Archive for March, 2007

Tight night and lucky sevens

Posted: March 15, 2007 in Cash games, Hold'em
Dropped into LC again last night, this time proved to be a bit of an adventure in tightness, contrary to the last experience. Shared the table with MikeW, two tightish big stacks, two fish and four loose-aggressive players.
Blinds this time were £1/£2, with the occasional £5 straddle (about twice an orbit, from the looser players). Biggest official game I’ve played, but in practice I think the loose 1/1 is bigger, with nearly everyone putting in a £2 straddle.
Anyway, first three hands got me started as the night was bound to go on: 72s, 73s and the powerhouse 72o. Not looking too pretty, but a good chance to size-up the opposition nonetheless.
Get a playable hand somewhere around the second orbit, KQs. Make a pot sized raise from mid position, and get a call from Mike only. Flop comes KJx. I bet, Mike calls. Turn is an Ace, I bet again, Mike raises, I fold my gutshot straight draw. He claims AK, but later tells me he had AJ, fair play, that’s poker.
Another four orbits, I’ve made a few cheap calls where I can, but hit nothing better than bottom pair. Pick-up AKs about two hours in and get one caller to my pot raise. Flop comes Kxx. I trap-check into a loose player, playing my tight image and trying to induce a bluff, but no joy, he checks behind and folds to my half-pot bet on the turn.
All quiet again for another hour.
Raise pot with JTo to mix it up a bit around 11pm. Three callers, can’t these guys see I’m a rock?? Flop J36 rainbow. Bet the pot (about £20). Two folds, and loose-aggressive guy on my immediate right, ponders, tells me he’s going to “go fishing”, and calls. Turn comes the 4c. He checks, I bet £30, he moves in for a final £27. F*cker has either caught his four outer gutshot on the turn, or is putting me to the test. He’s seen me lay down enough hands over the last three hours that there’s a slim but definite chance that he’s trying to represent the straight and bet me off the hand. For £27 into a three figure pot I guess I have to call. Shows 25o for the straight. He’s a Gutshot regular, I should’ve put him on that, it’s their signature hand (just see the banner on their website). Hey ho. I’m down to about £30 but not out yet.
Get blinded away for another round and a half, and eventually figure I may as well shove the last £13 in on the next vaguely decent hand and head home. Pick-up QTs from mid position and raise all-in. Two callers. Flop K98, check check, turn 6, check check, river a beautiful 7, bonzer! They’ve tripled me up to £50.
Two hands later I catch my first pocket pair of the night, lucky sevens, from under the gun. This table is loose as a goose, little point in raising, I may as well hope to sneak in cheap and flop a set. Five callers, no raisers, board comes 7d Qd Ad. Nice, but dangerous. I bet the pot, one caller. Turn is a fourth diamond, damn it. I check, he checks behind me. River’s a blank. He could be trapping me, check check again it goes. I flip-up my set, he shows top pair no diamonds. I rake down a tidy pot. Three hands later, those lucky sevens are peeking at me from under my hand again, this time from late position. Seat 4 (loose) raises to £7, two callers including the 25 dude to my right, I’m playing this one hard and raise £20. Folds around to the raiser, who calls, and 25 who calls. Pot is nearly a hundred and I have about £25 left. Flops comes a beautiful 7xx, this time rainbow. Check, check, and I move in. They both call. The turn and river are wonderful blanks once again, and I rake-in £165. Sweet sweet sevens.
It’s late, and I’ve been extremely lucky to get unstuck, so definitely time to head home with a nice £60 profit to show.
I always have a little introspective moment on the stroll home, think back over the hands I could’ve played better, and those I could’ve played much better. I’m really not sure about tonight though. I got lucky in the last fifteen minutes turning £13 into £160, that’s for sure; but how could I have avoided losing £87 in the first place to get in that position? Mike disagrees, but I reckon it’s due to our £100 buy-in, which I think is way too small for this game. Most of the other players had a similar amount, but the two strongest players at the table had at least £300 each in front of them. They were playing tight, but when they were playing they were playing for the whole stack. They were making occasional loose calls pre-flop with slightly random holdings, because they were good enough to get away from hands like middle pair. I know I play as well as that, probably better, but I’m just putting myself in a position where I don’t have the stack to make more than four or five of those calls without busting; and then when I do hit, I’ve not given myself the implied odds to make the move pay off. Trouble is, do I really want to start sitting down with that sort of stack? It’s a real escalation of the game, and once I go forward, it’ll be tough to take the game seriously again at the smaller stakes?
Our home game seems to be breaking up, Shane’s not been seen at the table for months, Pammy has gone from decorating his house to lord only knows where, and One’ow Ta is off the face of the Earth. Lucky Jon and Davidski still play, but are a little irregular; so it’s really just Mike the fish, Albie and me. If we’re going to escalate, we should do it together. What do you think boys?

Popped into Loose Cannon last night for some Monday night cash game action. PL Hold’em with unusually small 50p/50p blinds. One aggressive player (who of course I sat to the immediate left of) and another four tight passive players made for a great opportunity to try out a much more loose-aggressive style I’ve been planning – basically raise any pairs, one gappers or suited cards from any position when not facing a raise in front (yes, it’s quite a departure from my normal game).

An interesting hand developed about an hour in, by which point I’d established myself as a bit of a maniac, albeit one who’d built his £100 stack into £150 with a fair degree of ease. Thought it was worth sharing as it illustrated a concept I’ve not run into previously.

Aggressive player under the gun flat calls the BB, I throw in a moderate raise with K6s (clubs), get a call from tight-passive to my left, rest of the table folds. Flop comes 2c 3c 6h. Beauty, I’ve got a great flush draw, top pair, an overcard - and they can’t put me on anything due to my erratic play.

On the flop the pot size is about £6, Aggressive bets £3, I raise it up to £6, Tight calls and Aggressive calls the final £3, taking the pot up to £24. At this stage it’s worth commenting that I have everyone covered, but we all still have a fair stack left in play.

Turn is the 5c giving me the king flush and a gutshot straight-flush draw. Aggressive checks, I bet £10, Tight flat-calls, Aggressive then makes it a check-raise of another £20. At this point I should be putting Aggressive on the nut flush, but to be honest I just couldn’t credit it, he’d been overplaying quite a few hands, and so I figured I still had the winner and flat called the raise myself hoping to lure another £20 from Tight to my left. Tight then completely changes my view of who has what by moving all-in for his final £58.

Interesting, so Tight MUST have the ace-flush, there’s really nothing else he’d have played in that way. Aggressive calls the raise, and has another £50 or so in front of him. I’ve got them covered, but now comes my interesting quandry.

Let’s summarise: there’s about £230 in the pot, Aggressive and I have another £50 that can be bet, I’m certain that the all-in tight player has the nut-flush, meaning that Aggressive can only really have a set, probably 6’s (and I have the case 6). The action is to me, I should probably fold my king flush, but it might still be good. I’m 95% sure the the all-in player has the nut flush, but he may be making a move with the queen flush, given that I’m playing so wild. Whatever happens I still have one nut out (the 4c for the straight-flush to the 6).

But then let’s look to the right for a moment. If Tight has the nut flush, I MUST be beating Aggressive at the moment. It’s £58 to call the raise, but Aggressive is REALLY REALLY looking like he’s going to call if I put him all-in for that final £50. Unless the board pairs on the end, perhaps I can think of this as an £8 call. My one-outer looks pretty good when the price is £8 to win a pot of £300+. Given what I know about the other cards that are out, Aggressive has about 9 outs to scoop if the board pairs. That’s about a 25% shot, meaning that the other 75% of the time I’ll claim back the bulk of my £58 call from the side-pot that I’ll win.

I didn’t think all the way though the detailed maths at the table, this is about as far as I got, at which point I surmised that it was worth making the all-in move.

True to form, Aggressive calls. The board comes a blank on the river, Tight takes the main pot with the nut-flush and I take the £100 side pot with the second nut flush. I ask Aggressive which set he had, and he tells the table he was playing the straight (I guess something like 44, as he didn’t play it like he flopped the straight with 45). Not a particularly great play from Aggressive at all, as it turned-out my £100 was completely safe, but that’s what you can generally expect at these low limit games.

Comments welcomed, perhaps someone can tidy-up the maths and let me know if it really was a bad play to jam on the turn, given that I was risking £108 if the board paired. Honestly though, I was certain that Aggressive was going to call the final raise, so you can factor that out of the equation.