Friday, May 05, 2006

Blogs and an NL hand

The role and purpose of blogs has been a popular topic over the last week or so. These posts have all been made in the poker blog arena, but they also apply to the blogosphere as a whole.

Here's an abbreviated link roundup:

Things I hate about blogs

On Blogs
Blog I am
Poker Blogs
How to be a poker blogger in ten easy steps

My $0.02: Blogs don't have to follow any rules about their purpose or their content. It's all up to the site creator. The beauty of blogs is that they put the publishing power in the hands of individuals, who can tailor their sites however they see fit. If other people don't like the content, it's easy to simply not read it.


I was going to post a hand history with nice graphics, but I need to get to bed soon, so you have to live with the text-only version.

I held Ah7h in the big blind in a six-handed .5/1 euro no limit game on TopRankedPoker. The cutoff min raised, the button called, the small blind called and I called.

The flop came Ac8h3h. It was pretty much an ideal flop. I hit top pair and a flush draw. The small blind led out with a weak bet, I raised to about the pot size (7 euro or so), and the cutoff pushed for about 50 euro, and I had him covered. The other players folded.

I put him on either AK, AQ, A9 or a flush draw.

Let's see what my equity is about each of those hands.

_vs. AK and AQ, I'm about a 45 percent dog.
_vs. A8, I'm a 2:1 dog.
_vs. any unpaired flush draw, I have a huge edge.
_vs. an underpair with a flush draw or a bluff, I'm a big favorite.

The pot was laying me odds of about 64:43 (14 pot+50 bet:Amount I need to call), which breaks down to around 13:9. So that's enough to justify calling if I think he has top pair-high kicker, a naked flush draw or some weaker drawing hand. But I'm in trouble vs. two pair or an unlikely set.

I called.

Was my call a fishy move? I had all those outs and felt justified at the time. I also figured his hand range of worse hands was broader than his range of stronger hands. But then again, I would have much rather have been the one to push all in so I could gain some folding equity, and it certainly looked like the reason he pushed was to fight off any flush draws.

In general, I'm willing to get all my money in on the flop with top pair and a high flush draw. Hell, I'll often get my money in with bottom pair and a flush draw. But maybe I'm wrong in calling when the pot is relatively small like this one.

Comments are appreciated.


Victor_Enriq said...

I aggree with you on that he pushed in order to fight off flush draws. Is highly likely he was holding any of your "stronger hands" rather than "weaker hands". I dont think someone would minumum raise preflop with A9, AT, AJ. It would seem to me that he is holding three aces or three eights. More likely the aces. AK is a possibility but with an AQ the preflop bet doesnt make much sense.

Without any information on the player I think you are even money, but I think I'd fold. (because of bankroll issues, I'm trying to get my money in with a much better shot)

dave said...

This is a cash game, so assuming your bankroll is healthy, just make the correct EV decision. Don't worry about what he ACTUALLY has, just worry about correctly classifying his range.
The decision is very read dependent. to correctly calculate his range (and hence the EV of the call). There are basically 4 categories:
1. set - 30% equity
2. 2 pair - 35% equity
3. big A - 45% equity
4. anything else - 95+% equity
Your job is to calculate the breakdown of how often Villain has each possibility. For simplicity, I would group 1-3 together and assume that your combined equity from those 3 scenarios is 40% (because of much larger number of ways for a Big A to get dealt).
Given the numbers you provided for the bets and the pot size, you would have to be more than 99.6% sure that your opponent had categories 1-3 for the fold to be correct.

Victor_Enriq said...

Oh yeah... I'm 99.7% sure up there, according to the information given.

I dont think the "right" decision is by any chance the "correct" decision. Why would anyone (no matter how healthy your bankroll is) would be taking coin flips in a cash game? Isnt much better to be taking the best of it under more favourable conditions?

dave said...

I've never played on the B2B network, but an unknown villain on a Party $100NL table will be pushing a worst hand substantially more frequently than necessary.
Perhaps you need to review what expected value actually means. I do agree with you that you will often have better opportunities to get all the money in, but the fact that this is a cash game is exactly why I would make this call assuming sufficient bankroll.
Hero's worst case pot equity is 30%, so this is not a huge bankroll variance risk. If the scenario was that the Hero's aggregated pot equity was barely over 50% and his worst case pot equity was in the single digits, then folding has more merit.

Victor_Enriq said...

I do understand what EV means. Thanks for the kind remark anyway.
I'm convinced that he's likely to hold the case 30% equiity for a set (of aces).

But what strikes me the most is that hero needs to consider the 95% equity (4th category). I aknowledge the higher possibility for a Big Ace to be dealt.

This is certainly shortsighted. I know the math is correct for this discusion, but you aren't taking under consideration the way the hand was actually played.

He minumum raised before the flop! Then after seing a bet and a raise, he has suddenly decided that his AQ is good? It doesnt seem to add up.

He knows someone's could be holding a set, or eagerly awaiting another flush card. He knows he's a favourite to get at least one call.


Very good hand discussion here Mark. Thanks for arguing with me here Dave.