Monday, June 29, 2009

You Make The Call! (Or Fold)

Played an interesting hand of poker I thought I'd relay to everyone.

Post-tourney cash game, .50/$1 blinds. I start the hand with somewhere around $55-60. Chris has a little more than me in front of him, but he's stuck on the night. Al has maybe around $30 in front of him.

I'm the big blind. Al raises to $3 from Under the Gun (player to the left of the big blind). Action folds around to Chris, in the small blind, who calls. I look down at 7h-Th (7 hearts - 10 hearts). Calling is a little loose, but it's getting late and in the later hours we all have a little more gamble in us, Al, Chris and myself included. So I make the call. There is now $9 in the pot.

Flop comes Tc-Ts-2c. Jackpot. Chris checks. I check, expecting Al, the pre-flop raiser, will continuation bet. He doesn't.

This is where it gets interesting. Turn is a Qs, putting 2 flush draws on board. Chris bets $2. I pause for a second, and make it $7. Al thinks for a while, and just calls. Chris then raises to $14. Now there is $39 in the pot, and with the call from Al and re-raise from Chris I have to consider that I don't have the best hand.

I have three options here, fold, call or raise. With 2 flush draws on board, having to only call $7 into a pot of $39, and a very strong hand, folding isn't really an option. I glance over at Al and I can see he's holding the rest of his chips (maybe $20) in between his thumb and index finger. He's thinking of pushing. If I shove, I'll be raising a pot of $46 about $45, giving about 2-1 odds to Chris and about 3-1 to Al (as he only has $20 to call with). It's probably a play that would chase Chris and MAYBE Al off a flush draw.

Instead, I elect to just call the $7 to see what Al does, and if he pushes, to see what Chris does after that. If he pushes and Chris calls, I'll have a tough decision. Al makes a tough fold (based on his cursing under his breath). The pot is now $46.

The river is a red 3. Chris takes a few seconds, looks at his chips, and announces all in. Chris has me covered, so I'd be calling all of my $45 to win $91.

I'll post the end of the hand in the comments section in a couple days. But first, I thought it might be fun to give everyone (or at least just Ryan and Coovo) a chance to say what you'd do. I would like to hear it!


Ryan said...

You gotta call! What, did Chris call the preflop 3x raise on a T-2?

He's trying to buy you out.

Actually, I already know the answer because Al was tweeting the whole game.

Coovo said...

I don't know as much poker as my blogmates, but I'm assuming that the "red three" doesn't make a difference since the two flush draws on the board were spade and clubs.

If math is right the only hand that could beat roller is two 2s, two 3s , two Q's, or possibly the the 4th 10. I'm guessing its an easy call, but me, I fold because I'm poor.

Marty said...

I'd also call...but I would probably be playing with pennies and oreos as the stakes...tell me what happened

Anonymous said...

Happy third. great party.
i can't beleive i folded that.

Good thing because i didn't go broke with my $20 buy-in and
bought out with $160.

A-Q tight a$$

Roller said...

Yes, it was a good fold Alnonymous!


Once Chris pushed, I felt he had me. I jumped out of my chair and said something like "You seriously have me outkicked?". I sat in a different chair so that I could get a better look at him. I started putting the hand back together. Hands with this many bets can tell a story, and it helps to narrow down your opponents' range.

- Chris called an Under-The-Gun raise from Al from the small blind (out of position). Chris knows that Al most likely isn't raising with junk in that position, especially given that Al's stack size was probably a little below average at the table. Chris would probably make this call with most pocket pairs and some high connectors, say J-T and up. Maybe 9-T or 8-9 if they're suited.

- On the turn, Chris bets $2, I raise to $7, Al calls, and Chris re-raises to $14. Al and I are both showing strength with our plays, and yet Chris puts a 3rd bet in. And a pretty small third bet at that. This pretty much eliminates any pocket pairs under T-T. It's also hard to imagine him making this play with JJ, KK, or even AA. With a hand like that, he's more likely to simply call my raise, or if he really thinks we're on draws, push his whole stack to chase us away. He has to respect the two 10's on board. If he's really on a flush draw, again, he's more likely to just call and see the river, rather than give one of us the chance to re-raise back, or if he's really ballsy it's possible he could shove there. But he's not making that "call me or raise me" raise with a flush draw.

Taking all this into account, QQ or T-x are really the most likely hands. (I didn't think about it this deeply at the table, but my gut was arriving at the same conclusion).

Back to the hand... I asked Chris if he was holding J-T. I started badgering him, asking him if he had J-T or K-T. He was quiet.

From the math standpoint, I was calling $45 to win $91, getting 2-1 odds on the call. In other words, my hand only has to be good just over 33% of the time in order for calling to be a profitable play.

My gut at the time told me to fold, but it was late, I was getting good odds, and it was Claywell, after all.

I reluctantly called and said something like "Show me your K-T". He showed J-T and took down the pot.

In hindsight and without the emotion of the moment, I think that was a pretty easy fold. But when you start the hand by hitting gin and your eyes fill with $$, it's hard to release! I suppose that's what separates the good players...

Roller said...

BTW, you could probably all guess from his comment that Al had A-Q. I doubt that Al could have played that hand much better. He could have easily lost his whole stack.

Al, if you read this, I am still curious - why didn't you bet the flop?