Sunday, January 17, 2010

Was This A Bad Poker Play On My Part?

Was This A Bad Poker Play On My Part?

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I had played $3-$6 limit cash game on ten previous occasions and had won eight times. On Friday night, I played again at the $3-$6 level and lost--I couldn't get the table to fold to any of my raises or bets..a bummer.

On Saturday, I decided to move up and play a $6-$12 limit cash game at the local poker room. I figured I could get a few more folds:-)

Here is the situation:

The table is 10 handed. I am on the big blind. The blinds are $6-$4.

Three players limp in and a player in middle position raises. Four players call the raise. I look down on the big blind and find 6-2 offsuit.

It's not that great of a starting hand, of course, but it will cost me $6 with a pot expected to be $90. I call. And the limpers call.

There are 8 players in the hand and the pot is $96.

The flop comes Q-8-6 rainbow.

The limpers fold to the raiser, who bets. Two players fold. But, the next player raises. It is $12 to me. The pot is now $120. It is one big bet to win 10 big bets.

Since I know I am going to get a few more callers, I am actually getting the right pot odds here to call (I need at least 11 bets in the pot for a positive expected value).

I also get this feeling that a 6 will hit. I call.

The three early position players call. The original bettor re-raises, and the next player caps the pot.

Now, it is another $12 to me. The pot is $168.

I pick up the chips to make the call. I mean if it is right to call off $12 for $120 then it's right to call off the same amount for a bigger pot, right?

I am about to toss the chips into the pot, when I start to think that someone already has a set. I put down the chips and think it over for a few seconds.

If I think I am drawing dead, then a fold is in order.

I fold. The moment I fold I feel stupid. The expected value for me is positive. I shouldn't fold unless I am like 99% sure that even if I hit my 6 I will lose. I am not that sure.

The turn card is a 7.

Everyone checks!

The river is a 6!!

Everyone checks again.

The winning hand is A-Q.

Would you have played this hand differently?

Overall Results for the Day

I played for 5 hours and won $500. Not bad. But the opportunity to take down a big pot was lost.


Anonymous said...

"On Saturday, I decided to move up and play a $6-$12 limit cash game at the local poker room. I figured I could get a few more folds:-)"

Definitely a bad poker play in my opinion :P. If you're moving up because you feel like you've proven yourself at the lower limit and want to take a shot at a higher limit then it's fine, but why would you move up if you just had bad results at an easier game?

As for the hand, I don't play limit, but that seems pretty results oriented. If the river wasn't a 6 you would be patting yourself on the back about the fold right? What if you stayed in, the turn was a 6 but the river was another Q? For everytime you hit the ideal card on the turn there's a chance of a resuckout on the river costing you even more money. It's just about percentages.. you have to take into account the amount of times your already drawing dead, the amount of times you'll improve, and then factor in the amount of times you'll improve but end up losing to a hand that improves more. In addition to the possibility that you're improved hand might not really get paid off. I think when you consider all those things a call with bottom pair no kicker is really -EV. Say you called and the turn was again a 7 are you going to continue to stay with your hand? Even if the river is a 6 you're going to probably only going to get 1 big bet from the guy with AQ. It's not like he's going to reraise your raise on the river when the 6 pairs...

And then it's even worse in this situation when you call the reraise (!) on the flop but don't seem to take into consideration of the possibility of the pot being reraised again (!) by the original raiser who has already shown strength in the hand by continuation betting into a crowd of people.

I don't know, this could be completely naive as I play NL but in general the hand seems poor.

Mitchell Cogert said...

Thanks for your feedback.

1. My belief about losing that last $3-$6 session was because of the way the table played, and my bad luck at hitting the draws.

2. I think it's important to test yourself--when you believe you are ready--at higher limits. It makes you a better player.

3. I find that limit poker is a great way to build one's skills at both reading opponents and understanding expected value. The way I worked out the math, I believed that the call on the flop was a positive expected value play. Of course, maybe I am wrong.


Park Brees said...

It was the right fold. If the 6 on the river does not hit, we are not even having this discussion. Though the pot odds were favorable, you should play your with your gut feeling. Not folding due to pot odds is a good way to lose a lot of money. Using pot odds logic, you could convince yourself to stay in holding deuce seven hoping the river and turn come seven seven. Personally, I dislike playing low limit for this very reason. It takes a lot of strategy out of the game and is extremely frustrating. Present company excluded, a lot of idiots play low limit and as Doyle Brunson once said, "You can't bluff an idiot".

What's Your Poker IQ?