Archive for January, 2009

Piggy in the middle

Posted: January 16, 2009 in Cash games

Another solid performance at the International this evening, unfortunately cut-short by a call from Katrina’s colleagues tellling me that she was busy throwing-up in Canary Wharf and that I need to go collect her…

Anyway, wanted to review my final hand of the night. Not entirely sure I misplayed it, but is annoying nonetheless.

It’s the International £1/£1 hold’em game. In about two hours I’ve run my starting stack of £100 up to £270 with some fairly loose aggressive play and a couple of good calls at a generally weak table.

Seat 1 – “Bluffatronic” Straddles £2
Seat 3 – Me KQo calls £2
Seat 4 – “Tighty” calls £2
Three other callers

Flop Q75 two clubs
Bluffatronic checks
I bet £7
Tighty raises to £20
Rest of table folds
Bluffatronic calls
I call

Turn 5 of spades putting a pair on board
Bluffatronic checks
I check fearing another raise from Tighty, with just top pair I want to control the pot
Tighty checks behind, so now I think maybe I was ahead after all

River 3 of clubs, putting the flush on-board
Bluffatronic bets £45 into pot of £72

I find myself in a bit of a crap spot. Bluffatronic has only let a pot go once on the end without trying to steal it. If I don’t have a player behind me I call every time (as I had been doing all night, and steadily cleaning him out). However I can’t see what Tighty has raised me with on the flop that I can beat at this stage. I’m still behind to any two pair or set on the flop, and the only legitimate draw I can beat is 86. In position he would have checked the turn with any of those draws, and conceivably also with a set that just turned into a boat (it’s a poor play not to give Bluffatronic a chance to hang himself, but I see weak players check the nuts on the turn all the time).

If I call the pot becomes £162 and Tighty has only got another £80 behind, so if I’m beat I’m fairly certain that I can’t raise him off of a marginally better hand (e.g. AQ).

I pass. Tighty passes. Bluffatronic shows ten high for his usual no hand / no draw. After the hand Tighty claims QJ, which I tend to believe.

How would you have played it differently? Re-reading my summary, once the board pairs perhaps I should have bet the turn to take control of the hand. But then I have to pass to a raise, and out of position how do I play the river if Tighty just calls behind me. I think I prefer to check the turn to see what he does next.

You might say reraise the flop perhaps to see whether he really does have 77, 55, 75 or a big draw (QQ, KK, AA, AQ would all have raised preflop), but then Tighty has been playing pretty solid ABC poker. I think my top-pair king-kicker is behind to most of his raising range, which based on his playing style I struggle to put any more hands in; JQ is very marginal to be honest, I don’t see him raising with that given his history, but then he did, so I guess I was caught out by a change in gears. Thoughts from the readership appreciated on how I might have played this hand better.

General update – we’re only a few weeks into the year, but I’ve completely turned my game around in 2009. Over the last series of seven consecutive winning sessions I’ve rewound my bankroll back to the July 2008 level. Another two grand and I’ll be back at my start of 2008 position, before I went mental trying to outplay the Baron…