Its been a little over a week now since the North East FD tournament, so I think its time to start dissecting some of the hands... Lets start at the hand that I labeled Big Hand 3. This is where the tournament really started to turn for me, so its logical to work my way from here...
I am going to walk through the hand play by play.
I am on the button with J9 spades. I have about 15k in chips with blinds of 200-400. There are two callers, then a raise to 1k before me. With about 2400 in the pot I call the 1000 raise. This is probably a loose call but getting almost 2.5-1 on my money with suited 1 gappers isn't horrible. Blinds fold, only one of the original callers makes the call.
Pot is now 4000.
Flop comes 9d5c2d.
First impression is that I like this flop. I am not sold on my top pair, but I think its good enough to extract some money on a hand like AK,AQ,AJ,A10,88 or a flush draw.
First caller checks, the the guy who raised preflop bets $1000.
Here comes my first decision. I can call his bet knowing I am getting 5-1, I could fold or I could raise. Here is what I am thinking.
a) I like my pair of jacks right now. I am behind to AA,KK,QQ,JJ,1010,99,AJ,KJ,QJ,44,66. I AA,KK,QQ,AJ are possibilities. JJ is unlikely but possible. 99 is very unlikely but also possible. I am not too concerned about 44,66 right now. Really I am thinking the bettor has AA,KK,QQ,1010,AK,AQ,AJ,A10,88. He is a fairly tight player, and I sense his 1000 is more a feeler bet then anything. If that is the case I have to narrow it down to AK,AQ,AJ,A10,88. Even without narrowing it down, I dont feel I am behind and I am at least calling this hand.
b) Can I just call? If I call I am getting no information and letting the third person play to a possible flush. She is already getting 5-1 if I fold, and if I call she is getting 6-1. I dont know she has a flush draw, but if she does I can not give her those odds. What if the bettor has a flush draw and he is on a semi-bluff. Calling doesn't do much except set him up to push a little more on the turn. I dont like a call in this situation and dont see it as an option
c) If I am not folding, not calling, how much do I raise? The pot is 5000, I am facing a 1000 bet. I have 14k in my hand. First impression is lets keep the pot below my chip stack so I dont commit myself to a pot without a strong hand. Second impression is lets get rid of any flush draws. Third lets see how strong of a bet the 1000 actually was. To get rid of the flush draws I need to offer at most 2.5-1. That works out to be about a $2300 raise to bring the pot to $8300. This will make the third caller actually have to put in $3300 to a $8300 pot with the possibility of being raised again by the original better. This isn't exactly a +EV play. If she does make a call, then I am giving the original better odds to call on a flush draw but I cant count on that being the case. How does this put my stack in relation to the pot being built? My stack stands at 1400, subtract 3300 and my stack would be 10700. That would make the middle stack at 8300. If we get any callers my stack becomes less then what is being played for. This isn't a great situation, but I still have some folding equity. I still figure I would give a few % points on the flush draw to pick up a little more folding equity. I also am against min-raising here, so there isn't a whole lot I can do about becoming pot committed on this hand.
d) I arrive at about 3000. Its a solid 3x raise, puts the next to act in a situation where calling with a flush draw is a marginal call at best. And barring the first better being on a bluff we are looking at going to the turn with an 10k pot and 11k in my hand.
I announce the raise and put my 3k into the middle. The other lady calls for 1k. When she is told the amount is actually 3k, she gets this disgusted look on her face and folds her hand. In this process she revels her cards (kd10d). After doing that the other guy in the pot yells over to her to be more careful, and he is clearly mad that she showed her cards. This is a big tell for me. I dont like this tell. He is clearly upset that she exposed to diamonds and revealed that she was on a flush draw. He is telling me that he doesn't have a flush draw and he thinks I am on a flush draw. If he doesn't have a flush draw he is probably sitting on AA,KK,QQ. I believe he is ahead right now. I still dont understand his 1k bet. He knows that he is offering all kinds of odds. To have a monster hand and offer those odds to a possible flush draw is questionable at best. I have to play off him thinking I am on a flush draw, and the fact that he probably has me beat.
Turn comes down 9.
This is my bingo card. He doesn't have me beat now. 99 is impossible, and the only other cards he could hold that would beat me are 44,66. I dont see him raising preflop with either of those. But remember, he thinks I am on a flush draw. I dont see him on a flush draw so I have to play this very carefully. I dont want him to think I have a 9, I want to set him up for a bluff on the river. He bets 2k to me, and I simply call. This moves me down the road of becoming pot committed, but I dont care. I want all his chips. I have a top trips with a decent kicker. The only thing that beats me is Q9,K9,A9,44,66 which I have already discounted. Fairly innocent sequence of events, but I think this will be effective in setting up for a bluff on the river. If I have trip 9s he has to be looking for another raise from me. I raised before seeing the two diamonds but not after. I want him to put me on a flush draw so that if it doesn't hit I can reraise all in and induce a call.
River brings 3d. This completes a flush. I checked on the turn because I didn't think he was playing like he was on a flush draw, so I cant change my mind here. I set him up to take another stab at this pot. I dont think he will take a stab at this pot now though. If he thought I was on the flush draw I just hit it. He cant like his overcards right now. There is no way he is putting much more money into the pot. He is first to act...
He moves all-in. He has me covered so basically he is putting me all-in. This makes me rethink my situation. Was he semi-bluffing on the flop with his 1k bet? Was he not disgusted at the lady for showing her cards but disgusted that he had two less outs? I still think he is holding AA,KK,QQ. He just made a horrible mistake. I dont know what he is putting me on but moving all in here with those cards dont make any sense. I cant put him on a flush draw and cant put him on a stronger 9 either though. I rumble this decision back and forth for a few minutes.
Finally I call.
He turns over AA.
Big pot and I have doubled up.
He goes on mega tilt. I we go to break 5 minutes after this hand and I hear him talking to people about how he lost AA to J9. Of course he isn't replaying the entire hand. If he was he would see how badly he played this hand. He made a few big mistakes here, and I will leave it up to you my readers to find those mistakes.
Feel free to comment on my play or his play in this hand.