Monday, March 24, 2008

HOTD: Difficult Decisions

The idea that poker players should avoid difficult decisions, meekly folding rather than making a tough call, seems ridiculous to me.

Each player at a table is trying to make it hard on his opponents, and the only way to respond is by making accurate reads and acting on them.

Sure, you should try to position yourself so that you have an easy decision rather than a hard one. But the point of poker is to make the best decisions you can by estimating your opponents range and maximizing your edge.

This hand reminded me of a similar river call made by a player in a hand posted by Fuel55. Perhaps that hand was tougher because the player there only had Ace-high, but I was reminded of that call as I made mine.

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Seat 1: Michnak ($471.75) -
Seat 2: smizmiatch ($1,000) -
Seat 3: UMD Tennis ($1,010)
Seat 4: jband277 ($1,284)
Seat 5: td8507 ($1,000)
Seat 6: gaucho2121 ($1,015) -


Michnak posts small blind $5
smizmiatch posts BIG blind $10
Dealt To: smizmiatch

FOLD jband277
FOLD td8507
RAISE gaucho2121 ($35)
FOLD Michnak
RAISE smizmiatch ($120)
CALL gaucho2121 ($85) (He's an aggressive player who I've seen call 3-bets lightly)


Pot: $245

CHECK smizmiatch (Try to give him an opportunity to bluff so I can check-raise him. I've been mixing in this play with continuation bets, and it has been surprisingly successful)
CHECK gaucho2121 (But he didn't take the bait this time)


Pot: $245

BET smizmiatch ($200) (Might as well bet now)
CALL gaucho2121 ($200) (This call struck me as odd. What kind of draw would take the free card on the flop but then pay for it on the turn without even raising? What kind of made hand that beats me would just call?)


Pot: $645

CHECK smizmiatch (I'm glad I didn't bet here. A blocking bet/value bet would fold out many hands that I beat, and I wanted to give my opponent a chance to bluff)
BET gaucho2121 ($695) (Sure enough! It helps when my stats show that he bets the river 100 percent of the time)
CALL smizmiatch ($680) (I kept trying to think of a hand that could beat me given the way he played it on such a dangerous board. JT? QJ? T9? AJ? Any other hand like KK-TT or KQ would have bet or raised sooner considering all the drawing possibilities. So I called, feeling pretty confident that he would have only bet a hand I could beat)
UNCALLED gaucho2121 ($15)



smizmiatch collected $2002 from main pot with a pair of Kings

Total pot: $2 Rake: $3

Final Board:

Seat 1: Michnak small blind folded before the Flop - Net Gain/Loss: ($-5)
Seat 2: smizmiatch big blind showed [Kd Ac] and won 2,002 with a pair of Kings - Net Gain/Loss: ($1002)
Seat 3: UMD Tennis didnt bet folded - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)
Seat 4: jband277 didnt bet folded - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)
Seat 5: td8507 didnt bet folded - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)
Seat 6: gaucho2121 button showed [4c 5c] and lost with King Queen high - Net Gain/Loss: ($-1000)

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That works.

I'm glad I gave him an opportunity to make the big all-in river bluff.


Fuel55 said...

The shove is weak - i'd instacall here too. Nicely done.

kurokitty said...

Very nice!