Archive for April, 2010

Weird situation

Posted: April 11, 2010 in General

Dragged the Snake (née the Nit) along to one of the Gala’s on Friday night for an evening of TAG poker, away from the lagtard mentalists in our usual game.

Nothing exceptional to report, however there was one very unusual situation that came up and is worth recounting.

Snake has been playing too tight for the table for the few hours pre-dinner. In this game he needs to loosen-up moderately and play a little more aggressively with a wider range of hands to increase his win-rate. I mention this to him over dinner.

Post-dinner he seems to do so, at one point opening three hands for a raise in a row. Perhaps a little too wild, but it’s working and his stack is building.

My hole cards have been garbage all evening, literally two pairs (8’s and 4’s) and one AQ, none of which could make a winning hand. However my raggedy cards are hitting flops left right and centre, so I’m nicely in profit. At the start of the hand in question I’m sitting on about £400 from a starting stack of £150, and Snake has £350 in front. We have the table covered.

UTG I finally find a top-ten hand, AKs, and limp for £2 (this is a 1/2 NL game). Snake in seat 4 to my immediate left raises to £12, two players call and I call, deciding to take a flop. Despite his recent earlier aggression, Snake is still fairly likely to have a somewhat decent hand to open from EP. Deciding not to build a big pot out of position with a hand that’s only likely to make one pair, I elect to limp and take a flop, disguising my hand.

The flop comes a fairly encouraging AQ8 with two clubs, I have spades. Snake likes to c-bet, so I check to give him the chance. He does so, betting £40 into the pot of £51. Chinese guy in seat 5 calls fairly quickly, leaving himself with a little over £100 behind. Other player folds, and I decide to stick to my plan and spring the trap, making it £140 to play. Chinese guy is extremely likely to call, I’m fairly certain I can beat the majority of his passively played range, a lot of which is two random clubs. I figure Snake can only continue in the hand with about a quarter of his range.

Snake goes into the tank. For about three minutes he’s thinking and thinking, and really looks genuinely unsure of what to do. I’m now certain that I’m ahead. He’s most likely to have the same hand as me, possibly AJ or KK. I can definitely get him off of AK by shoving any turn that doesn’t give him a club draw. I decide that the hand is mine.

Chinese guy now starts to get irritated with the wait. “How long can he think for?” he asks. However the dealer is inexperienced, and doesn’t know the standard rule for calling a clock. I don’t want to explain it, as that’s going to put additional pressure on Snake – it’s a big hand and I’d rather he had the chance to make his decision unimpeded.

Out of turn, Chinese guy then just throws his hand into the muck!

Snake now has a far easier decision, as it’s suddenly down to heads-up. I’m exasperated at this, as a lot of my fold equity has just vanished, and demand the floor be called. While the cardroom manager explains why this is incredibly bad form, Snake continues to dwell on his decision.

“This hand’s a mess, do you want to just chop it?” he asks me after a few more moments.

“No. Make your decision.” I tell him quite sternly. I’m slightly tilted by the Chinese guy’s fold, and am now sure I’m ahead. Having been card dead all night, TPTK looks like a monster versus Snake’s wide range and prolonged delay.

“I’m ahead. ” I tell him. “Fold, and let’s get on with the next hand”. I actually think I’m doing him a favour. The Chinese guy has screwed-up the hand. I just want to claim what’s rightfully mine so far and get on with mugging the other players at the table.

Snake continues to dwell.

“Mike, I’m ahead. Fold already. I’ll show”.

Eventually, he does and I show my AK. Snake curses and claims AQ for top-two, explaining that he was 90% sure I had 88 for bottom set, and to be fair that hand makes absolute sense with my line.

Barring a vicious outdraw, Chinese guy saved my stack with his impatience.

AQ is definitely in Snake’s range, but should he really dwell sooo long initially. Obviously he’s entitled to take as long as he likes, but if he’d simply been a little more decisive and made his play before Chinese guy could do anything stupid, I guess a big pot would have been his.

An interesting situation. I was honestly certain I was ahead, so wasn’t making a verbal play for the pot with my insistence that I had Snake beat. However I guess that does push my range up significantly. That sort of talk at the table is going to be more likely to induce a call from a stranger, but against a mate you play against regularly I guess it does look far more genuine.

Lucky me I guess.