Thursday, October 08, 2009

One hand from the Mookie

Not everybody reads the comments, I suppose, so you may be missing the discussion that Heffmike started in response to my post last night about the Mookie tournament. He suggested that the hand in question is interesting enough to warrant a post of its own. He may be right. So here it is. (If you've already read these things in the comments to the previous post, there's nothing new here, so move along.)

For reference, here's the hand in a replayer (not very exciting to watch, since there's not much action, but it does tell the basic facts of the story):

First, Heffmike's original comment:

Nicely done... but this...

I was short-stacked and she was trying to knock me out when any sort of opportunity arose for it. A critical moment, in fact, was when I shoved from the big blind with A-5 offsuit after she raised from the small blind with what she later told me had been 8-8. She folded after a long think.

I hope she doesn't make raise/folding a pair BvB three handed a habit. She let you off the hook and you took advantage of it.

My overly long reply:

Well, Heffmike, she was definitely kicking herself afterward for not calling. But your comment prompted me to go review the hand history, which I had not done before. It goes to show that I shouldn't rely on my memory too much. We were not on the bubble; we were down to three-handed already when this hand occurred. (Four were paid.) Also, it was not blind versus blind; she was the button, I the small blind. Finally, this was at a point when I had slightly more chips than she did. So about what I wrote above? Uh, never mind.

Here's the hand history:

Full Tilt Poker Game #15194480191: The Mookie (110330420), Table 2 - 400/800 Ante 100 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:31:06 ET - 2009/10/08
Seat 1: Rakewell (24,651)
Seat 2: Bone_Daddy84 (38,698)
Seat 9: cardgrrl (23,651)
Rakewell antes 100
Bone_Daddy84 antes 100
cardgrrl antes 100
Rakewell posts the small blind of 400
Bone_Daddy84 posts the big blind of 800
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Rakewell [As 5d]
cardgrrl raises to 3,200
Rakewell raises to 24,551, and is all in
Bone_Daddy84 folds
cardgrrl has 15 seconds left to act
cardgrrl has timed out
cardgrrl folds
cardgrrl is sitting out
Uncalled bet of 21,351 returned to Rakewell
Rakewell mucks
Rakewell wins the pot (7,500)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 7,500 Rake 0
Seat 1: Rakewell (small blind) collected (7,500), mucked
Seat 2: Bone_Daddy84 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 9: cardgrrl (button) folded before the Flop

Should she have called there? I don't think that's clear. She had put in about 15% of her stack with the raise, so she definitely wasn't pot-committed. She risked going out in 3rd place because I had her covered. What range should she put me on to shove there? Well, I think the broadest possible range would include any ace, any pair, and any two Broadway cards. Against that range, PokerStove says her 8-8 is about 58%/42%. If my range is only pocket pairs, she's exactly 50%/50%. If it's any pair and any ace, she's about 59%/41%. If my range is, say, only pocket pairs of 5-5 and better plus any ace with a 7 or better kicker, then she's about 52%/48%.

So yeah, a call is probably the right move there if all you consider is the numbers. This might be especially so because of thinking that I might be reading her for a blind steal from the button and thus defensively shoving with an even wider range than listed above. And she knows I have a tendency to (1) blow up and go crazy at critical moments in tournaments, (2) believe opponents don't have anything and are making moves--both of which should widen my expected range here.

On the other hand, I had been playing fairly conservatively, not shoving lightly. In fact, I had been letting go of lots of stuff, trying to creep up the money ladder like a little rat (to quote Daniel Negreanu). She had certainly noticed this, so had decent reason to take my shove with some caution. Also, she presumably realized that my decision to shove was made knowing that I had the big blind behind me yet to act. That would have the effect of making her credit me for more strength than would otherwise be the case.

All in all, I think it's a really tough spot and not clear whether it's best to be brave with the 8s or reliquish 15% of the chips and wait for a spot where the equity is more heavily weighted her way.

You can see from the history that she timed out. She was so focused on figuring out what to do that she failed to request more time. In any event, the one thing she was most definitely NOT doing was donating chips my way out of the goodness of her heart. It was a genuinely difficult position to be in, without a single clearly best solution, IMHO.

Heffmike replied:

Yeah, this makes a lot more sense given actual hand history.

It's actually an interesting spot that would make for a decent post in and of itself.

Cardgrrl then added:

@Heffmike: I was getting close to the decision to call, in fact, when I timed out. D'oh! FWIW, if Rakewell hadn't had me covered, it would have been much more of a snapcall.

So that's the discussion so far. Readers, how would you have played it? Would you have shoved in my spot? Would you have called in Cardgrrl's spot? Why or why not?


MorningThunder said...

I think the hand plays itself. I like your shove and I like the call from 88. On the other hand, Cardgirl knows you the best. That can not be overlooked. We are just talking about percentages when applied to random cards held by random players. I would think her "feel" of you play would be the real scale tipper.

But what do I know, I play 2-4os waaaay too much. :)

There are some who call me... Tim said...

Everything I have read about you states that you play tight. Cardgrrl has to know that of you. I don't think anybody can fault her for folding.

Now, me? I'm not that smart - I probably would have called in that situation, ultimately losing the hand, and finishing 3rd instead of 2nd.

Shrike said...

I don't like shoving with A5o, because the button's calling range has you crushed and your play will often scream "I'm making a move here with ATC". I mean, do you make this play with premium hands too? If your opponent is sophisticated enough to deduce that you likely don't have a big PP, they snap-call and you are in big trouble.

Secondly, the stack sizes are nearly equal. If villain is playing to win, the math dictates that calling when she actually has a real hand is pretty easy.

So yes, I call with a medium PP here all day and twice on Sundays, barring additional factors I don't have enough information about to incorporate into my analysis.


Couga said...

How does Cardgirl preceive you see her? If she thinks you think she's making that move with ATC that opens your range wide open. If she thinks you think she's strong, she could see that as you having a monster.

With no history with either of you two, I'm not crazy about your push because the only hands that are calling you have you crushed. But it is a strong play that puts Cardgirl in a weird spot.

As the action stands, I fold in Cardgirl's situation too. The push there tells me that I am at best 60-40 overall considering I am most times a coin flip and sometimes a big favorite to and underpair but big dog to JJ-99 (I wouldn't anticipate a push like that with AA-QQ unless on UB and you saw my exact hand).

The more I think about it the more I dislike your push.

Zot95 said...

Similar to what others have said, barring any reads, I would not have shoved A5 here. Similar to what others have said, you are in bad shape to the button's calling range.

I think that you'd have to have a read that the button would open with a large range and/or would fold a large portion of that range to a shove to make this +EV for you.

Given the positive "advertising" of the shove though, maybe on net it was an alright play.

Anonymous said...

Usually any ace or any pair is decent 3 handed. CG decided to bet 15% of stack, leaving an option to fold. One question to always ask is what is the objective of the bet? IF CG bets 25-30% of stack I would assume a predetermined call to any shove 90% of time. Also with mid pair, CG could shove herself and take the blinds figuring only 6 hands have her in real bad shape. She could have made other player make tough decision to call to her shove (and would have been correct since RW only had one over card).

I think CG could play 88 either way, but most times 88 is ahead in a race, should one be willing to race. Other players might like a little better spot. Part of poker is forcing other player to make a mistake, and RW put pressure on CG with a lesser hand, which she folded and appears to be a mistake knowing the hand.

Having said all that, flow of the game and table situations play into decisions, so based on action both players seemingly made good decisions, and as we frequently hear, aggression wins pots so kudos to RW.

I think 88-JJ is tough, although less so 3 handed. I think shove is good unless you know other two players will only call with a big hand. Then maybe a limp in attempt to trap is possibly a good play. The other 2 plays are a larger bet planning to call any shove hoping someone over plays a hand (as happened here) is one option, and lastly, to do just as CG did, where good players are usually going to fold without some kind of hand and then you have some idea where you stand post flop.

As RW said, on button is can also look like a steal and the key question is 88 a big enough hand 3 handed to be more aggressive. My vote would be yes. Maybe RW can respond if he folds to a 30% bet or a shove?

Willrr said...

The fact that the buttons calling range has him crushed is inconsequential, he's taking it down such a large percentage of the time (particularly if 88 is even a thinking hand for villain) that this is an optimal shove oop.
That being said, 88 is never even close to a fold, snap call hi five monitor imo.

Heffmike said...

since I started this all to begin with - a few things no one has mentioned yet.

- An overly large 4x open from the button invites a blind to threeball/shove on you and turn the tables: suddenly the original raiser with position and a hand loses all those advantages and has to make the tough decision.

- Most people hate to raise/fold shorthanded - and most of the +EV of shoving there is getting a fold, not winning a showdown. Far more likely you get spite called by ATo there than get 88-99 to fold.

- Leveling someone with AA-QQ by shoving there (hey, no way they shove a big pair there) is so sweet.

Ray said...

EZ call for Cardgrl there IMO. 88 is a monster 3 handed and you could be 3 betting with much worse.

When down to 3 handed if the math says call, I call. I don't rely on reads garnered mostly from full ring play as people from all levels of play drastically change their game when its down to 3 (and even 4) handed.

If you are playing solid short handed poker, and I think Cardgrl thinks you are, then she should know that you could be doing this with a very wide range.