Monday, August 11, 2008

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Yilmaz

I found myself in a tough spot in the £250 NLH game with Neil directly on my left and then Yilmaz immediately after. Imagine trying to get through those two. Yilmaz especially.

Mind you, it was a pleasure to watch Yilmaz play. He may be one of the best LAG players I have ever seen. Fearless and tricky, you never know what he has. Complete air or the nuts, he's always putting pressure on you.

Now that I think about it, I should have just bought in for the minimum and played a pre-flop game. Trying to take on the likes of Neil and Yilmaz with a pesky middling stack is akin to climbing Everest on your knees.

A huge £32k pot developed between the two of them at one point with Neil being on the losing end of a set over set situation. Poor old Neil was very annoyed with himself, but I'm sure if the hands had been reversed Yilmaz would have gone broke too. Also, against a player like Yilmaz whose hand range is so wide, slowing down with middle set is only leaving money on the table in the long run (imo, whatever that's worth).

As Neil said at one point I was playing "squeaky tight". The irony was that the few times I woke up with a hand one of the other super-granites at the table would come in from the cold and raise it up.

Steve Luca, very solid and probably playing tighter than me (in fact I know he was from another hand which I'll talk about in a second), suddenly decided to make it £200 after a bunch of limpers. I look down to see KK in the small blind. Jeez, what a time to find what is quite likely the second best hand. Steve's stack was a healthy looking £2k-ish (I had him covered) so I just called. Naturally Yilmaz couldn't resist and he and one other player came along for the ride too.

I suspect many players, especially internet ones, cannot believe I didn't re-raise there, but I felt in my heart of hearts that Steve had the Boots here. Yeah, I know, if I really think I'm beat I should just fold my Kings quietly there too, but it's freakin' pocket kings and I guess AK is also in Steve Luca's range in this spot.

Anyway the flop comes down 4 4 5, a pretty safe flop for an over-pair and we all check to the pre-flop raiser who duly bets £300. Wow, that's a small bet. I have Yilmaz and the other player behind me, but it's unlikely either has a 4. Still, I'm sure that Steve would check AK here and only bet AA, KK and QQ. I couldn't get it out of my head that he had aces so I went with my feelings and folded.

Wha??!?!! Yeah I could be wrong, but wtf? It was going to cost me another two grand to find out and I figured there were better spots. Steve told me later at the cash desk that he did have aces. Of course, he could be lying.

So why did I think this particular player had a better hand than me in that spot? Well, earlier on I limped UTG with 44. By some miracle neither Neil or Yilmaz raised (one of them might have even folded!) before the flop and four or five of us saw the flop. 4 6 K - gin! I led out for about £50, one call and then Steve Luca called.

The turn comes an ace and now I bet £100. The middle guy folds and now Steve made it £300. Hmmm, trip 6s is a definite possibility here, in fact when he called on the flop I thought, "Uh oh, what's that about?". I may be tight, but I'm not a big one for folding sets, so I just shrugged and stuck it all-in.

Steve now went into the tank and as he gave it the genuine dwell I realised that trip 6s was odds on. Shit. My very good hand had now turned into a bluff.

Luckily I also realised that it really looked like I had limped pre-flop with aces or kings because I was expecting a raise behind me from either Neil or Yilmaz. I could see that was the very thought going around Steve's head. Unlike Neil I'm useless at talking my opponents into doing what I want them to do, so I just kept quiet, funking for him to muck.

Thankfully, Steve is not the type to angle-shoot or piss about and after not too long he passed his hand saying that I must have aces or kings. Phew. That's how tight he is (middle set on the flop! I could never fold that!) which is why I didn't feel too bad about folding my kings later on.

I guess having a nitty image does pay off sometimes. I'm guessing that Steve Luca probably doesn't play something like pocket fours upfront and he presumes a tight player like myself wouldn't do so either. He's right actually, sometimes I don't.


Pete Birks said...

Hi Hugo,

Speaking as a relatively tight online player, I admit that I do find the failure to raise with Kings was surprising. The way you have played it, you've turned Kings into a medium pair, albeit a rather good medium pair. You failed to hit your set, so you folded.

If you accept that Steve may have AK (and, I would have thought, QQ) in his range, then a reraise achieves precisely what you want it to achieve. First, if Steve has AK, it isolates (you get rid of the good Doctor and Yilmaz); secondly, if Steve has the boots, he is going to reraise you back (although probably not all-in). If he has AK or QQ, he is likely to call or even fold (the latter if he reads you as unlikely to make such a reraise with anything other than KK or AA).

Since you don't appear to me to be getting implied odds for your call with KK (not if Steve can fold middle set!), play it as a top pair, and be prepared to fold pre-flop to a four-bet from Steve.


clarkatroid said...

hi, nice blog, fancy swapping blogs links, ive put on mine

many thanks

adam clark

the chimney sweep said...

hi pete,

steve is a good enough player to flat call with aces in that spot if i 3-bet pre, so therefore i would end up bloating the pot and then have to play the rest of the hand OOP - which is why i elected to just call. i prob should have check-raised him (made it 800 on the flop) - now he can only really fold or move in.

i wasn't just calling hoping to hit a set. i wanted to see whether he liked the flop or not and what he would do on it - unfortunately it opened the door for a couple of the other players which made the situation a bit more tricky.

saying "i had a v. strong feeling he had aces" is the sort of thing internet players scoff at, but i have found after many years of playing live that ignoring these feelings tends to leave you potless and talking to yourself

the chimney sweep said...

hi adam,

i have added you

peterbirks said...

I do not scoff at the "I had a feeling that he had aces" line (see hand below, which I played today!). And I can see your line of thought. I've flat-called pre-flop a reraise with AA myself. I'm not sure if it's that good a play, actually, because post-flop you are never quite sure if opponent's optimism is KK (which you beat) or a set/two-pair (which you don't). If you are certain (or say, 95% plus certain) that he will not three-bet with Aces, then the call rather than reraise looks ok, but I don't think that you can be more than 30% to 40% sure that Aces will flat-call the three-bet.

Any hoo, here's that hand from today:

Texas Hold'em NL $0.50/$1 20-Aug-2008 20:37:37
Table Ensenada
Seat 1: NoRiskNoReward ($100.00 in chips)
Seat 2: tonga75 ($69.55 in chips)
Seat 4: Tight player (17%/4% preflop) ($254.20 in chips)
Seat 5: Hero ($206.35 in chips)
Seat 6: johnie5tits ($138.30 in chips)
Seat 7: Menin18 ($39.90 in chips)
Seat 9: skipperripper ($62.95 in chips) DEALER
Seat 10: nerca59 ($38.15 in chips)
nerca59: Post SB $0.50
NoRiskNoReward: Post BB $1.00
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero K◊ K&#9825
tonga75: Fold
Tight player : Raise (NF) $4.00
Hero: Raise (NF) $13.00
johnie5tits: Fold
Menin18: Fold
skipperripper: Call $13.00
nerca59: Fold
NoRiskNoReward: Fold
Tight player : Raise (NF) $45.00
Hero: Fold
skipperripper: Call $32.00
*** FLOP *** 3♣ T♠2&#9827
Tight player : Bet $18.00
skipperripper: Allin $17.95
*** TURN *** 4&#9825
*** RIVER *** Q&#9825
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $137.45 Rake $3.00
Tight player : Shows A♡ A♠]
skipperripper: Shows Q♣ 9&#9825]
Tight player : wins $137.45