Monday, October 22, 2012

Decision time--conclusion

Sunday I published a post in which I set up a decision I had to make and asked you to think about what you would do if faced with that same situation. If you have not already read that post and wish to do so before seeing the spoilers below, go here.

OK, so I had a medium-strength flush, was facing a raise, and had to decide whether to raise or fold.

This was a close decision. It could have gone either way. But in the end, I decided to raise all-in. (A smaller raise was never a consideration, since I would be pot-committed anyway and might as well maximize whatever fold equity I might have, though I judged it to be pretty small.) I was nudged to this side of the decision largely by the two pieces of information I discussed previously: The intel that he was a bad player who had just had the luckiest night of his poker life, and the fact that he rechecked his hole cards only after the third heart had hit. I decided that his most likely types of hands were, in descending order of probability, (A) something other than a flush, (B) a flush higher than mine, and (C) a flush lower than mine. I thought that the sum of (A) and (C) was greater than (B). Hence the shove.

ABP called.

He actually had 4h-5h. He had flopped an open-ended straight-flush draw and turned a small flush.

The river was the 6d, changing nothing, and I won the pot.

To be honest, I had not considered the possibility of a combo draw like this, so shame on me for that. As to my other thoughts, I had been both right and wrong. I was right that he was a sufficiently bad player that he might raise me with a worse flush. But I was wrong about assigning the relative probabilities of the categories of hands he could have. I was also wrong about the tell, at least as it pertained to ABP. (It might have been accurate with respect to the third player, but I'll never know.)

I think the advance notice I had been given about him being a bad player was accurate. Raising the turn was dangerous, given that flush draws would be a large part of my range there, and every possible flush draw was bigger than his. Furthermore, he had another player yet to act behind him, who might also have made a higher flush. If he wanted to raise as a probe for my strength, he could have made it a smaller amount. Then, when I moved all-in, he could have safely concluded that he was facing a higher flush and that he therefore had just two outs to win and should fold.

The beauty of the straight-flush draw seduced him. He freely explained that that's what he was counting on, and that he was pretty sure I must have a higher flush. Plus, he cited the always-popular, "Besides, I had so much in there already."

As a final thought, consider what an interesting and exciting card the 7h would have been for the river.


Ryan said...

Guessing that if the 7h had come, the result would have been exactly the same. Just sayin...

LOLfolding said...

I'm completely on board with affirming that the 7/8 seat assessment is spot on. LOL "counting on straight flush outs".

My question would be - what type of hands were you trying to fold out with your attempt to increase fold equity? You certainly aren't going to fold out any hands better than yours. You wouldn't want him folding out worse hands that could improve assuming you gave him the wrong price to draw (I think my math was close in the last post). I guess since you just barely had enough money to give him poor odds to draw to a full house, it would be preferable to get him to fold? Him calling is only marginally profitable for you and is going to be a very high variance situation. Having an extra $40 or so in your stack would have made a huge difference.

The Poker Meister said...

7h comes & you're praying that the bad beat jackpot is big. You guys are both jumping for joy and he continues with the luckiest night(s) of his life.

The Poker Meister said...

Interesting point, LOLfolding... What I mean by that is not only having an extra $40 in your stack makes the difference, but why are you starting any hand with a $150 stack? Grump, if possible, I'd love to hear your thoughts on buying in, topping off, and rebuying.

Presumably, you're the best player at the table, and if you're not, you're very close to the best player. You know where you stand at any given point and know how & what to bet. Why aren't you playing 100BB poker? Better, why aren't you playing as deep as the worst person at the table?

Given the hand setup, it seems that you left money on the table by not having a full or greater stack. Had you bought in for the max, you would have won double your pull. I understand that not buying in full cuts down on bankroll variance, but you're going to get it all in with the best of it so frequently that you'll win far more in the long run than short term variance will allow. Moreover, you put in the volume (as a full time player) that will allow you to overcome any short term variance effects.

For me, I'm working up the "courage" to buy in for 150BB deep to start, but I'm simply not that accustomed to doing so. I guess that's the next step to becoming a full time 2/5 player.

LOLfolding said...

Continually topping off your stack can be annoying if you're restricted to 100bb and so most players, even good ones, don't bother. If I'm getting down to the 50-60bb level, I usually top off, especially if there are bad players at the table that cover me.

I said $40 because I think that's enough to have made a noticeable difference in this particular hand. Assuming you could have bought $100+ more and I'm guessing he would have called it all off anyway, you really left a lot of profit on the table by being short here.