop came J high I figured in all likelihood I was ahead and shoved hoping you'd fold right there any hand that didn't contain a J or 2 clubs. Statistically you wouldn't have a hand to call with but you did and I lost, so be it.

But in reference to my comment I think that marginal drawing hands like Q9s are foldable even in 4-handed games. You'll only hit a flush 1 in 16 and you'll make a str8 considerably less often which means you are really drawing to a pair of queens with a shitty kicker. You had almost 18BB before this hand and could easily let this go and wait for a better spot. 10BB or less maybe it is a shoving hand but not a raising hand.

Make sense?

Hoy - you are nuts if you thing my out-of-position range in this situation is as weak as low connectors. I started this hand with 54BB - nowhere near the point of getting silly ...

Goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goat said...

First, excellent comment, Fuel, you've really pointed out the reasons that I'm calling this a marginal play. Mathmatically, I can't defend it.

Second, I have no problem with you calling shenanigans on my 'brilliant' reading 2 days after the fact. I fairly well expected that while I was writing it, and would have almost been disappointed if you hadn't. I mean, I just wrote a post in which I made a pretty good read, so it's more than a little self-aggrandizing.

The only defense I have is: I really did make the call. If I hadn't made that read, I wouldn't have called. If it hadn't been you (or somebody like you who is admirably aggressive), I probably fold it b/c I have to assume I have just one over.

But I thought I had two. And a flush draw.

Luckily, I was right. Even more luckily, I caught up.

Your analysis of my PF play does make a lot of sense, though I still think there are reasons for that play that I've already mentioned.

Thing is, I think it is a better play against weak players, where I know from observation that I'm one of two players at the table that has a post-flop game at all. And I'm used to far weaker players than I'm getting in the MATH, where many players have a stronger post-flop (or overall) game than me. In fact, a large factor in my calling is that I rate your game higher than mine, so I felt I needed to take what I thought was a good pop at a lot of chips to avoid just getting run over.

For what it is worth, I didn't have you on a six.

Anybody else? If you happened to wander in there, weigh in on this highly important matter.

Fuel55 said...

Weighing in on highly important matters Part 2:

1. This is fun.

2. The MATH and the MOOKIE etc. are strange beasts. They have some of the best players around and some of the worst. The talent spread is much wider than other tournaments. Add in the Hammer and other shenanigans and they are actually quite difficult to navigate.

3. I am glad you didn't have me on a 6 ...

Zorb said...

Interesting post!