Monday, November 05, 2007

$1 Rebuy Donkament!

I had a great time at the $1 Rebuy Blogger Donkament on Friday, finishing in second place to IslandBum1 after rebuying about 15 times and sucking out repeatedly. I don't think any tourney has ever made me look like more of a donk, but I guess that's what it's supposed to do.

I want to review some of the more questionable plays I made that may have looked particularly fishy. I'll pick up with hands after the rebuy period ended because that's when actual "poker" was played:

Hand 1:

200/400 Ante 50
Seat 3: dino_burger (25,797)
Seat 5: smizmiatch (10,835)
Dealt to smizmiatch [Ac As]
smizmiatch raises to 1,200
Astin calls 1,200
BuddyDank calls 1,000
dino_burger calls 800
*** FLOP *** [9s 8h 7s]
BuddyDank checks
dino_burger bets 5,150
smizmiatch raises to 9,585, and is all in
Astin folds
BuddyDank folds
dino_burger calls 4,435
smizmiatch shows [Ac As]
dino_burger shows [9c Td]
*** TURN *** [9s 8h 7s] [4s]
*** RIVER *** [9s 8h 7s 4s] [Qc]
smizmiatch shows a pair of Aces
dino_burger shows a pair of Nines
smizmiatch wins the pot (24,320) with a pair of Aces

This is pretty standard, I think. I'm not going to fold what is likely to be the best hand when someone decides to bet out at the pot like that. It felt like exactly what it was -- a strong draw. I was fulling willing to take a coinflip in this situation.

Hand 2:

400/800 Ante 100 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:41:09 ET - 2007/11/02
Seat 1: DontKnow (9,970)
Seat 8: smizmiatch (19,732)
Dealt to smizmiatch [Kh Jh]
smizmiatch raises to 2,400
DontKnow raises to 9,870, and is all in

There was 2,100 in the pot preflop, putting DontKnow's M just under 5. After my raise, there was 4,500 in the pot. After his all-in bet, I had to call 7,470 to win 14,370 -- basically a 2:1 proposition.

Should I have folded here? I put DontKnow on any Ax, any pocket pair or any other playable hand. Against Ax, I'm about a 60:40 dog, against AK, AJ or KQ I'm a 70:30 dog, and against a lower pocket pair I'm in a race situation.

I decided there was too much money in the pot to fold, but I think it's close.

DontKnow showed JJ, but I sucked out a straight on the river, giving me a 34,000-chip stack and leaving me in great shape.

But only a few hands later, I got in trouble again.

Hand 3:

500/1000 Ante 125 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:49:19 ET - 2007/11/02
Seat 2: NumbBono (45,471)
Seat 8: smizmiatch (28,502)
Astin posts the small blind of 500
NumbBono posts the big blind of 1,000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to smizmiatch [7h 9c] on Button
smizmiatch raises to 3,000
Astin folds
NumbBono calls 2,000
*** FLOP *** [7s 6h Qh]
NumbBono bets 5,600

I thought he would bet out with a wide range, including straight and flush draws. I didn't think I was worse off than being up against a Queen. In retrospect, it's obvious that this raise was a mistake.

smizmiatch raises to 15,000
NumbBono raises to 42,346, and is all in
smizmiatch has 15 seconds left to act
smizmiatch has requested TIME
Astin: got awful quiet here
smizmiatch: crap,
smizmiatch: crappy way to go out

At this point, there was 47,752 in the pot, and I had to call 10,377 more. That's about 4:1 pot odds, and I believed that all of my five outs were live. According to PokerTracker, I had a 22 percent chance of winning the hand and I had to call 21 percent of the pot, so on its surface a call was correct.

I didn't have these exact numbers in front of me at the time, but I knew it was basically a toss-up between folding and calling. So I called.

I never know when it's a good situation to make this kind of call in a tourney and when I should try to survive. I always fall back on my cash game knowledge that say if the pot odds dictate a call, you'd be wrong to fold.

smizmiatch calls 10,377, and is all in
NumbBono shows [Qs 8c]
smizmiatch shows [7h 9c]
Uncalled bet of 16,969 returned to NumbBono
*** TURN *** [7s 6h Qh] [3c]
*** RIVER *** [7s 6h Qh 3c] [7d]
NumbBono shows two pair, Queens and Sevens
smizmiatch shows three of a kind, Sevens
smizmiatch wins the pot (58,129) with three of a kind, Sevens

I didn't stop there. I had many more people to suck out on.

Hand 4:

FullTiltPoker Game #4049972626: Friday Nite Blogger Donkament (30642602), Table 3 - 600/1200 Ante 150 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:56:50 ET - 2007/11/02
Seat 8: smizmiatch (44,854) Button
Seat 9: Astin (12,600) SB
Dealt to smizmiatch [Kc 2h]
smizmiatch raises to 3,600
Astin raises to 12,000 (leaving 450 behind)

I had to call 8,400 to win 6,450. This is a time where I should have folded. What was I hoping for?

I saw Astin's push as a desperation move, and I incorrectly made the call. I wasn't ahead of anything, but that didn't stop me from getting lucky again!

smizmiatch raises to 20,400
Astin calls 450, and is all in
smizmiatch shows [Kc 2h]
Astin shows [As Kd]
Uncalled bet of 7,950 returned to smizmiatch
*** FLOP *** [Tc Ah Qh]
*** TURN *** [Tc Ah Qh] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [Tc Ah Qh 5h] [9h]
smizmiatch shows a flush, Ace high
Astin shows a pair of Aces
smizmiatch wins the pot (27,150) with a flush, Ace high
Astin: oh wow

By this point, everyone at the table hates me. That's what I get for playing like a donk.

Hand 5:

I finally paid for it when I thought the eventual winner was running a bluff. This looked like a good flop for me to rebluff at, but it didn't turn out that way. And who would fold to me at this point anyway?

My only defense is that my PT stats showed IslandBum1's flop aggression at 80 percent, and I figured he would frequently bet at an uncoordinated flop like this with air.

800/1600 Ante 200 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:10:44 ET - 2007/11/03
Seat 7: IslandBum1 (36,336) BB
Seat 8: smizmiatch (64,954) UTG
Dealt to smizmiatch [Qd Js]
smizmiatch raises to 4,500
IslandBum1 calls 2,900
*** FLOP *** [Kc 6s 3h]
IslandBum1 bets 8,000
smizmiatch raises to 35,000
IslandBum1 calls 23,636, and is all in
smizmiatch shows [Qd Js]
IslandBum1 shows [Jd Kd]
Uncalled bet of 3,364 returned to smizmiatch
*** TURN *** [Kc 6s 3h] [Ad]
*** RIVER *** [Kc 6s 3h Ad] [Qc]
smizmiatch shows a pair of Queens
IslandBum1 shows a pair of Kings
IslandBum1 wins the pot (74,272) with a pair of Kings

Wait, how did I not suck out???

Those are the major hands that got me in a position to finish highly. I also doubled up with KK.

Then with four players left, I got lucky again with KQ on a J-high flop when I misread my hand. I thought I had a Jack, but I hit a Queen on the river to luckbox my way to the final three.

In the end, I went out pushing A7o into K8o. IslandBum1's suited 8 was higher than my suited 7 to make a higher flush and take home the title. Congrats!

Anyway, I'd like to hear criticism of my plays and analysis. In particular, should I have made those calls in Hands 1-3 when I felt like I was being offered correct pot odds? When should players back off from a potentially +EV situation for the sake of survival in a tourney?


AnguilA said...

I'll just speak about the hand where you suck out holding middle pair 7s.
The only important part here is that if you actually believe you're ahead in the flop, and decide to raise, you know you're pot commited to call if you are put all in. So I say your call is correct.
Why? Well, even though you may be behind (he could still have a draw and be a coinflip), if you suck out in that hand you have a real chance at taking down the tourney, while if you fold, you will need to get very lucky a couple of times to get far. When I say "very lucky" I mean that youy may have to win at least 2 or 3 all ins, and even if you're always holding a better hand you're bound to lose at some point.
SO if you look at it from a maths perspective, to get to a stack of 50K with a 20% chance right now, would be the same as doubling up more than twice pretty quickly (blinds and antes keep pressuring). If you go into 2 coinflips (something very normal as you can't escape getting all in with a short stack with a decent pocket pair or AK/AQ), you'll have a 25% chance of getting to 40K.
I hope this all makes sense because I just wrote it out of the back of my head...

Gadzooks64 said...

I'm tagging you with the poker bloggers meme!

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Nice post, love the hand anaylsis as always.

1. On Hand #1, I think the push with pocket Aces is just fine. Good even. I mean, it's a very scary flop, but your analysis hit it 100% right on. As long as you're willing to lose to a 35-50% premium draw if he hits, you take the chance at a coinflip or maybe a little better and see if you can get him to call with just a draw against your overpair. I like that play just fine. Folding would also be fine, but I like your play better, in particular in a $1 rebuy tournament. WSOP ME, we can revisit the situation.

2. Your call of the reraise with KJs is definitely not the way I would've played it. You're calling 7k to win 14k, and your hand is quite likely dominated or at least behind to an Ace, even worse to a hand like AQ. I see your pot odds and hand range estimates for the hand, but my view generally is that, earlyish in mtt's, taking calling off on a longshot type of hand just because the pot odds are "close" is not the optimal way to play. Sure if it's an obvious pot odds call then you make the call and that's that, your cash game head knows that as you said in your post. But when it's close, and it's early in a tournament, and you have to call off your stack with a likely dominated and almost certainly behind hand, why do that just because the pot odds are close? Later in a tournament maybe the coinflip is much more attractive to you and so you call, but early in the 2nd hour I would not be calling off with KJs in that spot. I hate calling allin and being dominated or drawing dead, especially earlyish in a tournament with a lot of play still to come.

On Hand #3, with the way Numb plays I probably put him on a Queen or a 7 with a high kicker here given the lack of draws otherwise on that flop. I might accept calling on that flop to try to hit another 7 or a 9, or to let Numb slow down on the turn if he's maybe weaker than we think, though I think the fold is the best play there. But the really crazy thing is your call of his allin rereraise. Again I go back to my previous comment -- your poker skills are clearly better than most people in this tournament, so why call off your entire stack with a 22% shot, even if the pot odds are right around 22%? I don't understand that in this spot. You're calling off your entire big stack with a hand that is a 22% shot of winning. That makes no sense at all to me in a tournament unless the pot odds are clearly in favor of your calling with that kind of a crappy hand, which in this case they were not. I think you want to get yourself to the point where you are easily folding to the re-reraise push from Numb in that spot.

And yeah, you said it best on Hand #4. That was just some kind of an awfuckit call or something, or a "lets see if I can suck out against the luckbox" call. K2 sucks, for several different reasons. 'Nuff said.

Hand 5:

I finally paid for it when I thought the eventual winner was running a bluff. This looked like a good flop for me to rebluff at, but it didn't turn out that way. And who would fold to me at this point anyway?

My only defense is that my PT stats showed IslandBum1's flop aggression at 80 percent, and I figured he would frequently bet at an uncoordinated flop like this with air.

On the last hand, yes you're bluffing with nothing, but at that point in a tournament you're mostly playing on reads and "feel" anyways, so I don't really have an issue there as long as you had a plan and knew what you were trying to do with the hand.

Great post, did I say that already?