Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tournament Poker: Did I make a mistake here?

Jenna Jameson vor den AVN Awards 2006, Venetia...Image via Wikipedia

Tournament Poker: Did I make a mistake here?

A long time ago, I entered a deep stack tournament in Vegas where I started with $10,000. (The photo is this crazy woman who kept flirting at me while I was playing poker at The Venetian. It may explain my poor play

For the first round or 30 minutes, I did not get a playable hand. I was getting a little impatient, when this hand came up.

Blinds are $100-$200 with a $25 ante.

I am in the cutoff.

Everyone folds to me. I have 6d-4h offsuit. A big hand! I raise to $650.

The big blind calls. Such respect.

The pot is $1,625.

The flop is Kc-8h-4d.

My opponent checks. I check without thinking. I mean, I was just trying to steal the blinds. However, after I checked, I wished I had bet. Oh well...

The turn is a 2s.

My opponent bets $1,500. Did that 2s really help him? Or did he hit his King on the flop? Or is he just bluffing.

This time I think about the hand. My read is that he is trying to steal. But, it is going to cost me some chips. Oh well, sounds crazy but I called.

There is $4,625 in the pot.

The river is a 7d.

My opponent bets $1,500 again.

What should I do?
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Anonymous said...

The photo is of Jenna Jameson!!

Jonathan Gelling said...

I suppose retroactively folding the turn isn't an option? On the bright side, it looks like your opponent is betting $1,500 into a $4,625 pot on the river, which is a suspiciously small amount -- the same as the turn bet. That's either a really good sign or a terrible sign, depending on the player. Most of the time, when I see a small bet on the river that's exactly the same as the turn bet it's a probe bet with a good, but not spectacular made hand.

I'm trying to put your opponent on a hand here and I see three possibilities: (1) he checked a king to you on the flop and value bet the turn and river; (2) he might have bet a double belly buster on the turn with a 65, or (3) he has a pocket pair less than kings, something like a pair of 9s (or 7s would be really ugly).
If he had a pair less than the kings, I don't see why he'd lead out on the river; I'd probably check and call hoping to catch a bluff.

My keen, refined poker instincts tell me that calling with 9-high is not a good option. There are no busted draws on the board that your opponent could have missed, so it's very unlikely he has complete air. The one drawing hand it makes sense for him to have bet on the turn just came in, and maybe he's trying to suck some money out of it. You could probably get him to lay down a hand like 9s or Ts with an all-in move, but it's at least as likely he has a decent king, a set, or a straight.

I hate to be all conservative and conventional here, but I vote for boldly "folding" the 9-high and saving your remaining $7,850 in chips for a better spot.

OhCaptain said...

I would quit dumping money into this hand. Your line is all over the place and a raise now is gonna just like a bad bluff. Not raising the flop was a big mistake, now just take your punishment and play another day :)

Mitchell Cogert said...

Sorry...I made a big mistake in the post...I had the 6d and 4h...not 9h.

I need to get more sleep. I will change this and repost.

Does this change your opinions?

silknparachute said...

Hello, Well what a mess. Besides not betting in the first place, and then after leading out with a bet, then not raising when you hit a pair, after he has checked...

I can put him on and A?, which is why he is still betting, hoping to hit A on the river.

The flop texture is terrible, even for a straight draw, so go all in.

(This is assuming with the noted unusual betting, that you do have a poker face that can hold up during the wait for him to fold. If you cannot 'represent' strength, then FOLD)

If you go all in, he should fold, because he is representing weakness, and he knows you have bet and called his two bets, so he will have to put you on some kind of decent hand.

Cross your fingers, and don't bet into dry pots with crap cards the next time, even if the pink dress is tilting you.

Jonathan Gelling said...

LOL, OK, now this hand example makes more sense. I was worried you were trying to make the case for some kind of completely whacky all-in move with 9-high. I could see that working in the big leagues, but I think most online players would look you up after taking such an erratic line in this hand.

Is calling an option now with a pair of 4s? Likely hands you could beat: A2 (would he really bet the river here?), A5 (betting a gutshot/overcard on the turn), 53 that somehow called a pre-flop raise, pocket 3s, and... well about nothing else except for the odd AQ/AJ/AT just taking a stab at it for some reason hands.

So basically no, calling is an exceptionally bad option here. I would pretty much never call here unless my opponent was a real clown. And since I hate raising on the river when there's absolutely nothing remotely scary about the board and I've taken a passive line post-flop, that only leaves folding in my book.

Mitchell Cogert said...


Super advice!


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