Friday, January 14, 2005

Posted by Junelli 11:43 AM
What would you have done?

Last night I played $2-$5 pot limit and booked a $200 profit. Though 30 minutes before I left I was up $800. I lost a big hand and am interested to see if you would've done anything different.

I am the commanding chip leader at the table with approx $1,200 in chips (more than twice as many as 2nd chip position who is directly to my right). I have been playing well all night, catching some hands, extracting money when I am in a dominating position, and bluffing at the right times. The table is fairly loose/aggressive and typically 3-5 players will pay $15-20 to see a flop. There are several poor players, but the player to my right has seemed patient and fairly tight. I haven't even noticed how he got his chip stack up to $650 (in fact, I practically didn't even know he was there).

On to the hand...
I am dealt 68o in the BB. No one raises, and 5 people see the flop. The flop is beautiful for me: 79T with 2 clubs. I have the straight to the ten. Small blind checks. I check. Middle position bets $20, we all smooth call. The turn is an A of diamonds. The small blind checks again, and I check again (waiting to pop it when the bet comes back around to me). Middle position bets $40, late position calls $40. Then the small blind raises the pot $245.

I go into the tank thinking to myself, "What the hell?? I have the 2nd nut straight." He hasn't demonstrated any strength thus far, and because he's in the small blind it's impossible to put him on a hand. He could have a set, two pair, flush draw, bluffing (not likely). The only hand that beats me is J8 (nut straight). He looks at me and very confidently says, "I have a monster." I ask him if he has the "nuts", and he doesn't answer. He repeats again that he is "very strong."

I believe him that he's strong. He was a very nice unassuming player, and the game was very friendly. I assumed he was telling the truth.

But what did "very strong" mean? In my mind it meant either: (1) he had top or middle set; or (2) he had the same straight I was holding (a very good possibility); or (3) he had the nut straight.

Of course, distant possibilities also existed: (1) trying to make a move; (2) top two pair (and didn't see the straight possibility); (3)nut flush draw.

Another scary fact is that he had approx $300 in chips left (after his raise of $245). Therefore, I could assume that if I called his raise, those chips were going in on the river. I also had two other people in the hand who may call. The pot was big ($500) and likely to get much bigger. And I had a straight dammit!

The last thing to cross my mind was the fact that for me, it was all "cheese". In other words, even if I put him all-in and lost, I would still be up $100 or so for the night.

"Fuck it. I can't get away. I raise the pot." (making it ~$600 to go). As expected and desired, the other two players went away.

He turns over J8...the only hand that beats me. I have 3 outs to chop the pot, and no chance at winning. He is kind and let's me save $100 while he saves $800, and we play for the rest. He wins of course.

I wasn't upset after the hand, and definitely didn't feel like I took a bad beat. Unfortunately, it was one of those unfortunate circumstances where I was on the "business" end of two monster hands meeting at the same time, against the two chip leaders at the table. And if I had to play it over again, I don't know if I would've been able to lay it down (considering all the variables that went into my decision).

What do you think?

8 Comment(s):

Posted by Blogger Johnnymac, at 12:35 PM, January 14, 2005  

Gee... I really don't understand Pot Limit to the degree that anyone would see a flop from any position with either 68 or J8, so I can't really even venture a serious answer.

I'm not being critical... I really really don't understand, except to say that I'm sure I wouldn't be good at this game because I would obivously be too tight and people would scatter from me the the first time I ever made a bet I'm afraid.

However, If I had to take a stab at it, I would have called, too, because I would have put him on AK or AA and figured he thought he had the best hand after everyone played so timidly on the flop and he had caught his Ace on the turn.


Posted by Blogger Junelli, at 1:06 PM, January 14, 2005  

As stated, it was not raised preflop and I was in the BB. Folding would've been a little too tight. :)

And yes, if the pot is not raised preflop you're going to see all kinds of hands.


Posted by Blogger Johnnymac, at 2:06 PM, January 14, 2005  

That game must give the word "passive" a new meaning... Maybe I *should* check it out.


Posted by Blogger Dr Fro, at 2:30 PM, January 14, 2005  

Actually you said "I am dealt 68o in the small blind."

If in the SB, then your error was calling
If in the BB, you played perfectly and were unlucky.


Posted by Blogger Junelli, at 3:41 PM, January 14, 2005  

Y'all are completely full of shit! I was in the BB. But even if I was in the SB I only had to call $3 into a $25 pot. Once the flop hits I can assess the situation.

You can quote Sklansky and every other book in the world, that says not to play 68o, but both of you would do the exact same thing. If you wouldn't then you are playing too tight. You know that pot-limit is not about the strength of preflop hands. If everyone played Group I & II hands, then the money would just move around according the cards that are dealt.

If you don't occasionally play hands like that, you're too predictable, and people will run when you come into a hand.


Posted by Blogger Johnnymac, at 4:07 PM, January 14, 2005  

If in the big blind, then yes, you got a near-perfect flop and the man on the button made a terribly bad preflop call and got lucky.

If in the small blind, for those odds, then yes, I would have called, but only if I were putting a small amount into a huge pot. I agree with you there.

I MIGHT have also raised with it from the button on a blind steel, but that's the only time outside of the blinds where I would consider playing that hand.

In understand your point about being too tight, but did you ever consider that if you had not played that hand to begin with - hypothetically - you would not have lost a monster pot with it?

(that sounds worse than I mean it to sound... I'm not trying to be a d*ck in asking it, I'm just trying to define the question differently - no offense is intended, whatsoever)


Posted by Blogger Junelli, at 4:21 PM, January 14, 2005  

Yes, I thought about that a lot on the way home. If I hadn't have called, I wouldn't have lost $600. Also, I thought maybe I should've laid it down when it was raised $245. After all, at that time, I only had about $55 in the pot. I was thinking that it would suck to have to lay it down, but why risk $600 when I could be drawing dead. I typically like to get my money in when I'm very confident I have the best hand.


Posted by Blogger Johnnymac, at 9:28 AM, January 15, 2005  

I have to at least give you credit for being able to play more loosely/aggressively than I can. I think that's a weakness in my game, particularly, and I need to learn to be a little more creative...


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