Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brrr...it's too cold to go outside, so...

...I may as well play some poker, and share a couple of hands with you! It has been a little chilly outside (one day it was -16F/-27C with windchills in the -40F to -45F range). The online poker tables weren't nearly so cold to me, though. In fact, I've been running very well online lately. The two hands I'm going to post for you here have nothing to do with any skill on my part though. I thought I'd put these hands here because all too often I see people make this mistake...they give the blinds a free look at the flop. Now, if you happen to be giving ME a free look at the flop I still encourage you to do this. Don't change they way you play just because of this post. I like to see flops. In fact, every now and then I'll even give the blinds a free look at the flop, but when I do that, I'm also willing to throw my hand away if the situation warrants it.

The first hand of the two I'm going to post is one I probably wouldn't have gotten away from myself if the situations had been reversed, but I'll be real honest, I wouldn't have just limped with what the villain limped with, either. In the second hand of the two, you get to see what I would call "the perfect storm" of poker hands and draws. It's just insane!

I've changed the names of the players to "Hero" for myself, "Villain" for the opponent, and the other players are named "Player #" or by position, or both. For those of you that may not be familiar with some of the abbreviations or position names: UTG = Under the Gun, Button = Last to act after the flop, BB = Big Blind, SB = Small Blind, Cutoff = one position in front of the button, the Hijack = one position in front of the Cutoff. As usual, I will try to interject my "thoughts" as the hand progresses:

Full Tilt Poker Game Table Hollow Pine - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em
Seat 1: Player 1 ($97.40)
Seat 2: the Hijack / Player 2 ($423)
Seat 3: Cutoff / Player 3($390)
Seat 4: Button / Player 4 ($400)
Seat 5: SB / Player 5 ($72)
Seat 6: BB / Hero ($72)
Seat 7: Player 6 ($98)
Seat 8: UTG / Player 7 ($364.90), is sitting out
Seat 9: Villain ($509)
Player 5 posts the small blind of $2
Hero posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Th 5h]
UTG folds
Villain calls $4
Everyone else but the Cutoff folds. The Cutoff also limps for the $4
Hero checks [The 5h Th isn't a great hand. I'd like to see a flop, please.]
*** FLOP *** [8h 7h Jh] [Yahtzee, baby! Even if by some miracle I'm losing, I've got a draw to the straight flush]
Hero bets $4 [The pot is only $14 right now. I'm hoping to entice someone who may have hit top pair to raise or call, and I don't want to scare them off with too big a bet.]
Villain raises to $14 [Doh! Got a live one, here!]
The Cutoff folds
Hero raises to $68, and is all in [Just in case he has a big heart, I want to give him the opportunity to fold here with a big bet as I don't want them drawing. If they already have me beat so be it. It's a 119 to 1 shot to flop a flush after all!!]
Villain calls $54
Hero shows [Th 5h]
Villain shows [Ah As] [Wow! I guessed the big heart, but not pocket rockets! Let's see if I can fade the 6 hearts that beat me (remember, the 9h gives me the straight flush)]
*** TURN *** [8h 7h Jh] [Ts]
*** RIVER *** [8h 7h Jh Ts] [4s]
Hero shows a flush, Jack high
Villain shows a pair of Aces
Hero wins the pot ($147) with a flush, Jack high

If the villain raises preflop, there is a 0% chance that I call there. I won't call with T-5, suited or not, when facing a raise. I think he would have liked winning the blinds as opposed to doubling me up, which is what he did.

Here is the second hand. Once again, the names have been changed using some of the same abbreviations as before:

Full Tilt Poker: Table Padre Field - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em
Seat 1: Button / Villain #3 ($257.60)
Seat 2: SB / Player 2 ($400)
Seat 3: BB / Hero ($74)
Seat 5: Player 3 ($415.70)
Seat 6: Player 4 ($503.60)
Seat 7: Player 5 ($58)
Seat 8: the Hijack / Villain #1 ($288.55)
Seat 9: Cutoff / Villain #2 ($235.85)
SB / Player 2 posts the small blind of $2
BB / Hero posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BB / Hero [6d 3d]
Player 3 folds
Player 4 calls $4
Player 5 folds
the Hijack / Villain #1 calls $4
Cutoff / Villain #2 calls $4
Button / Villain #3 calls $4
SB / Player 2 folds
BB / Hero checks [I've got a bad hand with the 3d 6d. I'd like to see a flop, please.]
*** FLOP *** [5d 4h 2h] [Yahtzee!! I just flopped the nuts! I decided here that one of these players will probably bet at this flop. It was my plan to then check-raise and play the hand against that opponent heads-up or take it down right there.]
BB / Hero checks
Player 4 checks
the Hijack / Villain #1 checks
Cutoff / Villain #2 bets $12 [Aha! Here's my sucker!]
Button / Villain #3 calls $12 [Hmmm...I don't want to play this against two people, since at least one of them will be drawing to something like a flush or straight here]
BB / Hero has 15 seconds left to act [After briefly pondering my options, I decide to just shove and hopefully either the "squeeze" will get both players out or I'll probably be playing against just one of the two villains]
BB / Hero raises to $70, and is all in
Player 4 has 15 seconds left to act
Player 4 folds
the Hijack / Villain #1 has 15 seconds left to act
the Hijack / Villain #1 raises to $140 [????! This is a guy who limped preflop, and checked after the flop and is now re-reraising?!? This almost has to be a set or another player with 3-6. Geez, the 'ol limp-check-re-re-raise play...that's a new one...]
Cutoff / Villain #2 has 15 seconds left to act
Cutoff / Villain #2 has requested TIME
Cutoff / Villain #2 calls $128 [Ummm....helloooo....you've just been check-check-raise-reraised, and now you want to just flat call?!? I definitely do not like this. Although I've got the nuts right now, one of these two yahoos has to have a set, which means I need to avoid the board pairing, and if one of them has two hearts, I need to dodge all the hearts, too...yikes.]
Button / Villain #3 has 15 seconds left to act
Button / Villain #3 raises to $253.60, and is all in [O.K. Seriously. I've got the nuts. Not you. I am now firmly convinced that I'm going to be dead in this hand. Also, before any more action even occurs, I already know that no one is folding because the pot odds are too good for any hand at this point. Let's hope my straight holds up!]
the Hijack / Villain #1 raises to $284.55, and is all in [as expected.]
Cutoff / Villain #2 calls $91.85, and is all in [as expected.]
the Hijack / Villain #1 shows [2d 2s] [Well, here's a set. OK...don't pair the board!]
Cutoff / Villain #2 shows [6h 7h] [Wow. An open-ended straight draw along with a flush draw. Now along with the board not pairing, I need to see no hearts on the board or a 3 or an 8. That's a lot of cards to dodge]
Button / Villain #3 shows [Ah 8h] [Wow. The nut flush draw! At least that takes away two of the hearts, and also an 8. I'm holding a 3, so that's another card wiped out. OK...here we go!]
BB / Hero shows [6d 3d] [See?!? I have the nuts!]
Uncalled bet of $30.95 returned to the Hijack / Villain #1
*** TURN *** [5d 4h 2h] [Js] [Hooray!]
*** RIVER *** [5d 4h 2h Js] [Kd] [Hooray! Hooray!]
the Hijack / Villain #1 shows three of a kind, Twos
Button / Villain #3 shows Ace King high
the Hijack / Villain #1 wins side pot #2 ($43.50) with three of a kind, Twos
Cutoff / Villain #2 shows King Jack high
the Hijack / Villain #1 wins side pot #1 ($485.55) with three of a kind, Twos [I'd say Villain #1 cleaned up pretty nicely, all things considered...]
BB / Hero shows a straight, Six high
BB / Hero wins the main pot ($299) with a straight, Six high

Wow. Now that is the perfect storm of hands there. It's hard to believe that everyone could have hit as heavy of pieces of the flop as they did when it comes 5d 4h 2h, but hey, I guess that's poker. I was so intrigued by this hand that I was curious to see what the percentages were for winning the hand after the flop. Here they are:

Me: 28.41%
Button /Villain #3(nut flush draw): 20.98%
the Hijack / Villain #1 (set): 36.59%
Cutoff / Villain #2(open-ended str8, losing flush draw): 12.32%

I wasn't even the favorite to win after flopping the nuts! In fact, I was barely ahead of the guy with the nut flush draw...

the numbers get a little better after the turn:

Me: 50%
Button / Villain #3(nut flush draw): 12.5%
the Hijack / Villain #1 (set): 25%
Cutoff / Villain #2 (open-ended str8): 12.5%

At least I was a coin flip to win with one card to go. I'm very happy my hand held up to win. Just keep limping in on my blind, please. I like to see flops...