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hand analysis number two.

so here's a different hand that i played at the casino tonight that helped me turn my $350 loss due to being on the bottom side of set over set twice in one session into a $50ish profit. Again, i'm looking for some help to determine if i played the hand correctly.

Under the gun with a stack of about $450, i see 8d9d. i open for $15 (it's a 1/2 table) because suited diamond connectors are my randomizer (as in, preflop i play diamond connectors down to 4d3d in the same way i would play big pairs). I get three callers, one guy to my right, two to my left. The flop comes 9s10s2d. First to act checks. i catch the person to my left start to check out of turn. thus i put him on a draw and want him out of the pot and hopefully everyone else too, so i put out a continuation bet of $40. Out of turn checker thinks for a while, then puts out what feels like a reluctant call. But then, to my surprise, the remaining two players also call.

Turn comes Ah. First to act checks. I think for a while. If i had been able to isolate with my c-bet, i would have bet out again. But even with the weak call to my left, i don't feel comfortable with my position now with four people still in the pot, two of which just sat down so i don't really know how they play. I weigh my folding equity and decide that *someone* has a made hand (especially with the ace out) and i won't be able to get them to give up, so i eventually decide to concede and check, vaugely representing a big pair that feels uncomfortable that i just got outdrawn by someone playing an ace. If someone bets, and especially if there's a call, i can fold with the impression that i'm making a tough laydown with KK or QQ.

to my surprise, the other two players check.

River card comes 2h. First person checks. Again i think for a little while, as my evaluation of people's hands has shifted yet again. i find it extremely unlikely that anyone flopped 2 pair with the 2, so the 2 on the end effectively does nothing to improve anyone else's hand; if they were sitting on a set and trying to trap me, they had the nuts anyway since there's no possible straight or flush. If they were on a draw, they still missed. If someone had an ace, it makes no sense that they wouldn't take the initiative to bet that ace on the turn. Any other possible made hands fall into the category of uncomfortable; maybe someone has a 10 with a weak kicker or pocket 8s or even pocket jacks, and the turn ace made them too scared to commit more money into the pot.

So i decide right then that I need to take advantage of their lack of initiative, re-represent the strength that i had preflop and flop. Clearly they can't put me on AK or AQ because otherwise i would have bet the turn not checked it, but if they think that i'm trapping with a much stronger hand such as 99 or AA, then maybe they think that i checked the turn to induce a bet so i could check-raise.

By the same token, while i want to try to take down the pot, neither do i want to bluff all of my chips in case i'm running into a monster; i want to be able to back out if someone reraises me and now i'm pot-committed with merely 9s and 2s with an A kicker. So i bet $150, leaving $250ish behind. Two of the stacks have about that much or a little more, so they'd be committing all in. The third stack has me covered.

Everyone folded. One person who was out of the pot was convinced i had either AA or 99 and was trying to trap on the turn. Another who has played with me several times wasn't sure what to put me on after i checked the turn, but felt like i either had AA, KK, or QQ.

So. how did i do with that hand?

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Feb. 7th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)

I feel like you should only play suited connectors like 89s in two situations:

1. You're getting spectacular odds, which should be common in these types of live games. ie one raiser, two callers, your turn to act.

2. As a semibluff, particularly a squeeze. ie raiser, two callers, your reraise big.

If you're going to open UTG for 7x the BB and likely get a bunch of callers, I wouldn't bother raising it in the first place. Playing a bloated pot with that hand out of position is setting yourself up for failure.
Feb. 7th, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2010 04:44 am (UTC)
don't misunderstand; basically the point of me doing this is a means to mix up my play because my pf raising standard is tighter than most and people figure that out. I do it as a way to pot steal; the few times i get diamond connectors i can usually raise, c-bet and take down the pot. If not, i concede the pot most of the time.

in this case i didn't even expect to get four callers pf given the image i had on the table, but i also forgot that we just acquired a few new people who hadn't developed an understanding of my typical image.

ignore for the moment that pf it might have been a risky play. What about my play after that?
Feb. 7th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
If I were one of your opponents, I probably would've put you on JJ-KK. If any of them called preflop with ace rag (which I'd guess they play that kind of shit frequently), I would absolutely expect a call on the river.

When you got callers on the flop, you needed to barrel the turn or give up IMO. Betting the river is a mistake.
Feb. 7th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
i had made the determination to give up on the turn when i checked, but when everyone else checked the turn, i found it unlikely that anyone could have held an ace, even ace rag, without taking iniative on the turn.

it was also an intuitive moment because of the... not "tells" exactly, but the vibe i picked up about the hand, one in which everyone felt very tentative and were treading lightly on the hand. I bet when i did and as strong as i did because of that feeling of cautiousness people had about exactly where i sat and the kind of player i was and i felt like i had very good folding equity if i bet out strong. i felt fairly confident in my hand reading that while one of the players might have been able to beat my actual hand, no one could beat the hand i was representing, or even if they could, they'd still be scared that i had something better, and that paranoia along with the strong bet made them cave.

maybe that's still misguided of me. *shrug* i can say that in a different situation with different players, i would have checked. if i was playing online i *definitely* would have checked because i wouldn't have had the ability to have that sort of instinct.
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Feb. 9th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Without knowing anything else, I'd say you played the hand very poorly.

You don't need randomizers at 1/2, that's ridiculous. Nobody is even paying attention.

You hit two pair on the flop. Two pair is a hand you should be stacking off with at 1/2, unless the board is very wet.

You should bet 80% or so of the pot on the flop, 80% on the turn and either bet the pot or shove on the river.

You probably didn't lose much value on this hand, but your play reveals a serious and fundamental misunderstanding of micro stakes full ring. The best thing to do is to go back to 2+2 and read the COTW thread on value betting.
Feb. 9th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
one pair on the flop, not two pair?...
Feb. 9th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
i mean, if you're going to have that sort of holier-than-thou sort of tone, you can at least do it by reading the hand correctly. *warm smile* cheers.
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
Hahahaha! That serves me right. Hold on, let me re-read the hand.
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC)
You still played it very wrong, although in precisely the opposite way.

You still shouldn't use a randomizer. By the way, I think you should play 98s at 1/2, you should just limp with it.

You should check on all three streets. It's possible you can extract more value by betting something like 1/3 of the pot on each street, but I would check all three.

You don't play less than TPGK at 1/2.
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
if it wasn't my randomizer i would probably have folded it only because i was utg. limping is another option, but i was really just trying to make a move.

the 1/2 game where i play isn't *completely* a bunch of morons; there were regulars there who i knew played generally passive tight and also have an impression about my play that i'm generally a tight preflopper, particularly if i raise. i was trying to make a move and take advantage of what i felt was decent folding equity.

but again, i know i still have some strides to make with my game. appreciate the input. :)
Feb. 9th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
You don't "make moves" at 1/2 live. You don't even really make moves at 2/5.

If the table you are playing at is good enough to effectively be a 5/10 table in skill, then you still shouldn't make moves: you should leave.

What level do you play at online?

And seriously, don't use randomizers. That's just totally ridiculous. I know one grinder at 10/20 in Commerce who uses a randomizer and even at that level everyone thinks it's silly.

At 1/2 I wouldn't fold 98s from UTG, I'd usually limp with it.
Feb. 9th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
One more point. Never bluff below 5/10 live.

If you are betting to try and get your opponents to fold, you're doing it wrong.
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
see, i used ot play this way, pf raising only premium hands, never trying to bluff. i'm not a bluffer by habit, i only do stuff to this degree like maybe once out of 1000 hands, but i did start expanding the range of my pf raising hands and almost always c-betting the flop because half of the players on 1/2 are so passive tight and the regulars know my image enough that i feel like not monopolizing on their "i'll only play the nuts" or their "he's playing aggressive, i'm scared, i should fold."

this is very different than the way i play online (although i haven't played online in several months) because i put more value on what you're saying at the stakes i play online, which is either .25/.50 or .50/1 because of the bankroll i put into the site. i agree that beyond a c-bet on a missed AK flop to try to represent, there's no point in trying to bluff at that level at all because it's much more passive loose rather than the passive tight situation i come across more live.
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
and i'll also say that it depends on the table. i'll definitely tighten up my play if there's a lot of loose passive or loose aggressive players on the table.

*laugh* i'm afraid to get in a discussion with you about PLO. :)
Feb. 9th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
Are you a +EV player at 50NL or 100NL online?
Feb. 11th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
at the .50/1, yes. at the 1/2 or 2/4 i can't be unless i short buy based on the $$ i have in that account.
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